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Choose Your Own Adventure Year

 

Choose Your Own Adventure.  These were in my library. There should be more.

Choose Your Own Adventure books. These are in my library. There should be more.

When I was a bookworm of a kid I loved to read books from the Choose Your Own Adventure series.  The books were unique in that at the end of each chapter you were confronted with 2 choices.  The alternatives would be things like, “to attack the dragon turn to page 10” or “to challenge the dragon to a dance-off turn to page 15”.  You’d pick an option, then read the results of that selection before facing another pair of choices.  Depending on the writer, if you chose the dance-off, you and the dragon might end up as Solid Gold dancers, or you’d be a crispy noodle in Chinese dragon stir-fry.

 

When I’d reached the end of the book, or the end of the sequences I’d chosen, I would go back and read the book again, picking the other alternatives (fainting goats/epileptic sheep).  Sometimes I would peek ahead all along.  Often a different result was better.  Occasionally worse.  Sometimes the alternative was just different.

Read the rest of this entry »

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28 Fake Questions: Vetting The ‘Love’ Candidates

 

interview questionnaire surveyDo you have a ‘love checklist’?  Are you firm in what you’re looking for in a significant other?  Does it require your girl to be pretty, musical, smart, a fly tap dancer, speak Pig Latin, and cook well in nothing but an apron?  Have you ever looked at your list & realized you might be a touch delusional?  I’m still in denial about my totally non-existent checklist, but from time to time I’m forced to face reality.

In every election season, there’s a tough vetting process for the candidates.  Sometimes it’s accidental vetting, but occasionally the candidates are forthcoming with their quirks.  We want someone who fits us.  I know many of you guys are dragging your feet on dating or committing because, well, you’re just unsure whether that girl you like has what’s needed to complement your own quirks.  In other words, you’re not sure how much like your mom she really is.  This fixes that.  Just hand her this questionnaire and sit back while she fills in the magic.  You’ll know soon enough whether your girl is the perfect cross between Giada, Megan Fox, Natalie Wood, and your mom.  Also, don’t be surprised if she high-tails it out of there, slaps you, or turns the tables and hands you a questionnaire of her own.

In my generous effort to help my fellow helpless men who inexplicably find themselves in situations where they’re receiving ‘love’ applications and/or resumes for a certain position, I’ve made this excellent questionnaire.  Start vetting your ‘love candidates’.  You are welcome. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dating Inquisition By My 8 Year-Old Niece

spanish inquisition motivational poster monty pythonI spent a fun 4th of July with my brother Chris and his family picnicking and watching fireworks.  In their backyard at lunch, my adorable 8 year-old niece sat next to me at the picnic table and asked matter-of-factly, “So, Uncle Jonathan, how old are you now?

I paused a long moment, then mumbled into my veggieburger, “Thirty-ish.”  Fully expecting her to be agog at my ancientness (and near falsehood), I was a bit surprised when she calmly continued her line of questioning.

Thirty-ish.”  She pondered my answer.  “And are you dating anyone?Read the rest of this entry »

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My Family’s Christmas Rituals

he-man spiderman nativity

A special kind of nativity

We’ve reached that time of year where I shamelessly exploit my family Christmas traditions by noting that I’ve written a book called The Gentle Art of Starting A Cult:  A Do-It-Yourself Guide, wherein I compare certain family Christmas traditions to cult rituals.  It’s really all very harmless.  Ah, what fond memories.  < > Hope you had a great Christmas.

Family CHRISTMAS RITUALS

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30 Million Chinese Bachelors and The Matrix Solution

by Jonathan B Perry

 

Future Army of Chinese Bachelors (great band name)

I have good news and I have bad newsFirst, the bad news:  Guys of 2020, there will be a surplus of competitive males as there never has been before at any time in history.  30 million extra men to be approximate.  In just 10 years there’s going to be such a glut of guys of marriageable age it’ll seem like one endless frat party where there are maybe 2 women in the back.  Granted, these extra men are in China where the population is about 1.5 billion (and where 30 million is relatively small, though not really), but still they’re not all going to stay in China and there will likely be some domino effect flopping around the globe, so you’ll need to work extra hard to trick women into hanging out excessively.  Drat.

Now the good news:  Ladies of 2020, there will be a surplus of competitive males of marriageable age, so the dude options will be greater and more desperate than ever before.  The scarcity of women makes each of you even more valuable (think higher pedestals) and you can be choosier and make guys grovel more.  Many of you look forward to this.  If you hold out just a little longer, say 10 years, some of you current bachelorettes might have better luck snagging younger, awesomer studs.

Of course this imbalance all stems from China’s one child per household policy that often saw families choosing to have boys as their only child and to abort the female fetuses as a practice of population control which retained males who would theoretically provide better for their families.  It’s been called gendercide.  Now aware of its severe gender imbalance, the Chinese government is making a strong push to the public to look more favorably on girls, hoping to stem the tide of aborted females.  So far it’s only been slightly effective (there are banners saying stuff like “Girls are swell”), and it will still take generations for things to even out.

This sort of situation hasn’t really been an issue in previous civilizations.  You could draw some similarities with the imbalances after the world wars, when there was a surplus of women when many Johnnys didn’t come marching home again.  It’s believed the feminist movement even gained traction from the higher number of single professional women of the 1920s and 1930s.  I just thought I’d point that out.

Keanu Reeves waking up in Jello

Concerns have been voiced that this excess of single men, unable to mate, may create many more societal issues in the years to come:  wars to cull the surplus males, a rise in crime (particularly rape), an increase in prostitution, a rise in homosexuality, and many more sloppy apartments.

Since it will take many decades to correct the situation in China, what other solutions might there be to help the problem?  I’ve come up with a few ideas and only one of them uses bachelors as human batteries a la The Matrix.

Chinese Bachelor Solution #1:  Promote religions, like Buddhism or Catholicism, where bachelors become monks or priests.  You might have to lure them in with church bingo at first, but do whatever works.  This would require a moderate change in the government’s stance toward religion (I’m not pushing either religion.  Baptist or Methodist monasteries could be developed, just to mess with things.).

Solution # 2:  Chinese mail order grooms-  When one thinks of arranging spouses to order, mail order brides from places like Eastern Europe spring to mind.  Now with many young Chinese men potentially unable to find mates nearby, they’ll need to cast wider worldwide nets and this may include making themselves available for marriage by mail order.  Bigger boxes.  More air holes.

Solution # 3:  Human batteries a la The Matrix– In the movie The Matrix people lived in watery pods and existed in a dream state, while powering the evil machines.  Never mind that you could put caviar on iv and call it a spa weekend.  Forget that Beijing and Shanghai could be powered cleanly and cheaply from now until Chinese New Year.  No, I suppose it’s not an option (or even a good human rights thing), unless you just do Gilligan-style power-maker  with the coconut bicycle making electricity (come to think of it, gyms around the world could do this bit and harness the power to run their tv’s).  I’m sure there’d be some way to do it, though it doesn’t really fix the mating thing, does it?  Hmm.  Forget this one.

Solution # 4:  Men dating outside their age groups- I realize guys throughout history have been dating outside their own age group, but it’s usually been scary old rich guys dating younger helpless and/or money-grubbing women (the dudes have more cows for dowries).  The Future Army of  Chinese Bachelors (cool band name!) may need to consider the limited options and be more open to dating older women, widows and retirees even.  And if China can find way to pump out extra females (without aborting males), say through in vitro fertilization or some genetic magic, then the extra dudes could date younger without skewing things too much for the younger guys.

Solution # 5:  Cryonics?  I’m just putting it out there.

Solution # 6:  Find female alien life.  I think there have been B-movies about this.

Solution # 7:  Import women- Let’s face it, China may do well to find incentives to import women to China.  It might be useful to pay women to move to China and marry Chinese men.  I can see it now, in 10 years time there will be specials on 20/20 and Oprah about how China has an army of bachelors just waiting for all available women to come for marriage and money.  Perhaps special women-only schools could be set up to draw female students from around the world.  Maybe it could be something like marketing the acrobat schools to Bollywood dancers (that’s the group I’d aim for).

So, China has a big problem, but there are often viable solutions to difficult problems.  Hopefully something can be done to improve the potential for millions of Chinese, while avoiding a catastrophic future involving millions of filthy bachelor pads.

When I re-edit, I’ll find a way to sneak in Bowie’s song “China Doll”.

The secret word is imbalance.

Vaguely Related Reading:

Logan’s Run and Population Control

Not Really Related, but Nifty Reads:

My Bucket List:  100 Things To Do Before I Die

Esperanto Rhymes With Tonto

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Celebrity Crushes: Is Elegance Elitist?

Sound Of Music DEATHMATCH!!! Liesl v Maria

Google-Stalking The Ex

Bachelors In History

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Getting Colder:

Kitten Of Evil

Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

Ode To Autumn

The Prophecy Of The Tornado And the Trailer

How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

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Being An Uncle

piggybackby Jonathan B. Perry

I love being an uncle.  I really enjoy my niece and nephews and being the only bachelor uncle has positioned me well for being the favorite uncle, which rocks.  I don’t come with my own kids at this point, so I won’t have them to favor and I can drop by on holidays or on weekend visits and shower the little monkeys with an inordinate amount of attention, then duck back out in time for the disciplining or whatever unpleasant parenting is required.

I can play trains with Nathaniel on one trip, then put on a puppet show with Blake and Raya on the next.  Maybe read them a book before bed.  I’m free to spoil them and teach them bad habits like burp-talking and they love me all the more for it.  I even got my two year-old nephew Nathaniel to say “Have mercy upon us, oh great Uncle Jonathan!”  I was pretty proud of that one.  I mean, he did give me a suspicious look, but ultimately was compliant.  Your will is mine!

I remember how much fun I had with my own bachelor uncles and I want things to be like that:  little excursions to the park or museum; ballgames or trips to the zoo.  The San Francisco Mint.  I helped two of them make their first snowmen in my backyard this winter.  Time spent with them is a great reward.  I live to hear “I love you Uncle Jonathan.” or “I’ve missed you Uncle Jonathan.”  That’s awesome!

Then, of course, there are those hugs.  Little kid hugs.  Living away from family I might go weeks or months without hugging anyone, which is kind of lousy, but once I see those sweet children, I know I can stock up on the best hugs to carry me through the long lonely months.  I can’t get enough of it.

Ok, well, I’ve depressed myself a little, now.  Hmm.  I need to go plan a few trips.

Related Reading:

Will Your Siblings Use Up The Good Names?

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Men Without Cats

Couples vs Singles:  Socialization

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Will Your Siblings Use Up the Good Names?

baby-name-bibleby Jonathan B. Perry

As I’m the last of the brothers to mate, I’ll be the last brother to mate with results (offspring), if I do.  This alone isn’t that big of a deal.  The big worry is that by the time I do have kids, the good names will all be taken.  This is my real concern.  Unfortunately, this makes me a bad sounding board, an untrustworthy critic, because when the siblings discuss possible names for their monsters, I may boo a good one that I want (like Matthew, which I can’t use because it would be redundant to have another Matthew Perry), while supporting the use of the name Birch (this one was real.  Good dodge, Jay.).  It’s too bad because I’d really enjoy discussing child names with family for hours, possibly minutes, on end (For some reason, I’ve had child name books for years, which seems a bit feminine and weird, now that I think about it.  Hmm.).

The name scarcity problem didn’t present itself until about the end of college when it occurred to me that I was lagging behind in the mating race.  It’s worse because I’m the oldest and scarlet-letter2should have done my part to help repopulate the empty planet nearly a decade ago.  I have friends who started having kids right out of high school and now those kids are already in high school and this makes me feel old (and it also reminds me that the friends might be a little rednecky).  If I ever do have children, which brings up another problem, I may be stuck with the names Rocky and Dennis, which alone are two good reasons for not reproducing.  Apparently, I need to get with the program and post my classified ad.  Fortunately, I only have 2 siblings and not 12.  Also, if my younger brothers ever hurry up and get those vasectomies, then we can have this child name discussion without any problems, though I suspect the interest level will be lower by then.

Each year, the Department of Social Security lists the most popular baby names for that year.  According to the Social Security records for 2004 (not sure why I picked 2004, but whatever), the most popular baby names were:

Rank    Male Name    Female Name
1               Jacob                 Emily
2              Michael              Emma
3              Joshua               Madison
4              Matthew            Olivia
5              Ethan                  Hannah
6              Andrew             Abigail
7              Daniel                Isabella
8              William              Ashley
9              Joseph               Samantha
10           Christopher     Elizabeth

Some of these name favorites surprise me, like Hannah and Abigail which bring to mind scarlet letters or Salem witch trials.  It turns out most of the names I like aren’t overly used and are in the clear, which is fantastic (actually, I have a nice Google spreadsheet with all the names, in case I forget).  One problem I have is picking a good name for a boy.  I can think of 4 or 5 girl names right off the bat that I like, but if I can’t use Matthew, then I really only have 2.5 boy names that I like, but would want to use one as a middle name for another, so it would work out okay if I had one son, but I really want my options.

Rex & Rex come when called

Rex & Rex come when called

Of course, there would be a spouse involved and I suppose she would want to have some say.  Maybe.

What might be a smart idea is to get a few pets and start naming them the desired child names.  This way my siblings can’t use the names while I have pets with these names, then by the time I have kids these pets will be dead or I can at least change the animal names or maybe both child and animal will come simultaneously when one name is called.  I think this is swell plan, except I’d be stuck with more pets and, if you’re going to have pets, you might as well have children.  They learn much better tricks.

Yo! Now you can be notified of follow up comments to your comments. Cool, huh?
Couples vs Singles

Logan’s Run and Population Control

Men Without Cats

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