All that minus a bag of chips

Humor Post #40 from Middle School’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

I can’t be the only person in the world with the following problem, can I? I get out a bag of potato chips or Doritos. A nice new bag all full of fresh snacks for a growing dude like myself. Now comes the hard part. Opening the stupid bag. I take the bag gingerly on either side of the top seal and gently pull my hands apart. Of course you know where that gets me. Nowheres-ville. So I pull a bit harder. Still nothing. My need for an immediate snack makes my frustration grow. And you probably know what comes next. I give the bag a quick, violent snap outward. If I’m lucky I get my chips. If the usual thing happens, I get my chips all right, but they’re scattered all over the floor, having exploded from the bag. Then it’s a race between me and my dog to see who can get the most dusty chips off the floor. I usually win, but that’s because I’m good at blocking him out.

I’ve already written about this before. And I did it in verse. But the crisis continues and I wish I could find a solution.

So I went to YouTube where so many solutions to so many earth-shattering problems are found and I was able to find the this British guy who seemed to have a great method for opening that evil bag of chips. Ooh, he’s a master. Check it out here. There’s only one catch. I tried his method and I mucked it all up again. Chips all over the place. And my mom’s not that keen on having me experiment with new bags all the time. It did make for a great explosion sound though. Maybe this guy will come out with an instructional DVD.

It’s not just me who has this kind of problem with packaging. It’s sad to see Daniel opening his bags of rice cakes — he’s on a diet, the poor sap — and getting all ticked off when his attempts lead to the top rice cake always getting crumbled into rice pebbles. Rice cakes don’t exactly hold together too well and he ends up trashing at least one, usually two, rice cakes per package. (BTW, that’s a pretty mean thing for the company to do, calling them rice cakes. Uh, they’re about as far from cake as you can get unless you’re thinking of mud that gets caked on your shoes if you slosh around near a creek. That’s just cruel. Here you go, Daniel. A couple of nice cakes. Yeah, tasteless styrofoam peanuts is more like it.)

Anyway, time for ADD boy to get back on topic. It’s not just bags of chips that are hard to open. Cereal bags (inside the boxes) can be killers too. Sometimes they open right but usually I put a big tear down the side of the bag and a bunch of the cereal pours out into the box. Then the bag can’t really be closed and the cereal gets stale faster. Which is good for the cereal company, I guess, but not for ol’ Crankenfuss.

Now let me make something clear here. (“At last,” you’re probably saying.) I realize this isn’t as important as the end of the world that some people claim is going to happen soon. Yeah, if and when that happens, I probably won’t be jumping around whining about bags of chips. But little things add up, you know? Annoyances like this could be holding me back in my rap writing career. And that would be truly tragic, wouldn’t it?

So unless I want to give us snacks forever, I’ll keep working at finding a cure for this bag disease. Maybe I’ll end up with a Nobel Peace Prize for something for bringing inner peace to all those millions of people who suffer like I do.

So if you have any cool tricks you can teach me, let me know. In the meantime, so long from
The Dude with the ‘Tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss

I hate Time Warner Cable!!

Humor Post #39 from Middle School’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

WARNING: I’m really angry and I have to write about it NOW!! There won’t be any humor (stupid or otherwise) in this post. Usually I can joke about things. Not today. And the fault is totally with Time Warner Cable! Yes, that’s worth repeating. It’s all Time Warner’s fault.

As most of you know, I like sports. And there’s this show every Sunday called The Sports Reporters. It’s on ESPN and four reporters sit around and talk about what happened the past week in sports. So today I’m all set to listen to what they have to say about last Sunday’s Super Bowl and about Jeremy Lin, this Chinese dude from Harvard (of all places) who’s come out of nowhere to be a new superstar for the New York Knicks. I had the DVR set to record the show — it comes on at 10:30 — but I was busy doing other stuff till 10:45. No big deal, I thought. I’ll turn it on now and watch it. So I settled back on the couch and turned it on. BUT IT HADN’T RECORDED! WHAT!? I was furious. I know it was set up. I’d checked it two days ago to be sure. The whole series is supposed to be recorded.

By now it was 10:48. I watched them talk about Kobe for about three or four minutes, which was good but I was almost too mad to watch. Then, during the next commercial I thought, Ooh, maybe this show has a “Start Over” gizmo. (On some shows you can click on something to start the show over, though then you have to watch all the commercials too.) Yay!!! It had it. So I started the show over and paused it so I could go in the kitchen to toast a couple bagels so I could really enjoy the show. I was feeling so relieved. So I get out all the stuff I needed for a nice breakfast, put the bagels in and get myself all mentally prepared for the show.

But then, just as the bagels were popping up, I hear the TV go back on. OH, NO!! The Pause thing had come undone, the next show had come on, and of course the Start Over thing wasn’t going to work anymore. Now I’m even madder. I’m jumping up and down yelling stuff at the TV I can’t put in this post. This is not the first time this type of stuff has happened. It happens a lot. And we just just got a new box from Time Warner about two weeks ago because our old DVR kept messing up.

I can’t trust the setup. What is this — the 20th century??

We’d get Direct TV or something else if we could, but there are too many trees in the yard to get a satellite signal. So now Daniel and Maureen are talking about maybe having Tivo on top of Time Warner. They need the high-speed internet connection since they’re on the web a lot. And they pay way over $100 every month to Time Warner. They have one of their top packages. Shouldn’t they be getting better than this for their money? And I’m the one who has to suffer for it too.

I was all set to post about my cool new way to tell time — and believe me, this new method could change the world — but now I don’t even want to be anywhere near that TV or DVR and they’re in the same room with this computer. I might have to actually go outside and play.

from the Dude with the ‘tude and the angriest blogger on the planet right now,
Dr. Crankenfuss

P.S. If anyone knows how to find a way to see The Sports Reporters from today, I’d sure appreciate it.

I don’t want to be a planet. I want to be THE SUN!

Humor Post #38 from Middle School’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

Woo-hoo! Anybody see that shot by Austin Rivers to beat UNC last night? Yeah, I guess a couple million people did cause that’s all they were talking about on Sports Center afterwards. Yeah, I’m a Duke fan. Have to be since Daniel is, and without him I don’t get to post here. But I’m not really that happy for me. Hey, it wasn’t me who made that shot. And it wasn’t me who won the game. Actually it wasn’t even the school who won. I didn’t see any buildings playing out there. Yeah, I guess Duke got all those guys to come to Duke so officially Duke won, but I’d still rather be one of the Duke players or especially Austin Rivers after that game. He’s the one who did it, not the fans, not Duke, just him and his team.

Yeah, just like I said about David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals way back in October, I think it would be SO COOL to be a sports hero and have everyone jumping up and down over whatever it is I did. I can’t even imagine how good that must feel. But I’d sure like to find out.

See, the deal is Austin Rivers gets to remember making that big shot the rest of his life and even if I remember the same thing, I’ll be remembering someone else being the hero. Ya know, I’d rather be thinking about myself making that shot, being the hero in some way. Wasn’t it more fun for the New York Giants in that Super Bowl parade than it was for all the people cheering for them? That’s why I’ll keep working to be somebody so people might remember me too. Don’t know what it’ll be yet. Much as I hate to admit it, it probably won’t be sports or I’d already be a star at something. (Though I can always hope. Gotta keep working on that cross dribble.) And it probably won’t be at hip hop, cause even though I think I can write pretty good stuff, I think I’m — sorry to say — at a racial disadvantage in that career. (Again, I can hope and if I keep working, maybe Usher will notice me like he did Justin Bieber. I know lots of people hate JB, but Usher thinks he’s cool and he knows a lot.)

Somewhere I heard that you can divide everybody into two groups: the 10% that are the movers and the shakers, the people everybody else follows and goes ga-ga over. The other 90% are like the fans that cheer for Duke or Carolina. Nothing the matter with them, nothing at all. A great bunch of people, I’m sure. (Well, most of them anyway.) It’s just that they’re not the ones making the shots. I wanna be the guy making that big shot.

It’s like the way the Universe is all set up. There’s gabillions of planets revolving around a bunch of suns. The planets are like all those fans out there. The suns are like the stars that the planets follow around. I wanna be a sun, not one of the planets. You ever notice that the Sun is so cool, it doesn’t even have a name, like all the planets have. It’s just THE SUN. Like “I don’t even need a name, dude. You know who I am.” How cool is that?

Now I have only one thing left to figure out — how am I gonna be that sun?

from your “still waiting to reach his potential” dude with the ‘tude,
Dr. Crankenfuss

I’m through trying!

Humor Post #37 from Middle School’s Crankiest Curmudgeon’s Blog (and probably the awesomest YA blog too) –

Good night to all and to all a good night. Wait a minute, that’s not what I meant to say. I meant to say, “Good evening to all.” Guess I’m kinda confused ’cause I’m all excited about the Super Bowl which is about to start in like a hour. So I’ll get right to tonight’s topic. And though I hate to admit it, the topic for tonight has been stolen. Yes, I heard two eighth graders talking about this in the hall and I doubt that either one is a blogger — don’t ask me how I concluded that — and since I don’t know the name of either and don’t know when I’ll see them again, I’ll just go ahead and tell you what they were saying. So here’s a shout-out to those two eighth graders.

Anyway, here it is. I’m not going to try anymore. Not at anything. Nope, trying is for losers. That’s the lesson I’m here to teach you.

“Now, just a darn-tootin’ minute!” That’s probably what you’re saying right now. If you’re from Hicksville, that is. But you probably have some issues with my statement no matter where you come from. Everyone always says you should try, don’t they? Never give up, they say. But I say, TRYING IS FOR LOSERS. SUCCEEDING IS FOR WINNERS.

Like with the Super Bowl tonight. After the game, who’s going to be jumping around shouting, “We tried! Oh, how we tried!” Not the winners, that’s for sure. They’ll be jumping around, congratulating each other, screaming “We won, we won!”, telling the world they’re going to Disney World, whatever. But one thing they’ll never say (or almost never) is that they tried to win. Nope, that’ll be the job of the losers.

Think about it this way: The teacher walks around the class. She says to Student #1, “Crankenfuss, I want you to work this problem.” She goes to Student #2 and says, “Mr. Not-as-good-as-Crankenfuss, I want you to work this problem as well.” Then she gets to Student #3 (who’s quaking in his boots) and says, “Mr. Nowhere-near-as-good-as-Crankenfuss, I want you to try your best on this problem.” Now which of the three students do you think the teacher doesn’t have a whole lot of confidence in? That’s right. It’s #3 ’cause she asked him to try his best. Yep, that’s code for “I don’t think you can do this, you sad little being, so just do your best and I’ll understand.”

What do mamas of the losing team always say to their babies? “Well, honey, you tried your best. That’s all anybody can expect you to do.”

WRONG! You can expect to succeed. You may not, but you can expect to and that’s maybe half the battle right there. Why just the other day this kid in my class told the teacher he was TRYING TO THINK. Say what? How do you try to think? I wouldn’t trust that guy to get much done.

Now I know there are still some of you who aren’t convinced. Well, if I handed you a pencil and told you to give it back to me, I think you’d have no problem. But if I asked you to TRY to give it to me, you’d look at me funny, wouldn’t you? You just wouldn’t know exactly what to do.

So in the end all I want to say is if you want to make the winning shot, tell the coach you’re going to make the shot. Don’t say, “Coach, I’ll do my best.” Tell him you’ll DO it. See if he (or she) doesn’t like that attitude a lot more.

Okay, I set a new record here. Well, not for brilliance. I usually tie myself each time I post. It’s hard to outdo myself, you see. No, I mean in terms of time. Twenty minutes. YES, I did it. Didn’t really try that hard. Didn’t try at all really. Made a plan and just did it. Like Nike used to say (and probably still does): Just do it. Notice they don’t say: Just try to do it.

Case closed. Game, set, and match to Crankenfuss.

Oh, yeah, and to those two eighth graders too.

from Dr. Crankenfuss, the Dude with the ‘tude (and the guy who still has to set up all his food for the big battle. Can’t tell you who I’m for. I’ll see who wins and probably pretend I was for them. That makes me look a lot smarter, you know.)