Sunday, December 10, 2017

An interview with a well-traveled fruitcake

Every year around this time my interest turns, as it does for so many people, towards talking to inanimate objects. Today I have with me a fruitcake. 

GW: Greetings, Mr. Cake.

Fruitcake: Pleasure.

GW: Your season has arrived. Are you stoked?

FC: I am. It’s “go” time. I’m ready. I’ve been napping in brandy-soaked cheesecloth for a month.

GW: This is kind of personal. Feel free not to answer, but have you ever been re-gifted?

FC: Dude, re-gifting is my immortality. No one has ever even brandished cutlery in my presence. They always take one look at me, then kind of shudder, and back away.

GW: How many times would you say you have changed hands?

FC: Well, my first memory is the Summer of Love.

GW: O.K. That’s ‘67. So...50 years, 50 times?

FC: Oh, no, it’s more than once a season. Typically I am given by a boss to a secretary, who waits until he is gone and then laughs hysterically with her coworkers over something. Then they all stare at me in what I can only guess is awe, because a lot of them have their mouths open. Then the secretary takes me home and gives me to a cousin who gives me to a coworker and sometimes I end up with a boss again. In 50 years, I’d say I’ve changed hands, oh, 2,000 times. 

GW: And nobody’s taken so much as a nibble.

FC: We have a saying. If you make it through your first Christmas, you’re home free. 

GW: Can I ask you? What are those bright green and red chunks in you?

FC: An inside joke that went about a millennium too far. 

GW: Fruitcakes are known for their heft. I read somewhere that the ratio of the density of the average fruitcake to the density of mahogany is 1:1. 

FC: Don’t buy it. That’s got Little Debbie’s fingerprints all over it. That’s the sponge cake lobby talking right there.

GW: You do seem pretty solid.

FC: Solid does not mean dense. Although you couldn’t tell that from Congress. 

GW: So tell me. What makes a good fruitcake?

FC: Nobody knows. The good ones aren’t still around. In my business, the last thing you want to be is good. Good means gone.

GW: So I assume you’ll be doing some traveling this Christmas?

FC: Oh yeah. New cellophane on Friday, and at the office party I’m on my way to a new home. 

GW: Well, see you next year.

FC: Oh, count on it. 

. . .

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Our a very very very wired house

It is the 21st Century, people, so it is high time you had a Smart House. The key to success here is acquiring just enough smart appliances so that your house is smarter than your dog but still dumber than you. 

This is harder to pull off than it sounds. 

To walk that fine line, here is what you need:

Smart bulbs. Did you know there are smart, wifi-enabled light bulbs now, which respond to your voice commands? All those years growing up, I remember often thinking, “What I really want in a light bulb is more interactivity.” It’s here. These bulbs can sync up with a particular movie you are watching, or work with GPS so they can turn on right when you arrive home. Gone are the days when you might get home and your light bulbs would be all “Oh, honey, I expected you later,” and you’d hear muffled giggling from the closet as the other bulbs tried to hurriedly get dressed in the dark. 

Smart locks. Unlock your door hands-free with your app’s “automated proximity sensor.” Moses had one of these for the Red Sea. He would lift his arms—whoosh!—then drop them—sploosh—then lift them again. It was hours of fun. Smart locks also give you the power to grant home access to anybody you deem worthy, even if you are not home. When I was a kid, we used a similar system we called the “automated key under the mat lifter-upper,” which was our little brother.

Environment sensor. They have a little postage-stamp-sized doodad now which will monitor your home’s temp, humidity, light, CO2 levels, and probably general interpersonal tensions. It can tell you when your bath is full, laundry is done and, best of all, whether you forgot your wife’s birthday.

Grilling Assistant. Step one: Pop the little two-inch wifi-enabled thermometer into your steak and it notifies your phone when it is cooked to your specifications. Step two: Get in your car, drive to the Human Male Office, and hand in your man card. You’re done.

Your house can now text you if your washing machine is leaking, your smoke detector’s beeping, you left your garage door open and, probably, if the raccoons in your attic had babies. Embrace the Smart House, which exists only to make life easier and relaxing for you. 

Take a look at your dog. Now there is one dude who is already on board with the 21st Century. 

. . .

Sunday, November 26, 2017

You are a total original...demographic

You may be many things; a gardener, a food dehydrator, a Shar Pei advocate, but that also makes you a demographic. 

I looked in my Facebook settings and discovered that according to FB, I am an “engaged shopper.” I have never bought anything on there, so I have to wonder if my tendency to post kitten photos says something subliminal about my buying habits. 

FB also seems to know I am a parent, because it can see in my photos, I guess, the circles under my eyes. 

FB thinks I am the friend of “people who recently moved”; yes, in that I am an American and that I still draw breath. If you are reading this, and you do not know somebody who recently moved, you are in the “dead, but still able to read” demographic. You are hard to market to, but I bet a Scientologist on his third espresso could get it done. 

Politically, the FB categories are liberal, moderate and conservative, with “very” preceding the first and last of those. (I would love for there to be a “very moderate” category, the icon being a guy with his arms crossed and his chin raised in a resolute pout while wearing a “You both make some very valid points” t-shirt.) 

FB pegs me as “very liberal,” which I feel is an exaggeration, since I have never even “liked” a Lady Gaga video. I know extremists on both ends of the spectrum, and I feel like a centrist in comparison, but FB can’t sell a centrist a sports car, I guess. 

Even though she looks like she stepped out of a poster for Irish tourism, FB thinks my wife is African-American. Perhaps it is because she is “likely to engage in political content.” 

Unlike me, she is labeled a “commuter,” even though I actually drive a little farther to work than she does. Maybe she once “liked” somebody’s post about tires. 

She is also considered to be “close friends of women who have a birthday in the next week.” I love the specificity of that ad category. I imagine others, like “writers who doubt themselves more than twice a minute” and “men over 50 who like the idea of celery but not actual celery.” 

We like to think we are individuals, but we are really just walking demographics, just trying to get along in this crazy world without having to change brands. 

. . .

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Details of the top secret iPhone XX revealed!

Apple recently came out with its iPhone X to much fanfare (Slogan: “Now with 30% more price tag.”) Do not ask them why they went from the iPhone 8 to the 10 without a 9. It’s Apple Math. Start flipping beads on that particular abacus and you will find, upon visiting your closet, that all your shirts have inexplicably turned into black turtlenecks. 

It turns out it was all just misdirection, anyway, to keep us from discovering Apple’s secret project, the iPhone XX. I cannot tell you how I came to possess the plans for this amazing product; if I did, I wouldn’t have to kill you, I’d just have to explain how humor columns work.

iPhone XX (Slogan: “One X short of a very, very different product”)

Manufacturer: Keebler (yes, they made space in the tree)

Compatibility: GSM, IMHO, BFD, AAA & IHOP

Size: .275 cubits x .170 cubits (basically like half a panini)

Weight: .0026 Brads (fractions of Pitts)

Operating system: iOS 24.7.365

CPU: PU is right! C? Light a match

The iPhone XX (Code name: “Samsung Galaxy XX”) is the next generation of smart phone, so secret that Apple has told the employees working on it that they are actually building boats. Smart little boats, which can hold more music than the entire Library of Congress. When the more suspicious employees ask where the rudder goes, they are sent to Google for “reeducation.”

The XX is the first smart phone to have the patented XX port, affectionately known as the “Dos Equis” port. Just plug in the external iTap, twist the spigot and fill your mug with a frosty brew. In the mood for something European? There’s an app for that.

The XX is available in three colors—gold, silver and ‘70’s refrigerator green. This is apparently an inside joke.

Facial recognition, a major element of the iPhone X, takes a step further in the XX with French ID™. Just passionately make out with your XX’s screen and your unique style—you know, the one you learned freshman year—will instantly identify you. 

Wireless charging with the XX is also next-gen, requiring only to be in the presence of a celebrity, even, like, a Kirk Cameron level one, to completely refresh. 

In short, the iPhone XX (Slogan: “Please don’t show this column to Kirk Cameron”) is the most advanced piece of technology you will ever own, assuming, of course, you know somebody.

. . .

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday Wa Pic - Inspected by WHO?

 Like Groucho always said, the seltzer bottles were just a "gateway" spritzer.