Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Eye Contact at the OR Show: Less Common Than a High School Diploma at a Nickelback Concert

Pull out your flannel and trim your beard pubes, It’s time for the thirdª greatest show on earth. Yes, the Winter OR show; A magical STD-filled event, where everyone tries really hard and no one really cares.

For those that don’t know what the OR show is, just stop reading because, like, ug. . . you just don’t get it.

Just kidding. But seriously, stop.

For those that are already in the know, let’s recap.

The OR show is a gathering of tens of people trying to create successful businesses, and tens of thousands of people trying to create successful tinder profiles. Sprinkled in are a few confused individuals who accidentally set up their booth at the wrong convention and even a few more that are probably just lost. Regardless of why anyone is there, one thing is certain; Nobody will be making any attempt at eye contact during any conversation.

This is a huge pet peeve of mine, one that not only am I insanely annoyed by, but one that I’m also guilty of.

Here’s the scenario:

You run into Brohbrah McFlannelstien over near the leather goods. He’s creeping from behind the homemade running sandals at the women over in the GoPro booth and you accidentally get caught in the cross pervs. You haven’t seen him since the summer show and you seriously rack your brain, trying to remember where you first met him but to no avail.

So what do you do, ignore him? Hell no. You want to be seen talking to as many people as possible, so you get in there and you do your bi-yearly dick measuring, making a point to forget everything he’s saying, while scanning the surrounding area for people that you know, hoping that they see you talking to someone.

The guys that are really good at this have trained their eyes to look straight at you, while their brain is processing everything in their peripherals. It looks as if they’re really interested in what you’re saying, but 9 times out of 10, they’re just looking at boobs.

Now, despite having zero interest in actually doing any of this, here are some ideas that might be able to help you focus on all the compelling conversations you are about to have.
  1. Adderall – despite being a prescription drug, I’m sure that 90% of the people working at Jimmy Johns have at least a couple days worth of Adderall, so next time you see one of them track-standing at a stoplight, don’t be afraid to compliment him on his balance and ask him for some.
  2. Cocaine – I had to google this one, because I’m about as illicit as Whoopee Goldburg in Sister Act I (not II), but according to the Thought Catalog, you can just do cocaine and it’ll help you focus. I’m not actually sure if the article says that. I read the title, started reading the first paragraph, then got distracted writing this incredibly cliché joke about having no attention span.
  3. Penis – Upon meeting, quickly draw a penis in between the eyes of the person you’re talking at. This isn’t so much a cure as it is a cover. Yes, you won’t be able to look away, but your conversation will also probably not venture far from the fact that you just drew a penis on their forehead. It’s a catch 22.
  4. Glasses –You could just wear those glasses that have a picture of your eyes open (make sure to not get the ones that are on the slinky’s), This is also not a solution, but at least they wouldn’t see you looking around like a kid in a candy store. *side note* I had initially written “looking around like a pedophile in a Chuck E. Cheese’s”, but thought it was less relevant, since nobody goes to Chuck E. Cheese’s.
  5. GAS – Short for Giving A Shit. This is by far the hardest of all the ideas, and I would say that the majority of readers (6/10) won’t be able to do this. The problem with GAS is that it has to be genuine, and that pretty much goes against everything that the OR show stands for.

So, unless you have a lazy eye, don't expect people to stick around when they notice you're more interested in what free item they're giving away at the barefoot running booth.

I don’t know why it really bothers me that much. Uhhhh, maybe because It's rude. 

ª The first obviously being Barnum and Bailey’s and the second being any Def Leppard show taking place at a county fair.

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.