Sunday, January 24, 2016
"My girlfriend is dumb, I tell ya. It takes her an hour and a half to watch '60 Minutes.' " - Rodney Dangerfield
As an entertainment medium, the television, or "TV" as I like to call it, is pretty great with one exception: commercial announcements that interrupt the story being told, sometimes at an important part of the story, like when the main character is fighting for his life hanging from a cliff, for example.
Saturday, January 2, 2016
Remember the summer of 2014 when the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was all the rage? All my friends took to Facebook to show off their turn with the challenge, then passing the challenge to another friend. It was the pure definition of a viral movement, a historic event which I'm certain will be studied for years to come.
Eventually, the challenge was thrown my way. Not wanting to be outdone by my altruistic friends, I let my competitive side show, going to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and getting diagnosed with the hottest disease of the year. I have never been trendier.
ALS is widely known to affect the muscles of those fortunate enough to experience it. What most doctors and articles on the web don't tell you about ALS is that, for a considerable amount of time after learning about the prognosis, you really don't feel like maintaining a humor blog.
As the weeks turned to months, I again had the urge to venture out into the land of the Internet. I eased my way back online with an occasional attempt at funny on Twitter, the 140 character limit just the right size for my limited endurance. Although my arms were growing increasingly more difficult to type with, I enjoyed getting back out there.
As my desire to continue with my blog grew, my arms weakened to a point that made it impossible for me to use a computer or iPad. It would be months later that I would be approved for an eye-gaze computer which has allowed me to do almost everything I could before.
As soon as I was connected with the new computer, I headed straight to my website to dust off the cobwebs and try to remember how things worked. I had immediate trouble logging in and I decided to have a look at the site as John Q. Public would see it. I was surprised to learn that in the year I had been offline my domain, Smackofham.com, expired. Fortunately, a helpful Internet company was looking out for my best interests and took over my domain. They were happy to return the domain to me for $550, a $200 savings because I was the previous owner.
Calculating that it would take several generations of my family to generate that kind of cabbage from a blog that has, at any given time, three followers (two of which think they are following Honey Baked Ham), I opted for the path of least resistance and claimed a new domain.
So, welcome to the new SmackOfHam.Today. I'm reconstructing the site and I'll be adding content, old and new, when I can. It's a work in progress, but what isn't? As usual, your comments are always welcome. Thanks for climbing back aboard.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
“This is the kind of spontaneous publicity, your name in print, that makes people. I’m in print! Things are going to start happening to me now!” – Navin Johnson (Steve Martin), upon seeing his name in the phone book for the first time, The Jerk, 1979
Oh, what a difference thirty words can make.
For someone who considers himself a comedy connoisseur (I’m one of those rare people that enjoy laughing), I was thrilled to see one of my favorite television programs, Arrested Development, featured in a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly. Since the show is coming back this week on NetFlix after a long hiatus, a focus of the article was “binge-watching”, or watching consecutive episodes of a show in one sitting, instead of having to wait that dreadfully long week for the next installment.
Having just completed a binge of the whacked-out 1990 comedy series Get A Life and still riding high on lines like “Can I interest you two in a murder-suicide pact?’ I took to the interwebs to alert the editors of EW of my high-falutin’ opinion that the article shouldn’t have been focused on the critically acclaimed, back-despite-nearly-insurmountable-odds, trailblazing Arrested Development but should have been centered around a bizarre little comedy that, in the end, was likely viewed by about a dozen basement-dwelling, mouth-breathing, poorly washed men, like myself, eight of which are likely on some kind of government watch list to this day.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I wanted to kill her.
Well, not really.
Staying at home with a two year old can be extraordinarily rewarding as a parent, giving me the opportunity to help her take in new experiences with wide eyes and unabashed enthusiasm, grapple with the excitement of learning to speak, and explore every facet of the world around her.
But some days, Daddy is tired. More tired than an eighteen-wheeler at the Goodyear plant.
Some days, Daddy just wants a break from stepping on Legos, catching second hand colds, and answering "why" it's bad to hit the cat repeatedly with a whiffle ball bat. Sometimes the incessant monotony of the daily routine starts to wear Daddy down to the point of Daddy referring to himself in the third person and having visions of Daddy escaping, gloriously leaping onto the back of the Monday morning recycling truck with a hearty "So long, suckers!" and riding into the freedom of the great unknown, albeit quite slowly, surrounded by bright red empty Tide jugs, and with countless stops along the way.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Credit card statements are usually greeted with a certain level of reluctance - there's that palpable hesitation as we open them, the dread of being reminded of our less prudent activities from the previous month, like waking up from a Zima-induced hangover, sluggishly trying to recall precisely what events had transpired the night before involving a lock of Ryan Seacrest's hair, a Speed 2:Cruise Control VHS, and a trip to The Golden Corral.
Although being roundly rejected by the run-of-the-mill big banks, I have luckily been approved for plastic by the alternate credit market, including Bank Of Americo, Chaste, American Suppressed, Dewey Fleecem & Howe, and Discover. I recently received my monthly credit card bill, after rescuing it from amidst roughly three pounds of direct-to-the-recycle-bin mailbox fodder, and used the patented Smack Of Ham "index finger" technique, invented the afternoon I misplaced my guillotine paper trimmer in the baby’s crib, to open Pandora's envelope.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Where do you feel the safest?
Some might answer an airport, with vigilant and methodical security measures always in place. Others may think of a police station, manned with highly trained, well-armed public safety professionals. For me, when bad turns to worse, the going gets tough, the Nikki Minaj CD hits the fan, dogs and cats start sleeping together, there is only one place I'll make a beeline for: The UPS Store.
A recent series of events completely out of my control, because I'm a buffoon, led me to drop my camera, followed by the stomach-churning sound of metal, plastic, glass, and pavement unsuccessfully attempting to occupy the same space simultaneously. While the resulting mess finally gave me a legitimate excuse as to why my pictures appear to be composed and exposed by a sightless individual, I opted to have my Nikon sent to a repair facility, which provided me with a UPS shipping label to begin the process of putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Every year at this time, Las Vegas calls me like a Fraternal Order of Police telemarketer. For my latest trip to The Strip, I planned a day away from casinos to gawk at the famous Las Vegas Welcome sign and experience the natural wonders of Red Rock Canyon. And all this gawking and experiencing was going to require wheels.
I booked a subcompact car rental that I would pick up at the airport and drop off the next day at The Rio, the luxurious Mardi Gras themed hotel/casino/Burger King outlet where I was staying. I would have 24 full hours of unrestrained freedom with my $28 rental - that's a buttload of freedom for $28.
Upon landing in Las Vegas, or "Moneyopolis" as I call it (trademark pending), I headed straight for the rental counter to pick up my ride. The pleasant, comely young rental rep called me over, confirming that they indeed had my subcompact car waiting for me, while simultaneously smothering any opportunity for a hilarious riff I'd been workshopping about them being good at taking reservations but not good at holding reservations.
Maybe just being friendly, or perhaps, really looking to get to know me better as a potential soul mate, she asked me what my plans were with the car. Still buzzing from $15 worth of Argo Carolina Honey Sweet Tea from a four-hour layover in Chicago, loaded with enough honey to give a bee a face-paralyzing stroke, I excitedly explained the wondrous destinations I planned on seeing in my 24 hours of unqualified freedom for $28.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Rarely does six year old Izzy come home from school as excited as she did today. You see, she was carrying in her backpack an envelope with some very important, time-sensitive information in it.
She leapt up the tall kitchen barstool, simultaneously flinging her bulging backpack onto the counter, and instantaneously slid open the unsuspecting zipper at a speed that will one day qualify as a world record, as soon as Guinness adds this activity to their tightly controlled world record book categories somewhere between “swiftest seamstress” and “speediest unbuttoning of a Napoleon jacket”.
She reached her hand into the darkest crevices of her backpack, retrieving, amidst the books, snow pants, Pokemon action figures, Cheez-Its, brushes, lip balm, water bottle, Ark of the Covenant, and secret to eternal youth, a pristine white envelope, perfectly blank to reveal nothing of its contents.
This was very important, I was told that she was told, and we have to do what the contents of the envelope say.
It’s not every day one receives such an exciting envelope, although if the mail carrier would present the daily mail in this thrilling fashion, there’s a good chance the Post Office would be more relevant than a pay phone on Motorola’s corporate campus.
Unable to execute my usual approach of ignoring communiqués from the school until the last possible moment, I was intrigued and opened the mystery envelope, curious as to what wonders awaited me.