Wednesday, December 10, 2014

REI: Yes, I've Heard About The Savings

Fun Fact: 90% of what I write doesn’t actually make me mad. It’s more just a way to make fun of something or somebody. . . . THANKS OBAMA. Because of this, I feel like I’m crying Wolfeº way too often. Well not anymore. I’ve decided to only write about things that I genuinely hate, such as Ragnar, Five Finger Shoes, and now. . . REI, which is kind of interesting because I bet people who run Ragnars, get their five finger shoes at REI. . . . Inconceivable! I think it’s going to be difficult to really express myself via words on a screen since the temperature at which my blood boils while thinking of dealing with REI cashiers makes my hands way too sweaty to type.

Now, I know that most of you are thinking, “but Matt, REI cashiers are so nice”, and you’re right, they are, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t want to crush my own head with their cash register when I am forced to have a 10 minute long conversation about how I don’t want a membership.

And that’s what it really comes down to. I’m not annoyed by the fact that despite watching hundreds of green vests wander around the store, none of them ever seem capable of helping anyone. I’m not annoyed by the fact that they made me wear a reflective vest and helmet to test ride a bicycle. I’m not even annoyed that the Sandy REI only carries Gerber brand knives, even though those are obviously the worst kind of knives . . . . What annoys me the most is how incredibly persistent they are that everyone on the planet be an REI member.

I’m not sure why I have this desire to not be an REI member. Maybe it’s because it’s not a club that I’m really interested in being a part of, like the herpes club. Or maybe it’s because I don’t like people telling me what to do. Either way, any time I’m forced to go in, I dread the interaction. It kind of all started a few years ago, when I had a conversation that went something like this. . .

Cashier: Thanks for coming to REI, what’s your REI number (presumptuous)

Me: Oh, I don’t have one; I’m just passing through (this is obviously a lie, but something that I do to try and avoid what happens below.)

Cashier: Have you heard about our membership deals? (Who hasn’t?)

Me: Yeah, I’m ok though.

Cashier: Do you realize that you could be saving “x” amount of money on this purchase right now?

Me: Yeah, thanks though

Cashier: (having difficulty trying to comprehend). . . but you could be saving money, it’s really easy. You also have access to the membership garage sa. . . .

Me: (A little more forceful and annoyed) Look . . . I know. It’s just not something I want right now.

Cashier: You don’t want to save money?

Me: (firmly standing my ground based on principle) No. I don’t.

Kid Behind Me: (poking his nosy little face into my business) Can he use my membership?

Cashier: Absolutely

Me: No. Nobody is using a membership number on my things. Give me my stuff before I scan your face into the counter. (I actually said ‘fine’ because I wanted to go, but I really should have stood my ground)

Maybe had it been someone that just let me go on my way without harassing me, I would have forgotten the situation and REI and I could be friends, but as it stands, that pompous little shithead (pronounced shith eed) ruined it for me. I feel like maybe REI could take a note out of the Matt Irving Playbook of How to Not be an Annoying Cashier® (coming out next fall) and maybe just have their cashiers be robots instead. Or they could just read a few pages from Matt Irving’s Guide to Not Forcing Your Beliefs on Others® (seriously, I should write this).


I don’t know why this kind of stuff bothers me. I should probably get help.

ºCrying Wolfe is similar to crying wolf, except it’s when someone cries about something only a junior high student would cry about, like braces, or not getting what you want for Christmas.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Comment Section: Lord of The Flies Part Deux

If you ever want to know what is going to happen to society if the world starts coming to an end, you need only to look at the comment sections and message boards on the Internet.

Translation: We’re all going to die, and your feelings are probably going to get hurt..

Realistically, the comment sections and message boards are more than indicators for what post apocalyptic America will look like. Rather, they’re also basic indicators for what today’s public education systems and political systems look like, as well as how it feels to punch ones self in the face.

While I spend some of my time writing witty whimsical retorts to people’s figurative comment I choose to take literally, other people choose to spend their time spitting the most vile stuff you have ever read; things that would make even my gross younger brother blush. And he’s so gross. Not in a perverted way, but just the way he looks. It’s gross.

Despite me being a very fake negative person, I’m baffled to see so much intolerance, ignorance and hatred in the comment section, and it seems like the most mundane status update triggers some sort of beastly response mechanism in people that just makes them insane.

Here are some things that I’ve learned not to talk about on the Internet:

1. Newborns – Don’t talk bad about a new mother’s baby. In fact don’t even be neutral toward him/her. If you don’t have anything nice to say about their baby, make something up. And especially don’t tell a new mother that her baby isn’t as good at rocking his/her self to sleep than another baby, even if the baby on youtube CLEARLY has more advanced rocking skills, making you technically right. That technicality will only lead to headaches for everyone involved. Sorry°.

2. Politics – Don’t tell anyone about your political beliefs. If you do, be prepared to read that a lot of people think “your dumb” and don’t expect any of them to finish the sentence.

3. Gay Marriage – This topic seems to be more taboo in certain geographic areas, but because the Internet knows no boundaries, it’s fair game to force your misguided opinions on others. What was that? Your traditional marriage is now ruined? I’m sorry. I know how serious you people take your marriages. To think that Kim Kardashian’s seventy-something day marriage is now pointless because two homosexuals love each other is just a shame.

4. Abortion – Don’t.

5. Religion – Do yourself a favor and instead of talking about your beliefs, or the lack thereof, just have a friend give you an 80% double poke to the eyes because then you’ll have an excuse to not read all the comments from all those people that surprisingly know something that is unknowable.

6. Gender/Race Issues – I am a white male, so I have no comment.

7. Sports Team – While I don’t particularly care for any sport (climbing is not a sport, it’s an activity), I know that people take their sports very seriously, enough so that they’ve gone as far as attacking another person because they spoke poorly of a person who throws a ball through a hole, so tread lightly.

8. Barrack Obama – President Obama gets his own category because the things that go on in the comment section on any of his Facebook posts take crazy to a whole new level. Aside from the random spam touting the latest weight loss pills that science has yet to understand, It’s definitely worth a visit
Ok, now that you know what not to talk about, I can only guess that the first thing you’re going to do is talk about them, so let’s first go over things that you can do to make yourself seem less insane.

1.     DON’T WRITE IN ALL CAPS. It’s not necessary. Getting yelled at on the Internet has the same effect as getting yelled at by a hobo while trying to eat your lunch; Confusion, then mild amusement.

2.     Use correct grammar, or at least what appears to be correct grammar. Most importantly are the differences between you, you’re, and UR. Their, there, and they’re are less important, as are gnu, new, and knew, but not knowing these differences is a big red flag of dumb.

3.     Spell out the full word. Typing is so easy. Back in my day, we had to use pencils and chalk, but then they came out with this thing called a computer and it had MavisBeacon, and it was awesome. I learned how to type 120 WPM on home row. HOME ROW, PEOPLE. As impressive as that is, I’d imagine that nowadays, most people are quite a bit faster, which is why it should be NBD to just spell out the full words. It doesn’t take THAT much extra time.

4.     Reign in the exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a huge problem for me since I’m always excited, but the more exclamation points you add doesn’t translate to how excited you are. It translates closer to how much like a golden retriever chasing a SQUIRREL you are. SQUIRREL!!

5.     And my personal favorite. Don’t use the word literally when you mean figuratively. I know that Webster’s Dictionary says literally can also mean figuratively now, but Webster is a dick and he is wrong. Every time people use it incorrectly, I literally want to blowtorch their hair off, or burn their face with an iron, right after putting a nail in their foot. Or something along those lines.

To summarize: Stay away from the comment sections on the Internet.

°I’m not sorry.