a blog? I thought he was supposed to leave me wanting more?
How To Improve Your Comedy Writing
Body hair in weird places.
I don't know how it is for women, but men get these patches - nay, thickets - of course black hairs that can be several inches long and have roots DEEP in our into our derma.
It'd be one thing if these hirsute groupings were made of thick, straight hairs, but no-o! That'd be too easy! The hairs all curl up against each other, intertwining into a basket weave strong enough to hold a pen.
I mean, you know... so I heard from a friend.
Shaving only makes these things angry, too. They come back thicker and fuller... and I even think they spore. You ever step on a fungus in your yard and that 'POOF' of dust comes up? Those are spores - fungal "seeds" that go airborne to put that same fungus in someone else's property. You shave these random wolf hairs, and it's like a new patch just pops up somewhere else.
"Hair around my nipple? Oh! That's right: last week I shaved my finger..."
And I know it's not EVERY man that goes through this. I doubt Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise has mid-digital hair on one big toe (but not the other). But for every one of those guys, there's a Hugh Jackman tweezing a course curly from just outside his ear canal. (What's up, ladies??)
And can you imagine what Robin Williams had to go through??? What a nightmare! His poor wife, hairdresser, or... daily mistress having to clean all that out of the sink... Yeeich! It's not THEIR fault he hacked all those other comics' material!
('Flubber' WAS pretty good, though...)
See? This is why I hate clothes. They hide so many secrets. It would have been great knowing this was a struggle for my dad and grandfather; something where some secret remedy had been passed down through generations. Or, I could have prepared myself to do other things, namely dipping my body in hot wax once a week and having it ripped off when it's no longer moist. It seems like the pain of being semi-flayed weights less on me than the embarrassment I suffer every time my shoulder braids whip my arms at the pool.
I'm not saying body hair is gross. When tasteful, it exudes a certain masculinity women seem to like. Big men, brawny men, the big Brawny towel man... A little forearm fuzz seems to give women a sense of safety and security.
Why? I have no idea. As a guy, forearm hair is just another thing that can catch fire.
But patchy, coarse groupings of hair just... they serve NO evolutionary purpose! What, like somewhere earlier in my genealogy I a swath of ancestors died because they couldn't regulate heat loss from their lower back?
First, I was a fat kid. Then in high school, acne and halitosis. Now, as an adult, it's this.
Can't a guy just take his shirt off at the beach knowing people are laughing at his chicken legs and not his new-found knee hair???
Whatever happened to moms?
I know, they're still around, but remember when a mom looked... well, like a 'mom?'
A bit on the hefty side with the wedding band sunk tight into her finger, a jovial and supportive nature, and that edge to them that made all your friends a little scared?
And that hairstyle? Like one day they walked into a salon at 32, sat under one of those gigantic domed dryers, got up and said, "Yup. This is it. This is the hairstyle I'm going with UNTIL I DIE?"
Those were moms then. But moms now?
Moms are hot! They look better in their 40's than most chicks look in their 20's. They don't drop their kids off at school wearing dresses anymore - they drop them off wearing LuLu Lemon pants and a tank top, explaining to those kids why they were in Time Out the night before.
Look, I'm all for fitness and taking care of yourself, and how you raise your kids is your business. That's fine.
My thought is, if I'm a boy entering puberty, and my mom's got 8% body fat and implants... what the Hell is happening to me?
Do I need ANOTHER challenge? ANOTHER girl to try to impress?
Then, when my teens are in full gear and all I think about (yes, ALL teen boys think about) is sex... I'm gonna wonder if all my friends want to bang my mom.
Not only will I wonder if THEY will want to bang my mom... I'll wonder if I'LL want to bang my mom.
Holy shit, did I just type that?
Will Kate Upton SI covers on my wall be replaced by pictures of family trips to the Coast?
Oh my God! What's happening to me?
Okay. I'm back. Where were we?
Oh yeah... ick.
I don't think it helps their daughters, either. You've got the main female figure in your life running Iron Mans and deadlifting 315, suddenly your straight A's and first chair in your school orchestra aren't looking so impressive. Seriously, with all that time spent training, who's going to be there to watch you belt out a flute solo anyway?
It's a new phenomenon that I never experienced growing up, and I wonder what affect it will have on future generations is all.
Our great state of Texas has over 21,000 square miles of coastline (check it) facing the Gulf of Mexico, the choppy, brownish-green, offshore-oil-derrick-studded body of water in which we Texans love to party. Many a Bud Light has been cracked along its seaweed-awashed beaches, where activities range from simple sunbathing to wenching your buddy out of Big Shell because he thought his truck could handle the birthplace of quicksand.
And we all live pretty close to said coastline; most of us can can hop into a car after breakfast and be catching waves before lunch. Granted, these aren't the rolling waves you see in movies or in surfing competitions, but they ARE the hallowed waves of many a tiger shark story, so to say they don't have their own "charm" is kind of an injustice.
At any rate, there are people who live at the beach. Not ON the beach, just at it: people live in Galveston, Port Aransas, Corpus Christi, and other areas that are just a stone's throw away from where ocean meets land.
But there's something about the people who live on the Texas Coast that just seems... well, they look HARD, and I can't quite put my finger on it. You know how when you see a guy with a cauliflower ear, you think "wrestler," "boxer," or "bad listener?" There's just something about the look of the Texas Coast lifer that distinguishes them from the rest of the crowd.
First of all, they look NOTHING like the other beach dwellers of the world - the Brazilians and Hawaiians you see in travelogues. The person who lives on the Texas Coast enjoys NONE of those physical attributes: the smooth bronze skin, the bleach-white teeth, the curves... Nope. Texas Beach Folk are LEATHERY, and tan to a nice roofing-shingle brown.
You see a girl from Ipanema burst out of the water in slow motion, and you notice droplets of clear water careening from her jet black hair as she whips her head back. And that thing she does where she grabs her mane and rubs the rest of the excess water out before tossing it over a shoulder and walking to the beach? Yeah, that doesn't happen in Corpus.
A girl from Corpus bursts out of the water in slow motion, you notice the white sea foam clinging to her hair, and the rogue fishing leaders dangling from her swimsuit. As she "saunters" her way to back to land, you notice tar on her heels and her overly cautious gait, always on the lookout for the purple globs of beached Portuguese man-o'-war.
I'd like to know if this hard, rugged beach life is unique to Texas, or if everyone in the Southeastern U.S. has seen someone they know vacation at the beach for ten days and come back looking like they've been chain-smoking unfiltered Menthols for forty years.
So after many rounds of communication, the buyer who left the bad review on my Amazon store was gracious enough to remove it. I am now in recovery phase, trying to decelerate the plummeting Amazon numbers I feel were a direct result of that review.
I'm not sure if she ever reads this, but if she does: thank you, Marilyn, for going through the trouble, and I sincerely hope your knee gets better.
Quick backstory on the whole Amazon thing: I had a VERY rocky 2015 and 2016 professionally. Two mergers led to layoffs, and I lost a job I loved because I couldn't successfully manage family and work life (read: LOADS of daily CRM updating during off-work hours). In August of last year, I landed a job with a great company, but it pays only half of what my other jobs have, and so I started looking for other ways to make money in my off-time.
I don't have the capital to buy real estate, nor do I have the knowledge of being able to sink money into stocks that will bloom 20,000%, so I decided on an online store at Amazon.
Long of the short: it's up, running, and very easy. That being said, Amazon is R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S-L-Y competitive and cut-throat (between sellers), and that creates an atmosphere ripe for false prophets and bad advice people 'swear' will land you "hundreds of thousands of dollars a year."
Enter Jungle Scout.
If you are going to go to anyone for help with your Amazon store - whether you're just starting out or are an old salty with a storied history - Jungle Scout's the place to go. I went with one of the premium services, but they have a free Google Chrome extension that helps you not only choose which products to sell, but also explains the various niches in which to sell them.
They constantly post entertaining, informative, free tutorials on YouTube, and I strongly suggest you heed their advice over all others, especially at the beginning. They're completely approachable, knowledgeable, and charitable (see the whole Jungle Stix campaign), and the best money I've spent in this whole endeavor.
I don't work for them, but I do endorse the hell out of them, so if any of you four regulars who visit this site are looking to open an Amazon store, take two Jungle Scouts and call me in the morning.
I know: not the typical 'bring the funny' post, but even Dave Attell takes a break for a drink during his sets.
Been away these last few (okay, several) months doing some freelance work while trying to get a store up on Amazon.
Amazon is awesome for buyers - AWESOME - but there are a ton of things you've got to understand if you want to open a store in hopes of generating passive income.
The biggst thing: Amazon's efforts to attract, keep, and satisfy customers far outweighs any effort to do the same for its vendors. That's a great thing: as a shopper, you receive unparalleled access to goods, prices, and service from vendors who are competing under ridiculous strains to get and keep your business.
That means if you're selling Amazon, not only are you competing against a million other sellers with coffers ranging from peanuts to Porsches, you're competing for buyers who can leave completely destructive reviews on a whim. A WHIM! Even if they don't use the product correctly or for anything related to its intent, a dissatisfied buyer can CRUSH you, especially in the early stages.
Enter my first negative review.
One of my products is kinesiology tape, an overly competitive (and now, it seems, dying) market plagued with its association to athletic tape. The two are NOT the same, as you can take athletic tape off as soon as you put it on. Not so with kinesiology tape: you put it on and that stuff STAYS, MAN. Mine is guaranteed for three days before even THINKING about coming off.
Some people buy the tape knowing that, and some people don't. I had a buyer who I don't believe did know that difference, and here is her review of my tape, verbatim:
"My skin came off when I removed the tape."
How much more damning can a review get???? "As I peeled back the tape, my skin was flayed from my body as though I had committed perjury against none other than Diocletian himself!"
Since that review, I've sent apology letters, more products to make sure she didn't get a bad roll, comments to her post... all in the hope that we can get to the bottom of the issue and she will remove her review. Her response: nothing. No returned emails, no contact... she just took a sh*t on me and walked off. Dwindling sales, collapsing rank, two thousand dollars of stagnated inventory, and it's all because I believe she THINKS she bought athletic tape, not understanding the difference.
Welcome to selling on Amazon, I guess.
Anyway, site's back up and running, and I'm here if you need me.
I'm Nick. I've never been afraid of getting in over my head, and I've survived every resulting injury from doing so. Played college football in the SEC while running a 5.1 forty at 200lbs, got booed off stage in front of 1,000 people at a 'Latino Laff Nite (I'm not Latino),' rolled with BJJ Black Belts, and got TKO'd by a Golden Gloves boxing champion during a fundraiser for MDA. The closest I ever got to being a real man was when my mom cut me off on the way to the Marine Recruiter's office - in the parking lot.