So, have you heard of the #TealPumpkinProject?


This year, we’ll have 3 bowls of treats for Halloween.  We’ll have the traditional chocolate gooey goodness, a bowl of peanut/tree-nut free treats, and a bowl entirely made up of non-food party favor-ish goodies.

Why?  Why not?  I was able to pick up a bunch of party favors at the Dollar Tree, and my wife Bethany got some Halloween themed stuff from Target.  The no-nuts candy wasn’t a big deal either, all we had to do was read the label… which we’re used to.  Even the extra bowl was only $1.  It wasn’t a whole lot of effort or money.

Even painting a foam pumpkin teal for use for years to come wasn’t a big deal, or printing the posters from the FARE website.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that.  This is a movement.  It started with some of the most kick-ass people on the planet, food allergy moms in Tennessee.

FARE | The Teal Pumpkin Project

My point, I guess, is that it isn’t a lot of effort but it can be a big huge gigantic deal for a kid.  What’s a big deal?  To feel included on a holiday where you’re hyper aware that you’re different.  To know that this piece of candy doesn’t contain nuts or wasn’t “processed in a facility that may also use peanuts or tree nuts.”  To know that if you’re allergic to dairy or chocolate or just about everything that everyone else can eat or isn’t one of the top 8, but this little trinket or toy (or 2 or 3 if you’re at our house) is all yours.  To know that you don’t have to go home & “trade up” for safe candy on this one.  To know that your parents didn’t have to drop off a safe treat with all the neighbors ahead of time, and that someone else “gets” it.

I always liked getting those Little Hugs drinks (which may be a safe treat), but some people would complain about the weight.  That would have been gone by the time I got back to the road when I was a kid.  Then again, times have changed.  When I was a kid, we had to play the “guess who you are” game.  If I asked a kid his name now, the next ring of the doorbell would probably be the local police.  Also, kids… always let your parents check your candy for razor blades or syringes.

Like I said, we read labels.  Luckily shellfish is generally easy form me to avoid in packaged foods, slightly less so in restaurants.  Our little girl Molly can’t do eggs.  Well, she can do eggs baked into things, but has to avoid straight up eggs, mayonnaise, some mustards, custard, and we just noticed… Mallow Cups?  (I hate them, they are the devil’s candy.  The wife loves them though… even though it tastes like someone replaced the inside of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with sunscreen.)  Will we have to avoid meringue too?  Who knows?  Hopefully she outgrow her allergy, I’ll never get over mine without some kind of cure.

There are many others out there going through the same thing.  We can stick together, and support each other.  We can ask those without any food allergies to support us too.  Spreading awareness is the key to keeping us all safe.  So, take a few minutes to learn about the #TealPumpkinProject.  Use the hashtag on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.), get a pumpkin and paint it teal, and/or print out the fliers.  Get some safe treats.

Teal Pumpkin Project - Ideas for non-food treats.

Go ahead, push the button… I dare you.


You know I hate public restrooms.  This sign may be a wave of the future.  Think it’s a good idea?  Think it will work?  Is it too easy to abuse?

Cleanliness is important to all of us...

Intimidating button…

I saw a full garbage can, & thought about pressing the button…but thought it may only be for emergencies not maintenance.  I didn’t want to be the guy that whined about the garbage can being full.  Then again, I’d rather empty a trash bag than pick it up off of the floor if I were an employee there.

Is a button the way to solve all of your bathroom problems? This reminded me of the pull-strings in hospital bathrooms.  Ha ha.  If you find one of these buttons, I dare you to push it & yell “I need someone to wipe!”

Employees Must Wash Hands « Blurt


You must read this blog by Omawarisan, he swears that this is the only photo he’s ever taken in a public restroom:

Employees Must Wash Hands « Blurt.

Omawarisan swears that this is the only photo he's ever taken in a public restroom.

I propose a revolution where these signs are strictly adhered to.

We all know my feelings on public restrooms, hand-washing signs, bathroom attendants, and stupid signs in general.  Omiwarisan takes it to the next level.  I applaud his ingenuity and regularly enjoy his blog.  You should check it out.

Sign: SN-R6EMW'Mind Your Manners' Japanese bathroom sign! Toilet Signs Vector Graphic

My guest post on Ya Jagoff!!! | Who Designed The Fast Food Drive Thru?


I thoroughly & regularly enjoy YaJagoff.com.  The rants & raves remind me of my own lunatic ramblings, especially all the goofy yinzer parkers and things overheard on the bus.  I’d suggest adding Ya Jagoff!!! to your blog roll or news reader or subscribing via email or following on Twitter or Facebook or whatever you kids do these days.

One of the cool things about the site is that they occasionally feature guest blogs, and I was invited to send one in… so I did!  Check it out, and maybe even comment when you’re over there.  Take some time to poke around.

Ya Jagoff!!! | Who Designed The Fast Food Drive Thru?

Who Designed The Fast Food Drive Thru?

Who Designed The Fast Food Drive Thru?

My guest post on Ya Jagoff!!! | Who Designed The Fast Food Drive Thru?

It’s called “right of way”, you anuses.


People consistently drive incorrectly, illegally, and dangerously at more than a few intersections that I travel through on a somewhat regular basis.  I’d like to deal with them all eventually, but let’s just start with one at a time.  I’ve talked about this kind of stuff before, and I’m not saying that I’m the perfect driver or never do anything wrong with my vehicles… but this kind of stuff is covered in the PA driver’s manual, isn’t it?

The first intersection that I’d like to deal with has a clearly marked right-of-way, but it’s apparently not clear to all drivers licensed by the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  First a description of the intersection in question thanks to Google Maps & my mad paint.NET skills:

Can you find all of the STOP signs?

Can you find all of the STOP signs? ( Hint: There's just 1.)

Does this really need any explanation?  Of course it does, or I wouldn’t be here ranting about it.  The green arrows are the path I usually take.  I chose green for my arrows, because I’m obviously always right.

Red arrow path people… I’m talkin’ to you.  I’ve seen you all try to pull out in front of me, no matter which green-arrowed path I’m taking.  You sit there, eking forward as if to tell me you’re interested in playing intersection chicken, or simply that you don’t quite comprehend that I don’t also have a stop sign.  To channel Dr. Seuss;

I don’t have a stop sign going up the hill,
I don’t have a stop sign going down the hill.
I can spot stop signs with such skill,
It must make you very ill.
I don’t have a stop sign going around the bend,
I don’t have a stop sign like you, my friend.

In case it’s unclear, the stop on the sign indicates that you are to sit there until all others in the intersection (with the right-of way) have gone though.  Which unfortunately for you, in this instance, is everyone except you.

CROSS TRAFFIC ⇆ DOES NOT STOP

...but YOU do.

Maybe they need an “opposing traffic does not stop” sign or something to the same effect there (if there isn’t one already).  Maybe we need someone to stand there, and hand out printed copies of instructions on how to navigate the intersection successfully …or even just a copy of this blog post.

Please, stop crowding forward when the tiny section of road gets backed up at that light in the morning.  Please, stop making faces at me and throwing your hands wildly into the air like I have wronged you in some way as I come up the hill around the bend to the left.  Please don’t cut me off as I’m waiting in the backed-up traffic to get to the light.  I don’t have a stop sign.  You do.  I didn’t cut you off.  I’m driving correctly, you’re an anus.

(We don’t use that word nearly enough.)

Wash Your Hands Frequently. Also, don’t forget to breathe.


GOOD HYGIENE

(Sort of) Good Hygiene

I saw this sign over the weekend in the restroom of a retail store. It was beside the standard “employees must wash hands before returning to work” sign.  This was just a print out, placed in a 3-ring binder type page protector, then taped to the wall.  I don’t mean to poke fun at the store, or the person who placed the sign on the wall… but I do see a few problems with this sign, and similar signs in general.  (OK, maybe I do mean to poke fun – you can read an old rant on public restrooms here.)

My first issue with this specific sign was step #3.  For you the reader to appreciate this, I should have perhaps taken a few more photos of my surroundings.  The knobs on the sink were the little kind.  One would have to be quite flexible and creative to turn them off with their arms.  Also, this restroom lacked paper towels.  There was a hand dryer on the wall though.  I could have used some toilet paper to turn off the faucet, but have you ever gotten TP wet?  And, if I waited until my hands were dried by the air dryer… I would have wasted a large amount of water.  I can see that someone took the time to print & post the sign carefully.  Perhaps they could have altered the steps to ones that pertain to their setup?

I guess that’s my only big issue with this sign, other than other sings have told me 30 seconds, or even to sing a song in my head, like “Old McDonald” or “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star”… but I’m sure hand-washing time is a subject of hot debate in the hand-washing and general good hygiene sign community.

I wonder what frequently means?  I would think that if one needed hand-washing explained, and they could read the word frequently… one may wonder exactly how often one should wash.  One may think a few times a day is frequent.  One may think that since you’re in the bathroom, it’s talking about your time within.  Should you wash your hands 2 or 3 times for each restroom trip?  I would bet that clarification is definitely needed for the people that need these signs.  I find myself confused, and I already know how to wash my hands.  (Also, I’m sure that some medical professionals would remind you that frequent hand-washing is a sign of OCD.)

I wonder who needs these sings, and at the same time… why there aren’t more of them, educating the uninformed masses of more good hygiene policies.  There could certainly be a bunch more in public restrooms like “don’t pee on the seat”, “no boogers on the wall please”, & “proper nest-building for public toilets”.

I almost want to make a “how to wipe your behind” sign to hang up as a joke to post in restrooms around the area… but sadly I fear that we may see them for real some day.  Maybe they do already exist somewhere.  I would definitely include a “flush at [X] number of sheets per [X] ounces of fecal matter, to prevent clogging” line.

Perhaps a sign above the trash can that says “please do not place soiled underwear in trash can” would also be in good order.  Seems I know quite a few people who have worked places with public restrooms where this sort of thing has apparently happened.  Maybe in with this, signs warning against urinating or defecating in the sink would be appropriate.  This, I have unfortunately seen with my own eyes at the O.  Many many years ago, I was trapped by a hopefully drunk street-urchin looking fellow once who tried to share my urinal… when I balked, he relieved himself in the sink which was unfortunately on my way out the door.  That time, I skipped washing my hands.  Perhaps a footnote is in order on the hand-washing sign.  “*If you have just witnessed someone urinating in the sink, you may skip hand-washing.”  I’m betting the same people that need hand-washing reminders/instructions would also need to be told not to touch others’ urine.

So, I now task you the reader with helping me think of other signs that may need to be hung up in public restrooms and beyond.  What do people need told?  What obvious things maybe aren’t so obvious to all of us need to be publicly addressed?

What about “Please don’t eat the food on the floor by the trash can” at your favorite fast food restaurant? What about “how to pick up dog poop” instructions at the park, right by the useless “No Dogs In Park” signs?  What about some signs on buggies (shopping carts to you non-Yinzers) that say “We have cart returns, please put this in one when you’re done, not pushed to a random nearby corner”?

If you’re super-creative, send me a sign and I’ll post it.  You can either link to the url or image wherever it lives using html in the comments, or email it to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com.

Please, wash your hands before emailing me though.