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Home Depot, You Let Me Down

6 Oct

October 11, 2018

I think my love affair with Home Depot is coming to an end.

There’s really no better place to go and browse. They have power tools! Hand tools! Huge crowbars, giant sledgehammers, and stuff to slice off your fingers if you aren’t careful. I’m a tool guy. (No, I’m not a tool, guy. I’m a tool guy. Let that be your lesson in the importance of the mighty comma.) I can shop there for days and buy all kinds of stuff and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a use for some of it. I’m the type of guy who will walk in for a tube of caulk and walk out with a reciprocating saw and three or four new hammers just because, you know, I can’t resist them. My buyer’s resistance drops perilously low at Home Depot. I admit that I’ve never bought an arc welder or a blowtorch but I was thisclose more than once.

This will be me one day!

But this time was different.

I was there for some Venetian blinds. The wife and I are in a new apartment and though I put up curtains months ago I’ve been slow with the blinds. So it is either curtains shut and no light at all or curtains open and the neighbor across the driveway can see straight into my kitchen. And she has both curtains and blinds yet closes neither. I’m pretty sure she wants us to see in because (NOTE TO MY WIFE: Stop reading here. Um, to be on the safe side, maybe I should stop writing here instead and move on.)

See? You get the point and I didn’t type a single word.
NOTE TO MY WIFE: This is a perfectly innocent Seinfeld clip that has absolutely no relevance to this post. Yeah.

Normally I’d have jumped at the chance to put up blinds. I could use my tools! Charge up my power drill! Get out my work gloves with the magnetic patches to hold the screws! And… and… that’s it really. Maybe a screwdriver and that’s no fun. You see. not only are blinds just too simple to put up to get excited over, but I’ve done so many of them over the years it’s actually gotten boring. Give me a job like re-roofing a garage, or building a chimney anytime. OK, I’d probably call a professional, but at least I could stand around and stare at the hacksaws and miters. That’s man stuff right there.

But putting up blinds gave me one thing that got me grooving: I had to buy the blinds. Not exciting? I’m going to buy them at Home Depot!

So last weekend the wife and I went to my little slice of Heaven. I know the place week, know the layout. I fist-bumped the greeter at the door (confusing him to no end since he never saw me before and walked no, strutted into the store like George Jefferson.

I boogied past the  ceramic tiles and moonwalked through the garden hoses. And then I got to the aisle with the blinds and stopped dead in my rhythmic tracks. It was almost empty. Sure, they had the really expensive motorized blinds, and the really cheap paper stuff that you stick on with an adhesive until it either falls off or catches fire from a candle or even the sun, but the normal stuff? Nope.

Or to be precise, yep, but not in my size. I’m used to that while pants shopping (they don’t call me Mr. Big Pants for nothing) but Venetian blinds? Seemed like they had plenty of every size but the one I wanted. (Or the eight I wanted, to be exact.) I needed a simple 31 width. No biggie.

I looked at every box, every single stinking box in the blinds aisle. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I eventually did what no man wants to do, especially in front of  his wife. I am ashamed to be writing this, and embarrassed to admit this, but I… I…

…asked for help from an employee.

He was walking past and wearing an orange apron so he was either a Home Depot worker or a Halloween chef. I told him the problem and started to bring him to the aisle but he took out his phone and opened the app to find where in the store they have the blinds. And it only took him 6 minutes to discover they were where I was going to bring him 6 minutes ago. Thank you technology!

He went to the aisle and again got on the app. I could see his phone so no, he was not on Tinder or Instagram or playing Red Dead Redemption, he was actually doing something relevant. He poked his phone for awhile then walked away. Simply walked away and never came back, just rode off into the sunset.

This metaphor works because the sunset is Home Depot orange. See the thought I put into this?

Soon another guy in an orange apron came over. Picture a guy who you’e never expect to see at Home Depot but would look right at home on the internet debating if Kirk could beat up Picard, and this was the next employee to help me. I explained to him that someone else was helping us.

“Did he look up the numbers?”
“Um, he bent down and read the label on the shelf, and looked at this phone for a long time.”
“But did he look up the numbers?”
“I don’t know… he read the labels……. um……”
“But did he look up the numbers?”

This guy asked me that over and over and over and I still have no idea what he meant. But eventually he got to work. What did he do? bent down and red the label on the shelf, then looked at this phone for a long time. Then he simply walked away.

Again!

I fully expected this to be a practical joke and soon I’d be all over the internet as “man who can’t get blinds” but no, this was real. I was not about to leave without the Venetian blinds, regardless of whether or not they existed. I was going to take them off some guy’s windows in the building next door if I had to. But as I was looking for a manager to yell at, the second guy came back, pulling a ladder. That had to mean that he knew where to get the blinds, right?

Wrong. He pulled the ladder into the middle of the sales floor, nowhere near the blinds section, and walked away. This had to be a joke, right? What the heck was he doing?????

I never did find out the point of the ladder but he did come back, with no blinds and no clue about where to find them. But he was determined! After complaining about “the girls” who work in this section and how “those girls” never tidy it up, and how “those girls” never stock anything, and how “girls really don’t get it” he asked me to give him a few more minutes. I looked over at my wife who, God bless her, had not rammed anything down this guy’s throat, and looked back at the guy.

“No.”

He stammered a little and then I cut him off, said we were going, and hoped that the next store we went to had the blinds, or at least employees who know what they are doing.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did not walk out empty-handed. I bought a flashlight and some sandpaper. (I have nothing to sand but it was the very fine grade so I had to have it.) The cashier was kind enough to look up from her phone for a few seconds to ring us up. I got a look at the Instagram page she was on and let’s just say the “the girls” she was looking at would have given the last guy a heart attack.

I have never left Home Depot so let down.

 

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I Say It’s Funny!

20 Sep

September 20, 2018

There’s an old saying that I firmly believe: If you have to explain a joke, it isn’t funny.

But the heck with it, I say. This post below from almost exactly one year ago is funny no matter what anyone thinks.

Back in October 2017, I took aim at the pumpkin spice craze, in which everything from your morning coffee to your evening laxative suddenly gets a pumpkin spice infusion every autumn. “So,” I thought, “why not give the ol’ Tepid Timewaster a shot of pumpkin spice? What could possibly go wrong?”

The joke fell flat, that’s what went wrong. And I blame you. Each and every one of you. All three of my readers, you are to blame. Because this is funny on so many levels that I shouldn’t have to spell it all out for you but I am going to spell it all out for you.

  1. I started with a ridiculous premise, ranking people on a Pumpkin Spice Scale. What does that even mean? How can you judge people based on pumpkin spice? It makes no sense.
  2. I wrote it in an over the top, US Weekly/Entertainment Weekly/People Magazine Weekly style and used silly graphics.
  3. I stressed that I am going to put together a list of “TV’s most beloved and iconic characters,” from “your favorite sitcoms and dramas,” and asked if “your favorite hero or the small screen’s greatest villain” made the list and started it off with Wolf Blitzer. Wolf freakin’ Blitzer, the boring old man who reads cue cards during thunderstorms on CNN. Didn’t any of you get where this is going at that point???
  4. The list then went to the incredibly boring (and not spicy in any way) Phyllis Vance from The Office, but at least she’s a legit TV character. At number three was Barney Rubble, a cartoon character, and he was followed by The Snorks. Is there any sense at all to this list? None that I can see. But it gets better. Funnier!
  5. Next up was Taylor Swift. Now T-Swiss may be my secret crush (if my wife is reading  this, perhaps you should stop reading this) but she is in no way a TV star, and I went out of my way to stress these are TV stars. OH HO! Mr. Blog has gone off the rails!
  6. Captain Kirk comes in next, but I choose the most ridiculous picture of him I could find.
  7. Olivia Benson, from Law & Order: SVU is only half a pumpkin spice ahead of Kirk. Why? How? I don’t know.
  8. President Nixon. ‘Nuff said.
  9. Fred Mertz comes in near the top because, I’ll admit, he cracks me up. He’s the only reason to watch I Love Lucy. The show should have been about Ricky and Fred. Period. But again, I picked the least funny, least spicy picture I could. He’s asleep.
  10. I ended the list of greatest TV characters with Edgar Allan Poe. A man who in real life died about 600 years before TV was invented (give or take a few hundred) and crowned him Television’s Pumpkin Spiciest Character.

I ended the whole shebang with a blatant plea for comments, for people to write in and give me their take on who the most pumpkin spicy characters on TV are. For the first time in years I actually solicited comments, expected the conversation to continue in the comment section, with people who, you know, actually got the joke. And did I get any? No. Not a single one. (I’m looking at you, Aunt Edwina. So now I’m off the Christmas card and blog comments lists? What did I do to you, except sleep in your garage for fourteen years?)

Now excuse me, I’m going to yell at some kids to stay off my lawn. And after that I hear some loud birds I need to shoo out of my tree. And is it me or is the sky too blue today? Dagnabit!

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October  8, 2017

It is autumn and that means that it is Pumpkin Spice Season. Everything comes in pumpkin spice flavor. Coffee, bread, steak, arsenic, it’s all pumpkin spice! So in the spirit of the season, the Editors and Staff of Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride (Home of the Almost OK Blog) have gotten together a list of TV’s most beloved and iconic characters and rated them on our patented Pumpkin Spice Scale.

We’ve scoured your favorite sitcoms and dramas and picked out your all-time favorite and beloved TV stars. We then took the best of the best and ranked them from least to most pumpkin spiciness. Did your favorite hero make the list? Is the small screen’s greatest villain in the top ten? Let’s find out!

 

WOLF BLITZER: 1/2 PUMPKIN SPICE

 

PHYLLIS VANCE: 1 PUMPKIN SPICE

 

BARNEY RUBBLE: 1 1/2 PUMPKIN SPICE

 

THE SNORKS: 2 PUMPKIN SPICE

 

TAYLOR SWIFT: 3 PUMPKIN SPICE

 

CAPTAIN KIRK: 3 1/2 PUMPKIN SPICE

 

OLIVIA BENSON: 4 PUMPKIN SPICE

 

PRESIDENT NIXON: 4 1/2 PUMPKIN SPICE

 

FRED MERTZ: 5 PUMPKIN SPICE

 

EDGAR ALLAN POE: 6 PUMPKIN SPICE

 

Did we leave out any of your favorite TV stars? We hope we listed all of your favorite television characters. If we missed any, please leave a comment below and tell us who you think are the most pumpkin spicy TV stars!

 

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