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.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge: I Knew This Day Would Come

Blah blah blah, look at me, I’m a good person and I like to waste water, blah blah blah. I’ve been dreading getting on Facebook as of late. Partially because it’s sad to see a slow decline in Facebook friends, but also because I started seeing the Icebucket challenge, and I knew it was inevitable that I would eventually be “called out” and forced to address a topic I’d rather not address.

Well, rest assured, you can bet your ass I’m not going to parade myself around dumping water on my head solely for the purpose of showing my online friends how much better I am than they are. And you can doubly rest assured that I would never tell anyone if I donated to a charity because what I do with my money is my own business, so you can just go choke on a hotdog.

That being said, as much as I hate hashtag activism, this internet meme is actually raising money for a good cause, as opposed to other online fundraisers who raise money to make potatoe salad. I think we can all agree that we’re just really jealous we didn’t think of that one.

If you’ve done any research (googling) on the issue at all, you’ve realized that ALS, which is short for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is a neurological disease that basically shuts down muscle functions such as moving your arms and legs, swallowing, or breathing. You’ve also probably seen some negative press with titles that read something like “27% of the profits go to research”, or “Only a fraction of ALS donations actually go to research”, which, based on the ALSA’s records is true, however, two things. . .

1st. That’s kind of a weird statement, saying that a fraction of something is donated, because 99/100 would also be considered a fraction. I know they were trying to make it sound like a bad thing, but when I see a fraction has been donated, I’m thinking a very large fraction. I guess that’s because I’m an optimist.

 2nd. After doing a bit more research (googling), I found that according to the ALSA, 27% of donations go to research (note that when donating, you can opt for all of your donation to go to research), however 19% goes to patient and community services, which I can only guess means, taking care of people who already suffer from ALS, and 32% goes to public and professional education. So, according to my calculator, since I lost the ability to add when I left college, 78% of donations go to raising awareness, helping people already afflicted with ALS, and research. That’s actually pretty good, considering Kim Kardashian keeps 90% of her proceeds from her “charity” auctions. What a nasty little troll.

I guess what really bugs me about the challenge is that it’s morphed into this social exposé on goodness. People aren’t even following the rules. COME ON PEOPLE. FOLLOW THE RULES. The rules say: use hashtags #icebucketchallenge, #alsicebucketchallenge, and #strikeoutals. This is really the only rule anybody follows because hashtags are easy. It also says use common sense and don’t hurt people. I’ve seen countless videos online of people accidentally dropping buckets on heads because they can’t lift the bucket of water. Hasn’t anybody heard of Crossfit? The rules also say that if you’re in an area affected by drought, you should maybe think about not doing the ice water part of the challenge, and just share  info about the disease, or make a donation to the cause. That part really bugs me because I went on a run yesterday and ran out of water with like 5 miles left and I got really thirsty. I could have used some. Thanks a lot, jerks.ª

So, as much as I want to hate this, and as much as I want to just make fun of everyone for doing it, I can’t totally do that. What I can do is issue my own challenge. It’s the ALS No Shower Challenge. #DIRTYFORADAY. Here’s what you do. You don’t shower for a day, because that’s going to fix the drought, and then you donate money to the ALSA, but here’s the kicker. . . You don’t tell people that you donated money. I know what you’re thinking. How are people going to know you’re a good person if you don’t tell them you’re a good person? Well, they’ll smell you and know that you’re participating in #DIRTYFORADAY. It’s a win-win. You don’t seem like an ego-centric blowhard, but people still know you’re a good human bean.

So good luck out there. Donate money to a good cause, but don’t tell me about it, because I don’t care.

 ªBut seriously, The only thing that bugs me more than wasting water on the icebucket challenge are people that complain about wasting water on the icebucket challenge, because the same people who complain about wasting water probably take 20 minutes showers, and leave the faucet running while brushing their teeth, which wastes way more water than a half full 5 gallon bucket of water.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Matt Walsh Blog: A More Popular Version of That Kid You Really Just Wanted to Punch In The Face When You Were Younger

Every day when I wake up, I think to myself, “I’m not going to get mad today”, then I find myself wandering around the Internet looking at pictures of five finger shoes and perusing the new Nickelback album.  It never fails that I will end up reading something that makes me mad and 10 times out of 10, if I read the matt walsh blog of terrible ideas, I get mad. I don’t even want to post a link here because of how idiotic his opinion is.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m sure matt walsh as a person is ok, I guess. It’s just the idiotic words that flow out of his ignorant little head and the general composition of his features that makes me want to smash them with a garden gnome, but seriously, I’m sure he’s an ok guy. I mean, everything about him makes me want to use his body as a humanskateboard and grind his face on the coping, but i'm sure he's nice. Just kidding. I’m not that good at skateboarding, so I’d never be able to pull off a sick grind like that.

Let’s start with this, it’s a summary of what mr. walsh’s inflammatory bullshit looks like, except it’s from a blog saying that it sucks. I just didn’t have the heart to send you to the actual site.  If you really really want to read it, you can check out the link here, or you could just poke yourself in the eye.

Ok, basically, I’ll give you a mega summary: matt walsh is a dick, and he thinks he knows more about life than anyone else (I realize how hypocritical that last statement might seem). Underneath the title of his blog, he has this terrible little catchphrase. . .

Absolute Truths (and alpaca grooming tips)

First of all, saying truths are absolute is redundant, just like saying "armed gunman", unless you’re literally talking about their arms, but that would just make you a terrible writer. Second, adding “alpaca grooming tips”doesn’t make you funny, it makes you liar, because I’d bet your first born child that you have no idea how to groom an alpaca. Your understanding of humor is very limited.

It’s not really just his catchphrase that bugs me though, maybe it’s the way that he tries too hard.  Like, we all know you want to be seen as this hip, cool guy. There is no need to be holding a glass of whiskey or have those tattoos sneaking out of your t-shirt. We get it. You think you’re edgy. I’m sure your mostly young, very conservative, target demographic just thinks you’re the craaaaaaaziest, and you are, just not in the way that you’re thinking.

More guy talking to himself on the street, less cool professor who still wears all his shirts from the 80’s.

And why am I not surprised that you have stack of books in your cover photo. You could have chosen a stack of anything: flapjacks, cds, fruit, anything! But no, obviously you used books. It is obvious that you need people to think you can actually read, but based on your opinions, it appears your reading has been mostly confined to the “how to be an ignorant racist” category. You should really branch out!

Here is an excerpt from a follow up post he did, after he posted a post about people dealing with depression and suicide. People lost their minds and posted a lot of posts how ignorant his initial post was.

“When I clicked “publish” on that piece, I felt confident. I was sad that it had to be written (It didn’t. seriously. You didn’t HAVE to write it. You had a choice. You should have chosen to just throw up in the toilet instead of on the Internet), and upset about the circumstances surrounding it (I’m sure you were), but sure that I was saying something that needed to be said; something truthful but uplifting (It wasn’t), frank but compassionate (Nope. You’re an asshole). I actually found myself getting emotional as I wrote it (I’m sure you did) I’m not suicidal but I have demons of my own (writing inflammatory shittery isn’t a demon, so I’m not going to count that), so I submitted that post to the public (oh, thank heavens. We all wanted to read what you were thinking. Seriously. Thanks for that. I haven’t been able to sleep because I was wondering what sort of things were troubling you), praying others would find the same solace in the promise of hope and the power of free will.” (Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. This goes on for quite sometime. I didn’t read it. Neither should you, unless you feel like getting upset.)

As I was forced to write the commentary on that excerpt you just read, I got emotional because of how true all of my statements are, regardless of how I can’t back them up with anything but pure opinion.

To give you more of an example of who this guy has built himself into, here are some titles from his blog :

- “I will not teach my kids about safe sex because there is no such thing”
- “I’m spoiled and lazy but Walmart should pay me more money anyway!”
- “Police officers aren’t the ones destroying the black community.”

Clearly, he is the voice of reason. He’s so reasonable, there is a website solely dedicated to rationally explain his reasoning.  It’s called. and it’s definitely worth a look. I think Kirsti, who runs that website, said it best. . . “what matt lacks in empathy and tact, he makes up for in narcissism and self-promotion”.

I agree with her but would actually add, “what matt lacks in empathy, tact, compassion, common sense, good opinions, and valid points, he makes up for in narcissism, self promotion, his bad taste in hats, and an astounding knack for just being a plain old dick.