Stay Classy, CVS

There’s something about the American drive-thru, be it for coffee, food, or drugs, that just strips the average person of any class.

As some of you may know, my bedroom window overlooks the CVS drive-thru. If you’re ever given the option of having your bedroom overlook a CVS drive-thru or a gun range, pick the gun range.

People waiting for their prescriptions usually have the emotional fortitude of Kurt Cobain, so I normally keep the fan, TV, and a dozen other items running simultaneously to drown out the noise. It was somewhat cold today so I turned the fan off.

The following is a dramatization of my daily battle with the shoppers of CVS.

CVS: “Hi, can I help you?”
Lady: “Yes, I’m here to pick up my order…”

I turn away from the window (like that really has any impact) and try to fall asleep. A few minutes pass, and I almost make it into my morning coma.

Lady: [Car honk]: “Hello?!”
CVS: “Yes, I’m sorry the order isn’t ready yet.”

The exchange continues but I try to tune it out. She’s obviously waiting for Xanax and is unhappy. They’re also playing Josh Groban, which drowns out some of the noise. The point is, my apathy level is off the charts. Once again, I try to get Mr. Sandman’s attention.

Josh Groban: “You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains,”
Lady: “Well, when will it be ready?”
Josh Groban: “You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas,”
CVS: “If you can pull around to the end of the line we should have it ready in 10 minutes.”
Lady: “I’m not moving. You said it would be ready an hour ago.”

I glance at the clock. I toy with the idea of opening the window and shouting that it’s only been 45 minutes.

Josh Groban: “But when you come and I am filled with wonder,”
Lady: “Maybe if you started counting pills instead of arguing with me? Is there a manager I can speak to?”

It occurs to me that I could never work there. I would have dropped a ball gag in a prescription bag and sent it out to her with a really ugly hand-written note.

The car behind the unhappy customer has the audacity to honk. Another car, in an adjacent lane, also honks.

Josh Groban: “You raise me up… To more than I can be.”
Lady: [Inaudible]

I’m not quite able to make out what she screams next—the sound is muffled by the vacuum of the prescription tube. If you listen real carefully, you can also hear the property value of our neighborhood dropping.

Josh Groban turns into Celine Dion as she drives away. They’re either trying to spike sales in anti-depressants or they enjoy seeing customers sobbing in the aisles.

I get up and turn the fan back on to drown out the noise. It’s really not that cold after all.

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An Open Letter to Paula Deen

Dear Paula,

I know you’ve been under a lot of pressure lately (just stop talking in public), but I thought I’d change the subject by giving you some (somewhat dramatic) feedback on one of your marinara recipes that recently tried to ruin my life.

In your recipe, you said that all good marinara starts with good wine. I had two glasses while looking for a lid that fits on the pot, so I have to agree. After adding a generous glug to the pot, I set the bottle aside for my refills.

You suggested shitake mushrooms, but I don’t make nearly as much as you do and I’ve never liked how they mix with tomatoes. So I skipped that part and killed the time with more wine.

It got hot (is anyone else hot?) so I opened the window. Meanwhile, the wine started boiling and I went to take the pot off the burner, not realizing that the handles would be scalding hot. After I threw the pot in the sink and stopped using your name in vain (still no N-word), I started over and poured another glass of wine to get me back in my mood. I also took a Xanax. It wasn’t in the recipe, but it’s been a rough decade.

I chopped another round of herbs and managed not to cut myself, so that’s a plus. By the way, is parsley really doing anything for anyone or is it just for show? It’s like your cousin at Thanksgiving that always offers to help but doesn’t ever add any real value.

So earlier, when I burned myself, I also splashed wine on the recipe. I couldn’t read everything clearly so I added ¼ cup of butter to be on the safe side. I was also tempted to pour the pot in the deep-fryer but that seemed premature.

After chopping what seemed like a disrespectful amount of tomatoes, I refilled my glass and found myself back at the part of the recipe calling for mushrooms. Fuck it. You want mushrooms? Have mushrooms.

A side note: This has already taken fifteen minutes longer than opening a jar of Emeril’s spaghetti sauce. He puts his recipe in a jar. Meanwhile, you’re probably sitting on your porch using the N-word or claiming only 3/5ths of your employees on the payroll.

Back to the point, the wine kicked in, not unlike the SWAT team at the door of a drug dealer’s house, and I decided to relax a little by turning on some music.

Yet again, your recipe let me down. You should have specified to choose an onion that won’t judge you when you start sobbing. Bonnie Tyler’s “It’s A Heartache” came on, and it was all I could do to not preheat my oven and crawl inside of it.

After I added all of the other ingredients for part one (really, two parts is excessive), I sat down on the couch to take a much deserved break. An hour passed—at least I think it was an hour—and the smoke detector woke me up. The wine had evaporated out of the pot completely (the bottle was also strangely empty) and the onions were burnt and disfigured beyond recognition.

It took me about three minutes to collect myself and clear out the smoke before I threw up an emotional white flag. In my frustration, I stumbled out into the parking lot with your cookbook, determined to tear it apart. Unfortunately, your publisher used a high-quality binding, so the best I could do was tear out a page or two at a time until I was so exhausted that I just threw the tattered remains in the dumpster.

I spent another five minutes morally justifying throwing away most of the dishes involved with preparation rather than washing them. So, that’s two hours I’ve wasted. Not to mention a bottle of wine. And I’m still hungry.

If I wanted to waste two hours, twenty dollars, and be emotional and drunk, I would have just gone to the bar like a normal human being.

You owe me $36 for my Domino’s order (yes, you can almost hear me saying, “fuck it, I’m ordering pizza,”) and we’ll call it even on the wine.

Bitterly (butterly?) yours,


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Ty vs. Rita with USPS


Don’t ever call the United States Postal Service. But if you must call them, don’t talk to Rita.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I ordered some clothes from Amazon. I hate the mall almost as much as Republicans hate abortion, so I try to do all of my shopping from the comfort of my living room.

The only thing that hadn’t arrived a week later was a pair of shorts. Admittedly, I got drunk after shopping, so it took me a week to even realize that they were missing. My first call was to FedEx because it was a FedEx shipping number on the order.

Apparently, FedEx handled the logistics but passed the package off to USPS for the delivery. Their records indicated that they handed the package off to USPS, but it was damaged.

I called USPS and—I really mean this—the following conversation is almost exactly what happened.

Rita: “I don’t have a record of us getting the package but that’s not unusual. Our system does show that it was undeliverable because it was damaged and had an incorrect address.”

Ty: “Could I go down to the local office and pick it up?”

Rita: “No, it has to be sent back to the shipper since the package is damaged.”

Ty: “It’s a pair of shorts. I doubt anything is damaged. Could I at least take a look? I don’t have any idea how to get a hold of the shipper for a refund or replacement.”

Rita: “Since it’s damaged it must be sent back.”

Ty: “If it was so horribly damaged from the trip to Dallas, I’m trying to understand how it’s expected to survive the trip home. Really. It’s a pair of shorts.”

Rita: “Be that as it may, the local office cannot release it to you. They must send it back.”

Ty: “But it’s addressed to me. If I had reported the package missing, you would be following a separate recovery process that would have traced the package to the local office and released it to me.”

Rita: “Did you report the package missing?”

Ty: “No. It’s not missing. I know exactly where it’s at. They’re shorts! It’s a pair of shorts! I assure you, if that package is fit enough to ship back to New Jersey, they can’t be disfigured.”

Rita: “The package will have to be returned to the sender.”

Ty: “You’re wearing them, aren’t you? You’re wearing my shorts and that’s why I can’t come and get them. You seriously don’t think this is the first time I’ve had damaged goods delivered to my doorstep do you?”

Essentially, they’ve left me with a dead end next step. They’ve militantly claimed I must contact the shipper, but I have no idea who that is since I bought them from Amazon.

Therefore, I’m reaching out to my vast network of well-meaning but likely apathetic friends for help. I want a letter writing campaign to Angela Lansbury. I want phone calls to the White House. I want closure for my shorts… and for all the other shorts that—like Amelia Earhart—never made it to their final destination.

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of shorts,


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An Open Letter to MAMA Instant Noodles

Dear MAMA:

I found your product earlier this week next to the Cock Flavored Soup.


The “Instant Bowl Noodles Shrimp (Tom Yum) Flavour Base,” aside from breaking more sentence structure rules than I care to count, actually looked tasty.


Wow!  Look at those shrimp.  They’re almost big enough to give individual names to.  Hell, I didn’t even know they had shrimp in Vietnam.  I mean, I never saw Marg Helgenberger eating shrimp on China Beach.

The curiosity got to me.  While I was cooking the water to pour in the bowl, I decided to research shrimp in Vietnam. As it turns out, Vietnam sends us 100 million pounds of shrimp a year—roughly 10% of our supply.

The water is boiling now. I don’t immediately see the shrimp when I pour the water over the noodles, but I figured they were nestled up inside somewhere, perhaps hiding from the inevitable.  Shrimp are shy like that.

While I’m waiting the prescribed three minutes, my curiosity peaks. I keep reading about shrimp in Vietnam and the headlines go from informative to horrifying.

shrimp headlines

Out of curiosity, I decide to inspect the shrimp in the soup.  I don’t know what I was looking for.  Eating was out of the question. Somehow, though, I felt like I owed the shrimp at least a passing glance before I throw them away.

Here’s what I found:


You’re kidding, right?  This isn’t a fragment of the shrimp—it’s the whole thing.  Having grown up in a fast food nation, I know things are not always as they appear on the menu.  Hell, one look at Grindr is a reminder that people always advertise with the best possible image, even if it’s not an accurate representation.

That having been said, size matters.  Your representation is hundreds of times the size of the actual product.  If you pulled something like that on Grindr, the gay community would exile you to Sue Ellen’s for the remainder of your days.

Regardless, I guess it means that the shrimp in the photo got a larger helping of pig feces than the ones in my bowl.  What happened?!  Did a factory worker go out to the stockyard and say, “That’ll do pig, that’ll do,” while the remaining shrimp were left to starve in isolation?

I don’t know if you did me a favor or if you’ve defrauded me, but at the end of the day I am both dissatisfied and disgusted.  If we were Facebook friends, I’d block you.



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More Mishaps in New York

Day 4
It’s Thursday and Amy has finally come up with an itinerary.

When she told me we were going to see a musical on Broadway tonight, my first thought was, “This is going to be like a very special episode of 16 and Pregnant, and can only end one of two ways.”

The show was great, although I was horrified when Amy asked a one-armed lady to take our photo.  She really needs to be better at disclosing the fact that “a photo” usually consists of about 15 retakes per pose.

If you are ever in New York, End of the Rainbow is an entertaining, if not sobering, musical on the final months of Judy Garland’s life.

Day 5
We are going to Costco today and I am rabid with dread.

UPDATE: My dread was justified.  New Jersey is one of the most unpleasant places I’ve ever been.

Almost immediately after we walked in, a lady in a scooter clipped Amy’s leg as she sped past us toward the deli.  I’m sure it was an accident.

UPDATE: It wasn’t an accident.  That woman is a terrorist.

UPDATE:  Everyone here is awful.  The people in this Costco are completely unwilling to yield to other shopping carts.  You would think their version of “Stand your ground,” included never moving an inch for anyone for anything.

We had to navigate through a particularly cumbersome corridor and at the end, about thirty feet later, a lady appeared with her shopping cart and gave me this look that said, “I’m not moving.  I’m going forward, exactly in the path you are in.  Your only alternative is to move your cart back thirty feet, and then, if you are lucky, you can come back the same way and move to the next aisle.”

I rammed her cart.  Nothing too extravagant—though I was tempted to go for a full on cart-tipping collision—but I realized that this bitch was playing chicken in flip-flops.  I had nothing to lose.

I went around the corner to watch Amy contemplate which ridiculous size container of coffee creamer she was going to purchase.

The lady in the scooter returned.  It was so good to see her.  I felt like we had gotten off on the wrong- um, foot.  She tapped our cart as she passed by.  Bitch.

After being hit or refused aisle space by every asshole in the tri-state area, I had finally had it.  The cart was going to go at a steady 5 mph and I wasn’t stopping, slowing down, or yielding for anyone.  I immediately ran into Amy.  (Sorry!)

After I adopted my new strategy, things got easier.  Even the children were getting out of my way, which was impressive because not one of them had previously shown any hint of self-preservation.

The meat department was a bust, and we slowly made our way to the front, where I would have a final showdown with the lady in the scooter.  She sure does get around.

It would be lovely to report that the bitter old spinster perished to “Duel of the Fates, playing in the background as I triumphantly totaled her scooter with our shopping cart; however, the best I could do was hit the side of her basket and cut in front of her in line.  God may get me for it, but she sure as hell wasn’t going to.

One hour, six or eight wrong turns, and lots of profanity later, we arrived at the Wal-Mart six miles away.  From there, it took us two hours to make it back across the Hudson.  In the span of an hour, we managed to go a grand total of four miles.

There was a point that I was so certain we wouldn’t be returning home that I started mentally updating my Last Will and Testament, dividing up all my worldly possessions (to wit: one Chihuahua).

Anyway, the whole Costco trip was so time-consuming, so exhausting, and so absolutely ridiculous, that we had a movie night at home.

TGI Friday my ass,

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Mishaps in New York… Pt. 1

It’s been a while since my last blog.  Why does it seem like I’m always starting like that?

Anyway, Amy suggested/insisted that I chronicle my vacation in New York via the blog.  No one wants to read about someone else’s vacation.  It’s like looking through someone else’s yearbook.  Seriously.

However, after three days here, there’s definitely some amusing stories to tell.  Read if you want, or print it out and set it on fire if you’d rather.  I’m doing it in two parts—maybe three—cause reading is hard.

Day 1
The day was somewhat uneventful, so let’s keep it short.  Day two is when the fun starts.

Amy arrived and we went to pick up her case of organic toilet paper.  I’m no marketing major, but if I were going to advertise a paper product as recycled, toilet paper wouldn’t be it.  Especially not “Seventh Generation” toilet paper.

Later that same day, I had my first experience on the Metro, a clusterfuck of people watching at its finest.  I watched two ladies argue over how to pronounce, “shish kabob,” and almost lost it.  Neither one of them came close.

Since no trip to NYC would be complete without street meat—which at first I thought had an entirely different meaning—we ended the night at a gyro stand.

Day 2

Never go into a McDonald’s.  NYC has this thing about posting the calorie count next to the prices, which is ironic since the prices are so inflated you’re not sure which is which.

I held the door open for a gaggle of unruly children who flooded the restaurant.  Kids.  Can’t live with them; can’t shove them back in the womb.

Apparently, every one of them was with a second chance program trying to teach children how to function in society.  As such, the chaperones were unwilling or unable to assist in the ordering process.

Don’t get me wrong.  I applaud the effort.  Ordering at McDonald’s is a life skill everyone needs to have.  But at what cost??  Twenty minutes to get a $5 order of Chicken McBites that would have been $1 in Dallas.  They forgot the ranch.  I’ll dip them in sorrow instead.

Fast forward to Amy’s untimely arrival home.  We scoured the city looking for peach ice cream (are impossible cravings part of that time of the month?) and managed to find only mango.

We saw Magic Mike, which was a let down in some regards.  Sex and the City has managed to recognize audience expectations and exceed them.  Why Channing Tatum had to reserve a spark of mystery is beyond me.

It was almost midnight when we got out of the movie, and we decided to be spontaneous and take the midnight train going anywhere, a la “Don’t Stop Believin’”.

For whatever reason, Steve Perry neglected to mention the singing crack head on the midnight train.  Nevertheless, we found him.  We even tried to move to the next car on the train but I’ll be damned if he didn’t follow right behind us.

He was showing off his recent (favorable) HIV test results and offering fashion advice for people who seemed to be contemplating departing the train prior to it stopping.  Amy deserves a gold star for not interacting with him or encouraging him… thank Gaga we didn’t have alcohol first.

Day 3
It’s July 4!  Naturally my ADHD was in overtime when the fireworks started, but there were a few semi-functional hours until then.

Now, I need a slice of authentic NYC pizza like a Republican needs a reason to hate Obamacare.  But, alas, I was hungry.  My Adderall may as well be at the bottom of the Hudson, so my appetite is raging lately.

I found a review online for best places to eat pizza in NYC, and we ventured to the other side of Middle Earth.  The subway was another people watching goldmine.  As soon as the doors shut, a quartet of vagrants burst into a glee-like performance of “Stand by Me.”

After some poor map reading, we finally got to Sal’s and Amy paid dearly for a terrible slice of culinary incest.  To add insult to injury, as we abandoned the joint in favor of cooler air outside, I couldn’t help but notice people walking by with pizza that looked amazing.  Bastards.

Back to the subway.  This time, a homeless man fell asleep on Amy.  I was pretty amused until she woke him up and told him he couldn’t sleep on her.  He decided he didn’t have a fair allotment of floor space and began kicking out like a seizure victim.  I moved the first two times he kicked my feet.  The third time I kicked back.

As part of my sightseeing itinerary, we walked aimlessly through the city trying to find 3 Beekman Place, the movie residence of Auntie Mame.  After about a mile walk in sweltering heat, it occurred to me that she wasn’t real, and if she was, she’d be dead.  We got there, I took a poorly focused photo, and we went back to the subway.

At this point, I’m considering starting an entire new blog website dedicated to subway mishaps.  I’m not sensationalizing any of this- we have photos, videos, and Amy’s endorsement.  This is real.

In polite society, when a full elevator arrives at your floor, most people recognize that possible penetration of other passengers is inconsiderate, and as such, you gracefully wait for the next elevator.

This is not how the subway works.  We were crammed in like forged ballots in the Russian election.

Not surprisingly, as soon as the door closed, a man cleared his throat and quieted the car with, “Ladies and gentlemen: 50,000 American troops are coming home with no jobs and nowhere to work.  Hire American.  Don’t hire foreigners.  No offense to any of you foreigners, but I’m tired of not getting work because of you people.”

Of course, I speculate the majority of the car was filled with people that could, in all political correctness I can muster, be considered foreign.  You could have heard a pin drop.  It was the first time since I got to New York that the subway car was quiet enough to hear the whisper of the train conductor to mercifully inform us the next stop was just ahead.

The night ended on Amy’s balcony.  The first fireworks show was behind a building in our direct line of sight, so all we could see was the outline of the fireworks behind the building.  Which is a lot like listening to your neighbor have incredible sex as opposed to being the one having incredible sex.

But just as the Cabernet bottle started to near empty, the greatest, biggest, brightest fireworks show I have ever seen lit up the skyline for 30 minutes of uninterrupted awe.  There was a pretty big singalong of the national anthem… they weren’t quite sure on the timing of the big finale, so they kept singing the last refrain over and over again.  Priceless.

From the city that never sleeps,

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An Open Letter to Caven

Dear Caven:

It is time to do something about the bridezillas.

S4 has long been a beacon of tolerance in the community.

We’ve got our ancient drag queens that look like Ann Richards in a fur prom dress.

We suffer through the occasional invasion of the plushies, who make the dance floor look like the music video for “The Bad Touch” by the Bloodhound Gang.

At times, we even have the occasional gay person coming in to see a dragshow.

There is, however, one consistent plague infesting the Rose Room: Bachelorette. parties.

They reserve the best seats in the house and their friends spill over into the general seating.  Their costumes are distracting, obnoxious, and at times, their hair and accessories are visually obstructive.

Frankly, the gay population is tired of being condemned to the back of the bar so hoards of women we will only ever see once (thank gawd) can celebrate a social rite of passage that nary a one of your gay customers can truly benefit from.

Last night was the breaking point for me.  The carpeted area of the Rose Room was equivalent to that area at Chuck E. Cheese that is reserved for children whose parents shelled out $300 for cheap pizza served by a pedophile in a rat costume.

Chuck E. Cheese snorting a line of coke

They were everywhere.  The one in front of me was probably 5’2” but she had on 4” heels.  Her hair, which may or may not have been smuggling illegal aliens, was at least four inches above her head, topped with a tiara that, had it been any taller, could have been declared a skyscraper.

I’d say let’s toss them into the river, but the Trinity is such a cumbersome trip.  So, with compromise and tolerance in mind, I have come up with a better solution.

If they want reserved seating, let them have the back of the Rose Room.  There’s seating, and TV monitors that they can watch the show on.

This removes them as a distraction to the show, keeps us from looking like we are discriminating against them, and puts your primary customers back in viewing range of Cassie Nova’s terrible (yet endearing) lip synching.


The Gays

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