Archive for September 2008

Bobbing for Bacon

My wife was helping plan a Halloween party and said “we can bob for apples.” Now, I like party games, even old and clich├ęd ones, but I don’t particularly like apples.

What’s the fun of participating in a game, and perhaps winning, but your reward… is an apple. Woo hoo.

So I suggested bobbing for bacon. “That’s disgusting, who would want water-logged bacon?” “Well,” I said, still off the top of my head, “you put it in a ziplock bag, filled with some air, keeps the bacon dry, and buoyant enough to still bob for.”

I haven’t tried it, and it was a silly idea, but the more I think of it, the more I like the idea. I handed out actual toast at my wedding as a wedding toast, so maybe I’ll push forward with this. I don’t know if the ziplocks would really work, probably too easy to get hold of, need something with the right difficulty level.

How about a hollowed-out wax apple, with bacon inside? You think you’re getting a piece of fruit, but it’s actually bacon! That’s a reward.

Dr. McNinja is now in colour… and it’s awesome!

The Adventures of Dr. McNinja is one of the greatest comics of all time. He’s a doctor. And a ninja.

And it’s now in colour! And the current story is one of the most exciting and hilarious yet. I wish my friends all read this comic. They don’t. I hate them so much.

One thing I like about the comic is that the hero is competent. I am sick of fiction where the hero bumbles around or wins by luck because the villains are idiots. So many writers think that since conflict is necessary for a story, that the hero has to have things be really difficult for it to be good. Well, sometimes having a hero who is genuinely excellent beyond all reason at what he does is exciting, and it means the villains and obstacles have to be that much more impressive.

I mean, start with a terrific hero, a doctor that cures all sorts of diseases, can get past TSA with ease, that can tell his office is rigged to explode just by looking at the outside of the building, that can singlehandedly defeat an entire ship of pirates or Ronald McDonald. Then to be interesting, the villains have to be just that much more impressive, right?

Or take something dumb like Star Trek: First Contact. The good guys only win because the Borg are IDIOTS. Result? Lay-mizzle, for shizzle.

Anyway, Dr. McNinja is awesome.

My Mother Loved Spiders

My wife doesn’t particularly care for spiders, but out of respect for me, she doesn’t kill them. When we were first married, she would often say “There’s a spider in the bathroom, can you remove it?” And I would go in and pick it up and go into the hall and just sort of set it on a bookshelf or something.

It was quite a while before she saw me doing this, and our resulting surprise was mutual. She couldn’t believe I wasn’t taking them outside, and I honestly hadn’t realized that’s what she was asking. I just figured she didn’t like them in the bathroom for some reason. It had never occurred to me to evict them.

Growing up (in that same house), we never killed spiders. I was taught that they ate insects, and so we respected them. My brother even had a bunch of pet spiders in an aquarium for a while, and later got a tarantula. We had them in our rather wilderness-ish backyard, and they’d occasionally come in the house, and just let them alone. At one time, we had a spider just on the wall of our living room, for months, which we called “our front-room spider.”

Part of the reason my wife doesn’t like spiders is apparently she’s been bitten by them. I have never gotten a spider bite. My theory is that of mutual respect. They know I like them, and in return they like me.

On the oh-so-wonderful occasions I get to crawl under the house in the 14-inch dirt-floored crawlspace, blowtorch in hand, to fix the plumbing, I see hundreds of spider webs and egg sacs. That would be horrifying to most arachnophobes, but it doesn’t bother me. They see me coming, say “it’s okay, he’s cool” and leave me alone.

My mother was an interesting woman. The stereotype is that women are more likely to be squicked out by bugs and such, but she always liked spiders. We once had fleas and needed to bug-bomb the house. She handed me a cardboard box, and told me to go throughout the house, collecting all the spiders, and take them outside so they’d be safe.

After we bug bombed the house, she told me to go ahead and put them back.