They say there’s no place like home. While it has been quite fantastic to spend some time relaxing at home with my family now that finals are over, there are certain aspects of being home that I had forgotten how much I don’t like. Indeed, sadly, home doesn’t consist solely of gourmet food and a nice bed. So without further ado, I present – in all my glorious bitching – four things that have bothered me since I’ve come home.
4. Putting Up Christmas Lights
Nothing says "Christmas" like a shouting match with your father over light placement
There’s just nothing like a Christmas tradition. Every December, my parents hand me a string of sorry-ass fucking Christmas lights and a ladder (which, incidentally, is about as stable as the Zambian government) and give me one objective: Make the 25-foot leafless tree in front of our house look slightly more festive and slightly less flaccid. It’s especially fun when, after an hour spent climbing around the tree like a paraplegic chimpanzee, I finish decorating the tree to discover that approximately a quarter of the lights actually function. Ultimately, though, it’s worth the Christmas cheer. Every time I look at that pathetic tree and the lights which appear to have been put up by a blind lemur, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of holiday spirit. And by holiday spirit, I mean uncontrollable rage.
3. Losing To My Parents in Scrabble
I don’t know about you guys, but I love shit-talking (Side note: Being from Denver, Tim “The Jesus” Tebow has regaled me with a whole anthology of shit-talking materials). Therefore, when my parents suggest a casual post-dinner Scrabble game, I immediately acquire the attitude of a theoretical lovechild of Terrell Owens and Pau Gasol. This shit-talking strategy pays off richly, seeing as I often demolish my parents and subsequently run naked victory laps around the dining room table. And this isn’t me bragging about my Scrabble skills; the case is rather that my parents don’t give two shits about whether or not their placement of “twat” (I truly wish I were lying about my dad playing that in Scrabble) opens up availability to the Triple Word space. Tonight, however, my shit-talking strategy failed me, as I fell short by one point against my mom. Ugh. Now I just feel like a douche.
2. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
I never thought it would be possible to make such a trainwreck out of a movie starring Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, and Samuel L. Jackson, but damn it all if it hasn’t been done. I mean, seriously, what a steaming cinematic shitstack. The kid who starred as Anakin Skywalker (out of principle, I’m not looking up the little fucker’s name) is more obnoxious than the Nyan Cat on methamphetamines. And Jar Jar Binks? I don’t know whose idea it was to combine the voice of an illiterate Louisiana swamp-person with the visual representation of a banana peel with birth defects, but that idea single-handedly ruined my childhood. Honestly, the only thing they could have done to make this movie any worse would be casting Nick Cage as Senator Palpatine. Yeah, just imagine it.
1. Vodka Commercials
"To the nights you wish you could forget."
Maybe this is something I’m just noticing now because I spend 8 hours a day watching TV (luhhhh vacation), but vodka commercials are absolutely preposterous. The one that I find most personally absurd is a Grey Goose commercial, featuring the tagline: “To the nights you’ll never forget.” I don’t know what sort of idiots are running the marketing department over at Grey Goose, but they clearly lack a fundamental understanding of alcohol. Granted, the tagline “To the nights you’ll blackout and then discover five weeks later that you vomited gratuitously” isn’t quite as catchy, but it is certainly more accurate. It just seems that somewhere in the attempt to craft a convincing image-based appeal, the morons over at Grey Goose forgot some of the drawbacks of downing vodka. If I were Grey Goose, I’d try something more along the lines of “To the poke wars you drunkenly initiated with the entirety of your high school government class” or “To the texts you receive from your mom the next morning saying ‘You might want to take that video off of Facebook.’”