Monday, September 25, 2006

I'm strong to the finish...but I don't eat spinach...

There are now 173 confirmed cases of e-coli poisoning from spinach.

I’m not shocked that spinach caused the poisoning.

I’m shocked that they found 173 people that actually eat that crap.

Have you ever seen what happens to a baby’s diaper when you’ve forced it to eat spinach?

It’s not natural.

If god had meant us to eat spinach he wouldn’t have named it after something that sounds like a character from Lord of the Rings.

First of all you don’t eat spinach raw. Everyone knows that spinach is supposed to come out of a can. Secondly it should only be eaten by nearsighted sailors. And last but not least it tastes like crap and has the consistency when cooked of… well… snot.

Popeye never had e-coli.

He had Olive Oyl.

When I was a kid there was no such thing as e-coli. There was no such thing as a-coli, b-coli, c-coli or d-coli either. There were no coli’s.

We never knew the meaning of the word hunger. We ate dirt and walked thirty miles in the snow to get it and we were grateful for it. Because we were tough, damn tough and we didn’t wear helmets when we ate it.

And we survived.

And beat those commie bastards.

The Berlin Wall fell and I never ate raw spinach.

The only thing that we ate in a salad was good old fashioned “head of lettuce”.

As a kid I wondered where the rest of the lettuce’s body was but I let it go.

I never asked.

I figured it was just business.

I’m Italian.

There were no thorns in my salad. No mandarin orange slices. No slivered almonds. It was just lettuce. Good old fashioned head of lettuce. Not endive or escarole or any of that other crap.

But somewhere some hippie determined that any green weed was supposed to be a salad.

Well you can’t put Bob’s Big Boy Blue Cheese Dressing on escarole. It’s just not right.

I won’t do it.

Not this American.

This is one American that won’t get e-coli or f-coli either.

You won’t see me walking around Vons wearing a helmet and spandex bicycle pants with an iPod hooked to my brain munching anything raw out of a bag while I window shop down the ice cream aisle with a shopping cart that has a rainbow sticker on it.

Not me.

Ronald Reagan never ate raw spinach.

George H. Bush never ate raw spinach or broccoli.

George W. Bush can’t even pronounce spinach.

I believe it was George W. Bush or possibly “The Who” that said:

"There's an old saying in Tennessee… I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee… that says, feed me spinach once, shame on… shame on you. Fool me…………you can't get fooled again."

What if this whole thing is an Al-Queda plot? Did anyone think of that? Is anyone checking to make sure they’re not smuggling spinach on board airplanes?

Ask yourself this question. How come only the spinach got e-coli?

Uh huh…

Think about it.

You didn’t see good old head of lettuce getting e-coli did you?

It came out of the same dirt.

Any carrots with e-coli?


I think not.

The terrorists struck again Mr. & Mrs. America.

Be vigilant.

Eat meat...

Or pizza...

You know...

You never hear about a deep fried “Twinkie” spreading e-coli......

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Don't "short sheet" the Charmin

“What the hell are you doing?”

“Gathering evidence.”

“You’re taking photographs of rolls of toilet paper?”


“Um... I’m afraid to ask...why?”

“Because they short sheeted the Charmin.”

“They what?”

“The Charmin, The Charmin. Look I cut this off of the packaging. They used to have 528 square feet of toilet paper and now they only have 501 square feet. Plus each sheet used to be 4.5 inches wide the new sheets are 4.27 inches wide. That’s almost a quarter of an inch of wiping area... wiped away.”

“You measured the Charmin?”

“I didn’t have to measure it. I could tell as soon as I picked it up. Plus like I said, it’s right here on the packaging.”

“You spend way too much time in the bathroom.”

“Don’t you get it? We’re paying the same price for 27 square feet less of toilet paper. Toilet paper that no longer feels right when you use it.”

“Calabrese you are an idiot. It’s toilet paper for Christ sakes. No one cares about toilet paper.”

“There are thousands of men like me. Middle aged men that have very few pleasures left in life. Well one of our pleasures is our Charmin. We don’t want it messed with.”

“So what the hell are you going to do? Write President Bush?”

“You’re damned right I am, and Congress and the Senate. I’m going to send them my photographs. Maybe they can’t stop Al Qaeda, maybe they can’t stop the insurgents in Iraq, maybe they can’t protect our borders, but they can stop Proctor & Gamble. You don’t think the president of the United States get’s the kind of toilet paper he wants? You think Donald Rumsfeld wants a short roll? Hillary Clinton?”

“Please tell me you’re not using your last name. They going to think you’re an idiot. No one is going to listen to this.”

“No, they will listen because they are Americans. There is a growing obesity problem in this country. Our collective asses are getting bigger and they make the toilet paper smaller? Congress needs to act.”

“I don’t know you.”

“How do we know that shorter toilet paper doesn’t cause global warming? Did anyone do an environmental impact study on this?”

“Global warming? You really have gone insane.”

“Think about it. Shorter sheets mean we’ll use more toilet paper which means we’ll cut down more trees to make toilet paper which contributes to global warming.”

“What are you going to do tell Al Gore?”

“I am going to tell Al Gore and Michael Moore. He’ll probably want to do a documentary on this.”

“You... it... I think I’m going to change my last name.”

“A man has to fight the fights worth fighting.”


“Honey, we live in a world that has bathrooms, and the toilet paper has to guarded by men like me. Whose gonna do it? You? Miss “it’s just toilet paper?” I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You laugh at my Charmin, and you curse me. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That my fight against Proctor & Gamble, while tragic, probably saves lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in that bathroom, you need me in that bathroom. I use words like thickness, softness, and one-ply. I use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending my toilet paper. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a woman who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very toilet paper that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a roll, and wipe your ass. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think.”

“Jack Nicholson? You’re quoting Jack Nicholson from “A Few Good Men” to defend your obsession with your toilet paper?”

“You’re goddamn right I am!”

“Who care’s about less than a quarter of an inch of toilet paper? Idiot! This is a non issue.”

“A non issue huh? Let me ask you a question? Have you ever left a restroom and seen the sign that says, “lavos sus manos”?”

“Of course.”

“And has it dawned on you that occasionally people that work in restaurants may not speak Spanish?”

“What has that got....”

“What if the only thing that’s keeping you safe from salmonella is that one little less than a quarter inch piece of toilet paper? HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THAT????”

“What did you have for breakfast today?”

“Dammit woman this is a public health issue!”

“Whatever Calabrese I’m not playing this stupid game with you anymore. It’ll just end up in your blog anyway and I don’t want to have anything to do with this.”

“You can’t stand the fact that I’m making a difference. People will remember me because of this. I am the Robin Hood of the Bathroom fighting for the little man to be heard. People will rally to me around this. You wait and see. One day you’ll wake up in the middle of the night and hear men shouting from the rooftops, “WE’RE MAD AS HELL AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO WIPE WITH THIS ANYMORE!!!!”

“Uh huh... I can stop your whole movement, this whole revolution, in two seconds.”

“I don’t think you can.”

“Really? Okay tomorrow morning I get the sports page.”

“Uh... um... crap...”

In case you think I was joking about the Charmin check this out:

Here's the comparison of the old roll versus the new roll.

Here's the packaging.

Is this stupid? Of course it is but the fact remains that Proctor and Gamble is charging the same price for a lot less. Is it deceitful? I'll let you answer that question for yourselves. I sent an e-mail to the Charmin division of Proctor and Gamble and here is their response:

"Thanks for writing. At P&G, we try to keep manufacturing costs as low as possible so we can offer our products at an affordable price. Sometimes, though, costs of materials increase, and we're faced with a tough decision. We can either raise the price of the product, or reduce its size, as we did in this case. Your loyalty to our products is much appreciated, and we hope you'll continue to use them in the future."

I'm just curious, did anyone even ask to see what we prefer? Maybe we'd pay an extra dime. They just changed it and this isn't the first time. It just reeks of someone trying to sneak something by us.

What would Mr. Whipple think?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Cause I'm never going back to my old school.....

I’ve been meaning to write about this for the last month but I didn’t want to get in trouble. But since I’m almost always in trouble anyway I figured what the hell.

My wife and I went to high school together.

I graduated in 1975. She graduated in 1976.

My class didn’t have a 30 year high school reunion. I think we just forgot.

My wife’s class had a 30 year high school reunion. I guess her class still has hope.

Women tend to approach a 30 year high school reunion differently than men.

We’re just happy to be alive. Women want to look better than they did 30 years ago.

I won’t get into the details of how my wife prepared for this evening or how she picked out her outfit.

Because… well… I don’t know.

Oh I know she was talking about it. I saw her lips moving. But I had already gone to that happy place in my head where I block that crap out.

The “reunion committee” was made up of all women.

There’s a shock.

They had the reunion on the campus of the new high school that replaced our high school. We went to a private Catholic School… which meant we had better pot than everyone else. At least that’s what other people told me.

It wasn’t the same.

It’s hard to reminisce about things you did on the hill behind the gym when the hill behind the gym isn’t there.

I have to give the reunion committee credit. They handed out name tags with everyone’s high school yearbook photo on them. They even had one for me with my photo from 1975.

I wasn’t sure that it was my photo.

The guy in the photo was tan and had this long blond hair and only one chin.

I don’t remember that guy.

That guy looked like a stud and a go getter.

That guy looked like a hunk and an athlete.

That guy wasn’t me.

I just want a twenty minute nap now and then.

Then it dawned on me that with a couple of exceptions I didn’t recognize anyone. Who the hell were these people? None of these people matched the photos on their name tags.

Were we at the right reunion?

So I pretended I knew people with the old shake the hand quick look at the name tag maneuver. This was exactly what the people who were shaking my hand were doing to me.

Then it happened.

One guy came up to me, hugged me and said, “Dude! Man it’s good to see you. You haven’t changed a bit. Do you remember the time we climbed on the roof of the Holiday Inn and pissed on the cars down below? You were nuts man. Those were the days.”

“Uh… Who the hell are you?”

“Dude!!! It’s me!!!! Kenny!!!”

“Where’s your name tag?”

“Dude, I’m not wearing no stinking name tag man. I have to do that all day at work.”

“Uh… I think you got the wrong guy.”

“No man. Don’t you remember? We used to get high everyday man.”

Then it dawned on me that he was confusing me with my brother who was a year younger than me and had been in my wife’s class. My brother never showed up for anything.

“Kenny!!! Wow man I thought you died.”

“No man. I… Why would you think I died man?”

“I thought you fell off the roof of the Holiday Inn.”

“No man we went to Denny’s afterward. Remember?”

“Right... Maybe it was someone else who died.”

“Maybe.... Uh........ So you still playing the guitar? You used to rock man. I’ll never forget what you told me man. F$%K Disco, Rock and Roll will never die. That’s so true man. Freaking prophetic man. That’s how I live my life man.”

“Yes well I have many followers my son. But for now I must be going. Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye…”

“It’s cool man.”

So I guess drugs did affect some people during the 70’s. At least I know my brother healed one case of “Disco Fever.”

There was one couple that looked like they never stopped doing drugs. “She” looked like Jerry Garcia. “He” looked like Karen Carpenter. They sat in a corner gazing into space for about forty five minutes then they got up very slowly and melted away in a haze of smoke.

I think they were a little bummed that the hill behind the gym was gone.

The true excitement came when one of the guys said that “Driss Dook “(name changed) had showed up.

“Driss” was one of the hottest girls in my wife’s class. Hell, she was one of the hottest girls in the whole school.

Thirty years ago.

Um… There’s something that happens to blonds when they spend way too much time in the sun.

She looked like a leather version of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies.

For you San Diegans think, “Donna Frye”.

You know, even a sun block with SPF 1 would have helped a little.

And have a cheeseburger for Christ’s sake. If you’re earrings are the only thing that are keeping you from blowing over you’re too damn thin.

The “committee” then herded us into the new multimillion dollar library to show us a video.

This library actually had books. I was amazed. Back in the 70’s when we went to the library it was to sleep.

Thank god for this video. It was made up of old yearbook photos and scenes and included everybody that had showed up so we could finally figure out who the hell everyone was.

Plus it had a great soundtrack, actual music with words and everything.

When the evening ended we got back into the car and headed home.

It was an eerily quite ride.

My wife had this confused yet almost angry look on her face.

I was rolling back the evening in my head trying to figure out what I had done to piss her off.

We had driven about ten miles when she finally spoke.

“Who the hell is Kenny?”