Thursday, October 28, 2010

Throwback: 2009 Reverse Thanksgiving Countdown.

 Another blast from the past. This one posted in....(*checks archives*)...2009. Ahhh, memories. I promise I will stop rehashing things I wrote as a younger, handsomer man. After this and my scathing review of the Seinfeld finale.

Originally written 10/29/09:

It's about a fortnight removed from Canadian/real Thanksgiving and I'm finally gonna post my annual list of 10 things this year that I'm incredibly un-thankful for. Again, the disclaimer: this is all in good fun. If I offend...well stop being such a damn sensie.

Before I get another threat from T. Foy, let's get to it:

10. Kids.
Now, let's get something straight first. I don't mean ALL kids. As always there are exceptions. Some kids are funny, some kids are cute and some kids succeed at just being kids and not annoying little douches. There was this one kid I saw at the bank recently, who was running around being a little jerk, until I noticed he was covertly carrying a plastic samurai sword under his hoody. THAT kid wasn't being a jerk, he was just setting up a safe perimeter in case someone tried to rob the bank. However most of the kids I encounter are little jerks. And from what I've seen they either a) don't know or b) dont care. Being rude to their parents, stealing shit, turning into a fucking banshee cause they can't get pokemon cards (still happens), it's tough to watch. And I'm powerless to stop it. The only reason I want to have a kid is so it can infilitrate their society and give the extra stupid ones a good smacking to for me.

(Sydney Crosby Bowman: He'll punch you with a fistful of sand)

And each generation is getting worse. Someone brought up a point to me recently about our grandparents generation and how they had this incredible work ethic and were warriors and loved Worthers Original blah blah blah and I realized how different we are from them. Comparitively, we kinda suck. They would probably look at us as lazy, privilidged spoiled assholes. And they'd kinda be right. But they can't do anything about it! And that is my biggest issue. I'm gonna make sure MY kids carry the torch of not being an asshole, but sadly I'm only going to be responsible for my 10 kids (gotta have enough to pit them against each other in numerous 5 on 5 battles for my love and respect). I'm sure the majority of you will have pretty awesome kids too, but they will be incredibly outnumbered by little shitheads with equally stupid parents. And whose to say 1 of my 10 kids doesn't turn out to be a dick and raise his kids like dicks (it'll probably be the kid I taunt most for losing at anything). We're fighting a losing battle and heading for the "age of the asshole".

(Well the hair was a dead giveaway)

I'm 98% positive my great-great-great grandchildren will be pieces of shit. They will be rude, unfunny and talk during movies. There will be millions of jerks and I'll be helpless to stop them from all the way back here in 2009. The only thing I can think of is to not recycle or do anything even remotely green and ruin the planet for them. That'll show 'em! So in the far off future, while all the smart, decent folks jetison off to live on Saturn (fuck you, Mars! Saturn's got bling) everyone else will FINALLY be held accountable for generations of being entitled pricks. And from beyond the grave, I'll laugh. "Carbon Footprint"? No sir! I call it my "Carbon Middle Finger" theory. Think about THAT next time you recycle.


Kid-pocalypse is coming...don't recycle


9. Dropping change in public
Argh! I've probably only done this maybe 4 or 5 times this year, but it's a massive wave of emotions every time. It never happens when I'm getting ready in the privacy of my own home, where I would only be slightly embarassed and wouldn't mind picking it all up. It always seems to happen when there are tons of people around, the clanging sound of change hitting the ground seems to draw the attention of everyone in a 50 ft radius. Sometimes...I just pretend it wasn't me, and I walk away. If I feel particular incriminated I'll throw in an innocent whistle as I make a smooth exit. Most times though, half the city turns their attention to the idiot who dropped a bunch of change and they secretly relish in the fact that I'm totally gonna pick it up of the dirty ground. I wish it didn't feel like such a shameful act, having to bend down and awkwardly try and pry those fuckers off the ground with shitty nails. That's the real reason you shouldn't chew your nails: So if you drop change in public you can quickly get what you need and make a getaway before anyone gets a good look at you.

"What are we all looking at?"
"That guy over there dropped his change and has been trying to pick it up for roughly 20 minutes"
"Is he- Is he crying?"
"It's more of a weeping."

The worst part is, you don't want it to seem like you NEED that change, but sometimes there are loonies ($1 coins for you non Canadians) and toonies (I'll leave that one to you to figure out) on the ground that I'm unwilling to part with. You have to make a rapid fire decision as to what you're rescueing and what you're not. If you aren't quick enough, someone with a lot less shame than you will swoop in and take all the shiny circles for themselves, and are you really willing to argue with someone like that over such a thing? Here is a breakdown of change I use when I'm sizing up the situation:

Pennies - fuck you pennies. Why are you even a thing still? I think the only reason pennies still exist is so the asshole who coined the phrase "my two cents" to punctuate an opinion has a 10,000 year lease on the use of that phrase and we can't phase them out. I'm gonna start saying "and that's my nickel" after I give an opinion, because seriously, that phrase is the only thing keeping pennies around.

Nickels - Regardless of wanting the above phrase to stick...leave your nickels behind. Nobody ever needs a nickel for anything.

Dimes - FACT: If you leave your dimes behind, you will be .10 cents short on a transaction before the day is through. Which is even more embarassing that having to pick one up. And the sides have little ridges on them, so it's easy to get them off the ground. Better to play it safe.

Quarters - You know those awesome "sticky hand" whip things that come in little toy vending machines at the supermarket? You know jelly beans? They both have one thing in common: They don't come out of those machines all by themselves. PICK UP THOSE QUARTERS

(Can I get an AMEN!?!)

Loonies - If you don't pick up your loonies, you won't be able to make stupid bets with your buddies
"I'll be you a dollar that Kirsten Dunst was the lead singer for Sum 41"
"....I will take that bet, because I, as well, have a dollar"
(although he was able to, Guy 2 shouldn't have taken that bet. She totally was)

(You sucked in "Spider-Man".....all of 'em)


Toonies - They are king of change and should be treated as such. AND you are definitely going to need it when figuring out a group tip at a restaurant.

Old man at protest rally. THIS is how you drop some change on the streets!


8.PINK girlie versions of sports jerseys
As a guy whose into sports, I find it attractive when girls are also into sports. We can talk about the Canucks powerplay issues, the Steelers 3-4 oft-blitzing defence or Roy Halladay's potential departure from the Blue Jays bullpen (people still watch baseball, right?). Cap off one of those conversions with some diddling and a viewing of Jurassic Park and I'd call that a pretty harmonious relationship. But how do I filter out the girls who are really cool from the ones who don't even know who Trevor Linden is? (instant breakup btw) Ahhhhh the Pink Jersey. I hate you so much, but I appreciate the purpose you serve. You might as well have flashing red lights on you as well so I can stay away in the event of a city wide blackout. It's soooooo much better when you wear the genuine jersey, ladies. Pink Sports Jerseys: It's not cute, it's fraud.
"No distance between us would be enough."


7.Jay Leno  
(In hindsight this ones burns even worse now. This was written when he had a show on at 10:00pm that was so shitty it was cancelled quickly. I never thought it could get worse)
In early september I found out that dream I had of Jay Leno being kicked to death by Giraffes with a highly evolved sense of humour during his last tonight show was just that...a dream. At first I didn't want to believe it was a dream. So much of my summer enjoyment was based off the fact that he would never stage his lame rip-offs of celebrity jeopardy again. Nor would he interview 1,000 people with 1,000 questions and edit it down to show us the 7 people who temporarily come down with a serious case of idiot. Jay Leno was gone, Conan had taken his place, and Giraffes had finally done something to almost put them in my good books instead of my "Hate-Duotang" (chapter 1 - "Rod Stewart is filled with dust"). At first, I thought they were rumours. Sick jokes by people who liked seeing grown men like me who love comedy cry. I closed my eyes real tight and remembered that dream. Giraffe necks flailing, people cheering, Kevin Ubanks getting in some well deserved shots with a guitar. Then I saw the commercials and my summer was capped off with a gut-punch. Jay Leno was back on TV...and he was back earlier at night at 10PM! Congratulations Jay, polite, forced laughter just wasn't the same without you. HIS BEST BIT IS READING TYPO'S HE GETS OTHER PEOPLE TO SEND TO HIM!!!!!!

"I'm this much better than you. Your talent is on the floor...of the parking garage...in China"


6.Accidently Pushing a "Pull" door

"Oh, what is- is it a- ohhhhhhh.....I'm dumb"

5.Celebrity Death Amnesia
Celebrities are people too. When they die, it's sad. It also apparently wipes the slate clean for them in our memories as though they never did anything wrong in their entire lives. Michael Jackson was probably the biggest one we've seen so far this year (although I don't remember him bouncing at the Double Duece or making sure nobody puts Baby in a corner. Swayze will be missed.) and as soon as it happened, the universe collectively shit itself with sadness and wept for this great, great man who was no longer among the living. Now, I'm not going to get into the Lawsuits and such because that has been discussed to death and the guy was never convicted of anything (apparently He-Man as a character witness isn't enough for some people)


(Same guy)

BUT tell me the guy didn't think it was the funniest thing ever to dangle a baby over a balcony. He did it. The world saw it. He laughed with glee.

(Hilarious)
His music was awesome and the cat could dance but c'mon. Let's not diefy a guy who thinks infants in mortal danger is the funniest thing since people started getting hit in the balls with objects of varying shapes and weight. You know what wouldn't be funny? If he came back as a zombie....and got together with a bunch of other zombies.....and had a da- GO THRILLER GO! They die and we always forget the crazy shit they did while they were alive. I love James Brown's music. HUGE FAN. However just because he is dead does not mean we should forget he did this once:

"The woman alleged that, during her ride in a van with Brown, Brown pulled over to the side of the road and sexually assaulted her while he threatened her with a shotgun. In her case against Brown, Hollander entered as evidence a DNA sample and a polygraph result, but the evidence was not considered due to the limitations defense.She later attempted to bring her case before the Supreme Court but nothing became of her complaint"
 (As amazing as the above picture is, it doesn't make me forget about attempted rape at shotgun point in a van....comes close though, that's a great picture)

4. When someone manages to "leapfrog" me in line at Subway because the person making my sandwich is too slow. God damn I am so not thankful for that.

("I don't care, Kevin Garnett....follow the rules, sir")

3.Bar-Texting
There should absolutely be a "cell phone check" right next to the "coat check". Extra baggage is just that, EXTRA. Again, there are exceptions to overly using your cellular telephone machines at a social activity. There could be an emergency with friends/family or......hmmm...I guess that's actually it. There is exception. Singular. There might be an emergency. Aside from that, I can't think of any reason to be glued to your phone when you're out at night trying to have a good time. Well, maybe if you're waiting on some test results or something. I don't mean quick messages here or there such as "We're at Momesso's, you coming??" or "Ima be a bit late, be there round 10ish". That's fine. That is not why you made the list this year, Bar-Texting.

People go waaaayyy overboard with bar texting. I saw this shit more this year than I have in years past, and it makes me equally curious and sad. YOU are OUT. Away from your computer or your TV or whatever screen you stare at when you are IN. Why be glued to your little portable screen typing to someone who isn't out with you? Look up, there are actual human people around (well, mostly human people and that 1 really drunk guy/girl who "is totally fine guys, seriously! I'm good!" even though they just spilled their drink on every person in a 10 ft radius). If anything I've learned that if you want to get attention from someone of the opposite sex, find out where they are going to go out to tonight....and dont fucking go there. Go somewhere else, ANYWHERE else. And they'll find you irresistable. They will communicate with you across the city with funny little emoticons and things like "man, I wish u were here, boo" or "dis place is soooo lame without you here". Whatever you do, DON'T GO THERE! It's a trap. Nothing is more interesting to these types than something they ARE NOT doing.

"Hey Beth, who you texting"
"Braaaaad"
"Oh yeah? was he by chance attacked by a shark?"
"No, he's at the DbagLounge"
"THEN PUT YOUR FUCKING PHONE AWAY OR GO THERE!!"

Shark Attacks are a perfectly acceptable reason to be texting at a bar. But you're still an asshole. He was attacked by a SHARK, pretty sure he'd appreciate a phone call.

"omg, waitin in line 4 beer. lame! miss u ;)"
(Someone punch that guy, he won't see it coming, promise)

Texting at concerts is fucked up too. Think about it, you're so glad that band you listen to while you write papers or that band that had that 1 song on Grey's Anatomy is coming to town that you spent dollar$ to go see them live. Normally you listen too them while staring at your ipod or your computer screen, But not tonight, oh no. You're going to see them LIVE!! And then these people actually go to the shows....and stare at there phones the entire time. LOOK UP, THERE ARE LASERS! AND A SMOKE MACHINE!!

Oh and hey, concert photographer using your Nokia phone to document the show. Spoiler Alert! Your pictures turn out shitty. Although I do like it when someone infront of me at the movie theatre decides to text, because that bright light, emitting from your screen, that's just helping me aim, asshole.

 (Hoping to hit this kid on the ricochet)

Some people just make movies a horrible experince. Such as...

2.Line-repeaters
Those people....who insist....on repeating verbatim the line EVERYONE just heard in the movie you're watching should protect their necks. In case you don't know the people I'm talking about (you know several of them, trust me) here is an example from 1992's gift to comedy "Wayne's World":

Funny Line from movie - "If Benjamin were an Ice Cream flavor, he'd be pralines....and dick"
(Everyone watching movie laughs cause it's an awesome joke and people are having a good time)
That Asshole: (laughs, then repeats)"If Benjamin was an ice cream flavor he'd be Pralines and dick!"
That Asshole then looks around, desperately trying to piggyback a laugh from the movie.

("Hey, remember that thing that just happened?")

I don't know what they're expecting. We all just heard the line. What do you stand to gain from repeating it, seconds after it was out there? The following conversation has never, and will never happen.

"Hey j.Bowman, what did you think of my friend, That Asshole?"
"Yeah, he's hilarious. He can remember a line from a movie seconds after he's heard it, and then repeat it right back to us as though we didn't hear it a brief moment ago"
"Totally, he's awesome!"
"Yeah, let's not beat him to death with his own shoes"

The only thing worse is when they try to do that, but they get the fucking line wrong. Next time someone does this, I'm gonna point right in their face and say "T.A."(That Asshole), then I'm gonna try and enjoy the rest of the movie. I'd never leave without seeing the end though...

1.People who leave concerts or sporting events early to beat the rush
A Conversation that should never happen (half of it anyway):

"Hey, remember at the Jay-Z concert when he did 4 encores and then brought the very much alive Tupac up on stage? And then smoked a joint the size of a bazooka and spent an hour re-enacting all the best scenes from "Glengarry Glen Ross" after which they gave the audience free candy and it rained porn from the ceiling and then Tupac pulled his own face off to reveal he was Trevor Linden the whole time, then they presented him with the Stanley Cup and he declared he was running for Prime Minister and they held an official vote at the concert and he beat Cliff Ronning in a landslide victory, put Arrested Development back on the air, ressurrected Frank Sinatra and appointed Jay Z secretary of keeping his ho's in check"
"No, I decided to leave early so I could possibly get a seat on the train."
"Oh....did you end up getting a seat on the train?"
"No, actually, but I did get to lean on the side where the doors only open like 6 times"
"Oh....cool"
"Not really. I kinda wish I was dead for missing that thing you described earlier"

Why bail before the game/concert is over? You're not Batman. And I'm pretty sure even if there was a special Bat-signal in the sky of Robin getting pulled apart by two horses, even Batman would stick around and see the end of a show.
("grumblegrumblegrumble FREEBIRD!!! grumblegrumble")

So there you have it. a few things in the last year that have gotten my ire up. But as I did last year, to prove it ain't all about the hate, here is a short list of things I was thankful for in the past 12....

- When a band does a sweet cover at a concert
- 1:00 am Coach re-runs
- The 1920's
- Friday Night Lights will get 5 seasons.
- When you watch a movie on tv, and it ends, and the credits go by at like 6x the speed
- getting to see a bird shit on someone (make a wish!)
- Euphemisms
- Sea Wolf
- When it's somehow rainy AND sunny at the same time
- Fred Penner
- Samurai Swords
- Movies where the main character talks to the camera
- The word "Gloppy"
- The letter "F"
- The Scrubs Finale
- M.Ward's "Post War"
- That 90 second window when cereal is at that perfect level of soggy & crunchy
- How I Met Your Mother's constant Canucks references
- Hate (not the violent kind...the soothing kind)
- The concept and execution of citizens arrest
- Jurassic f'n Park
- Adding "f'n" in between words
- The snooze button
- Wolf "the Dentist" Stansen
- Weddings
- Wilco, Madden 2010, Maker's Mark Whiskey and a good friend
- Leg Room
- When they forget to charge me for the extra cheese at Subway
- Exact change
- Kayaks
- That special someone....getting what's coming to them
- Apollo Creed's ring entrance in Rocky IV.....
-.....fuck it! ALL of Rocky IV
- The Continued Health of Gene Hackman

(Dear Death: Don't even think about it.)


That's it for '09

Thanks for reading

-jB

Life's Little Battles: Nestle vs. j.Bowman

Let's get this out of the way: The Thriller video is awesome. Alright? Down to business...

I would like to start out by apologizing to Nestle. There seems to have been a miscommunication between us. I'm willing to accept some none of the blame for it. It isn't the first time it has happened, but I feel the need to clear the air and set the record straight. I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but it seems that Nestle is operating under the impression that my mama raised a damn fool.

For those unfamiliar with what has become known around my house as "the incident" (...I live alone) here is a refresher: "Life's Little Battles: j.Bowman vs. Nestle"

While I honestly do appreciate their quick response, I now have to wait a ridiculous amount of time for this issue to be resolved. I have left out the name of the person who sent it, but I received the following email recently from a certain chocolate company:

"Dear Mr. Bowman,

Thank you for contacting us. We work hard to ensure each and every one of our products is perfect in every way. When one is not, we want to hear about it.

All of our products undergo a stringent quality assurance process, with continuous monitoring and hourly testing on every line and every product. Quality control checks include, but are not limited to, the inspection of all raw ingredients, packaging tests, taste tests and weight checks during and after the manufacturing process.

While we have extensive checks in place, customers like you provide us with one final quality control assessment one we wouldn't have otherwise. As such, I will report your experience to our Quality Assurance Team immediately.

We greatly appreciate your continued support of our products and our company.

We value you as a consumer and feel confident that you will be completely satisfied with our products in the future. You will receive a follow up letter within 4-6 weeks via regular mail that will contain product a replacement coupon to use for your next purchase at your favourite store.

I apologize for any concern this may have caused you and want to thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Thank you for choosing Nestlé"

When I read that I had to run to the nearest mirror to make sure I wasn't a chump because it seems they must've filled out the "chump template" and sent it to me by mistake. I don't know what they are trying to gain by explaining to me how awesome their quality control is and how meticulous they are with ensuring their products are as advertised. It might as well read: "Hey j.Bowman. The following is a list of things we didn't do, and as a result, you will not get what you paid for". But that isn't the thing that bugs me the most (and obviously as you can tell I'm a hard person to bug) This little gem stands out:

"You will receive a follow up letter within 4-6 weeks via regular mail that will contain product a replacement coupon to use for your next purchase at your favourite store"

A coupon will arrive in 4-6 weeks?!?! What the hell? I wasn't aware Nestle's corporate headquarters were in fucking Narnia. I was seriously planning on posting a resolution to this issue before the month was out praising Nestle and mentioning how greatful I was for them making this right. Hell I had already started writing it in my head (and it was amazing!). At this rate I'd be lucky if this, one of life's little battles, is resolved by Christmas. And what if my favorite store doesn't honour their magical coupon? I asked for a solution, and got back a big bag of uncertainty.

 (Sorry internet cat. We's are unablez to accept ur cooponz)

In closing, I don't want money or stock options or anything absurd like that. I have an apology, which I actually do appreciate, however I've heard many a tale of similar situations happening to other people and them getting a box of the product. I don't even want that (well I do, but I understand not getting it) you know what I want? What will make this all better?

2 Kit Kat bars.

Due to the fact that I have to wait until at least late November for this coupon (We'll all have grown and changed and be different people by then). For the short term, I'm done with you Nestle.When kids come to my door on Halloween for candy, they will not receive any Nestle brand chocolate bars for I will not have bought them. And if they ask for some, I will dump their bags of candy in my hallway and ensure that they grow up knowing that coupons won't solve all of life's problems.

If they don't even send the coupon in the hopes that I will forget in that time (which is a possibility), I have a coupon for something they can eat:

 (That is a typo. I want them to eat an Angus burger. That would be punishment enough)

Thanks for reading

-jB

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Throwback: 2008 Reverse Thanksgiving Countdown.

This not sleeping thing isn't new. Neither is this post (not exactly anyway). Years ago I started doing a countdown around Thanksgiving of things I am NOT thankful for. To clarify I do this around Canadian Thanksgiving...which is in October for some reason (American Thanksgiving destroyed us in the ratings so we moved it). Why things I'm not thankful for? That is the part of my brain that does the typing whenever j.Bowman Can't Sleep. I will post 2009's soon and then the brand spanking new list for 2010 before the month is out. Down memory lane we go....

 "It's back again for another year! A possibly annual list of 10 things I realized in the last year I am definitely not thankful for. If I offend, try not to take it too seriously. Cause I don't. On with the list!

10. Having to wait 3 (or more) years for the next Batman movie. Fuck, if we get 'em almost as frequently as the Olympics, make them 8 hours long. We'd totally be cool with it if we get to pee a few times....and maybe a snack?

(Hey, here's a question: Why aren't you here now?)

9. People on buses who sit on the aisle and refuse to stand up when you, the window seat person, need to get off the train. You are coming to your stop (or you've pulled the cord) and you turn slightly towards them, indicating that "yes, this is my desired time to get off this train". You fully expect them to be a decent human being, stand up and let you through without struggle. But instead they just do that little, "listlessly turn my legs to the side and make you shuffle by cause I'm a lazy asshole" maneuver (I'm sure that is what they call it). I understand if the train is SUPER CROWDED or if it's an old lady or something and her bones cannot take the constant pressure of sitting, then standing, then sitting, but anyone else? C'mon stand up. Are you jealous that I have the window seat? Is that what this is about? There is no reason why me trying to get off a train should look the same as me trying to walk through a crowded club. That little "Shuffle past" move has no place on a marginally busy train or bus. I always say I'll do it, but next time someone does that, I'm just gonna pretend like I dropped something in front of me and ass them in the face.

"OW! What the fuck?!"
"Oh, sorry, I dropped an item by accident. Did I ass you in the face?"
"Yeah!"
"It seems we wouldn't find ourselves in this predicament if you had decided to have some decency and class and stood up to let me through instead of being a lazy dickface and slightly angling your legs so that me getting by you becomes an unnecessary struggle which could lead to "Ass in face" type incidents"
"Ok. You're right. I'm shitty. Sorry"

(One of these people....is an asshole.
 8. Three words: No more "Wire"

(Dear "Wire" cast - Just in case you are all gathered around a computer reading this: come back!)
 7. Girls who draw their eyebrows on. Going over them with an eyebrow pencil is fine, it looks good in most cases. But I'm talking about the few who have nothing on their face, until they DRAW THEM THERE. How is this still happening?! I thought it was the general consensus that they look ridiculous. Was there not a vote taken in the Spring of '08 that decided this had to stop? I still struggle daily to come to grips with it. I guess it's alright if A)You plucked your eyebrows too much on either side and eventually you had to get rid of all of it just for symmetrical purposes (I've lost a lot of good sideburns that way) or B) You were wearing sunglasses and they caught on fire, leaving you with a scorched earth precisely above both eyes. Aside from those two things, I think it's silly. Which of the following doesn't belong?

1. Maybelline
2. Clinique
3. Crayola
4. L'oreal

It's like the female toupee, we all know they aren't real. At least get creative with it.
St. Patricks Day: Green Eyebrows.
Halloween: One orange, one black.
Valentines Day: Maybe draw some hearts over your eyes or something.
Maybe one day draw them on opposite sides, just to fuck with people.

How do you deal with the complexity and sudden changes in human emotion? Do you have to run to the bathroom and change your expression? How shitty would surprise parties be?
"Surprise!"
(Girl runs to the bathroom to draw on "surprised eyebrows")
"Oh, my god, you guys, I'm so surprised!"

What happens if she's at a funeral and she draws on the wrong eyebrows?
"How do I look?"
"Actually, girl I'm not dating cause you look silly, you drew on the angry eyebrows by mistake"
"Ugh! Now I have to go fix it, dammit!"
"Actually, now it kinda works"

In closing, please stop doing this. It is no different then me shaving my head bald and dipping it in a bucket of "chestnut brown" paint before I leave the house. But I'd look silly, wouldn't I?

(Knock it off, lady)
 6. The fact that Rod Stewart was not kicked by a horse this year.

(the day will come you smug, dust filled bastard)

5. When movie franchises start great, then shit the bed....and the couch...and in the fridge where that leftover pie you were gonna eat for breakfast is. People loved the last movie, why over complicate things with new (read:boring) characters or by taking all the fun out of things? (Worst offenders: Pirates, Spider-man, Jurassic Park, Matrix, Star Wars, X-Men, Air Bud).

It would be nice if all movies followed what I call "The Bourne Precedent":

"Let's just make each new movie, equal or better than the last one"
"What are you, high?"

(Not pictured: A good idea)

4. Lineups that last longer than 7 1/2 minutes. I believe that the longer you wait in line, the better the payoff should be. Anything after 20 minutes there better be a "heej" and a grilled cheese sandwich waiting for me.

("We heard they are selling iphones on the other side of this bridge. Or it's just a Quizno's")
 3. When I'm introduced to someone and I politely extend my hand for a nice, honorable human handshake and the other person clenches early, clamping my hand at the knuckles, thus ensuring that I can give them nothing more than a weak little girl hand shake. This sucks in many ways cause 1) It's bullshit. B) I am not now, nor have I ever been a weak little girl. 3) Unless I threw up on you, this is pretty much the worst first impression a guy can make. D) It's just...rude. It goes against everything the handshake is supposed to represent: Strength, unity, honor and most importantly: THE INTERLOCKING OF THUMB WEBBING! Stop it, people who clamp early and don't interlock thumb webbing during a handshake, stop it.

(Noooooooooooo!)

2. Couples who go at each other at concerts like their plane is going down and they have minutes to live. Now, I'm cool with some tenderness and some kissing at concerts. At the right moment with the right girl it can be sweet. But there are those, who believe, that there is no difference between a Jack Johnson concert and the couch in their living room. At a concert it can go from "Aww" to "Awful" in a heartbeat. Fellas, I don't care if the band plays the song you heard when you decided to stop booty calling your ex and commit to just two girls, show some class and keep a lid on it. Who is gonna yell out a request for "Freebird" if your preoccupied with a deep smooch? Can things not wait for the discretion and privacy of the backseat of a cab? or the solemnity of the bathroom stall/port-o-potty? or the peaceful tranquility of the alley? This entry concludes with with an easy to follow guide to concert PDA etiquette:

OK
- Hugging (Aww)
- Dude standing behind lady with arms around her waist
- Kissing of varying degrees (Important: know where you are, remember you're in public)
- A grope or two as long as it's dark.
- Hands in each others pockets (dangerously close to the line)
- Longing stares into each others eyes/souls as you realize you've find someone very special
- 1 boob grab in plain sight (You get one, use it wisely)

NOT COOL
- Trying to swallow each others heads
- Motorboating
- Hands up shirt or down pants (Male or Female)
- Prolonged, borderline vampiric necking
- Wolfpacking

(What can I say? Billy Joel just has an effect on people. He brings it)
 
AND WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY (THERE HAS BEEN MUCH) THE #1 THING I AM NOT THANKFUL FOR IN '08

1. Trevor Linden's retirement.
Food? Doesn't taste as good. Sunsets? Meh. Canadian Dollar? Laughable once again. And there is also the small matter of the fact that there is a void of courage and determination in every facet of our daily lives. Let's compare the good things that've happened since he retired to the bad:

GOOD
- Tom Brady injured, Patriots season in jeopardy
- "C-crets Baxman" likes football (he has to, now. Football got him on the rebound)
- Earth hasn't fallen into a black abyss...yet

BAD
- Economy is fucked
- High School Musical 3
- Clouds 78% less puffy (it's science)
- Babies no longer laugh. They either cry or look confused
- The Lobster sub from Subway
- I Stubbed my toe
- The Mentalist
- Bernie Mac/Paul Newman died (what a great black/white buddy cop movie they would've made)
- "Prom Night Shymalan" releases another movie/"assterpiece"(The Happening). Fucks audience again.
- NHL discusses expanding to Europe (with no TL, who shall rise up to stop them?)

This world of ours seriously needs a shot of Vitiman TL16 to right itself again. Or 5 shots.





(NOTE: Apologies to readers from other countries who have no idea who Trevor Linden is. Just picture your cities sports hero, mix in a little ruggedness, add some extra courage and you've got your very own Trevor Linden. Every city has one in some form. He was ours. He still is.)

That's it for '08. In closing, to prove i'm not completely against showing appreciation for things, is a list of all I'm thankful for in 08.

- The NFL
- Brit Rock
- Beer League Softball
- Orange Juice Without Pulp
- Having a pen handy when I need one
- Jerseys
- Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh
- Instant replays
- Ving Raimes the coat
- Office supplies
- TV on DVD
- Rickshaw chinese food restaurant
- When my ipod plays the perfect song at the right moment
- Pancakes
- Gene Hackman's continued health
- the Thriller video
- Good servers at restaurants
- When your luggage comes by on the baggage carousel
- People willing to read this far down.

thanks for reading

-jB

Monday, October 25, 2010

Life's Little Battles: j.Bowman vs. Nestle

Microsoft. Google. McDonalds. Apple. Coca Cola. Starbucks. Walmart. The Empire in "Star Wars".

All corporate mega-giants. All hell bent on pushing around the little guy in the name of money (or in one case, Galactic Credits). From one degree to another, all of them put out quality products (with the exception of impenetrable space stations). You buy a Big Mac, you know you are getting "two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun" (They even guarantee such things in song form). You buy an Iphone, you know you are getting a device with the ability to watch the Thriller video whenever you want. You buy an Orange Mocha Frappachino, you know you are going to get made fun of, by me.

Expectations. These companies thrive on them. Their reputations depend on the fact that when you lay down hard earned money for goods and services the goods and services are good and...serviceable. However one immensely powerful company seemed to sleep through that part of business ethics class. I am not going to condemn them as evil just yet, but I will need to add something to my "Hate Hall of Fame" in November. Depending on the outcome of this, one of life's little battles, that spot may be reserved for you:

Nestle Chocolates.
(The corporate logo)

(What I can only assume the CEO looks like)

Checking the scoreboard, these folks have made 3 mistakes already. Their second mistake is underestimating my desire for justice. Their third mistake is not knowing that I can and will make mountains out of...the concept of molehills. Their first mistake? Read on, sleepless knights.

The following is copied from an email I have sent to the Nestle company. This is 100% real, as is my quest to have this disaster rectified.


"Dear Nestle Chocolates: Kit Kat department.

    I have been a strong supporter of your products for some time now. I have often enjoyed a variety of your chocolate bars dating back to when I was a child. Coffee Crisp and Kit Kat have always been my favorites. It is for that reason I have decided to contact you. On the night of October 1st, 2010, I purchased two of your Kit Kat bars at the local corner store by my house. I recently made some dietary changes in my life in order to lose weight, which have been successful, however the one indulgence I still allow myself is an occasional Kit Kat or Coffee Crisp. I have never before had any issues with these bars. Sometimes I choose the “king size" option. Not sure who recently decided to include two individual Coffee Crisp bars in the king size package instead of one big bar, but I think it was a positive decision. It is a lot easier to eat separately now. Before, whenever you’d break off a piece of a large Coffee Crisp bar it would break apart and be quite messy. So needless to say I’m happy to have a two bar option now. On the night in question, I had decided to purchase two Kit Kat bars instead. I often look at the selection offered by your competitors (Mars, Hershey, Cadbury) but find Nestle has the superior product. The Kit Kat bars I had purchased I was intending to eat at a party. Due to a recent medical issue I’m not able to drink alcohol and I’ve never been a smoker so I do enjoy eating a Kit Kat to relax in social situations. I ate one of the Kit Kat bars, and everything was as usual. Tasted great, didn’t get too melty. There is a reason it is my “go-to” chocolate bar. I opened my second bar some time later, and after breaking off my first piece and biting into it, I discovered that to my surprised, it had no wafer in it. At first I thought that perhaps it was some new special limited “all chocolate” Kit Kat. But after inspecting the packaging I determined that it was supposed to be a regular, wafer filled Kit Kat. I’ve attached a photo of this wafer-less Kit Kat, as well as a picture of how Kit Kat's are advertised and what I expect when I purchase one. I don't feel I need to point out the drastic difference. I'm not sure if it is a quality control issue or not, but I was surprised and disappointed on the night in question and I felt the urge to bring this to your attention as a loyal customer and supporter of your fine products. However I must admit I no longer know what to expect when I purchase them. With Halloween and Christmas approaching, I am concerned that perhaps Nestle might not suit my chocolate needs. I would appreciate a response at your earliest possible convenience. Thank you for your time.

Regards,

j.Bowman."

Just in case you perhaps think I imagined this whole incident. Here are the photos that were attached (captions exclusive to j.Bowman Can't Sleep)


(Pictured: A promise)



(Pictured: A goddamn travesty)
And so turn the wheels of justice. The Rolo is in your court now, Nestle.

Thanks for reading

-jB

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened at 35,000 ft.

First off, let me start by saying I have no idea how high airplanes fly. I also recently discovered I don't care. I randomly guessed "35,000" feet and I'm sticking with it.

On the flight from Vancouver to Montreal, I was changed forever. Air Canada stepped up huge. Here's what happened:

So it was Oct. 10th, Canadian Thanksgiving (we have football up here too, but we're in a rush to eat so the teams only play 3 downs). I sat alone in the Vancouver Airport eating a traditional thanksgiving feast consisting of a $9 turkey sandwich, bottle of water, king size Coffee Crisp, king size Wunderbar and, because I felt I deserved it, some chocolate milk.

(That was far too pathetic to be anything but true)

It was 11:30 pm. It was also shitty. I got on the plane and was thrilled to find out that I was sitting in the emergency exit row and had MASSIVE leg room. I'm tall, so I appreciated that. Even if it comes at the price of having to bust out some heroics in the case of emergency.

("Sorry, can't save anyone. Too comfortable")

So an attractive flight attendant comes over to me and explains to me how to open the emergency exit in case of....peril. I never would've figured it out from the drawings all over the thing explaining what handle goes in what direction. You know, cause I'm a 6 year old...who is also blind.

(NOTE: Was going to put a picture here, but after typing "blind 6 year old" into a google image search, I was so ashamed I had to take a shower. Then I forgot why I was in there and just focused on scrubbin')

So after she gives me the rundown, I smiled at her and told her "don't worry, I got this." I then saw the unmistakeable look in her eyes that said "I don't believe in you, j.Bowman". That look is a real thing btw (my high school teachers perfected it). I get excited though, because there are only 2 seats in my row and the other one is empty. The plane is pretty much boarded and I have a nice, relaxing ride to Montreal. So content was I that I took to Twitter and expressed my delight to all 13 of my followers. That feeling lasted for all of 8 seconds before some bearded asshole gets on the plane and shuffles his scruff to the seat right next to me. I was choked but these things happen, right? Sometimes people sit next to you on planes. And sometimes, as it was in this case, those people happen to smell like wet fart that was trapped in a mummies sarcophagous (my unwillingness to use spellcheck eclipses my unwillingness to embarrass myself). The dude smelled and I did not approve. I even tweeted about that:

"jBowmancouver: the dude beside me on the plane smells like Tom Waits sounds"

And he did. So as I'm sitting there, wondering how to ask if they can drop my oxygen mask down, the stewardess from before comes over to me and hands me a note. Peculiar. The note read: "Come and see me when the seatbelt sign is off". My thought process progressed as such:

"Do they need me for a special mission?"
"Does she need me for sex?"
"Is the special mission sex?

Either way I either did something REALLY right or something REALLY wrong. Thoughts raced through my head as I nervously shuffled my lucky coin through my fingers. My eyes were glued to that sign. As soon as it came off, I unbuckled my seatbelt when a male flight attendant appeared from out of nowhere, looked into my eyes, nodded and indicated I should follow him to the front. Things took a left turn, FAST. I followed though, after all it still could've been a special mission.

The dude whispers to me....."sir, we are going to upgrade you to executive class". I asked if I could go back and grab my stuff, thinking that maybe I had to leave all reminders of my broke ass life behind if they let me into first class. The guys says sure, I go back to round up my belongings when it dawns on me: these fuckers think I'm gonna blow it with the emergency exit. Getting over my hurt feelings I gather my things, take one final look at the world I knew and then proceeded to the other side of the curtain. The guy asked me:

"You know why we upgraded you, right?"

I wanted to say/scream:

"Because you don't think I can deliver under pressure with the fucking exit door do you?! DO YOU?!?!"

But instead I answered:

"Why?"

He replied:

"Because the man next to you is very, very smelly".

Holy shit! The flight attendants follow me on twitter! Or they smelled him too and felt bad for me. I'm thinking it's a little of both. It can be both. So first time in first class. It was awesome, but now I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to belong here. I take off my hat, in the name of manners. After all, one mistake and they might exile me back to "funkatron 9000" back at my old seat. I scroll through the onboard video options, trying to pick something classy. "Last Airbender"? fuck that shit. "Big Bang Theory"? Get that the hell out of first class. We should have "Arrested Development" up there. I think maybe I shouldn't even watch a movie. Perhaps that is a test to see if I'm classy enough for first class. I need to get like a screensaver on my laptop of a Monet painting or something and then make insightful art critiques about it when the cute stewardess walks by. I still haven't given up on the possibility of a special sex mission.

("Monet...fucking awesome, eh?")

I didn't want to sleep up there. It was like a 6 hour red eye flight at midnight and I was tired from playing hockey mere hours before, however j.Bowman Can't Sleep. I had to keep enjoying this. Until I sell a script or something I won't be sitting in first class ever again. So essentially I won't be sitting in first class ever again. Even though the chair was more comfortable than my bed, I could not allow myself to sleep. I wanna make eye contact with a fellow "first classer" (that's what I'm gonna call them until I come up with something catchier like "fronties"...) So in my head I was hoping me and a Frontie would make eye contact, roll our eyes sarcastically and gesture towards coach. That's when I start fearing that I'm out of touch. I used to be a man of the people, but now I've become everything I hate. 47 minutes in first class and I've changed to the point where I'm unrecognizable (cause I'm actually smiling now). I should start a revolution. Tear down this curtain between us and unite this plane and it's passengers under a banner of equality and--

Then I got passed the menu for first class. That word is not a typo, kids. MENU. I order for breakfast two belgian waffles with maple butter, chicken sausage, cinnamon apple wedges and cranberry. As far as I'm concerned, the people on the other side of the curtain can go rail themselves.

I wanted to say:
"Bring me a monacle and someone named Geeves".

But instead I point to the menu and say:
"I'll have that, please".

Then they bring me, cookies and ice cream (which wasn't gellato or made of hopes and dreams). No manservant named Geeves either, but it'll do. I took a bite of one of those cookies and wouldn't you know it, they were warm. Not like microwave warm, they baked these things up there on the plane. WHAT?! I order milk and they bring me some, but due to the cookies, non-gellato and crisp $20 bills I have laid out everywhere there is no place for the milk to be placed. WRONG! She gently taps a part of the middle console between seats and a whole other section of it comes out for my milk to rest on. I was sitting next to R2D2 the whole time and I didn't even know it.

(There was even a little old man inside!)

It was at this point I felt perhaps I was dead. Maybe I suffocated to death while sitting next to "funkatron 9000" and this is what my heaven is like: 15 feet from where I died. My imagination blows.

I was loving it up there. I kept thinking they should change the velcro sound of the curtain to a cash register sound. Here I thought double fisting Orange Julius at the mall was the most baller thing ever. I have never been so happy to be so wrong. However my screen froze halfway through an episode of "Party Down". The stewardess came over to me and asked:

"You didn't turn off your screen, did you?"

Now, I wanted to say:
"Yeah, that shit ain't plasma. Do you think I'm a chump? What kind of airline is this?!"

But instead I said:
"No."

She goes to reset the screen and my mind wanders. She comes back to tell me it's reset and I jump, startled slightly. She apologizes and I feel embarassed. People in first class don't get scared. The only thing that scares them is going back to coach. Then it hits me: I'm going back to coach. I don't belong up here with these people. Now I understand completely what "Avatar" was really about.

("They've got freshly baked cookies in that giant tree? Fuck it, we're going in!")

I am writing a lot in my notebook at this point. I have written 4 pages so far. If anyone comes by and asks what I'm writing, I should just say my bank account balance. My SWISS bank account balance. When I transfer planes in Montreal I now fully expect more awesome things to happen for me on this airline. I better get a note that says "we need you to co-pilot this plane, after you complete a sex mission".

They asked me if I wanted more cookies. I was not aware I could have more cookies. When I inquired as to the amount of cookies I could have. The response was: "as many as you like". Unlimited cookies was the amount. I was satisfied with her answer. Just so I can throw it in this asshole's face:

("Suck it, bitch.")

She brought me more milk and cookies, and I resisted the urge to proposition her. I've been trying to cut back on the whole "propositioning people who give me dessert" thing. Gotta set limits, right? So I said "please" upon request and "thank you" upon delivery of cookies. My goal had now, for no apparent reason, become to be the most polite first class passenger in the history of aviation. I was going to be the Ron Francis of first class.

(The "C" stands for "kind" if you're a really shitty speller.)

At this point I remember that the only reason I'm sitting up here is because I was in the vincinity of someone who smelled like grim death. No matter what, I was not going to be getting any sleep on this flight. Several words of advice (sentences even): If you ever come across someone who is abhorrently smelly, learn from my experience. Don't shun them (to their face), take them with you, wherever you are going. YOU WILL GET FREE SHIT. Smelly people are worth more than stock options. I'm gonna take homeless dudes to Canucks hockey games.

"Excuse me sir, who is that unkempt man beside you?"
"Oh, that's Manny. Doesn't he smell terrible?"
"Indeed he does. How would you like to play left wing on the fourth line tonight?"

I ask where the bathroom is. The stewardess tells me it's up at the front, "right through that curtain". ANOTHER CURTAIN? Awesome. Last curtain I walked through transported me to the magical land of first class. If I go through this one, I'll probably end up in Narnia, only with more cookies. A guy got up and headed through the curtain to the bathroom at the back of the plane. What an idiot. Who let this douche in first class? Sadly the first class bathroom didn't have a bidet. But I've had a good life so far not having water shot up my ass, so I didn't really mind.

("Show me on the doll where the water touched you")

At this point in the flight, I get a little comfier. I unbutton my shirt a little. I take off my shoes. I took off my hat when I first got up there. Not classy. Top Hat? Different story. I wonder exactly how comfortable I can get away with being up here? I wish I brought sweatpants in my carry on. Stupid! If someone up here takes off their pants and hangs them on a little rack, I'm going for it too.

Then my Ipod randomly played what I've decided is my official "first class jam". Fernando by Abba. Shit's tight. There was indeed "something in the air tonight". That something was me. I wondered if Fernando was classy enough for first class. Maybe "Thriller" would be better? If the cute stewardess asks me what I'm listening to (which she probably would cause I am rocking the fuck out at 4:26 am) I've got a plan:

"What are you listening to?
"The symphony"
"Really? Which one"
"....all of them."

I then realize the classiest sounding music on my ipod (5700 songs) is the "Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" soundtrack. If any girls are reading this, please forget I ever said that.

(Link: Travels through time, saves the land of Hyrule and ruins my chances with women. Skills.)

At that point I wonder why they even have a "no smoking" sign on an airplane. We get it. It ain't new. I think about what would happen if they turned it off, just for like 3 minutes or something. All the smokers would probably nervously look around, unsure if they should go for it or not. DO IT! THERE IS NO LIGHT TELLING YOU OTHERWISE! Then they would go into the bags and cautiously place a cigarette in their mouths, scanning the area to see if anyone would stop them. Nobody does. OH the looks on their faces when they'd realize you can't have lighters or matches on planes. What a pricktease that would be.

It was very important to me to impress the flight attendants on this journey. I wanted them to think they made the right decision by calling me up to the bigs. I like to think their options were

A) Throw the smelly dude out the airlock or

2)Let the pale nerdy guy go to first class.

I was determined not to fuck up. I ALSO SMELLED WAFFLES! They delivered my breakfast to me and the majority of it was awesome. However I took a bite of a kiwi and it sucked. I spit it out on the plate, and then immediately worry about cute stewardess seeing it, thinking I'm gross and cancelling the sex mission. So I improvised and hid it in the container my butter was in. BOOM! It is difficult for me to convey how delicious those waffles were, so I will say this:

On my wedding night, I will think only of these waffles. God damn magnificent.

I actually ate too many cookies earlier and struggle to finish. I crushed 1 waffle but the second guy was a bastard. The stewardess would keep coming by to see if I was done and I'd defensively raise my knife and fork as if I was still eating...but I was decimated. If it were a boxing match, it would've been stopped. Way too full. I didn't want them to think I was a pussy though so I ate a yogurt I wasnt intending to eat, then I hid the remaining bit of waffles inside the empty yogurt container. BOOM! Put a scrunched up napkin inside too, to further the disguise. Stewardess came and took my plate, probably impressed that I ate 7 cookies and was able to finish my waffles without puking. That impresses women right? I kinda wanted to puke to see if they have a dude that comes out and cleans you up after. I'm sure he is up there somewhere...right next to the fella baking cookies.

And then that was it. The Captain came on the speakers and said we were starting our decent into Montreal (which normally would be a good thing cause there are some fine people there) and I knew my time in first class was coming to the end. I felt crushed. It'd be like if at the end of every episode of "The Jeffersons" they got moved back on down.

And at no point did anyone send George or Wheezy on a sex mission.

(Mission: Impossible)

Thanks for reading

-jB

j.Bowman can't sleep in Eastern Standard Time.

Back from Orlando, Florida.

Been there since the 10th (hence the lack of updates). What kind of hotel doesn't offer free wi-fi? Ridiculous. All those sleepless nights and no way to update the (verifies tally) 9 people who read this thing. (Those 9 now including a Spoon amongst chopsticks, a couple damn fine American folks, that dude in Holland whom I miss terribly and that purple haired south african girl who doesn't take shit from anyone). If we all work together, I think we can get this sucker up to 10 readers by the end of the year. Which would be awesome, cause the only reason I started this thing was to be able to have a 5 0n 5 charity basketball game. I believe it will happen. I'm going to go ahead and book a gym for January 2nd (I will be in NO shape to play anything other than "dead" on January 1st) and we'll all get together and ball in the first ever "j.Bowman Can't Sleep charity basketball game to end indifference: Because not caring is shitty". That would look great on a tshirt. So, you guys in? No? Well shit. I wanted to do the Thriller dance at halftime.

So as I mentioned back before I lost your attention, I was spending my sleepless nights in Orlando for the last week. (Holy shit! I just realized one of the basketball teams can be named the "Sleepless Knights"). So to make up for lack of updates, I've just changed over the Power 16, Shit 7 and Monthly Playlist for October, 20 days into the month. (My updates are never early, nor late. They arrive precisely when they mean to). I will also go deep into my archives (classy way for me to say "facebook notes") and re-post previous installments of something I've been doing since 2007: the "Reverse Thanksgiving Countdown".

I've also got loads if issues and incidents from my time in Florida, My new fued with Nestle, How Air Canada is in my good books forever, A new NBC comedy's war on...comedy, Another B.P.S. and The 2010 Edition of the "Reverse Thanksgiving Countdown". All 9 of you are in store for a very pointless final 11 days of October.

If you haven't seen them already, check out the four part season 1 of "A Lost Collection" (Hot Fuzz, Reservoir Dogs, Sixth Sense then the finale, Ocean's Eleven)

Also, feel free to check out the new (and at the moment kinda empty) j. Bowman Cant Sleep facebook page. I watched "The Social Network" and have decided that this Facebook thing ain't going anywhere. Figured if Facebook can get a president elected and Betty White hosting Saturday Night Live, perhaps it has the power to get me a girlfriend (despite Facebook's sway, some things may be too unrealistic). So why don't you stop by and see if you can resist the urge to click the "Indifferent" button.

Thanks for reading

-jB

Friday, October 8, 2010

Irrational Fear of the Month: October

One new thing I learned to fear this month for no apparent reason is something I never directly thought about until recently faced with it. For the longest time I just carried on with my life not noticing how secretly terrifying it is. I believe it to be a harbinger of doom and ask all 6 of you who read this, if the moment presents itself, to put an end to this blight of goodness and all things considered awesome. Of course I'm talking about the continued pussification of Vampires.


(I am not alone in this fight)

After exhaustive research, I have
discovered that Halloween is indeed upon us (I checked a calendar, then an abacus for some reason, just to be sure).( I knew it!)

Halloween is a time of monsters, colourful explosions, serial killers hiding their skills with a blade by carving pumpkins instead of torsos, Michael Jackson’s Thriller video and slutty, slutty costumes. Needless to say, Halloween is awesome. However, when I think of monsters, a few big ones come to mind; Zombies, Werewolves, Frankensteins, Jessica-Parkers, Creatures from black lagoons (which is racist. I don’t care what lagoon you are from) and I guess….Vampires? I include them in that esteemed and terrifying list of creatures hesitantly these days. Unlike the other ones, their good name and reputation has been dragged through the mud recent
ly, and THAT is something that I am afraid of. To clarify, I am not scared of Vampires, but scared of what they have become. They used to be sharply dressed, remorseless killing machines that could only come out at night. Teeth as sharp as their threads. And the lady Vamps wore corsets. All the time. I see nothing so far that is anything other than awesome.

But there has been a downward spiral for Vampires in the last few decades, and even though there have been a couple good portrayals in recent years (Daybreakers, True Blood, Half of Blade, you can all take a step back). The basics are all still there: bloodsucking, aversion to daylight, fangs, however they just don’t have the menace or swagger they used to. All the mystique and danger that once surrounded vampires has turned soft. Now it seems like it is far more important to make vampires sexy than it is to make them badass. They don't listen to Tool anymore. They listen to John Mayer.

What happened to you, Vampires? You used to be cool. Now you don't even get invited to the "Monster Mash" and you have to bitterly pretend you had better things to do that night anyway.
You're better than that, guys. Just look at the facts:

1. Vampires are undead warriors. If one bites you, you become one...sometimes.
b. Vampires are like zombies, but without all that excessive inbreeding that makes zombies all
dumb like that.
3, The main way to kill them is by driving "a bit of wood" through their hearts.

A bit of wood? That’s awesome! How many people would just happen to have wood handy if a Vampire attack happened to them? 4? I doubt it. Not that many people whittle. Trust me, I know. Nobody joined my “I love whittling at night” facebook group. Don’t try to join now. Facebook made me take it down on the grounds that it was the most pathetic thing on the
internet.

I think now would be a good time to mention that I DO NOT solely blame “Twilight” for the
continued pussification of Vampires. They have done a number on their reputation though (written and directed by Frankensteins, probably) but Vamps were in trouble LONG before
they glittered. Ugh, just remembered they did that in the movie. The ONLY reason a Vampire should glitter is because they just drained a club skank who thinks "glitter is fun" when in actuality it is annoying and I cant get it off my clothes or skin if I come into contact with
you. As Demetri Martin once said : “Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies. Once it‘s on you, it‘s there forever“. In fact, from now on, If I see a Vampire glittering, he better be holding a tiara and a purse full of condoms, just so I can confirm his glittering is due to making the dance floor and the world a better place.

To think of the earliest example I can recall of Vampires starting to be lame I’d have to take it to the street. The "Sesame Street" to be specific. As children our perception
of Vampires was a terrifying one. However this was cut out at the knees the second we were exposed to one who only wanted to help us learn numbers and would sarcastically laugh at us when we got it wrong (that’s how I saw it anyway). Count Von Count, you betrayed your people and have brought shame to Vampires everywhere.

(The only thing you should teach children to count is the seconds they have left to live)

In Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video (which I will reference in every blog post this month, guaranteed) he turned into two monsters. If given the choice between Werewolf, Zombie and Vampire, which two do you think he would've selected. First two! In the film within a film that opens up the video, he is on a date with a girl and then he turns into a werewolf and presumably kills her (naturally). Then it cuts to him watching this as a movie, while on a date with the same girl. Let's just all take a minute and bask in this videos awesomeness:

Best thing to ever happen

Fuck I love that shit. Anyways, back on point, the guy is a total nutbar but even back then he decided that turning into a vampire would be lame. The guy who thought "Michael Jackson's
Moonwalker” was a good idea turned his ever shrinking nose up at Vampires.

(at the end of the game, it asks you what the hell is wrong with you?)

Although Blade was a badass, remember he was only HALF vampire. The movie said it best “all of their strengths, none of their weaknesses”. Really? So if I were to stab him in the heart with a bit of wood, he would be totally fine? Cool then. There should be no weaknesses to exclude. I imagine when the character was created the conversation went something like this:

How about a sassy black vampire?
Vampires are kinda shitty. They can be killed by garlic bread. And my stupid kid learns to count from a puppet vampire. Not very threatening
Valid points. How about we make him part human? To b
alance out the shittyness of Vampires?
Hmm, interesting. How much do you think we need?
50% should do it.

BULLSHIT! This never would’ve happened to “Nosferatu”. 100% Vampire just doesn’t cut it anymore. That is the reputation they have. You need a badass vampire? Well you are gonna have to reduce his vampiric qualities by half for credibility. Also, hire Wesley Snipes. So now we are left with a dude who is half human, half vampire, half Wesley Snipes. I am aware that
fraction doesn’t make sense, but as Wesley Snipes’ tax return will tell you, he is not very good at counting.(I wish I never did this blog post cause now I know his name isn't Wesley Snipes)

But at least Blade gets to do battle with a 100% Vampire right? That guy must be a pretty big bad ass if he is gonna stand toe to toe wi-

(Well, fuck)

How else have Vampires reputation suffered? I have shown you Exibit A-H, I'm gonna skip ahead and present to you Exibit WTF:

("Vampire in Brooklyn", a thing that happened. World War II, also a thing that happened)

Don't think I dont see you hiding there in 1993, “Interview with a Vampire“. You aren't free from blame. Brad Pitt is a bad ass. Tom Cruise is crazy and looks like he woul
d kill you at any moment. And the lead singer from Sum 41? Well I guess he was pretty scary looking as well. You mean to tell me a movie with these three dudes as vampires doesn't kick all sorts of ass? How?! Oh right, they make them look super feminine and then have them mope around the whole time. I sure hope THAT doesn't catch on. *sigh*. If it truly was an interview with a vampire, he'd get the job right away. He would be a valuable and non threatening addition to the workplace. Vampires should never qualify for employment.


(Starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Deryck Wibly from Sum 41)

I was going to turn my attention to The Lost Boys now, however I quickly realized that in addition to Kiefer Sutherland being part of the Vampire gang in that movie, so was Bill from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”. Lost Boys: You are exempt!

(The guy on the left went on a "bogus journey" through a wind tunnel)

Remember when I said they took the good 50% of Vampires for the Blade character (god, that was so long ago. We have all grown as people since then) You wanna know where they other 50% went? “Twilight”. No film, not even “Vampire in Brooklyn” has done more to tear down the reputation of Vampires than these movies have. The default view on vampires for a gene
ration now is mopey, whiny pretty boys who can walk around in the daytime without issue and...sparkle. That last one there hurts so bad. It burns...like the sun should do to a vampires skin when he is going for an afternoon jaunt in the park. I could go on for days about the damage being done to vamp-rep by these movies but I do know 1 out of the 6 people who read this thing is a fan of the movies so I will relent for now. However due to the upcoming slate of “Twilight” movies I don’t know how long I can hold my tongue:

"Twilight” - released, unfortunately
“Twilight: New Moon”- released, unfortunately

"Twilight: Eclipse”- released, unfortunately

"Twilight: Breaking Dawn” - Winter 2010

Twilight: Gay Werewolf Orgy” - Spring 2011

"Twilight: Mummy Never Sleeps” - Summer 2011

“Twilight: Our fans have grown up? Shit!” -Winter 2011
"The Legend of Twilight: The Owls of Ga’hool” - Summer 2012


I will admit I have a bit more invested in Vampires’ reputation as badasses than others. You see, I'm a pale person. Back in the day, comparisons with Vampires were awesome. If someone were to mock my skin tone (or ridiculous lack thereof) I could always threaten to bite the
ir necks and they’d leave me alone (although as I soon learned, concerned parents and social workers are NOT afraid of Vampires).

This:
“Dude you look like a vampire. I'm not going to fuck with you for fear of my neck being bitten”
Has turned into this:
"dude, you look like a vampire...i bet you have a lot of feelings and shit huh?"

Where is the fear?! Imagine if someone looked like a werewolf (or imagine you saw Robin Williams shirtless) and instead of hearing "hey, you look like a werewolf, please dont maul me savagely" they heard "hey, you look like a werewolf....don't shit on the floor"

or

“Hey you look like a werewolf. Also “Bicentennial Man” was fucking terrible. What the fuck were you thinking?

Granted, that last one would probably only be directed at Shirtless Robin Williams.

(Oh no, I made him cry. At least he can dry his eyes on his forearms)

In closing I just want to say if you want to see Vampires as they should be, check out “Daybreakers“, or the middle seasons of “Buffy”, or "True Blood"... or watch some “Angel”. Angel is pretty awesome. Dude was a vampire, cursed by gypsies, and because of the curse he can’t have sex or else he’d turn evil. It’s the excuse I use as well to justify cold streaks. Although I lean on the gypsy curse thing way too much.

Thanks for reading

-jB