Archive for July, 2009

This post is to inform all Wood’s Stock readers of Ben’s side project, Wood vs. Willis, a collaboration between Ben and David Willis, a brilliant mind and Wood’s Stock friend. The blog, found at is an ongoing argumentative dialogue between the two author’s on subjects diverse, life-changing, comical, and outlandish. We hope you enjoy it, and encourage your comments and questions for debate.

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In courtship you are allowed three strikes. Each time that you turn someone down for any reason whatsoever you earn a strike. Can’t go see a movie because of homework? Strike. Can’t have dinner because you’re babysitting your niece? Strike. Can’t go for a walk because you’re attending your grandmother’s funeral? Strike.

You think I’m kidding about that last one, but I’m not. Women, in general, are utterly clueless and unappreciative of the amount of mental anguish that a man goes through to ask them out. It is one of the most painfully god-awful actions that we men have to go through, and yet the burden lies solely on our shoulders.

I cannot count the number of times that I have heard girls complain of the lack of, or method of, date invitations that they receive.

“He texted me, can you believe it?”

“He still hasn’t asked me out, what a jerk.”

Or in a related field:

“We went out like three weeks ago and I’ve barely even heard from him.”

The whole situation seems engineered for men to fail. We have to make the initial effort for a first date, thus the female already knows that there is interest on our part. We go out, and then we have to decide by analyzing the successes and failures of the first encounter whether we think that a second attempt will end in our favor. We know nothing about the woman’s feelings other than that she was gracious enough to let us pay for her meal and then act polite throughout an evening.

It’s like playing “Go Fish” where one person knows what’s in the other’s hand.

To me, there has to be a system of give and take, push and pull, or, as I prefer it called, Ping and Pong.

Boy asks girl out. Ping.

Girl sends day-after salutation (verbal, or electronic) thanking for a lovely evening, maybe even saying casually “we should do that again sometime. Pong.

Boy asks girl out again. Ping.

Girl invites boy to a social event that she and her friends will be attending. Pong.


If everyone were to live the Ping-Pong life, most doubts would be eliminated from the courtship process. Pursuit would continue as far as the pings and pongs occur. When interest wanes, one player need only cease to ping/pong and the game screeches to a standstill.

On the whole, however, girls do not understand this. They’ll be head over heals ga-ga for a guy and yet do nothing to transmit the slightest interest to him. They’ll go on one date and sit waiting for the phone to ring in their pajamas eating obscene amounts of chocolate and wondering “what did I do wrong?”

It’s not what you did, it’s what you didn’t do. At the very moment that she sits elbow deep in tear-soaked brownie mix, Mr. Right is still going over the date in his mind wondering if she’s in to him at all.

As a result of this haphazard way of life, our generation has been engineered to believe that it’s the job of the man to just try, try again until wedding bells ring or he is forcefully verbally rejected. We never see it coming, and we’re terrified of it, thus apprehension often leads us to inaction, and so it goes.

For this, I follow the simple 3 strikes process. Any time that a girl is “busy” she gets a strike. 3 semi-consecutive strikes and I stop calling. Obviously this tactic allows for a high margin of error (girls are sometimes “busy” after all), but that’s a price that I’m willing to pay to save face.

There is a way to avoid the strike, and it’s very simple; it’s the word “but.” That three-letter word speaks volumes. Let’s look at the following examples.

Example 1:

“Oh I can’t, I’m busy”

Example 2:

“Oh I can’t, I’m busy BUT how about tomorrow night?”

Or, if that seems to forward:

“Oh I can’t, I’m busy BUT another time I’d love to.”

The difference: one gets a strike, the other gets a pass. Example 1 sends a man to the nearest sand to bury his head, example 2 sends him to his calendar to plan another attack. Anytime that a girl simply says “no” for any reason, yes any reason, and leaves it at that, she might as well have said “as if!” and laughed in his face.

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I’d like to start this post with a shout-out to A new shirt every day for 11$, and something like a mature older-brother to the shirt.woot.

Not only is this “literally” the best shirt ever, but also a great commentary on how “literally” obsessed people are with saying the word–literally, and make scare quotes with their hands.

I use the scare quote in my writing more often than most purists would probably approve of. That’s the problem with having omnipresent sarcastic cynicism. It’s hard to accurately transfer my overbearing negativity accurately to the page. Certain situations require some sort of punctuation for example:

The Olive Garden is “delicious.”
3D movies are “awesome.”
Hot Rod is “so funny.”

Even taken out of context you might not realize how bitterly I despise all of those things, if it weren’t for the scare quotes a casual reader might even say to themselves “yeah, Hot Rod is funny.” If I could set the quotes with an ellipse (…) for added effect I would.

It isn’t funny. They’re not awesome. And the Olive Garden is the worst excuse for a restaurant I’ve ever been to…literally.

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Better Off Ted

Situational comedies, a.k.a. sitcoms, are slowly dying. Every year as the major media networks unveil their new lineups we see more and more carbon copy criminalist dramas (do we really need 3 CSIs?), cop dramas (Law and Order: Electric Bugaloo) , the growing trend Hospital/Nurse Dramas (HawthoRNe, anyone?), and the latest reality tv atrocity.
Whatever fresh programing arrives is quickly gobbled up by the onslaught of this year’s latest “Is he or isn’t he?” contestant on American Idol and/or McTasty from Grey’s Anatomy. More often than not, the literrally “best” shows on television are sucker-punched by the mindless conventional fare (a la Arrested Development).
Even comedies that were once laugh powerhouses are slowly fading into the background (i.e. The Office and My Name is Earl), or fizzling out entirely (R.I.P. Scrubs).
Enter Better Off Ted. The screwball ABC comedy performed mediocrilly in the spring and now finds itself airing new episodes in the summer with an unclear future in the fall.
The show centers on the title character, Ted, a middle-management man’s man at a soulless american supercompany, the drones that work for him, and his near robotic immediate superior (Development’s Portia de Rossi as stark raving mad as ever).
It’s not groundbreaking stuff, and far from perfect but it’s highly underrated and deserves much more attention for how funny it actually is. Most of the laughs come from the poor treatment that these employees receive; in one episode new motion detectors are installed that don’t register African Americans and in another employees are assigned cubicle-decoration personalites of 4 approved themes: Kittens, Space, Classic Cars, and The Green Bay Packers, instantly creating a warzone amongst the ensuing cliques.
There is no need to watch from the beginning, the underlying story is fairly basic and picked up immediately and each episode is complete in itself a la 30 rock. Most can be found on or other internet venues (or you could even be crazy enough and watch it on actual television).
You don’t have to love it, but give it a try. For all we know it could be the last new sitcom we ever watch.

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I’ve worked at a bakery for over a year; before that I worked 3 years at The Oaks restaurant in Ogden canyon. I feel I have a pretty good sampling of employment in the food industry and by far the absolute customer’s that I’ve ever had have been…
The Elderly
It all started with the Red Hat Society, a social club of senior women who dress in purple clothing and red hats and “support” local businesses in droves. Once a year they would make their way up the picturesque Ogden Canyon to enjoy some good food, good company, and a good opportunity to absolutely terrorize high-school and college aged restaurant employees. Red Hat day was the most infamous and ominous day of the year. It was marked on the calender with a sharp stinging red pen.
Most socialites understand that if you show up at an establishment with a group of 60-80 people you will naturally incur a degree of complications in regards to your orders, timeliness of serving, and overall accuracy of the staff. Most patrons would take these hiccups in stride, and a good number will actually see themselves as the burden and apologize to their servants for the inconvenience.
The Red Hats are not most people.
The Red Hats are evil.

Every minutia, from incorrect salad dressing to a delay in drink refilling was met systematically with the most stinging criticisms and rebukes ever heard inside the Oaks’ doors. Never mind that we had to essentially close the restaurant to all other customers for the near 2 1/2 hours that the Red Hats consumed, that their menu selections were, in a word, frugal (they weren’t eating steaks after all), that the servers were laboring harder than they ever had in their lives, and that their wages would be determined by the generosity of these patrons who, aside from their bedside manner, belong to a generation that is not neccesarily celebrated for it’s caliber of gratuity.
Every waitress we had on staff cried; they wept openly at the side of their tables as orders were hurled at them like scraps to dogs.
Thank you for your kind support of local business Red Hat Society.
After graduating I swore that I would never wait tables again, due in large part to that particular sorority.
Now I find myself back in the food business. I don’t serve tables, but food is purchased and consumed on-site and off and thus I am an employee of the food and beverage industry. Customers good and bad exist in all age ranges, during all seasons of the year; but as Logan’s student population switches to the more aged Summer Citizens all sorts of new challenges and old emotions enter my workplace.
I love a lot of our more elderly regulars, but at the same time you can notice an utter breakdown in the usually smooth flow of transactions. People but in line, oblivious to the customer’s around them, grab at items, oblivious to basic rules of workplace hygene, hoot and hollar in the face of minor inconveniences (sadly enough when your in the business of baked goods, things run out sometimes) and generally place their needs, often confused, above those of everyone around them; be it employees, other customers, or even members of their own party. So far none of the girls at work have cried, then again we’re paid by the hour.
I suppose they’ve earned it. At their age and after all you’ve been through you can be as cranky as you want; but it honestly scares the pants off me when I think of my own future. 50 years from now am I going to be Old Man Wood who yells at the kids to keep off his lawn while he sits in his rocking chair polishing his 20 guage? Will my wife be a Red Hat? Maybe, maybe not; it absolutely terrifies me to think about.
Well, except for the part with the gun.

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I had originally planned on writing one of my customarily negative rants for my next post. I had plenty of topics: the ensuing boredom at family events of being the sole unwed child in your immediate family; how the fourth of July as whole caters to couples more than singles; the absence of a Will Smith action movie this summer; Utah Health Inspectors; the Swine Flu etc.
All of that changed, however, when the lights went out over Huntsville, UT and we were treated to one of the best displays of patriotic pyrotechnics that our small town has ever seen. Even in tough economic times the event planners spared no expense.

The wood family 4.O.J. celebration has certainly evolved over the years. Gone is the shantytown of tents in our backyard (props to Grandma and Grandpa for sleeping outside though), and in addition to missing individuals, whole families were M.I.A. this year. Leah, as obnoxiously obsessive on frequenting family events as ever, even left Australia behind (and her Husband during their first anniversary) to attend the festivities. And in probably the most revolutionary event of the year my mother and father purchased a propane grill (pictured above) bringing an end to a decades-long dependence on fire pit-roasted hot dogs as our one carnivorous indulgence of the year (we’ve even made some steak…STEAK…in the Wood home!)

I love the fourth of July. I slept on the couch, was barraged by screaming childrein, was reminded over and over again of my status of solitaire, drank some root beer and got a warm fuzzy feeling while rockets exploded to the tune of “God Bless the U.S.A.”

If you’re on a parade float and you decide to squirt the crowd with water, bear in mind that anyone over the age of 11 would not think twice before slitting your throat.

If you’re part of the Independence Day musical entertainment stick to country, classic rock, and patriotic songs. Nobody wants to hear a 14 year old girl’s rendition of the Jonas Brothers on our nation’s birthday.

If you work for the State Health Department and are trying to shut down the McKay family snow cone stand, I don’t care if you are “just doing your job;” you’re a vile and disgusting person.

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*This archived post was written in 2009 and should not be taken as a representation of the author’s present views on politics and/or homosexuality*

Recently there has been much ado about nothing regarding the affairs of two republican politicians. Liberal weenies have been squealing in delight and muttering under their breath “so much for being the family values party.” In fact, recently at the bakery I was accosted (by association) as a patron went on and on about the two-faced shenanigans of the G.O.P.
First of all, the fact that we have a credo like “the family values party” to break should be enough to make the Dems shut up. The best they can hope for is that some Democrat Politician will vote to ban abortions and we’ll have to mutter under our breath “ooh, so much for being the baby-killer party.”
Second, the Democrats should know a thing or two about casting the proverbial first stone at marital infidelity. They still hold the trophy for all-time womanizer MVP.
Regardless of how individual members of the Republican party choose to conduct themselves does not change the fact that the G.O.P stands on the side of traditional families, marriage, abstinence-based sexual education (whether it’s a good idea or not), religion (speaking generally), NOT killing babies, and heterosexuality.
Of course, that last one makes us prejudiced and intolerant…or so I hear. After all, it’s not their fault their homosexual, they were born that way.
Obviously I am not a scientist, but lets analyze that for a second.
Let’s say, just for kicks, that there is a recessive homosexual gene in our genetic makeup that makes a person attracted to his own gender.

Example 1. (Hetero- and homosexual genes will hereby be referred to as H an h respectively)
Two HH (fully heterosexual) people marry and have 4 children



all four children are HH

Example 2
Two Hh (heterosexuals with dormant homosexual gene) people mary and have 4 children



1 child is HH, 2 are Hh, and 1 child is a flamboyant queen.

Carrying example 2 further, the gay child “marries” another homosexual person


they then reproduce and…….wait a minute, THEY CAN’T REPRODUCE. The gay gene is obliterated by no more than three generations.

Again, I’m no scientist, but based on my limited knowledge of the principle of survival of the fittest if homosexuality was a genetic condition than the entire species would be teetering on the brink of extinction; unlike what we see in life were being gay is the cool thing to do and you’re actually a rebel if you kiss someone who has different parts then you.
I find it humorous, actually, that the same people who believe whole-heartedly in evolution (the Democrats) also believe in…what’s the best word…normalization of homosexual behavior. Darwin himself teaches that the weak or unreproductive of the species will slowly die out as animals evolve.
If the Democrats have their way (which they almost undoubtedly will now that Al Franken has secured the philibuster-proof number 60 seat in the senate) same-sex marriages and abortions will run rampant until the human race ceases to exist. On one hand we’ll have families who can’t have children and on the other we’ll have children who never make it out of the womb.
In my head it plays out like a science fiction move. Centuries from now aliens will find a desolate planet, with nothing but the bones of gay-pride-parade patrons and unborn fetuses. They’ll wonder amongst themselves
“What kind of planet was this, what kind of people?”
And as the credits begin to roll the camera will pan to show the statue of liberty half-buried in sand with a red and blue donkey painted on her chest.
Now that’s some change I can believe in.

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