There are way too many rant pages on the Internet!
But of course, I wouldn't be able to rant about that unless I had my own. Consider it a sinkhole for my anger.
And since I can't be bitter all the time, I'll pepper these pages with a few odd things I notice in life, too.
Biased Observations and Obligatory Rants
A Presentation of The Big Waste of Space Wanna see more?
September 2000 Previous Rants:  
September 27
All right, it looks like a lot of you could use a grammar brush-up, so here we go.

Plurals do not use apostrophes. Even if the subject is a proper noun. Some of you are probably thinking this is elementary, and it is. But, I've seen a ridiculous number of people screwing this up. It's typos, not typo's — disks, not disk's — Volvos, not Volvo's.

This goes for people's names, too. It's the Smiths, not the Smith's. And if the name ends in an S, the same rule still applies. For more than one person in the Sanders family, it's the Sanderses, not the Sanders's, or the Sanders' and certainly not the Sanders. If I say, "this house belongs to the Sanders," that would mean the family's last name is Sander.

So when do you use an apostrophe? When it's a possessive. My computer's hard drive. Your friend's friend. And again, the same goes for people's names, even if they end in an S. People have the tendency to write, and say, "Robert Zemeckis' movies." That would be "Robert Zemeckis's movies." (I've seen this done when the name ends in a Z, also.) "Star Trek: Voyager" (I know — I'm a geek) has a really bad habit of doing this. "Lieutenant Torres' quarters." "Mr. Paris' record." It sounds stunted and incredibly stupid saying it that way, but they do it all the time.

It is, however, correct to put the apostrophe at the end of a plural possessive. The soccer players' uniforms. That would be the uniforms belonging to more than one soccer player.

(In literature, the practice of creating a possessive from a proper noun by attaching an apostrophe to the end has become a legitimate style and is not technically incorrect, but in my opinion, it implies a plural. And it is ridiculous especially in a case when you would never pronounce it without the extra "-ez" syllable. For instance, take "Dr. Seuss' books." You would never say, "Doctor SOOS books." You would say "Doctor SOOSEZ books." So why spell it that way?)

And I can't believe I find it necessary to point this out, but I see this a lot, too. Stuff like "He drive's dangerously." Come on, now.

Next week: The difference between your and you're, and why alot is not a word.

September 20
I know this is rather dated, but I just overheard someone talking about The Blair Witch Project. Opinions of the movie aside, I just want to make it perfectly clear: the guy in the end was not hanging! It may have appeared at first that his body, still and vertical, may have been dangling from a rope, but what the hell sense would that make? Yeah, they're led to this familiar house and go down to the basement...where one of them is hung?

Despite the fact that you can't even see a rope, I just want to know — did anybody actually pay attention to the film? There was a whole segment about a guy who lived in a house in the woods and murdered children in his basement. As the story went, the man, at one point, made a young boy stand in the corner while he killed at least one other child. (Possibly more, I can't remember.)

Make sense now? He was standing mysteriously in the corner while his friend was being executed. Maybe it wasn't the most imaginative of endings, but it ties in with the rest of the script.

And for the last time, most of the dialogue may have been improvised, but yes, there was a script. It was a story. It did not actually happen. And I just love the justification that the people who insisted that it was real came up with once they saw the actors on Leno — it was a remake of the "actual" footage that was found. Yeah, OK. You know, I had a friend once who knew this guy who woke up in a tub of ice...

September 18
Can someone please explain this '70s fad to me? The wedge-shaped hairdo, the big collars, and the worst part of all, the gradient-tint sunglasses with the giant lenses... There's a reason we don't talk about the '70s. Everybody looked like an idiot.

I saw a couple guys the other day who were dressed like they just stepped out of a lousy cop show and a biker movie. One looked like a cheesy private eye and the other looked like a '60s grease monkey. One of these days, the '80s look is going to come back — off-the-shoulder tank-tops, ankle warmers, Members Only jackets, bangs that stick straight up in the shape of a fan...

I'm no sultan of fashion, but I at least like to live in my own decade. You know, one of these days everybody is going to cycle through the past 50 years and catch up to today. And they will have no idea what to wear.

September 15
I do a lot of driving. And I do a lot of listening to the radio when I'm driving. Subsequently, I do a lot of freaking out every time I hear a car horn in a radio commercial. How can this sound effect be legal? I can't tell you how many times I've panicked as I've merged into another lane and from my speakers blares, "From L.A. to Orange County, here's your traffic report... HONK! HOOONNNNNNNNNnnnnnnk! Screeeeeech!"

One of these days, that oh-so-clever intro is going to be followed by, "The 405 is backed up to Cahuenga due to a young man who has gotten out of his car and is smashing his radio...Witnesses say he's been requesting a fresh pair of shorts."

September 14
If you're going to become a serial killer, you should choose strangulation. It's classy. And you get a cool name, especially if the city you live in begins with an S.
September 13
I don't drink coffee all that often, but when I do, I like it with sugar. I mean I really like it with sugar. Especially when it's just bad scoop-it-from-a-can coffee. I'll hold the sugar container over my cup for a good four or five seconds before deciding it's enough.

But every once in a while someone will come along and see me doing this and feel obligated to make the comment, "Whoa, like a little coffee with your sugar? Ha, ha."

Shut up...  Just...just shut up.

September 10
So, I've made the decision to finally move back to Texas. And I have to tell you, I hate the process of moving. I mean I really hate it.

One of the worst parts about it is the hunt for boxes. Anyone who has had to move knows what I'm talking about. Boxes are like gold. Sure, you can simply buy them at U-Haul or Ryder's, but the quest for the free box is what defines us as a truly seasoned mover. This particular time, I got lucky; a party supply store let me have a large collection they were about to throw away. And I got some real gems.

But, this was after I made the mistake of trying the nearby Wal-Mart. Let me tell you, those guys are real pricks when it comes to their boxes. They hang onto them like they resell them to the corrugated black market. I tried Customer Service and they said they didn't have any to give me because they recycle them all. Why not recycle them with me? I may not be turning them into environmentally conscious lamp shades, but I'll certainly get some more use out of them. I was politely (in the loosest interpretation of the word) turned down. God forbid the boxes should be used as boxes twice in one lifetime.

Thinking I might have more luck in the back of the store, I headed for the Layaway Department, conveniently located in the same corridor with the bathrooms. The layaway woman also told me they didn't have any, despite the fact she had to step over a short stack of them (which was lying in front of a tall stack of them) to get to me.

I asked her what about all those boxes behind her. She said that she couldn't let me have any of those. They were all for the Layaway Department. Besides, boxes are in short supply. Short supply? The store is a city block full of every product known to man and she's telling me they don't get enough boxes? I suppose manufacturers now ship all their stuff in hand-woven baskets donated by the nearby community college. She tells me that she wishes she could help, but they really go through them fast in Layaway, especially around Christmas time. Christmas time?? I may be wrong, but according to my calendar, Christmas is four months away! I guess the employees get a little confused when Wal-Mart starts selling the holiday decorations 12 weeks in advance.

September 7
Has anybody taken notice of the TV commercials that have popped up in the last couple of years advertising prescription medications? Apparently, there's some regulation that obligates the advertisers to tag on the side effects of their respective remedies to the end of the ad. (Not to mention the regulation stating that the spot must feature at least one attractive person running through a field.)

I don't know about anyone else, but the side effects, although delivered by a creamy-voiced professional, completely deter me from considering their product. Migraine? Nose-bleed? Sensitivity to light? One ad for a weight-loss pill actually warned of — and I'm not kidding — increased gas accompanied by oily discharge and an inability to control the bowels. As if the beer gut wasn't unattractive enough.

September 4
Nobody needs to point out the fact that political correctness has long gotten out of control, but sometimes I see something that's just unbelievably ridiculous. I was scanning the channel guide for something to watch on TV and spotted Little Shop of Horrors. I can't recall what the exact synopsis was, but it involved the term "person-eating plant."

Person-eating plant? It's man-eating plant! Just like man-eating lion and man-eating shark! You can't tell me that any woman would be upset by the implied inequality regarding her right to be devoured by a shrub.

September 2
There are three things that will ruin a perfectly good visit to Taco Bell.

The first is having to eat there in the first place because you don't have the money to eat anywhere else. But there's not much one can do about that.

The second is ordering a taco and receiving one in a broken shell. Now, I'm not talking about when there are small chunks falling apart from the edges; I mean when it's split right down the middle of the trough. (That's taco talk for the folded part.) Eating a taco in a split shell is an acrobatic act. Upside-down isn't an option, but sideways doesn't do much good either. With every bite, you have to readjust so that the part that squished out last doesn't fall onto the wax paper, but without losing any of the toppings.

And it's not like you can return it. I mean, even if you're dining in, you'd feel like a complete boob walking up to the counter and asking for a new taco because the one you have is "busted." It's 69 cents! Suck it up!

And that brings me to the third, and worst, thing that can ruin a Bell meal: An improperly folded burrito. I can't say how they do it, but I know I would never be able to. It's like origami. I've come to realize there has to be a certain level of skill involved, because usually they will remain tubular unbelievably well, even to the last bite. But, with the slightest derivation in procedure, the hold-togetherness, or "burrito integrity" if you will, progressively loses all cohesion until, at about the middle of its length, it becomes a goo salad.

In high school, I once actually convinced a friend of mine to return such a burrito. The ensuing embarrassment compelled him to transfer.

Sometimes, I wonder if we should have taunted him so.

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Wanna see more? A Presentation of The Big Waste of Space