The Notebook

This is where I put links and other stuff I find interesting and/or funny.

How Squints From "The Sandlot" Caused The Dumbening Of America

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I have determined that the dumbening of America can be directly attributed to the movie “The Sandlot”.

In the movie, there is a scene where a nerd named Squints fakes drowning. When hot lifeguard Wendy Peffercorn begins performing CPR on Squints, he unexpectedly kisses her. She is horrified and kicks Squints and his friends out of the pool.

After the movie was released, all the hot lifeguards said, “That’s not going to be me!” So, in an effort to avoid being “Sandlotted”, the hot lifeguards let drowning nerds die instead of attempting mouth to mouth.

From the time the movie was released until it left our national consciousness (estimated at 2002), countless future scientists, engineers and doctors perished in the public pools dotting this great land.

Because of Squints, we now have Sarah Palin and Louie Gohmert in positions of power.

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The Nighttime Daycare

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This is the year I open a nighttime childcare service specifically targeted to irresponsible parents. It’ll be cash up front and every parent will get a guide to all the ladies’ nights in town. Unclaimed children will be sold to Chinese couples who want designer kids. Win win win.

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The Tea Party Gets Its Just Desserts

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At my old job, I’d talk to Tea Party idiots all the time. Since we had to take calls from people if they followed up on stuff, I was able to see the deterioration of their lives in a very concrete way.

Call 1: Obama is the worst and everyone besides me is leeching off the system! Why do I have to pay so much in taxes!
Call 2: I just lost my job. Does my employer have to keep giving me health insurance?
Call 3: I’m about to lose my house. Aren’t there any government programs that can help me?

Few things brought me more joy than seeing these people stuck in a world where their situation was at direct odds with their Tea Party views.

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Police

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Think of the guys on the football team in high school who were on the team, were not very good, but still walked around like they owned the school. These are the guys who go on to comprise the majority of the police officers, prison guards and other law enforcement.

Being surprised when guys who were real life Billy Zabka characters don’t act with basic human compassion is like being surprised that a gun kills someone when you shoot it at them.

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Advances In Laziness, Vol.1

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About a month ago, I was sitting at lunch with some friends at work. I asked if they knew of any kind of disposable item that I could place on the kitchen counter while my wife cooks, leaving the kitchen counter clean afterwards. I was told that there was no way this existed and to just clean the counters right after the cooking is done.
They underestimated my dedication to laziness and my ability to find new uses for existing items.

About a week ago, I was hanging around at another friend’s cube and she mentioned that she needed to pick up some carpet runner at the hardware store after work. I inquired further and when I saw the picture, the wheels started turning. This was a spool of plastic material that could easily be cut to size.

I headed to the hardware store this past weekend and asked if they had any carpet runner. The stuff they had was too heavy duty. The salesman asked me what I was going to use it for. After I explained it to him, this hero said, “Oh. You want plastic sheeting.”

Yesterday morning, I unrolled the sheeting on to the kitchen counter and cut it to the length I needed. Last night, my wife cooked and all the debris safely landed on my new counter cover.

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Knowledge Bowl

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I was in high school and on the Knowledge Bowl team. One afternoon, we drove to a qualifier for all the schools in the state. I was sick as hell that day. I had a blanket, was chugging chicken soup and popping lozenges like Tic Tacs.

The qualifier was at a high school, so each team was in a different classroom. Once we began, the judges gave us questions as they would in a real competition. At some point, the question "Who is known as the Magnificent Miss M?" was asked. I said, "Bette Midler" and proceeded to pass out. My only familiarity was seeing the trailers for her movies.

Some people have a winning touchdown pass as their proudest competitive achievement. I have Knowledge Bowl.

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Leaving Early

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I went to KU in the late 90s. I remember during second semester of my freshman year, a few times a week when I was walking back from a morning class to the dorm, I would see a car in the loading area. There would be a shell shocked, sad looking, soon-to-be-former student loading their things with their stern looking parents into a van or station wagon. It always made me sad for the rest of the day.

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Bluffing

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I used to go to a fair amount of grad student parties. As one can imagine, there were quite a few people who were incapable of admitting they didn't know something you brought up in discussion.

Whenever I went to one of these parties, I would find out what departments' students were in attendance. I then picked a field with as little intersection with the fields of the people at the party (i.e. math at an English department mixer).

After a few drinks, I would sidle up to the most pompous looking person there and start talking about a theory I made up about my supposed field. The theory's name was composed of two ethnically different names, an adjective and a noun. Like in this game. An example is the Pyrush-Subramaniam Theory of Bovine Defenestration. I would then talk about it at length, without going too overboard. The object was to see if the pompous person would admit to not knowing about the theory. If they challenged the authenticity of my "theory", I would obfuscate by bringing up "papers" that were important to the current scholarship on the subject.

There was only one occasion when someone actually said that they had no idea what I was talking about.

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Fair and Lovely

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I was in Bangladesh back in 2006. I am much lighter skinned than most of the people in that country. While I was there, my 20 year old cousins had several friends over for a birthday party. While we were talking, I let slip that I used 3-4 tubes of Fair and Lovely every day and had done so for the past 10 years. Thus, I had much lighter skin. All of the girls ooh'ed and aah'ed, delighted to see someone they knew who had gotten such great results using such a product. I'm sure they would have bought all of the Fair and Lovely in the country had I not told them it was all a joke.

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Law School Gunners

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In my law school class, there were many people who were smart and well-liked and also spoke up in class. There were also people who talked for the sake of hearing their own voice, belittled others openly, and were generally hated by all except other gunners.

Some examples of "gunner" behavior":
In my Federal income tax class, there was one gunner who delighted in coming up with increasingly convoluted hypotheticals to try and stump the prof.

There were a group of gunners on law review whose pre exam routine was telling each other (rather loudly) that they were smarter and better than everyone else in class and that there was no reason to worry about getting a bad grade.

In my Con Law class, some of the Federalist Society douchebags would debate the prof on cases like Roe v. Wade and Brown v. Board of Education, where the holdings went against their personal beliefs.

One of the TA's in my first year legal writing class had attracted the attentions of a gunner. In a move I'm sure he found charming, he would corner her and then grill her about upper level classes he was thinking of taking. It got so bad that a few of us felt compelled to rescue her whenever we saw this happening. She always effusively thanked whoever got her away.

Finally, at my school, there's a special part of graduation where the graduates of every school walk the campus to the football stadium. The valedictorian of each class held a flag denoting which school they were representing. Everyone usually cheers for their flag bearer. Our flag bearer was so hated and so obnoxious that only his own family cheered him when he was announced as the law school's flag bearer. To this day, I do not feel bad about this.

So, it takes more than simple smarts and engagement with the material. You have to possess a sociopathic malice and disdain for your fellow students while maintaining an unjustifiably high level of self regard.

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