It’s Raining Ramen

There’s something to be said for knowing how to do things yourself. You know, not just knowing how to sharpen your kitchen knives, catch a moose, house-train said moose, make the moose your friend … you know, as one does, but things like knowing how to iron a shirt, sew a button, change a fuse. Especially in this day and age, when everything is Googleable and we’re all carrying in our pockets these little crystal balls we call smart phones.

No longer do we need to memorize exactly how to house-train a moose. And if you find yourself one day lost in the middle of the woods in the night, starving, drenched in the rain, your feet squelching through the mud, and you do find a moose (no, really, bear with me here) you can whip out that trusty smart phone and ask it “How do I catch moose” and sure enough, you’ll find a YouTube video tutorial explaining the entire process. You can then ride the moose home. Provided that you’ve mastered the “make the moose your friend” step. That part is crucial.

That’s where technology might come in handy. Assuming of course, that you have a waterproof phone and battery and an actual moose.

As for deliberately getting lost? Hmmm … just don’t look at your phone. Easy-peasy, trust me.

Sometimes though, I wonder if we’ve gone too far in turning to YouTube for all our DIY needs. I mean, where do we draw the line?  You might have seen, for example, videos of people fixing things with Ramen noodles. Dry Ramen noodles, that is. Not cooked ones. That would just be gross, and I imagine, incredibly difficult. But seriously, repairs are being made with dry Ramen noodles. Tables, chairs, kitchen sinks, toilet bowls, you name it … apparently, it can all be fixed with Ramen noodles.

Yes, everything.

What kind of a spoiled, entitled society have we become where we actually use the things we’re supposed to eat to fix the things we now use to dispose of the things we eat? This is just getting silly, if you ask me.

Ramen noodles are meant to be eaten. Aren’t they? Right? I mean, I think we can all agree on that, yeah? At least that’s what I grew up believing. So what if they’re not good for you. They’re still a food product. Not a DIY repair-all tool.

Yet, here we are, browsing the interwebs, watching videos of people using noodles to fix everything, and it makes you wonder … how do the noodles feel about this? If I were a noodle, I’d be downright offended. Something dating back to China’s East Han Dynasty sometime between A.D. 25 and 220 deserves a bit more respect than ending up as part of your toilet.

My point is, are we just that bored? Are we really so desperate for novelty that we’ll actually use noodles for fixing tables and toilets? The answer is apparently a resounding “yes.”  Along with a shit ton of professional-grade solvents! Can’t imagine that’s good for us or the environment.

Seriously though. Noodles?

No, I don’t want green Ramen and ham.

And I don’t want Ramen noodle chairs either, Sam I Am.

What’s next? People will be asking you if you want your Ramen soup on a Ramen table in a Ramen bowl?

“And where’s the toilet?” you’ll ask. “Oh, the Ramen toilet?” they’ll reply. “Down the Ramen hall and on the Ramen right.”

You may as well be in a Ramen boat with a Ramen fox eating green eggs and ham (because of course, there’ll be no Ramen left to actually eat, everyone’s using it to fix things).

So how do you fix a table or a toilet without ramen noodles? Ahhh … therein lies the problem. You see, no one knows anymore. We’ve all been turning to YouTube for anything and everything for so long that we now just trust it blindly.

But listen, this where it backfires.

Have you heard of something called ants? What about roaches? Wasps? Weevils by any chance?  Before you go fixing everything around your house with Ramen noodles, just remember: there are plenty of creatures in the world that still like to eat Ramen noodles whether you’ve glued them onto your bathroom sink or not.

One day, you might just come home to find a moose in your bathroom eating your toilet bowl. And you haven’t even gotten to the YouTube video series “Make that Moose Your Friend” yet, so basically, you’re screwed.

No. It stops here, I tell you. Just eat your freakin’ Ramen noodles.

And call the plumber already. The toilet’s leaking.

Please.

Take That… Hack

I will apologize in advance for the stupidity of this article. I know it’s stupid. You don’t have to tell me. But I’ve been a bit sleep-deprived the past few days and it’s making me a little loopy. Not to mention, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time watching “5 Minute Crafts” and the like on my phone and it’s starting to affect me. I mean, if you’re on Instagram or Pinterest or even YouTube for any amount of time whatsoever, you’ll see image after image of life hacks that, for the most part, no-one in their right mind uses. In fact, life hacks can be generally annoying. They’re everywhere and it’s kind of annoying that people consider the most basic stuff a “life hack.” Okay, well, fine, there’s no “kind of” about it.

I’m starting to think life hacks are just a way to create clickbait articles doing everyday common-sense things.  Although, to be honest, most of the time, they’re not even really common-sense hacks. They’re more like, what stupid thing can we get people to do just because they saw it on the internet hacks. I mean, if these people were really on the cutting edge of innovation, they’d realize that eating Cheetos with chopsticks isn’t exactly a groundbreaking new idea to avoid orange fingers. I wish these do-it-yourselfers would step outside the box and come up with something truly creative. Instead, they slap together a video showing people the benefits of whipped cream as a shampoo and using nail polish to paint phone cases. Oh, and you want freckles? Yeah, they’ve got that covered too… with a fork no less.

Well, here I am, doing my part to counteract the craziness. I mean, someone has to do it, right?  So, without further ado, here are some life hacks for the lifehackers who do life hacks that are so out of the ordinary they can’t be anything but a hack (go ahead, say that three times fast… I dare you).

And now for something completely stupid…

Coordinate Fans Around the World to Combat Global Warming

People all over the world are talking about global warming. From Facebook to world leaders (well, most world leaders, anyway), people are arguing over science that will someday cease to exist because we’ll all be underwater. Helloooo and greetings from Atlantis! However, if you truly want to be a proponent for change, why not use the power of social media to coordinate an event where millions of people around the world turn on their fans and air conditioners at the exact same time in a bid to stop global warming? Cause… cool air negates global warming. Get it? Don’t believe me, just ask any scientist, they’ll tell you. Not only would you be a hero to the world at large but think of the polar bears. Think of the polar bears, people!

Text a Friend to Stay Awake While Driving

Those of us with working brain cells know that texting while driving is bad. Texting. Bad. We get it. But…  What if you’re falling asleep at the wheel? The naysayers don’t take into account that you’re taking the responsible route and texting a friend to help you stay awake. Maybe they should stop making these horrific commercials of people dying in fiery explosions and make a commercial of how your friend heroically saved you by texting you poop and eggplant emojis. And I will insert here, because this is important, I am making a joke. A stupid joke, as I’ve already explained, but a joke nonetheless. I am in no way condoning texting and driving, so don’t. Just. Don’t.

Free Flowers

It seems like flowers are just getting more expensive every year. I mean, take Valentine’s Day. One of the biggest days of the year for buying flowers, especially roses. Buying a dozen roses at the last minute for Valentine’s Day can set you back the equivalent of a down payment for a new car.  Now you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Simply go down to your local cemetery, they have flowers everywhere!  And just think, the bail you’ll pay when you’re arrested for trespassing and theft is still a hell of a lot cheaper than that dozen red roses at the local florist on Valentine’s Day. Plus, PLUS you’re saving money on that fancy Valentine’s dinner cause, you know, jail.

Poop at Work

I will apologize for the ummm… indiscreet discussion. However, when offering advice, one must address even the less than rosy topics.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you really hate your job and want to stick it to your boss, then take every opportunity you can to poop while on the clock. This lifehack is a two-fer. You get paid for going to the bathroom, AND you can brag about being paid to go to the bathroom. Oh, hey, it’s a three-fer!  Cause you’ll also be cutting back on costly repairs by destroying the plumbing at work instead of at your place.  Now see, this is the handy little hack no one ever mentions in those nifty videos.

Dinner with Friends Sans Wallet

This hack works equally well for those who a) like to live life on the edge doing dishes, or b) simply want a cheap free meal. The added benefit to this is that your friends, such as they are, will start ignoring your calls and avoiding social events with you, allowing you to save even more time and money as you stay home on Friday night to eat mac and cheese out of the pan in front of the sink and then chill… by yourself… with Netflix.

Your Problems Aren’t There if You Ignore Them

The final life hack is one so simple it almost shouldn’t be here: your problems don’t exist if you ignore them. You know those Pinterest quotes that go on about how you just need to ignore all the haters and negativity in your life? Well what are problems if not something negative? Simply pretend like the problems – aka the negativity – doesn’t exist and you put no value into your problem, hence, problem solved!  Arrested for stealing flowers from Cousin Dave’s grave?  Forget about it!  Reaping the rewards of your night out on the town which culminated in three hours of manual labor over a sink and one less friend? Who cares!? Smile it away. Hey, even if the problem is a fiery car crash you managed to escape from because you were texting your friend to keep him awake, just shut off your senses and pretend like you don’t smell the smoke of the burning wreckage that is your life. The life hack to top all life hacks. You’ve got this.

Rush Hour Skirmish

Some of those out there among us need to hear this. Consider it a public service announcement (you’re welcome). Turn signals are your friend. I know it might seem like it at times, but letting the rest of us know where you’re going and what you’re doing while putting on your breaks suddenly (for no apparent reason because, you know, turn signals) in a 65 mph zone is not sharing your plan of attack with the other side.

Oh, I can understand not wanting to fraternize with the enemy during rush hour traffic but think of this as more like an organized retreat with all sides taking part. We just want to get home. Just like you. We’d like to arrive home not in your backseat – our inevitable place in the world as you come to an almost complete stop while unexpectedly veering to the right towards that off-ramp, because again, you know, turn signals. I mean, that would be silly wouldn’t it? Because then, we’d be at your home, not our home. And where’s the fun in that? You don’t have my comfy jammies or my fluffy pillow or my favorite ice cream.

So, please. I’m begging you. Repeat after me. Turn. Signals. Are. Your. Friends.

Stuck in the Middle With You

They say a dog is man’s best friend, and I believe this to be true … in a man equals humankind sort of a way. I know for a fact that Rufus is my best friend and I sometimes feel guilty that he can’t come along when my human friends and I get together for a night out. As much as I care about my friends, Rufus runs circles around them – quite literally, as well as figuratively.

I mean, honestly, there’s just no comparison. Among all his other attributes — of which there are many, he’s quick to show his love. For instance, when I come home from being at work or out with the aforementioned friends, Rufus simply cannot contain his excitement and he pees a little… it’s not on purpose; it’s just because he’s so incredibly happy to see me. None of my other so-called friends do that. What the hell, people? You call yourselves my friends. I’m surrounded by fakers.

my rufus

Cats Rule, People Drool

Thousands of years ago, humans worshiped cats as Gods. They were carved into the sides of buildings, crafted in giant sculptures, and were even mummified. Much like the ancient Egyptians, modern humans forever enshrine their cats on social media videos for thousands of people to watch and enjoy around the world. Although, studies have shown that if domestic house cats were even a little bigger, they would kill you if they had the chance. Since cats are choosing not to murder us on a daily basis, I think we need to show them how much we really care. You know, as servants who are afraid of being killed in our sleep should do.

Cardboard Offerings

This one is a given. I mean, cats of all sizes – even wild cats, love a good box. Online shopping has made it easy for us to order cardboard boxes straight to our houses. I order stuff I don’t need just to have the box. After all, your cats don’t care what you’re ordering. They just want the box. It could even be a cat tree or scratching post… do they care? Nope. It’s the box they’re after. The minute you take the product out of the box, it is no longer yours. Kiss that box goodbye. A good cat servant has a cardboard box in every room so the cat always has a place to lie in wait for their next target (you… it’s you, you’re the target).

A View to a Kill

Cats love to be up high. Refrigerators, cabinets, bookshelves, dressers. They like to loiter in high places because they are natural predators. As hunters, they want to get the jump on anyone and everything, so they call dibs on all the high places in every room of the house. The problem with new cat owners servants is they think they should be allowed to put knick-knacks and other items in the very places that cats have called dibs.  I mean, really. What are they thinking? That they own the place or something?  Sheesh. Cats will just knock down whatever is in their way and use the place for a perching location. And look at their servant with disdain while doing so. The very idea of cluttering up my space with a 100-year-old depression glass basket. Well. I showed them the error of their ways. After they clean that up, they better get me some treats.  The thing is, you can either be proactive and install shelves up high, just for the cats to reenact their favorite scenes from The Lion King, or you can kiss your valuables goodbye.  You know what? Never mind. While I do suggest creating a play area accessible only to your cat, it won’t matter… they’ll still knock your stuff down. But at least they’ll have a place from which to look down and mock you as you get out the broom and dustpan. Again.

Preserved for Posterity

What better way to show your cat how important they are than recording everything they do? It’s also important to get plenty of evidence in case you do something wrong, so your cat is justified in their decision to pounce you one day and end your whole existence.

A Worthy Throne

Whether they like to admit it or not, cats do like to be near their person. If for no other reason, than to keep tabs on them (after all, you may decide to dig into the cat treats). Placing a shoebox near your workspace for your cat to sit in is a thoughtful gesture… and one that I’m sure the cat will appreciate as they lounge atop their true throne – aka your $5,000 printer – judging you.

Gifts to the Gods

Cats appreciate a servant that does their research… and homework. By sitting in front of our computer screens for hours on end, trying to figure out the 500 steps involved in creating the perfect DIY scratchers with catnip cubbyholes we plan to put in every room, we’re really just showing how much we care for our feline masters. We’re proving to them that we’re willing to go that extra mile. Of course, they’ll steadfastly eschew said DIY scratchers, regardless of how much sweat and blood (literally) we put into them, preferring instead to assert their reign by adding their loving touch to our furniture.

the queen at rest

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a cat person. I love cats, always have. But I understand they’re on a higher plane than the rest of us. Unlike dogs, cats do what they want. If they come when we call or go along with performing our silly little tricks, it’s only because they’re placating us … to give us a sense of value and significance.  In so doing, they assert control over us, not the other way around.

Have you ever taught a cat a trick and then tried to show off that trick in front of people only to be met with a look of bewilderment from your feline performer? You want me to do what?  You must be joking. What do you do? Of course. Give more treats in a desperate attempt to prove to your audience that the cat can, in fact, do said trick. This cycle continues, sometimes for weeks, sometimes for months, until the little fur-covered jerk cat becomes bored with their own game and refuses to do the trick even when you’re alone.

Yet you will continue plying the fickle feline with treats and praise and attention. And do you know why that is?  Because you’re the servant anxious to please your master. They’ve trained you well.  I mean, hey, I get it. I’m not judging. I have two of my own, and trust me, I spend my days making sure they are happy enough to not kill me in my sleep.

Some cats are cute, making us go awwww… some cats are beautiful and make us go… oooooo. Just never forget, they’re large and in charge and we are but humble domestics in their household.

If I Could Bottle My Nightmares (in Prose)

I could easily be a multi-millionaire. Seriously. I’m very close actually. If I can get my brain to work with me, I’ll be raking it in any day now.

How? Easy. I’d be an author using my dreams as inspiration. Not really dreams so much as out and out nightmares. The problem I have is my memory isn’t cooperating in my get rich scheme. I can’t remember my dreams well enough to write them down. Oh sure, I can remember them for like 5 seconds after I wake up… but not long enough to put pen to paper.  If I could hold on to a thought for longer than a few seconds, I’d make Stephen King books sound like lullabies.

You see, pretty much all of my dreams are nightmarish thrillers, spilling over with titillating plot lines, unbridled suspense, and chilling revelations at every terrifying turn. In technicolor. These best-selling novels of mine would be easily adaptable for the big screen. No need to be picky about that. We can franchise it even. Maybe make an app. I’d be into merchandising too. T shirts, boxers, hats, those little do-thingies with the bobbly heads.

I mean, listen, we can discuss all of the logistics later. Right now I’m just ready to start writing and I fully believe my literary creations would be a rousing success. The monsters I see when I sleep are right on par with anything portrayed in John Carpenter movies (back when he made kick-ass horror movies). I want to be humble, but honestly, they might even be better. The things my unwitting mind conjures up while it’s supposed to be resting are truly horrifying and unique. I mean, I should get credit even though I’m completely unconscious. That’s only fair. Right?

The only thing holding me back is that I can never fully remember the way the story goes. (If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.) Seriously though, I can visualize the dreams easily but getting it out of my mouth or onto paper is the problem. I know they would make for good story material and I know I’m ready to write.  The fact that I lack any type of writing skills or motivation whatsoever shouldn’t even come into it, right? Right!?

So come on, brain, let’s start working together and get the next Salem’s Lot on the shelves. Now… just where did I put my thesaurus??

Identity Crisis

My friend tells a funny story of identity theft and Facebook hacking, and it goes something like this:

“My daughter was 6 years old, and she saw me playing Farmville on Facebook.  There was nothing she wanted more than her own Facebook Farm, and I let her start one using only my hand-selected friends as her neighbors.  She worked at her farm for months before we both lost interest in the game.  A few months later, she revisited her farm on a whim. She logged in, only to find her account was hacked by someone in Lagos, Nigeria for apparently nefarious purposes.

Of course, I immediately sent Facebook a message confirming that she was only a then-seven-year-old from the US who had been hacked.  Out of curiosity before I closed the account, I checked on her farm.  Whoever had hacked her had continued to play her farm, bringing it to a level 96.  The farm was full of every animal and crop available, every object that game coins could buy, had been expanded, and it was amazing.  As I deleted the account, I had conflicting thoughts of how impressive and amusing it was that the hacker had built up the farm, that it was unbelievable someone from another country was in contact with my online friends and claiming Farmville rewards,  how sad I was that I couldn’t just move the farm to a new account for my daughter, and how equally sad the hacker probably was to realize that all of his months of farming were gone forever. And yeah, they could no longer phish for emails or defraud people of their life’s savings, so there’s that too.” 

This leads me to my thought of the day: why can’t hackers use their hacking abilities for good, instead of evil?  Hack credit card databases and erase everyone’s balances.  Hack the credit bureaus and give everyone scores of 835.  Hack into a store’s loyalty programs and quadruple everyone’s points.  Hack into Facebook and decimate our opponents in Words with Friends.

After the financial fiasco that was the fall-out from my divorce, if anyone tried to hack my credit information to use for a loan, they would be laughed out of the bank. You want a loan based on this mess? The loan officer would call over his colleague to share the joke. She wants a loan based on this mess, Barbara! Can you believe that!? The would-be identity thief would be escorted out of the bank by armed guards, given a lollipop as a consolation prize, and told never to return.  Hell, when all was said and done, he would probably end up sending me a sympathy card and $20 before deleting my records from his database.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel for those who have had this happen.  It is a disaster to straighten out and can linger on your credit scorecard forever.  But imagine if the thief would send postcards and pictures of his purchases and adventures?  It would be like an adult version of “Flat Stanley” or a slightly less fun “Travelling Gnome” prank.

Personally, I would love to see what an identity thief could do for me.  By the time it’s all over, I would probably end up with a credit score of 850, a new house, a nice car, and a home-based business in fruit sales.  I’d be curious to see where he would travel; would he take my identity to the Bahamas for a month?  A long, lazy trek through Europe? Hey, at least one of us should have the vacation of my dreams.

Or, he could just build my farm in Farmville to a level 96 and let me take it from there.  I’m easy to please.