Digital Slob

Curt Brandao

Sunday, August 1, 2004

Procrastination serves
to build the suspense

Nothing can substitute for that feeling you get from finishing what you start. Still, for Digital Slobs, almost finishing almost does.

We've covered nine of the 10 Stupid Things Respectable People Do to Mess Up the World.

Fine. But aside from widespread fumigation with chemicals that would probably have to be mixed in illegally high concentrations, what can we do about these Respectable behaviors?

Well, before we get to No. 1, let's offer up some Digital Slob counterpunches to 10 through 2. Useful tips, not only to Slobs in general, but to me in particular because I need more time to think up No. 1.

So we're reviewing, holding for dramatic effect, like VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown. And also just like that show, I'll throw in Britney Spears at least once, just to keep everyone awake:

10) Proactive lending: The next time an RP co-worker forces you to take "The Da Vinci Code" Bible conspiracy novel home, come to work sporting a toga and a shaved head. Say you joined a cult that insisted you burn his book, and that you can't pay him back until Father gets enough money from your interstate flower stand to repair the Mother Ship.

9) Schadenfreude gifting: The next time an RP gives you $50 and a card that says "buy some food, you look gaunt," proceed directly to the phone, call your bookie, and loudly request "What's the over/under on 'Monday Night Football'?"

8) Sleep debting: The next time your overworked RP boss (with bags under his eyes so big they'd have to check them at the airport) tries to fire you, just sing "Rock-a-Bye Baby" until his head hits his desk.

7) Cellular gaffing: The next time you're stuck behind an RP wearing a cell phone headset who doesn't mind letting everyone in line at the DMV hear the post-op play-by-play of his proctology exam, pull his pants down and tell him you thought some might want the full effect.

6) Math racing: The next time an RP shames you for not investing in a 401(k), just shrug and say you put $250,000 in Microsoft in 1986 and told your accountant to wait until you're 65 and "surprise me."

5) Diet dictating: The next time an RP begins a low-carb lecture while you're excavating a plate of Mac & Cheese, lunge toward him, upending the table if necessary, to grip his neck. Then tell him that if he's got some oat bran that can ensure his longevity under these circumstances, he should start chewing it fast.

4) Spiritual spamming: The next time an RP with an all-access pass to the afterlife adds you to his hellfire-bound e-mail list, tell him his God's message may be all-powerful, but it won't get past your personalized spam filter unless it has "Britney Spears" in the subject line.

3) Analog shopping: The next time an RP tries to drag you to the mall, tell them you're agoraphobic, gripped by an irrational fear of going outside.

Even if it's not true, it's the Digital Age, it'll probably be true for us all in a matter of weeks.

2) Hygiene hyping: The next time an RP asks you if you washed your hands before giving them food, smile and say "of course!" Then tell them about your recent safari to Zaire that your travel agent got at a cut rate because of some overblown fears about hemorrhagic fever. Then excuse yourself from the table because you think your nose is bleeding.

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Curt Brandao is the Star-Bulletin's production editor. Reach him at:


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