You would have settled for Alex Rios. Alex Rios signed with the Royals.
There are few, if any, starting right fielders left on Major League Baseball’s free agent market. But your Seattle Mariners still happen to be in search of a right fielder, market be damned. And you’re on the verge of freaking out. God forbid the team go to war with a designated hitter manning Safeco Field’s spacious nether reaches. Or worse yet, heaven help them if they bring back the likes of Ichiro.
You’re in full panic mode. But fear not, sports fan: it could be worse.
In the inaugural installment of An Open Vent, we bring you the unbridled rage surrounding three things that are unequivocally shittier than the Mariners’ seemingly futile pursuit of an outfielder. So sit back, relax, and prepare to get even more pissed off than you were before.
1. Mr. Playoffs.
If you’ve never listened to Mitch Levy’s “Mr. Playoffs” segment on Sports Radio KJR, you’re missing absolutely nothing. An oral report of an Excel spreadsheet, Mr. Playoffs is a thirty-minute train wreck conducted by an engineer more interested in auto-fellatio than quality radio.
Hey, did you know that if the Seahawks win out they’ll make the playoffs? It’s true! Now let’s spend the next half hour discussing all the ways this will not happen. What the shit? We just established that, in all likelihood, Seattle will reach the postseason. Now you want to mess with our emotions by introducing all the edge cases that might possibly (but probably won’t) get in the way?
This is a CNN/Fox News tactic at its epitome. Did you know that there’s a 99.9-percent chance you won’t contract Ebola? It’s true! But now we’ll spend the bulk of the next six weeks telling you all the ways you might possibly (but probably won’t) contract Ebola, anyway.
Worst of all, though, is the presentation of a crapload of material you already don’t care about. It’s like someone just introduced Levy to the Microsoft Office suite of products last January. And similar to a three-year-old who recently discovered Paint, this dude wants to show off how much he knows about shit we all found out about like a decade ago.
Just wait until Mitch unearths pivot tables. He’ll schedule a month-long vacation simply to dick around with something most of us fiddle with every day at work. And then he’ll return from yet another hiatus to tell you all about it. We get it, bro. You can add, subtract, and divide. Congrats. This is why China is on the up and up. Because around these parts, we have 40-year-olds learning about stuff they’re teaching first graders in Beijing. We’re doomed. We’re all fucking doomed.
2. This couple at my gym who just started dating.
I’m all for love. Love is great. Love makes the world go ’round. One of my favorite movies of all-time, in fact, is Love Actually.
But then there’s new love. Unless you’re experiencing new love first-hand, new love sucks. Paying witness to a couple who has just fallen head over heels in lust is on par with abruptly running into an all-too-peppy person on a Monday morning. You see new love and you want to punch new love in the face.
There’s a couple at the gym I go to that is currently enjoying new love. Unlike most new lovers, however, these two are purpose-driven in their desire to sicken everyone in sight with the affection that bonds them.
They work out side by side, never drifting more than an arm’s length from one another while squatting it out. Between sets, they go mouth to mouth, tongue to tongue, eliciting the beginnings of a porno whilst middle-aged house husbands disgustedly break pace on nearby ellipticals.
They hold up the line at the drinking fountains, eagerly sipping from dueling spouts, then rising to a kiss and an embrace as a queue of thirsting individuals considers casting the pair aside with a swift kick to the now-connected behinds.
They reenact the yoga scene from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, pressing against each other’s backs, contorting their bodies in tandem as a group of teenagers in the surrounding area ogle the peculiarity of the moment.
The girl is a gym lifer. Petite, with a body that couldn’t be much tighter, she possesses everything a man seeks in a woman from the neck down. No need to elaborate.
The guy is a crossfitter extraordinaire. Standing no taller than Jose Altuve, he has spent years crafting his physique in an attempt to counteract his lack of height. By some stroke of good fortune, he’s managed to land himself a woman that hasn’t physically outgrown him.
By all accounts, these two are perfect for each other. In reality, though, they’re both pushing middle age, each possess crazy eyes, and are all but headed for a spectacular breakup that hopefully occurs somewhere near the treadmills. Until then, the rest of us steam in silence, waiting … just waiting.
3. Restaurants that do away with free mints.
No restaurant has ever gone out of business because it spent too much money on free mints. Establishments shutter their doors because of a crap product, a horrible business plan, shitty customer service, or some combination of the above. But no proprietor could ever point to a basket of complimentary Starlight peppermints and confidently assert that those tasteful little candies are the source of all their problems. It doesn’t happen. Ever. So why do restaurants that once offered free mints suddenly stop doing so?
Probably because some restaurateurs are idiots, is my guess. And some restaurateurs, foolish as they may be, would like to believe that a Costco-sized bag of Andes chocolates, and not the degenerate friends of friends they’ve hired to manage the wait staff, are running their business into the ground.
This has become an epidemic. Rule No. 1.76B of the Restaurant Handbook that I one day plan to write will state the following:
Before going into business, determine whether you will or will not offer patrons complimentary mints at the nearest exit. Should you choose not to offer complimentary mints, fine; you can always change your mind later. Should you opt to provide complimentary mints, however, be aware that you are all but signing a contract with your customers. You may not EVER break this veritable contract by rescinding said mints. In the event you do renege on your informal agreement with the good people otherwise paying your salary, may you burn in a fiery pit of despair and may God have mercy on your soul.
You don’t mess with free shit. If shit is free, it better stay free. If it is not free, then all you can do is please people by making it free. But if it’s free to begin with, by god it better stay that way. It’s a simple premise of good business. Yet so many entrepreneurs can’t grasp its importance. Free shit stays free. Done and done.
Torero’s at the Renton Landing, you better bring back your mints.
And while we’re at it, don’t think we didn’t notice you jettisoning your own mints roughly a decade ago, Red Robin. Like you bastards can’t spare the fractions of a penny it would cost to keep those mints afloat. You’re charging damn near $15 for a freakin’ salad, but you can’t flip people a breath enhancer as they head back to work after an underwhelming lunch. Real cool, guys.
Do not screw around with our mints. We don’t forget. And we certainly don’t forgive.