Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Canine Loyalists

I had a strange new emotion last night. A friend of ours texted me looking for a hot date by today at the latest, and I got a little upset.

A little background is due at this point.

We have a beautiful yellow Labrador retriever named Remi. Our friends have her sister from the previous litter, and both dogs have the same pair of parents. Our dogs are virtually twins, even though they are a year apart in age.

Our dog Remi has been spayed, which resulted in some hard feelings between her and me at the vet, and two completely shattered plastic cone collars at home, because she just wasn’t having any of it.

Their dog, on the other hand, is not spayed, and as far as I know, has never shattered a plastic “cone of shame” on a door jamb.

They are currently trying to breed her.

The text last night was this: “Hey, we’re trying to breed our dog right now. She’s in heat and we’ve been trying with a young Lab for two days, but he’s just not interested. Do you know of anyone wanting to breed their male Lab?”

At this point, my first thought, of course, was that “Gigolo Retriever” would be a great name for a rock band.

My second thought was that unfortunately, I didn’t know any available male Labs looking for love, so I texted back saying no, and then, out of nowhere, I got pretty defensive.

What the hell is wrong with this idiot male dog? Why won’t he mate with our girls? Are our Labs not good enough for him? Our dogs are beautiful!

Hmm… where is this emotion coming from? My dog and I are not even involved in this failed transaction. Why am I taking this personally?

Still, though, what is wrong with our girls? Nothing, that’s what!! They are good looking bitches, and any pure-bred Lab yahoo would be lucky to even get to sniff their butts!

Wow. Seriously. Not even my dog. I don’t even know the male dog. I literally have nothing to do with any of this. Settle down.

At that point, however, I was too curious not to ask. “What’s wrong with the male?”

Our friend responded, “Not sure. He mounts her, does a few hip tucks, then jumps off and sniffs the grass. We think he might be gay. Ha ha.”

So, obviously, my first thought was “The Gay Labradors” would be a great name for an alt-rock bagpipe troupe.

My second thought was, yeah, he’s probably gay. That makes the most sense, because our girls are amazing.

Apparently, I’m weirdly loyal to my dog. Who knew? I think that’s probably normal, though.

At least, I’m going to decide it is.

Who’s the best girl?!!!

See you soon,


Copyright © 2019 Marc Schmatjen

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hump Day

My wife has left us. All alone. For four days.

It’s Day Two and we have already descended into chaos. Pray for me.

I try to see the bright side of situations, but this one is tough. Sure, we get to eat out a lot, but that’s expensive. Sure, we could not shower and spend all day in our underwear, but they require you to wear pants at Chick-fil-A, and will insist that you leave immediately if you aren’t. We found that out the hard way.

As near as I can tell, there is only one pure upside to my wife being gone – I get to sleep on the hump.

You see, I’m in the second half of my forties, or the “complete physical breakdown” period, as it’s known. Some random part of my body is either hurting, aching, or simply not working correctly at any given moment of every single day. The only thing keeping me alive and marginally mobile is sleep.

A good night’s sleep depends on four main factors:
1) Making sure your kids are sleeping somewhere other than in your house.
2) Making sure your dog is sleeping somewhere other than in your house.
3) Having demonstrated the willingness to shoot randomly out of your upstairs windows at the first sign of late-night disturbances, thus eliminating loud parties and street racing in your neighborhood.
4) A good bed.

Of these four essential ingredients, a good bed is arguably the most important factor for an aging male, such as myself, since I’m mostly deaf at this point anyway. But having a good bed is not as foolproof as it sounds. At least not for me and my wife.

We have two main problems when shopping for a bed, stemming mostly from the fact that we’re both “frugal”:
A) Neither of us want to pay the Maserati-ish ticket price for the “premium-grade” mattress, even though we both need the premium-grade mattress.
B) Neither of us want to buy a new mattress after the recommended seven to ten years, because even after fifteen years, “we just bought this one!”

So there, in the master suite, sits a probably ten-plus-year-old “standard entry-grade” king-size mattress that has only one thing going for it – the hump in the middle.

By sleeping on our respective sides all these years, the weight and heat of our bodies have worked to shift many of the standard entry-grade mattress molecules to the middle of the bed. There, due again to the effects of pressure and heat, much like how diamonds are created deep within our earth’s crust, the sub-par mattress molecules have fused together into a magical longitudinal mass of premium mattress molecules, known as “the hump.”

The hump is a mattress within a mattress, if you will. It’s a three-foot-wide section of platinum mattress, hiding in plain sight in the middle of our old, worn out bronze model.

The hump is not available to me on regular nights, because if I tried to sleep there, I would be touching my wife while we slept, which would throw her delicate nighttime temperature regulation system completely out of whack, activating her “kick violently until the temperature regulation system gets back on track” reflex, which puts me in great nighttime physical peril.

So, the hump is only available when the king-size bed is single-occupancy, and this week, that single occupant is me.

When I woke up this morning, my hip didn’t even hurt. I feel like I’m forty-three again!

Happy hump day.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2019 Marc Schmatjen

Check out The Smidge Page on Facebook. We like you, now like us back!

Also visit Marc’s Author Page  for all his books. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Google+ You = Just You

I received some disturbing news last week. Google emailed me to inform me that my Google+ account would be shut down soon. You can imagine my surprise.

My first thought was, I have a Google+ account?

My second thought was, What the hell is Google+?

I’m totally kidding. I know Google+ was the social media network that Google came up with in an afternoon as a means to compete with Facebook. Sadly, it never really took off, and by “never really,” I mean that only fifty-six people in the entire world ever knew about it, and most of them worked at Google. Maybe they should have advertised it on Facebook?

My guess as to why it never gained any traction is that it had a symbol in the name. It was like The Social Network Formerly Known as Prince. When you don’t actually spell out your company name, you leave it far too open for interpretation.

Is it “Google Plus,” “Google Add,” “Google And,” “Google Positive,” “Google Lazy Person’s Ampersand,” or “Google Insert International Direct Dial Code Here?” No one ever knew for sure.

Here’s part of the nice note I received from Google Celtic Cross:

In December 2018, we announced our decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers' expectations.

Apparently, one of the “challenges involved in maintaining a successful product” is not accidentally leaving a giant security gap for an entire week. That apparently does not “meet consumers' expectations.”

Originally, they had plans to drag out the shutdown of Google Line Doodle until August of 2019, but then they found out that they did an update that had a huge bug in it, leaving everyone’s accounts wide open for an entire week, so they have decided to pull the plug by April.

It’s unclear whether any sensitive data was leaked, but the good news for Google is that virtually everyone with a Google I Have Two Sticks account was a Google employee, and can’t sue them. Any class action lawsuits arising from the breach should only have about seven members, consisting of ultra-hipsters. Google can probably settle out of court with them for a few twelvers of PBR and some free Lyft coupons.

The nice note then had a ton of completely useless information about how I could retrieve all my photos from them. Apparently, they were still fooling themselves into thinking anyone actually used Google Swiss Flag, right up until the end.

The note concluded with this:

From all of us on the Google+ team, thank you for making Google+ such a special place. We are grateful for the talented group of artists, community builders, and thought leaders who made Google+ their home. It would not have been the same without your passion and dedication.

Yes, you seven dedicated thought leaders meant the world to us!

Also, if any of you talented, passionate community builders out there are hiring, we would love to synergistically leverage our failed Google Skewed X platform skills in your workspace, as early as next Tuesday.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2019 Marc Schmatjen

Check out The Smidge Page on Facebook. We like you, now like us back!

Also visit Marc’s Author Page  for all his books. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Beware the Turd Mobb

We here at Just a Smidge are constantly combing the news wires in an effort to keep you informed about the critical issues that affect us all. We’re here to keep you as safe as possible, America. So, we feel it is our civic duty to inform you of a grave new possible threat to our very way of life – The Turd Mobb.

Who is the Turd Mobb? What is the Turd Mobb? Why do they spell mob with two B’s? How many actual Turds make up a standard Mobb?

You have questions. We have very few answers. Here’s what we do know so far.

The Turd Mobb seems to be currently contained to Stockton, California, which, if you’ve been to Stockton recently, should really come as no big surprise.

The Stockton Police Department reports that Samantha Morrison, 32, possibly female, was recently arrested on 72 felony counts of vandalism, including spray painting the ominous moniker “Turd Mobb” on multiple businesses. (Side note: “Ominous Moniker” would be a great name for a rock band. “Turd Mobb” would not be.)

In an apparent effort to be a more well-rounded individual, Samantha was also charged with one felony count of being an accessory, seven misdemeanor counts of vandalism, and no doubt due to her love of aerosol canisters, one felony use of pepper spray. It remains unclear who or what was pepper sprayed, but based on the redness in and around Samantha’s eyes in her mug shot, she may have been snorting it directly from the canister. She also appears to have been awake continuously for the past several years.

According to a source inside the police department (Marge from dispatch), they have spent several months investigating the case. Morrison is reported to have racked up multiple counts of vandalism on behalf of the Turd Mobb, between August 2017 and January 2019, with damages totaling over $102,000, according to sources. (Marge, again.)

Sheriff’s deputies arrested the alleged Ms. Morrison near Waterloo Road and Belvedere Avenue, which, based on a quick scan of Google Maps satellite imagery, appears to be a pretty crappy section of town, even by the relaxed Stockton standards. Based on her appearance and where she was found, it seems the affected businesses will need to look elsewhere for financial restitution. There is no telling how much the financial empire of the Turd Mobb has in its coffers, but their lead urban advertiser doesn’t look like she has $1.02 to her name, let alone $102,000.

Morrison has been booked into the San Joaquin County Jail, but having her off the streets certainly does not guarantee our safety. As the old saying goes, one strung out meth head a mobb does not make. Did Morrison really have a black spray paint budget that rivalled her meth funds, or was she simply the only Mobb tagger to be snared in the massive sixteen-month Turd net?

Only time will tell if and when the Turd will resurface.

Until then, be vigilant, America. The Mobb is nothing to meth with.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2019 Marc Schmatjen

Check out The Smidge Page on Facebook. We like you, now like us back!

Also visit Marc’s Author Page  for all his books. Enjoy!