#855 Sawing off your big disgusting toenail

Feels good, don't it?

Big toes are tough.

Chances are good that Big Digit is holding onto the largest nail you’ve got. And yeah, chopping it off can be a tough job, but then again — if you didn’t do it once in a while you’d pop holes in your socks and end up with scraggly Hobbit Feet all the time, complete with dirty, jagged Forest Toenails.

That’s why it’s so satisfying to saw that big toenail right off.

Now, there are a few different ways to get the job done:

trim-those-hedges• The Big Clip. My brother-in-law Dee used to pull out this fancy salon kit he had which contained a Jumbo Nail Clipper. Have you seen once of these things? They’re enormous and well-suited to the job of Big Toenail Cutter Offer. Clip, clip, you’re done. And you can use it to trim the hedges afterwards.
• Temporary Fang Nail. This is where you clip both the left and right sides of the nail first, and then end up with a temporary sharp and jagged fang nail just sticking up like a dagger. It’s pretty funny, but not safe around children or small animals. Let’s be smart and chop safe out there, folks.
What it looks like in Switzerland

• The Slow And Steady. This is the classic. Time to pull out that old, rusty nail clipper somebody bought from the dollar store fifteen years ago and set your foot on the bathroom counter, a sunny patch of grass outside, or on yesterday’s newspaper. You have to scrunch your eyebrows, and then slowly inch your way across the nail, bit by bit by bit by bit, almost peeling it off. Optional here is using a nail file to scrape out the Residual Toe Cheese.

When you’re done, you end up with a magnificently disgusting Giant Dirty Shard of Big Toenail. And yeah, I know it’s gross, and I know you’ll toss it in the garbage soon, but you can’t tell me that for one beautiful moment you just look at it and think



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#856 That Perfect Chicken Wing Partner


There are two kinds of chicken wings.

First up, there’s the Baby Drumstick. You know the one. It’s a cute, little baby drumstick dripping in wing sauce. It’s the JPEG attachment you’d expect to see on a “We had a baby!” email sent to you from a couple buckets of KFC. It’s so cute and drippy, too — and look, it has its mom’s stick, its father’s drum.

Then there are the Flat Pats. Think of it this way: if Baby Drumsticks are the thick, meaty bicep wings, then Flat Pats are the forearms. And, like a forearm, they’ve got two bones, which means you have to tear them apart to get at the tasty meat inside. Don’t dismiss Flat Pats, though. Even though they may not have the Baby Drumstick’s sex appeal, they come through in the clutch.

You're salivating, admit itNow, some people prefer Baby Drumsticks. Others go for the Flat Pats. Just like some people like their wing sauce mild, some like medium, and some say “Go suicide or go home.”

But people, that’s where The Perfect Wing Partner comes in. He or she is that special someone who likes the exact same sauce as you but the exact opposite wing type. You like medium? Perfect, so does she. What, you’re a Baby Drumstick kind of guy? Great, she’s into Flat Pats all the way.

Face it: While you two are chowing down and enjoying your sticky, late night bar food together, there’s a good chance you’ll both glance up at the same time, your sauce-soaked chins glimmering under the neon Coors Light sign, and know, right then, right there, that you’ve just met your Perfect Chicken Wing Partner for life.

And when that day comes, my friend, it will so surely be


Let the magic happen

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#858 Flipping to the cold side of the pillow

when-you-cant-get-to-sleepHave you ever found yourself laying in bed wide awake in the middle of the night?

You know how it is: the clock’s clicking past 1:30 AM and you lay there wide awake, eyes bugged open, chewing your upper lip, tapping the sheets with your fingers, completely frustrated. Your pupils have long adjusted to the dark, so your eyes are darting around the room over and over, trying to identify dark shapes or watching the moonlight shadowdance around the walls. Maybe your thoughts won’t settle down, or you just can’t get comfortable, or you ate spicy food before bed, or you have a presentation the next morning, or maybe it’s just the frustration itself keeping you in a terrible, neverending cycle of sleeplessness.

Take two and call me at 4am

So you play dead and try to remain motionless as long as possible. You change positions back and forth, side to side, left to right. You get up and go to the bathroom or start reading a book. Maybe you try and remake the bed, since by now you’ve probably managed to twist your sheets and blankets into a completely unusable, tightly wound pile barely covering your legs.

On nights like this, where you just can’t sleep, one of the greatest things invented is simply Turning Over The Pillow. Yes, flipping over your pillow and checking out the other side takes Bed Comfort up a few notches and is a simple and easy way to help you relax and get more comfortable.

The other side of the pillow, folks. Because it’s flat when you’re sagging, fresh when you’re stale, and cold when you’re hot, baby.


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#859 Playing with a baby and then handing it to someone else to change its diaper

Great fun until diaper changing time

Save your money.

Babies aren’t interested in your board games, video games, or iPhone Applications. They just want to play Peekaboo, Patty Cake, Ripping up Wrapping Paper, Breaking Your Glasses, or Sticking Their Hands In Stuff. And playing with babies is great fun. You don’t need to look for batteries, find a set of dice, or put your shoes on. You just make faces, do baby-talk voices, and fly your hand around like an airplane. They laugh and giggle and you’re suddenly a world class entertainer.

It’s great.

Until of course, it’s that time of the afternoon. You know what I’m talking about. Mommy or Daddy pops in, picks up the baby, does the classic Reverse Angle Diaper Peek move, and finds a little chocolate factory working overtime back there.

When they say “Looks like somebody needs a changing!,” that’s your cue to slink off silently to the kitchen or bathroom. The party’s on pause during your daring Dirty Diaper Dash but it’s back on ten minutes later when you casually show up and ask “Hey, can I play with the baby again?”


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#860 When the vending machine gives you two candy bars instead of one

Watch for teetering treats

First you spot the Teetering Treat.

It’s the candy bar hanging onto the metal spirals for dear life, just sitting there after giving the last customer the ol’ For Sale Fail and just teasing them instead of delivering the goods. And instead of spending another dollar to test their luck, they decided to walk away. Hey, we’ve all been there too, so now it’s time for some good ol’ fashioned Vending Machine Karma, also known as Chocolate Justice.

So just drop your money in, push the buttons, and listen for that sweet thump-thump of two treats dropping into the Sugar Basin at once. Now just push back the awkwardly heavy door and swipe a paw in there to scoop up your treasures. Kiss the vending machine plastic window, hold your two treats up to the sky in both hands, and then flee the scene.

Bringer of Oh Henrys

It’s snacking time.

Yes, that free treat is great because, first of all, now’s your chance to play Santa to an unsuspecting co-worker. Got someone who could use a Kit-Kat Fix? Of course you do. So share the wealth and give yourself a break together. It’s Christmas at the office again.

Secondly, no matter how much you try, you can’t return the free snack. No, there’s no wedging your hand back up there and throwing it back into its Metal Spiral Jail Cell. So ditch the guilt and smile back at the Gods of Snacking for they have smiled down upon you.

And you deserve it.


Now I've seen everything

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#862 The Laugh Echo Echo Echo

apple-juice-the-weaponWhile sitting around the lunch table in tenth grade my friend Mike accidentally squirted himself in the face with a juice box. He thought it was empty and squeezed the daylights out of the thing, causing streams of apple juice to just drench him completely. His hair soaked, his eyebrows dripping, his mouth slowly and painfully dropped into a Perfect O of Shock while everybody around him just rolled with laughter.

For years after that, whenever that crystal-clear image of Mike’s sticky, juicy, and surprised face suddenly popped into my head, I burst out laughing. I just couldn’t help it. I had a Laugh Echo.

Yes, The Laugh Echo is when you laugh out loud after suddenly remembering something funny that happened a while ago. It’s a random and hilarious event that can occur with family, with friends or — for bonus points — by yourself in a crowded public place.

we-can-learn-much-from-the-babyNow according to our egghead pals at Wikipedia, laughing is great for us. Yes, it helps protect our heart muscles, lowers our blood sugar after a meal, helps us sleep, juices up our antibodies and blood flow, and gives us mini cardio workouts throughout the day. Honestly, have you ever seen babies just laughing uncontrollably for no reason? They know the score and are probably just remembering something funny that happened in the womb. Folks, it’s like I always say: We can learn much from The Baby.

So next time you let out a big Laugh Echo in public, just love it lots. Because life’s too short, my friends. Let’s squeeze in as many laughs as we can get. Then at the end, when we’re old and gray, when our bones are brittle and our hair is hay, how will it feel when we look each other straight in the eyes and just burst out laughing?

I think we both know the answer to that.


laugh echo

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#863 Cracking an egg perfectly with no mess

the-perfect-egg-crackPut your hand up if you’ve ever tried to fish out some slippery, slathery egg shell pieces from a bowl full of raw egg.

Brother, I’ve been there, too and we both know it ain’t pretty. Yes, Shell Diving is high on the Kitchen Humiliation List, together with dropping a piece of toast jam-side-down on the floor, opening the oven door and having massive clouds of smoke blow out, or cracking an ice cube tray too strongly and sending rogue cubes scattering all over the floor.

Yes, the Awful Egg Crack is guaranteed to redden some cheeks and knock amateur chefs down a few pegs. Nobody wants to be That Guy, who cracks that egg, that badly, and that’s why it’s so sweet when you finally do master The Perfect Egg Crack. You can do it at home, by yourself, with a bit of practice. Just follow these three easy steps:

Step 1

Step 1. The Tap N’ Crack . There is some debate on where exactly the egg should be tapped. Most folks like to tap the egg against an edge, like the side of a mixing bowl, but some argue that you should only tap the egg against a flat surface, like a kitchen counter or cutting board. Whatever you choose, just be sure to only dent the shell lightly instead of giving it a career-ending stab wound. Pushing too hard will result in a Slime Explosion, and unless you want to be called Salmonella Hands for the rest of your life, you don’t want that.

Step 2 Big Thumbs

Step 2. Big Thumbs. This is the moment of truth. Stick your two thumbs in the dent you made and in one swift move just dig them in there deep and pull them apart. If you did it right, the shell should snap easily into two beautiful pieces, dropping its slippery plunder into the bowl below. Now, some people opt for the One-Handed move instead of ol’ faithful Big Thumbs, but I say that’s too risky. Besides, what are you really going to do with your free hand anyway?

Step 3 Inspection

Step 3. The Inspection. Go ahead, give it a once over. Grab a magnifying glass or hold it up to the light if you need to. But I’m going to guess it’s looking pretty pretty, my friend. Because you just performed a Perfect Egg Crack.

So beat that egg, fry that egg, whip that egg into some cake batter. It’s time to say goodbye to Kitchen Humiliation and hello to some well-deserved Kitchen Pride.


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#864 Completely mastering the art of the all-you-can-eat buffet

Keeps your pancakes foamyMunch lunch at a Chinese restaurant, brunch at a Holiday Inn, or dinner at a wedding reception, and chances are good you will come face to face with the The All-You-Can-Eat Buffet.

If you’re a Buffet Amateur like me, your pupils dilate and your mouth starts watering as soon as you spot the long table full of steam trays and criss-crossed table cloths. Soon it’s game on, and you grab a plate and pile it high with some bread, a few salads, and a couple rolled-up salamis or a bowl of Won Ton soup. For plate number two you tackle the entrees, scooping up sticky heaps of Kung Pao chicken, soggy French Toast, or paper-thin slices of roast beef soaking in dark mushroom gravy. Then you go back for a third plate, this one featuring a tipsy mountain of desserts — maybe some assorted squares, a thick, gummy slice of cheesecake, or some fluorescent pink, freezer-burned ice cream sliding around your plate.

It begins

Then as you lay bloated on your chair, your buttons bursting, your eyelids drooping, you face a final decision: Do you go back for The Fourth Plate?

The Fourth Plate is almost always a good idea before you do it and a bad idea afterwards. It’s the helping after the helping after. It’s the Greatest Hits Plate, a star-studded collection featuring the most popular items from Plate 1, 2, and 3, coming together for the reunion tour, the last hurrah, the final dance at the dinner table.

The Fourth Plate is also a famous mark of a Buffet Amateur, because it can be the sign of someone who realizes that Plate 2 was the best plate and they really just want more of Plate 2. For years, I scarfed down The Fourth Plate at the Indian buffet near my college. Buttery, pillowy-soft naans piled high, thick and creamy Butter Chicken, and spicy, simmering lamb in a hearty broth. It was just too much. I caved in every time and walked away with a curry-busting gut and a samosa hangover.

Since then I’ve been tutored on the art of mastering the all-you-can-eat buffet. Everybody’s got their own techniques, but here’s what I’ve learned over the years:

Be a Sherlock and do a walk through

1. The Walk-Through. Don’t do what I used to do and blindly take a spoonful of everything. No, you’ve got to do your Walk-Through First. You’re a detective, popping open steam tray after steam tray, looking for recent fill-ups, traffic around popular items, and sure winners like omelet stations or a guy in a chef’s hat slicing big slabs of meat. Now’s also time for some Belly Space Analysis, where every item’s Tasty Deliciousness is weighed against it’s Projected Stomach Volume. Bread, soup, and salad rarely pass the Belly Space Analysis test. Skipping those means you just gained an extra plate and are on your way.

2. Drink Later. Sugary drinks just fill you up with carbs and cost extra. If you can postpone your Pepsi, then you’ll save belly space for the hot goods.

The Sampler takes willpower and strength

3. The Sampler. My dad is famous for the sampler plate. Within minutes of arriving he’ll dot a big white plate with small portions of every entree and proceed to say “Hmmm,” a lot while scooping up tiny forkfuls of each to see what will make the cut. You have to have willpower to pull off The Sampler, but it can be very rewarding. You know you aced it when your next plate is just piles of your two favorites. Good on ya.

4. Staggered Trips. If you’re with friends, don’t wait until everybody is done their first plate before uniformly filing up for a second trip together. No, go separately and act as each others eyes and ears out there — whats new, what’s hot, what’s fresh, what’s not. Your friends are doing their job when you see them running back to table to scream “They just brought out more coconut shrimp!” Also, be sure to designate someone at your table to be The Lookout. They should be seated with a clear view of the buffet and raise alarm whenever they see someone coming from the back with a new steam tray.

the-lookout-doing-his-job5. Big Plates Always. Be watchful of the small salad and dessert plates lurking about. Find your secret stash of full-size dinner plates and use them, know them, love them lots. The big plates will let you spread your meal around, and avoid piling things high, which generally results in meat gravy getting all over your salad.

One more egg roll

6. One More Egg Roll. When the check arrives, take your time. Slow it right down now and see who still has room. Since you’ve been so busy scarfing your food and staggering trips, now really is the best chance to catch up with your friends. Then after ten or fifteen minutes, someone will likely cave in and say “Okay, one more egg roll.” This is buffet victory.

With these tips plus your personal experiences, you too can master the art of the all-you-can-eat buffet. After that, there’s really no stopping you. So eat all you can, my friend.

Eat all you can.



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