Friday, December 31, 2004

This is the sort of thing fast-food restaurants get hit with ridiculous million-dollar lawsuits for

It's becoming firmly established that my local KFC is some sort of halfway house for the severely retarded. You may recall my recent complaints about it and wonder why I keep frequenting it. Well, first, it's fast becoming a treasure trove of material for anecdotes. And second, it's New Year's Eve, I just got off a train and back to a kitchen full of empty cupboards, and I didn't feel like grocery shopping.

So I popped over for a Big Crunch and "clubbed" it, which is to say that I had them add cheese, lettuce, and tomato. I endured an interminable wait while the four idiots in the back created a great sound and fury that turned out to signify nothing, and finally the counter girl abandoned her rapidly growing lineup to slap together my sandwich. When I got it home, I took a couple of bites then had to take a break to fix it, as it was so hastily and sloppily put together that it was falling apart. Good thing, too -- when I was doing this, I noticed that half of the plastic wrap was still stuck to the cheese.

I called to complain, and the guy on the other end promised to give me "something free" next time I'm in if I remind them that I'm the guy with the plastic on his cheese. I'll probably be back (against all better judgment, as they're bound to eventually give me food poisoning), but they're obviously not long on remembering things, so I doubt I'll bring this up. As for you, if you know what's good for you, you'll stay out of this particular KFC (but as I've said, if you know what's good for you, you'll stay out of KFC in general). But if you're taking some kind of assertiveness training and have an assignment where you have to complain about bad service, this is the restaurant for you.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I always loved that guy, but he's not on TV anymore

Sardonic quipsters everywhere mourn the passing of actor Jerry Orbach, best known as veteran Law & Order detective Lennie Briscoe, who succumbed Tuesday night to prostate cancer. No word on what his last words were, but as Orbach was by all accounts virtually indistinguishable from the wisecracking detective he portrayed, one likes to think that he greeted death in his best Briscoe fashion -- with an irony-drenched witticism.

Orbach's death is a blow to NBC. While he had recently handed off his veteran detective position on the flagship show to the always-entertaining Dennis Farina, he was slated to anchor the upcoming L&O spinoff, Trial by Jury.* But as Briscoe might say, I don't think their star is going to be making it to rehearsal. Or perhaps he'd say, "Forget the funeral director -- call a casting director."** Or maybe he'd say something else. No one did Briscoe like Orbach.

At least Orbach had the grace to die on a Tuesday night, putting his passing in the headlines just in time to supply NBC with a sure boost to the ratings of the Briscoe-era rerun of L&O that they aired the following night. A consummate pro and a class act, all the way.

* Normally, one might say three L&O spinoffs would be a little much, but Vincent D'Onofrio is doing such great work on the last one, Criminal Intent, that one is inclined to give the benefit of the doubt. Plus, Candice Bergen and Bebe Neuwirth are both slated to star in Trial by Jury. Murphy Brown and Lilith? The prospect of two of TV's most entertaining yet ballbusting characters teaming up makes one's jaws slaver with anticipation even as one's testicles ache.

** Here's a suggestion: Bring Briscoe's old partner Mike Logan back from exile on Staten Island to take over the vacant spot on Trial by Jury. With the end of Sex and the City, ol' Mr. Big is all dressed up with nowhere to go, and at age 50, Chris Noth now has the crow's feet to fill the "older detective" role.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

KFC fails to leave a sour taste in my mouth -- and that's a bad thing

If you go to the KFC near my house in Toronto (and you shouldn't -- not only is it very bad for you, but the last time I was there, their soda fountain was broken, they accidentally gave me a small order of fries instead of my poutine, and, incredibly, they ran out of chicken), they'll ask you if you want ketchup and they'll throw about eight packets into a bag with a single two-piece meal in it. But even though it's a long-established Canadian culinary habit that french fries be eaten with white vinegar, they never ask you if you want any of that. (Nor do they offer salt, for that matter -- just ketchup.)

This isn't limited to my local KFC either; it seems to be standard practice at a lot of fast-food restaurants. Why? It seems as though these chains have made a profit-driven decision to cater to the local populace by introducing poutine to their menus, but there's no profit in pushing an option of free vinegar on you rather than simply giving you free ketchup. So, the standard directives from American head offices to ask if the customer wants eight free packets of ketchup are being pushed on the Canadian franchises and their customers. From my own personal observation, the result seems to be that Canadians are going with the flow and putting vinegar on their fries less than they used to. Just another little example of creeping American cultural imperialism.

My fellow Canadians, we must defend what little culture we've got. The next time you order fries, get the ketchup if that's what you want. But if you want vinegar, refuse the ketchup and demand the vinegar. Even if you want no condiment at all, refuse the ketchup and demand the vinegar. You don't have to use it, but you'll help send them the message that they should be offering what good Canadians want.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I'm so drunk

I was going to post a little something, but Jay came back to town, so I went and got drunk with him and Matt (et al.) and ended up taking the Vomit Comet home and pissing in the l0cal dentist's loading dock en route. So, definitely no words of wisdom tonight. Or any other night really, but particularly not tonight. Instead, you might as well follow one of the links I just put in this post. Those guys will tell you what's going on.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Peter Lynn, practical fashionista

I'd like to say we've all done this, but the couple of people I've mentioned it to have said, "I've never done that!" So, I guess it's just me who's done this, but I've done it more times than a grown man ought to have.

I got up a little late for work today and, scrambling to get dressed, grabbed a pair of previously worn pants off the back of a chair. Nothing wrong with that: If you've got a clean and sedentary office job and an ass that doesn't sweat too much, you can usually get a couple of wears out of a pair of work pants without having to wash them.

When I got them on, though, I realized the seat of my pants felt a little baggy. That could mean only one thing: There was still a pair of pre-worn underwear wadded up in there.

I pulled them out and left for work, but I regretted it all day. Leaving them in there would have had three obvious benefits:
  1. Extra cushioning for extra comfort when sitting on things
  2. A backup pair of clean(er) underwear in case of an accident
  3. Provided an identical pair was worn, could perform a cool magic trick by publicly yanking them out and ripping them up and then seemingly restoring them

Telemarketer vs. Shut-In!

"Hello, is Mr. or Mrs. Lynn there?"

"May I ask who's calling, please?"

"This is Jane from Horseshoe Valley Resorts. I sent you an offer for a fabulous two-day-one-night getaway vacation a few days ago, and I was just calling to follow up."

"Ah. I'm not interested."

"Well, can you tell me why?"

"I'm not really a travel person."

"You're not? Why is that?"

"I'm agoraphobic."

"You're agoraphobic?"


"Could you tell me what that means?"

"It means I can't go outside."

"You can't go outside at all?"

"Well, it causes me extreme psychological distress."

"Oh! Then I'm really sorry about this phone call!"

"That's okay. Thanks for thinking of me."

Friday, December 17, 2004

Today's trifling ambitions

Trifling ambitions to be fulfilled at a later date:
  • Test an office dress code and possibly force its rewriting by meeting its necktie requirement via the successive wearing of a bowtie, a bolo tie, and an ascot.
  • Market fishing lures under the trade name of "Weapons of Bass Destruction".
  • Write a novel, hold an autograph signing, and inscribe each copy yearbook-style with "Have a great summer!"

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Psycho SIDS

I can't say I'm the religious guy I used to be, by which I mean I don't watch wrestling nearly as much anymore.

(Hmm. The first part of that sentence came out of me unconsciously, like automatic writing, and I then had to figure out how to finish it off, but I think it accurately, if weirdly, sums up what a huge fan I used to be before I lapsed.)

Anyway, I do still catch the occasional show. They've got this guy now, Snitsky. They've kind of stumbled backward into success with this guy after his involvement in a literally abortive pregnancy angle involving Kane and Lita, but he's emerged with the ultimate heel gimmick: He's a huge, unstable monster who hates babies. In fact, he kills babies.

Today, I was hoping that someone would ask what I was listening to, just so I could claim it was black metal band "Cradle of Filth" and see their reaction. Then I thought of how "Cot Death" would also be a good name for a black metal band. Then I remembered a few years ago, when the similarly huge, deranged wrestler Psycho Sid was still around, I made the connection to sudden infant death syndrome, and tossed off some reference to "Psycho SIDS" to make my housemate Jon laugh. (Considerably easier than putting vinegar in my eyes, which I also did once to make Jon laugh, after a Tom Green marathon.)

Then I realized that that's who this Snitsky guy is. He's a lunatic wrestler who kills babies. He's Psycho SIDS.

I am so incredibly ahead of my time.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Blame Canada

I try not to pay much attention to Ann Coulter, Fox News' answer to Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS, or to CNN's Richie Rich lookalike, Tucker Carlson, but suddenly they've started inexplicably ripping on their friendly northerly neighbor, Canada. Here's a link to a video of them demonstrating some stereotypically and yet startlingly ugly American arrogance.

Note to Carlson: I work in Mississauga, the city in which your debate opponent, Carolyn Parrish, is an MP. But contrary to what you purport to believe, I don't commute there by dogsled. What's more, you bow-tied manchild, we're the ones who provide the electricity that powers your nightlight, so talk all you want about how Norway would invade Canada if it weren't for the US (and please also explain why they would), but all we've got to do is throw a switch down at Niagara Falls and there goes your last line of defence against the boogieman. Oh, and one more thing: Jon Stewart is right -- you're a dick.

Note to Coulter: Just shut the fuck up, you shrill fascist harpy.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

"Die, Dimebag Darrell, Die!"

Holy shit. I can't say I was ever a Pantera fan, but if I wasn't, it was perhaps because they rocked too hard. So I had a grudging respect for them, or at least, I never wished for a gunman to storm onstage during a concert and murder them. Sadly, this happened to former Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell last night. No word on whether this was the long-delayed revenge of the guy getting punched in the face on the Pantera album Vulgar Display of Power.

Like a bat out of hell, I'll be going when the morning comes

I was ruminating over the recent bathroom talk, and thought of the best song to provide the soundtrack to a big, dirty dump: Meat Loaf's "Bat out of Hell".

You know Meat Loaf must have done some damage back in the day when he was over 300 pounds, had a caterer backstage at his beck and call, and was full of drugs that must have wreaked havoc on his digestive tract. When he trashed a hotel room, you know he started in the bathroom.

And whether you want to think the song is about some guy crashing his motorbike and dying in the hot sun or that it's about simply taking a violent, transcendent crap, it somehow works. Breaking out of my body and flying away / Like a bat out of hell / Oh, like a bat outta hell! They're both desperate situations that call for epic, Jim-Steinman-composed rock-and-roll melodrama. Plus, Todd Rundgren's motorcycle guitar riffs kind of sound like farting. And at just under 10 minutes, the song's long enough to give you the time you need.

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