September 27, 2011

Trivia Blog: Umbrell-assholes

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

There’s a reason The Penguin carried an umbrella, and not a gun.

Now that Summer has transitioned into Fall, I’m a mostly happy and serene man.  Gone are the days when the harsh rays of the sun would cook my delicate, marshmallow-y Irish skin to a fine crisp before I could walk from 83rd Street to 82nd Street.  No more will I be forced to have my olfactory senses attacked by the stench of week-old trash rotting in the heat.  The leaves are changing color, giving us all a wonderful sight to behold while we ignore the fact that the trees are basically just dying before our very eyes.  Football is back, and with it the excuses of Jets fans who assure us that, “Mark Sanchez might not be a typical great NFL quarterback, but he’s one hell of a game manager,” or at least until he throws his next game-ending, 4th-quarter interception.

But with the Fall also comes our ever-present New York City Fall rainy season, a torrent of unpredictable, annoying showers that help to wash the crap off of our sidewalks, but also wash out one of my most hated groups in the city, for which the word “crap” is far too good:

The Over-Umbrellaers.

(It’s a word.  Shut up.)

You know the Over-Umbrellaers; the people who plow along the street during a rainstorm, holding giant golf umbrellas over their head like parasols in an Amy Winehouse-sized cocktail.  (Too soon?)  They blatantly ignore the established social rule of what a proper umbrella-size-to-number-of-people-under-it ratio is, knocking the rest of us aside like so many fleshy raindrops.  I get that you don’t want to confine yourself to one of those weird, hook-handled umbrellas that we’ve all bought 19 of because they always end up breaking–the culmination of a ponzi scheme of Madoff-esque proportions (too soon?)–but you should still expect to suffer along with the rest of us.

If it rains, and you have to walk outside in it, you’re probably going to get a bit wet.  It’s something we accept as New Yorkers, along with exponentially increasing subway fares, guilt-inducing calorie cards on our restaurant menus, and sometimes having no choice but to turn a corner and see a homeless man’s junk swinging free in the wind.  It’s naive and, frankly, a bit entitled to just assume that you should be the one who stays dry while the rest of us are mentally calculating how many extra hours we’d have to take on or corners we’d have to work in order to afford a car payment.  But we never finish that calculation because the pointed end of one of these uber-brellas stabs us in the cornea while its owner is still a good 5 feet off.

Capital punishment is too good for these people.  They should be beaten about the face with their monstrous rain-blockers and paraded through the wetness bearing a sign that reads, “I am inconsiderate, and the dampness of my clothing reflects the very emptiness of my soul.”  You want my support for a fourth term, Bloomberg?  Make that happen.  That, and bring more Chik-fil-A’s to New York.  Mmmm, waffle fries…

September 20, 2011

Trivia Blog: Nice Shoes, Butthead

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

Laces?  Where we’re going, we don’t need laces.

By now, most of you have heard that Nike has plans underway to create Marty McFly Jr.’s iconic power-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future 2 (although theirs won’t have the power laces; lame).  Nike, apparently, is banking on the fact that consumers’ unchained nostalgia will trump the small voice in one’s head that normally holds sway when considering paying $3,500 for shoes that don’t fly or cure cancer or give its wearer toe orgasms.  (No idea what toe orgasms are, exactly, but they sound like something that Rex Ryan would go nuts for.)

I, for one, am all about this.  Not the price tag, that’s ridiculous, but I think that science has taken far too long to realize that they have a duty to make today’s technology reflect the prophecies of BTTF2′s fictional, futuristic world of 2015.  Because so far, science isn’t exactly delivering on what that soothsayer of a film promised.  As a wee ginger lad, I dreamed of a future full of flying cars, auto-drying clothes, and hoverboards.  Well where the fuck is my hoverboard, science?  Where the fuck is my hoverboard?

But the biggest miss, for a Shark Week devotee such as myself, is obviously the film’s depiction of the release of Jaws 19.  How dare they tease me with such a prolific series run and stop at a paltry four installments?  Jaws is a classic and Jaws 2 is completely underrated, and who cares if Jaws 3-D was a horrible mess despite the stalwart presence of Louis Gossett, Jr., and Jaws 4 was kind of a flop despite the presence of Michael Caine’s accent?  We still have time to crank out 15 more by the end of 2015; the storyline possibilities are endless.

In Jaws 7, the shark could find a way to fashion himself a pair of legs and stalk the Brody family after they move to Des Moines.  In Jaws 11, the shark could learn to come to grips with his father issues and reunite with his dad by film’s end.  In Jaws 14, the shark could begin a star-crossed love affair with a girl from a lower class, which his parents would oppose but he goes through with anyway because “Shut up, Dad! You’re not the boss of me!” (callback).  In Jaws 16, the shark could be a barracuda, because no one would see that coming.  And it could all culminate in Jaws 19, when the shark teams up with the Avengers and fights all the apes in San Francisco to stop them from telling the life stories of black, Southern maids in the 60s.  Oscar gold, I tells ya.

September 13, 2011

Trivia Blog: Ballsy Biking

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

When we talk about “New York’s finest,” no one ever mentions the delivery guys…

I’m a man who likes to try and stay in shape, if at all possible.  I have a philosophy in life that a man can be two of the following three things and still be accepted by polite society: 1. Bald, 2. Pale, and 3. Fat.  At this point in my life, as you can clearly see from the giant head in our fancy Gael Pub Trivia Night graphic above (“It looks like an orange on a toothpick!”), I’ve accepted that I fall nicely into categories 1 and 2.

Which is fine.  People like the bald, pale guy who’s more or less slim (see: Steve Jobs, Phil Collins, Prince William, many English majors).  Just like people like the bald, fat guy with a nice tan (see: latter-years Marlon Brando; old, retired Jews in Florida); and just like people like the pale, fat guy with a nice head of hair (see: Louie Anderson, Chris Farley, John Kruk, affable IT guys); I still happen to be in a likable section of that particular Venn diagram.  What I can’t abide, though, is being the pale, bald, fat guy.  People are just uneasy with that guy, especially at the beach.

To that end, I recently purchased a bike for the first time in about 15 years.  After seeing the multitude of delivery guys fearlessly winding their ways through our thoroughly dangerous streets, I decided that the risk was worth the chance to take advantage of my Upper West Side proximity to Central Park and the trails on the Hudson River.  As long as I didn’t go full Cyclist Nazi (you know the guys I’m talking about, with their Lance Armstrong outfits and general lack of caring if they happen to plow over a 4-year-old girl whilst navigating the roadways in Central Park), it seemed like the perfect way to get a bit of extra exercise in the city.

But good god, is it a test.  Those delivery guys are heroes along the likes of Batman and Spider-Man.  Biking through New York should be listed as an extreme sport right up there with bungee jumping, skydiving, and hiring Casey Anthony as your babysitter.  Between the cars that don’t really look out for you, the walkers in the parks who seem to view you as nothing more than obstacles in their personal game of Frogger, and the evil, evil cabbies, you’re lucky to make it home alive.  This must be how the people who ventured West on the Oregon Trail felt (as far as my understanding of the computer game I played in 3rd grade goes).  I had thought that it would be nice to bike across Central Park on Tuesdays on my way to the Gael Pub, but now I fear a scenario that ends with one of our lovely bartenders, Jenna or Kylie, having to turn on the mic and announce, “Quizmaster Ryan won’t be able to make it in to host tonight, as he has a bus stuck on his face.”