The Business of Business Cards

Yesterday I dropped by a printing shop to inquire about business cards for a business I don’t have. He quoted me $20 for 96 cards which sounded okay to me given what I was going to use them for.

“Do you have the file ready?” he asks.

When I told him I didn’t he said it would cost $15 for him to produce a simple design for me. I thought he would have templates but he said he didn’t. My cynical guess is that it’s his way of generating more money like those sales people at electronics stores who always push for the extended warranty. If a product benefits from an extended warranty then it’s a piece of shit in a box. Some people feel thankful to have bought the extended warranty when their purchased item ends up failing on them prematurely. They’re basically saying that they’re happy to get a new piece of shit.

He gave me his card which he probably has a template of and I walked out pretending that I might come back. That night I went online and revisited a site that I had purchased custom-made calendars and magnets from many years ago.

500 cards for $20 with free shipping. And guess what? They had hundreds, maybe thousands of templates.

It just occurred to me that I wish I had included a maxim on my cards such as, ‘know thyself’ or ‘a man’s character is his fate.’ Young adults often tattoo such words on themselves on whatever part of the body is trendy to do so at the time. Of course they don’t really live by those words because they’re pretentious posers.

 

 

 

Nothing on the 4th of July

Tuesday morning a stomach ache had woken me instead of the usual exhaust rumbling from the truck across the street. That morning I decided to not eat for the rest of the day until dinner. It was surprisingly not too difficult. Since then I’ve reduced consumption of food just for kicks. For a few years now I’ve been eating for the sake of doing something. Eating has been an activity more than a necessity.

Several years ago a high school classmate asked me, “what have you been doing?” I told him that I do nothing. He then said he wished he could do nothing. He has a wife, kids and a job. His whole life is a job except his wife probably doesn’t give him blowjobs.

I’m doing nothing today. I was reading quotes from the movie, Casino, so now I might go watch that later.

Sam (Ace) Rothstein: From now on, I want you to put an equal amount of blueberries in each muffin.

Baker: Do you know how long that’s going to take?

Sam (Ace) Rothstein: I don’t care how long it takes. Put an equal amount in each muffin.

****
Sam (Ace) Rothstein: When you love someone, you’ve gotta trust them. There’s no other way. You’ve got to give them the key to everything that’s yours. Otherwise, what’s the point? And for a while, I believed, that’s the kind of love I had.
There’s a liquor store within walking distance from my home. I may go there and grab a bottle of wine that the Chilean employee recommended. He tells me he misses the family-like culture of Chile. Everyone hugs, kisses and is never alone. He thinks we’re a bunch of miserable creatures here in Canada and America because we’re so insistent on being isolated/independent. I don’t think he’s wrong but that’s evolution. Humans in our present form are headed for extinction or at least slaves to robot masters.
Sam (Ace) Rothstein: I want you to exit this guy off the premises, I want you to exit him off his feet and I want you to use his head to open the fucking door.

Chocolate Fungus

If you ask me what I did today I might tell you that I ventured into the world of psilocybin. For most of my life, I’ve found magic mushrooms one of the most difficult popular illegal drugs to procure. Several years ago I read on the internet that if I wanted to obtain some of these drugs I should approach the dirtiest looking guy I can find. As my brain scanned through all of my co-workers at the time, I got a match. I approached him when we were both in the company washroom and what do you know? There was no need to look further. It was like a 16th century European explorer leaving the shores of Europe and hitting his destination with a straight line without his crew having to eat their leather boots. A scurvy-free journey.

Today psilocybin products can be found on the internet and mailed to your door. It’s illegal still but that has never stopped anyone from selling it or murdering people. You know that crime will never end when the known punishment can be 10 years in prison, potentially numerous objects up your butthole and people will still roll the dice. They won’t get me man. Not me.

My cousin gave me some psilocybin chocolate. He said eating 2 pieces should be sufficient. He’s a pussy so I doubled it. If it’s safe, I’d rather overdose than underdose. Underdosing runs the risk of disappointment. It had slipped my mind that I had intended to get high while I was doing some chores. When I felt kind of weird I was reminded that I had put something in my mouth an hour ago.

4 pieces was enough to get slight hallucinations. I’ll have to double it to 8 next time if I really want to trip. But I’m scared. This is why it’s always been more difficult to obtain magic mushrooms. They’re not addictive or at least not addictive enough. If it’s not at least habitual then there’s not much money in it.

Birds and Old People

The highlight of the day was in the morning when I saw a group of crows chasing a bald eagle away. They were not social distancing from each other. It was right outside of my home and they weren’t very high up. The eagle may have had something in its talons but I can’t be sure. I’ve always been concerned that one of those bald eagles would one day come down and scoop up my 7.5 pound dog away. I’m on Team Crow!

My accidental bird watching happened while I was walking to an old lady’s home to help her with her television. Every few months or so she’ll accidentally press a button on the remote that evapourates her T.V. signal. Usually it just needs to be switched back to channel 3. When I arrived there were 4 other people there who appeared to be healthcare workers. From what I gathered there were recent issues reported with her and also with her caretakers who come see her 3 times a day.

It’s her right to live in her own home but in my opinion she should be in an old folks home. Aside from caretakers having to visit her 3 times a day, she sometimes alerts emergency services who have to come see her to pick her up when she falls. This is all free to her but is paid for by taxpayers. Oh Canada! Caretakers have been complaining about how their backs have become sore from having to help her up and down the stairs, and in and out of bed. Her response? “How do they know it’s from helping me?” So now they want to put a hospital-type bed in her living room but she doesn’t seem too happy about that. Sometimes conversations with old people are similar to those with an infant except you can’t just pick up an old person and put them wherever you want. Or can you?

I didn’t get the feeling she had much of a choice. They were moving furniture from the living room to her basement without much reluctance. She has a nice formica dining table and chair set down there. One of them said, “hey that’s a nice dining table.” I know, I already called dibs on it.

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Similar to this but not really

It’s hard to know what a 91-year-old lady is thinking. Maybe she thinks she’s going to die any day now and the process of moving into an old folks home would just be a waste. By the time she gets settled in she might only have a few more breaths left. Any guilt she has with the free services she gets is probably remedied by her impending death. Dying remedies everything. Once you’re dead nothing is your problem anymore. It’s like giving the finger to anything and everyone you hated.

 

 

 

Nice Jobs

In late 2019 I ran into an old high school classmate who I haven’t seen in about a decade. Surprisingly but not surprisingly he still had my phone number saved in his phone. I deleted his about a decade ago, or at least didn’t add it to my new phone. Some might have thought what a nice guy he was for saving my number for all of these years. I thought about it for a second and concluded that his line of work is why he keeps numbers saved for extended periods of time. He sells life insurance and other financial services which makes everyone a potential client for him. When he feels the urge to tell someone to ‘f off,’ the thought of money in its embryonic stage enters his head. I had never thought of him in this way in the past. My mind backtracked to an incident where he went out of his way to help me out. Now I question his motives even back then. That favour was like his sperm trying to penetrate my golden egg.

About a month ago a former co-worker phoned me. The last time I spoke with him was in a previous decade.

“Hey, I’m a mortgage broker now. Just letting everyone know.”

Obviously the reason he called was to solicit a potential client which is what he’s supposed to do. He was always very friendly to me and genuine as well so I didn’t mind.

That same day I thought about how much nicer a person I would appear to be if I held an occupation that required me to be a brown-noser. I’m not sure if I could live with myself. I really do like telling people to ‘f off’ even if I can only do it passive aggressively. Maybe I could pull it off if I name my company F Off Mortgages or Go F Yourself Financial Services. 

The Credit Card of Life

The goal is to live a movie-like life. If they make movies about something though it means it rarely happens in normal life. You don’t know this when you’re young. All you know when you’re young is that you expect what you want. So you go on attempting to mimic the good life at all costs. Little do you know you’re just a pawn in a game that can’t be won in the way that you hope. You can have chapters of this so-called happiness but most of your book is a dry read where most of the interesting parts are tales of misery. The best chapter is the second last one when your kid gets stolen by a chimpanzee. Everyone loves to read about other people’s suffering. Chapters 2 to 9 are mostly about you eating cereal and sitting at your desk thinking about naked Japanese anime girls.

When your credit card is maxed out the fantasy is over. Now you have to pay back what you owe to reality. The funding of hope for your Hollywood dream has dried up. Now your life is just a rerun that no one wants to watch. Your life was no epic blockbuster but you hope the critics rate your life better than most others — 2.5 stars instead of 2. That’s all there is most of the time — the belief that enough people had it shittier than you.

 

 

Crazy World

 

My PVR is scheduled to record Dateline NBC every week. As I sat down with my loser kit of Doritos, beer and remote control on my lap, to my surprise a previously live broadcast of the riots in Seattle was recorded instead.

Months ago, there was a protest here against a pipeline construction. When interviewing one of the protesters the reporter asked, “do you know what the pipeline will be transferring?”

“Umm…bitumen? Oh. It’s not?”

City officials all over the world are calling on God to help them out with some bad weather. A torrential rainfall would keep rioters at home. Nothing more spoils the motivations of halfhearted protesters than wet socks. Black lives only mattered when their feet were dry.

There’s a couple in the neighbourhood who own a 6 pound chihuahua. On several occasions they’ve corrected others who have said their dog is smaller than mine.

“How is your dog 7.5 pounds but smaller than mine?” she asks for the 5th time.

The answer is because my dog is bigger than theirs. Everyone can see it. The numbers also say so. It reminds me of my cousin’s parents who are in denial that their daughter is spoiled and that nobody likes her very much.

“Everyone gets along with her, right? (right? right? please say yes!)”

 

 

 

“Influencers”

As with other significant world events, the recession in 2008-2009 spawned a new genre in popular culture. Being the worst economic crisis since The Great Depression it inadvertently created a following for doomsday preppers and apocalyptic themed media.

The first season of the show, Doomsday Preppers, was National Geographic’s highest rated ever. Even in its 4th and final season it continued to be highly watched.

…a Change.org petition arguing that it was irresponsible for NatGeo to continue to air a program that promoted “the extreme views of individuals on the fringes of society.” With an estimated 26.2% of American adults suffering from some form of mental illness, the risk was simply too great that a future episode of the hit program might inspire violent action.

There’s a semi-semi-popular YouTube channel that is centered around the idea of ‘prepping’ and living way below your means. Since the beginning of this current pandemic she’s been promoting a doom & gloom narrative towards the economic situation in America. Her subscribers, not surprisingly, support and are in agreement with her commentary. According to her it’s inevitable that an economic collapse as well as food shortages will occur in the near future.

She’s been prepping for years so to her this current crisis we’re in is validation for her closet full of canned food and solar panels. She doesn’t say it but she wants a collapse to happen. It’s the only way she becomes a winner.

Similar to Doomsday Preppers, personalities such as hers should be considered irresponsible. In March when the stock market bottomed she suggested that the stock market will not recover for a long time if ever. Today, 2 months later, the S&P 500(American market) has rallied 40%. The Nasdaq index is back to its all-time-high in February. How many of her loyal followers may have liquidated their investments near the bottom? How many of her subscribers suffer from mental health issues? It wouldn’t surprise me if this YouTuber has mental health issues herself. People wouldn’t suspect that she does though because she’s okay-looking, confident and speaks well. If a large percentage of your life is dedicated to preparing for the end of the world then you might have mental health issues.

The worst could be over or maybe it’s not. Maybe there’s a harder hitting second wave of the virus. No one knows for sure. No one knows what the markets will do. All that we do know is that the world has always continued to progress after setbacks. Let’s hope she’s wrong so I won’t have to write an apology post. I mean, so millions of people won’t suffer the consequences of an economic collapse and food shortages.

 

Smoking George

George would call on a weekly basis looking for Uncle Bill. As Uncle Bill’s secretary I would sometimes answer the phone and follow his instructions to say that he wasn’t home if it was George calling. “He’s like an old lady. He always wants to yap yap yap.”

George was of German heritage so as a 10-year-old I thought it was appropriate to ask Uncle Bill if he was a Nazi? That’s all I knew about Germans back then. George would buy me a wrestling magazine every time he came over. Unfortunately, he’d buy me the cheap one that I didn’t like. I never had the heart to tell him my lack of enthusiasm towards them but he figured it out one day. I was never very good at hiding my emotions. “Do you not want them anymore?” I sheepishly shook my head. It was nice of him to think of me though. It would have been nicer if he brought me the one I liked or a Playboy.

I don’t even remember what they both talked about when he came over. All that I remember is the two of them filling the room with secondhand smoke. George would see my discomfort and say something like, “it’ll put hair on your chest.” His other friend would say eating onions would also put hair on my chest. The problem with people is that they tend to think they turned out just fine so any abuse they lived through is considered acceptable to transfer to you.

All of Uncle Bill’s friends were either divorced or never married, but usually divorced. George was probably never married. He drove what I thought back then was a nice car. It’s what you do when you don’t have kids — you buy nice stuff for yourself. There’s a good to high chance that George is dead now. He probably died with a lot of chest hair.

 

Post-pandemic Travel

You may have had the pleasure of having to take off your shoes during an airport security screening. You can thank the fucker who in 2001 attempted to detonate a bomb in his shoe while on an American Airlines flight. If the 9/11 had not happened just a few months prior, this attempted shoe bombing incident may have been viewed as a one-off by some joker.

On paper, terrorist attacks pale in comparison to countrywide pandemic lockdowns in terms of deaths and economic damage. Very likely, we’re going to have new screening measures for travellers as a consequence of this pandemic we’re currently enduring. If you have to take off your shoes during a security screening because of a failed shoe bombing attempt, who knows what they’ll make us go through to prevent another pandemic.

How easy has it been to have some contagious sick person travel to another country? You could send a few people to another country with some new contagious disease, have them work at restaurants and spit in everyone’s food. Strapping a dynamite vest and blowing yourself up in public is child’s play now. An even easier method to purposely infect people is to have them fly to your country and spit in their food there.

Will we all have to go through a 2 week testing period before we leave a country? If they rigorously screen you for potentially being a terrorist or criminal, are they going to start screening you for your health issues? If they can’t come up with a screening process without severely disrupting travel then they will just roll the dice and just hope this virus stuff doesn’t happen again for a very long time because it appears that nothing is more important than the economy.