snarks on a plane

Five years of a blog that runs about 70% snark and grump, maybe more. I complain too much on the Internet, and it’s bad for my writing. Occasionally I catch myself and write a happy piece about kittens or Chinese dumplings or a really stellar masturbation session. But a gloomy Andy Rooney/James Lileks atmosphere threatens. It’s a flaw, and I’m surprised that’s not pointed out more.

Most of the time, though, my small and friendly readership either agrees, suggests a different yet sympathetic angle, or clears the buffer and moves on. I don’t get a lot of “oh hell no” or “you bastard, you pissed on my dream” reactions.

And then there was that time I dissed the Snakes on a Plane astroturf ad campaign, and found out there are still people who care enough to stand up for Jesus calculated viral marketing!

I’ve had a lot of mean in me lately and I ain’t proud.

Fortunately most of it is theoretical and occurs as military exercises rather than actual attacks. But my snark is at a near all-time high.

Example. My brother is in town, and we were talking about scammers and beggars. I related the story of one local addict, the kind of guy who goes from looking pretty much okay because his family has cleaned him up, through increasingly scruffy, to Gone For A While. He has a hunted look and that near-permanent sunburn of the person who has been outside not by choice. Sometimes he just bums cigs, but he usually does the “out of gas” scam, which is a script I have not seen vary in multiple cities and decades:

“Hey, I feel really dumb, can I ask you a question here? I was at a [bachelor party,picnic,church] and didn’t pay attention and I ran out of gas! I have to get back to [suburb about 20 miles away where no poor people live] tonight and I don’t have my wallet on my. So dumb. Do you have a couple bucks?”

The last time our local guy did this my answer was “This is the third variation on that lie you have told just to me. Did you know that?” He looked surprised and said “Sorry! No, I didn’t.” and left. So that was kind of snarky and unnecessarily mean, since the poor fucker is a drug addict and kind of doomed. I got my button pushed by the lie and was nasty.

My brother told me in response that he’d been taken in by a young woman who worked this scam at the college where he works. There had been some kind of kampus kop alert about scammers so he reported his misadventure to the cops in case it was someone they were looking for, etc etc. The young policewoman who took the report mocked him to no end, basically calling in the other cops to say hey look at the dumb professor who fell for the scam haw haw haw, on and on. He was pretty upset. My response was that he should have replied:

“That’s funny all right. Here’s an even better joke. Did you hear the one about the girl who was so dumb she barely made it out of high school and ended up a third-rate rentacop working for the smart people? It’s FUCKING HILARIOUS!”

I think I shocked my brother. I certainly shocked myself! Maybe I need to take up punching clowns or something.

The new chain restaurant is here! The new chain restaurant is here!

The huge restaurant chain that owns Outback, Fleming’s, and various other Tchotchke’s/Flingers type places has brought their expensive seafood joint here, “”Blue Coral.” Best quote from the Register article is:

That was evident Tuesday night, as diners such as Stafford – clad in khaki shorts, an Oxford shirt and a Crevier BMW cap – admired Blue Coral’s high-back booth seats, iridescent-blue mosaic tiles and teak floors. The Fleming’s regular said he plans to cruise among Roy’s, Fleming’s and Blue Coral on a weekly basis.

“This is what Newport Beach is all about,” Stafford said.

Um. No. Newport beach is all about the Crab Cooker, the Villa Nova, Dad’s Donuts, the Blue Beet, and Original Pizza. Among others. There’s an actual town here and we don’t need any more chain restaurants for the guys in polo shirts and pressed khaki shorts and pressed executive hair.

I bet he has a Duffy electric boat, too. Snark. 😀

The full article is interesting, especially in the detail that America’s shitty chain restaurants are getting their profits ground to bits by high energy costs.

Starfunders, Inc.


Hi. Trent Reznor here. You may remember me from such bands as “Nine Inch Nails”. I’m here to talk to you about retirement options. You know, when I wrote my hit song “Down In It”, I had no idea how much application those ideas would have to financial planning.

:::turns to second camera:::

That’s why I’m talking to you today. Ask yourself: If you were “Hurt” tomorrow, would you have enough insurance? Really enough?

Welcome to the richest hick town in California.

Our local rag, the Orange County Register, now has a “blog”.

In their case this means boring, self-satisfied right-wing slop. It’s not even a blog really. No commenting, no syndication. It’s all the high-quality writing and careful fact checking of the bloggers with all the spontaneity and interactivity of a newspaper! I think I’d rather watch FOX News. Their goebbeling is snappier and sometimes there are cute girls in the shampoo ads.

It does have these losers’ email on it, though, so you can goatse them at least.

Yes, we are still a provincial backwater with no style or class. We’re just a very, very rich one these days.