My plan to become a millionaire and retire by the age of 40 is a little behind schedule. Personally, I blame it on a combination of factors: the recent volatility of the stock market, global warming, and the shrinking market in publishing for humor writers who are paid $500,000 / year for working eight hours a week. But mostly I blame my financial situation on China. Those ruthless bastards.
I tried starting my own business, with dreams of launching the next Facebook or Instagram. But after several weeks, I‘ve concluded that my mail-order business, Rent-a-Snake.com, is probably doomed.
Turns out being an entrepreneur is way harder than it looks. It requires a clear vision, years of hard work, unyielding persistence, and a willingness to take intelligent risks. My train pretty much left the tracks at “a clear vision.” Besides, who has the energy for all this hard work? There must be an easier way to become a multi-millionaire – and it’s called “Kickstarter.”
I’m excited to announce my own Kickstarter campaign to make yours truly a mega-millionaire. What is Kickstarter, you ask? It’s a web-based fundraising service intended to help bring projects to life by means of “crowdsourcing” the financing. What is crowdsourcing, you ask? Well, it’s the process of using the internet to get a “crowd” of people to help produce a project collaboratively, like Wikipedia. What’s Wikipedia, you ask? Stop reading right now. Just stop. You’ll never get the rest of this piece. I suggest you go online and Google it. Oh wait. Never mind. You’ve probably never heard of Google either.
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Recently I have noticed a disturbing trend. People’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. In fact, if you’re like 85% of Americans under the age of 35, you lost interest after the sentence Recently I have noticed a disturbing trend. It’s an epidemic.
For the 15% of you still reading, let me explain. Thanks to texting, people now spell the words U and B4 because they don’t have the patience anymore to take the extra two seconds required to spell out you and before. God forbid the word might contain more than two syllables, such as a word like, well, syllables. People simply can’t be bothered – too many keystrokes. And when was the last time you wrote a personal handwritten letter? Let me guess. President Clinton was still dating Monica, right?
Thanks to Facebook, we have all become conditioned to posting micro comments on people’s “walls” which according to the Facebook Code of Condensed Communication Conduct (FCCCC) must not exceed 24 characters. Say your family dog passed away after 18 years, and you decided to share your grief about your loss. Here is the response you would likely receive from one of your closest friends:
1) In 1974: Hey, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear Golden Retriever Buster. I know that he was a family member to you. I hope you can be heartened in your time of grief knowing that he lived a good life. I hope you don’t mind but I baked you my homemade apple pie. I am always here for you. (This note would of course have been handwritten.)
2) In 1994: Hey, so sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. What was his name? Anyway, imagine you’re pretty bummed. Would love to talk more, but gotta go – Monica’s soccer match. Can’t be late. (Sent by email.)
3) In 2014: Hey, (Sent by iPhone.)
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It is a miracle I am alive right now. I could have been a statistic but thankfully, my life was spared. I live in Seattle, which recently experienced a devastating snow storm that shut the city down for five days. The powerful storm became the top story on national newscasts until another nasty storm front with heavy wind(bag)s blew into South Carolina in the form of a Presidential Debate.
Forecasters, predicting the worst storm in four decades, called for 12 to 18 inches of snow in the Puget Sound region. When the last flakes finally stopped, almost six inches of snow covered some areas, proving once again that it is impossible to forecast the weather in the Pacific Northwest. What made it treacherous, however, was that the snow turned to freezing rain, coating roads, trees and power lines with a half inch of ice. This caused hundreds of cars (including mine) to get stuck and thousands of tree branches and hundreds of power lines to collapse. That’s when my terrifying near-death experience began.
At about 5am on Day 1 of Seattle’s Snow-mageddon, our house lost power – lights, heat, phone and internet. Venturing out by car into the blizzard was a foolhardy suicide mission. According to my best estimates, Seattle has exactly three snow plows – four if you count my neighbor Fred’s snow blower. There we were – without power, without heat, without hope, and barely a month’s supply of non-perishable food and beverages. Someone had to venture out for food. That someone would be me.
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