I Ain’t No Dummy

Dear Diary …

I’m a big boy. I can handle it. We’re in a stupid recession right now. And whether it’s “officially” a recession or whatever, the fact is that things are stinkier right now vs. when they are more awesome. (See … that’s the scientific definition.)

Reality is … markets are down, pennies are being pinched, and stuff is more expensive. And that’s fine … OK it’s not “fine,” but it’s the reality … so at the very least can I ask you not insult my intelligence about all of this?

Like go to the grocery store … these paper towel people have got some nerve. Now … you go to buy what you think is the “big” pack of paper towels because it’s got FOUR rolls ALL the way across the package … and then … nothin’. Ain’t no back part to this. Used to be a back part to this. And it used to be just two or three in the front … but there was a back part.

So now they’re over here treatin’ us like dummies because there’s LESS rolls, but they just make the packaging longer. Hey stupid consumer … look how long this is! You’re excited to buy it! Oh … and it costs as much as when there was a back part … there just ain’t no back part anymore!

And let me just add … when they say this garbage about “double roll … TRIPLE roll!” … in comparison to what???? Cuz it ain’t in comparison to a normal roll. So yeah it’s twice as much as some weird baby roll that you bought on the internet during COVID, but that’s about it.

I understand in many different industries why the price has been forced upward because of their rising costs behind the scenes as well as lost income during the pandemic, but I remember the pandemic … and you know who didn’t have any problem making money? Paper towel and toilet paper people!!!

I don’t like being treated like a dummy. I also don’t like being treated with attitude by robots. These credit card machines now … very pushy and moody and I do not appreciate it. First they tell you to put your card in and then pull it right back out, but then they tell you to put it back in because “well it’s got a special chip.” I am aware of that … which is why I put it in in the first place!

Then it’s all “do not remove card …. Do NOT remove card” and one second later … BAMP BAMP BAMP BAMP … remove card … remove card … remove card!

You need not force yourself upon me and change your tone so quickly when I’m over here following your stupid instructions in the first place. This is how we’re going to become the robot slaves … they’re just conditioning us now with their little bells and whistles soon enough we’re not gonna even notice that we fully serve our machine overlords. It’s already too late!

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

The Curious Story of Apple Guy

Dear Diary …

So this past week I went to FloydFest. You know … the festival in … well … Floyd. And whether that’s your vibe or your kind of music or whatever, I can promise you that we can all agree that one thing FloydFest is absolutely fantastic for is … people watching.

First of all … there’s lots of people. Second … there’s lots of weird people. Actually I don’t wanna say “weird” because what the heck is “normal” anyway? And on top of that … what FUN is “normal?” None! So let’s just say we got a lot of unique people celebrating their individuality. And I applaud that and support that. And I also reap the side benefit that it makes for excellent people watching.

I’m so intrigued in life by people’s stories. Meaning … you just look at them and think, “Ok, what exactly is your deal?” And sometimes there’s certain people I see and I become obsessed with the possibilities of their story. Like Apple Guy. I saw Apple Guy at the festival and I still can’t get him out of my mind because his story just confuses me so.

I see Apple Guy while I’m walking around and he’s this big dude … all bald and muscular. (I should probably add here that I 1,000% support and appreciate Apple Guy … and I say this because Apple Guy could no doubt beat me up if he wanted to. So shout out to you Apple Guy … please don’t hurt me!)

Anyway … this dude’s built like Captain America, and while he’s walking … he’s eating an apple. But he’s eating it in the most nibbly way I have ever seen a human eat an apple. He’s taking these TINY little bites and just nibbling the skin off the outer edge of the apple and leaving all the while apple-ness behind. So now I need to know his story … like does he only like the skin because it has all the fiber and nutrients and he’s gonna throw away the rest? Or does he REALLY love the crispy white inside of an apple and he saves that for the end so he can savor every juicy bite? I NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS!

Now … fast forward a couple hours … and guess who I see walking in the other direction again? Apple Guy! And lo and behold … he is eating ANOTHER apple! But this time … he’s eating it COMPLETELY normally like any other person would eat an apple.

So now my mind is BLOWN! Why is he eating this apple normal while nibbling away at the previous apple like a chipmunk? Was that one just a special apple? Or was he in a really weird and nibbly mood and just felt like trying it that way once? And furthermore … How many apples did this man bring with him to a music festival anyway???? WHY SO MANY APPLES??

This guy is gonna haunt me forever! I need to know people’s stories!!!!

Musicians are another for me where their story just fasis fascinating. Especially when it comes to fashion. Look … they’re up on stage … so just about anything goes and you can make some crazy decisions. There was this one singer … dude had this HUGE necklace on with all these dangly little chains hanging down.

So I start wondering … like when this dude is putting together his outfit for the stage, does he say, “Man … you know what I need is like a REALLY huge necklace with all these dangly things on it. That’s gonna POP when I’m up there on stage!” And is that what he thought when he went to the necklace store and just randomly saw it? Or did he get on Amazon and search “big dangly necklace thingie” because he already knew that’s what he needed?

And … is this like only his “stage clothes?” Or will he also wear this same big dangly necklace on Tuesday when he’s working as the manager at a Zaxby’s?


These are life’s real mysteries. You can get all caught up on “Is there life after death?” or “Are there aliens out there?” but I just wanna know what Apple Guy and Dangly Necklace Dude are up to right now.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

The Big Wakeup Call

Dear Diary …

Hey everyone!!! How’s it going? Remember me … your old friend Zack Jackson? Yup I’m still here … and still angry … but I’m also learning so much about the world.

Did you know that people are actually awake at two o’clock in the afternoon? And awake in a way where they don’t feel like their face is melting off because they haven’t been awake since 3:30 in the morning? Amazing!

And you know what? Let’s just get this whole thing out in the open because I have BREAKING NEWS! Yup … hit the breaking news sound effect [[breaking news sound effect]]]

I … Zack Jackson … woke up at 6:30 this morning.

And I’ll be honest … I have no idea why this is breaking news, but it is, because it’s the question EVERY … SINGLE … HUMAN asks me when I see them.

“Hey … Zack … great to see you! What time did you get up this morning?”

Never in my life have I asked about another person’s bedtime or wake-up. Ok … I take that back … never in my life have I asked it about a person over the age of four. When there’s babies involved, that’s pretty much all you ever talk about …

“Well we put him down at 7, and then it takes 13 minutes with his ba-ba and then another 11 of rocking him, and then he’ll sleep for 3 hours and 14 minutes, and then he’s up for 42, then back down.”

But again … he’s one. Also … that topic is really boring.

Actually … can we all just be really honest with each other for a second? People with really little kids are the worst people on Earth to talk to.

Don’t get me wrong … they’re not bad people at all … they probably used to be fun. And there’s a decent chance they’ll be fun again some day. But right now? Man they suuuuuuck.

All they ever talk about is naptime, dirty diapers, and Cocomelon. Bo-RING! This is why they always hang out in Mom groups and play dates and stuff … because ain’t nobody else on earth that wants to listen to these things.

And let me be clear … I an FULLY aware that when I had kids that age, I also sucked. Good Lord, I think back to some of the things I would say and do, and even I hate myself.

But look at me now … all awesome again!

And to recap … so I can hopefully never have this conversation again …

Yes … I wake up at 6:30 now.

And no … your body doesn’t “get used to” waking up at 3:30 in the morning. I dunno … does your body “get used to” if somebody kicks you in the privates every morning? I bet it doesn’t! So no … I don’t just magically wake up at that God Awful time just for the heck of it.

So now we gotta find a new topic for small talk people … Cuz Uncle Zack’s bedtime is now off the table.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

Your WiFi Stinks!

Your WiFi Stinks!

Dear Diary …

I’mma tell you right now, we are at a point in society where certain things are just flat out unacceptable. Writin’ checks … there’s just no need for ‘em anymore. You got 247,000 other payment options that are way better than a random piece of blue paper with a bunch of lines on it.

Ice cube makers that suck at making ice. I mean what the heck is going on here? You’ve developed a product who’s sole purpose in life is to make ice, and it you don’t even do that properly? You have like one job … no … you have ONE job … MAKE ICE.

And why in the world are we still accepting that it will take 24-48 hours to fill that tray up all the way? Takin’ like 3 hours of the water freezing to [[clunk]] have 4 ice cubes get tossed into the tray. 20 minutes. Full tray. End of story.

But the one that gets me the most is that we are to a point in technology where it is absolutely, positively, unacceptable to have sucky wifi. If you’re gonna offer wifi, and especially if you DARE charge for it, it better be halfway decent wifi.

Ever pay for wifi on an airplane? Don’t. It stinks! And the free wifi is even worse … my Dad recently rode the train and their free “wifi” is like … 3. You know … like … mbps’s or whatever. Whatchoo gonna do with three? That ain’t even fast enough to properly tell you that you’re “unable to connect to the internet,” let alone do anything.

“Hey stay at our hotel … we have free wifi!”

Again … three.

That ain’t wifi! Heck … that ain’t even dial up AOL.

I can to the store and buy me a cheap ol’ router and have perfect good wifi. There’s no reason why you can’t do the same. And if you can’t … then don’t offer it!

Here’s another thing that’s flat out unacceptable … lawns.

Who’s stupid idea was it to have lawns?

If I could have access to a time machine, I wanna go back and find the guy that decided we had to all have perfectly manicured and hard to maintain grass as our lawns and just eliminate him before he could come up with the idea.

Because here’s the deal … you spend all your time trying to keep that stuff alive … seed it, water it, mow it … and the biggest annoyance … keep out the weeds. Because man … no matter what you do … those weeds will come back.

Which leads me to my point … why didn’t we make the weeds the lawn in the first place?

You never have to take care of them at all and they grow perfectly fine. You don’t even have to water them, and they still figure out a way to grow over and over and over again.

So why isn’t that what we choose for the lawn in the first place? See… we do it my way and I just gave everybody their weekend back of mowin’ … you’re welcome!

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye

There’s Gotta Be a Better Way

There’s Gotta Be a Better Way

Dear Diary …

There’s gotta be a better way.

We have ALL sorts of innovations and technological advances in this world. We’re always figuring out ways to make things easier, faster, and more efficient. But the problem is … we only do that for some things. Other things? Nah … we’ll just leave ‘em that way they are even though they’re horrible.

This is probably TMI. OK … this is definitely TMI … but oh well … sucks for you … I get to have a colonoscopy soon. Yup … TMI … but you’re here now so you might as well see this one thru.

Ugh … and see … that’s the first problem with a colonoscopy … EVERYTHING gets turned into a pun or a joke or whatever. I say, “we might as well see this one thru,” and you say … “Hang on, not so sure I wanna do THAT!”

Alright alright alright … ha ha ha … I get it.

So that’s problem number one … problem number two )yup … see .. there you go again) is that the worst part about a colonoscopy isn’t actually the colonoscopy. I mean, it’s not on my summer bucket list or anything, but it is what it is.

The problem is the preparation for the thing. Because despite all the technological advances in modern medicine in the past 50 years, the only way to apparently have a proper colonoscopy is to be stricken with diarrhea for 24 hours to prepare for it.

Really? This is the only way to do this?

I gotta drink some gigantic jug of terrible tasting poop juice … and then I gotta basically either live on the toilet for a day or play underwear roulette and pray I can make it there in time.

OK … I ain’t no doctor … but I did drive by a hospital the other day … and you mean to tell me there’s no possible better way to do this?

Can’t there be like a laser beam or photon torpedo or microscopic poop robot that can go in and take care of all of this. Hell … I’d even settle for some kind of jacked up vacuum cleaner extension that gets the job done quickly … like you’re putting gas into a NASCAR car … just goin’ in the other direction.

But you know why there isn’t a better way? Because they don’t care if there’s a better way. As long as you show up for your appointment and you’re ready for the procedure, they don’t really care how unpleasant things were for you yesterday. You’re there now and ready for takeoff … that’s all they care about.

Oh and the best part … you’re the one that gets to go buy all the stuff to prepare for this. Lucky you!

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

I Am Stupid

I Am Stupid

Dear Diary …

So here’s what I’m trying to figure out … Who’s stupid? Are we all getting stupider as a society? Or is it just me getting stupider?

Because man … I feel stupid these days. And I don’t know if its just that I’m gettin’ stupid because I’m getting older, or I’ve killed off all my brain cells, or like … COVID or something … but my head just don’t work right no more. God forbid you ask me to read something that’s longer than the label of a shampoo bottle because I can’t … focus. Maybe this is it for me? Maybe I’m on the downward spiral here?

You know what? NO! No I am not. I am fully capable of being a smarty pants, learning things, and remembering stuff. It’s simply that my (and everybody else’s) brain is a lazy, flabby lump that just doesn’t wanna work. Or even worse … it wants to just mess with you.

Think about when you need to remember something. I don’t know about you, but these days if I don’t put a reminder in my phone or on my calendar … it ain’t happening. Couple weeks ago there was some eclipse going on. And I’m a big ol’ dork and I like looking at things like that, so I wanted to check it out.

But at the same time … I’m a big ol’ STUBBORN dork and I decided, “No! I am NOT putting a reminder in my phone to go outside and watch this eclipse. I will NOT give into my brain and so help me GOD I’m gonna remember this!” Nope. Forgot. Not even the teeny tiniest inkling that night of “hey man … got anything you need to remember?”

And I knew my brain wasn’t gonna put in the work, but part of me didn’t care and just wanted to see if it would actually let me down yet again. And yes … yes it would.

But here’s the frustrating and annoying thing … I know darn well my brain CAN remember things. Because you know what I ALWAYS remember? Everything I put on my calendar.

I don’t even need the reminder or notification because my brain is all, “Duh! We knew that already … We don’t need any kind of reminder you idiot!”

But if there is no reminder?

[[[DUMMY SOUNDING MUSIC]]] “Boomp a doomp a doomp … I forgot! You know you should really set a reminder for me so I don’t forget.”

Why do we love screwing with ourselves so much? Screwing with other people? Totally get it! But why are we built to sabotage our own existence?

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

The Line Is the Line

The Line Is the Line

Dear Diary …

Do you know what a line looks like? Now I don’t have a whole lot of faith in people, but I am pretty confident that if I asked you to draw a straight line on a piece of paper, you could do it. Look at you! Who’s the big winner?

OK … so now you have a straight line. So … if I ask you as humans to line up in a straight line, I’d like to think you’d be able to do that as well …. Except … you can’t!

Hey … dodos! If you go somewhere … like …. say … the farmers market and there’s a bunch of people standing in a line waiting for it to open. You don’t just stand there at the entrance to try to sneak your way in!

“Oh! I didn’t realize there was a line!”

What exactly do you think the rest of us are doing over here … organized sunbathing? Waiting for an invisible bus to arrive?

Self checkout at the grocery store is another great example where these shady ignoramuses try to skeet themselves in.

“Oh … were you in line?”

Noooo!! Just loitering. Love loitering.

I get it … you don’t wanna wait in this line. I don’t wanna wait in this line either, but I do. Because that’s what normal humans who contribute to society do.

Moving on Diary … I hate the playground.

And it’s not that I hate the playground ALL the time … sometimes its a great way to toss a couple kids out there and keep ‘em occupied for a while. The problem is when it’s the LURE of the playground as an add-on. So like when I have to drag my butt to a boring ol’ PTA meeting at the school … sit there … listen to talkin’ … vote on stuff … and then all you wanna do afterward is get home because you’ve working all day, and still need to make dinner, and still have laundry, and gotta make lunches for the next day, and the toilets are dirty, and … “Can we stay and play on the playground for a while?”

No … I’m sorry … Mommy and Daddy have a lot of …

“PLEEEEEEASSE??? Everybody else is staying!!”

Yup … don’t mind us. We’ll just sit here … while you have joy. And then we’ll FINALLY get home and immediately be asked, “When’s dinner? I’m hungry!”

Ahhh yes … our little blessings.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye

Water Is Stupid

Water Is Stupid

Dear Diary …

I don’t care what science says … water is stupid.

“Oh but it’s the building block of life and you need it to live”

Yeah yeah yeah … I know, but it’s still stupid.

Hate water!

Because here it is, being the building block of life and everything, and then it’s always trying to destroy us and ruin our day at the same time.

If you’re someone who owns a house, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Pretty much all the problems you encounter have something to do with water.

Toilet don’t work. Water.

Ice maker is broken. Water.

Water heater leaking. It’s in the name … Water!

Leaking. That’s the worst. My air conditioning unit is in the attic of my house, and over the weekend I look up … Hey! There’s a bunch of water dripping out of the ceiling! Hooray!

And what drives me crazy is all it took was one random morning and now there’s this big gigantic brown stain of sadness all over the ceiling that makes it look like my house has been rotting since the day “The Wizard of Oz” was released in theaters. So now I gotta paint … which might be the only thing dumber than water.

Hate that brown ring of shame. And I love how we’re all SOOO judgemental about that stain. You go looking at houses for sale and you see anything like that and you’re all, “Oooh … looks like this house has some water damage.”


I guarantee you the person saying that is currently living in a house with water damage that they’re gonna try to hide from the next person who buys it.

And don’t even get me started about the torrential thunderstorms that start kicking up this time of year and what they mean for the basements of the world.

If you ever hear somebody say, “Oh I just love when we have big thunderstorms. It’s so soothing!”

That’s a person who lives in an apartment, cuz there ain’t nothing soothing about hoping that you’re sump pump doesn’t pick today to die in the corner. Or God forbid the power go out in this storm, cuz now you’re gonna play “water bucket fill-a-thon” until it comes back.

And let me just make an editorial comment about the stupid mail I get from the water company … and the electrical company too … about how I should give them extra money every month because I “own” the equipment that’s on my property and it’s no doubt outdated and falling apart and planning to crap out at any minute.

It’s funny how their definition of “ownership” and mine are totally different. Like … for example … I own my couch. So if I move, I take couch with me.

But I can’t take my electrical box with me, now can I?

But I thought I owned it?

Oh that’s right … I only own the privilege of PAYING for it when it’s broken. Fantastic!

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye

The Reality of Virtual Reality

The Reality of Virtual Reality

Dear Diary …

While nobody can predict the future, I do think sometimes you can look at trends and patterns to get a good idea of what is going to happen. Oh who am I kidding? Just look at what rich people are doing and where they’re putting their money … THAT’S how you’re gonna be able to predict the future.

So when I put my “rich people glasses” on I can see that billions and billions of dollars are being invested into a completely different world that will exist in virtual reality. Do I love it? Not really. There’s a pretty good chance it’s going to turn us all into a bunch of helmet-wearing cyborgs that never actually interact in real life, but it also has plenty of amazing potential to change our lives for the better.

And I can say this without a shadow of a doubt … one of those amazing and innovative ways is definitely NOT Gorilla Tag. If you are unfamiliar with Gorilla Tag, it is a game for the Oculus VR headset that is the single biggest scourge on humanity. It’s basically a little world where all the players are gorillas and they’re playing tag … so yeah … Gorilla Tag. And while that name makes total sense in its simplicity, it really is the wrong name for this game, because really what it should be called is “Drive Parents Crazy and Eventually Cost Them Money.”

Why? Because every kid playing is like my kid … crazily swinging his arms all over the place since he’s running around this virtual world like he’s a gorilla. And while I appreciate the fact that he’s actually getting some form of exercise, I don’t appreciate the fact that he has now launched his handheld controls against the wall of my living room on multiple occasions, causing pieces and batteries to fly all over the place.

And you know what happens next with kids … Hey you need to be more careful …


No. You don’t know. Because one of these times your controller is going to smash into bits and be broken.


And you can threaten till you’re blue in the face that if it’s broken it’s not getting repaired or replaced, but you know that never sinks in. Ain’t no kid on the planet that plans one second into their future. All they care about is whatever they can do right in that current instant. (I mean … we do say “live in the moment” all the time, so I guess they have that one figured out.)

Oh and “Drive Parents Crazy and Eventually Cost Them Money” is only one of the potential new names for Gorilla Tag. I’d also like to suggest “Go to the Hospital” because I’ve watched my kid bang his wrists against the living room furniture over and over again to the point that he’s had to lay down on the ground and take a few deep breaths to recover. So I can only imagine that a trip to urgent care is an inevitable part of my future.

That’s the kicker with this stupid virtual reality … they want you to have this gigantic perimeter of free space to be able to play with. I mean sure … Kanye West’s house has big goofy rooms with no furniture in it, but what normal human house has that kind of space? Especially close to a television that people actually use.

So yes my friends … this is our future … being injured while pretending to be fun-loving gorillas and have our Sith Lords Bezos, Musk, and Zuckerberg controlling our every move. So for those of you out there who live out in the boonies, can I just ask … Got any land off the grid I can buy?

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

The Insignificant Champion of the World

The Insignificant Champion of the World

Dear Diary …

Over the weekend I went to the Starcade, that’s a retro video arcade with all the old school games. So … while I was there I played Ms. Pacman. Kids … if you’re unfamiliar with Ms. Pacman, it’s just like Fortnite except that it’s absolutely nothing like Fortnite and the graphics are bad and the game is goofy. But when I was kid, it was the best we had and we were freakin’ thrilled to play it.

And Diary … let me just say … I was really flippin’ good at Ms. Pacman back in the day. I’m talking put one quarter in, play for a half hour and destroy the high score (whatever it was). At one point in my life, any time I was in an airport, I would find the random corner where they had a Ms. Pacman video game.

For whatever reason, pretty much every airport had a Ms. Pacman game. So I’d find it on my layover, sit there and crush the high score, and then go on my merry way. I’m dead serious … Philly, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago, New York City … your boy Zack Jackson had the high score in all of em.

So I played it again over the weekend … hadn’t really played in years. And let me just say … I am still pretty freakin’ awesome at Ms. Pacman. Didn’t even play my best game and still beat the high score by 100,000 points.

So here’s my question … what the heck, God? This? THIS is my talent? Tom Brady plays football like it’s a symphony. Adele has the voice of an angel. Leo DiCaprio is an amazing actor who creates masterful movies. And here I am … [[MUNCH MUNCH MUCH]] … gobblin’ up little white pellets on an old ass computer screen from an obsolete game from 1984. Whoopity doo!!!

I mean God forbid I have that skill be applied to like … oh I don’t know … managing my financial portfolio. Or at the very least something useful like how to fix the stupid water dispenser on my fridge that’s broken right now. Nahhh … [[MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH]]

And furthermore … why is it that 30 years later my brain can still remember how to crush a game of Ms. Pacman but I can’t remember pick my kid up from school on time without setting an alarm? You know … for an organ that claims to be the smartest one in our body … the brain really is a stupid squishy blob of idiot a lot of the time.

This is why I drink. Not because it does my brain any good … but if that thing isn’t going to apply itself anyway and use any of the available brain cells, who really cares if I kill them with a few gin and tonics? Thanks for nothing brain!

Till next time Diary … I say … goodbye.