I’d Rather Not Take Off A Shirt [Friday Thoughts W/ TeeCoZee]

Good Moleman. Yes, I am interested in long distance savings. Very interested. It’s Friday, December 13th, Two Thousand and Nineteen. The weather in Brooklyn is 47° & Pantone 7545c and somewhere, somebody is trying to plug something in. There are currently two big plugs and one little plug in the 6 port strip, but he has a medium-sized grounded plug. He tries taking one of the comically oversized bricks and plugging it upside down in the first port, a fallacy that we all have tried once or thrice. As it always does, it knocks out the power to the whole strip and he has to start all over again. He spends countless minutes trying to find a configuration that works. And through all of his pain, suffering and blood rushing to his head, he fails to realize that there’s an open port on the wall. And me? I would’ve just left the Sega Saturn unplugged. He hasn’t played Panzer Dragoon Saga in years, the brick is just taking up juicy real estate. I also have some things on my mind.

– I decided to write in the bedroom today, so that Rachel could watch TV without being bothered by the fervent tapping of a husband that only types with two fingers. Before I’m even able to find a good Simpsons quote, she calls my name from the living room. This feels like a thing of importance, because any married couple would know that if you spend every waking moment together, nothing is really that urgent or noteworthy. Anything that needs to be said will be said eventually. So my ears perk up:

“Hey babe!”




“I’m Guy Fieri!”


“Are you also Guy Fieri?”

“…no, I’m Troy”



“…that’s why you don’t have a TV Show”

So now, instead of writing my thoughts, I’m now pondering the title of a TV Show about my wife suddenly morphing into Guy Fieri. “Sleepless In Flavortown”? “So I Married Some Boss Donkey Sauce”? “The Boss Wife”? I think maybe I’ll go with “Honey, I Put The Shama Lama In Ding Dong”.

– I took a CPR/AED course this week, because apparently it’s my job to be responsible in emergency situations. They started us out with a video set in a corporate setting. Everybody in the office was gathering for an unknown “training seminar” that I was totally sure would be about CPR/AED. But then, plot twist, a guy that was seemingly too old to have a Below The Line job collapsed on the ground. Instead of chaos, calm instructed procedures ensued. The twist made the video riveting. I speculated to myself that the ending would have another twist in store. What if the guy actually wasn’t having a cardiac arrest and the whole emergency situation was the training seminar in itself? What if it was all a dream? I was on the edge of my seat when suddenly, the instructor turned the DVD off and made us play with dolls for 3 hours. If anybody knows the ending to the movie, please spoil it for me. It’s gonna bother me for years.

Although I am now certified to perform CPR/AED, it further embedded my belief that I should never be the one performing CPR/AED. I am way too nervous and indecisive to perform under that pressure. I’ve spent a good portion of my life deeply afraid that whatever it is that I’m doing is wrong. I don’t like doing exercises unless somebody else is doing the same exact thing so that I can mimic them. I don’t like being the first person to speak up. I don’t like leading groups. I don’t like calling numbers that I’ve never called before. I don’t even like opening doors that I haven’t opened before, out of a nagging instinct that I’m not supposed to be on the other side of said door. And when you think about it, CPR is a very general procedure for a very specific condition. If I were to perform CPR on somebody, I would spend the whole time worrying that they don’t need it in the first place. I realize that it’s better to be safe than sorry, but let’s just draw out a scenario:

Let’s say I’m in a sparsely populated public space like a mall right before closing or a Pac Sun on Black Friday. I see a woman collapsed on the ground. What do I do?

1) Check to see if they’re awake

So I slap her shoulders to see if there’s any response. That doesn’t look weird at all. There’s no response.

2) Shout out for help

I am now on the ground, slapping a woman and yelling. Hopefully somebody useful is around to see this so they can get an AED Kit (and actually know what/where it is) and call 911. So far, so good.

3) Check for breathing

We are instructed that in order to tell if they’re breathing, we need to pull up their shirt. Awkward, but okay. I can’t tell if they’re breathing or not because my vision is fucked and I’m naturally panicking. So because I am unsure, I should

4) Do 30 chest compressions

This is one of the most typical things you see, but you never really think about what you’re actually doing. The chest doesn’t have a natural external plunger that manually pumps the heart. The instructor informed us that it’s totally normal for us to break a few bones in the process. We should not be alarmed by the cracking sound, that’s actually a good thing, because it will make compressions easier. That’s…grotesque…what’s next?

5) Do two mouth to mouth breaths

Another typical thing you see. But of course, you don’t want to pass any germs, so I would have to place a plastic sheet with an opening over her face and transfer my bad breath to hers. Then I would repeat compressing and breathing until somebody comes back with the AED Kit, after which, I have to

6) Remove her shirt and bra with the scissors provided

That’s…uhh…god damnit…so I did that, now what?

7) Apply the pads and allow the machine to read whether or not an electric shock is required

That’s actually one of the most assuring things of the process. The defibrillator has a failsafe where it will not emit a shock unless it reads an irregular heartbeat. The part of the process that scares people the most is actually the easiest. You let the machine do the work.

Throughout all of this, the instructor assured us over and over that no matter what happens, we are protected by the Good Samaritan law. Nobody has ever been sued or legally liable for anything that happened while performing CPR. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t feel weird about it. Going back to the scenario, let’s say the machine determines that a shock is not necessary. And then suddenly, the girl wakes up and was perfectly fine. Perhaps she had a seizure or passed out or was taking a really deep nap. And instead of letting her be, I have:

1) Slapped her shoulders repeatedly
2) Caused a scene that everybody is watching/recording on their phones
3) Lifted up her shirt
4) Broke multiple bones in her ribcage and then continued to break more
5) Put plastic over her face and made her smell my breath
6) Cut her shirt off, so now she has to go home/to the hospital topless
7) Attempted to electrocute her

I’m sorry, no, I will never be able to perform CPR. I don’t have the guts to do that to another human. I would probably just have a panic attack and throw up from the pressure. Then somebody else will try to break my ribs and violate me. I deserve it for not being a Good Samaritan.

– As somebody that overthinks everything, some song lyrics really bother me. This should come as no surprise, as most of my writing is just me overanalyzing something that somebody else wrote. So I’m going to start a semi-weekly column in which I yell loudly at singers. Here’s a couple song lyrics that bothered me this week:

“I have a history of taking off my shirt” – Barenakedladies

I figured I would continue the theme of nudity, because I know what the people want. This lyric is part of list of features that the singer finds unappealing about himself. And like, sure, I get it. But I don’t. You know who else has a history of taking off their shirt? LITERALLY EVERYBODY THAT HAS EVER EXISTED! We do it every single day! Sometimes, we do it multiple times a day! YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL!

“So, I’m offering this simple phrase to kids from 1 to 92” – Nat King Cole

First off, I was totally wrong about the name of this song. I always thought it was “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”, because that’s the first line and seemingly only non-generic one. It’s actually called, “The Christmas Song”, which really drives the whole generic thing home. In this lyric, he wants to wish a Merry Christmas to everybody in a way that rhymes. But you know who he didn’t include? LITERALLY EVERY INFANT AND GEEZER THAT HAS BEEN ALIVE FOR MORE THAN 92 YEARS! Those types of people exist! There are millions upon millions of them and they all got snubbed by you Christmas wishes! YOU ARE NOT BEING INCLUSIVE!

– In the spirit of me yelling more, my cousin wrote a really whiny poignant piece about working in retail. As a person who has been on both sides of the employee/manager relationship, I have responses to some of his qualms.

Going shopping reminds you of work.

What’s wrong with that? Shopping is your work! If you were a chef, making dinner would remind you of work! If you were a pharmacist, taking medication would remind you of work! If you were a porn star, having sex would remind you of work! If you were an umpire, being wrong would remind you of work! You spend a third of your life doing work and another third sleeping. Work is part of your identity! You have no choice but to embrace the fact that at least you have purpose!

Your appreciation for humanity dwindles into a dark chasm.

This is what happens when you interact with strangers. It is not at all job-specific. This should not be a complaint about your job, but rather a complaint about the world we live in. Know the difference and know your role, Jabroni! Now go help that lady get her stroller down the narrow ramp!

If you’re a cashier, you have to stay in one place all freaking day.

THAT IS YOUR JOB! You can’t take the register with you while you go on a stroll. You are specifically employed to stand in one spot because that’s just how shit works. Don’t like it? You can go put the carts and mountains of baskets back. Or even the refrigerated items that customers didn’t want. There are so many things you can do to break to monotony! It’s not my fault that you don’t know how to juggle.

Your breaks are 14 minutes and 59 seconds, not including peeing, pooping, smoking cigarettes, waiting in line to pay for the 12 Pizza Rolls that take 2 minutes to cook and 1 minute to eat.

This is just an outright lie. You and I both know that when I send you on break for 15 minutes, it turns into 30. It takes you 5 minutes to buy your food, remember to punch out, be off the clock for 15 minutes, punch back in, realize that you have to go to the bathroom and it would be inhumane for me to deny you of a bathroom break and then “help a customer find something” because you know damn well that I can’t prove you wrong as I’m stuck on the register the whole time you’re gone. You also know that if I vocally have a problem with any of this, you could easily just go to HR and get me in trouble, so obviously I’m keeping my mouth shut. You should, too.

You are expendable.

Agreed. We all are.

You give your paycheck back to the people that gave you the money.

That’s how life works. You’re providing a service that people want/need. That means that you probably want/need it as well. If you didn’t, then you are either not good at your job or part of a failing business.

Facing the shelves can feel like a fine line between Purgatory and Hell.

At least you’re not at the register.

You have the opportunity to lose all of your dignity and become the very thing you used to hate.

Oh dear God, what have I done?!? What are these words coming out of my mouth? I’m a monster! Wait, no I’m not. I’m just making a living like you. We’re in this together and if you don’t see that, I’m not doing my job properly. But seriously, you really need to pick up the pace. These groceries aren’t going to scan themselves! Or are they?

– Try this trick over the weekend: Use the self scan lane. Watch people like Zach and I be out of a job.

Have a self-sufficient weekend, everyone!