Saturday, April 25, 2009

Career Opportunities

It is definitely rough economic times here in the United States. Jobs are being exported to other countries and job-seekers are following suit.

Fortunately, one doesn't have to look much past the Far East to find employment possibilities—provided, of course, that you have the necessary skill-set.* To that end, here are some randomly chosen Classified Ads from a popular Japanese periodical.

*-Remember that even in Japan, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, religion or the ability to reason abstractly...

Wanted: Ninja
Are you quiet? mysterious? nunchuck-savvy? Do you look good in black? We have 3 open positions that need to be filled immediately. Do not forward resume or arrange interview. Merely enter through locked, 4th story window under cloak of darkness.

Wanted: Samurai Warrior
Play out your Japanese Feudal Fantasies here! Unwavering loyalty a must! Call to schedule an interview. Don’t get the job?...there’s a sword by the door; you’ll know what to do.

Wanted: Kamikaze Pilot
See the world on a variety of 1-way excursions! Good aim—required. Expert piloting skills—required. Landing skills—not so necessary. Do not hesitate to fill out an application; new positions are becoming available daily.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Law and OrderLY

Over the past 15 years or so, one of the most popular shows on TV has been Law and Order. You know, "ripped from the headlines" and all.

Actually, it is quite surprising that this show has enjoyed such longevity, considering the fact that each episode follows the exact same plot arc—to the minute. Yes, the names and other specific details change; but one basically can predict more or less what will happen in a given episode based solely on how much time has elapsed since its opening moments.

Don't believe it? Feel free to take the following plot outline and compare for yourself. Don't know when the program is on? Play this mini-game: Close your eyes and pick any cable TV station at any time of the day or night. You are probably only 15 minutes away from the next episode...

A black screen with white letters. A solemn voice-over informs: “In the Criminal Justice System the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups, etc."


Two self-absorbed passersby walk in dark alley/damp street/city park having a conversation about recent meeting/horrid date/investment opportunity.

Aforementioned, self-absorbed passersby nearly trip over grisly, partially decayed murder victim. Ick.

Patrolmen, Detectives and Medical Examiner on scene. Detectives poke at body, find wallet. Detective 1 turns to Detective 2—ironic joke made at the victim’s expense. Tacky, but gritty. Cue Law and Order Theme Song.

Investigation starts in dingy homicide squadroom and moves to various locations about New York City. Interested, disinterested and uninteresting parties interviewed.

Detectives interview student or faculty member at Hudson University (fictitious NYC college where I hope to get fictitious degree one day).

Primary suspect identified. Brought into interview room. Good Cop/Bad Cop routine. A lot of table-pounding. Grisly photos fly across table in both directions. "Just come clean; you'll feel better".

Arraignment. Primary suspect pleads “Not Guilty”. Assistant District Attorney wants “remand” (i.e., indefinite time in the Pokey). Defense Attorney wants case dismissed and apology from judge. Judge splits difference and offers own ironic joke—this time at suspect’s expense.

SVU fans—add 180-degree plot twist that no viewer expects.
Criminal Intent fans—add series of consecutive plot twists that no viewer understands.

Prosecutors discuss case with boss, the District Attorney. Evidence reviewed. Sketchy at best. District Attorney decides city needs conviction/he or she needs re-election. Prosecutors directed to offer plea and move on.

Insolent prosecutors do exact opposite of what they’re told. Off to court we go.

Order to suppress only piece of viable evidence presented by Defense Attorney. Lawyers present arguments to judge. Judge finds in favor of defendant. Prosecutor whines and gives incredulous look. Judge offers yet another ironic joke—this time at prosecutor’s expense.

Lesser of 2 prosecutors makes return trip to Hudson University to re-interview witness. Witness admits he/she lied to police. Things are looking up.

In court, Defense Attorney paints sympathetic picture of sociopathic defendant. Cut to jury—tears and/or quivering lips are observed.

Prosecutors whine to their boss about state of case. “I told you so”.

New evidence uncovered. Empowered, prosecutor grills key witness and suspect. Grilling turns to badgering. Defense Attorney paralyzed by prosecutor’s litigatory wizardry. Witness/suspect gives damaging testimony before Defense Attorney can object.

Defense Attorney awakens from catatonic state and begs Judge for immediate mistrial. Too late.

Foreman of Jury announces they have reached verdict. Guilty--Who knew?

Prosecutors debrief in District Attorney’s office. Scotch is poured; female prosecutor refuses—politely. Final ironic comment made—this time at everybody’s expense.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hey Kids, Wanna Play the Young Celebrity Matching Game?

OK, here’s how to play.

First, take a marker and draw a line on your monitor from the picture of the young celebrity to his or her matching description. Don’t worry, it’ll wash right off.

Second, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with $25 (for shipping and handling) c/o my off-shore bank in the Caribbean. In return, I will mail you back a copy of the answer key.

a. Hard-partier b. Cute, but vapid c. No discernible talent d. Hardly MENSA material

Don't know who they are?...Then, you win!
(For the record--left to right: Kim Kardashian, Brody Jenner, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Smells Like Teen....Perspiration

While cleaning out the laundry room, I came across my old High School diary (OK—”journal”; diaries are for girls). In any event, I thought I would share my entries for 1 fateful day during the spring semester of my Junior year. Check it out:

Monday, 7:45am

Just got to school and saw S. Man, I like her. I wonder if she likes me and would go to the dance with me on Friday. I better find out; I will ask my friend to ask her friend to ask her if she would be willing to go to the dance with me.

Monday 8:12am
My friend reports back: Her friend told my friend to tell me, “Ask her yourself!”. Hmph.

Monday 10:02am
After getting beaten up in the 2nd floor bathroom, I arrive only 5 minutes late to Chemistry class. As luck would have it, the only available seat is right behind S. I intentionally drop my pencil next to her, but before I can bend over to pick it up, she intentionally kicks it about 15 feet to the right. I consider this "a minor setback”. Unfortunately, since I no longer have a pencil, I also get marked for being “unprepared”.

Monday 12:30pm
Lunchtime. I convince myself not to sit next to S. It’s all good because I have to pick up the tray of food I dropped immediately after leaving the food line.

Monday 2:37pm
I finally corner S. at her locker. I ask her, “Do you wanna go to the dance with me on Friday?” She asks, “Can you dance?” I shoot back, “That’s really besides the point, don’t you think?” Quick reflexes allow me to avoid the swinging locker door as she marches off.

Monday 2:55pm
I see S. meet up with B., a rather large boy who I might have met earlier on in the 2nd floor bathroom. No matter. I have more important things to do—like listening to my favorite album, Country Life by Roxy Music, and closely inspecting the album cover for important recording information.

Ah, youth.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Critic’s Corner

There has been a lot of debate as to which Rolling Stones album is their best. In fact, I have seen such debates go on for hours, only to end abruptly when the beer ran out and everyone went home.

Conversely, there is little debate as to which Rolling Stones album is their worst. The hands-down winner (loser?) is Dirty Work, released during that watershed year in popular music—1986.

One only has to start with the album cover (refer to photo) to see where things began to go horribly awry for Mick and the boys--although, even by this time, they were a lot closer to being cadavers than “boys”.

Here we have the group sitting in what can only be described as a very spiffy, albeit garishly colored, salon or parlor. It was as if the group went out together for makeovers (facial for Mick, highlights for Keith, a perm for Bill, etc.) only to find out that the ladies from the Westminster Mah Jong Club had beaten them to the time slot.

As a result, they apparently were forced to kill time lounging around the only sofa in the place. Good thing they remembered to wear their colorful, freshly pressed, unconstructed suits that day. Otherwise, they might have been mistaken for a gritty, blues-based, rock and roll band.

All this spiffiness on the album cover makes it hard to fathom exactly where the actual Dirty Work comes in--unless you count the poor lady who was unlucky enough to have to give Mick his pedicure. Notice how he already had removed his shoes and socks in anticipation of the main event.

And then, there’s the music.....Unfortunately, I cannot comment on this since I never really bothered to listen to the album. I mean, who can get past that awful-looking cover?