Oddly Touching: The Millwork Desk

My wife and I are sitting at the Millwork desk at a Home Depot.  We are there because we need something.  This thing that we hope to buy will enrich our lives and fulfill our wildest fantasies of living a content and happy existence.  Garage doors.  I get excited when the sales associate shows me the different insulation configurations.  I don’t know what an R-Value is, but I don’t want to skimp out and get a 6.3 rating when I could spring for the 12.7.  The conversation is enthralling.  Until we’re interrupted.

A woman in sky blue hospital scrubs and fuzzy ski boots approaches the desk and taps her long nails on the counter.  Melissa, our garage door concierge, tries to focus her attention on my wife’s question.

“Lots of people have been switching from a chain-driven mechanism to a belted one,” she explains, her eyes darting to the rapping cuticles.  “It’s much quieter.”

The woman is flanked by a skinny man who looks as though he’s worked some hard jobs in his life.  He too is wearing sky blue.  “I don’t mean to bother yinz, but as soon as you’re done I got some questions about sashes,” she says.  “I need a new sash.”

“We unfortunately don’t just sell sashes here,” Melissa replies.

“Maybe Lowe’s sells them,” the sky blue nurse says and winks at her.

“They don’t.  I used to work there.”

“Ok, well I guess I’ll just have to get a whole new winduh.  Don’t rush though.  I’m very patient.”

Melissa turns back to my wife and I and attempts to wrap up the transaction.  “So for a small upgrade, you can get steel casing instead of vinyl.  It’s just more durable.”

“”Yeah, I need that new window because my brother broke the last one,” the sky blue nurse blurts out.

Melissa turns again, “That’s too bad.  I hope he’s paying for it.”

“Nah, he can’t pay for it ‘cause he’s dead!”

I’m kicking my wife under the desk.  Melissa makes the sound that organically rises in the human throat when a stranger gives you lots of information in a quick amount of time.  “Oh.”

“I didn’t want to replace the winduh for a long time though because he was always drunk and it reminded me of him,” sky blue nurse explains further.  “I’ll probably just take a picture of it an’ frame it or sumthin’.”

“Ok well, we can get you set up in a minute.”

“No problem,” she replies.  “I’m very patient.”

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Filed under Oddly Touching, Pittsburgh, Short Stories

The Winter Soldier

Marvel Studio’s latest release, Captain America: Winter Soldier, has been on a marketing tear the last few weeks.  Let’s take a look back to the decisions that led to this movie being one of the most anticipated of the year.  We join the meeting in progress…


BRODY HICKSON - CEO of Marvel Studios

TYLER HINES – Low level marketing employee  


BRODY: It’s getting late everyone.  We’ve been brainstorming for a long time and I don’t really see any ideas that I’m in love with right now.  Let’s break for the evening and we’ll start fresh tomorrow.  Remember when you’re home tonight, our first quarter is riding on the success of Captain America: Winter Soldier.

TYLER: (says something under his breath)

BRODY: What was that, Hines?

TYLER: I mean, I thought we had a great idea at the beginning of the day.

PAULA: Tyler, that’s enough.

BRODY: No let him talk.  This better be good.

TYLER: Yeah, well I really don’t think that we really took my initial idea into consideration.

BRODY: From this morning?  You can’t be serious!  That was the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

TYLER: When the public thinks of Captain America, they think of powerhouses.  And what company is the biggest powerhouse in the furniture and electronics lease-to-own retail world?  Rent-A-Center!  That’s who.

PAULA: Tyler…

TYLER: No.  It’s a great idea.  We’ll co-brand the movie release with commercials touting great discount rental prices on TV’s or fine furniture.  People love renting furniture.  If we can associate Captain America with this great company, people will be smashing down the doors to see this movie.

BRODY: I’m going to pretend you’re joking.

TYLER: Captain America stands for liberty, justice, and doing what’s right.  With Rent-A-Center’s affordable leasing programs, their customers can’t go wrong!  Don’t you see the connection?

BRODY:  We’re done for the day.  That’s enough.

BRODY walks to the door.  The door is locked. 

BRODY: What the?  This door is stuck.

TYLER: Unfortunately Mr. Hickson, I’m afraid it’s time to get unstuck.  I’m in control now.  Your position here has been…terminated.

TYLER pulls a gas mask out of his suitcase.  Green fog starts to billow from the AC vents.  PAULA, BRODY and the rest of the meetings attendees begin to choke and gag.  After 30 seconds of struggling, they have all collapsed on the floor. 

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Filed under Complaining, Superheros

The Wasteland (LinkedIn)

LinkedIn is a great place to network.  It also attracts some of the most ridiculous people on Earth.  In my opinion, it’s a bone yard where corporate-speak goes to spawn with degenerate “innovators”.     This is how I view most people on LinkedIn.



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Filed under Office Humor

This weekend at the Improv: Dan St. Germain

I’ll be opening for Dan St. Germaine this weekend at the Pittsburgh Improv.  Two shows on Friday and Saturday then one on Sunday.

Dan’s pretty heavy into the New York scene and he’s been making waves for the past two years.  He’s performed on Jimmy Fallon, had his own Comedy Central Special and Variety named him one of the “10 Comics to Watch.”

Come check us out this weekend.

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Filed under Stand-Up Comedy

We shouldn’t have left you…


It’s funny how things work out. I went to the Improv last night to pick up my 1099 form. When I walked through the doors, I basically saw all of the dudes that I came up through the ranks with. Terry Jones, Bill Crawford, Jerry Wilson, T-robe and Aaron Klieber (and relative new-comers Ed Bailey and Holly Price). It’s practically impossible to get all of us in the same room so someone decided to take a picture. Good call. It was weird because I’m so proud of what everyone has been able to accomplish, but also a little sad that the days of us sitting in a dive bar, watching each other perform and laughing hysterically had become a little less frequent. These guys were important to me in my early days because they were good. Really good. And we all benefited from pushing each other.

It wasn’t just a gathering of comedians. In a way, it was like a little family reunion.

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March 17, 2014 · 1:01 pm