Thursday, October 29, 2009

Truth & Fiction: Four 50-word Stories

There are four stories below.  They may be truth or they may be fiction.  The first person to guess each story correctly gets an invite to Google Wave or the satisfaction of being the winner.  Leave your guesses in the comments. 

The Fall
I saw her swaying and wondered what song she was hearing.  She wasn’t swaying but falling.  I dropped my glass and ran.  Suddenly, her head was in my palm.  I called her name.  She looked at me and asked, “Is that the ceiling?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Where are my tacos?”

Bad Names
I came in from the bus stop crying.  My mom met me at the door and asked what was wrong.  I told her that the older kids on the bus were calling me names.
“Like what,” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I cried.
“Son, was it ass face donkey fucker?”

The Cab
“No, he’s too drunk.  He’ll puke in my cab.”  My friend assured him that I wouldn’t.  We got in.  Everything had stopped spinning.  I burped.
“Is he going to puke?”
“No.”
Without drawing the cabbie’s attention, I rolled down the window and quietly puked down the side of his door.

The Manager
We sat in the conference room waiting for our long-winded boss to arrive.  It was his meeting; we couldn’t start without him.  We would wait ten minutes before we returned to our desks.
“Isn’t it just like Tom to hold up our meeting?”
“Wait until he actually gets here.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What To Do While Your Wife Opens Her Birthday Gift

1) Pretend you didn’t pick it up on the way home and wrap it on the train.
2) Scream, “SURPRISE!”
3) Get into the kitchen and start doing dishes.
4) Walk the dog.
5) Pretend she hasn’t already seen the charge on the bank account.
6) Tell her you’re going to the bathroom but actually sneak in there to sign the card you forgot to put with the gift.
7) Act really excited and hope that it rubs off on her.
8) Tell her that whatever gift she’s opening is from you, too.
9) Get a confused look on your face and say, “Hmmm, that’s not what I ordered at all.”
10) Hope that the bow hasn’t cut off circulation long enough to do any permanent damage.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dee's Birthday

Today is my wife’s birthday.  She looks pretty good for sixty, huh?




Don’t forget to post on her Facebook page today because it’s the only way that everyone can know that you’ve done your duty as her friend.

Dee and I took the day off work so that we could do all sorts of marginally fun stuff in the city.  We’ll probably go stand in the glass boxes at Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower).  After I change my underpants, I’ll take her to dinner somewhere downtown.  If you have any suggestions, shoot me an email, tweet me or send me a text.  I’m thinking Quizno’s, but that will go right out the window if I can find one of those Dairy Queens that serve food.  I’ll probably even spring for a cab to get us down there and back unless she really, really wants to ride the train.  She loves choo-choo trains.

At some point — I’ll know the right time — I’ll present her with her birthday gift.  I got her a two year warranty on our dishwasher and a vacuum cleaner.  I also made a birthday card out of a piece of computer paper folded into quarters.  On the outside I wrote “Happy Birthday, Wife” in big, block letters.  Inside, I wrote “I love you” and drew a picture of a rose because she loves roses.


It will be an early night since we have to work tomorrow.  We’ll make out a little bit before Monday Night Football begins.  Sounds like a pretty sweet birthday, huh?  I know, I’m a pretty great husband.

Happy Birthday, Dee.  I love you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fiction: The Final Journal Entry of a Ninja

November 7, 2008

I swore in my oath to the Society of the Timeless Voice that I would never speak, write or communicate in any way about the Society with anyone outside the Society.  I am breaking my oath, which is punishable by death.  This isn’t nearly as scary as it may sound.  Every oath and rule within the Timeless Voice Society is punishable by death.  Very rarely do they actually punish someone by death, though.  It’s hard to kill a ninja — even if you are another ninja.  This may turn out to be my suicide note, so let me start from the beginning.

As a young child, I was fascinated by Kung Fu movies.  Like any child who grew up in the suburbs, my parents then encouraged me to find a local martial arts school and enroll.  I did and I excelled.  From the very beginning I was the fastest learner in my class.  My Master recognized my talent and realized that I was special.  He sent me to another dojo for individual study under the Master of the Timeless Voice.  I thought that sounded super cool.  I thought I’d be like Jackie Chan or Chuck Norris.

I received individual training for five years before I was introduced to the other students.  Actually, I wasn’t introduced.  We all arrived wearing masks that completely covered our faces.  You know, like ninjas.  However, it didn’t occur to any of us that we were dressed like ninjas.  We were good fighters, but we weren’t exceptionally bright.  During our training we had been taught that we had to sacrifice ourselves to the Timeless Voice to reach our potential.  Our individual selves were a part of the Timeless Voice.  The masks were our reminder — and we bought it.

I studied for five more years with the Society of the Timeless Voice.  The group exercises focused on one-on-one and group combat.  We did not know faces or names but we knew each other by style.  We didn’t think it was strange.  It was just how the Timeless Voice worked.  During that time we were also trained in various arts and crafts.  I was assigned painting as it was supposed to teach me patience.

Eventually, the Master of the Timeless Voice asked me to lead a team on what he called a “rescue” mission.  I was lead to believe that one of our own was kidnapped by a rival group, and that we need to rescue him.  I accepted and my small team successfully completed the mission.  Shortly thereafter, I sold a large number of paintings on the arts and crafts site Etsy.com — $10,000 worth.  After this happened several times, I figured out what was going on.  I had become a mercenary who received his blood money via bogus arts and crafts sales on Etsy.com.

I had been secretly trained as a ninja and I was executing the agenda of the Master of the Timeless Voice.  I do not know the extent of his intentions, but I know enough of it to know that they are not noble.  It is the way of the Timeless Voice that I am not to question the judgement of the Master.  The Master hears the Timeless Voice and it guides him.  The Master only relinquishes his title when he dies or is killed.

Tomorrow I will become the Master or I will die.  Plus, all my paintings are 75% off for one day only.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Being Named Jeff Ford

Pros:
1) People never mispronounce your name.
2) If you say it with a sly look on your face, people think you’re using an alias.
3) You only have to remember six letters.

Cons:
1) Sometimes people mishear your name as Jefford.
2) Everyone thinks they are the first one to call you Chevy.
3) Some other dude takes jeffford.com.  I bet his name is Jeff Ford.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Health Care Solutions

The problem with the health care debate is that no one is talking about the real problem with health care in America: sick people.  If there weren’t so many sick people, we wouldn’t need to spend nearly as much money on health care.  Unfortunately, reducing the number of sick people isn’t easy.  Most people tout the effectiveness of preventative medicine, but preventative medicine costs money, too.  Doctor visits, vaccinations, pills and gym memberships all cost money.  It’s a vicious cycle.  The only true way to reduce the amount of money spent on health care is to reduce the number of who might get sick.  How do we know who will get sick?  We don’t.  That’s why we need to reduce the number of total people in America.  I have a plan.

1) Have dumb people spayed and neutered.
This serves two purposes.  First, it keeps people from procreating (if you don’t know what that means, you’ll be spayed or neutered) thereby reducing the number of people who might get sick and it reduces the amount of dumb people.  It’s important to reduce the number of dumb people because dumb people don’t know how to properly take care of themselves which puts them at a higher risk of getting sick.  Of course, we need to find a way to determine which people are dumb.  Fortunately, everyone in America has taken a standardized test at some point.  We gather up those scores and spay or neuter anyone in the bottom third of the scoring.  Or we could just spay and neuter anyone who liked Transformers 2.

2) Implement child quotas.
Limit the number of children people can have to two.  That’s it.  If you get pregnant again, you get a free abortion.  If you’re not willing to get an abortion, we take your child and give it to a loving family in Canada.  The second option is ideal since it would reduce the number of potential sick people in America and the child would get government sponsored health care in Canada.  It’s a win-win.  Also, no more fertility drugs.  If you can’t get pregnant, get a dog.

3) Abortions, abortions, abortions.
Let’s not let our “morals” and “religious beliefs” get in the way.  Get over to the abortion store and buy yourself an abortion.  Do your part to bring down America’s potential number of sick people by reducing your own output.  Each family gets a coupon for one free abortion at the abortion store.

4) More wars.
What’s the easiest legal way to kill people?  War.  The more people we send over to engage in war, the more dead people we will have in America.  The best part about dead people is that they don’t need health care.  Anyone that pisses off America gets war’d.  In true American fashion, we’ll also be helping other countries reduce their health care costs by introducing more dead people into their health care system.

In a health care debate where we seem to be hearing more of the same partisan bickering and very few actual solutions, I’ve offered four realistic solutions in one short blog post.  Feel free to call your congressperson and pass these ideas along.  I’ve emailed them to Obama, so we’ve already got the Executive branch covered.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Here's the Thing...

…if Michael Jackson was still alive we wouldn’t be subjected to seeing his crazy family on TV all the time.

…let’s stop pretending that the majority of America is a bunch of heathens that are destroying the moral fabric of our society.  The majority of Americans are Christians.  If there’s anyone to blame for destroying the moral fabric of our society it’s you.

…the best actor on TV is that lady in the AT&T commercials that is constantly hounding her kids about wasting their minutes.

…there’s a fine line between running for your life and running for your health.

…if you’re going to show up to the movie one minute before it starts, don’t expect me to move over so that you can have two seats together.  I got here early so that I could choose my seats.  I will not sacrifice those seats because you’re late.

Monday, October 12, 2009

25 Reasons Why I'm the Luckiest S.O.B. in the World

1) My wife.
2) My parents.  In the lottery that was my adoption, I was the big winner.
3) I get to go on stage and make people laugh every Thursday and Friday night.
4) I’ve never been without a job since I graduated college.
5) I’ve never had to wear the Broncos’ throwback uniforms.
6) My dog is pretty freakin’ adorable.
7) I’ve never had a serious illness.
8) My in-laws are crazy but the good kind of crazy.
9) I know someone who has Google Wave and I’ve been assured that I’m on his invite list when he gets them.
10) I met a bunch of really great people at Notre Dame who are still good friends to this day.
11) Despite my propensity to break stuff, we still have nice things.
12) I live in one of the coolest cities in America.
13) I went gray early instead of going bald early.
14) I can eat all the peanut butter I want because I’m not allergic to peanuts.
15) My life is about 60% nonsense and 40% no nonsense — and that’s a conservative estimate.
16) I’m lucky enough to be a part of the awesome group of people that call themselves pH Productions.
17) I got to hear my Dad give a speech at my wedding.
18) I’ve yet to be caught up in a convoluted time travel scenario that puts my life at risk.
19) Dee’s friends are awesome and treat me like one of their own.
20) I’ve had the opportunity to pilot an airplane.
21) I received multiple emails from space.
22) I have all my teeth.
23) I got to play football in the old Hoosier Dome.
24) I’m the same age as both Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning but I don’t have to deal with the pressures of fame and wealth.
25) Everyone who consistently reads my blog and comments.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fiction: Stolen Idea

“Did you see John’s story in The New Yorker?”

“Yeah, I did.  It was good.”

“Of course it was good.  He stole your idea.”

“Not really.”

“What do you mean?  Remember when we were talking about this very thing on the way to Dave’s wedding?”

“Yeah, I remember.  I threw the idea out there, but I couldn’t put anything together.  He did.”

“But he doesn’t give you credit or anything.”

“What is he supposed to do?  Have The New Yorker to run a special note that cites everything or everyone that influenced everything in the story?”

“Well, he could have submitted it with your name in the byline.”

“I didn’t write it.”

“But it was your idea!”

“Who’s to say he wouldn’t have come up with it on his own if I hadn’t mentioned it.  It’s not like we weren’t already headed in that direction.”

“But he didn’t.  You did.”

“Right, but he did something with it.”

“But it was yours to do something with.”

“I didn’t do anything with it, though.  I’m just glad something came of it.”

“It’s dishonest.”

“No, it’s life.  The doers get the credit.”

“What about the idea guys?”

“They’re great, but ideas aren’t worth anything if no one does anything about them.”

“But still, you should get some credit.”

“If you ask him, I’m sure he’ll give me credit for the idea.  Besides, Steve Jobs didn’t come up with the  idea for the portable music player or cell phone or touch screen or camera phone or portable email device.  He just put them all together and made them cool.”

“But that was the idea - to put them all together.”

“It’s not a very original idea, but it sure is a good one.  All John did was take my idea and a bunch of other ones and put them together into a great story.”

“So you’re not pissed?  Not even a little bit?”

“No, I’m happy for him.  I may be a little bit pissed but only at myself for not doing anything with the idea.”

“I’d be pissed.”

“Seems like you’re plenty pissed for the both of us.”

“You should ask for a cut of his royalties.”

“C’mon.  You think he got paid more than a few hundred bucks for that story?  How much should I ask for?  Twenty bucks?  Forty bucks?  It’s not like that’s paying his mortgage for the next twenty years.  He’ll probably use it to get a new iPhone.”

“I’m never talking about any of my good ideas around him.”

“That shouldn’t be too hard.”

“Why is that?”

“You never have any good ideas.”

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

What To Do While Being Assaulted by a Cadre of of Wedding Photographers

1) Tell them you had your moment during “Billie Jean” and that everyone else can do “Thriller.”
2) Give them the finger so none of their photos are usable.
3) Fake an ankle sprain.
4) Run like you’re being attacked by a bear.
5) Pretend you don’t know they want you do to the “Thriller” dance, look into the video camera and start congratulating the couple.
6) Stare intently at your phone and pretend you don’t see them swarming around you.
7) Turn into an actual zombie.
8) Start flipping tables and throwing chairs. (This can also be done in conjunction with #7)
9) Grab the nearest napkin, sign your autograph and hand it to them.
10) Just give in and do the damn “Thriller” dance like the monkey you are.

Monday, October 05, 2009

An Email to You

To: You
From: Me
Cc:
Everyone Else
Subject: It’s been a while…

What is going on my long lost friend?  It took me forever to find your freakin’ email address.  I searched for you all over Facebook but I guess you don’t have an account.  Actually, I didn’t really search all over Facebook, I just used the search box.  I guess that’s the same thing, though.  You should sign up for Facebook, it’s a great way to get in touch with old friends.  It’s also a great way to be totally annoyed by people you barely know.  So, you decide.  I’m pretty sure you could use more annoyance in your life, you seem way too chipper.

I’d ask you all sorts of questions about your life but you’re not on Facebook or anything like that so I can’t tell you that your vaguely attractive wife is beautiful and that your children (if you have them) are strong and fleet of foot — or whatever it is that you use to properly compliment children.  Plus, all that crap sounds phony so I probably wouldn’t say it anyway.  Well, maybe I would because it would seem cold and selfish if I didn’t mention something about your wife and children.  So, how’s your life?

Things have been crazy with me.  Have I talked to you since I got married?  No?  Well, I’m married now.  She’s a real live hot girl — not one of those that are vaguely attractive but people say she’s beautiful anyway.  You know, like your wife (if you have one).  So, that happened.  She’s not perfect, though.  She talked me in to getting a dog.  Now I’ve got dog hair on most of my possessions.  See, I told you my life was crazy.

You know what made me decide to write you?  I was thinking about that time on the playground in elementary school where we were playing keep away and we crashed into each other and your head knocked my three bottom front teeth loose.  Remember how I went into the bathroom and straightened the crooked one?  Yeah, you were the best dentist I ever had.

Seriously.  Email me back, or Facebook me.

I don’t use salutations,
Jeff Ford

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Truth: The Little Dude

Payton breaks Jim Brown's career rushing recordImage via Wikipedia
The first thing Coach Shroyer made us do at our first Pee Wee Football practice was line up and run sprints.  We weren’t being punished, we were being sized up.  Coach blew the whistle and we took off.

“Man, this equipment is heavy but I can still outrun all of these guys.  I’m the next Walter Payton.”

I crossed the finish line neck-and-neck with Scott.  We looked at each other and then looked toward Coach.  He was busy writing something down on his clipboard.  I imagined he was assigning me number 34 and adding a note that read, “The next Walter Payton.”  I imagined he was writing something like, “The next Matt Suhey,” next to Scott’s name.  I couldn’t remember Matt Suhey’s number.

“If I’m the next Walter Payton and Scott is the next Matt Suhey, will he make my buddy Carl the next Jim McMahon?”

At the next practice, Coach Shroyer started dividing us up into positions.  He put both me and Scott at running back.  I didn’t know if I was Matt Suhey or Walter Payton.  Then Coach Shroyer did something that blew my mind.  He lined me and Scott up side-by-side in the backfield.  We were both Walter Payton.  He called it the Veer.  We learned how to take handoffs and became pros at running our plays between tackling dummies.  Dive Right was the first play we learned — a quick handoff between the right guard and tackle.  It was simple and fast and my new favorite play.

“Keep your shoulders low and your legs moving.  Always keep your legs moving, Jeff.”

On defense we spent the first few weeks learning how to tackle.  Our defensive coach was Tom Shade.  Tom was a big, excitable guy who loved the emotion of the game.  He was the kind of coach that would get into drills with us with no pads on.  He’d dare us to tackle him, but nobody could.  Then he told us why.  “Wrap the legs, fellas!  If you wrap up their legs they can’t move and they’ll go down.  Get low!  Get low!”  We got low.  We made tackles.  When I took someone down he would laugh and the ground would shake, “Yes!  Light ‘em up, Little Dude!  Light ‘em up.”

“Remember how you wrap the legs, Little Dude?  If they don’t wrap your legs, keep ‘em moving and they’ll never take you down.”

I wasn’t nervous for the first game because I didn’t know any better.  We won the coin toss and Coach Shroyer decided that we would start with the ball.  I ran out to the field with the rest of the team and waited for Coach Shroyer to call the play.  On the sidelines, Coach Shade was clapping and firing up the crowd.  I heard him shout, “Little Dude!”  I looked to the sideline.  “Stay low and keep moving!”  I smiled through my mouthpiece and turned back to the huddle.  Coach Shroyer looked around the huddle and said, “Okay, guys.  Dive Right on one.  Ready, break!”

“This is my favorite play.  We’re going to score a touchdown.”

We broke the huddle and I lined up between the guard and tackle.  I looked at the defense and saw the linebacker standing right in the hole.  No matter, I just had to stay low and keep my legs moving.  Just like Walter Payton.  I glanced over at the quarterback and then returned my focus to the hole.  He snapped the ball and I burst forward out of my stance.  I felt the ball hit my stomach and I clamped down.  I kept my shoulders low and plowed into the hole.  There was just enough space for me to fit through.  I made a cut to the right and I felt the linebacker grab me by the shoulders.  I kept my legs moving.  I felt another hit.  I kept my legs moving.  Another defender piled on.  I kept my legs moving.  I was trudging slowly under the weight of the tacklers, but I was still moving.  I could feel the weight pulling me down as I slowed.  Suddenly, I heard Coach Shade’s voice shouting over the crowd, “Ha, ha!  Look at that Little Dude run!  Look at that Little Dude run!  Keep going Little Dude!”  I bared down and pushed a little more and managed about four more yards before the weight of the tacklers pulled me down.  I pulled myself from under the pile and stood up to hear the crowd laughing at Tom Shade on the sideline jumping up and down, “Look at the Little Dude run!  It takes a whole team to stop him!  Look at the Little Dude ruuuuuuun!”

“I didn’t score a touchdown.  I think that’s okay, though.  I’m Walter Payton.”

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