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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Quick hits

This year is starting off slowly, and I guess that's a good thing. It means I have fewer complaints three days in.

A buddy and colleague griped today for the nth time in umpteen days that something - I think it was a vending machine soft drink today - tasted like cat pee, which made me wonder how he knew.

We all say stuff like that. I've complained that some dish tasted like a$$. I've heard other people say other things taste like: crap, vomit, garbage, and dirt.

I can see the vomit, 'cause in theory as its on its way out you're tasting it again, like it or not. And I can see the dirt - in the form of sand, if you were the skinny kid who got it kicked in his face by the buff guy on the beach, or in the form of mud pies, if you had older siblings who had dreams of being pastry chefs as children.

The other stuff? As Homer Simpson would say, you need Jebus if you've tasted any of it.

My neighborhood has fewer rif-raf. Last year, weeks after Jan. 1 some folks were still shooting off so many fireworks it sounded like a firing range. Freaked my dog out something fierce. This year I wasn't home on NYE, but I hear the random fireworks stopped shortly after midnight. Since then I've heard only the occasional pop. Besides if it ain't Dec. 31st or July 4th and you're setting off fireworks - and you're grown - you're a loser.

I am a firm believer in the notion that the truth is stranger than fiction. "Just say no" may not have worked. But if you wanna keep your kids off of drugs just show them the letter from a "reader" I saw posted on a wall in the wire room (mail, supplies, fax machine, etc.) at the newspaper Tuesday afternoon. The writer apologized for a previous correspondence to the Herald in which he'd apparently claimed to have recorded (I think video) proof of alien existence. He said he was high on LSD at the time...lots of it, as I recall. He said a lot more. But I was laughing too hard to read the rest clearly.

Anywho, I'm going to sleep. It's 1:46 a.m. right now. This'll be the earliest I've gone to bed in a while - another NY resolution, to limit the number of late nights to three per week.

If you're an insomniac and you're bored here are links to my last two stories. The first is a profile of a cop. The second is my weekly Q&A column. This week's column subject is a Miami-area woman who was recently knighted in Rome: The Cop , The Dame.

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  • I have often wondered much the same thing about 'this or that tasts like (enter expletive here).

    Good to know I am not alone. I may still be weird or crazy, but at least I am not weird or crazy AND alone in being so. Life is good.


    By Blogger briliantdonkey, at 2:19 AM  

  • Off topic: I nominated you for a bloggie award.

    By Blogger mist1, at 2:35 AM  

  • and when you go to bed late.. and have to get up early...the mouth 'TASTES LIKE THE BOTTOM OF A BIRD CAGE"

    but, please believe me. I truly don't know.

    By Blogger Pamela, at 3:00 AM  

  • Since smell is 90% of your taste and inhaling brings particles to your taste buds I can get pretty close on identifying what's foul.

    My favorite is when someone sticks their nose in something horrifyingly putrid then hands it to me and says:

    "blarrg! ewww smell this!"

    By Blogger Hammer, at 3:07 AM  

  • It's our tendency to foreshorten our sentences by dropping off the last several words. The whole sentence is: "This tastes like sh!t (would probably taste like, if one were to eat sh!t.")

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 6:40 AM  

  • James thanks for the heads up about mu comment section. I have corrected the problem, so comment away. I was begining to wonder if anyone was reading me anymore. :)

    P.S. Happy New Year!

    By Blogger Angie, at 8:47 AM  

  • Happy New Year, James! =)

    By Blogger Christina_the_wench, at 9:22 AM  

  • lol ya know ... that letter is priceless. ya'll should laminate it. haha

    By Blogger Yasamin, at 9:39 AM  

  • oh yeah and happy new year muh brotha from anotha mutha haha im so cool. wait... no.

    By Blogger Yasamin, at 9:40 AM  

  • No worries, Briliant. You're not alone. I'm a weirdo too. At least that's what my wife tells me.

    Mist1, you rock. I'm flattered. And even if I don't get another vote beyond yours, I'm honored. Thanks.

    Pamela, I hadn't heard the bird cage one before. That's too funny. And I'm glad you don't actually know that taste.

    Hammer, good point on the taste/smell relationship. I guess you need the smell to nail the taste. I agree though - when I see someone screw up their face at an awful smell, that's pretty much a deal breaker for me. I'm not sticking my nose in it.

    Sarc, you're right. We're probably all abbreviating our sentences when we do this. Still, it's pretty funny when you think about the things we inadvertently claim to know the taste of.

    Glad the comment thingie's fixed Angie. I'm still reading you. Don't worry. And Happy New Year to you too, and to you Christina, and to you Yas, my sister from another mister.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:43 PM  

  • What kind of neighborhood, exactly, do you live in? Do you guys have those signs stapled to telephone poles about losing weight, getting dates and working from home?

    By Blogger Matt, at 3:44 PM  

  • No, Matt. Wrong 'hood. Besides, why do I suspect if it was that kind of 'hood I'd see you hanging out on the corner near our place?

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 3:47 PM  

  • look i can comment!! stupid ass machine. anyway i was gonna say that i always say beer tastes the way cat piss smells. lol ;P

    By Blogger Yasamin, at 4:58 PM  

  • That's better, Yas. But I've still never tasted a beer that smelled like that. Well, maybe Moosehead in a can.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 5:06 PM  

  • Hey, this machine ate my comment. It was utterly brilliant. Hillarious. If there were a Pulitzer for blog comments, I would have gotten it.

    No. probably not. well, I can't possibly think of ONE MORE clever thing today, but in any case, James Burnett, another vote is coming your way, thanks to Mist's take-charge attitude. You go, girl. And boy.

    By Anonymous 123Valerie, at 5:17 PM  

  • I'm with hammer on the smell thing. If I had the energy, I'd look up the studies on this and forward them to ya...

    However, I'm a 'tard. B/c I'm all about the fireworks on NYE. Then again, I live in the city limits, so it's low-key sparklers. NEXT year, however, it's the BIG BANG, if our house is finished in time.

    But, to plead my case, I have a bunch of kids at my house, along with the adults. That's how this tradition started years ago. Plus, you wouldn't believe how excited the adults get when they hear I've got sparklers.

    Okay - me and my friends are 'tards. There's no hope for our kids.

    By Blogger Tiggerlane, at 5:26 PM  

  • I think if you think it tastes like anything other than what it is you've eaten the anything other.

    By Blogger C, at 6:00 PM  

  • I'm sure it's a nice neighborhood, James. :)

    By Blogger Matt, at 6:49 PM  

  • 123V, thanks for the vote of confidence.

    Tiggerlane, you and your friends aren't 'tards. Fireworks are cool on the holiday. But I know you guys won't still be shooting 'em off three weeks later, like my numbnut neighbors were last year. All I could think was "What the hell holiday is Jan. 20th?"

    C, amen! But that would make me an a$$ eater, 'cause I've been certain in the past I've tasted dishes that were equal to it. Hmmm. I don't like the image that projects.

    Matt, it's not bad. Still, should you ever decide to vacation down here, there's quite a 'ho stroll about three miles from my house. I'll point you in the right direction ;>) - let me clarify: not that I've ever visited the stroll, but I've certainly driven past it.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 7:55 PM  

  • Thanks for stopping by my blog and Happy New Year. Out here in Southern California I think the neighbrs were celebrating New Year's on both east and west coast time. The fireworks started in the evening and ended around 1am. I think that was about the same time that the police chopper took to the air! Have a great week!

    By Blogger Michael C, at 9:11 PM  

  • What's up, Michael? I guess one evening of the poppers ain't that bad.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:53 PM  

  • Ah hah! James Burnett, you just said, "This tastes like 'ho stroll!"

    How would you know, indeed?

    By Blogger 123Valerie, at 3:20 AM  


    This insomniac was too tired to read through your entire post, but I just wanted to say hey since you stopped by. I just blogged again (about Dreamgirls) it's a miracle! See there, I'm taking your advice.

    By Blogger Nichelle, at 3:41 AM  

  • All I have to say about those articles is "wow"! I wish we had more police officers like Moss. It would probably help to bridge gaps in crime with a lower arrest rate, and the dame! She just sounds like someone that would be neat to sit with for a few hours.

    By Blogger QofD, at 10:26 AM  

  • 123V, I said no such thing. You're not getting me in trouble with my wife. I can officially say I have no idea what that might taste like.

    Nichelle, glad to hear from you. Hope the year's starting well. And I'll stop by and check out your new Dream Girls post.

    Queen, thanks. I had fun writing those. Moss is a good guy, good cop by all accounts. And the dame really was a lot of fun. She is a character in the sense of the old black and white blockbuster films.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:35 AM  

  • ewww. try PBR that'll put hair on your chest.


    or schlitz they should have a worst tasting beer award.

    By Blogger Yasamin, at 11:37 AM  

  • "This year is starting off slowly, and I guess that's a good thing".

    Careful James...This could be the calm before the storm, but lets hope not. What about Nick Saban? Didn't he leave the Dolphins to go Alabama? Are people jumping out of windows yet?

    By Blogger captain corky, at 3:28 PM  

  • I wish you could post the letter!

    By Blogger Winter, at 4:11 PM  

  • Great interview on both stories..

    By Blogger Winter, at 4:41 PM  

  • When something tastes like shite, believe me, you know it. The exaggeration emphasizes the risk of the follower who bites. Any German scat freaks in here who can enlighten us as to the proper descriptions of the aroma and flavoeur of your found brown manna? Actually, I changed my mind-- just keep that sh*t to yourself.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 5:10 PM  

  • And then when they tell you it taste like cat pee, the next thing they say is, " Here,Taste it."

    By Blogger wordsonwater, at 11:52 PM  

  • Wow! So you guys got my letter.

    I'm so ashamed.

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 12:03 AM  

  • Yas, Schlitz is nectar from Heaven.

    Capt., don't jinx me. Though the Saban weasle exit put a dent in our otherwise smooth start down here. I say good riddance.

    Winter, I'll see if the wire room folks'll let me scan and post that letter. It's bananas. And thank you on the interviews. They were both two of the more interesting folks I've gotten to write about recently.

    BD, you're scaring me again. I really want to ask, but I just know I shouldn't.

    WoW, that "here taste it" is always a deal-breaker for me.

    Ha! Thirdworst, I know that wasn't you. But if it had been I'd have nominated you for some sort of creative writing award.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 10:29 AM  

  • Wow, 1:46 is early for you? That's pretty rough. I never knew being a future Pulitzer prize winner was such hard work. :)

    See you at the roll call today.

    By Blogger The Dummy, at 10:55 AM  

  • Ha! Dummy, you flatter me. It's probably just my insomnia. But really the middle of the night is when I get my best writing done. My wife is asleep. The house is quiet, except for my dog snoring and my cat scratching things that shouldn't be scratched. It's usually when my head is most clear. So I may go to sleep at 9:30 or 10. But if I do, I wake up like clockwork at 11:30 or 12 and will write till 2 or 2:30.

    And no worries, I'll stop by roll call later today.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:02 PM  

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