Posts Tagged ‘Teen Drinking’


Profiles in Uselessness: Nostalgia

July 20, 2009
Not only do they not take or comprehend credit cards, but it is apparently, "Whites Only."

Not only do they not take or comprehend credit cards, but the store is apparently "Whites Only."

Ah, nostalgia. Like selective amnesia and repressed memories, a yearning for a simpler time is often the result of something annoying in the present triggered a rose-tinted mental Super 8 film, often accompanied by With a Little Help from My Friends, by a twitchy Joe Cocker.

Whether the trigger is an “Insufficient Funds” notice, being lost in the “wrong side of town,” kids cutting across the lawn late at night, multi-racial new neighbors or the latest chart-topping single, “Remember When” dementia can strike at any time.

No one ever remembers a terrible time from their past during these stroke-like fits of retrograde amnesia. It’s always a “simpler time” when you can prune life’s variables down to just the ones you can handle, like when men were men, children were respectful, and women shut the fuck up.

To a simpler time!

I remember…

  • When women burned bras rather than wearing them.
  • When Christians were fed to the lions, rather than elected to positions of power.
  • When candy cost a nickel and came in two flavors: licorice and horehound.
  • When this was all orange groves. Tended by illegals.
  • When Coke used to contain actual cocaine and could treat polio, male pattern baldness and the gout.
  • When arranged marriages were the norm, rather than this “speed dating” that everyone seems so fond of.
  • When your news came once a day, delivered by a child laborer on a Schwinn.
#1 in its time slot for six years in a row (1947-1952). Rerun briefly by TV Land.

#1 in its time slot for six years in a row (1947-1952). Rerun briefly by TV Land.

  • When there was good television, broadcast two hours a day, on one channel. And the rest of the day, the schedule was filled with great wholesome test patterns and technical difficulties.
  • When Russia was our only enemy, rather than a loose confederation of religious fanatics, both domestic and foreign.
  • When After School Specials dealt with harmless subjects like hookworm, comic book theft and smoking Dad’s pipe without permission.
  • When cars were made in the U.S. of A. Great, hulking beasts that were more aerodynamic when driven in reverse and contained such safety features as 30 feet of hood and plate glass windshields.
  • When women and minorities couldn’t vote, leading to the great presidencies of Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland (twice).
  • When buying a pack of gum wasn’t like an interminable trip to Baskin-Robbins, which in those days only carried vanilla, licorice and horehound.
  • When people didn’t undermine nostalgia by using inflation-adjusted dollars, thus turning our wonderful five-cent candy into a 95-cent gouging. Things were cheaper back then, dammit!
  • When children received only the education needed to secure an entry-level position in the fields of textile manufacturing, railroad construction or chimney sweeping.
  • When everyone at the bank knew your name. And your kids’ names. And your sexual indiscretions.
Zach Wild's later work introduced a new layer of subtext, with the larger deer indicating an object in the foreground and thus closer to the eye.

Zach Wild's later work introduced a new layer of subtext, with the larger deer representative of an object in the foreground and thus closer to the eye.

  • When art was actual pictures of stuff, before affordable photography made it redundant.
  • When singers actually sang about things, rather than vague emotions. Wonderful and powerful songs like Mellow Yellow, Yummy Yummy Yummy and Twist and Shout.
  • When someone ran Old Glory up the flagpole, people saluted, goddammit! And wouldn’t ask impertinent questions like, “Did you mean to hang it upside down?” or “Man, do those Chinese make an awesome flag, or what?”
  • When our favorite actors and actresses had the good sense to stay “closeted” until they died, giving their body of work a sudden injection of subtext.
  • When “Duck and Cover” could protect you from a 30-megaton blast, flying debris, deadly levels of radiation and intelligent discourse.
  • When you could smoke everywhere: on an airplane, at the movies, on the operating table, while working the medicine ball at the gym, at AA meetings…
  • When America used to head home from a war with the spoils of victory, rather than a red “Participant” ribbon.
  • When Indians were real Indians and stayed on reservations when not entertaining us during Wild West shows or parades. Back before we got all these fake Indians who don’t speak a lick of English and field customer service phone calls or assemble electronics.
  • When there were only three religions in this country: Christian, Catholic and Jewish. And we were free to hate on the third one.
What is not readily apparent, due to the angle of the photo, is that every man is sitting in a pool of his own urine.

What is not readily apparent, due to the angle of the photo, is that every man is sitting in a pool of his own urine.

  • When men were men and beat the fuck out of scab workers, pausing occasionally to be photographed taking their lunch break 500 feet in the air, atop some unfinished skyscraper.
  • When men were men and would join forces with the all-Irish police department to beat the fuck out of union members.
  • When firing up a cigar at the bar meant you were a rich and well-respected individual rather than a rich and insufferable prick.
  • When the worse thing local teens did was suck down a few too many jerked sodas and occasionally kick the diner jukebox.
  • When accusations of witchcraft were taken seriously, rather than just dismissed with, “They’re just goths, for christsakes. And they’re as scared of you as you are of them.”

God bless the good old days. Let’s hope they never return, bringing with them racism, sexism and a general xenophobia. We’ve put that all behind us now, in our present utopia.

So the next time the bank turns down your loan application, a local merchant asks for your photo ID, or you have an embarrassing and disturbing conversation with a sullen and profane teen, don’t wish yourself back to your childhood days. Instead, seize the moment, enjoy your life, live in the present and try to remember all the shit you put up with when you were younger.



Entrepreneur Magazine Presents: Best New Franchises of 2009

July 18, 2009

Entrepreneur Magazine has release their annual Franchise 500, spotlighting some new (and exciting!) players in the field of “running your own business for someone else.” Here are a few highlighted selections from the magazine’s editors and contributors.

"Well, I don't see how this could be taken the wrong way..."

"Well, I don't see how this could be taken the wrong way..."

Stop and Pop Fertility Clinics
Set up as a competitor for rival Kum & Go.

The Dreamweavery
Mall kiosk franchise, carrying “dreamweavers and shit,” according to founder Gary Wright.

Pimp My 10 Year Old
The tweens’ destination of choice for ass-writing, henna tramp stamps, training Wonderbras, and Little Debbie G-strings. All purchases come with a “pre-Friended” MySpace page.

Mr. Speedee’s Oil Changery and Add-on Shoppe
Our videotape-trained “mechanicians” will drain your oil, stripmine your vehicle of spare change and add inexplicable charges to your bill – all in under 15 minutes!

South of the Border
Overpriced knickknacks, many of them made by actual Mexicans, bring you all the fun of Mexico without the beggars, knife wounds, crippling diarrhea or favorable exchange rate. Our vendors are always thrilled to “play-haggle” and feign amusement at your clumsy cunnilingus jokes.

Another sexually precocious Yorkie deflowers your shoes.

Another sexually precocious Yorkie deflowers your shoes.

Yorkie Pride
Come paint yourself into a merchandising corner with this exciting new franchise! All yorkies, all the time! Our complimentary startup guide will help you answer many common questions, including:

  • Do you carry anything with weenie dogs?
  • Why not?
  • So, this calendar only contains Yorkies?
  • What possible function does your business serve?
  • What do you mean, “you’ll be late with the rent?” This is the mall, not some shithole studio apartment.

Barely Knit Togethers
High-priced cashmere fashions and handmade scarves. Savvy franchisees will start this business up during the Christmas season and shut down shortly after New Year’s Day, taking their profits and bolting before various disappointed sweater enthusiasts realize these goods will fall apart after a single washing. Additional tips provided on:

  • Early returns
  • How many complaints can be filed before the Better Business Bureau drops its endorsement (surprisingly few, actually)
  • Why some people will insist on pronouncing it “barley”

You may think this sword and blade store will give you the chance to rub shoulders with ex-Special Forces members, various Vietnam vets and trained ninja assassins. The reality, however, is that you will be constantly overrun with LARPers, Renaissance Fair rejects and hyper 10-year-old boys. Might as well open a comic book shop and sell the shit out of some “Magic” cards.

Lukewarm Topic
Take the “edge” off in this new boutique, featuring shirts and other gear with near-offensive slogans like “Son of a Beach,” Tyson Foods Breast Inspector,” “Hershey Highwayman,” and “Have you seen Mike Hunt?” Enjoy the soothing sounds of middle-of-the-road rock “artists” such as Nickelback, Rob Thomas and the grandfathers of punk, Green Day. Now nearly 80% emo-free!

Clandestine’s Pub
Meet your secretary, mistress or other “business associate” at our attractive and discreet restaurant with full-service bar. Available as a stand-alone eatery or take advantage of our partnership with Holiday Inn Express and their new hourly rates. All corporate billing and receipts will be labelled with your choice of “Applebees” or “TGIFriday’s” to allay any suspicions. VIP customers will also receive one (1) alibi-supporting phone call per visit.

Kiosk Kiosk
The first kiosk franchise to specialize in helping others get into the kiosk franchise business. Start with your friends and family to build an exponential Kiosk Kiosk network. Founder Rich De Vos says: “So meta, it’s probably illegal!”

OG’s Home Inventory System
Finally, a business that can be run from anywhere, even your SUV or van if needed. Throw surprise parties for homeowners that mix the unpredictability of Improv Everywhere with the adrenaline rush of Panic Room, with a little scavenger hunt excitement to boot! Some involuntary participants have referred to it as a “Tupperware party with guns” and “The most frightening half-hour of my life.”

Yeah, that looks like fun. Let's bring that magic to the public.

Yeah, that looks like fun. Let's bring that magic to the public.

Ye Olde Photo Shoppe
Not to be confused with the Adobe product of nearly the same name, Ye Olde Photo Shoppe combines the fun of family photography with the tedium of selecting costumes, dressing in costumes, arguing over who gets to wear what costume, selecting backdrops and spending 3 hours to take 20 minutes worth of photos. The children will also be thrilled to add new words to their vocabulary including: muzzle loader, petticoat, bowler and head lice.

Quick Pix Standalone Kiosk
Give local teens a jumpstart on drinking with this “passport photo” booth. Coin-operated and unable to tell right from wrong, this money-making booth is the closest thing to buying those kids the beer yourself. Although this will bring in the bucks, the real reward is seeing the smile on their drunken faces as they drive their vehicle through the front window and into your living room. Pro tip: couple with an unattended cigarette machine for more soul-sucking riches.