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Hazard’s 10 Dating Commandments

Dating

Let’s be real fellas.  When we’re out on that hot date with that cute girl we’ve been eyeing for the past quarter century, we don’t just want to impress – we want to bring our A Game.  And to do so, it’s important we all follow our own regiment, our personal set of dating guidelines we’ve set for ourselves in order tame the wild lioness across the table right before driving her mad into a frenzy of lust.  Not to be confused with a delusional sense of empowerment over our nervous selves as we choke up and enter a downward spiral of failure and self loathing.  I’ll get to that later.  Gentlemen, I’m talking about the toolset every man needs in order to be fully prepared for a proper night out – the Dating Commandments.  And here’s a sneak peak at my own hand crafted, uniquely sculpted set..

Fresh pair of underwear before leaving the house.

Comfort is confidence, gents!

Steer clear of spicy foods.

Don’t want a boothseat earthquake to shake her away before cocktails.  If you’re dining at a familiar restaurant and you become clueless for menu choices, best stick with old faithful.

Seat choice and positioning.

Position yourself at the table so you have ease of access to the washroom, but not so you’re facing the TV.  TVs tend to be too distracting, and you’ll never follow or create conversation when the game is on.  Don’t be a fool, PVR that shit.  Oh, and go for the booth seat if at all possible, where the washroom is still in your sightline and the TV is not.  Booths are just generally more comfy, and she’ll appreciated it.  Plus it’ll accent the comfort of your freshly pressed undies.

Be aware of signs of crazy.

I should clarify.  Spontaneous is cute, but if your date is doing something that is clearly setting off red flags, it may be time to call it a night.  Followed immediately by calling it quits.

It’s all about dictation.

When you speak, pretend every word that comes out of your mouth is being narrated in Morgan Freeman’s voice.  This will automatically make you more confident, and interesting.

Booze etiquette.

If you’re in an alcohol consuming environment, pace yourself.  You don’t want to slur or stumble around and lose your manly suave demeanour.

Stories, stories, stories.

Tell her interesting stories about yourself, but don’t brag.  You want to play yourself up and seem interesting, yet at the same time passive and subtle.

The dreaded numbers question.

Gentlemen, this conversation doesn’t always pop up, but if it does you certainly want to be prepared for this.  If a lady friend asks how many women you’ve…courted, don’t respond with the real number, nor with a lie.  The best reply is to play it down on a sad key of how a relationship went sour and you were single for a half year, met a lot of new people until you met your next longterm girl.  Which also ended sadly.  Then make a comment of how you never really counted, but it’s about the quality of relationships that interests you, not a petty number of mistakes.  Seem too suave?  Yeah, I couldn’t pull this off either..

Picking up the tab.

Be sure to pay for at least both meals, if not the entire tab.  Hey, you’re out to impress, not save a buck.  Idiot.

Closing conversation.

On the drive home afterwards, be sure to play it cool and not let stupid sentences fall out the front of your face.  Be sure to compliment her, but be confident about what you say.  Be yourself!


 

What Hazard ACTUALLY does…

 

Before I continue, I should explain that these are not in order nor pertaining to one particular date in its entirety, but rather real experiences throughout the years.  Every explanation holds validity and is 100% true.  And pressing on.

Fresh pair of underwear before leaving the house.

Not too long ago I rocked the classic fresh pair of gitch, but wore year old running shoes. She noticed.  And commented. The nerve..

Steer clear of spicy foods.

I went for the spicy italian penne dish. Old faithful alright.  I was farting before dessert was served.

Seat choice and positioning.

We sat at the most comfortable booth in the back corner for privacy.  I couldn’t find the washrooms and there were 2 TVs in my path.  I didn’t hear anything she said midway through first period.

Be aware of signs of crazy.

OK, I really wasn’t ready for this.  One time on a date, we decided to make a homemade dinner.  Her objection to my love for spaghetti and homemade sauce apparently wasn’t a large enough red flag, and so we headed to the supermarket to pick up alternate dinner supplies.  At the veggie isle, she decided it was a great idea to “test” the veggies before buying.  I looked at her shocked and asked her what the deuce she was doing eating food off the shelf.  She looked at me annoyed, and asked me if I had ever “lived on the edge”.  I replied all the time, and explained however eating a habanero pepper live off the shelf didn’t meet my wild lifestyle criteria.  As her eyes widened with horror (and flames), she ran and grabbed an orange juice and began chugging it in the middle of the store.  I chuckled, explaining that what she consumed was an acid and she required a base such as milk, to counteract the burning effect.  As she ran to the dairy isle and began drinking a milk, I was tearing up with laughter and politely explained to her that I wasn’t paying for the orange juice or milk.  However I was willing to spot her for the pepper.  As she bee lined it to the store washroom, I created a twitter account.  That was the last time I saw that girl.

It’s all about dictation.

When you’re really into a girl, you tend to shed your natural skin and slowly become clad in the nervous armour of Shaggy from Scooby Doo.  I choked up on most of my words, and even Morgan Freeman couldn’t pull me out of that slump.  My inner narration slowly became more and more that of Peter Griffin, until I actually started doing the voice on my own.  She stared at me blankly.  Women never seem to appreciate voice impressions.  I switched to a Stewie Griffin.

Booze etiquette.

This one time, I had a lady friend back at my parents place outside in the hot tub.  About 3 over too many beers in, I had to goto the washroom, located in the house and downstairs.  My dad had previously ripped out all the carpet on the staircase for a renovation that STILL HASN’T BEEN FINISHED.  What happens when you combine too much alcohol, wet feet and a slippery staircase?  Well, let’s just say my joints are still bothering me to this day.

Stories, stories, stories.

One time, becoming overzealous in my story telling, I revealed a story in which I inadvertently wore a condom home from an ex girlfriends house and dropped it accidentally in front of my parents.  Embarrassing?  Meh.  As they say, no shame no gain!  Or was that pain..?  I should probably delete this.

The dreaded numbers question.

I once went out with a girl who was adamant on knowing.  I didn’t know which direction to lie, up or down?  Lying up may seem douchey, however lying down would bring me into the negatives.  Nervously, I began to name off every girl I had ever been with.  And I should have stopped there!

Picking up the tab.

Before I continue, allow me to explain that I am Mennonite.  In other words, I can be stingy as heck with my cash flow.  Now, if the girl means a lot to me, I of course have zero quarrel paying every time.  However on the flip side, I always watch to see how the date reacts when the bill is passed to the table – the stare into my eyes, the purse open, or the shy look away.  I’ll always pay, people.  I just won’t always like it.

Closing conversation.

This one probably takes the cake.  I began seeing a girl over a decade ago, and was driving her home.  I was still kind of new to dating, and didn’t know how to end the conversation before dropping her off.  I liked her, but was young and didn’t want to be tied down.  In my head I had played out how I was going to break it clean and just be friends, but when I opened my mouth to talk “I love you” secreted out the front of my stupid head.  That right there turned into a year long relationship.

 

I realize now that most advice I give should be taken with a grain of salt.  Especially when it’s free.  However, doomed to remain single as it may seem, while you’re all out there getting married and making babies, I’m making memories.  Terrible and awkward as they may be, I cherish every one.  And that’s something that no marital status, or therapist for that matter, can take away from me.

Play Ball!

 

baseball-god

The wind was light but present as the sun was breaking through the morning clouds.  The bases fully loaded.  Two had already walked, the last batter hitting to first.  This next hit should be a breeze.  I could visualize the ball slow motion, connecting perfectly with the bat and sailing out over the fence.  Both dugouts fell silent as time seemed to slow down.  A bead of sweat trailed my forehead to my chin.  It was my move.  My time to shine.  Only one problem remained.  I was the pitcher..

With hockey winding down to the occasionally rare summer call out, it was time to hang the pads and dust off the old ball glove.  However, contrary to popular belief, I’m horrible at softball.  Sure it may seem like I have an athletically sound greek hockey-god body, but it’s mainly been used to drink beer, inhale tobacco and sleep in on weekends.  In short, I live the life of an asshole.  At least I’m not cocky.

This past weekend was the opening season tournament, and our brand new team hit the field ready and raring for action.  We didn’t expect to do great, or even to win for that matter.  All we expected was to figure out our place on the field and maybe contract a minor hangover in the morning.  One out of those two happened.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t the hangover.

Keeping in mind I did play two years prior for one season, and that team stuck me as pitcher because I was roving as a right fielder, it was apparent I would step up to the mound this year as well due to my uncanny ability to stay within 10 feet of the mound at all times.  Oh, and I can throw, too.  The rest of the team found their spots quickly and things began to fall into place.

Throughout the tournament we calculated that a beer-to-performance ratio was directly proportional, and by the end of Saturday we managed to crush a team 17-6.  My one and only lucky play involved diving and intercepting a ground bouncing hit, throwing it to first to make the out the whilst I fell over backwards.  Now, to put this into proper perspective, the field we played on looked a little something like this… LS_Beerleague-baseball

However, to me in that moment, the field felt a little something like this.. PNC_baseball_park-HD

Pure, inefficient, effective luck on that play did not hinder me in the slightest from popping up off the ground screaming “I’M AMAZING” while jaunting back to the dugout.  All of a sudden I began to love baseball.  I began wearing my hat backwards and leaving my aviators on during innings.  I even started walking out to the pitchers mound in faux slow motion between innings until I got yelled at.  And as the weekend progressed without me coming close to playing as well as I did during that game, I kept reliving that moment for the duration of the tournament.  And reminding my teammates how cool I am.

By the end of the weekend I was sore, horribly sunburnt and exhausted.  My tongue was sore from an excess of sunflower seeds, and I’m very sure I packed on at least 5 pounds from consumables such as beer and ball park hotdogs.  Unlike hockey, slow pitch baseball may be the only sport I’ve ever played that will wind up putting me in worse shape by the end of the season than I was in when I registered.  And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Easter Weekend – A Couple of Canucks’ Stay in the USA

hotel

Growing up, our family made an Easter tradition of heading down to Grand Forks ND for an extended family weekend trip. The uncles would watch sports, the wives would go shopping, and us kids would swim laps in the Ramada’s pool until we got kicked out for excessive WWE behaviour. Now, granted I haven’t actually been in attendance on this family fun filled adventure over the past few years, I’ve noticed that things are a lot different when you go back on the same trip and are no longer a kid.

Evidently, reaching adulthood for my younger brothers meant sharing some qualities that I’ve attained over my life.  After convincing my youngest brother that staying home was a bad idea and he should feel ashamed for even considering skipping out a family event for a date – something of which I was famous for – we packed up and left Thursday evening heading to Fargo, ND.  Well, we packed.  He angrily threw a single pair of board shorts along with his iPhone charger into the back of Dad’s truck and boarded the vehicle, something he regretted shortly after as he squirted ketchup all over his only shirt upon arrival at the hotel.  It didn’t take long to realize that this year was a lot different than how I remembered things years earlier..

For convenience sake, I’ve made two lists indicating some minor differences between this and previous years.

 

Previous years

  • all the grandkids were in attendance
  • the pool was the focal point
  • chicken and pizza was the standard dinner
  • no alcohol for the grandkids

 

This year

  • missing four regulars in attendance, and various significant others
  • Happy Harry’s was the focal point
  • chicken and pizza was the standard dinner
  • one brother got so drunk, he was adamant that he could last 2 min if we were to hold him down and waterboard him

 

Since our immediate family was a party of seven in attendance, we had two rooms paid for us.  This makes sense, as both rooms had 2 beds and 1 couch per living space.  Unfortunately, dividing up the married couples between rooms meant there was no party room, and the singles were forced to drink beer in the hallway past 10:30pm.  And that was after migrating out of the stairwell on account of “scaring the guests”.  Please.  Like no American has ever seen a few Canadians drinking beer in leather jackets on a dimly lit flight of steps violently discussing our NHL playoff picks.  Watch a movie!  Or at least the first 20 minutes of Goon.

As Saturday rolled on out, so did every brother and cousin.  Back to Canada.  Leaving me behind in Fargo with the aunts, uncles, and worst of all my mothers dog.  Saturday night was a special night for the adults as they planned out a generous meal at a semi prestigious restaurant, all expenses covered by the grandparents.  Being 31 years of age, many years older than the other kids, I’ve always placed myself among the adult side of the crowd.  However in the absence of the kids, I fell back into the kid category by default and stayed back at the hotel to dog sit.

I have to be honest though, it WAS my own choice.  I felt the parents and elderly folk should go out and enjoy themselves.  Besides, I set the dog up like a princess in her own bath with the door to the washroom shut and fan turned on high whilst I watched the playoffs and ordered in an obscene amount of pizza.

fourloco

Side note, I’ve once blogged before about how much I simply wuv momma’s precious little puppy.  You can find that here, A Rather Unorthodox Foe.

Even though the younger crowd left early, I did manage to get in a lot of good quality time with the grandparents and rest of the fam jam.  Wound up spending a tad over my original budget of $0, and walked away with most of the chocolate that my grandparents had intended for everyone.  Hey bro, you snooze you lose.

And, even though were were miles away from our home in Canada, I was still able to attend church on Sunday before departing the hotel for home.  Merica!

 

throne

Hockey’s Over, Back to the Treadmill..

Treadmill_Fail-e1333014924107

Ugh, it’s that painful part of the year again where my favourite winter sport has come to an end, and I no longer have any more excuses to be skipping out on that $40 per month torture chamber  I signed up for.  With the skates hung up for the season and the running shoes joining a 90s Reebok sweatband in the gym bag, I’ve finally pulled out the trusty iPod and joined the ranks of other sweaty ill-dressed folk on the front lines of Treadmill Row.

First off, lets take a brief look at my workout history the last few months.  I stood in a hockey net.  Now, where this is a surprisingly good core and leg workout, it really does zilch for ones cardio.  I bought a book on goaltending this winter – which already gives you an idea of how amazing my natural skills totally are – and it mentioned that goalies don’t really focus on cardio, and instead focus on other muscle groups and plyometric training.  It went on to say how some legendary goalies were alcoholics and smokers, and how it didn’t really affect their game.  So naturally I upped my drinking and began smoking again to be in tip top hockey condition.  That’s all fine and dandy, however it leaves me at a great disadvantage now in spring, where I’m back at the gym running like a hamster on a wheel.

I’m two days in on my new workout regiment, and am still barely able to run a mere 2 miles without the urge to faint and/or lose my lunch.  This is insulting, as last year at this time I was already pounding out 8 milers on a regular basis in preparation training for the Manitoba Half Marathon.  Sigh.  The weights at the gym seem heavier, too.  That 45lb plate is totally inaccurate, man.  Even the steam room seems unbearably hot these days.  Like the gym is trying to force me out at every stop.

No matter how sore, winded, or steamed out I become, I’m fighting through the first week.  Naturally, I’ve since quit smoking again and cut the drinking down to a minimum to prepare for a possible Manitoba Marathon entry.  To top it off, against my own will and under the influence of a friend, I’ve also changed my dietary intake of fast food to zero and I’m -attempting- to eat healthier now.  The food is the toughest part.  I’ve noticed that the healthier I eat, the more vampiric I become when the mere thought of a burger slips into my mind..

Quitting most of the bad habits was surprisingly easy, and thanks to a recent post-work party and getting ejected with my group from my favourite restaurant, it gave me a push in the right direction to cut out the booze.  And, well, stop eating pizza.  Although that adventure may be an entry for another day.

The Other “F” Word

fatherhood

Just to prove that I do have a shred of humanity buried deep inside this twisted mind of mine, I occasionally consider a life where I would hold others in a higher regard over myself.  A life where I’m not my own focal point, and where everything I did would strongly influence the life of another.  Where I’d be entrusted as a responsible human being to put my own needs aside to provide and give care for a higher priority.  That’s right folks, I’m talking about fatherhood.

Sometimes I think of what my life would be like if I had kids.  I’m at the age now where I’m already thinking of a family life and what that would be like.  Fully understanding that this may also include finding someone who already has kids.  Keeping in mind that being a guardian is not the same as being a biological father, it’s just as important.  You would still love the child, and provide the same way a real father would.

Of course, with older kids it would be a lot different.  For instance, if I walked into someones life and they had a 9 year old, the child wouldn’t necessarily view me as “dad”.   If I ever were to become “dad” to the child, it would be on their terms.  And in a lot of situations, you just remain a guardian which is fine too.  My uncle married someone with two kids from a prior relationship, and he’s just referred to as “Dave” around the house.  Or Uncle D, whenever I come over to score a free meal.  My aunt is aces.

Just for fun, lets run through a checklist of skills I ALREADY have that would be deemed baby daddy worthy..  

  • I have 4 younger brothers, and therefore know how to change a diaper.
  • I took a babysitting course (that my mom made me take), and was the only male in it.  This means I know how to deal both with keeping a child alive by myself for several hours, and also with humiliation in a social setting.
  • Just the same as newborns, I enjoy a good boob, which means early on I could relate to my child

Although I am no where close to a situation that grants me captains seat in the minivan, I’ve lightly joked with the idea of adopting a baby and playing the roll of a single dad.  Interesting fact, did you know if a man adopts a baby he’s still entitled to paternity leave?  Forget crazy cat ladies, being a crazy baby daddy could be my retirement plan!  Just picture a house with 70 kids and a man in a housecoat running around with a newspaper and corncob pipe shouting “pull my finger” at every turn.  Try getting a house full of cats on that bandwagon.  Although, the title crazy baby daddy sounds negative..

Dental Dam-nation, a Hygienists Dating Flossify

dental_hygienist_by_javecz-d5dj4qe

I was at the dentist today, appointment aptly scheduled in the midst of the work day so I could have half the day off with a valid excuse, when I had an epiphany – are female dental hygienists lonely women?  Is it tough for them to find a date?  Let’s take a dive into the web of tangled thoughts that is my brain.

Of course, I have to specify “female” dental hygienists, because men can work in the same profession.  Just the same as there are female dentists and male nurses.  It’s 2014 people, lets not be stereotypical.

However I do imagine that these women could be in fact lonely to a certain degree.  First of all, they stare down into disgusting mouthes for a living, picking and scraping at misshapen teeth until their hands are covered in the blood of puffy red gums.  They continue to spray down the bacterial filled chasm with water, and slurp up the slew with a glorified, TRANSPARENT vacuum cleaner.  I mean seriously, I’d imagine once you experience this multiple times a day, you wouldn’t be able to look at any mouth the same ever again.

So how could they ever kiss someone on a date?  With the knowledge they have of what’s inside a mouth?  Who’d want to go near that?  Certainly no hygienist ever has gone out on a date with a client, but I imagine that there could also be reasons for a client to not want to go out with a hygienist.  Intimidation, mainly.  Confused?  Allow me to elaborate..

Here’s how my appointment went.  We began the first minutes of the disinfecting session with me biting her finger, hard enough to cause obvious pain yet miraculously without piercing her glove.  Talent.  Before she gets to carving into the lowest hole in my head, she asks what my plans were for the evening.  Staring down at the tray of torture utensils, I nervously blurt out “Netflix”.  Her eyes light up, as does the giant retractible light aimed right at my retina.

She continues to gouge at my wide open mouth with what feel like scalpels as she makes small talk about Netflix, asking me what shows I’ve seen and what movies to watch, as I secrete unrecognizable words coupled with drool at her.  Not allowing me to hold the vacuum myself to levy the buildup of saliva and tooth shavings in my mouth, I’m at the mercy of her own judgement of when I begin running low on oxygen since I’m now holding my breath in three minute intervals.

She must have gotten wise to my visual vitals at one point, because as I was convulsing from her literally hitting a nerve under my gum line she asked if I was still doing ok.  She must have seen my glasses fog up from the beads of sweat on my forehead.  I squealed out an immediate wide mouthed “uh huh” in affirmation.  Hey, I’m a man.

She pulled out a new tool at the end that she called a “sonic tooth cleaner” which was a glorified dremelling pick that she explained vibrated at extremely high frequencies and used the water gun to “keep it water cooled”.  Also, she mentioned not to worry about the high pitched drilling sound it emitted, and that it shouldn’t hurt but to keep her updated.  Ok first of all, Jesus Christ.  Secondly, I’m not sure that it hurt because all I could focus on was the screaming sound coming from the tool, which she’s convinced was coming from me.

At the end of the visit, after all the blood sweat and tears are soaked into perfectly square dental paper in the garbage, I’m discharged from her surgical chair with a new toothbrush and a pack of floss.  Somehow during our session, the once beautiful blonde hygienist had been replaced with a brutally sadistic woman with a twisted grin.  She tells me I can either floss daily, or we’ll go through that whole escapade again.  I of course didn’t ask for her phone number, because seriously…why.  I did however find out her next most coveted show to begin on Netflix.  Dexter.  I immediately left and flossed in my truck.

The Ground is Lava starting…NOW

groundislava

So I went to bed the other night and made the classic pet owner mistake – left the bedroom door open.  Just as I closed the laptop screen and stretched out in my post-Netflix / pre sleeping pose, I felt the cat jump onto the bed from the dresser.  Ignoring her, I went to sleep.  Not five minutes in, I awoke with a start by getting batted in the face by what only looked like a blurry grey slipper.  No matter how hard I tried to fall back asleep, the little purr factory insisted I stay away and give her attention or she’d continue to walk across my head and chest, occasionally swatting at me if she saw my eyes close.  Finally having enough, I tried to push her off the bed, only to have to leap onto the window sill, then back to the bed.  Again I pushed her, and again she jumped up this time onto the dresser.  This continued with the chair, night stand, and even laundry basket, but she never touched the floor.  This got me thinking.

I grew up in a house of five brothers, myself being the oldest.  We’d play a variety of games together, whether it be ninja turtles where I got to beat them up, WWF where I got to beat them up, nerf gun games where I got to shoot them then beat them up, or something simple like monopoly – where I’d lose and by default beat them up.  Yet sometimes, when I wasn’t grounded for beating them up, we’d play our favourite game – and mom’s most hated – the ground is lava.

The rules were simple, don’t touch the ground or you die.  There is a science behind fictional floor lava of course, and the first law of Floor Lava is that inanimate objects are impervious to its destructional characteristics.  This means only carbon based life forms are susceptible to death via contact with Floor Lava.  In order to stay alive and still get around, you’d need to find a path where you can climb, scale, or even jump across objects outside or even inside your own home.  Common household objects used are any piece of furniture, primarily furniture yielding detachable pillows.  A wise man once said, “Where there are pillows, there is life.”  Don’t quote me entirely, but I believe it was Mahatma Gandhi.

The game typically begins when someone shouts “THE GROUND IS LAVA!”, and where this is technically a legal start, it’s the jerk way of catching people off guard who may be in the bathroom.  A more common way is to declare a start with a short countdown, allowing everyone to prepare themselves mentally for the forthcoming challenge.  One time I declared it over a Facebook status update, and immediately got an angry comment stating that I was an asshole and how it would take my friend forever to get home from the bar.  So, you know, keep that in mind.

Another widely unknown variation of the game originated in France, calling the game Parkour.  Parkour is French for “Oh my God, lava, run!”, and is played by pretending the lava isn’t covering the entire ground, but instead a tidal wave that chases them in a forward moving path destroying everything in it’s wake.

Since this game goes way beyond pop culture and is widely played in North America, why couldn’t we declare it a national holiday?  Hell, even a paid federal holiday would be great, keep mom and dad at home and make it a family event.  Having the entire nation in on it would be cool too, everyone would be making a mad dash to the stores the day before to get what they need, or borrowing a cup of sugar from your neighbour could be mayhem.  We wouldn’t even need to make a new holiday per se, maybe rename Louis Riel day.  Or if that offends you, shift it to overlap Halloween!  Keep the costumes on, just make those kids work for their candy.  It’d sure limit the number of kids at your house, allowing you to watch Hellraiser with less interruptions.

This holiday is only a pipe dream for as long as we allow it, people!  Write your congressman, email your city councillor!  Take some action!  In the meantime I’m going to rally up some pillows and head over to my parent’s house.  They just bought a new sectional, and all my brothers are home for dinner!  Score.

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