Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Diamond Heist

Posted on June 24, 2011

Listen, guys, I’m really flattered. But I have to RSVP “no” to your diamond heist. Really, good luck with it, but we all know I’d only mess things up.

First off, this master of disguise reputation I’ve somehow gotten is a big exaggeration. Yes, I’m pretty good at disguises, but I’m no master. I’m more of a moustache-and-fake-nose kind of guy. Heck, I don’t even know where my spirit gum is at this point.

Second, I’m pretty physically bumbling. I’d probably just drop all the diamonds down a sewer drain or something. And, then you’d all be mad at me. Or, if there were explosives involved, I would be the guy who tripped and blew himself up unexpectedly. I know you think I won’t because I just said that and it would be too ironic, but I assure you I would.

Also, your email mentioned something about zip-lining. I’m afraid of heights. Like tinkle-my-pants afraid of heights. Are you stuck on zip-lining, because I do much better with tunneling. But, I know that Mitch is claustrophobic, so that wouldn’t work out.

Also, my nephew is getting baptized that afternoon, so I’d have to be done with the heist by 2pm. And, I know you said that it’s clocked in to take 178 seconds maximum before the backup security lasers kick in, but what if something goes wrong and we have to take hostages? Fingers crossed we wouldn’t, but like I said, I’m pretty bumbling, and if something were to go wrong… Hostages are a pain in the ass, you guys. They take, like, forever.

Also also, it’s way to hot out for ski masks. Have you guys thought about rescheduling this heist for the fall? I might be able to psyche myself up for it by then. My fall is pretty free at this point, except for a wedding in October.

I don’t know; that’s all I’ve got right now. I know it doesn’t seem like enough for a definite no to your heist, but I have to listen to my gut here. And, my gut is saying, “Andy, you just don’t have time in your schedule for another project right now.”

Anyway, good luck with your diamond heist. I hope you steal a lot of really nice diamonds.


Doggy Daycare

Posted on June 23, 2011


Well, hello there! Welcome to Clarke & Co. Doggy Daycare, where we provide only the finest care for man’s best friend. Located across from the Trader Joe’s on Route 55, Clarke & Co. is a full-service facility offering dog daycare, cage-free overnight boarding, and doggy fitness facilities. We love to pamper your pets.

We treat your beloved pups as more than simply horrible little poops machines, eating and shitting and gnawing at their own genitals in the corner. We treat them like family.

Your pooch will receive one-on-one care from our professional staff trained in cleaning up mounds of shedded hair and drool and puked-up grass or roadkill or whatever other bullshit your dog has gotten into. Our courteous and kind trainers strive to make your pets feel special and loved and weirdly entitled. Especially the little yappy lapdog ones.

Clarke & Co. is fully prepared for any special dietary requirements your dog might have, like gluten allergies, which we completely agree are real and not some trendy fad or gross control-issue-thingy. We can also handle dogs with severe hip dysplasia or diabetes or other ailments that make their lives probably not worth living.

We’ve been providing careful dog care for over twenty years at this location. That’s two decades of expertise and care and barking. Constant, ever-present barking. Two decades of that. Two decades. A third of my life. Time I could have been spending watching my son grow up.

Still feeling unsure about sending us your little bundle of displaced emotional baggage? Feel free to explore our facilities. You’ll see dozens of happy pooches taking up precious resources that could have been going towards helping Africa or Haiti. We’ve got a playroom with more square feet than the house my grandmother grew up in. And, our round-the-clock spa will meticulously groom your pups, almost as if we’re pretending they won’t go roll in deer shit at their first chance. Their very first chance.

So, come on by! Clarke & Co. Doggy Daycare: A home away from home for your horrible, barking shit machines.


The Best Medicine

Posted on June 21, 2011

I've always said that laughter is the best medicine. My friend Claire, who’s a Christian Scientist, says that prayer is the best medicine. When I heard that, I just laughed and laughed. And, all that laughter gave me a headache.

Which I tried to laugh away. But, it didn't work. The more I laughed, the worse my headache got. Something was wrong here. Very wrong.

I thought maybe I was laughing incorrectly. I tried tittering. I tried deep, booming guffaws. I tried chortles and chuckles and snorts and cackles. Nothing cured my headache. After several hours, it had gotten even worse.

My entire worldview crumbled around me. My so-called "medicine" had failed. I’d bought into western society's hubris that any disease can be cured through laughter---that people can somehow be "fixed." I scoffed. Which is, itself, a form of laughter. It didn't help my headache, though.

I began researching alternative forms of laughter. In Tibet, they have an advanced style of laugh called "The Inward Snortle." It involves an expulsion of air from your diaphragm paired with a nasal snicker of disbelief. Essentially, it's an extended hiccup. And, while I did experience a profound moment of universal clarity, my headache stuck around.

The nomadic Maasai people of Kenya have a form of laughter practiced not through the lungs or mouth, but rather through hopping in place. The idea is that the joy of laughing can be expressed not simply vocally but through the entire body. That made my headache hurt so much.

Eventually I died from this headache. Turns out I had an earwig colony growing in there.

Anyway… I got to Heaven, and I asked God what the best medicine was, and He said, “Did you try actual medicine?” And, I said that I hadn’t, and He gave me this look. You know the look.

Then, God said, “Couldn’t you hear all the earwigs I put inside your head scurrying around?”

And, up to this point, I had been pretty cool with this whole dying thing, but all of a sudden I was like, “Yeah, Dude! WHY’D YOU EVEN DO THAT?!”

God’s face fell a little, and He took a minute. Then He said kinda quietly, “I don’t know. Sometimes I can be kind of a dick.”

And, it’s true. Sometimes He’s kind of a dick.


Astral Projection for Beginners

Posted on June 20, 2011

Me Twice

I sneezed really hard the other night and astral projected. It was unexpected.

I was super weirded out. Because, one minute I was alone in my apartment, and the next I was staring at this devilishly handsome, bearded fat guy. And, I thought to myself, “That pudgy man has the most piercing blue eyes I’ve ever… Wait a minute! That’s me!”

My soul had detached itself from my corporeal being. I was hovering above my body, watching myself eat potato chip after potato chip. I screamed, “STOP EATING POTATO CHIPS! Can’t you see what you’ve done to yourself?” But, my body couldn’t hear me. I tried to shake myself, but you can’t touch anything when you astral project.

Eventually, my body fell asleep after two more bags of potato chips and some very unappealing masturbation. I weaseled my soul back inside through my left ear. Ever since then, I’ve been able to leave my body at will.

It's been a fast learning curve, and I wanted to share some tips on astral projection for beginners. Here goes:

1) I can’t help you astral project the first time, so don’t ask. I did it with a real solid sneeze, but each person does it his or her own way. I read on wikipedia that some guy left his body after eating 200 lime popsicles. Another lady astral projects whenever she sees photos of chinchillas. So, I guess, just go try random stuff.

2) Your soul is very flammable. Try not to drift into candle flames or near power lines. Also, your sense of smell is heightened when outside your body, so everything kinda smells like farts.

3) You can go anywhere when you astral project, but watching ex-wives shower is not worth it. Usually they seem happier than you remember them being, which is odd and off-putting.

4) Try handcuffing your body to a radiator or sink before you astral project. It really can’t be trusted with itself. Mine bought a bunch of collectible Hellboy figurines off eBay.

5) Other galaxies are boring. They are.

6) Never try to see if you can fit your soul into an empty Coke bottle, because that bottle might tip over accidentally and roll against the wall, trapping your body inside until your cat comes along and jostles the mouth of the bottle away from the wall like five days later. This is a very important one to remember.

7) Possessing other people’s bodies might sound fun, and it is. It’s super awesome. One fun thing to do is to make news reporters swear on air. I made Ann Curry say the C-word.

8) Roombas are not you friends.

9) Sometimes I like just hanging out with my body. We don’t really talk or anything, but it’s nice to have somebody to watch Netflix with. Also, sometimes I astral project to see if I have any spinach in my teeth.

10) Stay away from other souls that are astral projecting. Most are clingy weirdos. I met this one guy whose body is in a coma in Brussels. He made me call his sister and tell her he loved her and was sorry about the thing he said before the motorcycle accident. Drama.

11) Try to have fun with it.

Sooooo, that’s what I’ve learned so far about astral projection. I hope that helps some of you guys. Remember: Don’t float inside any empty Coca-Cola bottles. Even on a dare. It’s not worth the risk.

Happy projecting!


Phone Message

Posted on June 6, 2011

Phone Message

Hey, I’m stepping out to grab some lunch. If my phone rings, can you answer it for me? You can just take a message or whatever.

Wait, you know what? If it’s a call from a guy named Todd, could pretend to be my secretary and then take a message? And, maybe you could make your voice sound kinda sexy? Like British sexy?

Who’s the lady who used to be married to Hugh Grant? Oh shoot, what’s her name? She was in the remake of Bedazzled, and technically she’s an actress, even though that’s the only thing I can think of her having been in. What else was she in? She used to be in a lot of perfume commercials, I think. She’s more of a celebrity than a thespian, I guess.

Anyway, if you answer my phone, can you maybe do an impression of her, as if she’s my secretary?

Also, maybe hint that you have an unrequited crush on me? Nothing big or salacious---just like a general longing. I don’t want to give you any exact lines, but maybe mention something about my eyes being the crisp blue of the Colorado sky.

Ugh, what is that woman’s name? Maybe she wasn’t married to Hugh Grant; maybe she was just his girlfriend. But, it was for sure during that whole thingy with him and the prostitute. (At the time, didn't you think the media attention around that was kinda racist? I always thought so. They'd always mention the prostitute was African American. Off-handedly, of course, like they didn’t really care. But, why even bring it up then?) And, whomever this actress is I’m trying to think of stuck by Hugh Grant all through that.

So, yeah, just do a quick impression of her, and say that I’m in a meeting, and I’ll get back to whoever calls. And, maybe have a slight wistfulness to your voice. Like, maybe you wish I’d get back to you about a romantic question you once posed to me.

Oh! Also, she was in one of the Austin Powers movies. Yeah, she was for sure in one of those. It’s weird, because I think she's a genuinely good actress, but I guess that’s not where her attention is focused. She’s more one of those actresses who has babies by hedge fund guys or Mediterranean shipping magnates.

Why does that always happen? It’s so odd that that's a common occurrence. Do they meet at fancy parties or something? Salma Hayek did that with some billionaire, too, I think.

Can you do a Salma Hayek impression on the phone? Because, that would be amazing.

No, never mind. That'd be too much.

Also, don’t pick up on the first ring. It looks too needy. If you wait until the third ring, the caller will think my office must be super busy. Shuffle papers while you’re at it, if you could.

Elizabeth Hurley! Boom! It’s Elizabeth Hurley. That’s her name. I was a little confused, because in the back of my head I was thinking Catherine Zeta Jones, but she’s Welsh not British. And, I don’t really like her accent as much. But, it’s for sure Elizabeth Hurley whom I was thinking of.

You know what, I’m just going to take my phone with me to lunch. You don’t need to answer it. I’ll use it to look up Elizabeth Hurley on Wikipedia. See what else she acted in… Oh yeah, look at that. She was in Permanent Midnight. I remember that movie.

Do you want anything from Subway, by the way? A cookie or anything? No? Are you sure? Because I’m happy to bring you a cookie. No? No cookie? A bag of Sun Chips or something? No? No Sun Chips? It’s fine. I’m gonna bring you back a cookie.

I'll be back in two shakes. See ya.


I Am Not KGB

Posted on June 2, 2011


Life Lessons from Chess

Posted on June 1, 2011


Let me give you guys a bit of advice: Life is like this chessboard here. You have to plan ahead. Know your moves.

For instance, take this little piece up front with the round top. How does it move? One square forward? Two? Eleven? I have no idea. Are there even eleven squares on this chessboard? Hold on a second while I count…

Hmm, this board only has eight squares. It must be defective.

Hold on. I’m writing myself a note to order a better chessboard online. Maybe black marble with green flames…

Anyway, instead of being this little piece in the front, you probably want to be this tall piece in back---the one with the cross on top. It must be the Pope.

You want to be the Pope, strutting around with your Pope sword and your Pope crossbow. And, if anybody gives you shit, you just be all like, “Ba-blam, thunk, Pope arrow to the face! You’ve just been Poped, mutha-fucker!”

And, then you just strut.

So, that’s one life lesson you can take from chess.

You know, you don’t have to be this Pope piece in life. You could be the horse dude, instead. Going around eating grass and taking dumps wherever you want. Just like, “Hey, I gotta take a dump. In this field? Sure. During a parade? Hell yeah.” So, I guess that lesson from chess is to act intimidating.

Also, there’s this piece like looks like a Muppet staring straight up. Like maybe he’s watching a jet fly overhead, and his mouth is hanging open? Let’s call him Bert.

You could be Bert. I’ve actually seen how this piece moves. (It was playing on one of those video screens at the airport next to the moving sidewalk. Probably an ad for some boner medicine.) Bert kinda moves like he’s doing the Electric Slide. And, if there’s one lesson I’ve learned in life, it’s that you for sure need to learn the Electric Slide. Nobody wants to be the only guy at a wedding who doesn’t Electric Slide.

I can’t tell you how many times my Electric Slide technique has gotten me laid.

There are other chess pieces, too. Like the castle, which I think just sits there. That’s fine for some. There have been times when I just sat there. Like when I was unemployed for a year.

But, in the long run, you get fat. Then you have to join a gym, which is expensive. Especially on unemployment. Suckville.

I’m not sure what lessons we can learn from the pieces being black and white. It seems a little racist. I mean, where are the yellow pieces? Or the brown ones? I tell you, as soon as I get my eleven-square chessboard, there will be room for all the races to fight each other.

That’s a promise.

So yeah, anyway, chess. There’s a shit ton of lessons there if you take the time to learn them.


First Impressions

Posted on May 27, 2011


I scheduled a haircut after work, because my iPad 2 is finally arriving in the mail this week, and I want to look my best.

I don't know; maybe I'm making too big a deal of things---clearing space on the desk, freeing up a dedicated power strip. Does a vase of flowers read as too eager?

Then again, you only get one chance to make a first impression. This iPad is traveling all the way from China, after all. The least I can do is trim my beard and get a haircut.

Also a manicure. And slight eyebrow management.

I'm unsure exactly what date my iPad will arrive, so I've planned out an entire week of my best outfits. Personally, I kind of hope it gets here on Thursday, because I laid out my navy sport coat, which makes me look skinny… Well, skinny-ish… Well, not fat. Mostly.

It's been a long wait. For the both of us. I stood in line the first day they were coming out, but the store was sold out of the exact model I wanted. So, I walked away. It was hard, but this is too big of a commitment to have it not be a perfect match. Not that anything is a perfect match. You have to work through the little things together.

Gosh, I wonder what I'll say when I open up the box. Do you think the UPS man will be nice? I hope he's not flippant about the hand-off. You hear these horror stories where the delivery driver is rude and it ruins the entire tone of the event.

Man... butterflies, right? Whew, I am just a bundle of nerves. How's my breath? Should I shave my beard? Are these reading glasses too much? I'm trying really hard to seem like I'm not trying too hard.

I hope my new iPad likes the case I picked out for it. I went with black, because it’s a classic. I mean, I figure I'd have the case waiting for it when it got here, and then we could pick out some apps together. I scouted out a few, but I don't want to seem presumptuous...

Was that the doorbell? Oh no! The place is a mess! I thought I had more time! Let me just, um... WHERE’S MY COMB?!!!

You know what? Never mind. It'll be fine. Nobody's perfect, and I can't control for everything, and nobody's expecting me to, and the place looks fine, and I look fine, and I'll just answer the door. I'll just go do that now... Okay, now.

Wish me luck. [licks palm and smoothes down bangs.] Okay, now.


Ironic Shirt

Posted on May 25, 2011

Why, yes. Yes I am wearing this shirt from the Gap ironically. That’s very astute of you to notice. I think everyone else at this gallery opening just assumed I’m some sort of hick from Wisconsin. Yes, yes this is an ironic outfit. Sure it is.

Those are very interesting legwarmers, you’ve got there. Are those made out of beer cozies? That’s what I thought. They’re nice. Did you make those yourself?

No, of course I’m kidding. I know who that designer is. He’s very … five minutes from now.

My shoes? They’re from the New Balance Outlet Store. It’s meant to be a commentary on the plebeian fixation on function over form. Which we all know is ridiculous. So flyover state, right? Yeah, who would wear non-ironic sneakers? Some sort of gross doofus.

I like your glasses, by the way. They’re very reflective. I can see myself sweating a little. I’m surprised you’re not warm in your beer cozies.

So, what do you do for a living? I’m just kidding. I can tell by your expression that that’s an offensive question. It was actually meant to be thought-provoking. Like as in, what if people had to work for money? Wouldn’t that be weird? It’s fine that you didn’t catch the subtext. Don’t be embarrassed.

Whew, I hope this champagne kicks in soon.

So, um, what do you think of the exhibition? I saw the artist masturbating in the corner as part of a performance piece. At least I hope it was a performance piece, ha ha.

Oh no, I didn’t realize the piece was about the Apartheid. Yes, you’re correct; there’s nothing funny about the racial segregation.

Do you know the artist’s work then? Oh, wow, it must be interesting being the daughter of a famous artist. Does he practice his performance pieces at … you know what, never mind.

Where is that waiter with more drinks?

So, did you watch the Parks and Rec finale? Sure, that’s okay. I’ll just go stand over here then. Nice talking with… buh bye.


Soft-Shell Crab

Posted on May 23, 2011

Soft-Shell Crab

Son, I want you to promise me something: You're eighteen now, ready to go off to college. You've got your whole future ahead of you. I don't want you to make the same mistake that I made. Never look up what makes soft-shell crab soft-shelled.

Believe me, you don't want to know. You never want to know. Because, soft-shell crab is delicious. Oh my god, a soft shell crab sandwich with a little fresh frisée, some spicy aioli, maybe a touch of churrasco---it doesn't get any tastier than that.

But, once you find out what soft shell crab really is, you won't be able to eat it ever again. Never again.

Let me tell you about the day I learned what soft-shell crab was. I was about your age, bright-eyed and innocent, saving up for trade school. I was out with some friends eating at a seafood stand up along the coast. (This is when I was working for your great uncle’s sporting goods warehouse up in Maine.) I was exactly four bites into just about the tastiest soft shell crab sandwich you can imagine.

I can still remember every detail---a light dijon dressing, ripe tomato, sweet onions, center-cut bacon. And, just as I get the fifth bite into my mouth, my so-called "friend" Eddie Fratelli tells me what soft-shell crab really is. I tell you, son, it dissolved into ashes in my mouth.

To this day, I can't even walk past a restaurant serving soft-shell crab without getting a lump of disgust in my throat.

I can see that I've piqued your interest. I know what it's like to be a young buck full of machismo, thinking you can take on the world. You probably assume you can handle knowing why soft-shell crab is soft-shelled. You can't.

That's why I'm going to give you a little hint and hope that keeps you from exploring any further on your own. Here it is: Shells are hard; they protect the crab. But, they don't grow, do they? That's it, that's all I'm gonna say.

Promise me you won't investigate beyond that. I can't imagine my only son never being able to eat soft-shell crab again. That fear keeps me up at night. Well, that and the image of soft-shell crabs seared into my brain.

So, promise me right now that you won't go any further down that road. Do you promise? I said, DO YOU PROMISE?!

There, that's all I needed to hear. I trust you; you’re a good kid.

Oh, and I just remembered, also promise you won't look up any YouTube videos of crabs molting their shells, because I think you might be able to guess the rest from there...

... All those disgusting little ocean spiders shedding their protective armor … floating around like twitching wet marshmallows … pink and puffy, like they just herniated themselves out of their own bodies…

… I’m sorry. I got distracted. Anyway, hope I didn’t give too much away. You go out and enjoy those soft-shell crab sandwiches, and try not to think about it too much.

I love you, son.

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