Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What we go through to keep our feet warm

Black Friday. Did you know that the term comes from the fact that in the old days retailers went “into the black” for the year on the day after Thanksgiving? So basically something that sounds dark and foreboding actually means stores are turning a profit. But to me “Black Friday” is dark. It brings out the greed and selfishness and aggression in people that you don’t see during the other 364 days of the year. Black Friday is just as it sounds. Like a black hole, Black Friday is such a strong force that not even light can escape.

Think about it…excluding the few whose fanaticism for fiction rules them to the point of camping out for a week for tickets to Harry Potter, Star Wars, Twilight or Rent, what other phenomenon in our society makes sane people do something as bizarre as lining up on a freezing cold, wet sidewalk at 3:00 am so they can save $82 on a TV they don’t need?

My experience with Black Friday has, fortunately, been somewhat limited. I married into a family that has long made a tradition of attending the Fred Meyer 6-Hour Sale…which most natives refer to as “The Sock Sale”. Let me give you a little rundown on the sock sale. For the sock sale Fred Meyer lines the aisles of their store with cardboard bins and fills them with socks. Socks of all different sizes and colors. Socks for men, socks for women, socks for trannies, socks for kids, socks for babies, socks for dogs and cats and robots and things that don’t even have feet. They’re everywhere. Then, for 6 hours only!, Freddies sells you these socks for 50% off. ½ off socks, you say? That’s like only paying for one foot! Sure it is, but when’s the last time you paid $15 for a 3-pack of socks anyway? And what’s wrong with the socks you bought last year? I hope I’m not about to sound ignorant here, but I don’t think many socks go out of style.

So now you’re thinking “oh, so a handful of people wander into the store before 11:00am to get some cheap foot warmers”. Poor poor you. Before you started reading my blog you also probably thought everyone just simply flushed the toilet when they pooped too. No…people don’t just wander in at 10:00 to get inexpensive socks. The doors open at 5:00am which means people are lined up for an hour (or more, I don’t know because I’ve never been there THAT early) to get in line for this thing. It's dark as night outside which is a more fitting reason to call it Black Friday. Most of these people are women. Many are dressed in sweat pants and silly hats that shouldn’t be worn outside the ski slopes. But listen, it’s cold and people need to bundle. Now Freddies knows all this so they have a mountain of donut holes as well as tubs and tubs of coffee to warm you up once those magic doors allow you entry.

I have never been at the front of the line when the doors open, but I would imagine it’s chaos. I’m nearly certain that the lunatics who arrived early enough to be at the front of the line start chanting something rhythmically, then when the doors open they throw their hands up over their heads, start screaming wildly and break into a dead sprint toward the sock bins. Multiple entrances are opened simultaneously so I also have to imagine that two or three hoards converge on the socks at full speed and they come together like two battling armies from Braveheart. Soon socks are flying in the air like the Muppet Chef making food. Women are crying. Children are missing and left for dead. As I said, it’s chaos.

You’re probably also thinking (rationally) that people probably buy a 3-pack of socks or maybe two and then browse the rest of the store, then head out and go home with warm feet. No. Those who are crazy enough to try shoving a shopping cart through this crowd begin filling their baskets FULL. They use their carts as battering rams to force their way through the sea of people in an attempt to turn it into a river of people. No one…NO ONE…makes eye contact. There is one focus and one focus only…THE SOCKS. To look someone in the face is to humanize them and these people around you are standing between you and your prize. These are people you may have to trample later. There is no room for mercy. There is no room for friendliness. There is no courtesy. There is you and there is socks.

Once you have your fill you push your way toward the register. It’s like fighting a strong undertow. You’re pressing forward but moving backward. You’re struggling to see, struggling to breathe. You sense that you’re pointed in the right direction. You’ve given up on seeing your friends/family again. They are lost somewhere else in this disaster and it’s every man for himself. The Titanic has sunk and the life boats are gone. You’re just thrashing around and trying not to drown. Then, by dumb luck, you find it. It’s the line! But where are the registers? “Is this the line?” you ask. “Grunt” says the lady in front of you. Someone farts, but nobody reacts because you don’t interact here. You stand on your toes…nothing. You jump. You think you see something. You jump again. There it is! It’s a cashier…why is she so small? Oh, because she’s a quarter mile from you. How are you going to carry all these socks for the time and distance it’s going to take to get THERE? You feel like you just took all the laundry out of the dryer and you’re carrying it to the spot you like to fold it, but you have to wait 40 minutes before you can set it down. Socks occasionally tumble off the pile and you have to decide if it’s worth it to try to bend over and pick them up.

Eventually you get to the register and you’re exhausted. It’s 7:40 am, you’ve been here (including standing in line) for nearly 3 hours now and the cashier starts ringing up your purchases. Beep. Beep. Beep. Socks are being swiped over the barcode scanner. Beep beep beep beep. What the hell? Oh my God. $44, $62, $84…I just spent $92 on SOCKS? What the hell is going on? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? WHERE IS CHRISTMAS!?!!??!?!?!?!?!

Now that you know the damage, you have instant buyers’ remorse. You’re sad. You know you’ve done something wrong but you can’t fix it. Why did you just buy all these socks? Your sock drawer is already stuffed full at home. You start to despair when the answer stares you right in the face. There they are…the remnants of the donut hole mountain! If you’re going to spend the better part of $100 on socks you’re going to make damn sure you get your money’s worth. You grab a napkin and you start to make a structurally sound stack of donut balls on your hand. You make a base of 4 but it looks too small. You add two more and you have a 6 ball base. Now you stack two more on top and throw two in your mouth and you’re at 10. You grab a cup of juice and you just start eating away your sorrows. Later, when you wake up from your morning nap you feel like you were hit by a car. Hit by a car? Oh, right…the rest of the story…

One year my mom came to pick me to go to the sock sale. I answered the door 90% asleep and said I just couldn’t do it. She and my cousin went to the sale and I went back to bed…for 5 minutes…and then realized I needed to do this for my family. I threw on some clothes and drove the 45 second drive to Freddies from my house at that time. It was snowing that morning and there was about an inch on the roads. I parked at Freddies, no small feat. I saw an enormous line outside the store and started walking up and down looking for my mom and cousin. I couldn’t find them. It was so crowded that I had to walk on the outside of the cars, somewhat in the parking lot itself. All of a sudden BANG! Something hit me on the elbow. It spun me around. I turned and threw a half punch with my other hand and found my hand sliding across the passing window of a Suburban SUV. You probably think I'm making this up, but it's 100% true. I was hit by a car (granted, there was no injury) in the Fred Meyer parking lot by a crazed sock shopper...technically a hit and run.

The point is, be safe out there. Black Friday can kill you.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Setting Sail on Home OwnerShip

When Taela and I bought our first house we didn’t really know what to expect…at all. I’m pretty sure everyone feels this way. I very clearly remember pulling into the driveway for the first time as home owners and seeing a guy who looked a lot like Ned Flanders at the fence (note: his name was Mike and he was a remarkably nice guy and good neighbor). He said “you must be the Joneses”…hmm…Lesson #1: a neighborly expression I need to acquire. I remember the first night we spent there as well. We set up our guest room first(something you have room for prior to having three kids…you’ll eventually have to go to Costco to buy its replacement which happens to be inflatable and comes with a pump). We decided to sleep in our guest bed the first night because we hadn’t moved anything into our master bedroom. Why? you ask. Because our master bedroom was lavender. Now if you’re a guy like me you’re thinking to yourself “what is this ‘lavender’?” and I’m here to tell you: good question. Lesson #2: lavender is a cross between pink and purple and it gives off the feel of death to those who haven’t acclimated to it. Oh, so you had to paint a couple of walls, Keith? Yes, a couple of walls plus a couple more and…look up!...the ceiling. The ceiling was lavender? Yes. Why did you buy this house? We didn’t know what we were doing, that’s why. Are you leaving out any other details about the room? Well, yes, it also had a 4 foot diameter black ring-of-fire sun emblazoned on one wall.

So we decided to sleep in the guest bedroom on our first night and all I can remember thinking was “we have this entire, enormous (1700 square feet poorly laid out by an architect who somehow thought the split-level floor plan could utilize space) home and I feel comfortable occupying just this one little bedroom with my lovely wife. What are we going to do with all this space?”

Well, the first thing we did was head over to the Home Depot for the first time. This answers the age old question “do homeowners actually go to the Home Depot for the first time or were they there all along?” There was a first time and during it we bought a gallon or two of yellow paint. Yellow is bright and sunny and exactly the opposite of the blackberry yogurt cave we had purchased.

So I went off to work the next morning and when I came home Taela had put on a coat of primer she found in the garage. Lesson #3: when buying a house is you also are buying 30 cans of mishmashed paints, thinners, primers and lacquers. The previous owner wasn’t allowed to put them in the garbage because they are toxic, he was too lazy to take them to Metro, so he decided to do you a favor and hand over the remnants of the colors that once were…although you’ll never figure out which can goes with which room. So I walked into the bedroom to see the work that my diligent wife had done and she kind of sheepishly said to me “I’m not sure it’s quite right.” I took a close look. Is primer supposed to be thick, rubbery, gray and textured in the shape of every brush stroke? No…”I also don’t think it’s quite right…where’s the can?” Hello can, what say you? “Well Keith, I say ‘concrete primer and sealant’”. Well, Mr. Can, thank you for your honesty. Lesson #4: Only paint with paint and only prime with primer.

So we called our parents to find out what we were supposed to have done in the first place and made trip number 2 to Home Depot. In retrospect we should have first bought stock in Home Depot THEN driven over but no matter how hard you try you can’t change the past. We bought ourselves a bucket of Kilz primer. You know the one. Then we spent a long time slapping it on the walls. I should digress here for a moment to let you know that Taela’s sisters, my mom and possibly other people helped on this project, but this was close to a decade ago so I’m not remembering who deserves credit and who doesn’t. My apologies to those who have been omitted by my struggling memory.

Great! White room! This must be what it’s like to be insane…clinically clean looking white walls with just a touch of soft, rubbery padding underneath. Oh…and a faded blackish-gray ring of fire peering through the layer of primer. So we slapped on another coat of primer over that sun, then another and were finally satisfied that it had been given its long overdue burial.

Next step: paint. I’m pretty sure Taela and crew painted the walls when I was at work again. I came home and opened the front door (which is down the stairs, around the corner, down the hall and through a door away from the bedroom) and went instantly blind. I cried out “Jesus! Jesus! Looking upon your glory has blinded me. Please have mercy!” then I realized it wasn’t Jesus. It was the glow coming from the bedroom. I climbed the stairs and pushed my way down the hall toward the blazing radiance. I walked into the room and if Taela didn’t come running down the hall yelling “No! No! Not without sunglasses!” I would certainly have sustained permanent injury to my retinas. In any case I walked into a room that had recently lost its sun on the wall and BECOME the sun all in one day. Lesson #5: the sample color swatch does not look the same as the entire room painted that color.

Hello Home Depot, can you please give us a cream color? “Oh, we thought you wanted yellow.” Don’t you worry about that, Home Depot, cream color when spread on a wall will certainly be yellow based on what we just learned. So we painted the wall for the fourth time. This time a cream color that almost looked as though it had a hint of yellow. It was basically off-white but at this point we just needed to get ourselves into our room and start living. Lesson #6: THE SAMPLE COLOR SWATCH DOES NOT LOOK THE SAME AS THE ENTIRE ROOM PAINTED THAT COLOR.

Remember when I said I didn’t know what to do with all that space? Well, now I didn’t have quite as much space to wonder about since each coat of paint shrunk the room ever so slightly. All I can do is hope that someone will read this before purchasing their first house and it will save them, literally, minutes of time.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I got some digits

A few years back I opened a Christmas present from my mom. It was one of those smaller gifts that all the men on the same level branch of the family tree get one of. I’m pretty sure my sister’s then-husband had already opened his, but the truth is that nobody ever really noticed or cared much about what that guy was doing so by the time I started tearing into the wrapping paper the element of surprise was still very much intact. I noted the shape and flexibility of the gift before I dug in so I wasn’t surprised to find a soft cover book inside. What did surprise me was the kind of book it was. “Uncle John’s Ahh-Inspiring Bathroom Reader. Huh. Thanks?” is pretty close to my reply. In my mind I’m thinking “Why would my mom think I need something like this to read when I’m taking a dump? I’m a little more cultured than this…Mom, when I crap I read Smithsonian Magazine”.

Well, the book sat around and collected dust for a while and then, one fateful day, I was hit with that urge. That time when your body is telling you it’s time to find some porcelain and find it now. The book must have been near me because when the urge hits like this it’s time to grab whatever is nearby and just run like hell.

So I found myself sitting on the terlet with this book in my hands and I was amazed at how perfectly the item fit the need. I mean this book was jam packed with trivia galore. It had brief news stories, quirky stories, the history of items and words and phrases. It is hundreds of pages of mostly useless, usually fascinating information broken down into 2-5 minute reading time chunks. Brilliant! Soon enough I was collecting as many of these books as I could get my hands on…unfortunately because of the retail prices I buy them all used and usually at thrift stores at that. Now I have an impressive collection and a head full of more forgotten trivia than you could imagine.

So one of the recurring themes is a section Uncle John does on the origin of phrases. I have a phrase that I’ve never really understood the meaning of, maybe some of you know. People often say “I know that like the back of my hand.” The only use for that phrase I have ever really found is changing it to “I know that like I know the palm of my hand” to get a cheap laugh every now and then. Why would someone know the back of their hand intimately? The only way I can really see the entire thing is by extending my arm out and flaying my fingers like a woman who has just painted her nails. It’s a little too effeminate a pose for me.

So that got me to thinking…what’s up with the back of my hand and how does it relate to anything?

Now, we all have our body parts that annoy us. For me, my hands have never been one (or two) of those. I have always wished my ears weren’t so big and that my teeth were straighter and that my belly was thinner, but I’ve always been cool with my mitts…I’m hoping this little study doesn’t ruin that for me.

One thing that affects my hands is that I bite my finger nails. I have done this since I was very young and I’m nearly certain that the teeth I use to bite them are actually worn flat because of it. I don’t bite my nails because I’m nervous, I just do it out of habit…that and an OCD compulsion to do it once they reach a certain length. Let’s examine my fingers one by one:

My pinkies are close enough to identical to talk about them in unison. Pinkie is near and dear to me, but somewhat nondescript. The fingernails here are bitten to perfection. In two days I will certainly have to bite them again, but right now they’re not bitten down to the nubs, they’re not bleeding, they’re not so long that they get caught on things I’m idly passing in the mall…they’re perfect. I wish I could stunt their growth right here. You can see I have some hair between my knuckles. Listen, part of me is from Okinawa so many parts of me have hair sprouting from them. Deal with it.

My grandma has as cat named Ringer. Here are my little ringers. You can see that I have the stylish plain gold wedding band. I did that intentionally to show how unpretentious I am when I’m rolling around town flaunting my status in my 2001 Subaru Legacy sedan with the dent in the side from the random idiot who chucked a half full Mike’s Hard Lime at it when my wife parked on the street at work one night while she was pregnant (ok, I don’t think she was pregnant at them time but it’s possible and it makes the story better). The nails are a bit too long on both fingers and immediately after photographing them I bit both of them off. You can see that my ring is getting a bit snug…I eat a lot of milkshakes, sue me. Oddly, both of these fingernails have always reminded me of the face of the reporter on Sesame Street.

I don’t have much to say about tall man or pointer so I figured I would put them together. This also saved me the embarrassment of flipping you all off. Now that I’m really examining here, I’m noticing that my fingers look like fat earth worms. I’m starting to get a bit grossed out and I’m wondering if my worm digits are sliming the keyboard as I type this. Is there anywhere on my body that pores/hair follicle holes are any more apparent than they are on the lower part of my fingers? I hope not. You could lose spare change in there. Also, until I graduated high school I used to get those bold white blotches under my nails. I was always told they were calcium deposits from drinking a lot of milk. I drink a ton of milk every day in order to do my body good, but the “calcium deposits” are gone. Never trust science. Oh man, you know what they really look like?

Thumbs are gross. It’s lucky for them that they are the only significant difference between man and beast (oh, that and cognitive reasoning…and salvation). For those of you who are fans of the show Survivor, I think my thumbs look a lot like Russell Hantz. That makes me a bit sad, but you can’t judge a book by its cover. They are short and squatty and the nail is usually bit down like Russell’s misshapen, conniving little fat head. I don’t know if you can tell from the pictures, but for years I have been trying to regrow my right thumbnail back up to the same height as the left. I have bitten the nail down so low so many times that it was starting to “yellow” lower and lower which made it impossible to keep nails of similar length. It’s starting to come back now so I hope you’re having to miss out on viewing that mutation. Sorry.

Also, I have hairy feet, but that’s another story…

Thursday, November 10, 2011

End Petlessmess

Before diving into today's edition of KeenKeith I should mention that those of you who didn't read the previous post in its entirety missed out on my attempt at writing like The Onion. Take a read, you may enjoy it. And now...without further ado...drumroll.....

At work we have a small kitchen/lunchroom where I eat most days. It’s nice because there’s a refrigerator and two microwaves so I can bring whatever leftovers my kids think they're too good for and roll the dice by choking them down over the hour I take for my lunch. In case you don’t know I’m a human garbage disposal. I have only three rules about leftovers:

1) If meat has turned green I will not eat it. Gray is acceptable.
2) If it’s growing, it’s going…to the trash. This is why I always throw away bleu cheese.
3) If it stinks, me thinks…it’s going to the trash. This is why I always throw away bleu cheese.

Outside of those simple rules I will eat pretty much anything. I don’t have a time limit (yes, week old gray meat is fine by me). The people I eat with often get confused about my rules. Sue, who is likely to say just about anything, often says I eat moldy food. I don’t. I will, however, argue til I’m blue in the face that you can eat refrigerated eggs months and MONTHS after their printed expiration date.

Well, there are a few rules in the lunch room that are loose and sometimes broken. One rule is that you are not to microwave fish. I get it. Fish stinks. But sometimes it’s Thursday and your wife made a tuna casserole on Sunday so you’re running out of opportunties to eat this stuff before it starts violating rules 1-3 above. Sorry but my rules supercede your community rules, lunch room.

One of the ladies I work and eat with, we’ll call her “Jan O.” because that’s her name, has some idiosyncrasies. One of her quirks is that she literally gags at the thought of peanut butter and jelly together. She claims she has been like this since she was a little girl. I don’t know, I wasn’t there. She doesn’t like the smell of peanut butter mixed with jelly, she hates the idea that someone markets the peanut butter and jelly swirl in a single jar. It’s weird, but we like “Jan O.” so we have fun with it and we don’t make her puke by swirling the two together right in front of her.

Speaking of jelly…and “Kristina Solberg” this is where you might not want to read any further…my wife’s cat started looking weird a few weeks ago. She is an outdoor cat named Scout who has access to the laundry room and garage so it’s not like we’re petting her every day and hearing her stories about the dramas in the backyard. Well I looked at her a few weeks ago and there in the middle of her forehead right above her eyes was this swirled, flattened mass of fur. I touched it and it was hard. I didn’t know what the heck was going on. Taela looked at her and we were just stumped. It was very hard and all the fur in that area was kind of glued into this flat mat.

Well, we didn’t do anything about it. I hypothesized that, because she is friendly and because the Russians that share part of a fence with us have really weird, sometimes cruel, kids, maybe someone had intentionally glued her fur…for coming into their yard? I don’t know. Well, about a week ago I noticed the flap of fur had peeled up a bit so I pulled it off. Under it was short fur that I figured was regrowing to fill in the spot that had been affected. Great. All better. I did examine the fur I had extricated and found that it looked like cowhide and smelled funky.

Well, two nights ago I went to the garage to get something (beer) and looked down. There was a pinkish spot where the hard mass had been. Huh? Yeah, pinkish. Kind of like the filling in a cherry pie. I picked up the cat and called Taela over. The kids came running too. I said something like “it looks like jelly, do you think someone is really messing with her and put jelly on her fur?” Caleb, my 7 year old, said “yeah, that does look like jelly.” I was about to bury my nose in and smell it when Taela (being the nurse that she is) pushed on the forehead right next to the “jelly”. More jelly started squishing out of the jelly hole! Imagine taking a jelly donut and squeezing it in your hand. I’m talking gooey, pinkish jelly glopping out of this cat’s face. Scout! Why do you have so much jelly in your face?

Well, it turned out the veterinarian didn’t think the jelly was jelly at all. It wasn’t jam either. No, it wasn’t preserves of any kind. It was blood mixed with pus. How glad am I that I didn’t dive in to smell it? Very. $260 later the cat has a drain in her face and a cone on her neck. Poor Scout. Poor us! Feline facial drains ain’t free!

The moral of the story is when your cat comes to you and looks like its face has been hit with a hammer, it’s likely that a raccoon has buried its claw in there and it’s going to get infected. Don’t wait for the jelly filling to tell you something’s wrong.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Chive

WASHINGTON – In a controversial move the Senate today passed a bill expanding the definition of federally protected minority groups. SB 3427, better known as “Wyden Hate” after its author Ron Wyden (D – Oregon), will bring under hate crimes protection many previously unprotected groups which have long lobbied unsuccessfully for full federal protection as minority classes. The new groups to be given minority status include “racists and other organized movements of hatred directed toward other protected minority classes.” Both major political parties agree that this language will close the loophole in current hate crimes and minority status legislation that allows for discrimination against bigots.

Spokespersons for groups such as the neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and the Skinheads say they feel vindicated by the legislation that, once signed into law by President Obama, will finally legitimize the equality they have been fighting for all along.

“This historic bill will ultimately bring equal opportunity to all Americans. It has been said that the Civil Rights movement stopped short of its potential for making change,” said former Klan Grand Wizard David Duke in a statement. “Today that potential has been filled. No longer will racists, sexists and people who throw the word ‘tard’ around in polite company be looked at any differently for their personal beliefs.”

Minutes after voting was complete Reverend Jesse Jackson remarked on live television that “I knew Dr. King. I knew Dr. King and believe me when I say that he knew me as well. In fact the depth to which I knew Martin can only be matched by the depth to which he knew me.”

Al Sharpton added, “Today, November 8th in the year of our lord two thousand and eleven, will be remembered. As the day. The day! WE! As Americaaaaans. Were declared fully free.”

Wyden Hate is the culmination of a national movement which gained nationwide support and popularity over the summer. Known as Free2H8, the movement came in response to a swell of anti-racism protests that popped up throughout the country. Free2H8ers have clashed with many anti-hate group rallies in major cities throughout the United States since the first known such clash occurred at Portland, Oregon’s Pioneer Courthouse Square in late May. At that rally Portland Police, fully clad in riot gear, began to beat back the crowds of anti-haters (commonly referred to as Racistists) only to find they were being assisted by a new mob of anti-anti-haters. Amidst the confusion several haters, anti-haters and anti-anti-haters were shot with bean bags which left dark bruising and caused at least one rioter to crap his pants.

In a printed statement Ron Wyden said, “Today we turn the page of history. No longer will our children be raised into a culture of racistism. We will teach ours and future generations to accept all views. We have taken a giant step toward the eradication of hate-hate and perhaps to a lesser extent hate-hate-hate. We have brought into the light those who discriminate against other races of people they see as inferior and we have told them ‘fear no longer.’”

Other groups protected under the Wyden Hate law include sexists, religionists, heightists, ageists, wealthists, uglyists, fashionists, mentalists and major league a**holes.

One old man who has been following Senate Bill 3427 closely on C-SPAN while drinking hooch and wearing his suspendered pants up over his hairy, naked stomach remarked “finally I’m free to call a n***er a n***er without feeling ashamed.”

The President is expected to sign the bill into law after returning from his vacation to the Hamptons. In his absence the White House issued the following: “This administration came to office on the tide of hope and change. Today we have taken progress to a new level. As a country we have not only eradicated the toxicity of discrimination, but we now also offer unbalanced legal protections for those who practice the discrimination that we have eliminated. God Bless America.”

According to recent polling the vast majority of Americans support Wyden Hate. Polling shows that Americans have grown weary of “people who hate bigots”.

Opponents of the bill are few but include a small grassroots movement that has emerged on social networking site Facebook purporting to be a centralized organization in support of hating the hatred of the hatred of protected classes. This bold group has on many different levels gone to war with those Americans who casually throw out the phrase “don’t be a hater.” The ‘Hate the Player, Don’t Hate the Game’ contingent has yet to comment. Other splinter groups have sprung up but have yet to make a significant impact on the debate. These groups include “Faggots are a bundle of wood” and “Chinks are something found in used armor”. A spokesperson for “Nips are a cheese cracker that pale in comparison to cheez-its” declined comment for this story.

KeenKeith Press and its affiliates

Friday, November 4, 2011


After years of living in the past, last week I was finally able to join the future.

A lot has been said about the impact of Steve Jobs on our society. The advancements he made in technology are astounding and it is with great pleasure that I announce to you that I have made a quantum leap and now possess the greatness that is the iPhone 4s.

For years I have known people who own iPhones and I have been jealous of these handy little devices. I can clearly see that iPhoners are able to surf the web more quickly, efficiently and fully than I ever could on my Blackberry. The touch screen is an amazing concept. The gyroscopiatic (with technology this profound the “old language” isn’t enough to do justice so I feel compelled to enhance my adjectives to express the full grandeur of this marvel) properties allow for applications to sense the most minute tilt of the device. It’s clearly an amazing tool with nearly unlimited capabilities. Oh…and it makes phone calls too.

When my iPhone was delivered to the office it was like Christmas morning for me. It was as if I had been living in a one dimensional world…just a single ray heading off in a straight line of Blackberry dust when all of a sudden the universe exploded into a 4 dimensional expanse of space-time. It was as if someone had given me a barrel full of multi-colored M&M’s when all I had ever eaten were brown rabbit turds.

The first thing I learned is that the new iPhone comes with a personal assistant. Her name is Siri and she is brilliant. Now I have to tell you that she has a little more pride than I was expecting. She won’t help me clean myself after making solid waste. She also won’t comb my hair, brush my teeth or wash windows. Come to think of it she doesn’t always know her place, but she is very helpful when it comes to other every day tasks. All I have to do is verbally ask her for something, she puts it in writing then answers my question. Some examples:

Aside from Siri, the iPhone 4s gives me access to so many countless things I’ve never known I’ve always wanted. Obviously this new device is going to help me write more insurance business. No doubt having all the world at my finger tips at any given moment will free me from the shackles that have held me back in the past. I have spent a great deal of time scrolling through the app store to find more and more tools to make my career…my life…better. Here is a list of what apps I have installed. Their benefits are likely too many to mention, but most are obvious. You will no doubt envy me so I ask your forgiveness in advance for gloating.

My apps:
1) Flick Home Run – This game is designed so that I can use the tip of my finger to hit cartoon baseballs. It has changed my life.
2) Bobble Me – I can take a picture and turn the person in it into a bobble head. Imagine the power I now wield.
3) NameScream – I can choose any common name from the list then have either the Lunatic, Creeper, Devil, Ghost, Banshee or Zombie tell that person anything from “Happy Halloween” to “I’m under your bed” to “you’re hot”. Communication will never be the same.
4) BroStache – I am a Geico commercial.
5) Sound Board – I have 20 different sounds at my finger tips. If you tell a corny joke around me I can give you the rim shot (badum-CHING). If you tell a dumb joke I can give you the wah-wah-wah. If you leave the room I can make it sound like Scooby Doo just scrambled out. And I will.
6) Bleep Button – I no longer have to cuss to make my point. I can merely imply 4 letter words while making a bleeping noise. Think how much easier it’s going to be to get into heaven.
7) Shotgun Free – Can you take your phone, pump it as though it’s a shotgun and then shoot it with nothing more than recoiling from the imaginary kick? No? Then I guess you’re not me.
8) Revolver – Let me just say that Russian Roulette has never been so fun.
9) Prank Mirror – Now I can look at myself in ways I never could before. I can look deep into my soul. I can become truly introspective and view myself in different lights…many different lights. The app allows me to truly get to the root of all that is KeenKeith…and what I have found so far is beautiful…some examples:

For whatever reason my wife thinks much of the time spent on my new IPhone is wasted. I have heard from other husbands and wives that this is a very common reaction. While I completely understand why anyone would be upset about me diverting my attention to something other than them I believe it’s obvious from what I have just told you that the iPhone is essential, not merely a toy or entertainment. To anyone who disagrees with me I have only this to offer:

Disclaimer: Any immoral or illegal suggestions above are for illustration and entertainment purposes only. I do not use my company phone to buy drugs or hire prostitutes.