Fun With Accountants

Accountants can be fun, when they're not busy being boring.

It's surprisingly easy to egg them on.

Take this exchange from earlier today.  I was at the coffee maker with an unsuspecting accountant.  We had two choices - make our coffee quietly and then head back to our desks, or have some fun at the accountant's expense.  Guess which one we chose today?

Accountant:  I can't believe it's snowing today!

Me:  Yup.  Hey, I wonder how much this coffee costs per cup?

Accountant:  Well, it depends on which style you brew.  If one person is going to have one cup, then it's cheaper to use the single cup brewer.  However, if three or more people are going to have a cup, then it's cheaper to brew a whole pot.

Me:  What about the time value of money considering the declining depreciation expense of the ROI amount allocated in the budget?  Did you consider that?

Accountant:  What?  No!  You don't use that approach when calculating the cost of one-off expenditures!  You only factor those variables in when depreciating fixed assets in accordance with GAAP guidelines.

Me:  Yes, until they updated their guidance documents two years ago.

Accountant:  This changes everything!

*Runs off to recalculate his life*

Innocent Bystander:  Do you have any idea what you were saying?

Me:  Not a clue, but that sure is good coffee.

What I'm Thankful For

It's that time of year again.  The leaves have turned color, and the temperature is dropping.

This prompts us to remember the warmth and fun of summer, and regret we took it for granted and spent it at the office.

To protect against repeating this failure, we take a long weekend to think about all we've been blessed with, and give thanks.  We stuff ourselves silly and stare in a stupor at the football game on our big screens.  Then we sleep it off and go max out the credit cards, buying every shiny bit of stupid we can get our chubby fingers on.

I want this year to be different.  I want to remember what I'm thankful for and dwell on it a bit.

So here it is:

What I'm Thankful For:

Friends and family - We've all had a tough year, it seems.  No one was exempt this time around.  But while it was a rocky road, the journey has been worth it.  We've all banded together.  We've helped each other through, and we're all closer for it.  Thank you.

The Internet - Ahh, The Internet.  What would we do without it?  Actually drive to the store?  Talk to the bank teller?  Write letters?  Rent videos?  No thanks!  Umm, I mean...thanks!

Cars - Faster than horses and cleaner, too.  I'm glad my generation got to skip that whole "pick up horse poop" bit.  Thank you.

Chips and Salsa - Thank you, Pace.  You make the evening lull between getting off work and eating dinner that much better.  You may be thick, but you are also chunky.  Thank you.

My Server Room - It's hot in there.  It's packed to the ceiling with old junk.  It has the Linux Box From Hell.  But you know what?  It's quiet.  There are no users in there.  Thank you!

Grace - The wages of sin are death, and I'm a sinner.  I'm helpless to do anything about my eternal condition on my own.  Heck, I can't even drive to the mall without my GPS.  God made Heaven, and then set the price of admission at "being perfect".  Sounded like a bum deal and a place for elitists until I realized no one else can get in, either.  But wait - God just paid my admission and invited me in!  Why?  He's holy, I'm not, and He loves me.  Thank You!

Baseball - I know I'm the only one left who loves it, but I don't care.  All the guys at work complain that it's 'slow'.  But they're accountants and golfers, so who are they to talk?  Don't worry, Baseball - I appreciate you.  Thanks.

Christmas - I know, it's Thanksgiving and I'm jumping the gun.  I'll agree with you that the stores put Christmas stuff out way too early.  I'll agree with you my neighbors shouldn't have decked out their homes in lights two whole weeks ago.  But what I'm not telling you is my dirty little secret:  I've been listening to Christmas music in my car since June and can't wait until Black Friday when I can go nuts with all things Christmas, guilt free.  Thank you, Christmas!

So, what are YOU thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Exposed: What Every Christian Should Know About Pornography

Addiction: "The devotion or surrendering of oneself to something habitually or obsessively; persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful" - Merriam Webster Dictionary

Our culture is addicted to pornography.

Did you know: 53% of Christian men consume pornography? 33% of women consume pornography? 47% of Christians say pornography is a major problem in their home? With stats like these, how could you not know?

Let's dig deeper:

53% of pastors have visited porn sites in the past year. 4 in 10 looked at pornography today. This shows pornographic addiction can seep its way into any home, even in the Christian community. This means that, statistically, if you get even a small group of fellow Christians together, porn is an issue for at least one person you know.  It may even be you.

Pornography is the sin we don't talk about.  We hide it, we sweep it under the rug. 30% of afflicted Christians have never talked to anyone about their addiction. Pornography is prevalent, damaging, and yet often overlooked. Many people are afraid to admit they have a sinful addiction of any kind, especially when they believe they are alone in their struggle. Awareness is key.

Brian Mc Ginness wasn't a pastor, but he was addicted to pornography.  He tried to fight it, but soon it was "taking over" his life.  "I would find ways to arrange my schedule to view porn", he says.

At a church event, Brian witnessed another man telling his own story of pornography addiction.  Brian could relate, and sought help after the event.  He even came clean to his wife.  "I was done with this controlling my life."  Brian now works for XXXChurch, an online community helping men and women break the chains of pornographic addiction.

XXXChurch has resources for everyone.  The site is broken down into categories (teens, parents, men, women, couples and pastors). Available resources include books, videos, and programs, all designed to deal directly with pornographic addiction.

XXXChurch also has a program called X3 Watch. X3 Watch is accountability software that sends reports to your accountability partners and lets them know if you have visited any questionable sites. Additionally, the site features a 30 day program called X3 Pure that is an online class, complete with videos and filtering software.

Remember, God looks at the heart.  He defines adultery as looking lustfully (Matthew 5:27-28).  It's not a harmless habit, it's a destructive sin.

The Bible says "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

So let's start being honest about pornography.

If you or someone you know wants help breaking the cycle of pornographic addiction, please talk to your pastor or go to

Special thanks to my gorgeous wife Jana, who helped me write this.

Thanks also to Brian Mc Ginness of XXXChurch, who answered all my questions without hesitation.  His openness and honesty in shedding light on this topic is greatly appreciated.

Freelance IT Consulting

If you've been doing IT for a while, you know what it means to be an IT consultant.  At least one of the FREElance variety.

You have to be up on every option known to man.  You have to be a mind reader.  And above all, you have to work for free, often without so much as a 'Thank you!'

It goes like this:

Friend, family member or coworker:  Can I ask you a personal question?

You:  Sorry, I'm taken.

Friend, family member or coworker:  What?

You:  Never mind.  Sure, shoot.

Friend, family member or coworker:  I'm looking for a new computer, but I don't know what to get.

You:  Well, what are you looking to be able to do with it?

Friend, family member or coworker:  I want to watch kitty videos and read sewing blogs.  I want to have a big screen like my neighbor does.

You:  Is that all you're wanting to do with it?  Sounds like you're looking for a basic desktop.  What's your budget?

Friend, family member or coworker:  $18.  And I want the Microsoft Windows Word and Internet Powerpoint Presenter.

You:  Do you mean Office?  That's extra.  It doesn't come with Office or the monitor.

Friend, family member or coworker:
  Why not?  My neighbor says all his software is free.  He downloads it over the Limewire.  Oh, and I want to use it on my couch during "Biggest Loser" commercials.

  Ok, then you'll need a laptop or a netbook.  Those come with the monitor.

Friend, family member or coworker:  Can you tell me the difference between a laptop and a netbook?

You:  Sure.  Laptops are heavier duty.  They'll have a better processor and an optical drive.  They're less likely to come with a stripped down OS, so there's no artificial software restrictions like in 7 Starter, where you can't run more than three concurrent apps.  Netbooks are meant for light use and traveling.  They're a good choice as long as you aren't under the illusion they're a laptop replacement.

Friend, family member or coworker:  Uh-huh.  So do they come in pink?  I want the cutest one they have!

You:  *Sigh*  Have you been to the Apple store?  I hear their computers are sooo cuuuute!

Stuff Popping Around In My Head, Part 2

Putt-Putt - Miniature golf is a lot harder than you remember it being when you were a kid.

Bureaucracy - It used to be spelled "insanity", but then it went through committee approval.

Business Cards - I'll be dead before I hand all these out.  I should go down to local deli and dump 'em all in the jar.  Free lunch guaranteed!

Urgent Email - You can slap that red exclamation on every one of your emails, and it still won't be an emergency.  Truly urgent emails are called "phone calls".

Water Heaters - Betcha you took yours for granted this morning, didn't you?

Electricity - I'll never understand how the same electricity that will kill me will simply charge my little iPod.  I know I'm a wimp, but I kinda thought I was tougher than my iPod.

Sharing a Bathroom With My Wife - The stuff in our bathroom can be sorted into three basic categories:  Her Stuff, My Stuff, and Our Stuff.  The distribution of stuff into these categories is approximately:  Her Stuff - 74.86%.  My Stuff - 12.29%.  Our Stuff - 12.85%*.  I feel like I should start paying her rent.

Slip-On Shoes
- I'll never go back.  I haven't laced a single pair of my shoes in approximately 8 years.  When I have kids, I'm not teaching them to tie their shoes.  I'm going to hand them a pair of awesome slip-ons and say, "Have at it.  I just saved you 6 months of your entire life.  You're welcome."

Mowing the Lawn - Shouldn't we put high-powered lasers on the top of the sprinkler heads to keep the lawn at just the perfect height?  Go on, tell me you haven't thought of this one too!

Pencils - Are we still making these things?  Why?

*   "Our Stuff" is really just another name for "Mostly Her Stuff".

The Garbage Man

Note:  I wrote this in high school, and it still amuses me.

Do you like your job?  Chances are, you don't.

It seems to me most people don't think highly of their employment situation. Of all the available jobs, the one most people would rather have is "a different one". There's always something folks gripe about: The hours are long, the pay is low, the boss is a tyrant...blah, blah, blah. Little do people know that the best job is not just one more step up the corporate ladder.

What is the worst job you can think of? I used to think that being a garbage man would be the worst. On a cold December morning, he had to get up early while everyone else slept in. He had to drive a stinky truck around a well-to-do neighborhood and throw away snobby people's waste. The snobs themselves would watch disdainfully from a second-story window with a cup of hot chocolate. The poor slave would glance up enviously as the marshmallows in the steaming mug peered over the rim at him mockingly. Then the onlooker would hastily shut the shades and go sit by the fireplace to read the paper.

Then, when he got home, things didn't get any better. He could not wash off the smell of rotting fruit and baby diapers. He was lonely. He turned on some Garth Brooks and watched a rerun of an old sitcom. What were his plans for the weekend? He'd probably rent a cheap movie and watch it with his goldfish. I did not envy the garbage man.

Now, of course, I do. He has it so easy now. Thanks to mechanization, he just sits on his bum and moves levers. He doesn't have to deal with overbearing bosses. His job description reads something like this:

1. Dump Trash.

His evaluations go like this:

Boss: What have you done lately?

Garbage Man: Dumped some trash.

Boss: Keep up the good work.

He's never late for work, either, because he never has to take a shower. He doesn't need to take a shower because he doesn't get stinky and dirty. He does everything sitting in his heated truck with a Country Apple scented air freshener.

He comes home, meets his wife at the door, and sweeps her off her feet with a kiss. Then he takes her to the Olive Garden.  After, they go to the opera. Then they return home to sit on the back porch and gaze at the stars.

Yes, I envy the garbage man. He has the best job.

And he never has to take a shower!

Mrs. Jones

I used to be in Bible Club in middle school.  I was even the president of the club one year.  I was a model student and a goodie-two-shoes to boot.  Every Wednesday, I'd stay after school and read my Bible with five or six others.  If we were feeling a bit rowdy, we'd listen to D.C. Talk.

Then came my eighth grade year.  I decided I was going to get in trouble and not care.  I became too cool for my former Christian friends.  I went against everything I had been taught and believed in.

Enter Mrs. Jones, my English teacher.  She was a quiet, polite and mild-mannered lady.  She always wore her long salt-and-pepper hair pulled straight back in a simple pony tail.  Colorful business suits and too much lipstick.

She quickly became my target.

I loved to act up in class and make the other kids laugh.  Having a pushover for an English teacher only encouraged me.

I'd cause scenes daily - throwing things, making comments, pulling pranks.  I thought I had her figured out.  I was full of myself and didn't mind the occasional reprimand she meted out.

There was one thing I didn't count on.

Mrs. Jones was a Christian.  She was the new sponsor of the Bible Club, which met every Wednesday after school.

Partway through the year, her choice of punishments changed a bit.  Rather than assign extra homework or sending me to chat with the principal, she'd make me stay after school for detention.

I thought this was great.  It's far easier to sit and stare at a wall for a bit than to write a paper.  I was winning.

I started to notice a pattern, though.  The majority of my detentions were awarded on Wednesdays.  It's hard to sit in the same room with your former Christian friends and not feel awkward.  I'd sit on the other side of the room and ignore them, then bolt for the door the second the required amount of time had elapsed.

Soon, I was in detention each and every Wednesday.  I quickly learned to behave.  This did nothing to relax the relentless Bible studies, though.  Mrs. Jones gave me detention whether I deserved it or not!

Each week, everyone in the study politely asked me to join them.  Each week, I sullenly declined.

Mrs. Jones was winning.

I stayed after one non-Wednesday to have it out with Mrs. Jones.

"I know what you're doing," I accused.  "Why are you forcing me to come to the Bible studies?"

"I know you," she responded.

"What do you mean?"  I retorted.  "You know nothing about me!"

"I know you used to go to the Bible Club.  I know your friends have been praying for you all year.  I know they miss you.  I know this childish behavior you antagonize me with isn't who you really are.  I know you miss them and want to join them again, but feel like you've ruined your chance.  Take it from me, they'd love to have you back.  The real you, that is."

Mrs. Jones won.

Thanks, Mrs. Jones.

Selling My Niece

I pride myself on being a good uncle.

My nieces are always excited to see me.  I roughhouse with them and read their favorite books to them, over and over.

A couple weeks ago, I blew it big time.

We were teaching my six-year-old niece how to haggle at a neighborhood garage sale.  She's been practicing her addition and was very proud of herself for adding up the cost of the items she was considering buying.

She had picked up two items, one for $.50 and one for $.25.

"How much do you offer the lady, Adelle?", I asked her.

She scrunched up her face while she added the two figures in her head.

"$.75!", she exclaimed proudly.

"Nope", my dad told her.  "Offer her $.50 for both items and see what she says."

Confused, Adelle timidly approached the couple holding the garage sale.  They were an older couple, and they had been watching us with amusement while we instructed my niece.

"I'll give you $.50 for both of these."

The lady had obviously been waiting for a chance to have some fun with my niece.  "I don't think so, honey.  We already marked everything down from yesterday."  Then the couple leaned gleefully forward in their chairs, anticipating what my niece would do next.

Adelle turned to us with wide, panicked eyes and whispered, "She said no.  The lady said no.  What do I do now?"

The gentleman prodded her along, saying "You should learn to barter!"

"What's that?"

At this point, I decided to jump in and help out.  I had been standing off to the side with my youngest niece, age four.  Her name is Carly, and I'm her favorite uncle.

I patted Carly on the head, and told Adelle, "That means you should throw in your sister."

The couple laughed, and the lady said, "We'll take her!"

Carly melted.  She believed me, and was horrified at her new future with the strangers down the street.  I've never seen so many tears from such little eyes.

I had to carry her home and rock her in The Big Chair for nearly an hour, but it was worth it.

Adelle got both items at the bargain price of $.60.

Of Mouse and Man

Some users are more clueless than others.  They're the recurring callers; the ones who are always stymied by the simplest of error messages.

When you help them, they're not always with the program.

Here's a classic example...


Special User:  How do I open a file?

Me:  Double-click it.

Special User:  I did, and nothing happened.  Come look.

Me:  Ok, show me.

Special User:  *Right clicks on a file twice*  See?  Just that silly pop-up menu.

Me:  Double-click with the left mouse button.

Special User:  *Right clicks on the file twice*  Still doesn't work!

Me:  The other button.

Special User:  *Right clicks on the file twice*  Nope!

Me:  Your other left mouse button.  There's only two.  Use the one on the left.  The one closest to your keyboard.

Special User:  *Right clicks on the file twice*  Why won't this work?  I'm doing it right!

Me:  Yes, you're doing it with the right mouse button, which is incorrect.  Try this one.  *Touches the correct button*

Special User:  *Right clicks on the file twice*  I hate computers!

Me:  No, you don't.  Try this one.  *Touches it again*

Special User:  Oh, the left one!  *Left clicks on the file twice*  Ok, you fixed it!

Me:  Glad to help!  *Walks away mumbling* *Right eye twitches*

Lying Jeans

I have a love/hate relationship with my jeans.

It's just that I can't trust them.  They tell me lies.

We're allowed to wear jeans to work on Fridays.  On Fridays, I stumble into the closet, and groggily look for what to wear.

The Jeans know it's their day, and they're excited.  They've been planning this all week.  My Dockers are in a crumpled pile on the floor, having been beaten up once again by The Jeans.

As I reach for them, The Jeans start making me promises.

"You made the right choice, Boss!  We're more fun than your usual business casual.  We've got a heckuva day planned for you - a heckuva day!  We're gonna leave work early today.  We're gonna go on a hike.  We're gonna play baseball and eat cookies!  We're even throwing a party later - we invited all your friends!"

I've learned the hard way, though - they're lying.

I get to work and the boss calls a meeting.  The Jeans howl in disappointment.

Two hours later, I leave the meeting with a pile of work.  The Jeans fight to take me to my car.  It's quite the struggle.  The call of duty wins.

I work for a couple hours, and then head to lunch.  The Jeans talk me into taking a long lunch with the guys.  It's Friday, after all.

"Now you're talking, Boss!  We won't go back to work, we'll go to a movie!  Don't pull in here at the office, keep going.  C'mon, you know you want to.  The Boss won't care!"

My mobile rings.  It's the Boss.  He has a deliverable going out today, and it's all hands on deck until it's done.  I pull in to the office, much to The Jeans' dismay.

The deliverable goes out, but not before we run into some technical glitches.

"C'mon, Boss.  Let's leave now.  Take your wife out on a date - she deserves it!  We've already called Hot Skirt, and she's in!"

We spend Friday night rebooting servers and backing up databases.

Stuff Popping Around In My Head, Part 1

Payday candy bars - Diet or no diet, I'm going for it!  I could be on my deathbed, with a doctor standing right next to me.  He could say to me, "Mr. Anderson, if you eat another Payday candy bar, you will die a horrible, painful death."  I would nod my head solemnly and reply, "Where do you want me to throw this wrapper?"  I am defenseless in all things Payday.

Full disk encryption - Why just make one file inaccessible, when you can ruin the whole drive?

Airplanes - Magic, pure magic.  They keep the magic in that black box.

Hand Sanitizer - Do the people who bottle hand sanitizer wear gloves?

Screwdrivers - Why aren't they all magnetic tipped?  Can we go ahead and make that a standard feature?

Hawaii - Does it ever feel lonely out there in the middle of the ocean?

Professional certifications - I finally got one, and it's turning out to be like I expected - nobody cares.

Network wiring diagrams - Lots of work, very little payoff.  Don't wanna do it...where's a junior staffer?  Aha - You there!  Come here for a minute.  Bwahahaha!  What?  No, I always laugh like that.

The Muppets - I'm sure they're quite a trip if you're high.

Paper clips - I've had the same box since I started working here 7 years ago.  It might disintegrate before I run out of clips.  I hide my change for the vending machine in it.

Bowling - Did you know it's a contact sport?  I didn't either, until last time I went and tackled myself crossing that slippery line.  I got airborne as I continued down the lane.  There's no dignity left after that, trust me.  Not after falling that hard on your arse!

HP tech support - I've actually gotten a real, live human being to talk with me.  I have this person's direct line.  I hope my wife doesn't mind, because I'm about to start stalking this lady.  She is the last helpful person at HP, and I'm not letting go for anything!

Kleenex - The tissues in my Kleenex box here at work have changed colors halfway through the box.  Did they start packing it on White Day and finish it on Yellow Day?

Diet Dr. Pepper - An open can stays carbonated for days...when you forget about it and leave it on your desk at work behind your laptop.

Seriously, it's like a pinball machine in here.

I, Robot

It's pretty hectic at work right now.  We're in the process of decommissioning one network and building another one.

Due to the timing of things, we're actually without a network at the moment.  This was dictated by contract requirements, not poor planning.

We informed the users a week ahead of time.  We instructed them to ensure all files were saved to the server prior to the deadline so we could make the necessary backups.

As the Network Administrator, I maintain the backups.

Next time, I'll be smarter.  I'll think ahead.

This simple mistake has cost me my humanity.  I've crossed the line between man and machine.  I have sacrificed myself and filled a void no man was meant to fill.

I have become The Server.

User:  I need a database!

Me:  Request accepted.  Bring me a flash drive.

User:  I had you grab the wrong one!  Now I need a different database, two spreadsheets and fourteen scanned images.

Me:  Authentication successful.  Transaction completed.

User:  Ok, I edited one of the spreadsheets, the database and six images.  Here's the flash drive so you can replace the copies in your backups.

Me:  Data overwrite?

User:  Yes.

Me:  Confirmed.  Overwrite successful.  Verification completed.

User:  Great, thanks.  I need to print four of these images.

Me:  Documents submitted to local print queue.

User:  Oh, and the database, too.

Me:  Print database failed.  Permission denied.  Abort, retry, fail?

User:  Retry.

Me:  I'm sorry, Dave.  I'm afraid I can't do that.

Risky Business

My mom had quite the incident a few months ago.  She fell down some stairs at work and broke her leg.

She immediately knew it was broken because:

A.  She heard it snap.

B.  She felt it snap.

C.  She saw the bone pushing her skin out where it snapped.

Now, my mom is very intelligent, but she's no doctor.  Aware of this shortcoming, her coworkers immediately called an ambulance to escort my mom to someone who was.

At the hospital, the nurses must not have known what to do.  They tried putting Mom in a room and closing the door.  This did not fix her leg, even after several hours.

Next, they x-rayed her leg.  This did not fix it, either.

After several hours, they decided drastic measures were necessary.  They called in a doctor.

He reviewed the x-rays.  He asked Mom to describe what happened.  He looked at her leg.

"Your leg is broken", he said.  We were all amazed.

They admitted Mom to the hospital for a few days.  She had surgery.  The doctor used plates and screws to put the bone back together, kinda like a gruesome Erector set.

Then they put an wristband on her.  It was yellow, with bright red letters.

"FALL RISK", it read, in all caps.

"Now they tell me", sighed my mom.

The Leech

I love conferences.

If you're a vendor and you have a conference, I'll attend.  It doesn't really matter what the conference is about, as long as The Boss approves my request.

There is one catch:  You'll have to pony up with some freebies.

I'll sit through your presentation, pretend to read your brochures and white papers, and schmooze with your sales team.  In exchange, you'll load me up with free software, pens, shirts, light-up key chains and hopefully a hat.  I'm a sucker for hats.  It's a good system we have.

If all you've got at your stand is brochures and badge clips, we're going to have to cut it short.  But if you have a whole grab bag full of goodies, we can talk all day.  I definitely make time for grab bags.

Don't take this confession of my true motives personally.  I do my best to be polite, and it's not like you're being honest either.  We have conversations like this:

Vendor:  ...and our cutting edge technology will help you leverage your throughput via comparative analysis of the blah-de-blah...

Me:  That's incredible!  We'll definitely keep you in mind for our ongoing project procurement plans.  Would you happen to have a business card?

If we were both being honest, the conversation would go downhill rather quickly:

Vendor:  I'm just gonna let you read the brochure.  I'm tired of repeating the same old spiel over and over.  I know you're not listening to me and you're only interested in the grab bag anyway.

Me:  True.  Mind if I grab two?  I could lie and say it's for my co-worker, but the truth is I use your t-shirts for changing my oil, and I go through 'em pretty fast.

Vendor:  Sure.  The sooner I hand this junk out, the sooner I can go home.

Me:  Wanna do me a favor?  Help me create a diversion for the dude at the booth behind you.  He's got hats.

If you know of any conferences coming to town, please let me know.

Why Men Will Not Go Shopping

There are many differences between men and women, such as shopping.

A man will not 'shop'.  It is dull, pointless, and the root of all evil.  The more time spent in stores is just that:  more time spent.  Time is money, which manages to get spent, too.  A woman, however, finds this nefarious activity absolutely spellbinding.  To them, it's great:  Go spend someone else's money on clothes you will wear only in the dressing room.  This is the only chance they will have to wear them, because the $100 'must-have' outfit will be out of style by the time she gets home.  She will (again) have 'nothing to wear'.

This logic boggles a man's mind.  He can wear sixth generation jeans with fourteen holes in each leg for a month before it bothers him.  He does not care how he looks.  He has no idea what the inside of a dressing room looks like.  He spends no time there, yet he is perfectly satisfied with his clothes.  They smell halfway decent and fit fine.

A woman is horrified by this type of lifestyle.  All items owned by her must be new and have several duplicates waiting just in case.  This is why some females walk around with a purse and a backpack.  One is for storage, and the other is for...more storage.  This abundance of storage is needed to contain all the items captured during her latest 'shopping adventure' (oxymoron alert!).

Men have shorter attention spans than women.  If an item doesn't immediately grab their attention, it deservedly loses it.  Shopping serves no practical purpose for men.  We need fast-paced action, such as football.

Rather than go shopping, a man prefers to 'gift retrieve'.  This bright idea may come as a shock to all the shopping addicts.  Here's how it works:

After an intense football game in the park with his buddies, a man might think to himself, "Hmmm.  I stink worse than my great Aunt Ida does while 'Sweatin' to the Oldies' on a hot day.   Better go buy some soap."  He then heads to the corner store to get some soap.  While he is hunting for the kind that does not make him smell like wild berries, he walks past several kinds that do.  On a wild whim, he grabs one of these for his girlfriend.  She enjoys smelling like wild berries.  He pays for the soaps and then goes home, because he is done.  He will not wander and peruse any further, since there is no need to.  He will find himself extremely proud for two reasons:  He actually bought her something, and her birthday is coming up anyway.  He can honestly say he remembered!

Women can focus on one thing for hours.  If an item is on sale, regardless of what it is, then a woman must study it and compare prices and features.  Then she will be able to make an informed consumer decision, such as which overpriced eyeliner is the smarter buy.

What makes this habit unbearable for men is that we get dragged along for the ride.  Women, if your man says the first outfit you try on is the perfect one, don't assume he's lying.  He's probably telling the you the truth, since he thinks you look great in anything.  However, he is getting an added benefit - you might take him at his word and actually buy it...and then go home.  It may not have happened this easy in the history of your marriage, but he still believes it could happen today...

...until you frown at him and try on the next thirty-two outfits.

Oh, well.  It was worth a try!

Abandon All Hope of a Perfect Wedding

No wedding goes off without a hitch.  At least, not the good ones.

My wife likes to tell people I was late to the wedding, but that's technically not true.  I had five whole minutes to spare.  Here's what really happened...

I'd had my bachelor party the night before.  It was a wild night of poker and pranks.  While it was an absolute blast, we kept it under control.  Or at least until my cousin started throwing up in the back yard.  You just can't eat that much bean dip in one sitting.  The grass always grew greener in that spot, though.

At the party, I'd given my house key to best friend Chris, who was a groomsman in our wedding.

The next day, I locked the house up tight since we were leaving for our honeymoon and wouldn't be back for a week.  I was on my way to the church, with plenty of time to spare, when I realized I'd forgotten a little something:

My tux.

No problem, I thought.  I turned around and headed back to the house to retrieve it...and realized I had no key.


Never one to let my foresight be my downfall, I kept a calm head and did the only sensible thing I could do, given the circumstances:

I punched the back bedroom window as hard as I could, over and over.  While this doesn't let you in through double-paned glass, it does leave nicely colored bruises on your knuckles.

Now I was even more calm.  I told the window what I thought of it ("You're such a pane!"), and began throwing rocks at the glass.  Nothing.  Not even a crack.  I had accidentally bought the strongest glass on the block.

Next, I went door to door looking for a neighbor with an available hammer.

Nobody was home.

As I headed back up my driveway, I noticed something in my car.

The Club.  I had finally found a use for it.  I never put it on my steering wheel, as it was a pain to use.

It was very convenient for smashing glass, though.  We later found shards all the way into the living room, twenty feet away.

I snatched my tux and drove like a madman.

Chris met me in the parking lot of the church.  He helped me get all the shiny wedding bling (button covers, cuff links, doodads) in order, and I was ready - with five minutes to spare.

My folks came to say hello.  My mom pointed out my missing tie.  I had dropped it back at the house.  My dad whipped his off and handed it to me.  I was set.

Jana was smiling as she came down the aisle, classically late.  She was the most beautiful sight I've ever seen in my life.  I almost flew down the stairs to take her hand.

As I grabbed her hand and headed back up the steps, her smile didn't fade, but she did ask me a question through gritted teeth.

"Where is your tie?"

I should have called a locksmith.