Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Up-Training Upchuck

Unfortunately, I was to begin my workday today in the Training Room in order to receive an hour’s worth of “Up-Training” on some new super duper “Credit Supresimo” program or other available through my client.

Oh, fucking goodie!

As it was explained to me, it was intended that by better educating us lowly CSR bumpkins on the various financial programs that we are required to sell to our customers, that we will sound more enthusiastic and convincing to these financial retards over the phone since we will better “understand” and “believe” in the product we are selling.

Hey, lets get one fucking thing straight here. I get paid $12 a fucking hour to BE enthusiastic and convincing, asshole…that’s my fucking JOB! It's expected when you work in "Customer Service", is it not? I could be selling different brands of dog shit to the customer, but as long as you provide me with a workable script and a steady means by which to pay my rent and feed my fat, spoiled cat…I’ll be chipper as fuck over the phone with every motherfucker that calls in…bar fucking none!

I’ll be so enthusiastic that I’d make Richard Simmons puke. You’d think that I just came within $100 of the actual retail price on the final ‘Showcase Showdown’ for fuck sakes, I’ll be so fucking enthusiastic! I’m a professional after all.

And you wouldn’t have to worry about wasting our time “Up-Training” me with the riveting "Credit Supresimo"-whatchafuckit instructional videos featuring two idiots in turtlenecks (one of which, who is as bleached blonde as his credit score, looks like he could be the son of the Glad Garbage Bag Man) harping on about the differences between ‘Sub-Prime’, ‘Prime’, and ‘Super-Prime’ credit classes. Wait, you mean that wasn’t the robot leader of the Autobots?

And as far as “believing in the product” goes: this isn’t Jonestown, pal! I don’t have to “believe” in ANYTHING unless there’s a significant dollar amount being affixed to my weekly paycheck! Dig?

I’ll be enthusiastic, energizing, and literally oozing positivity out my ass…just as long as we can we dispense with the heavy motivational seminars. You’re killing my work buzz, man!”

Tsunami Insanity

(If you didn't think the previous 'Wave of Mutilation' post was in good taste, I wouldn't recommend this post either.)

The entire planet has suddenly been turned on its axis with Tsunami Insanity! The very term “Tsunami” itself has joined other such powerful hip popular terms as ‘Shock and Awe’, ‘Ground Zero’, ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’, ‘Cone Density’, and “Bid’ness" as recognized cultural catch phrases. All these recent 'Tsunami Disaster' reports on television make this past summers 'Hurricane Updates' look like merely being caught in a heavy rainfall.

Richard Quest has been no doubt beating off in the Green Room at the CNN studios since Boxing Day at the prospect of getting to report on such massive human tragedy. This guy sounds like he was placed on this planet to make these disaster television broadcasts; like it was his very purpose in life or something! With a name like Richard Quest, he was destined to be a television anchorman. He sounds like a classically trained Shakespearian actor reciting passages from the chapter of Revolutions in the Bible…he sounds that ghoulish and unnerving to say the least. What else could he have been? It’s not very likely that he was ever going to join forces with Wolf Blitzer back in college to form a popular music folk duo act to tour the country known as ‘The Quest & Blitzer Experience’, or 'Crosby, Stills, Quest & Blitzer' now is it?

As I understand it from Mr. Quests crisis broadcasts, the thousands of decomposing dead bodies left littered on the beachfronts and coastlines in the wake of the killer tsunamis this past weekend may actually threaten to kill another equal amount of victims to that of the tsunami itself. These exposed, festering corpses harbor deadly infection and diseases that will ultimately lead to sudden epidemic breakouts; such wonderful and wholesome diseases like cholera, dysentery, respiratory infection, malaria, and most recently chicken pox.

Chicken Pox? What the fuck do chickens have to do with gigantic destructive waves in the first fucking place? Isn’t that getting a little carried away with the placing of blame on the poor innocent tsunamis for all the possible future outbreaks of health crises? Shit, why don’t they just also blame illiteracy, racism, and the rise of Reality Television on the recent tsunamis while they're at it?

As it is, International health and relief organizations have emphasized that getting clean water to the survivors is an absolute priority. Pardon?

Food, medical aid, building materials…fuck, even surf boards I might be able to understand a need for! But, fucking WATER? Didn’t these people just barely manage to survive the massive 20ft walls of water as it is? And aren’t their entire worldly possessions still currently floating in the middle of the Indian Ocean, while their living rooms have been turned into the deep end at the local YMCA public swimming pool?

So why the fuck then would they desperately want WATER? Haven’t they had enough water in the last few days already? How unnecessary and redundant is that? It’s like prescribing a chocolate cake diet to somebody suffering from obesity and high cholesterol, or giving cigarettes to somebody struggling with cancer. Shit, they need more water like the Titanic needs another fucking iceberg!

"WATER? That’s the last fucking thing I would include on my list of priorities after a Tsunami Disaster, thanks, Richard!"

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Wave of Mutilation

(This was written in EXTREMELY poor taste. But I gotta be me.)

The death toll is rising steadily on the coastlines of the Asian countries bordering the Indian Ocean after massive tsunami waves caused by an earthquake around 6:58am smashed into the beachfronts on Boxing Day. In the wake of this seismic activity, 20ft walls of water raced across the ocean floor at 500 m/ph and crashed into the shallow coastlines of Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Somalia, and even Africa only a mere 2 ½ hours later without any warning wahtsoever.

Oceanside villages and resorts were decimated instantly, ships and vessels were capsized or strewn inland, buildings were destroyed, and lives were lost by the thousands. This has quickly become one of the worst natural disasters of recorded history. Wolf Blitzer is beating off in the Green Room at the CNN studios right now in anticipation of all the fresh grizzly "Late Breaking Bulletins" and "Crisis Updates" he gets to deliver.

Fuck, who knew that the craptacular Kevin Costner shit-flick ‘Water World’ was destined to be so prolific?

Media videos of tourist home-movies have become the epitaphs to the awesome power of Mother Nature; one minute it’s breakfast at a beautiful serene tropical paradise, and the next its “Surf’s Up, Mohammed!” and you’re being washed away out to sea on the crest of a wave the size of an apartment complex. What a way to spend your vacation…floating on a piece of roofing in the middle of the Indian Ocean. "Just fucking great!"

Apparently, this area of the planet is prone to seismic upheaval because of its location on the margins of tectonic plates that make up what is known as the “Ring of Fire” around the Pacific Ocean basin. Pardon?

Sooooooo…you mean it wasn’t named for the unpleasant after effects of the spicy cuisine indigenous to the peoples in this part of the world? I bet had people known the difference in that the “Ring of Fire” was actually an area of massive seismic activity, as opposed to the post-burn sensation of a good authentic curry dish, there just may have been fewer deaths since many of those tourists would probably have never vacationed there in the first fucking place!

I mean, who in their right mind would vacation to an area known as a viable hotbed of shifting tectonic plates within the earth’s crust? Fuck, you may as well leap into Mount St. Helen’s instead and save on the water wing rentals!

They are now saying that the countries in this particular part of the world are in dire need of an updated Detection and Alert Sytem prior to these gigantic tsunami waves coming into contact with the shorline.

Oh yeah? For starters, how about posting big fucking signs along the shores stating that huge earth rocks are moving beneath you in the near vicinity and that there is a strong possibility of being killed by big-ass waves? That would sure help tip me off to being more aware and protected from the pending natural disasters going on around me by staying the fuck home!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Gay Play Date

I’m not sure how it came about exactly, but somehow I allowed myself to be coerced unwittingly to go on a gay date with a fellow co-worker this past weekend. Being as unexperienced and unknowledgeable as I am on the subject of dating and relationships…I didn’t stand a chance to see the writing on the wall. All signs pointed to pink, and somehow I still allowed myself to be waved in anyways.

One moment we’re casually discussing the absurdity of the same sex marriage issue currently running rampant in the American media right now; and the next thing I know is that I’m agreeing to come over for pizza and a movie at his place Sunday evening. Isn't that sweet?

DOH! How do I ever manage to get myself into these situations is beyond me!

I’m sure Richard Simmons is somewhere right now swooning over a lavender scented candle and humming ‘You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings’ with a tear of happiness in his eye. But hey, I’m a man of my word, secure in his own astute dedicated heterosexuality…plus I love pizza. So what the fuck, right?

What could it hurt afterall? Besides, it’s not like the chicks are beating a path to my Batchelor’s Den in an effort to carry any sexual favors, now is it? So, if some older gay Hungarian man wants to invite me over for a homemade meal, lavish me with compliments and flattery, and watch a new DVD documentary on ‘Homology’…who am I to say 'no'?

Fire up the Nag Champa, crank up the George Michael on the stereo, and lets get our homosexual freak on!

Now of course, there were several security measures and precautions * that I instated in order to ensure that I didn’t allow myself to be unintentially mislead any further and end up changing my name to Jai, and then beginning to refer to my co-worker as my new “life partner’.

I was sure to lay out the ground rules and guidelines for the evening the very second I stepped into his ‘Realm of Gaydom’.

“Okay, Elton…you will sit on one side of the room and I will sit on the other. There will be no touching, tickling, giggling, groping, or sodomizing of any kind! Likewise, we will conduct ourselves as the very embodiment of modest Christian values and heterosexual nature. There will be no games of naked oiled-up Twister, no Bette Midler karaoke marathons, no pillow fights in our "tighy-whities", and definitely NO home renovating or remodeling of any kind whatsoever!”

As it was, the visit was extremely innocent I had a thoroughly innocent and enjoyable time. He did not use any gay Jedi mind tricks on me or anything and there wasn’t so much as a Queen album, rainbow poster, or ‘Queer Eye’ Holiday DVD box set anywhere to be seen.

What the fuck was I so worried about in the first place? I could've had more moves made on me in a hospital Coma Ward. If this is what all the homophobic males at work are so worried about and obsessed about exposing and avoiding...shit, "put on a kettle of Raspberry Zinger and slice up some extra pepperoni, Elton" ~ I think I just found my ideal weekend social outing!

* Besides the 18th century cast iron men’s chastity belt with locking cog piece that I wore.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Christmas Kumate

In an unprecedented display of Christmas shopping skill and prowess, today, I managed to successfully complete ALL my holiday errands and gift buying in little over one hour at the local public mall. Seventy-seven minutes to be fucking EXACT…Yes, I was kicking merry ass and taking jolly names!

This is the first time (also very likely the last time) that this will probably ever happen to me! I am confident that I am just destined to be the poor, wretched type of person that will forever be grinding it out in pitched combat among the stores aisles with all the other hopeless shoppers only mere hours before the store actually closes.

It’s like Opening Night at the Coliseum: armed warriors waging battle to the death for the last few remaining elderberry-scented candles, maybe a plastic wall mounted Bass that sings CCR tunes, or boxes of ‘After Eight’ mints with the Best Before stickers ripped off; perhaps a set of Brittany Spears car mats, special tubs of “Ylang-ylang Enriched” moisturizing skin conditioner, spools of tackily-designed wrapping paper with palm trees, or chipped ceramic ashtrays in the likeness of Tony Soprano…something that is guaranteed to accumulate more dust than a Roman butter dish left out on a Pompeii street corner.

Or maybe I would just fall back on the new holiday staple in every public shopping mall: the cell phone booths. These cell phone companies and service centers are like popping up like fucking locusts! The cell phone marketers and salespersons fortify themselves in barricaded Sales Centers every 10ft or so down the mall cloisters and tirelessly hock ‘Calling Cards’, ‘Unlimited Weekends’, and maybe a Ring Tone that plays Supertramp’s entire ‘Fools Overature’.

For all the sales demonstrations going on you couldn’t so much as squeak out a fart in any public mall nowadays without it being picked up on someone's new 'High-Clarity' cell phone somewhere! If I’m interpreting those cutesy talking chameleon television commercials correctly, cell phones nowadays are capable of being consumed, digested and being shat out by a 4 ton Tyrannysaurus Rex, and not only still work with crystal clear clarity, but not even charge you a single second of ‘Roaming’ to boot!

But this year, I left all this usual seasonal shopping nastiness behind me. I must have had a Christmas angel on my shoulder working crowd control or something, because my foray into the unchartered “No Man’s Land” of my local Shopping Mall couldn’t have gone easier today had I been wielding a fully fueled flamethrower. Can you imagine the reaction I’d haven gotten when I sauntered up to the Customer Service Center with the fuse already lit and hissing:

“Excuse me, do you know where I can find that new Michael Moore DVD?”

You’d better believe that they’d be moving their ass - post haste - across the sales floor with all the determined focus of an Olympic 100m Sprinter in order to secure me my purchase and get this psychotic lunatic out of the store with as few Christmas casualties as possible.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Spanking Your Way to the Top!

(Disclaimer: This is gross. Those easily sickened should read no further!)

There has been a rumor circulating lately around the work floor that there is a pervert among us. Apparently, there is someone who is periodically masturbating on his breaks in the upstairs Men’s Bathroom. WTF? How gross is that?

Is this a common phenomenon that occurs in the bathrooms of Corporate America? Christ, that’s disgusting! Some of us are trying to SHIT and PISS in there, for fuck sakes!

It’s bad enough having a complex about catching some kind of rare strain of Ebola virus off any bathroom fixture or door handle that you happen to come in contact with, but NOW you also have to worry about contracting a whole other new host of infectious bodily nasties.

So, if I go to the bathroom I may run the risk of either being caught overhearing some faceless dude pound his pudding in the corner stall while I drain my lizard, or I may be unfortunate enough to sit down in a pool of spent load and consequently contract a bad case of crab lice. Oh goodie, that’s bound to make for an interesting workday! One thing for certain, is that I’m bound to become an authoritative expert on the subject of particular shoe styles for ALL my fellow male co-workers over the next few months since that’s all I’m first going to be scooping out under the stall walls the very second I enter any office place bathroom facility from now-fucking-on!

Who in their right mind would EVER want to flog their dolphin at WORK? What kind of depraved sexual deviant could ever manage to achieve wood anywhere within a square 5km radius of their place of employment, where they thanklessly slave for eight hours a day, five to seven days a week I can nary imagine!

So, what it is about the office bathroom that would even remotely inspire you to turn your crank, spank your monkey, five-knuckle-shuffle, or whatever the fuck all the cool perverts are calling it these days – I’m not getting it exactly! What is it that motivates these uber-freaks to such heights of such pure heated sexual fervor that they can’t resist the urge to go slap one out in the employees bathroom on their lunch break? I mean, can’t they contain their impulses long enough to get to the comforts and privacy of their own homes? What could it be?

Maybe it’s the sight of a shit-speckled toilet bowl that gets their man juices a-churnin’, or maybe it’s the dirty limericks carved into the back of the stall door with a blunt pair of nail clippers…or maybe it’s the allure of the extreme “forbidden” voyeuristic fetish of beating Mr. Chubbers in a bathroom stall that would make any Korean War M*A*S*H field hospital look like a sterile environment, while listening to the boss in the next stall over grunting and groaning uncomfortably as he works out his earlier breakfast of bran muffins and prune juice.

Mmmmmm, yeah baby! That’s sexy!

One more slight slip down the evolutionary ladder from here, and next they’ll be beating off in the public bathroom at the Monkey House at the Metropolitan Zoo.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Notes From the Ground Zero at Corporate Hell (Part V)

Today, I have the good fortune of working beside someone who happens to be similarly named to that of a notorious serial killer. Just perfect.

It's a bit disconcerting to say the least to be sitting with somebody who also has a name that too closely resembles that of the Son of Sam murderer who terrorized the borroughs of New York City back in the summer of 1977 and then later claimed that he was ordered by the neighbor’s dog who would talk to him in the middle of the night?

Just fucking perfect!

It’s bad enough that I’m shackled to this cubicle by a black stretchy headset cord that makes me feel like a helmeted spastic child harnessed to his mothers shopping cart as she works her way up and down the aisles at Zehers, but now I also have to work beside some dude* who may, or may not, suddenly freak out and begin shooting people in the back of the head because he’s now taking orders from my evil coffee mug or something.

Or maybe, he could be suddenly possessed by evil voices and sent spiraling into a realm of crazed dementia after a prolonged exposure to an Abba tune while on hold for an “Account Specialist”, and begins bashing me in the back of the head with his computer keyboard screaming: “Hold THIS, Dancing Queen!”.

I haven’t felt this discombobulated at work since the old days when I worked in the “Kill Zone”, across from Charlie Manson on the other side of the building.

But now that I think about it, this kind of character and personality is not so different from anyone else that happens to be sitting around me on any regular day. Any of these freaks could be potential serial killer types…any one of them would make Gary Busy look well adjusted as it is. Even George Lucas’ ‘Industrial Light & Magic Studio' couldn’t make this rag-tag group of Call Center delinquents look professional.

I bet if any one of our customers who call in on any given day had the ability to see down the telephone line to who was handling their delicate and dire personal financial crises, they would probably be instantly struck with the sudden impulse to begin hammering wooden spikes through human chest cavities.

Call Center workers, are customarily an ugly breed. It’s like working with the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow! The voices you hear over the telephone each time you call to complain, bitch, and moan about the less-than-desirable services you have been rendered or the extortionate fees and charges that have been made to your account as per some small fine print technicality, may be sweet, soothing, sympathetic, and professionally sterile…but to gaze upon them in person you’d have an easier time imagining yourself at a Nine Inch Nails concert.

It’s cubicle-to-cubicle lip rings, ear plugs, tongue studs, and septum hoops as far as the eye can see. I bet there are enough unnatural punched holes in the bodies working around me each day that would be capable of straining an entire 5-gallon drum of spaghetti quicker than any colander hanging on any kitchen wall. I would expect that any ordinary Customer Service Representatives (CSR’s) or Collections “Negotiations Experts” could continue working and communicating effectively even if they were to be stricken with laryngitis **, by simply clicking their tongue rings on the headset mouthpieces in Morse code. I’d love to be ‘Quality Control’ listening in on that call, eh? The muted CSR would be clicking away with their tongue piercing like an irate Indonesian tribesman on crack…and possibly sounding like a heated debate between two “talking” horses at the County Fair arguing about their portions of oates!

Here in the faceless world of Corporate Hell, this is the accepted norm: real people, performing a really shitty job. End of story! The business world grinds on, and so does the insanity within the walls of our very own office place Ground Zero. Competition wages fiercely among the corporate zombies, but it’s not brains they are seeking…its “Management” positions.

Basically, it’s like coming to work in a high school gymnasium during Cheerleader tryouts as all the junior representatives rush around before the bosses just eager to fucking please. It’s enough to make a bitter disgruntled employee of long standing, such as myself, to hang themselves by their own headset cords from the industrial-sized air vents in the ceiling above us.

I already march to the beat of my own funky drummer, and if I were ever to be considered for a “management” position…I would like to think it was because I was the most knowledgeable and qualified. Not because I thoughtlessly jumped through all the right corporate hoops and hurdles and completed some fucking online correspondence course on my own (non-paid) time as required by my set “Career Pathing”. I’m not just about to revert back to doing the Chicken Dance just because someone changes the beat.

As I see it, I am already “Career Pathing”. What better way to qualify myself for as little responsibility and effort as possible than by sitting on my fat ass all day, sucking back the Tim Horton’s ‘double-doubles’ by the dozen, and picking fights with financially challenged bumpkins over the phone about their chances of having the most recent Past Due fee removed from their account.

Of course, the fact that I am currently sitting beside someone who could be the next Son of Sam certainly isn’t go to hinder my chances of promotion either. I mean, who else is going to want to work with or sit beside some guy with the same name as a notorious serial killer anyways, right? At least I’m then guaranteed to be yodeling from the top of the Corporate Ladder before this poor bastard!

* Whom it must be noted, is an uber-friendly sort of fellow who happens to always be smiling. This guy smiles so much he'd make a dolphin feel uncomfortable.

** Or had a complete tachometry altogether from too many unfiltered cigarettes on their lunch breaks.

One Spew from the Cuckoo's Nest

It is getting harder and harder, damn near fucking impossible actually, to successfully navigate my fat ass through the vast unchartered islands of office cubicles, past strange indigenous tribes of computer jockies, and down the small “aislet” corridors that flow throw my place of employment like random streams of rainwater run-off.

Each program operating in this particular Call Center is getting increasingly more territorial about their work areas and are now attempting to protect their designated work floor borders from lost innocent trespassers roaming aimlessly through their areas and needlessly “disturbing" other working agents *.

This is all fine and fucking dandy, but any intended employee access routes are not clearly indicated anywhere on the work floor; so most new employees, or even just unobservant dipshits like myself, are reduced to stumblefucking their way through this corporate work floor wasteland maze like a blind person through a garden labyrinth. And even when I do manage to orientate myself well enough to correctly follow the approved designated routes to the bathroom or cafeteria or whatever, I still inevitably end up disturbing some “Team Meeting” or something being held in the only available free space in the whole fucking Call Center! It’s impossible to leave your desk and NOT disturb or completely piss somebody off!

In order to successfully get to my designated work area, it’s at the point now where I would have to scale up the side of the building outside and then lower myself down with rappling equipment from the roof like Sylvester Stallone in ‘Cliffhanger’. Either that, or I’m going to have to waste my valuable personal time in order to take the long route around the Call Center.

I’d have to arrive a day ahead of my regularly scheduled shift in order to simply allow myself the necessary time it would take to make the long trek through all the known established employee aisles in a journey that would make Little Red Riding Hood’s jaunt through the woods seem like a mere trip to the ‘Quickie Mart’. Every time I have to get up and go to the bathroom, I expect to pass by two strange dogs and a cat on their own little ‘Incredible Journey’.

I never agreed to a 10 km hike in full combat gear before my shift every day! I’m a “Customer Service Representative” for fuck sakes, not some member of a ‘Long Range Recon Patrol’ or something!

* Now, if one of your employees is so ADS-stricken that they cannot adequately function if somebody so much as even passes by their desk...then what real fucking use are they going to be anyways, am I right?

The Aspartaming of the Shrew

There is an eerie disturbance in the force around my daily office routine. The very fabric of my corporate being is in dire jeopardy, poised ready to be ripped to shreds before my very bloodshot eyes. The cafeteria is almost out of the yellow packets of non-calorie artificial sweetener! SOMEBODY ALERT THE EMERGENCY REPSONSE UNITS!

Every morning for the past week I have been noticing the diminishing numbers of available non-calorie ‘Sugar Twins’ packets in the cafeteria. The yellow packets have been steadily declining in numbers quicker than an endangered Saskatchewan Seal loose on the African Plains. They’re like little yellow ships sinking into the blue tide of low-calorie sweetener packets.

There is no real important difference between the yellow non-calorie packets of ‘Sugar Twin’ and the blue packets…well, except for the one-calorie difference (the blue packets are low-calorie sugar sweetener) of course. Both brands of ‘Sugar Twin’ packets are manufactured by the same D’Alberto-Culver Co. located in Toronto, Ontario, and both brands contain the same dextrose, sodium cyclamate, aspartame, and phenylalanine ingredients. Both the blue and yellow packets contain a substance that looks like it should either be secretly dumped into a martini by some femme fatal with a revolver strapped to her thigh, or being snorted off the blade of knife by some dude nicknamed “Iceman” or something.

So I mean, who really gives a shit about ONE fucking calorie anyways, right?

Why is this so distressing? The real difference I think lays in the fact that beyond everything else, even my own state of health, that I am a fucking helpless creature of habit. I MUST have my one yellow packet of the fake sugar shit to stir into my first cup of instant decaf coffee of the day; drank out an unrinsed sticky mug that smells of ‘Strawberry Surprise’ Kool-Aid, dammit! Otherwise I’d be one discombobulated fucking wreck…get it motherfucker?

And, I am certain that I am not the only employee here who is secretly struggling with this developing dextrose demise. I have witnessed other poor, anal, slave-to-the-routine bastards, like myself, foraging through the piles of blue ‘Sugar Twin’ packets in the gray plastic serving tray in the cafeteria like manic squirrels hunting for buried acorns.

This morning I had to throw elbows and engage in open pitched combat with other co-workers in order to find one of the last remaining yellow packets of ‘Sugar Twin’ available, like a desperate hog routing out the last truffle from the garden.

Heaven’s fucking forbid that I should have to stray from my morning office routine and be forced to switch to using the evil blue low-calorie artificial sweetener packets in my coffee instead. It may be just enough of a push needed to finally send me toppling over into complete and utter insanity.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Engaged to be Buried

The girl working in the cubicle beside me today has apparently become “engaged to be engaged”, and has therefore been proudly showing off her new “promise ring” that her future fiancé has just bought her to all our other female co-workers.

WTF does “engaged to be engaged” mean exactly anyways? Either you are engaged or you are not engaged. How can you be both doing something and nothing at the same time? I don't see any common ground here at all! This kind of philosophical philology is enough drive a troglodyte like myself to the very brink of insanity. I haven't been this confused since Superman found Lois' crystal thingamabob and immerged from the green crystal chamber at his Fortess of Solitude in the Arctic at the end of Superman II.

Shit, so let me get this straight: if I’m understanding this correctly, we males, in order to impress our chosen loved ones need to now purchase an extra “promise ring” in order to show her that we in fact have an intention of becoming engaged to her in the future? Is it not simply good enough anymore that we are already expected to spend %50 of our annual earnings to purchase her perfect engagement ring as well as the actual wedding band itself?

After the wedding, are we also not automatically expected to forfeit half of all our planetary possessions and assets to her, and will also probably be expected to grant her instant access to all our credit cards and checking account information (in fact, she’ll probably insist on carrying all your cards and checks in her purse on top of it, just to add insult to injury). Shit, soon we’ll be also be making her student loan payments and paying off her overdue parking tickets, selling all our vintage stag film collections, ordered to stop hanging out with ourusual drinking buddies, take up ballroom dancing down at the local Legion, and having to get rid of our beloved cats because "she has allergies”. Is there no end to this madness? How far out of our way to we men have to go in order to prove our honorable intentions? Where does it end?

Likewise, what the fuck do we men get out of all this exactly? This sure seems like a fuck of a lot of unnecessary money to be spreading around on material jewelry and tokens of commitment in order to simply get some pre-marital poontang on the weekends when her parents are out of town, don’t you think? This extra “promise ring” thing hardly seems fair at all in my eyes!

Christ, it’s like we’d be entering into a future of indentured servitude instead of this happily wedded bliss they keep blathering on about! It’s not like we are still privy to receive a dowry of livestock from the Brides family in this day and age like we would have back in the medieval ages. So how are we expected to be able to afford all this tribute horseshit without having to afterwards carry our new brides over the threshold to our new cardboard box homestead behind the local Denny’s after the big day is over? That’s a marital bed I sure don’t want to considate my vows on my wedding night in!

As well, where then is this supposed “equality” that is considered, oh so important, in the marital vows when already, we’re probably broke as a three dollar wrist watch since we had to surrender our secure financial statuses when we had to make the deposit on that first “promise ring” from Peoples Diamonds? Fuck, we’re not about to enter into a new relationship on equal footing with our brides so much as we are immediately spiraling down the financial ladder into an abyss of debt ~ deeper and deeper, the closer we get to the actual wedding date!

I would feel as if I was instead entering into the new marriage with my beautiful, blushing bride as an automatic subservient…not only would she be “wearing the pants” in the relationship, but she would also be wearing the shirt off my back as well!

We men may as well chop off our balls here and now and affix them to a silver band and present them in a marital alms bowl as a pre-nuptial agreement prior to the wedding.