Monday, December 13, 2010

It's time for a new Christmas story.

Around this time of year you hear many stories....Some involve Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer and Vixon. Other stories speak of Frosty the Snowman. And then there’s Santa Clause, the jolliest man of them all. But today, I think it’s time a different Christmas story is told. One of joy, one of struggle, but in the end there is comfort and peace. I call it the Eggnog story.

It all starts in place called Oregon. You see, one Christmas a few years ago, there was a teenager. The teenager liked to run; he also liked to drink eggnog. And as in any good Christmas tale, an idea was born. Now we’re not just talking about any ole’ idea here. We’re talking about an idea that revolutionizes runners, an idea more beautiful than Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel or possibly even Michael Jordan’s dunk from the foul line….We’re talking about the Eggnog 400.

Eggnog is powerful like a drug but delicious like pie. Eggnog is smooth like bacon and thicker than maple syrup on a Belgium Waffle.

It’s 10 am, Saturday morn. Christmas is two weeks away. Runners swarm the track. They gather around a table smothered with gallons of Eggnog, each takes a cup filled with 8 ounces of rich sugary bliss. They swig. They line up. They scream “EGGNOG!!!” and then they run a lap under 90 seconds, a breezy 6-minute mile pace. Finish your lap, fill your cup, drink it up, it’s time to run again. To win drink the most and run the longest, without throwing up. Once you lose it you’re out.

Christmas is a time of miracles, and the Eggnog 400 is no exception. This year, those that raced witnessed something of Eggnog History.

Eight ounces short of having drunk a gallon of eggnog, he jogged across the line, cup in hand. One more cup left. He refilled, he looked down. He began to drink. Maybe reality began to set it a little as he realized after his last sip that he’d just drunk a gallon of eggnog while having run 3 and ¾ miles. There was one thing left to do to break the record, he had to run with a gallon of eggnog in his stomach. The previous record was set by a runner who had run the same distance and drunk a gallon as well. Unfortunately, he threw up before he was able to start his last lap. All this runner had to do was run, 10 meters, 20 meters, anything. He started….he made it 50 meters with a gallon in his belly before it all came a tumblin’ down.

THis holiday season, tell you family a tale of people giving all they have in the true spirit of Christmas. Tell them about the Eggnog 400..and maybe if your lucky you'll get to see them throw up some eggnog next year.

A long awaited challenge.

The boys were restless. It’d been four years since we bought 203 Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers.

When we bought the 203 Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers, one of the main leaders, Nick, suggested that as a follow up we do a chicken nugget challenge. Now, four years later, we decided it was time.

The basement was cold. Three of us sat there chatting about strategy. A location was chosen and pizza delivery bags were secured to keep the nuggets toasty.

Hype increased as word of a chicken nugget challenge spread. Some had moved on, but we still had some solid eaters in the area. The day before we sent the text message to over 40 friends, each person was to bring 5 dollars. 40x5=200. 200 orders of chicken nuggets, 5 nuggets in each order= 1,000 chicken nuggets.

We’d been waiting 30 minutes for the others. A Wendy’s employee impatiently walked to our table, “You guys need to either buy something or leave because right now you’re just loitering.” “Oh, we’ll buy something.”

Of the 15 that were there, most people put in $5, and a couple of us pitched in $10. “$70! That’s all we have? Well, I guess we could just order the rest when everyone else gets here.” We sat there silently, unsure of what to do. That’s when our friend Taylor got serious. “There’s no way we’re not buying a 1,000!!” And threw down $70 of his own money onto the table.

Everyone followed putting in all they had. Nick held over $200 in his hand. He approached the counter. “Yeah, I’d like 200 orders of chicken nuggets.” “Um..hold on let me get my manger.” The girl replied. The manager, “Yes?” Nick, “I’d like 200 orders of chicken nuggets.” The manager turned to her employee, “Can we do that??” Stunned she was asked, the employee said the only logical thing she could, “Well he’s got the cash!” Nick waved the cash at her. The manager stopped. She paused. Then she yelled, “WE NEED NUGGETS NOW!!!!!”

Forty-five minutes later we began eating. Twenty-minutes later we stopped. Over 800 chicken nuggets were consumed. What of the other 200 you ask? Tyler took them to a homeless shelter. After all, everybody loves Wendy’s.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

studying surprises

There are two types of people. There are those that like and understand math, and then there are normal people. Luckily, I fall under the normal people category. Sure, I may have to actually study to understand math, and having lived in Hawaii for a year, I may confuse square root signs for badly drawn waves; but overall, it’s worth it…most of the time.

It’s day three of test prep for Calc 119. After sitting in ten hours of test reviews in three days you’d think I’d be ready. Nope, test reviews don’t change my normal status so I’ve still got more to study…a lot more even if it’s Saturday afternoon.

I sat for three hours. Intervals, equations, and derivatives…lions and tigers and’s all the same to me. Tired but persistent, I started to find some measure of studying success. Then the text…

“Hey come to a party at my cabin at 7:30”

Calculus or a party? *Sigh… “Sorry I can’t come I’ve got homework. How’s everything going though?”

Somehow over the course of a few text messages it came up that I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and was a tad hungry. My friend offered to bring me food. I told her she was kind but didn’t have too. Being sweet and strong, she said, “Nope, what do you want?”

“Oh you know me, I’ll eat anything…just surprise me.”

Thirty minutes later, she walked through the doors of the Wilk carrying two bags of Wendy’s that I could swear were smiling at me. After salad, baked potatoes, and a chicken sandwich I was stuffed and satisfied. Oh, and did I mention that she also brought me a bowl of frozen yogurt sprinkled with strawberries and blueberries?

Earlier this week a professor asked us to find someone who was stressed out with studies and do something nice for them. In the stress of my studies, I forgot about the challenge but luckily my friend didn’t forget about me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bacon!!! Bacon!! Bacon!!!

It started with a joke, “What if we if we bought 100 junior-bacon cheeseburgers from Wendy’s in one order??”

When your high school is located in a town called Plain City, you know there probably isn’t a lot going on beside cow tipping and toilet papering, neither of which I have done (wink-wink). As teenage boys we always had an ear open when it came to anything that was random or crazy…….or both.

So when our friend jokingly said “What if we bought 100 junior-bacon cheeseburgers from Wendy’s in one order??” We laughed, oh for about 2.7 seconds, then the magic began to happen…faces turned serious, eyes got big, and mouths started to water.

Any good operation requires careful strategic planning.

The time: We decided that our efforts would be most beneficial to society if we got to Wendy’s shortly before the end of our school’s basketball game thereby clogging Wendy’s orders so that no one else would be able to get anything. Let’s face it; we live in a country full of people who just need to shed some holiday pounds.

The place: Wendy’s (duh)

The crew: Twenty-ish high school boys including The Chosen Two (2 of our friends both over 6 feet and both over 300 pounds.)

The last-minute change of plans: We decided that 100 Junior Bacons wasn’t enough…so we decided to buy….

Our basketball team was winning handily, there were 4:29 seconds left in the 4th. It was go time. We quickly exited, jumped in our cars and sped down the road…our girl Wendy awaited us. We walked in, assembled the cash n’ change and then watched as The Chosen Two walked up to the register. Silently we formed a half circle around The Chosen Two. You could feel the anticipation hovering in the air.

“Hi sir what can I get for you?” said the register boy.

The first chosen one, “I’d like 100 junior bacon cheeseburgers.”

“Excuse me?”

The second chosen one, “Yeah, and put me down for another 103!!”

He slapped the money on the table change flying everywhere. We all started to chant, “Bacon!!! Bacon!!! Bacon!!!! Bacon!!! Bacon!!!”

Register boy yells over the chants of bacon, “Are you guys serious???!!”

The second chosen, “This is for real, I’m obese!!”

203 Junior-Bacon Cheeseburgers later we walked out stuffed, happy , and $216 poorer.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Men aren’t…emotional.

Men don’t show emotion. It’s not that we don’t know how it’s just that we can’t. It’s a matter of…principle. We don’t cry during chick flicks. We don’t swoon over love songs. We don’t scream when we see our best friend. We definitely don’t worry when we burn something in the oven, we just get take-out.

Exceptions to the Rule? None. Well, maybe....

“Wow…”---------“I think I’m going to cry.”---“Probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” Who’s talking? Is it women at a ballet? Or maybe they’re watching a chick-flick? Or is it 3 men whose team just won an intense overtime match against their biggest rival?

“Ohhh myyyy gosh!” ---“I can’t believe this is happening!!!”---- “How is this possible??!!!!!!!” Who’s talking? Probably a few ladies watching their favorite reality show. Or maybe they’re watching So You Think You Can Dance. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s a couple of guys eating steak.

Okay…so maybe we do show emotion. But at least it’s only because of sports and a good steak.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

symptoms of one-upper + stuff

The tag-along- girls really don’t have the equivalent of a wingman, but they do have something..the tag-along. One girl initiates what's going to happen, the other tags-along. While the wingman is a system of support the tag-along is one of… one knows. The tag-along occurs when girls go to parties, do their nails, talk to guys, and other assorted events. Don’t believe it do you…Have you ever seen a girl go to the bathroom by herself?

The tickler- tries to tickle to break the awkward physical barrier. Also may be used in the scarier movie scenario. Tries to tickle his way out of awkward moments. The tickler still thinks that poking on facebook is normal.

Symptoms of a one-upper: Every time you tell a story he tells a more outrageous one. Every thing you’ve done he’s done it better. Always has to get the last word. Always tells his stories a little louder than the last person. Always over the top. But honestly, how do you diagnose the famed one-upper syndrome? Make up a story about something that doesn’t exist..then watch them try to top it…...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

the many faces of "wingman"

The smooth wingman: Always in the right place at the right time. He helps you get the lady, not just the one that you want, but the one that you need. Helps position you in the right place, will flirt with the girls enough to get them interested in doing something but not enough to get them interested in him. That's when he passes the baton. His job is to get the attention, your job is to keep it.

The awkward wingman: This wingman has float-and-driftitis. He just doesn’t know how to do it. Every time you are in a great conversation with the ladeis he just stands there and doesn’t say anything besides his name. Taking an awkward wingman is like taking the wounded to battle. They can’t do much to help and you always have to carry them out.

The anti-wingman: You bring him along for the assist and then he tries to go for the basket. He’s the type of guy that would try to hike himself the ball and then try to pass himself the game-winning pass. He’s the guy you bring that doesn’t just try to steal the girl but your girl. He thwarts or tries to thwart every solid attempt. They seem helpful till they step onto the playing field then it is their game and they are the player worth watching. Don’t be tricked into believing they really want to help because they’re nice before and after the game. That’s how you become one of their spectators. Don’t spend too much time with the anti-wingman because then you’ll become one.

Stay tuned next week for the leach, the tag-along, and the 50-yard fake-out.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

320 What?

I went to Smith’s intending to buy granola bars. I walked out with 320 pop-tarts.

“Snacks. I need snacks.” I was starving. It’d been about 3 hours since my last meal. Wanting something to feel satisfied but not stuffed; I headed to the campus convenience store. It’s named the Twilight, but it closes at seven. “Hmm……Candy bars are just way to pricey these days. There is no way I’m paying $1 for a candy bar. Gosh, you gotta buy in bulk to get anything reasonably priced. A pound of Reese’s Pieces for $4.20?”

After five pounds of Reese’s pieces and weighing six pounds heavier in three weeks, I decided it was time for a new snack. Fruit is too healthy. Vegetables need to be carried in little bags. I needed something sweet but already in a bag. I needed granola bars. Ever since their creation, granola bars have been the camper’s best friend, the runner’s staple, and the dieter’s desert. Walking down the granola bar isle I passed the pop-tart. “Woh…$2 for a box of 8….or $1.50 for 10 boxes….plus a $.75-off coupon for every 2 boxes you buy….hmmm.”

I was going to stop at 10 boxes but I wanted more flavors. 20 boxes. “They don’t expire till August next year?!!” 30 boxes. “Cookie-dough pop-tarts” 40 boxes. 320 pop-tarts.

Pop-tarts can’t be much healthier than Reese’s, but at least now I have a year’s supply.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pudding-Soaked Brownie

I am cheap. I am in college. I am a Mormon. I am a Hunter of Free Food. I stalk campus eyes peeled for pizza delivery boys. Once they are sighted, I watch from a distance, watching where they will place the pizza. As others approach I go in for the kill usually taking 2-3 slices more than anyone else. Some people call this sad I call it survival.

I was given a small task to do by a friend this week. “Give someone a Coke.” Coke=anything that someone can eat. As a Hunter of Free Food, I am too cheap to buy this “Coke” so I hunted for it. I found a sound gathering where lasagna, macaroni, salad, breadsticks, water, cookies and brownies were being given away. You can’t just give someone a slice of lasagna. “Hey you want some lasagna?” It’s too big and it could stain their cloths. There are way too many lawsuits these days, and I just don’t want to get sued for giving someone the lasagna because stained their cloths. I’d end up like the people that gave the women the coffee that burned her, embarrassed and broke.

The brownies and cookies were in short supply. I grabbed 2 of the 12 cookies one of the 15 brownies and put them on top of my chocolate pudding. (who can resist cookies and brownies soaked in chocolate pudding right?) Luckily, I was able to beat the crowd (100 people) to the desert table.

Placing cookies and brownies is easy right? So I thought, until I tried to give them away to girls. Girls don’t like guys to think they eat a lot so they generally will resist when you offer them baked goods. It wasn’t easy getting rejected by the first two girls that I offered the cookies and brownies too. At first I thought it was me, then I realized it was them being selfish trying to be skinny.

Third time’s the charm. The third girl accepted the cookie dipped in pudding. It was a beautiful moment. She realized I was her only chance to get a desert after that meal. All the other deserts were taken so then what does she do? She takes my pudding-soaked brownie. Turns out she’s a Hunter of Free Food too.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Obligated to Eat

Rick Jones. He eats expired food like it’s fresh. Once my mom was about to throw away an old cake and he stopped her. “But Rick it’s old and crusty.” His immortal reply, “I like it crusty!” He’s also been known to clean up the plates of people he doesn’t know…at restaurants. Rick’s brother-Kap Jones. He eats others leftovers like it’s the main course. He’s known for a strong second wind after everyone else finishes. We once watched him drink the leftover cold cereal milk from my cousins bowls….that had been sitting there for 2 hours. Their father-Ed Jones. Let’s keep this simple. He was once observed eating old grapes that had been thrown into the family garden because they were bad. Just dust them off and eat them like they’re right off the vine. Why do they do it? Were they starving? I don’t think so, let’s take a look at their professions; CEO of a bank, university professor, and lawyer. Hmmm…doesn’t look like they were in dire need does it? It’s because they weren’t.

While the obligation to eat has not reached the hearts and minds of the third generation Joneses, the lack of fear towards food has. The Grandsons of Ed take chances and risks on a daily basis in the face of bad food. One Grandson of Ed ate a slice of cake that was sitting at the top of a pile of garbage while still inside the can. He claims that despite being in the can it was above the brim.

As Joneses they all believe in something, something that strikes deep at the core of who they are..don’t waste food. They just can’t stand to see food go to waste, so what do they do? They save it, or in more plain English-they eat it. They fear no mold, and bacteria doesn’t scare them. They relish the opportunity to be saviors of the unwanted…unwanted food that is. (A save is when you keep food from going into the garbage, no matter the condition of the food.) One bright shining day the most fearless Grandson of Ed was in a magical place we call Disney Land. While in line for the classic, It’s a Small World ride, he passed a garbage can with a pizza crust inside. If you think you know what happened next guess again. He ripped off the bite marks then he ate it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Hot-girl-Hush

This is a phenomenon that occurs every day across high school and college campuses. Actually it occurs all across America. Well all of that to say it just occurs anytime there is a beautiful girl and a guy in the same location.

I became aware of the hot-girl-hush one calm day in Hawaii. I was working at the library of the university there, and I had 3 friends chatting with me at my desk which was located in the middle of the library. All of the sudden, mid-conversation I see one of my buddy's eyes start to drift to the left, then 2, then all 3. Not only did the eyes drift but they went quiet. A beautiful brunette was walking up to my desk to staple some of her papers. The hush remained until about 5 seconds after she left. We then proceeded to all stare at each other with blank looks across our faces for another few seconds until one of us says, “So..umm..what were we talking about?” We’d completely forgotten. How do you spot a hot-girl-hush. Oh it’s pretty easy..just look for a few guys standing by each other that look like they just got dropped off in China, and have no idea where they are or even who they are.

The worst is when girls try to talk to guys when they are experiencing the hot girl hush. The episode with my 3 friends at the library for example went a little something like this: “Hey can I use the stapler?” “Uhhh….umm…what did you say?” “The stapler” me, “yeah..” “Can I borrow it.” (I snap out of the hot-girl-hush) “Oh yeah..for sure! Sorry, I didn’t know what you were saying.” And the fact is I honestly didn’t.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I hate voicemail

Voicemail, it’s like talking to a wall but somebody gets to hear it whenever they check their phone. Nobody's good at it, I mean have you ever heard somebody when asked what they are good at say, “I’m great at leaving voicemails.” No! you’ll never hear that because no one is good at it, and if there was someone somehow that became good at it you’d know, they’d be a celebrity. Why this tirade about how crappy voicemail is? Let me explain with a little story. I didn’t just trip-I faceplanted it.

A little background: I been on a couple of dates with this girl, she was extremely pretty and very fun. I saw her talked to her the day before the voicemail and she’d said that she wanted to do something during the week. She worked early in the morning and would go to bed pretty early from around 9:45-10:00 pm.

To make it easier to understand, I’m going to put what was going on in my head in between brackets { }.

Now the long awaited voicemail after 4 rings:

“Hey Ashley this is Dan, sorry to call so late I know it’s past your bedtime {Did I just say bedtime in a voicemail?!!! Freak! Recover! Recover!} umm….i mean you have to get up early…umm you work early…Anywho so I was wondering if you wanted to hang out or do something this week…but if you don’t want to it’s totally {I can’t believe I just said if you don’t want to! Recover!} ummm..I mean if you don’t have time or if you’re busy…umm…well I guess if I don’t see you have a good weekend. Bye.”

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Je suis francais

Frenching: the art of pretending you are French to get special treatment, free food, and avoid conversations you don’t want to have

Have you ever noticed that people treat foreigners better? Yup, it’s true. It all started in a little place called Southern California in a town called Huntington. Myself and 2 friends go restaurant, one of my friends and I are both fluent in French. So naturally my French speaking friend decides to ask the girl at the register if they give discounts for foreigners because their friend (me) was French. She said no but that didn’t stop us from pretending, I just ordered everything I wanted through him.

Before we left I decided there are times when you just have to leave a good impression so I walked up to the girl at the register and said, “Bonjour! You very beautiful girl,” smiling kind of awkwardly, she got very excited and then we left. Wait a second…what just happened? If any American said this to her he’d be considered creepy or weird but since I was French I can walk up to a girl I don’t know and tell her she’s beautiful and not only get away with it get points for it? Next we saw a couple of cute girls walking so we decided we’d see how the street approach worked all w/ the French accent of course, “Bonjour..euu..I meen hi.” “Oh hey!! Are you guys French??!” “Oui..I meen yes. Where you from?” “Oh us, we’re from long beach.” “Long beach? You know snoop dog is he your friend” The girls start laughing, “No we don’t know him.” We decided to end it and walk into a store (American AParal) “Au revoir!” “Oh see you boys.” They laugh at jokes that aren’t funny when I am a foreigner..this is nice.

American Apparal was fun too. Since they thought we were French they weren’t afraid to talk about us in front of us, but for some reason 3 average looking guys all of the sudden became ‘hot’ according to the American Apparel girls. How did we become “hot” so fast? Easy, we became foreigners, French foreigners.

Easy laughs, you can say whatever you want, people are very friendly all of the time-once you start frenching being American is never quite the same.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Take the blanket.

After we all finished saying, “Amen” I did the first thing every good mormon boy does after a fireside…and scanned the audience for cute girls. Scanning in front-check. Scanned to the sides-double check. Scanning behind-Holy COW! That girl is gorgeous! I saw what I’d been scanning for. Then I realized the sad but very real truth, she was overdressed. No, she was WAY overdressed for a fireside, her cloths were just way too nice. “Oh overdresser,” I muttered.

Then I did the second thing that that every good Mormon boy does after a fireside, I went to eat the post-fireside brownies. So as I’m eating some brownies with the boys my friend Jill, who was in a girl group, saw me and called me over. So I did the third thing that every good mormon boy should do after a fireside, go to the girl group. Jill then introduces me to all of the girls in her girl group one of whom was of course the “overdresser.”

An hour after the fireside I got a text from my friend Jill saying she wanted to set me up with the “overdresser” turns out her real name was Ashley. Anywho..having been taught in my youth never to say no to being set up with a very attractive girl I of course said yes. However, I’m not gonna lie, I had pretty low expectations. Being an overdresser, I figured she was high maintenance and let’s face it, no guy is a big fan of that. I showed up to pick her up..she’s not ready. But something happened that night with me and the overdresser, we totally hit it off. Turns out I’m a horrible judge of character, and she was really down to earth.

Around midnight we got back to her house to hang out a little more, everything was going great.* We go in and we’re sitting right next to each other on this huge couch, no gap between us, “A good sign,” I say to myself. Then she looks over at me for about half a second does a semi raise of the eyebrows and walks to the closet bringing back a blanket. She sits right back down next to me, no gap, and says, “Do you want some blanket?” Me, “No, I’m okay.” She sort of gives me the taken back look. About 40 minutes later we said our goodbyes and I went home.

The next day I did what all boys do and consulted my #1 wingman Taylor. “Taylor, what does it mean if a girl offers you blanket?” Response, “Well, it means she either wants to cuddle with you or maybe hold hands. Either way it’s a great sign.” Me, “Ohhhhhhh……hmmmmm.” Taylor, “Why did that happen to you?” Me, “yeah last night.” Taylor, “With Ashley?!!” Me, “Yup…” Taylor, “And..!” Me, “I told her no. I wasn’t cold!!!” Taylor, “You blew it!!! She put herself out there and then you totally rejected her! You idiot!” Me, “Freak I blew it!” “yeah you did yeah you did jones you totally blew it. I don't care if you're sweating, you take the blanket!!!!”

Even if you're sweating, take the blanket.