How The Wrong Hair Color Ruined Your Childhood

Let me tell you about my friend, Alex Grow. HUGE Newsies fan. Well, when you’re a kid (or an adult, come to think of it) and your friends want to play Newsies, EVERYBODY fights for the HONOR of playing Jack “Cowboy” Kelly. And don’t you dare call him by his legal name, Francis Sullivan! He shed that geeky thing like snake skin, when he rode out of “The Refuge” on Teddy Roosevelt’s carriage. But OBVIOUSLY, if you can’t be “Cowboy,” you want to be Spot Conlon from Brooklyn because: a) He’s essentially Billy The Kid with a sling-shot, and B) Let’s just be honest, nobody is scrambling to be Les, Mush, or Crutchy. Back to Alex. Alex is part of the 1-2% of humans that have red hair. “Cowboy” doesn’t have red hair. “Spot Conlon” doesn’t have red hair. So…WHO can Alex be? Navigate your mind to the opening song, Carrying the Banner. As the song ends, recall the Newsies at the gate, waiting to enter and retrieve their “papes.” Well, before the gate opens, a young boy wheels out a stack of “papes” and utters 5 words: “Deez is for da Newsies.” A noble line, but highly forgettable face. What does that creep have to do with Alex, you ask? EVERYTHING. That young, paper-wheeling child has RED HAIR. Alex has RED HAIR. Alex is now unequivocally and irrevocably the, “Deez is for da Newsies” kid. He didn’t choose that life. It chose him. Well, his friends and family saying “you have red hair. You have to be the ‘deez is for da Newsies’ kid” chose it. Poor Alex. He could have been a great “Cowboy,” but alas.

alex

Believe me, this “I look the most similar, therefore, I am” precedent transcends WAY beyond Newsies and into Disney Princesses, superheroes, cartoon characters…you name it!

My favorite movie ever is “Rad.” 1986 BMX film. Cru Jones, Bart Taylor, and Aunt Becky from Full House. Cru Jones: local legend turned international sensation when he absolutely dominates Hell Track. Long story short, Cru Jones has dark hair. Bart Taylor has blonde hair. I have blonde hair. My older brother and young brother have dark hair and always got to be Cru Jones and inevitably, I was/am Bart Taylor. Bart loses the race. I lose the race.

This next experience actually had nothing to do with hair color. I have a set of twins in my family, older by 18 months, and the three of us REALLY loved Sleeping Beauty (ESPECIALLY the Fairy Godmothers). There are three Fairy Godmothers: Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. We loved them. we wanted to be them. We creatively used dry spaghetti noodles for wands. So which Fairy Godmother were you, Chet? Merryweather. In case you don’t know, Merryweather is short, chubby, and ill-tempered. I always had to be Merryweather. Why? Because in the event that nobody has the correct hair color, the ages of siblings/friends somehow endow them with “first pick” priorities, and ultimately, youngest gets the scraps. Today, I would happily choose Merryweather, but back then, it was more of a “Second Fiddle” decision. 

Bottom line, if you want to be a Disney Princess, a Fairy Godmother, one of the cool Newsies, a Superhero etc., you better pray that your genetic coding is up to snuff, otherwise those insensitive, “I look the most like her, so I get to be her” children will torrentially rain ALL DAY on your parade. Make it easy on yourself. Avoid playing with children that look like your favorite fictional characters. The only other solution if to be significantly bigger, and older, at which point, humble obedience will determine the roles.

Elsa

October 16, 2014 by Chet   |   132 Comments

7 Questions You Need To Stop Asking (because you already know the answers)

missed call

1) Did you call?

Yes.

Better question: Why, if my name is on your caller ID 3 times under “Missed Calls”, are you TEXTING me to ask if I called???


2) Does this shirt look good on me?

Nope. If it did, you wouldn’t be asking.


3) Are you mad at me? 

Yes. If you think it, it is so. How many of your instagram photos that I previously liked do I have to UNLIKE to make that clear? It’s not like I’m going to UNFOLLOW you, but I will decrease your stats. Deal with it.


4) Does she like me?

No. If she did, you’d know.


5) Does he like me? 

Well…has he intermittently and flirtatiously ‘liked’ 64+ week-old photos on your various social networks? No? Then, no. He does not like you.  


6) Would you liked whipped cream on that hot chocolate?

Of course. What do I look like? Some dude from LA wearing a v-neck? 


7) Zack Morris or A.C. Slater?

Now you’re just being an A-hole. I won’t even dignify that question with a response. This reader poll (below) will have to suffice…

Zack Morris or A.C. Slater

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October 14, 2014 by Chet   |   136 Comments

How To Tie A Bow Tie

In case you don’t know how to tie a bow tie, take 1 minute and learn. Also, remember these inspired words:

“Wearing a bow tie is a way of broadcasting an aggressive lack of concern for what other people think.”

                                                                                                                                                                                           -Warren St. John, The New York Times

Shirt: Brooks Brothers, Bow Tie: Social Primer for Brooks Brothers, Music: Westward The Tide

October 8, 2014 by Chet   |   124 Comments

It’s Okay To Let Go Of That NOT FRIEND

It’s okay to be done with a person. I think my wife is generally a nicer human than I am, but I’m very pragmatic. Some friends are not friends at all. They’re just fake and opportunistic. One reader called me “sexist” for using an example of “girls” in my last post, so I’ll go ahead and use another one. Typically, I think guys have easier ‘friend’ relationships. There can be an argument, and 2-seconds later, both guys are over it. Girls, not so much. Girls have a harder time admitting “this ‘friend’ is awful” and cutting ties. “But Chet, people matter.” Yep. People matter, but pretending their is reciprocity in a dead relationship is delusional and unhealthy. Months ago, I received a call from someone I would no more call a ‘friend’ than a ‘Daddy-longlegs,’ and immediately the telephone formalities kicked in:

Not Friend: How are you?

Me: Quite well. You?

Not Friend: Great. It’s been too long.

Me: Yeah. I mean, one can only watch someone cancel so many lunches, dinners, and hang-outs, right?

Not Friend: I just got busy, you know? 

(Quickly, we all have instagram. I’ve seen your “busy” and it was very not busy) 

Not Friend: We should grab dinner

Me: Ha.

Not Friend: Oh, and I was thinking maybe…

And it was right about then that, “Hey, how are ya?” essentially turned into…”this is why I’m REALLY calling: A favorable business transaction of which you are NOT the beneficiary, but the facilitator, merely.” As to avoid confusion, let me be clear, FRIENDS will help each other. That’s not the basis for the relationship, but they will be there for you. NOT-FRIEND-OPPORTUNISTS show up ONLY to milk the proverbial teet. That’s it. 

Chet, how do I know if I have a Not Friend? Simple, you’ve had this text conversation:

You: Hey, wanna hangout?

Not Friend: Maybe? Who else is hanging out?

You: Just me so far…

*Not Friend stops texting 

Wake up! I’m not even asking you to hate the person. I’m just saying be done with them. They’re not a good friend. Why? Because they’re not a friend at all. It’s an unbelievably sensible observation. 

I look at some groups of friends and think, “Okay, I get it. From the clothes to the music, it makes sense.” Common interests. For me, If you were to line up my friends, superficially speaking, they’re not categorical. They’re sporty, musical, artsy, yuppie, nerdy, whatever. The common thread is loyalty. That’s it. You’re loyal, I’m interested. You’re not loyal, I’m not interested. My friends are cut from many cloths. Some may even alarm you at first glance, but talk to them, for heaven’s sake. They’re kind and incredible. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be a friend.

Now, in life, I’ve met people whom aren’t incredible. I think they’re mean. Am I being judgmental? Yes. I met them. They were a dick to everyone at the picnic, including me, and I will not be party to that nonsense. Oh…but then the mutual friend steps in, “he/she is actually pretty cool” (followed inevitably by) “when you get to know them.” Well, forgive me for not racing to the NEXT picnic when (fingers crossed) you’re “cool when you get to know him” friend condescends to allow me the privilege of getting to know him once more. Anyone can make the wrong judgment call based on looks or an outfit. SOMETIMES you’ll even speak with a person and incorrectly read them. That said, I tend to believe that if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck…you know the phrase. It’s like people want to pretend that things aren’t the way they are. I spare myself a lot of BS by doing the opposite. Think about it, nice people don’t require friends’ constant personality justification and pleadings on their behalf, right? 

I’m a Christian, but I have my own interpretation of “thou shalt not judge.” I think you can make judgments like: cocaine is bad, Macauley Culkin is a great actor, and even, this “friendship” isn’t working, or I don’t need to fight for that one. Don’t hate people. Don’t waste your time trashing people, but certainly don’t pretend that someone wants your friendship because sometimes they don’t. Swallow that pill. 

Not Friend

October 6, 2014 by Chet   |   124 Comments

Angry-Ex-Mormon-Anti-Mormons

The tale of the Angry-Ex-Mormon-Anti-Mormons. “Mormonism! We’re so happy to be out of that CULT that we just can’t seem to shut up about it!” There are plenty of Ex-Mormons. They leave the LDS faith, go on with their lives, and that’s great. We should all make choices that make us happy. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about the Angry-Ex-Mormon-Anti-Mormons, who just CANNOT STOP talking about how much they hate Mormonism. It’s kinda like girls. The more a girl hates another girl, the more she reads the girl’s blog and monitors the girl’s instagram. Well, I hate needles. They make me queasy, which is why I don’t talk about them when I leave the doctor’s office. Why would I waste my time talking about something that made me soooo unhappy? 

The Angry-Ex-Mormon-Anti-Mormons love their new, eye-opening lifestyle because, in case you didn’t know, they’ve actually been issued a new set of eyes. New eyes? Yep. The rest of us Mormons still have our fake eyes that shield us from drugs, sex, alcohol, the Clintons, and former Disney actors. I’m only kidding. There are no new eyes, which is why I think it’s garbage when Angry-Ex-Mormon-Anti-Mormons fire off about “life outside the bubble.” What bubble? When you were Mormon, did kids not rebel in high school? Were there no gangs? No theft? No depression? What a joke. I’ve traveled to many countries, in various continents, lived in Europe, NY, LA, and Salt Lake City. Apart from the places to which I’ve traveled and called home, I’ve lived with a motley crew of MTV reality stars. ALL WALKS OF LIFE. Still, I maintain “same stuff, different city.” I don’t buy the bubble-bursting “post-Mormon enlightenment.” 

What is my contention with Angry-Ex-Mormon-Anti-Mormons? For one, the anger from acting like they didn’t have a choice with their Mormonism. Free agency is a fundamental belief in Mormonism. “But my parents made me go…” Yeah, parents start their kids off in lots of things: sports, school, religion etc., and then you grow up and make your own choices. So….you left and you’re “so much happier,” so why are you still so angrily talking about it? “I just want a discussion…” Discussion is great. Being angry and telling people they’ve been duped, however, is not a discussion. If leaving made you happy, then quit being bitter. “But some Mormons are weird…” Okay, well, any person in any religion can be weird. Do they condemn the whole?

Quickly, back to the “post-Mormon enlightenment.” I’ve seen it many times where the doubts that led to Angry-Ex-Mormon-Anti-Mormon departure HAVE to become everyone’s stumbling blocks. It’s like, “look what I found out about Mormon history!” Sadly, I think it’s more the rush of (hopefully) exposing religious/historical naïveté than actual debate that is sought. Either way, I’m pretty sure Mormons know that the LDS Church is/has been run by imperfect men. People can write, recite, post negativity all day long. It doesn’t negate how I feel when I pray. Regardless of one’s religion, faith is the basis, right? It feels nice and you press on. 

It’s General Conference weekend, which for LDS people (Mormons), is a biannual gathering/internationally broadcast event, filled with talks and instruction from church leaders. Angry-Ex-Mormon-Anti-Mormons LOVE conference! Why? Because now they can go on Twitter where their fellow Angry-Ex-Mormon-Anti-Mormons might retweet or favorite their snark! That’s very endearing for Angry-Ex-Mormon-Anti-Mormons. I find it comical when Angry-Ex-Mormon-Anti-Mormons (the still-Christian ones), tell me how TOTALLY SILLY it is to believe God and Jesus Christ could appear to Joseph Smith (we believe that), but a man walking on water is commonplace? Well, guess what, Angry-Ex-Mormon-Anti-Mormons, I believe both stories! I’ll see you on the Twitter!

mormons, eh?

October 3, 2014 by Chet   |   176 Comments

How To Make The Best Of Your Wife’s Mistake

Hello. This is my breakfast. I chose Franken Berry as part of this balanced breakfast. Well, to be perfectly honest, I let my wife go to Target, but not before reminding her that seasonal monster cereal is now back in stock. 5 Choices: Count Chocula, Boo Berry, Yummy Mummy, Franken Berry, and Fruit Brute. I don’t know any Fruit Brute people. About 25 minutes later, she returned with Franken Berry. Hmm. Having eaten SO MANY boxes of Yummy Mummy the year prior, I couldn’t understand why she showed up with NOT Yummy Mummy. I said thank you without pointing out the error of her selection, and then she yelled from the bathroom, “They didn’t have Yummy Mummy. I looked.” Disheartened, I thought, “I wonder if she checked any other stores that carry seasonal monster cereal?” I don’t believe she did. That’s why this is her mistake and not that of Target. 

Question: How do I make the best of my wife’s mistake?

Answer: Make breakfast cute. I mean, if it can’t taste like Yummy Mummy, at least I can make it look inviting.

1

How I did this:

Anthropologie bowl, Home Depot cactus, milk, empty Fentimans Rose Lemonade bottle (filled with flowers), and seasonal Franken Berry monster cereal. The flowers aren’t real. You can kinda tell because there’s no water and the stems are quite short and waxy looking. Also, there’s a guitar that’s out of focus in the background. When I took the photo, I didn’t even think about the guitar in the background, but then I saw the photo and thought, “I like the guitar in the background.”

2

Close-up of cereal.

This ungodly red is au naturel. You can’t really see the guitar in this close-up 

3

This is just another view of my breakfast. I really like how affectionately Franken Berry pours his milk. And you can’t really tell from this photo, but his fingernails are actually little strawberries. I thought that was a fun detail.

4

Now, you may have noticed the sticker on the front of the box that said “Franken Berry Cut-Out Mask” (see previous photos). You see, cereal is not that wonderful anymore. You used to get a toy, or a color changing plastic spoon, which, due to its size, never quite gave you a satisfying scoop (even as a kid with a tiny kid mouth), but you were still grateful. There was always SOMETHING! Now, all you ever get is an activity, as long as it can can be printed within the confines of the cardboard box at hand. Yeah, that’s what kids and adults want! Another maze or word-search… How did we go from toys —> mazes and word-searches? Or, in this case, a cut-out-mask? Normally, I would toss this, but, AGAIN, this is about trying to make the best of your wife’s mistake, i.e., purchasing NOT Yummy Mummy cereal.

Below, are a couple pictures of my precision cutting and my hands. Cutting the face out of the box was definitely the hardest part.

Cutting Tip: I’m right handed, but you can use your left (if you’re left-handed).

franken berry

Results:

I mean, as far as cardboard cereal masks go, I’d say it’s satisfactory. Quite satisfactory, indeed. This is a picture of me wearing my new mask (below). Oh yeah, I used dental floss to secure the mask to my head, but you can use dental floss, too, or yarn, or a shoe-lace. Get creative!

franken chet

My Hope For All Of You:

My hope is that all of you take this lesson into your daily lives and make the best of any situation, like I did. 

October 2, 2014 by Chet   |   157 Comments

STOP LIKING THIS GENEROUS $100 TIP PHOTO!!!

I’m sorry, but can you read? Makenzie Schultz was VERY CLEAR at the end of her post (where she shares a picture of her GENEROUS $100 tip for bad service) that… “I’m not posting this for a pat on the back.” And now, 1.5 Million people (and counting) are extending “likes” to the photos, WHICH, I’ll have you know, are ‘VIRTUAL PATS ON THE BACK’! You’re giving EXACTLY what she does NOT want. Why not give her, instead, what she ACTUALLY WANTED: zero attention? Right? This was supposed to be simple, people: Give $100 tip, take picture of generous tip, post picture of tip to facebook (you know…spare the waiter the time/hassle when he, upon seeing the tip, doesn’t have to post it himself), and OF COURSE, hope people don’t give you “a pat on the back.” Simple enough? Not so much. 

Some say, “I think generosity should not be promoted.” You may even be drawing such an idea from the Bible, where we read in Matthew 6:2-3

2: Therefore when thou does thine alms (charity), do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily, I say unto you, They have their reward

3: But when thou does alms (charity), let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth”

Essentially, we read that if you’re going to be generous, don’t make a scene. Well, guess what? If we weren’t supposed to take pictures of our generous $100 tips, draw a smiley face, and post it to facebook, it would have said EXACTLY that!

To be honest, I think she posted their generous $100 tip picture to see how FEW likes it would get. It’s like that game you play when your friend is sad, and you try and make him/her laugh, and if they do, they lose. Yeah, well, 1.5 million+ people lost. Believe me, I get the whole ‘not wanting a pat on the back’ thing. When I post selfies, THE LAST THING I WANT is a “pat on the back,” or “likes,” or “I love your hair,” or “is that dimple natural, or did you commission a surgeon with admirable yelp reviews to create that facial crevasse?” Hate hearing that! 

(Actual Selfie)

Below, is the generous couple on national TV (visibly upset). You think they want to be on national TV talking about their generosity? When someone says they’re NOT posting a picture of their generous $100 tip for a “pat on the back,” then you should honor their “I’m not posting this for a pat on the back” motion. 

couple 1

October 1, 2014 by Chet   |   121 Comments

The Life And Times Of The One-Upper

The One-Upper. I don’t know what the deal is with this breed of human, but it’s innate and eternal. Why are you ALWAYS out-cooling us and the rest of humanity? Can’t we be content with that ONE TIME we saw Aaron Carter live? No, because you saw Nick Carter and the rest of the Backstreet Boys (twice) and obviously Aaron is no Nick, but do we need that reiterated?

Likely scenario:

Me: Dude, I just started Breaking Bad on Netflix. Have you seen it? Pretty intense stuff!

One Upper: Yeah…I mean, I watched it when it first came out. Very small group of us. We had an online forum. Anyway, but then it became “this thing…”

Me: What do mean, “this thing”?

One Upper: Oh, nothing.

Me: Obviously it’s something.

One Upper: Do I have to say it? You’re gonna make me say it. Okay, I’ll say it: Trendy.

Me: Oh, geez. 

They saw it first, listened to it first, wore it first, tried it first, and that’s that. Always. 

one upper

 

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September 30, 2014 by Chet   |   177 Comments

Fat Girl Tinder Date: This “Social Experiment” Is Dumb

 

“Social Experiment”, eh? What exactly is the experiment? And were all steps of the Scientific Method fairly represented? Bottom line, these guys are trying to say, “Watch how guys hate fat girls!” It’s absurd. EVERYONE hates being mislead. It has nothing to do with fat people or any type of person. Seriously. Let’s say you meet someone in real life (not on Tinder app), ask them out, go to pick them up, and a NEW HUMAN BEING is standing in the doorway, alleging to be the person you spoke with previously. I’d be really pissed off, confused, and furthermore, terrified. Am I unfairly judging the person in front of me before getting to know them? No. I’m simply here to pick my date up and YOU ARE NOT HER, trickster. 

Back to this Fat Girl Tinder Date…NOT “social experiment”

Guy 1: “You’ve heard of the Tinder, right?” 

Guy 2: “You mean the app that relegates dating and hookups to nothing more than ‘swipe right if hot’ and ‘swipe left if not hot’? Oh, indeed, I have!”

Guy 1: “Precisely! What if we made a video where guys think they’re going on a date with this girl, but we put her in a fat suit and make her look like “not her”, and if they’re not immediately impressed with “new, fat version of her,” we’ll expose them for being superficial a-holes?”

Guy 2: “OMG! That would be so superficial of them!”

Look, with respect to dating, some people believe that ALL OF US are superficial. They’re right. Guess who else is superficial? Peacocks and bowerbirds. Heavens, the female bowerbird’s mate decision is solely contingent upon the male’s colorfully, decorative nest. Is it bad that you’re not physically attracted to EVERY SINGLE PERSON on earth? No. It’s not. We’re human. We’re all different and with that, we like differently. When I met my wife, I saw her, liked what I saw, spoke with her, AND THEN made, and continue to make character discoveries because ULTIMATELY, I/we value those discovered qualities such as: loyalty, honesty, friendliness, etc. WAY MORE THAN looks, but something has to spark a conversation, and it’s not often that we happen upon people being ‘super loyal’, or ‘patient with children’, facilitating that ‘not-superficial’ platform for selecting a date-mate.

Oh, yes, I have proof that while all of us concern ourselves with our image (you’re not alone), we do value the depth of souls much more, as it sustains any relationship. See video below:

 

September 29, 2014 by Chet   |   135 Comments