Saturday, July 5, 2008

Relaxing with Mimes

My wife and I subject each other to a lot of second hand noise.

As Gail sits in the living room knitting, she deals with the background noise drifting up from my basement woodshop. She also has to deal with my scream of testosterone-induced rage as I don one of my Old Man sweaters, stand at the front door shaking me fist, and yell at the neighborhood kids to “STAY OFF MY YARD!!!” Probably once or twice a year she has to tolerate the sickening sound of the bitchslaps I put on the migratory mime troupe that comes through on their way up to Mackinac Island. (I call this event Silent Scream.)

The second hand noise I tolerate isn’t quite as offensive. Let’s face it…Gail’s knitting isn’t very loud. However, each morning as I sit with my laptop in the dining room desperately trying to feed all of my Webkinz before I start my day, I am forced to listen to the cable news show Gail religiously watches. It’s not just the perky talking heads that I have to hear…it’s the commercials from hell, too.

I first heard this commercial yesterday, and my brain semi-consciously registered a What the $@#%????? However, this morning the replaying of this commercial solidly lodged in the conscious part of my brain and chiseled out a ledge where it has painted a sign that calls it out as one of the nuttiest things I have ever heard seriously marketed.

(Pleases note the “…” in the title below creates a pregnant pause of almost a second and a half from the voiceover actor as he narrates the television commercial).

The Most Relaxing Classical Album in the World...Ever!

Honestly, it’s a real title. You can get it here.

Wow, there are a lot of unsubstantiated statements in that title. Well, it’s my belief they are unsubstantiated. Perhaps there are competitions among albums to see which is most relaxing.

They get really bubbly waitress types, pump them full of ephedrine and caffeine, then strap them into La-Z-Boy’s and force them to listen to music through headphones. Whichever album creates the largest total reduction in heart rate, respiration, and certain non-essential brain waves is considered to be the Most Relaxing Album. Obviously, competition among Classical albums is more intense than in the EuroTechno or ThrashMetal categories. In fact, the Classical competition is the main event; those ringside seats command Super Bowl ticket prices from scalpers.

I still have questions. Does one competition really determine the winner for the ENTIRE world as indicated by this album’s title? What if there is an unheralded classical album making the rounds in a village outside New Delhi that is putting people to sleep left and right?

Finally, I am skeptical of the use of the word “Ever.” Does the word “ever” in this title mean “from the beginning of man up to this point in time” or does it imply all future time as well? Even if it is possible to gather all of the music that has come before and rank it for relaxation value, it is not possible to know something won’t come along next Thursday that will make narcoleptics of all of us.

You know what…I just realized I am probably not the right guy to be complaining about sweeping generalizations like ones used in the title of this album. After all, am I not the guy that Chris Schwarz links to with the subtitle, Is Jeff Skiver the funniest woodworker ever? Yes. Yes, he is.”

I suppose I should just be happy Chris chose to accentuate my sense of humor as opposed to my ability to put the smack down on non-verbal artists.


relink said...


Reading your blog is a blast, easily the highlight of some of my days (eh...that's not too favorable actually...). Keep up the good work. How about a book...."musings from the workbench" or something? You've got more than enough material in there to do it. And hey, if that "International Society for the Protection of Mimes" starts to hassle you, please feel free to use me as a character witness.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

So relink says that you should write a book, huh? I agree, but you are not ready yet. You don't want your first book to be a flop because the world doesn't know who Jeff Skiver is. I have an experiment that will spread your name faster than three leafed TP can spread the pain...I am going to go around and market your blog on other people's blogs. This might seem like weak advertising, but lets test it out. I am going to advertise someone else's blog (just once) and see how many Skiver readers go to it and check it out. If a lot of your readers do then I know it will work when I advertise your blog on other blogs. So everyone please check out the blog XKCD. Today's blog deals with wood...That is a marketing target an audience with things you know they will like. Also, go back about four days to the blog called XKCD likes the Discovery Channel. I am sure there are some funny pictures in there for everyone. I have nothing to do with this blog. It's just a goofy blog someone told me to check out. Take care. Happy blogging!!!!

Jeff Skiver said...

Guys, although I am flattered by your suggestions of writing a book, it would help out a lot if either of you was a publisher. You see, the parent company of Popular Woodworking has a book publishing division, and they have not approached me with this idea, yet. So either they are just not the visionaries that you two are...or else you two just don't understand marketable publishing.

However, RELINK I am still flattered.

ANONYMOUS, you on the other hand simply confuse me. Sometimes you compliment me. Sometimes you rip me apart. Some days you love me. On other days you hate me. Are you sure we didn't date back in the 90s????

Still, ANONYMOUS, it seems like on every blog post you are always there, but I never know what to expect from you. I worry that you, my friend, may be disturbed. ANONYMOUS, you are at least Bi-Polar and possibly full blown schizophrenic. Also, I've tried to avoid saying this for a long time, but even your writing is different from one post to the next. Sometimes it's babbling; sometimes it's curt. Perhaps you have MPD, because it's almost like you are two (or possibly more) different people.

Anonymous said...

is feeding my webkinz a euphemism for something?

Jeff Skiver said...

See, ANONYMOUS, I never know what to expect from you. Sometimes mean, sometimes nice, and this question is almost ahhhh, ummmm, hmmmmm... ???borderline naughty?????

You must have MPD. Either you are a multitude of people all using the same moniker of ANONYMOUS or else you are a single individual with Multiple Personality Disorder.

Actually, I am a nine year old kid trapped in an old man's body. So quite likely it is really just normal Webkinz, several hundred Webkinz, that I have responsibility for feeding each day.