Modern Sin 2021

I miss the days when sin was a tangible commodity.  You knew where you stood back then.  There were clear lines that you kinda crossed occasionally (or more often) but you did so at your peril. There were consequences for being a dick.  Okay, some of the rules were a bit much; after all, who among us hasn’t coveted their neighbour’s ass a time or two (metaphorically speaking) and I’ve never been convinced that a hotdog on Friday was enough to unleash the hounds of hell.  However, most of us (even the scoffers) stayed away from the Big Boys and left hardcore sinning to the professionals.  These days, however, sin has become a moveable feast, and even saints are having trouble trying to figure it out.  Luckily, I’m here to help.  I’ve created a 7 step scale that navigates the sin-isphere – from “You’ve some got explaining to do” to “Burn in hell!”

7 — Irish Pubs outside of Ireland – If you want to make fun of somebody, there’s no better way to do it than find an ordinary bar, change the name to “O’ Something,” stick a neon shamrock over the door and serve bad Guinness and potato skins.  This is a sin.  And the only way to make it worse is to have leprechaun-tossing contests on Too-Ra-Loo-Ra Tuesdays. Where the hell are the cultural appropriation people when you need them?  (BTW, this goes double for faux French cafes!)

6 — Stupid Foodie Stuff – There’s the deal: Cheeseburger Pizza is not fusion food: it’s a sin. Yeah, and turkey gravy ice cream is, too.  Real foodies are wonderful people – creative and adventurous — but the wannabes are culinary crackheads.  They have no respect for themselves, their guests or what they put in their mouths.  What next? Oreos and Orange juice?  I wouldn’t bet against it!

5 — Male Fashions – Men have always dressed like idiots – witness the codpiece – but in the 21st century, it’s gotten out of hand and needs to be called what it is – a sin.  No human (forget a Supreme Being) can look with favour on a baseball cap on backwards, an Aloha shirt, cargo shorts and flip flops — all at the same business meeting — on the same guy.  Dress for success has become God, what a mess!  No wonder most women believe men think with their protruding parts.

4 — Comical Clothing on Pets – No, no, no! A thousand times no!  Devil horns, reindeer antlers, bowties, propeller beanies, frilly skirts and false moustaches are not cute on animals: they’re a sin.  What you have just done is taken your most trusting friend, the one who’s been there for you, every time, without fail, (remember the night Herbie Jenkins dumped you?) and made them look ridiculous – for your own amusement.  This comes under the “Do unto others” doctrine.  If you insist on dressing your pets in comical clothes, they should have the right to take you to the doctor and have you neutered.  Fair is fair!  

3 — Bullshit University Degrees – Taking an 18-year-old, who is less than a decade away from believing Batman is a career choice, and convincing them to go into debt up to their eyeballs to get a degree in Leadership is a sin.  We’ve created at least one (and probably two) generations of seriously over-educated/woefully under-qualified young people who have no marketable skills beyond pouring coffee and complaining.  And considering how badly they got screwed, who can blame them when they can’t do either one properly? 

2 — Women’s Magazines – Even though, in recent years, these tableaux of evil have migrated from ink and photo to font and pixel, they are still the total sin they’ve always been.  When the only reason you exist is to tell women there’s something wrong with them, there’s something wrong with you.  This is psychological abuse on an industrial scale.

1 — Litter and Twitter – These two are off the scale on the Sin meter.  There is nothing worse than wantonly throwing your garbage on the ground or spewing vindictive trash across Cyberspace.  Nothing!  There is never, ever a reason to do either, and they are both just wrong – full stop.

Why Aliens Won’t Talk To Us – An Update

About five years ago, I wrote a piece titled “Why Aliens Won’t Talk To Us.”  I trotted out the usual suspects – cricket and crop circles – but our world has come a long way in 5 years, so it’s time for an update.

Unless you flunked out of Math, Science, Stats, Probability, Literature, Philosophy, Biology and Logic — all at the same time — you realize that millions of galaxies, billions of stars and trillions of planets equal a damn good chance that there is intelligent life (besides us) somewhere in the Universe.  It just makes sense, right?

So why won’t aliens talk to us?

BTW, Bubba and Bobbi-Sue’s shaky iPhone video of the sun glinting off a Frisbee™ doesn’t constitute alien contact.  And — just for the record — aliens probably have better things to do with their time than probe fat guys, lose their skulls in Central America or leave painfully childish clues to their existence for weirdo TV documentary filmmakers to find.  (Just sayin’!)

So, with no credible evidence, we must assume that aliens simply don’t want to talk to us.  Why?

I think that they think we’re strange.  And not just regular isn’t-that-cute strange, either – more like “Mother of God!  We need to stay away from those weirdos” strange.  Let me give you a few examples:

Our Choice of Beverages – Over 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, an essential ingredient to life, but rather than just drink the stuff and get on, we do things to it.  We add sugar to it, we add caffeine, we add carbon dioxide, we add dyes to give it colour, artificial flavour to give it taste and toxic chemicals that we’ve already proven are going to kill us if we ingest them.  Then, just to insult our own intelligence completely, we take all that crap out, bottle it and call it healthy.  Aliens have to be thinking, “What’s wrong with you people?”

Professional Sports – Games and recreation are an important aspect of intelligent life, but when you’re paying a man more than the GNP of Mali to kick a ball once a week and the guy who scrubs the floor in a hospital minimum wage, something is definitely out of whack.  Aliens can sense this stuff.

Tattoos – It must be very confusing to aliens when the same people who wouldn’t be caught dead wearing last year’s fashions are still sporting the same ink they got when they were dating Joshua — three boyfriends ago.

Kanye West and Taylor Swift – When these two are the result of 3 million years of natural selection, aliens must wonder just how much of the human brain is devoted to ego.

Litter – If you were an alien, you’d have to ask yourself, “What kind of intelligent life would promiscuously throw their garbage all over their own planet?”

Crocs – Why would an intelligent species make an indestructible piece of footwear that everybody hates and that looks hideous?

And finally, the real reason aliens don’t wanna talk to us:

Twitter – If aliens are monitoring our social media (which I’m sure they are) they’ve obviously run across Twitter.  Think about it! Would you want to communicate with a species whose idea of an intelligent conversation is hurling insults and calling each other nasty names?  Seriously, aliens probably take one look at the shitshow on Twitter and say, “Screw it, Zoltran!  Let’s go to Mars.  They might not have any water, but at least Martians are civil to each other.”

Internet Philosophers

I don’t surf the Net very much.  I don’t have a problem with spending hours wandering through cyberspace – actually, I think it’s kinda cool – I just don’t have the time.  Basically, I stick to my favourite sites every day, and that works for me.  However, every once in a while, I go nuts and get tangled up in the web of The Web — and I’m lost in space for a couple of hours.  I never think of these Cyber adventures as time wasted.  I learned way back in the dialup days that the Internet is an enchanted garden, and once you weed out the idiots, the place is blooming with beautiful flowers.  Here’s just a small bouquet of some front porch philosophers I found the other day.

Taxation is just the yearly subscription fee you pay to live in your country; your childhood was the free trial.

Don’t ask me what’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done: I haven’t peaked yet.

I just hate it when I accidently step on my dog’s tail because I feel so guilty that I can’t properly explain that it was an accident and I’m really, really sorry.

It’s never a good sign when your fitness watch starts flashing stress warnings and you haven’t even gotten out of bed yet.

You know you were right all along when they name a hurricane after your ex.

It’s definitely love when your girlfriend comes home totally drunk, stands by the bed, starts taking off her clothes, stops and says, “I’m sure you’re awfully nice, but I have a boyfriend.”  And then walks out and goes to sleep on the sofa.

The other day I thought it would be cool if someone invented a hot veggie smoothie; then I remembered — it’s called soup.

Cargo pants are just cleverly disguised purses.

If you eat probiotic yogurt when you’re taking antibiotics, does that mean you’re coming out about even?

When I was young, I fell off my bike and fractured my ankle.  I rode my bike home.  Last week, I stubbed my toe– and I haven’t left the sofa since.

When I was young, I wanted to spend a year backpacking across Asia.  These days, I’m pissed when the bum warmer in my car isn’t warm enough.

When I was young, I thought I’d have a great career, a wild social life, a cool apartment and a retirement plan.  I ended up with mismatched wineglasses and a toilet that won’t quit flushing unless you jiggle the handle.

I hate being the parent because I always have to say no to all the same things I loved doing as a kid.

Every morning, men leave the house with nothing but their phone, their wallet and their keys.  How do they make it through the day?

That awkward moment when you ask a girl out for the first time — and then, five years later you ask her to marry you — and she says no – both times.

Finally realizing that the reason you clean the house before people come over is you don’t want them to think you actually live this way.

When you accidently fart in a meeting and it sounds like somebody’s stretching the neck of a balloon.

Telling all your friends you have a twin so you don’t have to talk to them in public.

The secret to a successful marriage is never hating each other – on the same day.

With all the crap that’s going on in the world, these days I watch The Shining to relax.

The only thing in the universe that’s worse than a Man Cold is being married to someone who has a Man Cold.

Realizing you’re excited about Valentine’s Day because you know chocolate’s going to go on sale the morning of the 15th.

“Ignore this text.  I’m pretending to add some jerk’s telephone number to my contacts.”

It’s always difficult when you find out your wife eats spaghetti with a spoon and divorce lawyers are outrageously expensive — on the same day.

You know you’ve been in lockdown too long when the kids start referring to the Amazon delivery guy as Uncle Freddie.

Single people don’t know there’s a wrong way to load the dishwasher.

The best thing about working from home is you don’t have to fight through all the lunch purses in the company refrigerator — and, sometimes, a pigeon sits on the balcony.

When coworkers, doctors and boyfriends say “we,” they usually mean “you.”

And a couple of my favourites:

You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat the people who work in restaurants.

People who add a “but” when they apologize aren’t actually apologizing.