Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thankfulness 2019

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day traditionally filled with long-standing family arguments, overeating, and passing out on the couch in front of the football game.

Along with those essential pastimes, we have the popular tradition around the dinner table of naming the things for which we are thankful. Invariably, people (including myself) go with the big low-hanging fruit – family, friends, church, dark chocolate covered almonds, employment, first responders, good health, etc.

Nothing against all those very important things, but I think it’s a shame that we don’t have time to name everything we’re really thankful for before the turkey dries out and the gravy develops an impenetrable skin.

So, here’s my small list of some of the smaller things, in no particular order:

Parking karma
Civil discussions on the internet (just kidding, never seen one)
The hours my kids are in school (always)
The hours my kids are home (mostly)
Dental floss
The beach
The lake
The pool
Any time they got my order right
Ziploc bags
Phone flashlights
Opposable thumbs
Rolling luggage
Shopping carts that drive straight
Rock and roll
Paying for things with my phone
In-n-Out Burger
Good car defrost
Good shoes
Labrador retrievers
Car backup cameras
The “What is this song?” feature on Google
Dave Barry
Tabasco Green Pepper Jalapeño sauce
Pork ribs
La Croix
Getting to be a coach
Garbage disposals
Tape, in all its forms, but most specifically duct
Forever stamps
Toilet paper
The plastic things on the ends of shoelaces
Compound interest
Indoor plumbing
Insulated cups
Discount printer ink that actually works
Fortune cookies
Microwave popcorn
The five-second rule
Hot showers
The Little Caesars Pizza Portal
The National League
Bill Murray
Caller ID
Amazon Prime
Every day it’s not windy
Every day without a school project

It’s the big things in life, but it’s also the little things in life.

Have a great Thanksgiving,


Copyright © 2019 Marc Schmatjen

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

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Disney Plus a Kidney

I stuck it to those cable companies a few years ago. I really showed them when I “cut the cord” and canceled my cable subscription!

I’m tired of your high prices. I’m going to get all my TV from the internet now. I don’t even need a home phone anymore.

That’s right, I don’t need you. Come get your stupid cable boxes! Wait, except for the internet modem and router. I’m still going to need those.

How much is it for just internet? You’re kidding me. OK, well, that’s still cheaper than your stupid cable TV, so I’m good.

Let me just buy a separate Roku box for every TV in the house so we can start streaming. OK, that wasn’t exactly cheap, but check us out, just streaming away. Umm… where did all the TV shows go?

They’re all on Hulu? OK, let me just subscribe to Hulu. OK, there’s all the shows. What’s that? I can get them without commercials for just a few dollars more? Done.

What about movies? Netflix, you say? OK, great, let me just pay for that. Using it on more than one TV? That will be extra. Yippee.

Is that new movie we wanted to see on Netflix? No? What movies are on Netflix? Hmm… Those are pretty old.

Hey, you know what’s cool? We already pay for Amazon Prime, so we’ll be able to get tons of movies from that. Let me just fire that up. Wow, look at all the movies listed. Let’s watch this one. Why is it asking me to pay for it? I already pay for this. What’s that? Oh, some of these cost extra? Where’s the free stuff? Ah, it’s over here on this really short list. Super.

OK, now where are all the sports? On Hulu? No. Netflix or Amazon? Nope. Looks like I can pay the individual sports leagues to watch games on their apps. Just not my home teams. Those need to be blacked out just in case someone who was a fan wanted to see them play. Makes sense.

What now? Oh, YouTube TV has arrived. They will show me all the sports any time I want. Great! Let me just get that. How much did you say it was? That’s not too bad… Wait. Per month?!?!? Holy crap, that’s almost as much as I pay the cable company for the internet to make all this stuff work in the first place.

Well, sign me up, I guess. We need sports, after all. And I’m probably still paying less than I did for cable. Maybe? I’m afraid to add it all up.

OK, that covers everything. We can watch most TV shows, we can pay to rent movies any time we want, and we can watch sports as long as we don’t eat much or drive any of the cars. All set.

What’s that, now? Disney what? Disney+? What is that? Disney is pulling all their content from everywhere else and making me pay for a special Disney channel to see it? And all the Marvel movies, too?

No! This is the last straw! I can’t keep buying these different streaming services. The total bill is getting out of han… Wait, they’re making new Star Wars stuff? Disney+ has a completely new storyline called The Mandalorian? What is it? I must know. Wait, it has what?!?

Baby Yoda?!?!?!?!?!?!

Shut up and take my money!

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, November 13, 2019

Post-humorously Elected - Repost

Sure, things might look bad, politically speaking, right now in America. The House of Representatives started the televised phase of their “impeachment inquiry” into President Trump today. They are trying to determine, as best as we can understand, if Rudy Giuliani is secretly a Ukrainian citizen by birth, and what that means vis-à-vis political favors extended to then citizen Trump during Comrade Giuliani’s time as mayor of New York.

Or something like that.

I mean, a presidential impeachment inquiry is not exactly what you would hope your government is up to on a day-to-day basis, but remember, it could always be worse. In fact, it was, just one year ago.

Let’s take our mind of today’s unpleasantness with a fond look back at the time Nevada elected a dead pimp. Here’s my report from last November:

The 2018 midterm elections are behind us, and once again, during this tumultuous and confusing process, the nation looked to the great state of Nevada for guidance and direction.

Nevada has always been our national beacon of light in times of darkness. Our North Star, keeping the country focused on what matters. What counts. What is truly important to us all.

Roulette, cocaine, and hookers.

Wait, that can’t be right…

In any event, yesterday, Nevada showed us the way forward yet again. They went ahead and elected a dead guy.

We have a long and rich tradition in our larger metropolitan (read: corrupt) areas of allowing dead people to vote, but very rarely do we vote for a dead guy. But that’s the fun of Nevada!

Dennis Hof defeated educator Lesia Romanov yesterday in the race for Nevada's 36th Assembly District by a vote of 63% to 37%.

As per Nevada assembly district election law, at least one person in each race has to be an actual pimp, and that was Dennis in this case. Apparently Lesia is just a teacher or a school principal or something lame like that.

Dennis Hof owned and operated a half-dozen brothels around the state and was running on the platform of “Make Nevada Nevada again,” (it had been previously changed to Nebraska, and people were getting confused), “I Will Protect Our Water,” (meaning, I will protect our rights to have your water delivered to you by a licensed sex worker), and “I Can’t be Bought,” (meaning, I already have all the hookers and cocaine).

Unfortunately for Mr. Hof, he died on October 16th after an extended weekend of celebrating his 72nd birthday at one of his brothels. (Remember to ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for birthday activities, and seek immediate medical attention if you experience a birthday celebration lasting longer than four days.)

But the fact that their pimp was inconveniently dead was not going to deter the proud Nevadan District 36’ers from voting him into office in an overwhelming fashion. Well done, 36’ers, well done!

This is certainly a strange situation, and one that raises many questions, the most obvious one being, how bad was Lesia Romanov’s campaign platform that she could actually lose big to a dead pimp?

If she did nothing other than change her late-October campaign speeches to, “Look, I can breathe and wiggle my fingers,” it seems like she should have been able to get closer to at least half the votes.

Who knows how these things work!

Anyway, Nevada, the rest of us just want to thank you for, yet again, showing us the path. You may have just pioneered a new voting strategy of having dead people vote for dead people, completely eliminating the need for a live electorate or candidates. That could dramatically reduce campaign ads being mailed to our houses! That is some next-level visionary stuff.

Whether that dream comes to fruition or not, above all else, I just personally want to thank you for electing a dead guy.

I truly wish all politicians could be as ineffective as he’ll be.

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, November 6, 2019

Regrets Can Be Funny

Do you have regrets?

I don’t mean little day-to-day regrets like that fifth piece of pizza, or that shot of tequila you put on top of all that chardonnay. I mean big life regrets.

I was thinking more about that question recently after I heard an ad on the radio for Pepto Bismol, or some other such stomach/digestive-related medicine. The ad agency was tasked with relating all the maladies that the product was capable of curing in a peppy, up-beat manner.

As with so many other radio ads, they went the jingle singer route.

Whomever the jingle singer was, I found myself wondering about them when they presumably placed a hand on one of their headphones, presumably leaned forward into the microphone with eyes closed, and melodiously crooned, “di-a-rrheaaaa.”

At what point during their day in the recording studio do you think they said to themselves, “Huh. Will you look at what’s happening here? I’m singing about diarrhea. I mean, sure, they’re paying me, but seriously. Diarrhea. When did my singing career take this turn? When did my life go off the rails? I was planning to be on The Voice, for goodness sake.  How did I get here? Was it one big mistake or a series of small, poor decisions?”

Thankfully, I don’t have any big career regrets like that diarrhea singer obviously does, and frankly, I didn’t think I had many if any regrets at all. That is, until I was relaying a story the other day about seeing my old high school water polo coach on an airplane a few years back, and I realized I missed a huge opportunity.

We had been working in Tijuana, Mexico (motto: Sure it smells like a sewer, but we have tacos!). On the way home, we spent an afternoon in the ridiculously long line of cars at the border going back into the United States. Under Mexican law, any stationary tourist is required to be offered a minimum of six crappy things to purchase per minute. We were in the line for two hours, so we saw a lot of merchandise. I finally settled on a small acoustic guitar to bring home to our boys.

So, a few hours later, I was boarding a plane in San Diego, holding a small guitar in my hand. My old water polo coach, whom I hadn’t seen since high school, was seated midway down the plane in an aisle seat.

He did not recognize the grown-up me, but he was being funny and asked if I was going to play a song for the plane.

This is where my regret lies.

I was so excited to see him again after all those years, I just stopped and put out my hand and introduced myself. We had a fun moment of “holy cow, I haven’t seen you in years,” before I had to move on to find my seat. I went back to talk to him once the flight was underway and we had a nice visit.

My regret does not stem from seeing him or getting to speak with him briefly. My regret is pun-based.

You see, my old coach’s name is Rick West. I was telling the story to my dad, who is far funnier than me, and he immediately pointed out where I went horribly wrong.

My brain is far too slow. I blew it, big time. Had I been quicker, the conversation would have been:

Rick West - Are you going to play us a song?
Quicker Me - Sure, I guess, but I didn’t know there would be Rick Wests on this plane.

That missed opportunity for comedy gold will haunt me the rest of my days.

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!