Tuesday, June 30

Teens Send Eyes Rolling

Have you ever heard teens or young kids talking in a way that made you roll your eyes? Obviously, you have. Anyone who is not a teen or braggadocios toddler laughs and cries on the inside any time one of these types speaks out loud. Here's an example from my Lyft travel chronicles. 

I've picked up these teens a few times now. I'll assume they are cousins, and (based on cars in the driveway), I'd say that at least one cousin is from Missouri. Not that it really matters, except those of us who have lived in Kansas know that not a whole lot of good comes from Missouri. 

The first time I picked up these girls, they were headed to a fairly interesting neighborhood, maybe because they lived in a very uninteresting area. I didn't think too much about it, at least until I pulled up and saw a dilapidated house with dozens of people hanging out in the parking lot that was once a residential street. And there was a bouncer. Some kind of house party. I wasn't sure it was a safe place, based on some of the partygoers who had spilled into the street and begun yelling at one another. But I am not the father of these youngins, so it wasn't really my place.

The next time the girls got in the car, they were headed to the bars at the Beaches, which seemed odd, given that there was no way any of the three were 21. Based on the conversation on the way, I know at least one of them wasn't even 18, as she was telling her other companions that she always blocked guys on whatever social platform when they started to ask about her age. What's funny is that I did one other ride of maybe twenty minutes, and then I ended up picking these girls back up, which means for all their short skirts and attitude, they could not convince the pubs to allow them in. 

On the ride to the bars, it was mostly about the under-18 friend telling the others about her desirability. Beyond the InstaSnap example, she also discussed several guys who were texting her, as well as the one or two she was actually dating. She said one guy said he'd kill himself (or her, or both) if she ever cheated on him, but she also implied that's exactly what had been happening. I'm not sure it was with the other guy she'd been chatting with, but one was, according to her, the top rated high school athlete in the country. That made me laugh, but her friends didn't question it one bit. It reminded me of when I took a bunch of German interns out to a bar in Madison, WI, and two guys there started telling the girls they were actors. My friend and I then started telling the interns that we too were actors. FYI guys, girls will believe you are the top rated athlete in the country or an actor, if you want to play it that way. My friend and I had a girl back in high school convinced we were nationally-ranked ultimate frisbee competitors.

So these high schoolers were all excited about the bars and online boyfriend's. But, like I said, twenty minutes after the drop-off, I was taking them back home. No one said a single word until the vixen got a phone call from her mom, and she told her mom several times that they were now in the car and heading home. I am sure there is a story I don't know, like mom had the phone lojacked or mom got a call from a bouncer. Either way, it's probably for the best that mom got involved and that these high school girls looking for trouble didn't find it.

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Satisfamily - Articles about being happy as a family
Passive Ninja - Web Design in Jacksonville
McNewsy - Creative Writing
Educabana - Educational Resources
Brave New Church - Church Website Design
Voucher School - Pros and Cons of School Vouchers
Luthernet - Web Design for Lutheran Churches
Sitcom Life Lessons - What we've learned from sitcoms
Mancrush Fanclub - Why not?
Epic Folktale - Stories of the unknown
Wild West Allis - Every story ever told about one place
Educabana on Teachers Pay Teachers (mostly ELA lessons)
Real Wisconsin News - Satire from Wisconsin
Zoo Interchange Milwaukee - Community website
Chromebook Covers - Reviews and opinions

Brian Jaeger - Resume (I'm always interested)

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Why Are You Wearing a Mask? Teachable Moment Lost

As an UberLyftGrubHub-type independent contractor, I am supposed to wear a mask when I work the side hustle. I am generally OK with it, but I have been mask-shamed enough in Jacksonville that it's time to write about my experiences so that (hopefully) others don't have to deal with the same bullying. 

Yes, I (and other people) will be driving around with masks on, even all alone. These people might be driving other people around in a rideshare, they might be delivering food or supplies, or they might be just around the corner from picking up Grandma. The point is that people who are wearing masks all alone in a vehicle, probably have a reason to be wearing that mask, and no one is wearing a mask to ridicule you or your president. 

I have had three people in less than a month decide to ask me why I was wearing a mask. The latest was potentially the best opportunity to turn the situation into a teachable moment, but I instead acted in anger (with a touch of worry), so I missed the chance. I'd like to take the opportunity to add a little to the initial interaction now. 

A high school-aged girl rolled down her window as I sat at a red light. "Why are you wearing a mask when you're all alone?" 

"I am driving for UberLyft and it's required, Babe," was my first response. I don't normally call girls/women "babes," but I was feeling a little sassy. She smiled and was satisfied, but that's when anger took hold of me instead of reason. "And so I don't have to smell you," I added. 

She was quick enough to bring back, "Yeah, people are pretty gross," as she rolled up her window. But that's not how it was supposed to end, with her making a Tik Tok video about the mean UberLyft guy who said she smelled bad. Actually, I tamed my response way down BECAUSE she was so young, since I've been preparing some real zingers, but I've also thought of some more important things I could have said. So here's what I really meant to say. 

"None of us are all alone." No man is an island entire of itself. We are all in this together, and we need to be responsible for each other. This answer would not have addressed the specifics, but it might have gotten an important point across. All the young people, like this girl, deciding to head out for no real reason, may not realize that when the bell tolls, it tolls for them. 30, 40, 50 deaths PER DAY in Florida have mostly been preventable, at least a percentage of them. So what if I over-wear my mask to protect others (or myself) just a little bit more than the CDC even requires? 

"Why aren't YOU wearing a mask?" This answer might not always work, but this white girl was sitting next to her Blasian/Whack/Blaxican friend. I only mention the other girl's race because it led me to assume they were not siblings (and combining race names is an interesting use of language, and two friends out for a drive during a pandemic should both be wearing masks. If Kaitlyn goes and infects her grandma with Type-2 Diabetes because she got a virus from an asymptomatic friend, then Kaitlyn will feel guilty. I met a guy who said he brought Covid-19 home to his dad and his dad died. While the guy I met did not seem to blame himself (and that's probably the best response), I couldn't help but feel like I would have blamed myself. Anyone who refuses to wear a simple mask and then carries a deadly virus to a loved one should feel guilty. I'd feel guilty even if the virus got through my mask. Yes, you should feel guilty if you show up to school or a nursing home with the flu, but Covid-19 is marginally worse than the flu, AND it's been covered by the media enough to remind you. 

"I don't want to smell all the BS from people like you." This response is taking it more political. I hear a lot of people who say Covid-19 is overhyped or fake. I assume that people who are going to bother to call me out for wearing a mask (while not wearing a mask next to a non-family member) do not believe in pandemics, masks, or science. 

"Jacksonville stinks!" I kind of like this open-ended version of the previous answer, since it's not putting her down overtly. But it still is. And it's not making it all political, but it still is, if you read into it. But I am pretty sure these two teens were fairly shallow, so she probably would have just assumed I was being completely literal. 

"I don't want to have to hurt your grandma/mom if I give her a ride, so I strap on protection." This one is probably my favorite of the comebacks I have considered since the latest incident. I might have even thought of it at the time, but when I saw two teenage girls, I decided to tone it down a few notches. Still, the double entendre here is pretty funny. But it's also true. 

"I'm a real American." Just reverse psychology here. Most people who think masks are wrong somehow see them as an afront to patriotism, but nothing is more patriotic than sacrificing for the good of your country.

Don't read the following comeback unless you are over 17 or are being supervised by an adult:
"Because your / your mom's ________ -_________ed __________ ________ of _________ _________'s __________  that has been used to __________ various _______ stars, _________, and models/wives (who are also basically ____________s) , and your boyfriend/dad has _________ from ______ing too much of _________'s _________, and the only reason your ________ist boyfriend/dad votes for the ____________ is because he wants the government to force __________ to not have __________ but then not force him to wear masks for basically the same reason, and he also probably would rather be ____________ing a super porn whore model star wife than you/your mom. And he wants to be rich, but he won't be through any ability of his own, just like his favorite president." If people want to make simple, proven science into another political debate and say that I am somehow weak for wearing a mask because a self-professed germaphobe and completely amoral president calls the pandemic names instead of encouraging the use of common sense, then I can be just as nasty as anyone, and I don't need a gun or red trucker hat to back me up. And those of you who support Trump don't need his permission to make a decision that might save a loved-one's life. You are the epitomy of stupid Americans and are embarrassing the rest of us, and while being a stupid American is usually just synonymous with being wasteful, this time you are saying your personal freedom to be a stupid American is more important than preserving the lives of millions of older fellow stupid Americans who mostly vote for the same stupid people as you. Play along, at least until we decide whether or not a vaccine is going to happen. If a vaccine doesn't seem like it's possible, feel free to abandon the masks and give your grandma and favorite hooker one last hug.



Search New Jax Witty
Related Stories
 
 
 
Thanks for reading. See more of my content:

Satisfamily - Articles about being happy as a family
Passive Ninja - Web Design in Jacksonville
McNewsy - Creative Writing
Educabana - Educational Resources
Brave New Church - Church Website Design
Voucher School - Pros and Cons of School Vouchers
Luthernet - Web Design for Lutheran Churches
Sitcom Life Lessons - What we've learned from sitcoms
Mancrush Fanclub - Why not?
Epic Folktale - Stories of the unknown
Wild West Allis - Every story ever told about one place
Educabana on Teachers Pay Teachers (mostly ELA lessons)
Real Wisconsin News - Satire from Wisconsin
Zoo Interchange Milwaukee - Community website
Chromebook Covers - Reviews and opinions

Brian Jaeger - Resume (I'm always interested)

Contact Me

Tuesday, June 23

The Right Way to Update Your Old Website

church website
I updated a website several years ago for a church in Milwaukee. Basically, it had a website that was broken (and potentially hacker-dangerous) because it was built on Joomla 1.0 technology. The church assumed I would be building a whole new website, but when I saw that several articles were approaching 10,000 hits, I figured it was better to migrate the website. 

Shell Fuel Rewards Simple Enough Until it Gets Complicated, But You Should Have It

shell gas station jax
When I decided I needed Top Tier gas and then AAA switched rewards from Gate to Shell, it seemed like a perfect match. My 5¢ per gallon discount would make the slightly more expensive Shell gasoline about the same price as the non-Top Tier options. And it's really pretty easy to
Save Money at Shell.

Classic Chevys in Jacksonville

In the past year, I have seen several classic Chevrolet vehicles in Jacksonville, and as I continue to see them, I will add photos and descriptions. While most older Chevys you see around here are stranded on the side of the road, some still look the way they did on the showroom floor. 

Sunday, June 21

Why I Chose a Single-Stage 16 SEER Heat Pump

old heat pumps jacksonville
I needed two new heat pumps for the house, so I went and got my obligatory quotes. I won't get too much into the process right now (or even the company I chose), since what I wanted to do was concentrate on why a single-stage heat pump is just fine, even in Jacksonville, and even as dual-stage and multi-stage (variable speed) units are much sexier. 

Saturday, June 20

Get a Job in JAX During the Pandemic

Lyft car jacksonville

Lyft is looking for drivers in Jacksonville. If, for some reason, you are sick of collecting you Florida UI AND your federal bonus cheese, then apply for Lyft here. You'll get to get out of the house, take possibly-infected people around for rides, put lots of miles on your car, see Jacksonville, and get a tip from about 10% of your riders.

Friday, June 19

Florida Unemployment Officially Denied Me Anything, I Guess

florida unemployment denied
I assume this is it. After hours of trying to get my unemployment application submitted (online and through the mail), I have officially been deemed ineligible. I was expecting this, kind of. I understood that I should have received an email or link of some sort in order to at least claim my self-employed federal unemployment. However, I never received an email, link, letter, phone call, or anything. Just a note on my application that says "ineligible." 

Monday, June 15

Profiles in Courage: The "Be as Cool as You Can be" Guy

I hadn't heard a good catch phrase in a while. Sure, plenty of guys like to greet me with, "Hey, Boss!" or similar. But that's not really a catch phrase. My brother-in-law likes to use, "Living the dream," when people ask how he's doing, but he was thwarted during my past visit when he asked someone else how she was doing and she said, "Living the dream." I am sure he has since worked on an alternative in case this happens again, but he had nothing at that particular moment. A co-worker of my wife, when presented with a similar inquiry, always says, "Mighty fine; mighty fine," so I am offering that as Plan B for my bro.

I like to use the Airplane line with my wife when she complains about work or schedules or cooking or dust on baseboards: "Remember, we're all counting on you." She probably thinks it's trite of me to say it, but I mean it, and sometimes I blast her with the old standby of, "You can do it, Duffy Moon!" But that's for special occasions.

With little social interaction as of late, hearing an honest-to-goodness catch phrase was a big deal for me, which I heard from a dude (visiting one of my neighbors) as he mounted his scooter: "Be as cool as you can be."

I like that. It's not telling someone to go out there and be cooler than he can, and it's not implying that there's some level of coolness Nirvana that is unobtainable. It's like something The Dude might say, not just some dude in a Jacksonville driveway. What I also liked was that this guy was riding a tiny scooter and being safe with a helmet, which means he was deciding for himself what was as cool as he could be rather than social norms or peer pressure. 

Conventional wisdom might suggest that the capacity for coolness is much smaller for someone riding a scooter or who might not look like The Fonz, but I think this random dude in a neighbor's driveway was channeling The Dude in a pretty cool way. Whether you're out bowling with your buds, scootering with your homeslices, protesting with fellow believers, yachting with the yacht club, or getting Jagd up at a Jags game, you should always remember to be as cool as you can be. I think that if we all remember that, most of us won't yell obscenities at the scooter guy as we pass him on Atlantic when he's doing 35mph.

FMAP: Send in the Clowns

PEX in bathroom
If you are feeling bored and lonely because of Coronavirus OR you really need new homeowner's insurance, you can create an account over on the FMAP website and watch your phone, text, and email blow up with messages from new best friends.

Saturday, June 13

New Covid-19 Florida Dashboard

The lady who got fired from working on the official Florida Covid-19 Dashboard has create one of her own. Here's the link. Since I am merely a web designer (and not an infectious disease doctor), all I can say is that it's a nicer website than the actual government one, and it works better on my phone.

Since the numbers are way higher than the actual officially released ones, you'll have to decide who is right. Also, I assume someone who thinks the whole pandemic is a hoax may create another alternative dashboard with 0 total deaths or something like that.

A lot of the comments on the site talk about the importance of truth. I agree, but I also really hope with my fingers crossed that our government would be truthful. Sometimes, truth from the government does require some prodding, so I am fine with this alternative reality. If the new site is wrong, the government should have no trouble refuting the numbers with evidence. If the new site is correct, I hope the government adjusts its own numbers, even if means scaring people a bit. 

Here's a list of some of the people who have succomed to Covid-19 as given in the new website. It was kind of powerful for me to be able to read these short descriptions because it represents a diverse group.

List of COVID-19 Victims

Wednesday, June 10

Karen Protests For Justice in San Marco, So Now We're Good

Karen protesting
[I began writing this article BEFORE Mayor Lenny Curry participated in a march led by Leonard Fournette and decided to simultaneously begin dismantling Confederate monuments in Jax. More on that at the end.] 

I am in favor of being able to protest for something in which you believe. I don't tend to do it myself, but that doesn't mean I think it's wrong, unless someone tosses a Molotov Cocktail onto my car. Luckily, that's never happened to me. Anyhow, I saw that there was a squeaky clean protest in San Marco. Karen was there. Dougie E Doug Marrone was there. Probably OK Boomer and a several others. So it was mainstream and nice. Maybe like going to a farmers market. That's why I ask myself the following questions. Does this mean something is really going to change? Does it mean those with relative power expressed some empathy and now it's all good? Does it mean people are just really bored right now?

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