Horrific Hygienic Humor

Posted in Humor with tags , , on October 30, 2010 by Wiggy

It is amazing the lack of consideration coworkers can have for one another when it comes to personal hygiene and overall cleanliness. You’ve seen them…the person who spills coffee all over the counter in the break room and doesn’t bother to reach for the paper towel sitting on the nearby shelf to wipe it up. Is this the way they act in their own home? Their desk is bad enough. I’d hate to see what their bathroom looks like, although the office lavatory does give a not-so-subtle indication.

Unless you work in a beauty parlor, the sound of nail clippers is not something you would normally expect to hear in the workplace. Unfortunately for some, the office seems the perfect setting for taking care of those annoying personal hygiene issues. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the all too familiar “snipping” sound emanating from a colleagues’ office. What makes anyone think clipping their toenails into the office garbage can is acceptable behavior?

I have actually seen coworkers on their cell phone in the rest room. Do they not have any respect for the person on the other end of the line? There is a time and a place for everything and although phone starts with “p” it doesn’t belong anywhere near the “head.”

And who can possibly think cleaning your ears out with a Q-tip while sitting at your desk is going to get you promoted? Being known as the “Cerumen Crusader” is not a real career booster. How many times have you walked past someone’s office only to glance in and see them knuckle deep in one of their nostrils mining for boulders?

People ridding themselves of unwanted body excretions aren’t the only ones in the office who could use a little departmental delousing. According to a study by the University of Arizona, the average office desktop has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. That’s an unsettling thought knowing the state of the office restroom. And women’s desks harbor more germs than men’s. Women have three to four times the number of bacteria in, on and around their desks as men do, the study showed. “I thought for sure men would be germier,” Professor Charles Gerba says. “But women have more interactions with small children, and they keep food in their desks. The other problem is make-up.”

Heinous workplace hygiene crosses all social, economic and racial boundaries. Heaven forbid you have to sit in a meeting across from someone whose breath smells like week-old road kill possum. I purposely arrive for meetings early to sit away from one of the other managers. Oral odor has a narrow directional range of several feet and is proportional to the olfactory offender’s vocal volume. In this particular case it requires a ten foot radius.

While trench mouth is a line-of-sight offense, “superfumation,” the over-application of incensory fragrances, is multidirectional and lingers like a footprint in wet concrete. I know several women I can track throughout the building without ever actually seeing them. Weight seems to play a role in the longevity of the trail. I’m just saying.

Tissues, a pack of Tic-Tacks and a little common sense and courtesy can make the office a much less disgusting place. So next time you are stuck in the elevator with the annoying guy from accounting who works out at lunch in his suit, do yourself a favor and anonymously send him a bottle of Old Spice and charge it to the department. They don’t pay you enough to work with people who smell like a turtle cage.

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs – Orator of Office Olfactory Offenses

Never Forget

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 11, 2010 by Wiggy

This day nine years ago at 7:00 am, I arrived at the Merck MSO Building construction site in Rahway, N.J. It was just another day as a site engineer for the construction of a $400 million state-of-the-art pharmaceutical pilot plant.

I was sitting in my office in the construction trailer on the west side of the building, when at just before 9:00 am someone announced that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. No one seemed particularly surprised or upset as we all assumed it was a small plane involved in a “typical” flying accident. I put down my coffee, grabbed my hard hat, safety glasses, radio and clip board and headed out of the trailer.

Except for the flare stack at the Exxon Bayway refinery in Linden, NJ, the MSO Building was the tallest structure between Rahway and the New York City skyline. I decided to climb to the roof for a look-see. The MSO building was approximately 120 feet tall which gave it a perfect line-of-sight view to downtown Manhattan and the World Trade Center approximately fifteen miles away. It was a beautiful sunny September day, so visibility was excellent.

As I climbed the steps and approached the mechanical penthouse, I noticed everyone seemed visibly upset. Some stood silently, while others spoke on cells phones frantically to whomever they could reach for information. I arrived just moments after United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower of the WTC. Smoke was now billowing from both WTC North Tower, struck at 8:46 am by American Airlines Flight 11, and the recently impacted WTC South Tower. I looked at my watch. It was 9:05 am.

I stood there for a moment in shock. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I pulled out my cell phone and called my mother. When I reached her she was tuning back and forth between news channels hunting for information. By just after 9:40 am reports were coming in that a plane had struck the Pentagon. This turned out to be American Airlines Flight 77 which struck at 9:37 am. “We are under attack”, I thought.

I stood and spoke to my mother for another 20 minutes searching for information. At 9:59 am what appeared to be a very large explosion at ground level of the South Tower threw dust and smoke up from the base of the building. From our vantage point, both towers were obscured from view within seconds. Over the next few moments, as the wind slowly cleared the dust and smoke, we realized one tower was missing from view. We all stood there in stunned silence.

My mother also in shock from what she was witnessing on television, relayed that another plane seemed to be missing somewhere over Pennsylvania and it may have also crashed. This turned out to be United Airlines Flight 93. It was now just before 10:30 am.

Then as if reliving the nightmare from thirty minutes earlier, the North Tower was obscured from sight in a silent cloud of grey debris. There was no question what had just repeated itself.

Two Thousand Nine Hundred Seventy Four people from 90 countries perished as a result of hatred for this great country and that terrible day on the Eleventh of September 2001. Twenty Four more are still unaccounted for. I will never forget…

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs

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A Kitchen Without Animals is a Dining Room Full of Vegetarians

Posted in Humor with tags , , , , , on July 13, 2010 by Wiggy

Ok, I’ve posted my contest entry on the Anthony Bourdain website. What I need you all to do now is to vote. VOTE ONCE A DAY!! It only takes a few seconds. Here is the link.

I need as many votes as possible for exposure. It’s not so much about the most votes, it’s about getting seen on the site. Although having the most votes will definitely help. I’ve got a little ways to catch up but I’m sure with some help I can get into the top 10 if not into first place. You can also leave comments.

Please don’t forget to vote once a day. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.

The $1.3 million “Two Dollar” Coupon

Posted in Humor with tags , , on June 29, 2010 by Wiggy

A few days ago I received an email that looked a little suspicious. My spam filter is usually pretty good at catching email from bankers and deposed dictators from Nigeria as well as lonely, beautiful, nineteen-year-olds from Uzbekistan in search of their true love. The subject line read: NOTICE OF PROPOSED CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT. I was afraid to open it for fear of unleashing some Russian-mafia computer zombie virus pent on destroying my 15,000+ mp3 files.

Over the years I have entered into a class action suit or two but had never heard anything back regarding the outcome. I’m still waiting for my windfall from the DeBeers diamond class action lawsuit. I keep a file with the open cases just in case I do make it rich off the back of some poor unsuspecting manufacturer who forgot to put the proper label on the packaging of his toilet plunger which reads “Do not use near power lines.” I know I have purchased at least three plungers through my life. I thought maybe this email was the key to my early retirement.

It turns out the defendant in this case is the social website Classmates.com. As I organize all of my high school class reunions every five years, I subscribe to Classmates.com for a few months before each reunion to help track people down. Prior to setting up my Facebook account, this was the easiest way to hunt down acquaintances. People I don’t have a desire to see more than once every five years. With all the misery and aggravation which accompanies that effort, I figure Classmates, both the website and ungrateful high school friends, probably owe me big time.

It turns out those insensitive bastards at Classmates.com allegedly “sent email messages to subscribers of http://www.classmates.com that were in violation of the law and engaged in conduct that had the potential to violate w ww.classmates.com users’ privacy rights.” They have denied the allegations but have nevertheless concluded that it is in their best interest that the litigation be resolved. In other words, “We are not going to admit it, but we know we screwed up and the lawyers are going to bleed us dry if we don’t make this go away soon.”

According to the Settlement Agreement, as a Settlement Class member, if I fill out some paperwork and submit a timely Valid Claim Form, I’m entitled to receive…get this… a credit of $2.00 off of the purchase or renewal of a http://www.classmates.com Gold Membership. So for receiving annoying notifications from Classmates that “someone has viewed your profile” for the past six years, I get to spend $37.99 instead of the regular $39.99 for an annual membership. Guess what Classmates; Facebook is free…at least for the moment.

Ok, I’m not bitter that for doing nothing except filling out an online form I get a $2.00 coupon. What really pisses me off are the fees paid to those “representing” my interests. Class Counsel, my free representation, is asking the Court for attorneys’ fees up to $1.3 million, plus costs. And Classmates.com and the Court have agreed! Not only that, those costs include participation awards of up to $2,500 for each of the two Lead Plaintiffs. These are the two people who actually decided to “hire” the vampires and sue Classmates in the first place. And you wonder why people hate lawyers!

So while I get the opportunity to pay $37.99 to a website whose owners all but just admitted they were violating the law and violating my electronic privacy, a couple of attorneys get new Bentleys and vacation homes in Vail. I bet they are eyeing up Facebook at this very moment. I knew I should have gone to law school. I wonder how much money that writing website I belong to has?

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs – Luminary of Lecherous Lawyers and Legal Laughter

Sociopathic Soccer Supporters

Posted in Humor with tags , , , on June 15, 2010 by Wiggy

In honor of the World Cup. Who knew it could be even more annoying. Just add a few thousand fans blowing three foot-long plastic horns which reach 127 decibals each. Tell me that isn’t a riot waiting to happen.

As an average red-blooded American male who’s prone to reliving exaggerated accounts of past high school athletic glory (usually while under the influence of several glasses of one of Kentucky’s finest bourbons), I enjoy sports. I love football, baseball, basketball (strictly college) and hockey. I’ve watched every Indianapolis 500 car race since 1970.

I play golf badly, but I don’t mind watching golf…but only if there’s nothing else on television, or if it’s the final round of the Masters. I enjoy boxing, but let’s face it, there hasn’t been a good heavyweight fight since Mike Tyson went to jail. I love watching world cup skiing, especially a downhill event. You never see a good wreck during a slalom race. I will even watch women’s gymnastics and figure skating during the Olympics, especially if it means the U.S. has a chance of putting a beating on some second-rate communist empire. And of course there’s always Rugby and Australian Rules Football…basically football without pads. There’s no way that could be boring.

For my readers from any of the member countries of the British Commonwealth, I’m sorry, but I’ve tried to understand cricket. I once spent an entire rainy weekend watching a test match on Sky Sports while living in Milan, Italy. Two days in front of the television and I think I only witnessed half of it. I just don’t get it. I guess it makes more sense if you care about who is next in line for the throne.

As far as women’s basketball is concerned, to me, it’s like watching high school baseball or professional bowling. And since I don’t consider NASCAR or professional wrestling as sports, I won’t mention them again.

What I have a hard time understanding is the fascination with soccer. There’s many other exciting forms of athletic competition…curling, cycling, kite fighting. Why in the world would anyone get excited over a 2,500-year-old Chinese kickball game?

To get worked up over 22 players in shorts kicking a ball around a large field, scoring maybe only one goal during an agonizingly long 90-minute game is beyond my comprehension of enjoyment. It’s also beyond my threshold of patience. I might as well be watching competition fly fishing, rhythmic gymnastics or Frisbee golf (for all you dirty hippies, I refuse to describe it as a disc).

What blows my mind is how the rest of the world reacts to this game. Riots started, murders committed and even a war fought (1969 100-hour war between El Salvador and Honduras) over a game where you’re given a “warning” for running into someone and can be ejected for doing it twice. We in the U.S. are more civilized, at least in that respect. These fanatics make even Philadelphia Eagles phans look like saints.

This unruly behavior even has its own name…Hooliganism. Over the years, hundreds of people have died as a result of the rabid reactions of soccer supporters:

May 24, 1964: More than 300 supporters are killed and another 500 injured in Lima, Peru, in a riot during an Olympic qualifying match between Argentina and Peru.

More than 150 people have died in Argentina since the 1930’s as a result of soccer riots.

May 29, 1985: 39 Juventus supporters are crushed to death by a collapsed wall after they are attacked by Liverpool supporters during the European Cup Final match in Brussels.

May 9, 2001: 125 people died and hundreds were injured at a match in Accra, Ghana, during a stampede at the end of a soccer match.

March 12, 2004: 25 people die during a fight between rival Syrian football club supporters at a match in Qamishli, Syria.

No one’s ever died from rioting at an Eagles/Giants football game…and we hate each other. And you wonder why people who enjoy football are called “fans,” while the people who enjoy soccer are called “supporters.” Think about it…

Soccer moms…is this what you want for your children? To grow up like some annoying French wanna-be gang member, throwing beer bottles at other people, just because they are Los Angeles Galaxy supporters instead of D.C. United supporters. Besides, soccer is so passé…lacrosse is the new sport of preppie Ivy League sweater-vest-wearing, BMW-driving momma’s boys. Well, at least it’s an American (native) game.

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs – Factotum of Fustian on Foreign Futbol and Fatally Fanatical Fans

Windmills, Wooden Shoes and the Apocalypse

Posted in Humor with tags on April 25, 2010 by Wiggy

If you’ve ever wanted to visit Amsterdam to see the windmills, tulips, wooden shoes and dikes of The Netherlands, you’d better do it soon. According to a survey conducted by the Dutch-language newspaper de Volksrant, thousands of Dutch citizens expect the world to end in 2012 and many say they’re taking precautions to prepare for the apocalypse.

De Volkskrant said it spoke to thousands of believers in the impending end of civilization. Many of those interviewed are stocking up on emergency supplies, including life rafts and other equipment. While theories of the cause of the supposed catastrophe vary, most interviewed tie the 2012 date to the end of the Mayan calendar. Why the Mayan calendar you ask?

According to the ancient Mayan calendar, time is divided into Calendar Rounds equating roughly to 52 solar years, each making up what’s called the Long Count Calendar. The Long Count calendar identifies a date in the future or the past by counting the number of days from August 11, 3114 BC. I won’t bore you with the details of why some day in August 5,000 years ago is so significant. Using this Mayan calendar and calculating from August 11, 3114 BC, the end of the calendar comes out to December 21, 2012. Just as these divining Dutchman are predicting, the end of the world may be upon us!

Don’t ask me to explain why a bunch of wooden-shoe-wearing, swamp-living Europeans would use an ancient calendar from an extinct civilization. Even I have a hard time making that connection.

Fortunately, and to the amusement of the rest of us, December 21, 2012, isn’t actually the end of the world. It’s the end of the next Mayan calendar round. Since there have been just under 100 calendar rounds between these magical dates, I’m going to put my reputation on the line and predict there will be another starting December 22, 2012, the day after this Dutch disaster date.

While the Netherlands has seen its share of extinctions over the millennia including the Great Auk, various sorts of mammals, birds, fish and insects, thousands of Dutch surmise these extinctions will pale in comparison to this impending cataclysm.

But being the optimists the Dutch can sometimes be, some are even optimistic about the end of civilization. Speaking to De Volkskrant, Petra Faile of Amsterdam stated, “You know, maybe it’s really not that bad the Netherlands will be destroyed. I don’t like it here anymore. Take immigration, for example. They keep letting people in. And then we have to build more houses, which makes the Netherlands even heavier. The country will sink even lower, which will make the flooding worse.”

While most of the country is constructed on a swamp…you think the Cajuns would have taken a lesson from this…for centuries the Dutch have been draining relatively high lying swampland to utilize as farmland. This drainage causes the fertile peat, which is often mined, dried and used for fuel, to compress and the ground level to drop. To compensate for the drop in ground level, the Dutch lower the water level further causing the peat to compress even more. This vicious sinking cycle remains unsolved to this day.

Fortunately for the weight of the country, the fertility rate of the Netherlands is 1.72 children per woman, well below the 2.1 rate required for population replacement. The Dutch may disappear on their own without anyone even realizing, and before their country sinks into the bog. Dutch contributions over the ages have included a one-eared suicidally-deceased post-impressionist artist, the guy who discovered Saturn’s moon Titan, Grolsch and Heineken beers and the 1970’s rock bands Golden Earring and Shocking Blue. The rest of the European Union won’t even miss them until they don’t show up to claim their 12th place prize in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Luckily for me, the Dutch are a famously tolerant bunch. So my humorous poke at these tall, attractive, pot smoking, prostitute peddling, dike builders should go without much retribution or penalty to my potential Dutch book sales. Although after 2012, it really won’t make much of a difference.

Wiggy – Dirge of Darwinistic Dutch Dyke Disasters

Volcano Awareness

Posted in Humor with tags , on April 17, 2010 by Wiggy

With all the seismic and volcanic activity in the world lately, I thought it might be a good idea to spread a little advice and information. You can thank me later…

Did you know May is actually Volcano Awareness Month? As the weather turns warmer each spring, more people head out to volcano-hazard-zones for sport and other recreation. Did you know one to two volcanic eruptions have occurred each century in the U.S. in the past 4,000 years? Since the United States declared independence in 1776, little more than 230-years-ago, seven volcanoes have erupted in the U.S. Northwest alone. May 18th each year marks the anniversary of the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. Remember that one?

As a public service to any and all of my readers living within 300 miles of Yellowstone National Park and immediately down wind, we’ll review the dangers of living near an active volcano. Scientists and geologists studying the massive caldera have noted the dome on which Yellowstone sits has been swelling up 3 inches per year for the last several years and is filling with molten rock. That’s three times faster than ever observed since measurements began in 1923. The volcano at Yellowstone has produced massive eruptions 2 million, 1.3 million and 642,000 years ago, all larger than the 1980 eruption of St. Helens.

Now, if I do the math correctly, 2 million minus 1.3 million is 700,000. 1.3 million minus 642,000 is 658,000 which is just under 700,000. And it’s been 642,000 years since the last one. Beginning to see a pattern here? I would have to say the next eruption falls well within the predicted geological timeframe.

Oh and by the way, scientists classify the Yellowstone volcano as a “Super-Volcano” because it covers 925 square miles. The pyroclastic flow would destroy almost everything in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, North and South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, Nebraska and southwestern Canada…in other words, most of the Lakota Republic. And there’s evidence the last major “super” eruption plunged the world into a freezing, volcanic winter which lasted a decade. On the bright side, I guess it would take care of global warming for a while. And the super-eruption has the potential to cover the entire United States in three feet of ash from a plume.

WWoW invites you to learn steps that you can take to prepare for the many hazards an active volcano can present.

Volcanic dangers include not only an eruption of a mountain and the associated lava flows, but also ash fall and debris flows. If you’re stupid enough to live or are vacationing near an active volcano, be familiar with the following:

Before a volcanic eruption:

Plan ahead. Have emergency supplies, food and water stored. Make sure these items can withstand sulfuric acid and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plan an evacuation route away from rivers or streams which may carry mud or debris flows. Vehicles should be able to run without air, so engine intakes don’t clog with 1,400 degree ash. They also need to be able to outrun a pyroclastic flow traveling 430 miles per hour.

Keep a battery-operated radio available at all times so you’ll know exactly when you’ll be vaporized by the superheated mix of pulverized lava.

If there’s an eruption predicted, monitor the radio or television for evacuation information. If you remain in an area where this information is broadcast and do not heed the warnings, you deserve what you get.

After a volcanic eruption:

Don’t approach the eruption area. You can recognize this area by its moonscape-like features and lack of any living creature or vegetation.

Be prepared to stay indoors and avoid downwind areas if ash fall is predicted. This snow-like ash is made of very fine rock and mineral particles. Although not poisonous, it can wreak havoc on lung tissue if you’re allergic to breathing hot gravel.

Evacuate if advised to do so by authorities…those authorities who weren’t smart enough to leave BEFORE the explosion.

Be aware of stream and river channels when evacuating. Those requiring special attention will be the ones clogged with mud, trees and dead animals.

Move toward higher ground if mudflows are approaching. This higher ground does NOT include the mountain which just exploded.

Follow the evacuation signs posted along roads and highways. These would include the ones not blown down by the initial blast wave or melted by lava.

If you have asthma or another respiratory condition, do yourself a favor and spend the next year in New Mexico…unless you have a fear of being abducted by a UFO or Scientologists.

Keep roofs free of ash in excess of 4 inches. If this is actually a problem, you’re definitely way too close.

Wash vegetables from the garden before eating…unless you’re mineral deficient.

In summary, the odds of being affected by a volcanic explosion while vacationing are probably slim. Living near an active volcano…well just remember Pompeii.

Wiggy – Volcanic Vitriol of Virtue

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