Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tales of Fail

To honor my new favorite website, (it won’t disappoint you, I promise, unless you’re one of those demented freaks who gains no pleasure from others’ mistakes and misfortunes), I have decided to compile my own list of incredibly stupid behavior.

Thanks in part to Failblog (whose content is not always 100% wholesome, just be forewarned), current slang calls such acts “FAIL.” The word “failure” is no longer necessary, Mr. Webster.

I’ll start with a letter that I received recently from a company called Oriental Trading, a company I'd never heard of.

I tore open the envelope because the words “pay to the order of” showed through the window. Sweet!

Turns out it was only a voucher fort ten dollars off my next purchase of $30 or more. I’m so disillusioned!

The attached letter was addressed to my wife. Good thing, because her name is easy to spell. I, on the other hand, have often been called “Chuck” or “Carles” in these correspondences.

I went by “Charles” until 4th grade, when Mr. Betterly caught me standing in the back of the classroom, urgently but discretely scratching myself in a personal area. (FAIL!) He announced, with all the discretion of a recently-divorced drill sergeant, “If you’ve got something to take care of, Charles, you probably ought to use the bathroom.”

Since then, I have gone by numerous aliases.

Anyway, I don’t use my wife’s name in my column, because then she might have to start using aliases, so I’ll just pretend the Oriental Traders letter is addressed to me. It says:

“Dear Charles,

You know the old saying, ‘New friends are like silver but old friends are like gold?’ Well, that’s how we feel about you. You’re an old friend we haven’t seen in a while. And frankly, we miss you!”

Somebody get me a Kleenex.

To drive home the idea that I’m special to them, a fake stickie note appears at the bottom of the page, with phony handwriting offering the chance to “enjoy exclusive savings when you sign up to receive our weekly emails.”

This, somehow, fails to entice me.

People, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: you can set your blender on crush, puree, pulverize, blend, liquefy, dismember, obliterate, masticate, humiliate, or incinerate, but, at the end of the day, it’s just some metal blades whirring around really fast so you can enjoy a relaxing fruity beverage, and that’s all.

My next example of Fail comes from Scrabble, where my friends and I compete at the highest level, measured in terms of our effort in convincing everyone how awful our rack is at any given moment:

“I’ve had the worst luck. I have all vowels.”

“Yeah, well I’ve had six Ps and a Q for three turns in a row.”

“That’s nothing. The last four turns my rack has held nothing but nine V’s, two Chinese symbols that look like a hot dog stand, and a small sample of llama dung that I’m pretty sure contains some e coli.”

Lately, I’ve taken to playing Scrabble on Facebook, which allows you to cheat unabashedly.

It’s a shame that a whole generation of Scrabble players might grow up without learning the gamesmanship involved in playing a word like “blurve” on a Triple Word Score just to see if an opponent has the gonads to challenge.

“Sure, it’s a word. I keep seeing it in my junk mail.” Since no one but me reads junk mail, it works every time.

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