Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category


Having two kids is not that far from living back in the fraternity house

August 31, 2010

I have been blessed with two beautiful kids — two kids who are already throwing me back to the days of Delta Tau Delta at Ball State.

There is always a body function happening
At first there is the innocent and often, “I can’t control my gas” infant stage. People laugh and think it is cute because it is a baby. This is not the case when a guy, nicknamed “Dirt”, breaks wind after drinking malt liquor all night and eating a burrito the size of your head.

Spitting up is so common I now have no sense of smell or a desire to eat. I have a burp cloth on my body at all times because I never know when Mt. Cam will erupt and spew whatever he just ate all over the place. In the fraternity house the only thing funny about spewing was the occasional dry heave. I still don’t why that is funny. Maybe the eyes welling up with tears or the fact I always think of Jim Carey.

Yes, sometimes it is nice to set yourself free. My three year old finds great delight in streaking around the house after a bath. You can see the sheer joy of being clothes- and worry-free on her face. This look was also found many a night when someone would casually walk through the house sans pants, sit down on your couch, and act as if this was normal. Thank you creator of the slipcover.

Nose picking is an Olympic sport
I guess until now I thought the nose pick was merely done out of necessity. Nope. I am not sure what the fascination is with having your finger two knuckles into your nose, but the kids dig it. Yes, pun intended. I am worried more about them being able to hide a grapefruit in their nostril than do it in public. And at the old Delt house you had guys who were the Michael Phelps of nose picking. After each victory they always wanted to show you their medals. Remember the dry heave part? My eyes are still watering.

Being tired is the norm
I am up at all hours, I don’t ever feel like I sleep through a whole night, and when I am up, I have to be on. There is always something to clean up (see above), someone to entertain, and someone getting into something they shouldn’t. Hmmm…this one didn’t change.

Time for me to go, I think someone just made his underwear into a headband.


Things we can stop saying in business

August 26, 2010

We only hire smart people

Good. The place I worked before only hired dumbasses, and no not Mr. Dumass from an A&W Root Beer commercial, but 100% certified USDA glue sniffers.

When presenting we open with, “feel free to interrupt, this is informal.”

Has anyone ever walked in and told their audience to sit there, shut up, and take your medicine? They brought me in to talk, not you, so I’d appreciate if you keep your pie hole shut? Also if it is formal do I need to wear dress attire, nod my head, and scream, “I concur!” after every good point?

We want to be the employer of choice

All right, now we’re talking. I mean what is the alternative? We want to have the best cafeteria. We don’t believe in caning… in most cases. We are fully committed to being the place that someone doesn’t go postal. We know we can’t be the best that is why we hope you’ll think of us when you have been fired, laid off, or simply tired of living in your parent’s basement.

Our work environment is just like family

Really? So who is the crazy uncle that still thinks it is funny to play the pull my finger joke or look what happens when I squeeze your ear? And the second cousin twice removed who is a self-proclaimed “cat whisperer”? I personally like weekly staff meetings when the conversation comes to a screeching halt to break up the twin brothers’ wedgie fever game. Wait, I take this one back. OK, yes, work is like family.

We want to be your partner

Well howdy then! And just when I lost hope, you saved the day. The last agency we worked with wanted to take our money and wave their private parts at our aunties. And the one before that told us that we had a great personality, but they needed to end things. It was them, not us.

Ok, what did I miss?


I found my true calling. Writing greeting cards.

August 19, 2010

I am convinced that there is a card now for everything. I was trying to buy a simple thank you card the other day and was amazed at the selection, poor writing, and unintended comic relief some of the brilliant passages possessed.

I enjoyed the following:

Belated Birthday
“Happy Belated Birthday. Sorry to hear that you passed.”

Losing a Pet
“Mittens was a lively cat
His fur was gray and warm
I just wish Mittens was a faster cat
And got out of the way of the car.”

Get well soon
“Glad you finally went to the dentist. Your breath smelled so bad, when you talked, your teeth ducked.”

“Every time you smile a clown wets his pants.”

That got me thinking why hasn’t anyone created these masterpieces for business? How about:
“Sorry. I never would have called you that had I realized you were copied on the email.”
Or the must have, “When I said the Boss was a jackass I was referring to Springsteen.”

I guess a guy can dream. Meanwhile here is thank you message for you all.

“Thank you all for reading
It is time for me to go
If you’re having troubles with your colon
I really don’t want to know.”


Curiosity and arm hair. The missing link?

August 18, 2010

My three-year-old daughter asked me why I had hair on my arms and legs. I didn’t have a good answer. There isn’t enough there to keep me warm, I don’t make a habit of testing how well it works as a bug repellant, and one thing we learned from the 80s, is hair isn’t always there for looks. So what was my answer? “Ask your mother.”

But it did make me think about the power of being curious. A former supervisor of mine used to always preach that the one thing he saw in successful people was that they were curious. They didn’t take an answer at face-value, they jumped in, broke it down, and took ownership in not being satisfied until they had the whole story.

And as I have progressed through my career his words still ring true. But I would add a second tier or missing link to his curiosity statement. You must then do something with the information to validate the time spent questioning.

There is certainly an art to delivering value to a client. But that work of art also needs help from the client. In my conversation above, I would not be a shining example of a client willing to jump in and get dirty. Having sat on both sides of the fence there is certainly a level of expectation that needs to be met from both parties to get results.

If the agency doesn’t push to get the information or worse, they do but the client doesn’t move the ball past the “I don’t know stage” outcomes will not deliver on goals and forward progress will always be impeded.

So yes, we need to be curious, but we also need to have a collaborative environment that continually supports and delivers on the information uncovered.


The power of the Greek system in the business world

August 12, 2010

Everyone, including myself, has perceptions, stereotypes, and feelings about the Greek system. And most of these stem from Animal House, an article in a newspaper, or from your experiences whether positive or negative.

I actually never wanted to join a fraternity. I didn’t want to pay money to be friends with someone, hold my nose in the air at “independents”, or feel entitled because of some letters I could wear on my chest. However after my freshman year at Ball State, it became apparent to me that I found a home away from home at the Delta Tau Delta house on 1001 West Riverside. I am a Delt and always will be.

I’m sure in writing this my wife is afraid I am going to go all Old School (which, by the way, Will Ferrell is a Delt) and do some block trots around Fishers and invite the neighbors over for a Harry Buff party. No, I won’t be doing that… although tempting. Maybe instead I’ll just streak Café Patachou at Clay Terrace; after all they are the “student union for adults.”

No, I am writing this because of the continual job I see the Greek system cranking out more leaders and its ability to stay relevant when social media, text messaging, and creating fake online personas is so rampant. I also know how different of a person I am for joining.

I have been in board meetings that were more unguided, pointless, and childish than running a Chapter meeting in a house of 100 18-23 year old men. Try getting all that testosterone to be serious for four seconds and come to a consensus. But we did it, time and time again. I learned how to work with egos, different backgrounds, and how to succeed. I also learned that if you weren’t striving to be the best, someone else was and would be the first to tell you about it. The statistics don’t lie, check them out.

Even with all of the above, going Greek isn’t for everyone and I respect that. Some of my closest friends and smartest people I know would be repulsed at the thought. I just know how lucky I am to have made that choice. I would never know guys like Biscuit-neck, Blockhead, Dorito-butt, T-Rex, and Patches. And I mention those guys because despite the nicknames, they are some of the finest people I know. I also learned that to be great, you need to be consistent, purposeful, and dedicated to your goals.

Ok, enough of this, who is driving me to Patachou?


What the year 2050 will look like. And yes…I want a lightsaber.

August 5, 2010

I am pretty random and at times totally unrelated and random events get me thinking about things. (Insert joke here about the fact that I do actually think sometimes.) I was helping my best friend move back to Pennsylvania this past week and we were discussing how bad it must have stunk to move back in the Little House on the Prairie days. No wonder Chuck and the family put up with Nellie. Who the hell wanted to move?

Anyway back to modern day and running water. I kept thinking about how much technology has advanced and how change is so common it is uncommon not to see, hear, or witness change.

So let’s look back at the past 40 years.

It is hard to believe that this puts us in the 70s, my birth decade. The 70s brought us Star Wars and the lightsaber. When I was a kid that was the ultimate protection device. Almost 40 years later, still no lightsaber and I still haven’t got anything to move simply by making a face like I am horribly constipated.

The 80s brought entertainment to the home like never before. PCs took off, VHS vs. Beta, and Nintendo. Who knew that 30 years later I would get to look out of my downtown window and people watch at Gen Con Indy. I hope this year, the guy who dressed up as Link from the Legend of Zelda games wears pants over his tights.

In the 90s we made huge strides in technology. From cell phones and iPods to the Internet and email, that decade changed me forever. I remember as a freshman at Ball State in ’94, I just started to embrace this new thing called electronic mail and then four and a half years later when I graduated, my DJ skills were replaced with an iPod. My wheels of steel and vinyl where no match for a click wheel and a portable 20GB music library.

Once we got over the Y2K farce we moved into more power, more memory in less space, in less time. Speed is everything and we want to watch it, not read it. I wonder if my kids’ grandkids will have little tiny thumbs that swivel at incredible speeds. They will be able to text faster than they think, but won’t be able to peel a banana worth a damn.

So in 2050 I guess I’ll be at conference wearing tights, listening to 40TB of music on a device the size of stamp, watching young kids pick their teeth with their tiny thumbs, all while wondering why in 80 years, Apple can’t make me a simple iSaber.


Even with preparation sometimes things just don’t go as planned. Like when a chipmunk bites your cousin.

July 29, 2010

At the age of 13 I found myself in a situation that I knew I could handle. My grandparents and uncle trusted me to watch my cousin, who was 10, for 30 minutes as they ran to the store. Piece of cake, I thought. Grandma had a pool, we were good swimmers, and 30 minutes would go by fast. Until we journeyed out back to find a little chipmunk nearly submerged breaststroking across the deep end.

So, I quickly grabbed the net, flung him out onto the concrete and heeded a warning to leave Alvin alone to his own destiny. It looked like TV was my Plan B. With my back turned I headed towards the porch. It was then I heard what sounded like a war cry, then a shriek, and then the equivalent of what it would sound like if an elephant rode a roller coaster.

As I snapped my head around, I saw my cousin doing a poor excuse for the river dance then the Curley shuffle while a furry four-ounce fit of horror was attached to his hand right between the thumb and pointer finger. In his attempt to be Marty Stouffer on Wild America, he forgot the golden rule; it is still a wild animal.

He then snapped his right hand as if throwing a football and the little half-drowned and bowlegged rodent flew off into a bush. Looking at the sheer terror in his eyes, I had to take action. It was hard to calm him down. One of mans’ greatest fears is to be eaten alive. I mean even he lives, I wondered, would the mental strain be too much?

I then found an inner calm to take care of the situation. We went inside to wash it off. It was apparent he needed stitches. 30 minutes was going to seem like forever now. I asked how it felt; he said it burned… it burned real bad. So I went to my grandparent’s medicine cabinet and found a white tube for burning. I applied the ointment on like I was painting the kitchen. He said it felt better.

When everyone returned, I valiantly told my story of how this ghastly creature emerged from the deep in Godzilla like fashion, donned its razor sharp teeth and attacked my cousin like he was the world’s last acorn. I then showed them the bite marks and the tube of salve used to lessen the burn. To my uncle’s angst and I bet later the tale of all bite wounds at the ER, I had actually used hemorrhoid cream to soothe the burning wound.

Turns out luck is not when preparation meets opportunity, rather luck can be when Preparation H meets a chipmunk bite.