Study: Doorknobs, Showerheads Impossibly High

In a recent 3-home study* conducted by our own investigative reporting staff it was discovered that approximately 102% of all doorknobs and showerheads were well beyond reach.

What these findings mean for the common citizen is that unless you are of a tall stature you will not be able to open any doors without help, short of the latch being not quite secured. Persons must be of a height greater than 2’11” to even stand a chance.

I personally called both Schlage and Kwikset, two of the largest manufacturers of door locks and deadbolts in North America for their reaction to the study but both refused to acknowledge me and soon hung up. It’s like I wasn’t even speaking English or something. Can’t they understand my questions? I guess my questions are just too perplexing.

Showerheads posed an even more troubling problem. Although the controls were all only a bit above eye-level, the spigot dumps out from a height of about three stories up. The pressure is all wrong by the time it falls that far and it’s simply impossible to consider it much more effective than lukewarm rain.

Minimum height to get any benefit from a showerhead is absurdly around four feet. That would only help me if I was ten times older or had a wicked glandular disorder.

Makers of these products should take heed that their inequalities have not gone unnoticed. If they want my vote they’re going to have to think about the little people too.

While Gary Neuman may not be the biggest advocate for short people, he’s still made great strides towards raising awareness. The torch has been handed off and as long as we don’t burn our tiny little fingers it is our responsibility to carry it as far as we can.

* Study has a 2% margin for error.

 

Accessorizing Complicated by Language, Cultural Barriers

In your homeland it’s not tough for most people to be fashionable but, when travelling abroad, it can be tricky as a weasel to do it right.

In your homeland you know just how it’s done. Throw on a dapper hat, mix in some plush frillies, throw on a bow or your slickest shoes and you’re all set. When you’re travelling, however, you must consider the local culture as well, which is never an easy task.

When I got to China I promptly picked out a stylish yet traditional outfit to wear. It’s of a local style, yet blue so people can know that I’m still a boy. It’s cute and slimming for sure, but how do I trim it out properly? Therein lies one of many conundra.

Check out this hat for instance. It’s cute, unusual, and hails from the local accessory palate; but what message does it send? Does it say I’m hip, trying too hard to be hip, that you’ve offended my Kung Fu school and must die, or worse still that I’m some kind of a journalist?

What you can’t likely detect from the picture is that it includes a long black braid of hair down the back. Does that make me look older, wiser, or just like my roots are growing out and I’m in dire need of a root job to update my haircolor? See, that’s the thing, I just don’t know.

What makes it the last step abysmal is that we really can’t talk with the shopkeepers. I don’t know how to say “it’s too big” in English, let alone Mandarin. My entourage of three babbling Americans, a boisterous nine-year-old, and a beautiful artist from Hong Kong were of little help to me. Nave’s Mandarin is real good but she often finds her Cantonese accent to be prohibitive. This particular merchant wanted the sale so badly I think he would have pretended not to get it even if we spelled it out in plain English.

Ultimately I settled on a red silk good luck tassle that I fastened to my zipper jacket. Though I don’t know what it means or what message it sends, I am confident of one thing: I love it!

 

Yucky Food Discovered, Spinach

As a world-travelling connoisseur of whatever is put in front of me I’ve eaten everything from asparagus to zwieback crackers. In all my gobblicious endeavors I’ve never found a food I didn’t like… until now.

Spinach may indeed give Popeye the sailor man super-human powers, but as for me, I’ll have to pass. Instead of great strength and lightning speed, it just gives me a super-human shiver of distaste. That’s not a power I’m proud of, not one I consider in any way helpful to my quest for popularity. It surely won’t help me win my Olive Oyl.

It’s possible I’m in the test group on this whole spinach thing and I’m only getting placebo spinach. If that’s the case my review may be way off base. If in doubt, look for slimy green leaves soaked in butter. If it matches my description, we’re talking about the same stuff.

Everybody’s different for sure. From my experience I’ve found that the best performance enhancing food is cake. It goes down smoother than spinach even though it isn’t slimy and it gives me all the edge I can handle. My energy level goes through the roof and my endurance becomes unwavering. It makes me talkative, friendly, boisterous and even suppresses my appetite.

If you want to do a body good, skip the greens and go straight for the cake. It wears off with a vengeance so you’ll hate me in the long run, but in the interim couple hours you’ll nothing but thank me, thank me, thank me.

 

Lanterns Alone Make Trip Worthwhile

My love affair with the crimson spheres began about the time I arrived. Ever since then I’ve nary missed a chance to seek them out and beg more for my own.

At first it was really terrible, all seeing and wanting with no gratification. Most were way out of reach and no one would help me get to them. They still called to me and I still tried to answer.

Then the ladies at the Jade Temple understood my seemingly universal sign language for “gimme” and kindly “gamme.” My desire was not satisfied however and my passion only grew.

My handlers recognized this was more than a crush and soon bought me my own private collection. Boy are they something. There must be a good dozen of them in there and every last one is as red as the next. They got tassels and gold plastic funny business for trim. They are decadent, attractive and suit me just nice.

Even though I’m already “with lantern” I still find myself constantly drawn to look at others and I suspect my lanterns sense it too, maybe even feel a bit jealous. I can’t help myself though. It’s not that I don’t love them very much it’s just that I know there are prettier and more sophisticated ones within reach. It’s not like I agreed to be exclusive with my lanterns or anything.

All in all this trip has been really great for me so far. If I had it all to do over again I’d even go to Ohio if they had lanterns there. As far as I’m concerned any dive could be the Taj Mahal provided they meet my stringent décor needs. I guess I’m just easy to please that way.

 

Asian Paparazzi Really Out of Hand

As a seasoned celebrity and lifelong public figure I’m no stranger to popularity, but just like has-been major leaguers who head to Japan, I had no clue what was in store for me.

When I did my dance moves on Nanjing Road I attracted a good crowd of gawkers, but that’s to be expected when you can dance like I can. When my handlers tried to pawn me off like a third rate pet I could also understand; but when I’m just going to the market for some soy milk? Come on now people, let me breathe!

Everywhere I go I’m making new friends. Even the grumpy guy next to me on the bus was hard-pressed not to love me. This is not new or surprising to me, but being mobbed when I’m out grabbing lunch is a bit overwhelming.

I was nice about it at first letting attractive strangers hold me and posing for pictures but after too much I just get flustered and need my space. Has this billion people really never seen a white baby before?

Camcorders, cameras, camera phones, even their photographic memory has become too much. I like stimulus as much as the next guy but sometimes I just want to shop in peace. We’ve only been into a bazaar once without having to leave because of a mob. Let’s try to agree right now that behavior like this is inappropriate.

While I have experience and indeed comfort with traditional* paparazzi, I just can’t handle dozens of people mobbing me at every turn, clapping, cooing, and generally making embarrassments of themselves.

If you guys want the real skinny on me, just subscribe to my newsletter or maybe request a personal appearance. I’ve never done weddings or bar mitzvahs before but I’d surely give it my best. Couldn’t be more stressful than this silliness.

* If such a thing exists.

 

Zoo Offers Exotic Animals, Hey Look Goldfish!

I’ve travelled couples of zoos all over the world, from home to wherever I am now and presumably back again. There are so many wild and exotic creatures to feast your eyes upon, but there is one special creature you don’t want to miss, the tiny fish of gold.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the enchantment of hundred-year-old and older sea turtles that outweigh you ten to one or tigers whose heads are bigger than you. But what about God’s favorite creatures (and mine)? If your zoo lacks the animal so great they named a cracker after it, well, it just isn’t complete.

Some of these fishy friends have buggy eyes, others pouches on their heads that look like giant pink brains, while others simply have fins that are plain useless. They are gold, sometimes with white and/or brown patches in various hues, but let’s face it man, anyhow you slice it they’re some good lookin’ fish.

I’ve seen pandas, Sasquatch, even hunted dragons, but for my money (which I’m told is all locked up in trust) I’ll take the goldfish any day. I have no time for peacocks squeeling like thrice-flogged children, parrots mimicing my every utterance nor ravens calling out “nevermore.” All that’s for the birds if there’s fish to be seen. They may not be on the verge of extinction and they’re not hard to find, but what they are is perfectly entertaining. I won’t give away their whole routine, but it focuses largely on swimming. I won’t say more, I don’t want to ruin it for you.

If you get a chance, try to spend a quiet moment just watching the goldfish. It brings me joy and I just know that somewhere in you is a person who can find joy and solice in them too.

 

Panda Bears Panda-riffic, Mangy

Of the few remaining panda bears in existance, I have now seen one. While I had already seen a good many in plush form of various size and quality, I was unprepared for how big and mangy it would actually be

Before the naysayers can strike up a whinny I must say that although I’ve reported seeing things I later discovered I hadn’t — such as Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster — let me emphasize that I really did get to see a real live panda. I’m not talking about one of those lesser pandas either, the ones that look like rosey raccoons, but a Giant Panda; and I do mean giant.

If you ever see one you’ll spot it right away. They have two black eyes, presumably from recent fights, and of course they look like stuffed pandas, only bigger. This wasn’t a creepy animatronic panda like those giant rats you see at Chuck E. Cheese nor some guy sporting a panda suit. I saw the real McCoy and I have to say it was pretty disappointing.

The experience alone is (as you’ll note by this article) something “to write home about,” but the bear itself really wasn’t. If I had thousands of visitors a day — which I do — I’d be groomed spotless (which I am). For an internationally acclaimed celebrity his personal hygene habits left much to be desired. And this is coming from a journalist of all people. He had black fur for sure, but the part you’d expect (at least I did) would be pristine white was actually a dull dirty brown. Poor, poor mangy, endangered beast.

Fortunately their numbers are making a recovery. I heard they can’t survive in the wild because they lack horns, to quote my informant “if they were horny, they’d be fine.”

 

Brendan Alexander, International Man of Mischief

If you’re anything like me, which I’m pretty sure you are not, you are a man of mischief. Daring, unpredictable, intriguing and dashingly handsome. For mischief-makers ready to take it to the next level, this one goes out to you.

This isn’t a beginner course so if you’re looking to break into the field, this is not for you. If you’ve already been grounded and established but just need a few tips to go global, well then read on my friend.

  • Get yourself a snappy outfit. While attire is always important, if you’re going to play this game, it’s absolutely critical. Get something that really screams “not from around here.” I recommend shiny fabrics with garish colors and intricate patterns.
  • Pick out your theme music. Theme music is technically optional though highly recommended. If you decide to go without, people will notice something missing. A boom box or tape player should suffice but whenever possible you should have it performed by your own minstrels. My theme music is “I’m a Little Tea Pot,” chosen for its catchy melody and reference to stature matching my own. Due to budgetary constraints, I enter rooms loudly humming my theme.
  • Be unpredictable. You have to keep your admirers guessing. Once they’ve got you figured out the intrigue is simply gone. Throw temper tantrums at random intervals, knock the soy sauce on yourself during dinner or maybe take naps when you’re out shopping in public. I do all these things and it just drives them wild.
  • Establish a trademark fragrance. When you enter a room you know your look and behavior need to be signature, but for the deaf, blind and oblivious you need that extra little something. I recommend Brut, soy sauce (see “Be Unpredictable” above) or what I use, which is baby powder.
  • Establish a trademark drink. Sure you can rotate through beverages like juice, milk and water but, to leave a lasting impression you need something unique. When I go out everyone knows me by my flavor; soy milk, vanilla not plain.
  • Always be mischievous. You can’t be an international man of mischief without a modicum of misbehavior, and when I say a modicum I mean a heaping dose. Demand things you know you can’t have, ask people to carry you around, grab things clearly belonging to total strangers. Men of mischief live by a very high standard and you’ll never get there unless you ask for stuff. You’ll be surprised how much stuff you get when you humbly demand it with assuming confidence.

 

My methods may sound unorthodox and they may in fact be unorthodox but, let’s face it, the lifestyle we’re after is not a run-of-the-mill way of life. My strategies have been tested and proven and if you can employ them all you will not fail. My program is 100% guaranteed or your money back.