One Up Man Ship

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When I say, I ran in track, what I meant is that I fell in track.


I was a rather unextraordinary student in high school. I did as much as I could to not stand out at all. I played a little basketball and ran a little track, but only because my parents insisted. After my sophomore year, when you had to try out to make the team, I tried out, but I didn’t really “try.” I ended up puking when I tried out for basketball, so I was pretty sure I didn’t make that team.

It wasn’t until college that I finally found my tribe. I lived in the dorms, but it felt more like a hotel. I was on a floor with 33 other rowdy dudes that I considered to be actual friends. I don’t see them much anymore, but I do still stay in contact with them from time to time. On the other hand, I burned down any bridges I would ever need to get back to high school.

When I wasn’t trying to meet the girls, I was always hanging with my bros on the floor. We would often do these weekly things where we would go to girls apartments and just knock on doors to meet them and see how many puns we could make before they got tired of us and kicked us out. It pushed us in our pun making abilities and quite honestly prepared me for the dad humor that I use today. We used to have a rallying cry of sorts where we would say every other word. “Word Up Man Ship!” Basically, it meant that we would do our best to one-up each other until we had the best pun we could.

I think we as humans are always doing this when we get together and talk. It’s always when we are telling stories to one-up each other. All I know is that I’ve almost never told a story straight up. I always embellish, add more details and things that can make it more interesting. I don’t know why I care, but when I tell some a tragic tale, it has to be more tragic than the person telling the story before me.

So I was just walking down the street when all of a sudden…

Just yesterday someone was asking me about when I got lost in the mountains. Whenever I tell people that story when I “almost died” I always say, “Oh I don’t want to bore you, so I’ll just tell you the short version.” Of course, the short version always includes the goriest details, and the times I was closest to death. I don’t talk about the boring details like the hour it took us to get to the spot or the hour we spend trying to get across a river.

Inevitably when you tell your story, people are either super interested in the story because they have one that equals or surpasses it and they can’t wait to tell it, or they start getting bored, and you hurry to the interesting highlights to get them interested.

What do you guys think? Do you find that you are in constant One Up Man Ship? Or are you just entranced by people’s stories?


Bitter One Up Man Ben


Here is a great gift idea for Christmas. I think this would make a great gift for the lady in your life, like your wife or sister-in-law. 

Virtual Crap


I remember it so vividly. Not long ago, maybe a decade ago, video games started this thing called DLC(DownLoadable Content). It was a new idea that video game makers came up with to not only sell you the game but if you so desired you could buy extra things to either customize or lengthen the game by selling maps, new dungeons, armor, etc.

As companies are doing almost anything they can to make money, it made a lot of sense to video game makers. Let’s look at some other forms of entertainment. Movies will add things to your experience for many more dollars. You can buy a Harry Potter 4K Blue Ray for $30, but for $50 you can get the Special Edition Blue Ray that includes a tiny action figure, that is one level below a toy you get at McDonald’s.

In television, you can buy an entire season or series of something you can watch for free on your $200 a month cable for less than $200.

In the foodservice industry, you can upgrade your medium drink to a large for only $.99, upgrade the burger from one patty to two for $3.00 and the fries from a medium to a large for only $.50. Why wouldn’t the video game industry follow suit?

So back to my vivid memory. In 2002, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion offered the first recorded instance of DLC, an add-on pack that offered a player for a tiny fee, the ability to add armor to a horse you had in the game.  For extra money, you got exactly nothing of real value to add to your game. It didn’t make you more powerful, faster, better at magic or even give you points. All it did was give you a customized looking horse.

Behold, the majestic horse armor.

At the time, people laughed. They laughed at the developers of the game for even offering such a thing for money, they laughed at the gamers who actually paid money to get it. It became like a running joke. As a long time gamer and they will know exactly what you are talking about when you say horse armor.

Then, other developers started offering it on their games. A new piece of armor here, a new map there, and all of a sudden DLC just became part of a game. Nowadays, if your game doesn’t have some sort of DLC, it isn’t a complete game. In fact, if you don’t buy most or all of it, you aren’t really getting the experience that most people are getting.

Imagine if you were watching a Marvel movie, say Thor Ragnorok. You buy a ticket to see the movie for $10. But when you get to the movie, you don’t get the previews, and the movie starts right away. Some scenes are glitchy, others that would help make sense of things, are cut and those two awesome scenes after the credits you can get, but only if you pay $5 extra. That is how video games are now.

Now even app games are getting into the act. Don’t say you have never played Candy Crush, or Angry Birds, or Disney Tsum Tsum. All these game are “free” to play, but if you get way too much into it, there are options to pay money too. I don’t know what you pay for in Candy Crush, but in Tsum Tsum, my addiction of choice on my phone, you can pay for rubies. If you are too lazy, or busy to get coins all the time, you can buy virtual rubies to get more coins, to get more Tsum’s. Trying to explain that to your friends that don’t play a game is a little embarrassing doncha think?

They say things like, “You are paying real money for virtual rubies? What does that actually get you?” You stutter, stammer, and change the subject.

The other day, I think we as a country, people or world reached an absolute apex of stupidity. A person I know downloaded Animal Crossing, an app version of a Nintendo game. She was reading off the things you would get if you paid extra money for this free game.

You can buy virtual fertilizer. Oh crap.

You would get Bells (their version of money), extra prizes, etc. and more fertilizer. Let me repeat. Virtual Fertilizer. Another word for fertilizer is crap. We as a society will now, without hesitation buy Virtual Crap. Amazing. We used to say it as a euphemism.

And now we buy Virtual Crap with real money. We are awesome.

What about you? Do you buy virtual stuff with real money? Just go ahead and admit it. It will help your bitterness grow. And if you need growing your bitterness, you can buy some Virtual Fertilizer.


Bitter Full of Fertilizer Ben

Bitter Foodover Monday Giftures

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I don’t know about you, but from what I gather most people here are not excited to be back at work. At least here in the US. A lot of you had a 4 day weekend, or at least a day off. I’m pretty lucky because I was one of those people that got a 4 day weekend and didn’t have to work in a retail store. For those people that worked in retail, sorry, that must have sucked.

All I know is that holidays around this time of year are a tradition. They come with all kinds of rituals that people do every year. They go to the same restaurants, they go shopping at a certain time or place, or they watch or play a lot of football. One of my traditions is every single Friday, no matter how garbage of a week I have, I do Bitter Friday Giftures. I almost without fail have done that since I started my blog six years ago. I remember one year I did it every single Friday except for one. That happened to be on Thanksgiving weekend. For some reason, that is becoming a tradition in itself. Then I think I should do it on Saturday, but I get too lazy. Then I think about doing it on Sunday, but get too busy. Since I’m finally back to work and need an excuse to not work, I decided to do it today. So for the first time, and perhaps the last, I’m doing Bitter Friday Giftures on a Monday. Enjoy the bitterness.

After this weekend…

…I figure there is going to be a lot of this.

Just when you get back up…

…you will lose your hat again.

Just when you think it is turning around…

…you’ll hit the rocks.

You’ll go and try to console yourself…

…and then this will happen.

You will then try to get more aggressive…

…and it will just make it worse.

Then you will start to question life…

…because of course it should be pepperoni pizza.

By mid-afternoon, trust me…

…you will have an energy crash.

People will start noticing your lack of abilities…

…and they will just start waiting for you to fail.

At this point, you just need to…

...embrace that you are not going to get anything done…


And just lay down…

…voluntarily or not.

Try to use your…

…wizard powers…


…just give up and head home.

That is about all you can do to make it after a long holiday of sitting on your butt and eating turkey and pizza. You just have to hope to survive. And let’s face it, you aren’t getting through today unscathed. So accept your battle scars and go home slumped over, knowing you will get to lay on the couch, if only for a few moments.


Bitter Monday Giftures Ben

If your family was nice enough to get you a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for Thanksgiving and you need a case, here is a great case to protect. I found this one on Amazon.

Also, here is a case for a Samsung Galaxy J7 for the daughter in your life.


The Many Faces of Bitter Ben

How I imagine Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is always kind of a weird contradiction for me. Pretty much since I was young, I’ve always had the Thursday and Friday off. That makes for pretty much the longest vacation of the year, including Christmas right? The whole idea of not working for 4 days sounds like a dream for a lazy person like me right? While my imagination is dancing with the possibilities of laying on the couch, watching TV and having things handed to me sounds super fun right?

Where I actually end up on Thanksgiving.

The problems are that dreams of things and actual things are two…different things. Most of the time, you have to spend Thanksgiving with people that like, you know, are family. The problem with that is they are usually the ones that get on your nerves the most. So these people that you actively spend time trying to avoid most of the year, all of a sudden pretend to be thankful for you and invite you to their house to eat food. The problem with that is that the food is usually turkey or stuffing. I guess that is okay, but the last time I checked, turkey isn’t pizza. Then there is the whole Black Friday thing that is basically you going to stores that are crowded with the other least favorite thing. People.

People are the worst on a good day. But when you give them a low price and vacation, and a little bit of money, and a holiday that almost requires you to empty your life savings to give gifts to people that won’t appreciate, then you have humanity at its worst.

I’m not non-verbal. I try to say words every once in a while just to let people know I say words. But you will always be able to tell more about me from my face than you will ever hear from my mouth. If you don’t read face very well, learn it. It is a very valuable skill, especially if you are married.

It especially comes in handy when you are dealing with these people creatures. While they sometimes tell you what they want or need, it is pretty rare that they will actually outright tell you. This is where the detective part comes in. Since I am so hard to read, and most of my story is determined by my facial expressions, I know other people’s pretty well.

If you see me smiling extra big, you are annoying the crap out of me. I don’t ever smile. What is there to smile about?

If you see me looking up or away, you know I don’t want to talk to you. That means either I don’t care what you are saying, or you lost me a few miles back in the conversation. Stop talking to me immediately and focus your attention on someone who cares.

If you see me looking at the TV,  just move on. There is nothing you can do at this point. My focus is solely on that, and nothing you say or do will be able to get my focus back.

If you see me walking fast, avoid trying to tell me something, because I don’t walk fast, and that means I’m trying to get the heck out of there.

If you see this, be ready to be shamed on social media.

If you see my eyes roll, it is a regular day and an ordinary moment. It also means that I’ve zoned out and have concentrated on how I’m going to humiliate you on social media for what you said. The bigger the eye roll, the more public the social media.

Those are just a few of the facial expressions you will meet when you…uh meet me.

Unfortunately, you won’t get all of them. You have to be a better detective to find out the rest.

What are some of your facial expressions? Which ones should people run screaming in horror when they see them?


Bitter Facial Expression Ben

In order to stay at home as much as possible, here are some deals on Amazon so you never have to leave your couch.


Robbin Hood Bitterness

I’ve been bounced out of many a place.

Do you know what movie has never come out in my lifetime? Robin Hood. Just kidding. I think there are at least 4 versions that I know of, and that doesn’t include the parodies of it. I don’t mind, because it is a good story, with a lot of intrigue and most people can relate to at least one of the characters. I know I can relate to Friar Tuck, the guy that likes to eat a lot. I wonder if that is why the movie is coming out at Thanksgiving.

I used to get really excited about movies that came out because I would then go get to see them. Not so much anymore. I have to be picky and choosy now, because I am an adult and have responsibilities and my wife doesn’t necessarily like going to movies, except when they are the romantical kind. And let’s face it, when it comes to romantical, she gets her quota of cheesy romantical shows on the Hallmark Channel, so she doesn’t need to waste money on a theater experience.

I’ve always been a bit of an underdog.

I’ve always felt like a Robin Hood of sorts because it still feels like I am fighting an uphill battle. I like to say that I’ve always had to fight to make it on my own. My parents, as lovely as they were, never took advantage of the chance to use their nepotism on me. They did their best to instill good virtues into me and failed. They tried to teach me to be positive, and kind, and generous, to disastrous results.

Networking (besides maybe it’s much sterner parent nepotism) is the #1 method of finding a good job. I have never had one person that I’ve known ever offer to help me and actually go through with it. It’s pretty pathetic that people work so hard at avoiding helping me find a job. Whenever I’ve gone to college, they’ve always told me, that they would help me find a good job. In fact, one college said that they helped 90% of their graduates get a good paying job within three months. Guess who is a 10%er? That’s right. It’s me! No offers to help, no networking, just a sad, pathetic website that offered jobs just below McDonald’s that I could have got without paying a ton of money to the college for.

I’ve always been an underdog like Robin Hood. No one thought my blogging would ever amount to anything. On my old blog I had a following of 10,000 people. I had 50 likes on most of my posts and dozens of comments. They say this one will fail too, and it might, but I just keep uploading. Keep writing. Keep Bittering. And not to brag, but last month, I made $.04.

What I do with my $.04 every day.

Take that, whoever said I would never make any money blogging. Take that.

What things do you have to do all on your own? Blogging? Parenting? Finding a job? Navigating the Black Friday sales? What are you proud of overcoming without people’s help?


Bitter Robbin the Hood Ben

Mannequin Life Bitterness

It’s not a twomah!

The time you’ve been waiting for all year has almost arrived. It’s been building up inside you, for better or worse and there is nothing you can do to stop it. That’s right. It’s Black Friday. More people have an opinion on Black Friday than have an opinion on politics. Don’t say you don’t have an opinion on Black Friday. Whether you fight the darkness and stay home and hide from it, or you embrace the light and go for it with all your gusto, you know what it is and you feel something for it.

Last night I was watching the last Harry Potter movie, because it was good and I hadn’t seen it for a while. It brought back many emotions about how people were treated, the sides that people chose, and what it says about our society. There was a scene where Voldemort thought he had killed Harry Potter and he was basically taking charge of the place. He told people that if they didn’t join him, they would die.

Black Friday used to be that kind of decision. If you wanted to be the best gift giver, you had to get your hands a little dirty. You had to fight against all others for the ultimate prize of not much. The big hand in the sky that stopped all the madness was Amazon. They said, “Don’t go to stores. Buy things online. We will give you free shipping, and you can Black Friday in your jammies.”

The troubled life.

The big losers in this battle are the mannequins. They still have to work around the clock regardless of how many people visit the stores. I don’t know what it takes to be that flexible, but I feel for these guys. I’ve never modeled in my life, but I have to believe that I wouldn’t like it, not at all. I can’t imagine all the stares people would give me. The judging would be the worst. “That mannequin is too fat. That mannequin is too skinny. That mannequin shouldn’t be able to have an ankle that turns all the way around like that. It just isn’t natural.”

The workplace just seems like a hostile environment. Do they even get breaks? How about paid time off? Are they easily replaceable? And it feels like they don’t get any choice in how they are modeled.

What kind of food do they eat that makes them so skinny? I can’t imagine the food being delicious. And what if they don’t want to model a certain style? Do they have any say in what kind of clothes they have to wear? I think we should maybe ask them.

I especially wonder if their job is going to be replaced soon. Stores are dying. Malls are shriveling up. It seems like if it weren’t for the mall walkers, there would be no reason for them. I worry about their future.

What questions do you have for mannequins? What rights do you think they should be afforded?


Bitter Mannequin Ben

Dad Humor Bitter Friday Giftures


Yesterday, it was around 3:15 pm at work and I was getting ready to go home, and as a marketing group, we were just joking around, and I contributed my normal terrible pun. When I did that, my boss finally stated what my role is in the group. She’s like, “It’s so nice that we have Ben here. He injects the dad humor we so desperately need.” When I was younger, I was the witty banter guy, and now I’m the dad humor. It’s amazing how I’ve devolved over the years. It was kind of a slap in the face at first, but then I took it as more of a compliment. Of course, I take most things as a compliment, regardless if they are meant that way or not. I guess when you become old, bitter and a dad, not much bother you anymore. It would be nice to have some Bitter Friday Giftures though. Oh wait, here they are right below…

I don’t know what 18 hundred o’clock is…

…but it sounds like I should be going home way before that. 

This was me last night…

…after I got a cramp in my leg.

Now for some Life Advice…


…this is terrible advice. Always give up.

Always give up…

…after your first No.

This is how you achieve your dreams…

…by sitting around and waiting for them to happen.

Always do things like dabbing…

…way after they aren’t cool anymore.

Always overspend money…

…for things that can’t even achieve their core purpose.

Always work with animals and children…


…because they will never overshadow you.

Always use surprise…

…as a means of giving someone a heart attack.

Make sure to always use Instagram filters…

…to give an unexpected surprise to someone you actually meet in person.

Always trust someone you’ve never met….

…to tell you that, yes, gifs are safe.

Whenever someone asks you for something…

…always let them know you got nothing.

Well, as a dad and as an old person, I am pretty sure you should know that any advice I give is absolutely 100% correct and accurate and you should follow it to the T. Also, you should laugh at these jokes because they are certified dad jokes that my kids will not laugh at, and definitely shame me for. That just makes them more dad jokes and funny for you to laugh at.

What about you all? What dad or mom jokes are you telling? Which ones are actually funny like mine? What is the most dad or mom joke you’ve ever told?


Bitter Dad Joke Ben

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