A Few Words To All You Movers and Shakers

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As we stumble headlong into 2012, which as we all know will be the year during which the Mayan god Quetzacotal is going to turn all of us humans into little puddles of smoldering slag, I would just like to take a minute and fire off notes to some of the people who have helped shape the world we live in.

Dear NFL players,

When you make a routine block, tackle, pass reception, or even a touchdown, try to act like you’ve done it before. Maybe you are under the impression that thumping your chest and tippie-toe-dancing around the end zone makes for better television than a cutaway shot of a 315 pound lineman standing behind the head coach and blowing snot rockets into the AstroTurf. You are wrong.

Dear Reality Show Producers,

OK. Your shows are super-cheap to produce, since there is an endless supply of camera-hungry wannabe singers and dancers, hoarders, over-eaters, pregnant teenagers, crab fishermen, truck drivers, pawn shop owners, junkies, meteorite hunters, outrageously gay antique pickers, and overweight guys who buy and sell crap they find in abandoned storage lockers. I heard a rumor that there is even a project in the works called “Highway Hookers - Trucks & Tricks.” Fair enough. We get it. We do.

But “Extreme Couponing?” Really? It’s like you guys just aren’t even trying any more.

Speaking of which;

Dear Parents of “Toddlers and Tiaras,”

What the hell is wrong with you people?

Dear Republican Candidates,

As you spend most of this election year trying to out-angry, out-heartless, and just plain out-crazy each other in your quest for that all-important Nervous White Guy vote, maybe you could tone it down a notch or two. At least lose the little American Flag lapel pins when you’re on TV. Seriously, the world is watching, and you are embarrassing the rest of us.

Dear Yopait,

No, “Swapportunity” is not a word. And it never will be.

Dear Companies Whose Web Ads Suddenly Appear Between Me and the Article I’m Trying To Read

I’m not sure how you people figured out how to defeat Pop-up Blockers, but I do know that there is a special place in Satan’s realm reserved for you. Do you really think that when I’m concentrating on a story about twenty orphans killed in a Peruvian mudslide, I’m likely to drop everything and refinance my mortgage based on a floating, rapidly-blinking purple billboard?

Dear Facebook,

I know Microsoft has set an industry standard by redesigning the user interface for Word into something as easy to understand as Romeo and Juliet penned by a Japanese instruction manual writer; But, soft! Windows through the breaks in the light of what the other side?

But is it really necessary for you to periodically take an eggbeater to your own interface? For instance, I am curious to know the reasoning behind repositioning the button someone would hit if they want to attend an event, then changing the label from “Attend” to “Join.” Who “joins” a concert?


Mby u cld shrpn up nd rfine ur msg a bit nstd of usng ths dmb abrevs. Nd mby lose sum of those #hash #tags #bippityboppityboo.

Dear Readers,

Thank you for hanging in with me for the 10 years that I’ve been writing What I’ve Learned... So Far. We’ve had a lot of fun together. Let’s just hope that when the time comes, we can all go out and greet old Quetzacotal with a smile.

Copyright © 2012, Michael Ball

Mike Ball is the Erma Bombeck Award-winning author of "What I've Learned So Far..." and the book What I've Learned... So Far Part I: Bikes, Docks & Slush Nuggets. The book is now available in all eBook formats on Smashwords.