Suburban Kibble

This isn't my journal. I don't keep a journal. These are little stories, things I noticed that were too good to keep to myself.

12/22/98 Toothpaste Warnings. On the back of a "Tom's of Ma*ne" toothpaste tube is the following warning:
"If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional assistance or contact a Poison Control Center." I have to wonder: are we going to be seeing an outbreak of toothpaste suicides?

12/4/98 Questionable Utility. I often wonder about those "have you seen this child?" things on milk cartons and what not. Especially when they are of children that have been missing for longer than they haven't been missing. I saw one today that was more dramatically obsolete than most. The child in question had been born in '87, missing since '89. . .and the notice in the gumball machine hadn't been changed since '91. If she's still alive, she's gotta have a heck of a story for her junior high school buddies.

11/16/98 Exemplary Pyromania. I joined the New Jersey Blacksmith's Association and went to my first meeting. Now blacksmiths are among the world's happiest pyromaniacs. You are required to build a 2000 degree fire and play with it regularly. The guy who was showing me around wasn't the owner of the place, so he couldn't find matches when the time came to light the forge. However, he did find a striker and a blowtorch. That worked.

11/7/98 An L.A. moment. I visited a friend who recently moved out to LA. We went to one of the several million Dublin Pubs in the world to grab a bar burger. It was a biker bar, or at least a bar with several dozen bikers in it. From the menu: "Traditional Fish and Chips. Fillets of Icelandic Cod with a scent of Guinness." Welcome to LA. I was feeling really superior until I got back to New Jersey and saw a little old lady who'd put her dog in a raincoat.

10/29/98 I found a whole new level of incompetence today. When I went to buy trees at a model railroad store (my Halloween costume is a forest fire), the owner (I assume) asked me to open the bag for her. One of those plastic bags that come in strips, nothing fancy, it just wasn't in her skill set I guess. She then commented on how easy I made it look.

10/13/98 Don't mind us. Went to a video store (not my own) with a friend to show them "Dark Angel: The Ascent." Great cheesy movie, filmed in Rumania where they have holes in the street for no reason, no budget, excellent theology. Anyhow. She asked if they had it and they said, "Adult." Somewhat confused (it's a moderate R) we wandered back there. I was looking in the Russ Meyer movies when I realized that Dark Angel is the name of an adult film company. Oops.

8/22/98 World's most preventable case of food poisoning: One of my friends, A, wasover at the house of another friend, B. A poured himself a glass of orange juice, becausethe Coke was running a little low. He explained this to B as he was drinking it. B said, "For God's sake don't drink that!" The expiration date was February 14. A did sayit was "a little sour."

8/14/98 I've given up on New Jersey Drivers. Not only did I see someone get run onto the shoulder by an ambulance, again, earlier this week, tonight I got to see someone throw a car into "Park" in the middle of an intersection, going about 15 MPH. Uh, three on the tree means you don't need to shift.

8/12/98 I love my job. Someone left "Laser Focus World" magazine in the bathroom again.

8/7/98 Extra Bonus: The original Suburban Kibble story!

7/30/98 Jersey Pride. I've lived in New Jersey long enough now that I count as a resident. I get defensive about the state; that's how you know you really live here. However, I still occasionally have anti-Jerseymoments. When the local supermarket has a special on "Jersey Shore Lobsters",that would be one of those times. Of course, looking at a lobster, how could you tell ifit was mutated?

Retro Kibble! 4/98 I received an email at work, on the topic of a utilityI'd written to help walk operators of the machine through a somewhat esoteric process. As you might have noticed from this website, graphical user interfaces aren't my strongsuit. So the customer who'd requested the utility had some improvements he wanted. Partwaythrough the improvement cycle, I got an email that said, and this is a direct quote, "I sent you a bug report about [the product]. Don't remember what I said was wrong but are you getting me a new one?"

7/14/98 The Bachelor Triple. There are days when I just don't do my half of the species any credit. Today was three of those. One: I did the dishes, but only because the sink had started to physically smell. Two: Pasta and butter, with unthawed frozen peas, is a valid dinner when it's hot out. Three: halfway through cooking that pathetic meal, I realized I was out of butter, so I ate the pasta dry. Maybe I should go back in the cave for a few thousand years and come out when I'm ready.

7/6/98 Drive offensively. Traveling through IDweekend traffic, I saw an 18-wheeler driving like a teenager in a Camaro- passing on the right, sliding into slots it barelyfit into. As I got closer, I noticed that the cab was painted a metallic lavender. The trucking firm was, and I have a witness, "Brandi and Suzette's Trucking." The guy behind the wheel was not a girly man. Nope. Not at all.

6/25/98 I saw my first car fire today. I parked behind a computer store and walked around to the front. As I did, I noticed that there was a lotof smoke and some flame coming off the hood of a car, parked in the middle of a row ofcars. There was a Jeep on one side, non-flaming, and some white 2-door on the other side,also not on fire. It looked surprisingly normal. Someone from the store had called 911, and so I watched for a couple minutes then went inside to do my shopping. As I was going in, one of the employees said, "That's Fred's car [next to the fire]. Someone should tell him." So a minute or so later, over the PA, comes "Fred, please come to the parking lot immediately."About five minutes after that comes the announcement, "Would the owner of a JeepCherokee, license XXXX, please come out to the parking lot immediately."
I'm not sure what the moral is here. Suggestions?

6/15/98 When was the last time a bank machine gave you a good surprise? I went to Montreal and, being in Canada, decided to use a Canadian bank machine to get some Canadian money. What I didn't realize is that it would report my balance. . .times the exchange rate. Which meant that instead of my balance was 50% larger than I expected to see. For a few brief days I was rich.

6/2/98 I've got a masochist stereo. After the last good lightning storm, the receiverstopped working. Wouldn't turn on. The little power light on the front worked-that was it.I took the cover off, looked at all the fuses I could find, sniffed for magic smoke and put the cover on, figuring I'd bring it in to work and let the electronics techs play. It was already broke, no point in breaking it further. Put the cover back on, decided to see if it would work- you never know. Sure enough, worksfine. I guess it just needed a little attention. It felt like having its warranty violatedmeant that I loved it. My stereo is really disturbed and I put a surge supresser on it.I won't take it for granted anymore and hopefully we won't have these kinds of problems again.

5/12/98 I saw the lamest counterfeiters in the world. Normally I don't condone policebrutality, but the Secret Service should have beaten these little creeps nigh unto deathwith clue sticks. I was coming back from the most wretched concert of my life, no exceptions. It had been raining for at least eleven days straight. I stopped off at the Johnny Rockets in Hoboken for a burger to go with my depression. A bunch of teenagers had the corner table, and they got up, went to the register, and were told the bill was $44.something. They handed over some money, said "keep the change", and left at speed. The guy at the register said, "Look at this!" to the waiter. They'd handed over two twentiesand a color copy of a $10 bill.
Let's think about this. They could have just screwed the waiter out of his tip. Instead they saved themselves an extra four dollars, screwed the waiter out of his tip, and committed a federal felony. Because photocopying money and trying to pass it, that's counterfeiting. The Secret Service comes after you for that. And the Secret Service is a bunch of crazies with machine guns whose job is to get shot. I don't think it's the youth of today; I'm pretty sure that Iwent to high school with people that stupid.

older stories I joined a gym recently. It's against all my geek instincts,but on the other hand fitting the chair at work snugly isn't actually a job requirement. Not being whatcha call an athelete by nature and training, I kinda keep my eyes open to make sure I'm not doing anything like working out in boxer shorts or something. After a week or so I saw some guy in the locker room looking in the mirror and blowdrying his chest. I don't think I have to worry about standing out here.

One of those "You are in New Jersey" moments: I merged onto Rt. 9 behind a wood panelled minivan with a Harley-Davidson sticker on the rear window. I guess it's true:If I have to ask, they can't explain.

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