Archive for January, 2004

You Heard it Here First

2004 is more than a week old, but that won’t stop me from making 12 bold predictions about the remaining 51 weeks of the year.  These predictions probably won’t come true, but like any true psychic, I won’t let that keep me from sharing them. 

1.  The Reverend Al Sharpton will narrowly defeat Senator John F. Kerry in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary.  The Reverend Sharpton will attribute his victory to a last minute endorsement by the powerful National Mustard Coalition.

2.  Companies everywhere will finally come around to the concept of paid snow days.  After all, if there is enough snow to cancel school, can it possibly be safe to drive to work?  On snowy mornings, pajama-clad adults will gather in front of their radios to listen for work cancellations.

3.  The movie channels that cost extra money will continue their habit of playing 200 Paulie Shore movies for every decent movie that airs.  I will continue to pay for these channels strictly for the Sunday night programming, but I won’t be happy about it.

4.  Congress will pass a law that bans lip-synching during all public performances.  As an immediate result, the MTV Music Awards show will be cancelled.

5.   The Mars Rover expedition will result in a number of significant discoveries.  The most prominent discovery will be that the topsoil of Mars, when mixed with water, makes a tangy barbecue sauce.

6.  A prominent doughnut shop chain will promote the addition of an “exciting new breakfast sandwich” to their menu.  This new menu addition will take 5 minutes to cook and will taste like microwaved eggs.  The end result of the promotion will be lines full of annoyed people who are stuck waiting in line for their morning coffee.

7.  The entire moral fiber of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will collapse due to the fact that alcohol is now sold in stores on Sundays.

8.  A member of the Boston Red Sox will answer a reporter’s controversial question truthfully.  There will then be an explosion of coverage as the Boston media disparages the player in both print and on the radio.  Later in the season, these same media members will complain that the players are unfriendly.

9.  Despite the best efforts of the flower and greeting card industries, Sweetest Day (October 16, 2004) will continue to be ignored as a national holiday.

10.  In a shocking upset, the Democratic Presidential Nominee will win the popular vote in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  People around the nation will be thankful when Election Day arrives, if only because it will signal the end of the 2004 campaign ad season.

11.   In the spirit of the election season, my high school senior class president will break a campaign promise when he allows the 15-year anniversary of our graduation to pass unnoticed.

12.  On March 17th and December 31st, bar owners around the country will exploit the laws of supply and demand by requiring their customers to pay “cover charges” for the right to enter the bars.  On March 18th and January 1st, these same customers will be allowed into the bars for free.

The Day to Day Grind Tim 09 Jan 2004 No Comments

Snow Day

I woke with a start and looked out the window.  It was very early on Sunday morning.  Outside my frosty window, a streetlight gleamed through the thousands of chunky snowflakes that were on final approach for a landing in my front yard.  I was pretty sure that a snowplow had woken me up, but they had been driving past all night without disturbing my slumber.  What was different about this snowplow? 

There it was again, rumbling past as it plowed the other side of my street.  After the plow passed there was a strange silence.  For the first time in her life, my dog hadn’t barked at a snowplow.

I was about to say a quiet prayer of thanks and return to the Land of Nod when my wife grabbed my arm.  She looked concerned.  “Callie didn’t bark at the plow,” she said, “do you think she’s ok?” 

It was quickly made clear to me that it is the husband’s job to find out if the dog is trapped under something heavy. 

I found the dog sleeping peacefully.  She was too busy nuzzling one of her chew toys and dreaming about squirrels to worry about plows.  I had turned to go back upstairs when it occurred to me that I was awake and standing on a cold floor because of the dog.  So I woke her up. 

Now I’m not sure if I want her barking at the plows or not. 

Some other things that happened to me the weekend of the big storm: 

…I had just come in from shoveling on Sunday and was about to warm myself with some hot chocolate when the phone rang.  It was Dan from work with some good news.  “The office is closed tomorrow due to the snow storm,” he told me. 

“Let me get this straight,” I said, “it stopped snowing, the roads look plowed, I am completely dug out, yet the office is closed tomorrow?  Why?  Am I going to get paid?” 

“I guess there was too much snow for Boston to deal with.  You will get paid.” 

What a great deal. 

I felt like I was a kid again, and the guy on WTAG had just said, “No school in Northboro, Southboro, Algonquin Regional.” 

Of course, then I would have gone sledding at Proctor School.  Now I just hung around the house all day watching “I Love the 90’s” reruns. 

So, to recap, on Monday when it wasn’t snowing, the office was closed.  On Wednesday, when it was snowing like crazy, the office was open… 

…This past weekend, I was getting a ride home and told the driver (who will remain nameless), “You might want to slow down, it looks pretty slippery out.” 

Not being one to enjoy helpful driving advice from my passengers, I wasn’t surprised when my advice was ignored. 

Everything was fine, until we started down a fairly steep hill and the car began to skid to the left.  The driver over-corrected, and the car began to skid to the right.  The driver over-corrected again and suddenly we were sliding sideways through a stop sign. 

The car then turned completely around and came to a stop with us facing back up the hill.  It is a small miracle that we didn’t hit anything. 

We both sat in silence for a second, marveling at our good fortune.  Then the driver turned to me and said, “This car is terrible in the snow.” 

Yep.  It was the car.  Not the fact that we were doing 40 down a steep hill in the middle of a snowstorm.  The car. 

We started down the road again and I waited a few seconds before I turned and said, “Hey, what are you doing tomorrow?” 

“Nothing, why?” 

“I thought you might like to take your car out for a spin.”

The Day to Day Grind Tim 09 Jan 2004 No Comments

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