If you've never seen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (no, that is not a gay porno), Oompa Loompas are orange-faced, green-haired midgets who work in this strange guy's chocolate factory (no, not a porn store). These Oompa Loompas take care of everything and are kind enough to dispose of naughty children who don't follow the rules. If only most parents were so efficient.
I'm not here to trash Oompa Loompas today. They are very strange and probably paid less than children in sweatshops, so I may come back to them another time. I do, however, want to discuss one particular Oompa Loompa with you.
Story time: I used to play in an over-18 basketball league at my gym back in the early part of this decade. We played in the league for four years, and actually fielded a solid team in the final year, but we were a combined 1-29 the first three seasons. That's not a typo. Our team never practiced together, and half of the guys would come in high. One year we lost two games by scores of 69-10 and 79-20. It's almost as if we had JaMarcus Russell on our team.
Why am I bringing this up? There was a player on another team. He's about my age, but he was really short and fat. Imagine the Penguin from Batman, only without the top hat and the monocle.
One time when our teams were playing each other, he and my friend Pat got into a verbal fight. As people got in between them and Pat sat down on our bench, he said, "That Oompa Loompa f***er is a f***ing loser." We all laughed, and for a second, we didn't care that we were down by 20 in the first half.
Over the years, that nickname has stuck. All of us refer to him as the "Oompa Loompa Guy" now. Most people didn't even know his real name until a few years ago.
One day, everything changed. The Oompa Loompa summoned his dark magic to somehow land a hot wife and secure the director position at the gym. Now, he's in charge of all the rentals and stuff. And that brings me to why he's one of the three Jerks of the Week.
I play basketball every Saturday. We used to be able to play from 3-5, but Mark, the guy who used to run the gym on Saturdays, retired to take care of his ill parents. A younger dude is now in charge and he promptly kicks us off the court at 4:30. This pissed us off at first, but that's the time the gym is supposed to close on Saturdays. Mark was just great enough to give us some extra time.
However, this past Saturday, I got to the gym a little late and was notified that we had till 4 because a group of Indians rented the court for soccer practice. Yep. F***ing soccer practice. As my friend Josh said, "It's kind of gay to play soccer on a basketball court." I replied, "It's kind of gay to play soccer period." Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Everyone there encouraged me to send a disapproving e-mail to the Oompa Loompa. I have some say because I planned on putting up a big sign for this Web site above the basketball court. Now, I'm not so sure. I don't want to spend advertising dollars on a place that screws the members who pay anywhere between $250 and $450 a year. I also don't want to spend advertising dollars on a place that gives out rentals to homosexual Asian soccer players. Again, not that there's anything wrong with that.
I pay $330 a year for a membership, and I was going to spend $700 more on a sign and fliers. Well, that greedy Oompa Loompa bastard can kiss that money goodbye.
Then again, that threat is probably meaningless; Oompa Loompa can probably use some more of his dark magic to shut down this Web site and to make gold coins appear in thin air. With a power like that, $700 is no big deal.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 2: TV Show DVDs
I am technologically challenged. I still use VHS tapes. I don't know how to DVR shows. And I certainly can't tell the difference between standard TV and HDTV. I swear it's all a conspiracy by these HDTV companies.
But one technology I have learned to enjoy is TV show DVDs. I think I've spent thousands of dollars over the years on them. I like TV shows a lot more than movies because with movies, you invest two hours into these characters and then it's over. With TV shows, they just keep on going until the idiot network heads decide to cancel them in favor of crap programs like Hole in the Wall or Do You Think You Can Survive Eight Hours in a Cage With a Hungry Lion?
But now we're getting to my beef with TV Show DVDs. What I'd like to know is why they are released so ridiculously late. I'd like to re-watch the fifth season of Lost, but that DVD won't be released until December. Most of the DVDs came out in the beginning of September - just a few weeks before the season premiere of the respective show. If people are behind, how are they supposed to catch up in just a few weeks? It's just stupid, and it's exactly why TV shows lose ratings each succeeding year.
We've always had this problem, but it wasn't worth mentioning until CBS screwed me over. I've recently become a fan of How I Met Your Mother after someone bought me the first season for the holidays. I since bought Seasons 2 and 3, but waited patiently for Season 4 (aired in 2008-09). When the beginning of September arrived, I went to Best Buy to purchase it. Unfortunately, I found out that it wasn't being released until the end of the month. The problem? The Season 5 premiere was being aired two weeks BEFORE the release of the Season 4 DVDs! How incredibly stupid is that!?
So, here's what I did. I used my handy VCR to tape the first two weeks of Season 5. Once the DVD came out, I bought it the day of and tried to watch as many episodes as possible to catch up quickly. That was hard because of the amount of hours I put into this Web site. One Friday, I "took off" and watched 14 episodes in a row of How I Met Your Mother.
Fourteen freaking episodes. I was not in good shape when it was over. Here are some random IMs I sent to my hot lawyer friend on Oct. 3 morning (she didn't answer me, so she was probably asleep... or ignoring me because I was raving on like some lunatic):
-I had something political to tell you, but I forget what it was
-BTW thought you might like to know... I took most of the day off today and I watched 14 episodes of "How I Met Your Mother"
-Maybe that's why I can't remember anything
-I kept writing "Oct.5" for all of today's updates, and when going downstairs, I stepped over my dog, but when I got downstairs, I was wondering if I left her outside by accident... but then I remembered that I stepped over her upstairs
-I am losing it
-And now I'm rambling on, so I'm going to shut off my comp now
This is what CBS did to me. If they had just released their DVD earlier, I wouldn't have been forced to cram all of those episodes in all at once. Instead, I had lost my mind to the point that I had been less lucid than JaMarcus Russell after sniffing paint for 12 hours. Do you think so?
The next time one of these companies pulls this off, I'm suing. And I don't want money - I just want them to stop being incompetent and to release the DVDs at least a month in advance of the premiere.
FOX released the 24 Season 7 DVD just ONE DAY after the Season 7 finale. If they can do it, I don't understand why the idiots over at CBS have to keep torturing me. Maybe they're technologically challenged as well.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 3: College Football
I've never been a big fan of college football. I've always watched it, but I've never felt that it came close to the NFL.
However, I've really become disenchanted with it lately. Maybe it's because of all of these years without a playoff system. Perhaps it's the teams like Boise State and Utah that get screwed over every year. It could be that my college football picks are really sucking this year. You could buy a yacht right now if you've faded me all season.
But whatever it is, I'm just not motivated to watch college football. As a proud alumnus, I love the Nittany Lions, but why am I going to watch a Penn State-Michigan game? What exactly are they playing for? With one loss, Penn State doesn't have a shot at going to the championship, so all I have to root for is the stupid Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl is crap. It used to have some meaning, but now it's just one of a thousand silly postseason games being played a month after the season is over.
The Nittany Lions won in the Big House for the first time since 1996. Here's a conversation I had with my former college roommate after the game neither of us watched came to an end:
Dennis: Yay PSU. Honesly I can't watch college football. There's no point to it.
Me: Yeah it's gay (not that there's anything wrong with that). Ninety-nine percent of these games are meaningless.
Dennis: Once you lose a game you're officially playing for fun and to end your football career before it starts
Me: Exactly, and most of these teams use these dumb gimmick offenses that would never work in the NFL. Oh, and let's not forget that these kids just grew armpit hair and went to their prom a few years ago. I haven't watched a single college football game today. Don't have the motivation.
Dennis: I had to help my dad tear down walls at my uncle's house. Then, I had a heavy lunch and needed to nap. Then, I did dishes and cleaned the kitchen.
Me: Cleaning the kitchen sounds a lot more fun than this Texas-Missouri game coming up. I wish my kitchen needed cleaning.
I later had a conversation with my friend John, where I continued to express my disdain for college football. He didn't believe me and thought I was joking around until I asked him the score of the Florida-Mississippi State game.
I mean, seriously, what is Mississippi State playing for? They can't rally to make a playoff spot or anything like in college basketball. Why even show up for Florida? So you can knock off a No. 1 team? And then what happens? Do you get to go to some crappy postseason exhibition game so you can take on Tulsa to win some dumb trophy? I'd rather take my Christmas Break and not go to a bowl game.
I think I'm going to continue to be disenchanted with college football until they install a playoff system. And given that the NCAA is the most corrupt organization in America, that might occur in 300-400 years or so.
By then, maybe most teams will stop using these dumb gimmick spread-option offenses that are cheapening the game.