Thursday, May 27, 2010

Undesignated Drivers


Memorial Day motorists beware: American drivers are slacking. And as we gear up for a long weekend (let’s breathe a mutual sigh of relief), I found this article of particular interest.

According to article, one in five American drivers can’t pass a written driving test.

At first this shocked me (and, as a self-proclaimed terrible driver, I am not easily-shocked), but the more I got to thinking about it, the more I realized, this is the perfect excuse to spend this Memorial Day doing nothing.

So, if you’re one of the elite 80 percent with the courage of your motor-skill convictions, why not let those other 20 endanger someone else this holiday weekend? After all, three free days in a row are the perfect opportunity to:

  • Watch all six seasons of Lost once more in a vain attempt at comprehension.
  • Write those long-overdue letters to those political leaders who have showed unsatisfactory performance (wait.. we only have three days?).
  • Send that 2010 Census back (or at least answer the door this time).
  • Meet your neighbors, so you don’t look like a hermit when the Census guy comes around asking about them.
  • Gather your “papers” into one convenient, mobile container (this applies only to Arizonans).
  • Try not to spill any oil.
  • Buy a new hot tub with the money you saved on gas for the weekend.
  • Quietly judge the crowds of women lined up to see yet another Sex in the City movie.
  • Become enraged with the men judging the women lined up to see yet another Sex in the City movie.
  • Lose a bunch of money in the stock market. Wait. . . .
  • Formulate and promote a new, ill-conceived stimulus plan to sink the nation into greater debt (this is applicable only if your first name is Barrack).
  • Practice driving tests online for the self-fulfillment of being among America’s (80 percent) elite.

Happy Memorials, friends.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Language Barrier (a/k/a Fear and Loathing on the Jersey Shore)


I’ve made a point thus far to avoid talking about Jersey Shores. I’ll confess, it’s not due to any elitist attitude that excludes the mentally-repressed or the culturally-tactless. Rather, it has more to do with the general sense of unease that the MTV series invokes in me. I feel much like the scientist stumbling upon an undiscovered species: I’m intrigued. I’m fascinated. I’m curious. But I haven’t come close to understanding these beings.

The bouffant, the juice, the tans and laundry. The fist-fights and drunken benders. The blatant disregard for self-awareness. Yes, Jersey Shore has introduced us to a whole new kind of animal. And while, as a shamed watcher of The Hills, I am not unaccustomed to the mindless banter and useless existence of the vapid and venomous 20-somethings that infect LA, I am still freshly taken aback by the vermin inhabiting Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

And since Jersey Shore shows no merciful sign of collapse, I have pledged to give this minute, vacuous segment of the American populace the benefit of the doubt by assuming their despicableness is due entirely to a language barrier: I speak the vernacular American English; They speak Jersey Shore. It is in this spirit of humanity and understanding that I offer the following translations:

“We’re beatin’-up-the-beat, that’s what we say when we’re doing our fist pump. First, we start off by banging the ground, we’re banging it as the beat builds ‘cause that beat’s hittin’ us so we’re fightin’ back, it’s like we beat up that beat.”

Translation: I received poor grades in English.

“That's why I don't eat lobster or anything like that cause they're alive when you kill it.”

Translation: I’m not stupid. I’m anorexic.

“G.T.L. baby. Gym, Tanning, Laundry.”

Translation: As you'll see on my resume, I'm a productive multitasker specializing in cleanliness, illegal performance-enhancing drugs, and extreme skin pigmentation.

“I'm not trashy, unless I drink too much.”

Translation: I don’t mind being trashy, if that's what you're into.

“Everybody at the Shore definitely knows The Situation. As far as I know, everybody loves The Situation, and if you don't love The Situation, I'm gonna make you love The Situation.”

Translation: RUN.

"Your bank account can be low, but you always gotta look good — always have to get a new haircut, always gotta wear new sneakers, always gotta look fresh."

Translation: I used to work for AIG.

“Don’t fall in love at the Jersey Shore.”

Translation: Wait, finally they're speaking our language.