The Parking Lot Waltz

The Parking Lot Waltz

Dear Diary …

I don’t mind a little singin’ and dancin’ … granted I can’t even figure out how to properly Floss, but if you can pull it off … more power to ya. That said … there’s a time and a place for singin’ and dancin’ … especially dancin’ … and that place is NOT the parking lot at the grocery store.

And I know what you’re thinking … “Who’s twerking in the parking lot at the grocery store?” First of all … nobody. Second … that one I’d probably be OK with … because what I’m not OK with is the parking lot waltz.

You know the parking lot waltz … even if you don’t think you do.

It’s when you’re trying to drive to a parking space, and the person walking in front of your car in your way is [[music]] … doing a long … slow … diagonal waltz thru the parking lot. Not a care in the world. And clearly not in a hurry to get anywhere.

You JUST saw me one second ago when you walked in front of my car … but now … [[music]] … that car must’ve just disappeared behind me.

Look … I don’t advocate for running anybody over … but somebody like this at least deserves a light tap to remind them that they are on foot and may want to get out of the way of the giant car. I’m just looking for a little hustle, man. Well … that and a straight line. Walk in it.

Moving on Diary …

I understand this is irrational anger … OK … everything in the Anger Diary is irrational anger … so too bad … we’re here now … I hate “mug cake.” That’s right … mug cake! Really I hate any time the kids discover some sort of food and drink concoction online and then start trashing my kitchen with it, but mug cake is the WORST. Because now they basically just dump some flour, sugar, and chocolate into a mug … and onto the counter … and onto the floor. And then heat it up in the microwave to explode everywhere and make a giant mess.

And somehow they think mug cake also defies the laws of snacks and desserts. Two o’clock in the afternoon …

“What are you doing?”

“Making mug cake.”

“It’s two o’clock in the afternoon. That’s not a snack. That’s a dessert.”

“Yeah but it’s mug cake.”

Hate you mug cake! And especially hate you afterward because that black, over-microwaved chocolate never wants to come off any of the mugs. And yes … I know the kids should clean it themselves, but they conveniently “forget” every single time.

If I told them, I’ll give you $20 if you remind me at exactly 8:47 two weeks from next Thursday … oh they got that one memorized … but “rinse your dishes” … [charlie brown mumbles]

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

Zack’s Solves the Supply Chain Crisis

Zack Solves the Supply Chain

Dear Diary …

I am here today to solve the global supply chain crisis. That’s right. ME! Not our world leaders or tech CEO Gods … they’re all busy fightin’ each other or flyin’ into space or whatever. So instead you get … this guy … radio man in southwest Virginia. And while that doesn’t seem like a big enough man for the job, sometimes it just takes one little guy to make a big difference.

OK … here goes … here’s how we solve the supply chain issues …

Stop making new stuff.

There you go … problem solved!

Here’s a little pro tip from a total amateur … if you’re the company that makes Triscuits. And you can’t keep regular Triscuits on the shelves … you don’t need to introduce things like pumpkin spice flavored Triscuits. Nobody wants those anyway!

Just make … gasp … regular Triscuits. In this time of crisis, ain’t nobody looking for “cracked black pepper” anyway.

And if you make white chocolate flavored anything … just stop. The world don’t want your flavor. Spend that time making regular chocolate or just branch out and make car microchips or something. We need those way more than white chocolate anyway.

People … there’s a reason why we’re never out of cauliflower crust pizzas at the store … they’re stupid! Just make the things we actually want and need … and then maybe someday down the road you can have silly extra side products.

And for the love of God we need more regular alcohol at the store! Have you watched the news sober? OK to be fair I don’t recommend watching the news drunk either … but you definitely don’t wanna watch it sober.

We don’t need cotton candy flavored vodka right now … we need whiskey. More whiskey!

There. Supply chain crisis solved. If you’re a company that makes something people want or need … just make it. Don’t be wasting your time on flashy “new and improved” stuff. We just want “old and the same” and we want to see it on the shelves when we get there.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

Your Fancy Sausage

Dear Diary …

I never want to be that guy that turns into the stereotypical Dad that stomps around the house yelling, “You kids today … you don’t understand the value of the dolla! You’re always wasting my money!” … That guy is lame.

At the same time, “You kids today … you don’t understand the value of the dolla! You’re always wasting my money!” … Now of course the difference is I’m doing it in this segment on the radio and online … hip, cool, NEW … stereotypical Dad. So … like … um … yeah!

But you know what? I still wear my pants in the normal spot on my waistline and I still know who Post Malone is, so ain’t totally lame … but a fact is a fact, and man a family sure can plow through money sometimes, can’t they?

The one the always gets me is there’s always something that’s ridiculously expensive, that EVERYBODY in the family houses and just wants more, more, more! For us, it’s these breakfast sausages. And I know what you’re thinking, “Breakfast sausages? Ain’t Jimmy Dean’s super cheap?”

Why yes … yes they are, but they don’t eat Jimmy Dean’s. They gotta have [fancy voice] Applegate Farms organic chicken and maple sausage … and those things cost six bucks for a box. And not a box of 300 sausages … a box of 10 … and those 10 are way closer to cocktail weenie size than they are to big ol’ sausage size.

So needless to say … the family plows thru a box about every four days. “Can you get more sausage at store?” Good lord I’m gonna need a raise just to keep the family full of sausages.

I mean … $6 every four days for an entire year. That’s 91 boxes a year for $547 … in SAUSAGE! I mean … If I bought $500 of Netflix stock 10 years ago … It would be worth $26,000, but instead … it’s SAUSAGE!!

Man why can’t they like the cheap stuff? Why do they have to be all, “We want good quality and things that are better for us.” Things were so much easier back in the day when we thought Kool-Aid had vitamins in it.

And you know what? Even when the stuff is cheap, that doesn’t really matter, because then they just waste it. My kids like to eat marshmallows sometimes for dessert. Now marshmallows … yeah … they’re a dollar. So I’m cool with that. But what I am not cool with is when they open a bag of marshmallows, get their little dessert, and then the next morning what do I find sitting in the pantry? An open bag of marshmallows … sucking in all of the air of the world and turning into hard little sugar rocks. Thanks a lot you little jerks!

But they don’t care, cuz it ain’t their money. That’s why everything they own, they break. Cuz you’re the dummy that has to replace it.

Well you know what? I am gonna hike my pants up to my nipples and waddle around complaining about this … and you can’t stop me! Then I’m going to shout “You kids today!” … and I’m gonna sit in my old Lazy Boy recliner … fart … and fall asleep with the news on whether you like it or not!

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

Variety Pack Is Whack

Dear Diary …

They say “variety is the spice of life.” Well if that is the case, then I’m here to declare that I don’t want any spices. Now don’t get me wrong … I like variety for some stuff … different foods, different vacations, sleepin’ with random people … wait … what? Kidding!

But seriously … variety is fine for some things, but when it comes to those variety packs at the store. I hate ‘em. I want ‘em gone.

Diary … my son plays soccer. So as any parent knows if they have a kid in an activity, you gotta take turns being on snack duty. Cool. No problem.

So this week we were on snack duty, and I wanna get some little bags of chips for the kids, and darnit if every single one of the packs at the store is a cursed variety pack. This is a disaster!

“But why Zack? That just means the kids have all different ones to choose from.”

Oh yeah? You ever been anywhere where there just so happens to be exactly three kids that pick cool ranch Doritos, and exactly three that pick Sun Chips, and then four that pick plain potato chips? Yeah … I didn’t think so!

I’ll tell you what flavor kids want … whatever flavor you don’t have enough of. This is why children don’t get choices. Because the minute they do, they all fight over the same three bags of Cheetos.

And even if there aren’t other kids involved, the variety pack is useless at home too because there’s always some flavor none of your kids ever wants. (Plain Lays potato chips I’m looking at you.)

I mean … my kids want strawberry yogurt in those stupid little tubes. Strawberry. That’s it. But do they sell strawberry? Of course not! They packet it with something awful like strawberry-banana. Ugh.

Why are we pushing banana flavored anything on people? Nobody wants it … it’s gross … and it makes everything taste like tangy medicine. Somebody’s gettin’ kickbacks from the Chiquita banana people for sure.

I don’t want variety pack anything. Nor do I really want mixed variety anything. Think of a jar of nuts … what do you invariably end up with? A bunch of stupid plain peanuts and those big dumb Brazil nuts that suck all the moisture out of your mouth.

How did that Brazil nut ever make the cut for mixed nut consideration in the first place? We couldn’t find a better nut to put in there? You know … just because something is edible, doesn’t mean we HAVE to eat it.

Till next time Diary .. I say … Goodbye.

Three Bags o’ Bread


Dear Diary …

Every night of my life, I’m in a battle. So basically this is a non-stop war … Me vs. the sheet on my bed. Every single night when I go to bed, that sheet is where it’s supposed to be. And every single morning when I wake up, the stinkin’ corner of the sheet has been ripped out of the bed and my toes are sticking out. Every night!

It doesn’t matter how hard I yank that sheet and how deeply I stuff it down into that corner, that stupid thing is flappin’ all around come morning. And you would think it’s not that big a deal .. it’s fine if your toes are just touching blanket instead of sheet. But no … it’s not fine! It’s not fine on any level!!

I don’t know why it’s a big deal, but it just feels all weird and wrong on my feet and I’m not as comfortable if I have blanket toe instead of sheet toe.

What happens every single night to cause this? Am I flopping around the bed like some sort of fish out of water? Or is there a more devious plan at hand … some sort of sheet conspiracy between my bed and this evil evil sheet?

As you can imagine … I’m going with the conspiracy, cuz that’s way less my fault and way more me blaming the sinister forces of the evil sheet and it’s catastrophic plan to ruin my night’s sleep.

I don’t really have anything else to add … and I have no solutions to the problem either … so I’m just here complaining about it. What the heck goes on with our bodies in the middle of the night, and why are they so stupid and uncooperative?

OK … moving on Diary …

Speaking of wars … I’m in another one in my house … this time with the family. Yeah … as you can see I got a lot of battles going on, but that’s the price you pay when you’re doing it right and everybody else is doing it wrong.

And in this situation, I know without a shadow of a doubt, I’m in the right and everybody else is doing it wrong.

The rule at hand is simple … If you open a package of something … let’s say a loaf of bread. You eat that loaf of bread until it’s gone, then you start on a new package of bread. Right?

Well apparently not in my house, because right now I’m starting at THREE different loaves of bread. All the same brand … all the same kind … and all three of them are open. This is not how this is supposed to work!!!

My kids in particular drive me crazy with this. Every single time I bring a new package of something into the house, they wanna immediately open it before the current package is empty.

“Daddy I want the new milk.”

Absolutely not! This other milk is like two days old. It’s not as if I’m asking you to drink month old milk. You finish the open one first, then you move on!

But guess who listens to me? Yup … nobody.

Nobody listens. They never do. Sigh.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye

Liar Liar Pants On Fire


Dear Diary …

This is a message to the people of the world … You are a liar. And not only are you a liar, but we KNOW you’re liar. You’re not fooling anybody with your silly little stories. You’re a liar. And we know you’re a liar. And we want you to know that we know that you’re a liar.

“What do you mean? I always tell the truth!”

Whatever, liar.

There are times when you start flappin’ your jaws, and we are on to your scam.

Like when I send you a text message and ask you a question that requries an answer … and you don’t respond for six hours, and then you say, “Oh sorry, I’m just seeing this text right now.”

LIAR!!!!

“I’m just seeing this text” is the modern day equivalent of the 1987 lie of, “I don’t know what happened to your message on my answering machine. I never got it.”

And you know how I know you’re not “just seeing” my text? You’re lyin’ behind has been all over Facebook, Instagram, and whatever the heck else for the last six hours … which I’m sure you’ve been using your phone for.

Not to mention the fact that every time I’m around you, I gotta pry your nose outta your phone to even get your attention. So I know darn well you’re not “just seeing my text.”

Here’s another one the liars of the world like to throw out there … Observe …

“Hey where would you like to go for dinner tonight?”

“I don’t mind. Anywhere is fine.”

Liar … liar … liar … liar … LIAR!!!

“Anywhere” is NOT fine! I know darn well you at least have some kind of preference in your head … so out with it.

Why do we play this game?

And let me be more specific … ladies … ladies, ladies, ladies … Why do we play this game?

We men don’t know much, but we know you’re messing with us here. Playing some sort of “let’s see if he really knows me” head game just to test us. I’ll let you in on a little secret … we’re never gonna figure it out. We are clueless. So stop thinking things are ever gonna change.

Or maybe … I don’t know … it’s some sort of Jedi Mind Trick you’re trying to perfect … “This is not the restaurant you’re looking for … You want to choose Olive Garden.”

Ladies … please … stop lying to us. We’re too dumb to figure it out anyway. We’re smart enough to know you’re a liar, but that’s about it. So save yourself the aggravation and pick the stinkin’ restaurant you wanna go to.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

The Pickiest of Picky Eaters


Dear Diary …

Picky eaters. I just can’t.

What happened here anyway? What makes God decide he’s gonna create one human with a well-rounded palate  … who can eat and enjoy all the great foods of the world … and then the next person … chicken tender boy.

My daughter is person #1 … she’ll eat just about anything. It’s great.

My son is person #2 … the most annoying palate on the planet. And he takes it one step further, because somehow he manages to have magical powers when it comes to food. And what I mean by this, Diary, is that he can declare that he doesn’t like the taste of something before he even puts it in his mouth. Yup … food never touches his lips, but somehow the Great Houdini already knows it tastes bad.

This weekend we make the kids some muffins. Now in the past when we make muffins, my son basically just eats the powdered sugar off the top and then leaves the rest of delicious muffin to waste away into the sadness of the trashcan. But this time I think I have the answer!

He says he wants cinnamon muffins, so I buy these ones that are like a cinnamon swirl … so they have the crumbly sugary awesomeness on the top that every five year old wants to eat, but also the same deliciousness is swirled in and around the entire muffin. This is perfect … Now he gets his favorite diabetes-laden part swirled all throughout the muffin!

So I pull them out of the oven and they look fantastic. OK … at least I think they look fantastic, because Mr. Stink Face tells a different story. Tappin’ his tiny little judgemental finger on the top of the muffin … “These look different than the other muffins.”

Yes … they look different because they ARE different. This has more of all the things you like. So it’s different, but it’s better.

“I don’t like them.”

You haven’t even tried them.

“They taste funny.”

YOU HAVEN’T EVEN TAKEN A BITE!!! How would you know they taste funny???

Picky eating is one thing … I can work with that. Jerky eating is another.

One night I can give that kid a meal and he’ll eat the whole thing. Next time I serve the exact same meal … “I don’t like this” … YOU LOVED IT THE LAST TIME I MADE IT AND IT’S EXACTLY THE SAME!!!

I think he’s just messing with me. I leave the house and he probably makes himself a giant kale salad to eat when nobody’s watching, that way when I get home he’s full and can freely screw with my head for his own torturous enjoyment.

And how dumb are we as parents where we sit here and try to get them to eat food that isn’t even that good for them? I can’t believe I now say things like “You need to eat two more bites of pizza, and then you can have dessert.”

That right son, please take two more bites of your non-nutritious dinner so I can then reward you with an equally non-nutritious dessert.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … we need to change the way we try to get information from terrorists. We don’t need to physically torture them anymore. Just force them to deal with a difficult five year old for one day and they’ll be singing to the rooftops with all the information you could possibly want.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

The Last Minute Snack

Dear Diary …

I make most of the meals in the house, and I’m cool with that. This is not where I’m gonna complain about being the chef of the family. I am the chef of the family! And how else am I gonna get more Instagram followers if I let somebody else in my family steal my food porn picture opportunities?

Here’s what I do have a problem with … when I am preparing one of my award-winning meals (all awards selected by me for the “International Zack Jackson Awards” by the way), what I don’t want happening is two minutes before dinner is ready to be served to hear the rumbling around in the pantry of my little rugrat children.

What are you doing in there?

“Getting a snack”

No snacks! We’re about to eat dinner.

“But I’m hungry!”

Good! We are eating in two minutes.

“But I’m hungry right now!”

Well then you’re gonna have to wait 120 agonizing seconds and then there will be food on the table. By the time you stop whining and walk to the table, it’s gonna be there.

“But I’m sooooooo hungry right now.”

Fine … starve!!! Let’s sit here for the next two minutes and see if you wither away into a nutritionless cloud of hunger.

Children are such liars with their hunger. Because what happens next? They get to the dinner table, eat one little mouse bite of something and say, “I’m full. Can I have dessert?”

If you’re full, then you don’t need dessert.

“I’m just full of dinner.”

You’re full of something else actually you liar.

Moving on Diary … since we’re talking about kids … can somebody please explain to me the fascination with bunny ears?

Why do kids think this is funny? Just standing there behind you makin’ bunny ears on your head. We’re not even taking a picture …. And they’re still doing it?

Bunny ears is an amazing study of times never changing. I did it as a kid. My parents did it as a kid. George Washington probably did it to his friends as a kid. And here they are still doing it today.

How do they learn to do it in the first place? And who was that very first person to say … “Hey I’m gonna make it look like you have bunny ears by using my fingers.”

Oh dude … that is legendary comedy! People are gonna be doing this for hundreds of years!!!

I mean … why didn’t it go away like MySpace or saying “on fleek?”

And why do my kids never … ever … get sick of it even though nobody else finds it even remotely funny?

Till next time Diary, I say … Goodbye

You Dumb Avocado


Dear Diary …

Enough.  Let’s tell the truth.  There’s really no food on earth dumber than the avocado.

“Oh superfood … oh healthy fats …”

Oh whatever!

No food ever ends up as a waste of money more than the avocado because first and foremost one thing always reigns true …

Either the avocado you buy is hard as a rock and you gotta wait a week to even try to use this thing, or it needs to actually just be cut open and eaten right there in the store before it goes bad.

They’re just too fragile.  You buy one that’s ripe, and the dang thing is gonna get bumped and bruised all the way home to your kitchen.

And if it does manage to somehow survive the ride, your challenge is now you get to take your life into your own hands by trying get that giant pit out while wielding the sharpest knife in your house like some sort of old-timey swashbuckler.

And if you do survive this trial without slashing your own wrists, you now have roughly 11 seconds to start eating the thing before it turns all shades of a dirty baby diaper.

And if you do manage to get this alleged “superfood” to your lips before this happens … what is your final reward?

A mushy weird indescribably  green oddness that fills your mouth and tastes … well … meh.  It’s not terrible, but was it really worth it?

Stupid avocado.  And I can never get it right.  I buy one avocado and it’s gone in one second and I wish I had another avocado on hand, but if I buy two, I end up with a rotting brown orb sitting on my kitchen counter that I never get around to using.

Complete waste of money.

Last week I had this dumb avocado staring me in my face in my kitchen for a couple days, and I finally break down and decide to take the thing to work and eat it for breakfast on some sad hipster avocado toast.  

And as I get out of my car …. carrying a bunch of stuff … of course Mr. Roly Poly Avocado slides out of my grip and doinks onto the ground of the parking lot.

Strike one.  Because now it’s all but guaranteed that half the thing is rotting before my very eyes.

And as I look down to find this avocado in the pitch dark of four o’clock in the morning … SQUISH … Strike two … stepped right on it with my foot.

Gone.  Dead.  No recovery here.

So I took that idiot superfood and I just winged it as hard as I could into the trees behind the radio station.  Strike three you worthless avocado!

Doritos might not be good for you.  But Doritos never do you dirty like the avocado. “Superfood” my butt!

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye

Zack’s Guide to Throwing a Good Party

Dear Diary …

This time of year there’s a lot going on, especially when it comes to parties. You get invited to a bunch of ‘em. People host ‘em at their house. It’s basically “Party Season.”

Here’s the problem … most people have no idea how to throw a good party, and instead you’re stuck at some lame get together with a bunch of people you may or may not even like, and you’re just sitting there trying to figure out how early you can leave without looking rude.

But do not panic lame party people, I have GREAT news … I’m really good at throwing parties. So I’m gonna try to help the rest of you so you don’t have to hear things like “how nobody’s dancing?” or maybe “you guys are leaving already?”

Basically there are three keys to a good party. They aren’t even that hard to pull off. And yet people keep screwing ‘em up left and right and the result is just another boring get together at Maureen’s house.

[[Side note: There is no “Maureen’s House” … I made it up. So don’t be sittn’ there panicking that I’m talking about your parties, Maureen.]]

Key number one … food.

You would think I wouldn’t even have to say this, since eating is pretty much the most basic human primal instinct, but I’ve been to far too many parties where “food” consists of two sad bowls of chips and a plate with a bunch of burned hot dogs on it.

I’m sorry, but if you’re having people at your house, you gotta feed ‘em. And you gotta feed ‘em better than a 5 year-old’s birthday party.

And if you can’t cook … don’t try. Order stuff.

Or hey it’s totally fine to do the potluck thing and have everybody bring something to share, but if you do that, you also gotta tell them what to bring in advance. Don’t just say … “oh anything’s fine,” cuz then your lazy moochy friends are all gonna show up with the same box of store bought chocolate chip cookies nobody wants to eat.

Key to a good party number two … alcohol. Specifically … having enough of it on hand and not running out.

Ain’t nothin’ sadder than a halfway decent party crashing into the side of a mountain because the host only bothered to buy a 12 pack and 2 bottles of wine.

You want your friends to have fun at your party, right? So then plan in your optimistic little mind that you’re gonna throw the best stinkin’ party they’ve EVER been at, so stock the bar like that’s gonna happen.

And furthermore … stock the bar with variety. Everybody’s got different tastes. So just because you only drink Bud Light Lime-a-Rita’s doesn’t mean anybody else on earth does, so make sure you got a little something for everybody.

I went to a party once and there was a lot of great stuff going on … and there was lots of booze. Problem was the only drinks being offered were bourbon and IPA beers. OK … maybe YOU love choosing between that really burny alcohol or this super bitter beer, but for the love of God man, ain’t no shame in throwing a few Miller Lite’s in that cooler for people that don’t.

And one final thing on alcohol … you’re a grownup now … stop trying to throw a BYOB party. You’re an adult. You have a job. Quit acting like you’re throwing a party in your junior year dorm room in 1997.

And here’s a crazy little thing about having a grownup party with grownup friends … most people will bring you something anyway as a gift. So now you’ve got even more drinks on hand!

Finally … key to a good party number three … music. For the love of God you gotta have music at your party.

It blows my mind when I show up at somebody’s “party” and there’s NO music playing. Nothing. Just boring small talk and … awkward silent pauses. Look … don’t have to pay Major Lazer to come to your house … but you gotta at least have something going in the background … anything!

Oh and when it comes to your music … get a real speaker! Your tiny little $15 bluetooth speaker is fine when it’s just you in the kitchen on a Tuesday night, but you throw 40-50 people in that room and you ain’t gonna hear jack squat on your sad little sound tube.

“How come nobody’s dancing?”

BECAUSE IT SOUNDS LIKE WE ARE LISTENING TO MUSIC ON OUR PHONES THAT’S WHY!!!

What am I dancin’ too? The pretend music in my head? The volume control I wish I had?

This is why it’s 8:30 and everybody’s leaving … cuz your party game is lame.

But look … I just gave you the keys to success. Follow them, Young Jedi, and people will finally look like they’re having fun at your house once and for all.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye