Archive for the Humor Category

…on “Is That Label Still A Negative These Days???”

Posted in Brain Droppings, Deep Ponderings, Humor, Nerdiness, Roleplaying Games on February 8, 2013 by journeymantojo

Me: “And of course I think the video is funny because it makes fun of tabletop gamers. I mean, the video was making fun of people like me and I was still laughing my ass off.”

Co-worker: “Tabletop gamer?”

Me: “Yeah. You know, Dungeons and Dragons…Shadowrun…Vampire…Exalted? Pen and paper, tabletop role playing games.”

Co-worker: “You played those things? You were one of those guys?”

Me: ………

[End Scene]

True story. That happened to me this weekend at work. I was skeptical at first. I mean, what did she mean. I asked her and her response was “Oh nothing, I just didn’t know you were one of those people.” What? One of those people? You mean….a nerd? Uh, duh I’m a nerd. I’ve made no bones about that. Apparently she must’ve thought I was referring to myself as one of those people who use the word without any real idea as to what that word means.You-keep-using-that-word-300x252Inconceivable!

And as the day wore on, I began to think of the meaning of the word to me and all the other guys who did all-nighters role playing or video gaming or discussing how Final Fantasy VII was going to shift paradigms and how The Hulk would totally win against Superman because his strength grew exponentially with his level of rage whereas Superman’s strength was static or goofing off, drawing Mendel squares to define empirically the odds and frequency in which werewolves mating with humans would produce werewolves (Werewolf The Apocalypse clearly states that the werewolf -aka Garou- trait is recessive).funny_picdump_211_640_18That’s why I always picked you Hulk. Supes never backed up anything he said.

But we weren’t always time killing on such frivolous – or at the time could be seen as frivolous – endeavors as which superhero was cooler or why every gamer wasn’t allowed to make an all half-elf/half-orc/tiefling/genasi/aasimar/gnoll/cambion/whatever-other-monster-hybrid-they-could-concoct party or which new video game was going to usher in the next generation of AIs and so on. We were also in the school band and athletes and winning annual yearbook booby prizes (best dressed, most likely to…, etc.). We were wrestlers, and football players, and math quizzers, and drama campers. We had steadies and attended dances and went to regionals.

What we didn’t realize at the time was those frivolous activities we participated in at the time were enhancing our experiences. Now I can’t quote statistics and shit, but from my own experiences I can say firmly that the nerdiness could be compared to supplemental homework.

When I was in middle school and high school, I could give two shits about what anything outside of history or science, but it actually was working on my math skills with gaming. Ask anyone who has ever played the games GURPS or Champions and they will explain that fuck yeah you needed some math skills. And the difficulty I would have with just relating a tale or story would be so much more than what it is if I hadn’t taken a few turns behind the GM’s screen. Ever had a job where you find yourself in a leader role – even if just temporarily – and have some unruly co-workers? Yeah?! Take a few rounds behind the screen with some munchkins.

It also provides perspective and debate skills, in my opinion. I may lose my cool on occasions, nobody’s perfect. But it’s nice to have the experience of explaining how the super power photographic reflexes will trump genetic enhancement and super-soldier serums any day of the week when said experience translates into explaining how a montessori school is not your idea of what constitutes a fulfilling learning environment. (Yes, I have had that discussion and the ability to arrange your thoughts, some data and also willing to offer certain concessions – all skills I learned from ‘nerd subject material’ debates. You have to be on the fly super prepared when your debating against a true Captain America fan.)

Want a funny story where it could be considered supplemental homework? Enjoy this little anecdote that kinda covers the ‘learn’ and ‘debate’ bullet points simultaneously. I’ll try to keep this one brief. resized_kM44j1Darth Megahot Wants you to read this story too!

[PLAY TAPE]
One game session – it was Dungeons and Dragons – our party had wondered into a town looking to recover from a particularly heinous dungeon crawl. I mean it was brutal. We lost one party member pretty early. He was a paladin, one of our aggro sponges, so yes our beating in that crawl was pretty heavy. To top it off, the heavy at the end of the crawl ended up being a total anti-climax. Seriously, who has mongrelmen assisted by a horde of kobolds as the boss monster after a crawl that included rooms with clever monsters like rust monsters and a list of some pretty devious traps. The GM did recently acquire a Grimtooth’s and decided to use it immediately. But I digress. We roll into town needed a good resurrection spell and a decent inn to heal and divvy up that hard won loot. It wasn’t a large town. More like a little trading place for the local farms and dales.

They turned us away. Didn’t even get into the town proper. A place we could see from where they stopped us. The GM was being a total prick. I mean, we did rib him pretty hard on the boss fight. Yeah, we were upset. But he was getting even now. The town had a VERY experienced guard keeping us from entering. “This is a peaceful hamlet and we will not allow trouble makers in.” “We just need to rest and resurrect our friend. One night and we’ll be gone,” we pleaded. “No, we will not cop to any ‘adventurers’ (The GM added some venom to that sarcasm. This little session was quickly becoming meta.)” “Just one ni-” “NO!” This went on for a while. The wizard had already assessed the guards power level. They would’ve owned us. And our cleric hadn’t talked to his deity since the last encounter.

We left the town in a huff. After a bit of a trek, some of us bleeding out – this was before third edition and it’s skills system, so no real ‘first-aid’ – and all of us becoming upset with the town we decided to take it up a notch on the ‘we-don’t-allow-meta-but-the-GM-was-being-a-dick-so-let’s-get-stupid-meta’. We had an extra pack mule. Wasn’t carrying anything. The wizard took the mule, and through an interesting melange of spells (don’t ask. I can’t remember the exact stack) enabled the mule with the spellcasting talent. Yes, he taught the mule the Art! Of course, it was all by the book. And of course the GM is allowing this because he wants to see this play out. Now the mule can cast spells and most importantly, read scrolls. The last one is the key because, our wizard checks with the GM “You could say that donkey was pretty thirsty, right?” GM thinks it over. “Sure,” he says. “Cool.” “Hey, Tony. Still got your teleports?” I check the sheet. Yep, all four. I pass it to the wizard who promptly hangs it in front of the mule. The mule reads the scroll and BAMF! gone. Quickly, the wizard grabs one of the new magic rulebooks the group acquired and points out all these weird ass charts on odds to teleport here and how to determine those odds and so on.big-boobs-flbp-13Darth Megahot is happy you decided to keep reading.

Now this is where it gets funny. And the real world comes in. The wizard rolls the dice. He’s clearly aiming the mule. He wants a specific range of numbers. A little chuckle, a collective ‘come on?!’ from the other players and CLACK! He rolled the sweetness. Perfect. The mule teleported into a wall within the hamlet. The cleric looks the GM directly in the eye and says, as stone cold as possible, “Now. That town is atomized.” The GM goes to object and before he opens his mouth, one of the most epic debates started. Matter cannot occupy the same space as other matter at the same time. It was one of the most beautiful debates. We were all in on it. Every objection had a solid counterpoint. The debate raged for almost twenty minutes or better. “You can’t aim a mule reading a scroll!” Hey man, the dice don’t lie. “The mule died as it entered the wall!” Doesn’t make a difference, dead or alive, matter is matter and two objects can’t occupy same place and time bro. Finally logic entered the debate. One statement that should’ve ended it there. “Guys, this is a fantasy game!” But we were waiting for that one too. When the GM wouldn’t let us make an all outsider halfbreed party, he made his point using an argument that he supported with population stats and genetic models. (I’m making none of this up.) Well, if he can use sociology, life science and statistics to corral our race choices, then we will use physics and game theory to nuke a hamlet (As twisted or ill informed as that decision was).

After so much debate, he finally conceded. This hamlet who denied us entrance was atomized. But don’t worry. The GM got even. He saved the locale so that the next time we were in that area with a new party, he broke out a copy of Gamma World and had us roll on the random mutation tables. Seems the fall out from the hamlet lingered and caused mutations. Guess we forgot that the GM was just as devious as us.Star Wars Girls_-40-1Thank you for reading. Here’s a hot Storm Trooper.
[END TAPE]

This is one of my favorite tales. And relevant in that it kinda shows that those nerds talking about dragons and elves and Ant-man and Deadpool and Cloud Strife and Solid Snake aren’t just talking about video games and comics and tabletop games. Their talking about mythology and science and technology and drama and adventure and sociology and anthropology and the arts and philosophy and politics and so much more.

Yeah, I’m a nerd. And no matter what else is said about me – comedian, writer, philosopher, chef, magnificent bastard – I will always be proudest of nerd. Really, what other badge do I need?

…on Being Gunshy

Posted in Brain Droppings, Dating, Humor, Romance with tags , , on January 14, 2013 by journeymantojo

I heard a great line a few days ago. Let’s see if I can recall it accurately.

“If you leave the house and run into an asshole, well, you have met an asshole. But if you leave the house and spend the day running into assholes, you’re the asshole.”

That makes me a bit gunshy. I’ve been chatting up this lady and have decided that I would enjoy asking her out for a drink. Get to know her. But….

(And you knew there was going to be a but. That’s why I’ve got the number one blog in the country….according to stats that I just made up.)

…I wonder, was it me that wrecked the few that I’ve had in the past couple of years.

I could go on some little discussion about how I’m happy being single and life is less complicated as a bachelor and my hand doesn’t argue and porn is a completely accepted art form and that hobo got what he deserved, but really people, this isn’t a court of law so stop asking about that guy. Neither is it some relationship counselor type forum where we all hug it out and cry about our loneliness (or executed hobos). Nope, it’s a blog where I get to do all the talking and none of the listening. So shut-up about whatever that transients name was and let’s discuss being gunshy.

I’m going to ask her out. I would be a fool not to. She’s very pretty and laughed off my awkwardly phrased comment (She even jokes about the “stalker” vibe, which anybody who knows me knows that I’m just too damned lazy to stalk or even give off a vibe.). But damn if the doubts don’t crop up on occasion. Those little feelings of where did I go wrong, was I the asshole, could I have done anything differently, am I emotionally mature, will they ever find the transients body. But like everyone else, I have to brush those doubts aside. Can’t be having that shit crop up while we talk about our hobbies and dreams and passions and midnight excursions into the city to find the next prey in my newfound love of the sport of human-hunting.

Holy shit!? Was there even a point to this whole rant?

Where was I going with this?

OH YEAH! I remember now. According to a mutual friend of ours, this girl I like already knew that I’m into her. And that got me to thinking.

If she knows that I like her, and has been waiting for me to ask, why didn’t she seize the moment and be all “I figure it’s because you’re a little shy and are therefore working up the nerve to ask me out so allow me to help. Here is my number, and yes, I would enjoy getting a drink with you.” Is it the game of “having” me ask and step-up part of the fun for her? The thrill of being pursued? Does she know that I’m a little gunshy? Or is she just as shy?

Or maybe she already knows about my hobby?

Ladies, any thoughts?

…on How Do I Get THAT Job?

Posted in Brain Droppings, Deep Ponderings, Humor, Lists with tags , , on February 2, 2012 by journeymantojo

Watching History Channel the other day (As I often do) and it was this show on spirits. The liquor kind, not the restless dead kind. And there was this guy…one of the “experts” that they often consult and his job title under his name was Editor, Beer Monthly (Or some shit like that. I can’t remember the title, just that it was an “industry” mag.) And I thought of that line from Blazing Saddles; “Men, we have to band together to protect our phony baloney jobs!”

After I chuckled a bit, I thought a deeper thought. Now I don’t mean to take away from the legitimacy of this guys job. I never understood industry mags (The biggest thought being “How can one person love an industry so much that he can write about it once a month?”) but they do serve a function. I guess. Because I can’t even say I would want to read one other than pure, morbid curiosity. But my deeper thought was, “How do I get one of the phony baloney jobs that would make me an expert for History Channel, or Discovery, or whatever documentary channel or movie out there?”

Here is a list of some of my favorites.

  • UFOlogist: Come on! What school or degree could you attend or get that makes you an expert on something that’s very realism is questioned? And these guys legitimately make money from this? What the hell could the bid or contract negotiation be like? “Yes sir. We can say it was a UFO or not for roughly 2,000 American dollars. Now, we will need to research and study all the testimony. And there will be expenses. So that brings us to….*slips on green visor and starts calculating on an old time-y accountant machine*…6,782 dollars and 47 cents.”
  • Publisher of fringe subject magazine: This one kind of falls into the UFOlogist one as well. There are people out there actually subscribing to Batshit Insane Quarterly, or whatever it’s called. And not just a few. No we’re talking enough to maintain this “experts” lifestyle. It always involves ghosts or monsters or UFOs or Bigfoot and Elvis sightings.
  • Conspiracy Experts: Ahhhh, now I’m of two sides on this. On one hand I feel anger because these guys are spouting such weird ass fringe shit like Christ wife moved to France and started the Merovingian dynasty, or 9/11 was an inside job, or that the Freemasons will not stop until everyone in America is under their mind control. On the other hand, some of these leaps of logic are so Superman-esque that it does seem like a super power. And of that, well hell, I’m always jealous of people with super powers (One day Ninja Turtles! One day!). But the most jarring thing is that these people get PAID FOR THIS SHIT! Is it hourly or salary?
  • Ghost Hunters: Another one that barely qualifies as a “job”. “We’re gonna pay you money to spend the night in a place alone. In that time we want to know if anything funny happens”. And not even just a little bit of money. Have you seen some of the equipment they use? That shit costs crazy bank. So they have money to maintain their lives as well as buy wicked expensive amounts of shit! Do me a fave readers. Next time you’re home alone, go through the house and turn everything off. Lights, TV, radio, any source of noise or light. See how long it takes for some “haunting” to go down. My point will be proven further by those whose place of residence isn’t even old enough to house a family, let alone a haunting past (Please read that line in a very spooky voice!) And you will get why I think this is one of the phoniest and baloney-ist of jobs.
  • “POP CULTURE” Historian: These are the ones that really piss me off. Because I would KILL at these jobs! Seriously, one show had a Comic Book Historian. Are you fuckin’ kidding me?! How do I land that sweet job? You mean people will pay me to know a shit ton about comic books? Well, I’m already there guys! Make that sweet ass check out to “Cash”! I’m being serious. Hell, I can also expert on movies, dick and fart jokes, music, cartoons, eighties sitcoms, music videos. Hell, if it involves any kind of pop culture, chances are I AM AN EXPERT! Now if anybody seriously knows how to apply to that job, please just let me know.

Now of course, I really only bitch because these guys were clever enough to think up these sweet jobs. And I’m stuck here trying to make ends meet by actually working. But one day……”Get me an expert on comic books. A historian if possible!” “Well sir, we have just gotten this application from one Tony. And he wants us to make his checks to ‘Cash’ (See it’s one of his provisos).” “Hmm, he seems qualified. And we seriously have all this money that we need to give away. Let’s get him!”

Yeah, that would be pretty sweet.

 

…on “Are You Black?”

Posted in Brain Droppings, Deep Ponderings, Humor with tags , , , on January 22, 2012 by journeymantojo

So a few weeks back a friend said something that I agree with. We were in complete concordance. And my choice word for when I’m in agreement is “word”. And I was asked, “Are you black?”

Really? Didn’t know that words were race specific. This wouldn’t have bothered me but it happened a few weeks later. I saw something awesome and said, “Dude, that is stupid fresh!” And was promptly met with “Uh, when did you turn black?”

Are you fucking kidding me? If someone would’ve said “Dude, the eighties (stupid fresh)/nineties (word) called and they want their catch phrase back!” I would’ve laughed with them. Because they are dated expressions. (I feel they should come back and I am doing my damnedest to bring them back!) But race specific? I love the fact that my black friends look at me when I say shit like that like I’m a time traveler who just arrived from the eighties.

But never once has a black man just arrived and said “Excuse me homie! It appears you have been using some of our phrases without express written permission. We are going to have to place you under arrest and have you meet before the tribunal of rap stars and actors who helped popularize said expressions and see if you qualify as ‘urban’ enough to say them.” Why? Because they don’t give a fuck! Because it’s just some words (sometimes very dated) that are strung together that – in my less than humble opinion – express whatever the situation calls for.

If something is so fucking epic that words fail…then it’s stupid fresh. If I could not be in anymore possible agreement, as in nothing more needs to be added to your already valid point…then word works.

Weird how nobody bitches when I use ‘oi’ as an expression of frustration. I’m not British. Or when I call a pizza a ‘pie’. I’m not a New Yorker. Or when something is ‘wicked <insert abstract noun here> (Example: “That’s wicked awesome”, “Dude, she’s wicked stupid!”, “Man, I’m wicked sick.”). I’m not a Bostonian.

And hell, I also have been known to say ‘copacetic’, ‘jake’, ‘pimp’, ‘money’, ‘sweet’, etc.

No. They just bitch when I use “black” words or phrases.Yeah, I’m thinking it’s time to reevaluate who I call my “friend/homey/holmes/mate/pal/buddy/brah/homeslice/nizzle”.

…on Today’s Episode Of Walker, Texas Ranger

Posted in Brain Droppings, Bullies, Deep Ponderings, Humor, Texas Ranger, These damn young 'uns with tags , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by journeymantojo

First order of business….yeah, I watch Walker. This show is just epic in it’s……epicness. And of course if I don’t watch it, Chuck Norris will come over and slam my head into the keyujbvfowjviojefbvonveo[bnveriobv

“Dammit Chuck, I wasn’t making fun of you dude!”

Okay, now that he’s gone I can proceed.

Today’s riveting episode deals with bullies. And it features Deion Sanders. So the star power is just all over the place. It does also feature the one credible actor on topics like bullying and gangs, DANNY MOTHER FUCKIN’ TREJO!

It opens with a boy being bullied and the kid ends up jumping off the roof. As a side thought, all the episodes I’ve seen, Walker’s writers are all about killing some kids. Hell, one episode they had a family (with a wee baby) in a minivan that was plowed into by a semi. And they didn’t leave it with just being crushed. Nope, the writers had to emphasize the accident by having the van BLOW THE FUCK UP!

Anyway, so the boy kills himself and Walker decides to implement a program where he will teach the “bullied” how to fight back…..with FUCKIN’ KARATE! HELL YEAH! NINJAS! Which works in the show because all the “bullies” are dumb.

You see, being a former bullied kid, I know that bullies aren’t as dumb as Hollywood (And Hollywood’s made for TV sister, Vancouver.) likes to portray them. That, and they really enjoy the concept of revenge. I think they kind of wrote the book. Revenge by Some Bullies. I will cite two examples.

One year I was suspended. Because I was bullied. And to fight back I hit the kid in the face. With a book. (Algebra. And I thought it would never have a use.) The bully was vanquished. That would have been an epic ending! But the bully had friends (Hollywood got that right.) But they weren’t the snickering Robert Downey Jr.’s Ian to Robert Rusler’s Max. No, they were his fucking teammates. And they didn’t like the whole “You hit my buddy in the face with a book” thing. Nope, so when I got back from my suspension, I now had to deal with a fucking busload of bullies. Avenging their fucking sensei like it was some bad chop socky film. “You killed our master. We must Kung-Fu!” They did stop bullying me eventually. But it was more out of boredom.Yeah, it was a pretty shitty few months. And yeah, it’s safe to LOL that. I laugh at it now.

When you start a new school, you always think it’s a chance to reinvent yourself. My family moved a lot. So at a new school, in a new town, I thought I’m safe here. Well, Mark Zuckerberg must have designed the Facebook around the Bully Network. Seriously, these guys know. Like a Spidey sense. (That sentence should give a small clue as to why I was bullied. The love of Kung-Fu movies, and any further nerd references will fill out the rest of the “Why were you bullied Tony?” mystery.) “Wait, Bully sense tingling! NERD! Must punch in face!” <To be read in your best Ogre impression>

So armed with Thrash Metal (The theme music of bullied peoples revenge fantasies.) and some new threads, I entered the new school. And the bullies knew. Let the derision begin! So I was bullied further. At home I would crank the metal and do push-ups and sit-ups and ran (Man, maybe I need to be bullied again. Really kept me motivated to keep in shape.) and just try to build myself into a fight-back machine. Would watch my Kung-Fu movies, mimicking the moves. Tailored myself into a fighting machine. Even tried my hand at wrestling and learned some submission moves and some shoot fighting techniques. Well, at the first fight….victory was mine! The bullies backed down because I fought one and won. But that was one of the ‘greenbelts’ apparently. Because the next bully knew KARATE! Yeah, painted the hallways with a bucket of my blood using beat ass as his brush. Sucked. His Kung-Fu was definitely stronger than mine. On the upside, I had no sensei so I didn’t really disgrace my master or his style. Small victories like that helped me carry on. And yeah, it’s safe to LOL this one too. Because it was a funny story.

So in the real world, bullies are little trickier to fight. We do have weapons against them. Remember, you can talk to your parents. Before they were “adults-who-don’t-understand” they were teens dealing with the same shit. And your friends. I mean, even if your friends can’t fight, they are great at helping tote some of that ass whoopin’ and it helps that the more of you there are, the quicker the bullies will tire out. So there’s that. Also talk to your teachers. It’s all about survival. So your enemies won’t think your cool but you will LIVE and living is pretty damn kick ass compared to the whole having a rat reputation. Trust me. I got over selling those bullies out. Which is easier than it would have been getting over them messing up this beautiful face any further. You also have your wit. Sometimes that bully is hitting you because of dad issues or because God only gave him three inches instead of the average five to six. And you should know your history (Come on, your nerds! Be proud of your book learnin’!) so pull some Byzantine shit on them. Divide and conquer. Worked a few times for me. Matt was a really great friend, but an even bigger asset. Quarterbacks have mind control on bullies man.

So what did I learn from today’s Walker? Chuck Norris is the shit, Danny Trejo will stop a herd of rampaging Latinos with just his rep, and above all else, don’t jump off that roof. Stay strong, and try to have fun! It’s only high school. Which is only four years. Someone will have sex with you, someone will look up to you, and everyone will need you to stop that meteor from crushing life as we know it. And we can’t do it without physicist. You know, that guy who is getting picked on because he wears different clothes and understands math more than he understands football…..the kid in the mirror.