Yes, that’s the Great Wall of China. Make me laugh.
Category Archives: Humorous Anecdotes
WARNING: This post contains highly stereotypical content, partially intentionally, and fully truthfully. If you are going to be offended, stop reading.
First and foremost, Happy Birthday America. I celebrated The Fourth of July in typical American fashion this year — an extended weekend filled with plenty of beach, barbeque, fireworks, beer and….polo?
That’s right ladies and gentleman, somehow I ended up in Newport, Rhode Island this weekend watching a highly contested polo match. I must admit this was my first polo experience, and I was already highly skeptical as I settled in to watch the Newport Polo Club take on the Sea-Bank Polo Club. I could tell from the get-go it was going to be a douzy of a match.
I arrived at the polo grounds several hours early — it was 1:00pm when we arrived to “tailgate” for a 5:00pm game. Needless to say, we were the first group to arrive at the grounds. I showed up with a group of “polo ready” friends doning silly outfits — partially to fit in and partially to mock the event as a whole. See below.
Upon arrival, grills were set up, food was spread out, and drinking commenced. Other cars began to arrive around 3:30pm, at which point we realized that despite our best efforts to camoflouge ourselves in silly outfits, we stuck out like a turban on an airplane. The areas around us quickly filled up with yuppy adults. They chatted quietly while sipping champagne and sharing stinky cheeses. Nearly everyone was playing boche. We introduced the crowd to jungle juice and Keystone Light.
As the game finally began, I learned that polo is divided into six “Chukkers,” aka periods. There are four players on each team, two refs, and basically the players ride around and try to slap the ball through two upright poles on either end of the field. The game has a very nonchalant feel to it — at no point did I feel like a sporting event was going on. There was no intensity and little hustle. I attempted to catch the players chest bumping their horses or delivering impassioned pep-talks during the breaks, but no such events seemed to occur. The final score was 13-8, and nobody seemed to care. No one cheered. It was a beautiful day spent with friends, good food, and bad booze — I had a lovely time. But as far as the sport goes, lets just say that by the beginning of the third chukker, nearly everyone in our group had resorted to watching the creepy middle-aged men donning only color coordinated Vineyard Vines walk laps around the field with a bottle of wine looking for a young lady to get lucky with.
The highlight of the match may have been polo’s version of the seventh inning stretch. At this point all of the sloshed-off-a-glass-of-wine yuppies proceed with glee to actually get out of their seats and stomp down the divots left on the grounds by players’ clubs. The only problem is the divots and the turds left by the horses look strikingly similar, so you must tread carefully. This is of great excitement to nearly all in attendance. Check out this action shot.
As I said, I had a delightful time up until this point. Luckily for us, there seemed to be one other group close by that somehow managed to make us look more normal. Few people in this group had all of their front teeth, bandanas were prevalent, and I heard multiple sentences start with, “Them peoples said…..” God Bless America. This group had decided it would be a wonderful idea to start climbing one of the flagpoles surrounding the field after the game commenced. As one of these fine chaps shimmied up the pole, it began to shake violently. Luckily, one of Newport’s own players was nearby and ran over to save the day. This little wench, a bottle of champagne in hand, proceeded to sneer, “Those flagpoles are property of The Newport Polo club. We’d like to keep it that way.” The group of hicks suprisingly obliged the little snit, until one of them asked the player, “What you drinking there man?” and raised a Budweiser in his direction. “Champagne, you want some?” the player asked. He then proceeded to pour out the last few remaining drops in the bottle and walk away laughing at said group of hicks. Needless to say, the Budweiser began to boil in the viens of the poor insulted hick. Insults began raining down on the player, his family, his size, etc. until one brave soul starting making comments about the player and his horse engaging in crude acts. The player at this point knew he was outnumbered, and could only slink away with a smug grin on his face. He was a Newport player — these fans had come to see him! His actions spoke for themselves, and most everybody left the game with a bad taste in their mouths. I couldn’t help but feeling as though Polo is a game for the people that are too rich, too bored, and too boring to do anything better with themselves than sit around and act snotty at a game that makes a mockery of sport. I even felt bad for the horses — I would have thrown that little punk on my back to the ground.
Next Fourth of July, I’ll try to go for something a little more American. Thank God for baseball.
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A restaurant in the fine country of ours, albeit one that specializes in bizarre foods, has added a lion burger to the menu. The burger is made from 100% certified African lion, but is not yet available for purchase at Trader Joes.
Check out the story here: http://bit.ly/c1B3nJ
Much of the story is quite political, as animal rights groups are going gaga over this one. To me the story is simply this — you can now purchase a lion burger. I have to admit, it’s kinda cool.
I’ll bet you $50 Floyd Mayweather already has a reservation.
So a group of the faithful readers of howiGit’s Blog have brought a special request to table. After staring out of the office window at a high-rise window washer across the canal, they wondered out loud what the window washer was thinking. He must have plenty of time to ponder things as he washes all the windows on the 82nd floor. The people are demanding a guest blogger for my site — a high-rise window washer. Said window washer would provide his take on the world of sports and entertainment, probably once a week, in a guest post. I’m thinking I need to get a real Mass-hole, Boston-dude type, preferably equipped with a Southie accent and all. He might be able to provide us with some nuggets of brilliance.
If you’d read it, comment with a yay or nay. Gracias.
I must start today by saying that this post has been a long time coming. Far too long, in fact. But here it is, at last. A little background info for you…….
I have long wanted to be a sports writer. I think that this blog is a reflection that to some extent, I still do. I went to college and got a writing degree with that intention in mind. But as graduation approached my senior year, I soon realized a few obstacles stood in my way.
1) Very few professional writers actually write about the topics that interest them most and get paid for it. It takes the ones that do a long time to get there.
2) Newspapers are becoming obsolete. So much for that plan.
3) The economy sucked in May 2008. It sucked a whole lot.
Armed with this information, I decided it would be a good idea to go to grad school. I enrolled in an MBA program with in-state tuition in an attempt to not break the bank too horribly. I figured an MBA was a general enough degree that could open lots of doors for me, greatly boost my earning potential, and I could somehow tie it to sports if I tried hard enough. So I did the MBA program, graduating in July 2009. At which point, surprise surprise, I had another moment of “enlightenment” — the economy had gotten a whole lot worse.
My plan had backfired, but I was still armed with a fancy new degree. I started applying for jobs. I applied and applied, and then I applied some more. I literally applied for thousands of jobs. I got a few offers here and there, which I turned down for a variety of reasons. But let me tell you, it was tough.
All of this being said, I had to somehow manage to pay my rent, bills, school loans, and keep some Keystones in the fridge. I headed out one day with my roommate, a fellow MBA graduate in a similar predicament. We hit the streets in suits, armed with resumes, with an agreement not to return home until we both had some sort of job — just something to hold us over until the “big” jobs were landed.
That day, I walked into Legal Seafoods in Kendall Square, Cambridge, for the very first time. I had waited tables before during the summer, and I was offered a job on the spot. The manager interviewing me asked me a couple of questions as he skeptically looked over my resume. “You just graduated with an MBA. Why do you want to be a waiter,” he asked. “I see this as a way to get my foot in the door with your company,” I slickly lied. “I’d really like to work my way into your management-in-training program.” He clearly did not buy this response. “How long do you envision yourself working here,” he asked. “For at least a year,” I thought I lied. I ended up becoming a professional, full-time waiter for the better part of seven months.
I really thought I’d have the job for a few weeks at the most, but much to my dismay it turned into a significant chapter of my life. I became a pretty decent waiter. I made some pretty decent tips. But as most employees do, I slowly became disgruntled. A bit of bitterness, a bit of anger, and a lack of caring crept into my work. At this point I had been a waiter for a few months, and let me tell you, in a busy restaurant waiters are on their feet a lot. I literally walked dozens on miles a week between the kitchen, the dining room, and the bar. My shoes began to wear out. The couldn’t take it. Neither could I. I developed a small hole in the bottom of both my shoes. If it was raining, my feet would get wet as I walked to work. So as I grew increasingly fed up with my situation and got tired of my wet feet, I made a pact. I would not buy new shoes until I got myself a new, “real” job. I essentially walked around barefoot for quite a while. My feet ached. But alas, I finally got myself that new job — this is my official announcement that I’m hanging up my waitering shoes. Here is what they look like:
Yes, they are black AirForce Ones. Yes, they are crusted with marinara sauce, cheese sauce, clam chowder, and chipotle aoli. And yes, water makes it in through that hole.
So I’m not going to tell you everything I learned as a waiter, all the funny stories that I have, or anything like that. That sort of thing has already been done. Check out http://waiterrant.com. It’s pretty funny. But here is my short report on what I learned and what you need to know about waiters.
1) These people, the good ones, can multi-task better than you can. I don’t care what it is that you do. Imagine having 20 people all yelling at you to do things for them at once, and they all want you to do it immediately. And if you don’t, they won’t pay you. Trust me, you learn to do it.
2) Waiters are an eclectic group. They live strange lifestyles. They know how to get things. I worked with an Algerian man who thinks that America is dirty and everybody here is poor, I worked with a dominatrix stripper, and I worked with a gay man named BJ who has a dog named Woody. Yup. These, and most waiters, all work till late at night, then party into the wee hours of the morning and sleep all day. Whether you are looking for crack, whores, or the shop that sells the best smoked gouda, waiters know where to find it. If you ever see a bunch of waiters hanging out behind a restaurant near a dumpster just ask them. One of them probably has an original copy of the Declaration of Independence in their room. Seriously, the can find you anything.
3) Waiters don’t get paid unless you pay them. I made $2.63 per hour plus tips, but I never saw one cent of that $2.63 per hour — it all gets swallowed up by taxes. So if you stiff your waiter on the tip, they don’t eat. Literally. Imagine if you only got paid when I chose to pay you.
That being said, always leave 20% for satisfactory service. If the service is poor, it often isn’t the waiter’s fault. For example, if your food takes a long time to come out it’s the kitchen’s fault, not your waiter’s. If you know that the poor service is the waiter’s fault still leave 15% — waiters are people and need to eat too. Be polite and pleasant to your server and you won’t believe how much more enjoyable your meal will be. But perhaps most importantly, if you are lucky enough to have a great waiter who recommends dishes, gives great service, and is pleasant then go ahead and leave an absurdly large tip once in a while. It will make you feel good and it will make that waiter’s day.
In the fall of 2009 I enrolled in grad school at the University of New Hampshire. Having come from a small urban University in West Philly, the campus at UNH seemed enormous. And with very little student parking, I soon found myself in need of a bike to get around. Quite naturally I went to Craigslist, where I soon purchased an old orange Mongoose mountain bike for $20 cash. The brakes weren’t great and the gears grinded a bit, but it got me around. So much so, that the bike soon became a legend of sorts. It braved 4am cruises up the street, 8am rides to class, many rides through several feet of snow and spent countless hours sitting in the rain outside of the library. I locked the bike up most of the time, although not always.
When I moved to Boston after finishing grad school, I couldn’t leave the bike behind. I live only a 5 minute walk from the subway station in Davis Square, where I catch the “T” to work. One Sunday shortly after I moved into my apartment I rode down to the subway station where I locked my bike up and hopped on the “T” to go to work. When I returned that night my bike was gone. The lock must have been cut. I felt nostalgic thinking back about the memories my bike and I had created together, but I couldn’t get that upset. After all, it was only a $20 bike. I called my roommate from grad school and told him of my loss. “Your bike just wasn’t meant for the big city,” he comforted me. “It was a small town bike.”
The loss of the bike soon faded from my memory, until about a week later as I was again walking to the subway station to catch the “T” to work. As I passed the bike rack where my bike had been stolen, I stopped dead in my tracks. My exact bike was locked up, right where it had been stolen from, with a huge new steel lock wrapped around it. The nerve! Fury swelled in my chest, but I couldn’t get through the lock. I needed a plan.
I started off by talking to my new roommate, who suggested that I buy a similar lock and re-lock the bicycle where it was. That way the bike would be locked to the rack forever, with neither myself nor the bike thief able to use the bike. At least this way I’ll always know where my bike is, I thought. But the bike had been $20 and a good lock costs much more, so I scratched that plan.
Next, I decided to go to the police. I called the cops and asked to speak to an officer regarding stolen property. “This call is going to be recorded,” the officer explained. Great, I thought. I went on to explain the situation to the officer. “Do you have any way of proving that the bike is yours?” the officer asked. “Why yes, I have multiple pictures of me riding the bike — you can even read the bikes’ serial number in some of them,” I replied smugly. Alas, I had no way of proving it was my bike. Frustrated, I got a bit more bold. “How about I sit by the bike and cause a scene when someone comes to unlock it,” I asked the officer. “I would avoid a physical altercation for your own safety,” the officer replied. “But you can hold on to the bike and give us a call when the thief arrives. We’ll come right down and help you straighten it out.” I hung up the phone.
I spent a few days walking to work and glaring at my bike, my anger mounting. One Sunday after a particularly bad night at work, I had had enough. I ran home and gathered the necessary wrenches and sprinted back down to the bike racks. It was Sunday night at about midnight, and Davis Square was empty. Within 5 minutes I had managed to take the tires off of my bike, thus leaving only the bikes frame locked up to the rack. This option was free, and would cause the thief to have to carry to bike frame home. Payback at last I thought to myself, grinning slyly.
As I started walking away, a tire in each hand, a large man and two women emerged from the shadows. “Hey, that guy just stole those bike tires!” the man announced, pointing directly at me. “I didn’t steal shit!” I yelled back, pointing the man down. “Someone stole my bike and locked it up here, I’m just taking my tires back.” Luckily, the man could relate. “Ahhhhhhh, payback’s a bitch my brother! Well played!” he called after me as I stormed off. The next morning the bike frame was gone.
While I am happy that I did manage to get some sort of revenge on the bastard that stole my bike, the time ultimately came to get a new bike. That’s really what this post is all about. Back to Craigslist I went. Let me tell you, the new bike is awesome. Gentlemen, you don’t need to use AXE bodywash, wear pink shirts, or own a leather jacket to get the ladies. You just need one of these:
The new Schwinn Jaguar Cruiser bicycle. I highly recommend you pick one up if you have the means.