Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Go Climb a Tree

Most people read Dr. Seuss and think about his important messages of equality (Star-Bellied Sneetches) and environmental consciousness (See: above) before returning to their daily routine. Others, however, consider Seuss' work canonical -- our culture's moral compass. Like the Lorax, they speak for the trees.

"Get out of that tree and take a shower, you dazed, dirty scum! Shoeless, vegan freak. You're symbolic act of defiance forces our society to consider the depletion of its finite natural resources. That frustrates me and I don't like ideas that threaten my comfortable lifestyle, Hippie."

Before you mindlessly condemn this protester, take pause. Weren't you the one who smoked a bowl, gazed with wide, dreamy eyes at 'Planet Earth' and slowly declared, "Whoa, bro. This is NATURE."

Yes, these tree-sitters probably got high in their perch atop some old-growth forest and said the same thing, but you know they grew their own organic stuff and carried it in a hand-stitched burlap sack. No wasteful, non-biodegradable plastic baggies for them. They have conviction! They made their own trail mix and are resting in some crappy, Swiss Family Robinson-style fort right now making sure there can be a Planet Earth 2.

SoT thinks the tree-sitters realize a few centuries-old trees are inconsequential. Hell, knock them down and sell the wood to Papermate so we can write poems and mission statments. They strive for more than just the preservation of a few big trees. Looney as they may seem, they force us to consider our consumption of nature. Are we being responsible?

You planted a tiny seed in 2nd-grade science class, watered it every day and kept a journal tracking your sprout's progress. You sighed after hearing about polar bears that float into Arctic waters aboard melting icebergs then die of exhaustion when they try to swim back to land. You grimaced at satellite images of eroded soil floating out to sea, never to be replaced.

Now you thoughtlessly side with the chainsaw-toting guys driving bulldozers? The logging company? That's like rooting for the pompous Princeton kid to nail every Daily Double on College Jeopardy, the other two state college contestants to finish with negative amounts and fail to qualify for Final Jeopardy and the Princeton kid to chuckle, shrug and concede, "Well, I do go to Princeton." As a general rule, you should think long and hard before supporting people with chainsaws and bulldozers. And people who put too high a premium on their alma maters.

Pros: This kind of conviction plays really well with the hairy-legged, free love set who you'll easily woo at Burning Man.

Overcome fear of heights.

Subject of an excellent 'Hey Arnold!' episode. Screw Bob's Beepers.

Mock brainwashed, bourgeois society. What you're doing is real, man.

This is what Thoreau and Emerson meant. This is it, man. You're totally doing it.

Cons: Spiders. Allergies.

Uh, toilets?

You now rely on a series of carabiners, tarps and planks to prevent you from falling through foot after foot of sharp pine needles into the handcuffs of aggravated police officers. Sweet dreams. Don't let the bed bugs bite -- seriously, there are insect colonies beneath the bark.

Tree extractor is an actual profession.

In case you forgot, you are stories above the ground without toilet paper or showers hoping the contractors paying their union bull dozer-drivers by the hour don't get too antsy.

If only we all remained so ideological, carefully heeded Dr. Seuss' fables and sat in solidarity with our coniferous brethren. Tree-sitters may be self-righteous dreamers who you can't hang out with because they'll judge your every decision and action ('Really? carrying your lunch in a paper bag? Hhm.'), but they bring attention to our environment. And that is a public service.

Stability - 4/5 Unless of course someone gets trigger-happy with the chainsaw
Cool Factor - 4/5 No matter how little it means, you're a genuine activist.
Difficulty - 4/5 How do you get up there?
Perilousness - 5/5 See: Cons.
Added bonus - 3/5 You'll lose weight.

Overall rating - a civil disobedient 21/25.

Monday, September 14, 2009

That's the Spirit

He gets it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jolly Old Sit Nick

This won't end well.

Granted, that's a realistic-looking Santa Claus -- if a mythical figure who whips around the world leaving presents for people who accept Jesus Christ as their savior can look realistic -- but that just makes the situation even stickier. That girl trusts her parents. She has faith in authority. She thinks her dad is the strongest man in the world and her mom never smoked pot. She believes Grandparents Day is a real holiday, George W. Bush invaded Iraq because bin Laden was there and Brady Anderson hit 50 home runs in 1996 because of sheer heart, determination and a consistent weight-lifting regimen. She knows she'll retire at 65 and the same dog her dad brought back from the pound last month will still be sleeping at the foot of her bed when she cashes that final paycheck.

Flash Forward.

Kid, you sure looked cute in that picture. How old are you now? Six? Six-and-a-half? A little bit of wool has fallen off your eyelids in the last two years, hasn't it?

I know you had a funny feeling back then, right after you cooed in that guy's ear telling him you wanted a Hannah Montana backpack and he winked at you and you squealed and your mom and aunt both yelled, "Look over here!" at the same time and you looked at your aunt's camera first but your mom took a picture too so you ended up smiling and looking into the distance.

Something was off. You just couldn't pinpoint it. So, do you want to know what it was? Do you really want to know what bothered you? Because once you take the red pill there's no going back.

You should sit down for this (lolz). Your parents lied to you. Your teachers lied to you, too. The bulk of Western civilization believes it is easier to deliberately fabricate loads of crap until you're eight-years-old and you find out there's no stork from a sixth-grader on the school bus than to treat you with honesty and respect. I'm sorry it sounds like a Spy Kids plot.

It is tough. Believe me. We've all experienced this. But take solace in your own instincts because you knew there was something weird about 5 o'clock shadow beneath a beard and that Santa must have better things to do than hang out at the King of Prussia Mall on a Tuesday afternoon and that human-trafficking awareness groups would probably raise hell about enslaving generations of nasally little men. Elves look like Orlando Bloom anyway. Not Mickey from Seinfeld.

Mazel Tov, parent. You have successfully sewed the seeds of cynicism in your child. You tricked your son into believing Santa was real and he totally fell for it hook, line and sinker! But now he knows.

"So what else is a lie?" he'll wonder. "Obviously the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the WWE. Of course 'States' Rights' is just dog-whistle code for 'deprive the urban poor (see: black people) of opportunities.' But there must be more!"

And so the truth-seeking begins. And when you try to stifle it, it only grows stronger until...

"Wait, just by praying I can make anything I want happen?"

"Wait, how did God create the entire universe in 6 days?"

"Wait, Jesus suffered, died and was buried and on the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures and his kingdom will have no end!?"


That is exactly the line of thought about 76% of Americans hope to avoid, though they unknowingly initiated it the moment they plopped their nervous toddler on the lap of some guy who just got laid off from AT&T.

Pros: Santa's Lap: Perfect for the family who appreciates instant gratification. Wouldya look at how happy he is right now! I don't even care that his older cousin will deliver some spirit-crushing news in a year! I value pessimism!

Creates the doubt that spawned Punk Music and any other anti-establishment movement. Sid Vicious' mom definitely made him sit on Santa's lap at some local firehouse brunch.

Seasonal jobs for the struggling 'fat, white, unemployed men ages 40-75' demographic.

Cons: Middle-aged men who invite kids to sit on their laps and whisper in their ears? Criticizing this would be cliche.

Jehovah's Witnesses will laugh derisively as they imagine you burning in hell.

Found out it was an elaborate hoax? Goodbye, idealism. We had a good six-year run.

This unlikely scenario:
A wonderful photo opportunity will lead to a lifetime of mistrust of authority. While this wariness is vital for checking power, will it completely displace idealism? In addition, remember the slippery slope from Santa's Lap to the page's of Richard Dawkin's next book.

Stability - 4/5 The soft meaty thighs of a former Wal-Mart greeter.
Cool Factor - 0/5 Why did my mom let me wear a mullet and saddle shoes!?
Difficulty - 1/5 Save face by not crying.
Perilousness - 3/5 Babies can't protect their own soft spots.
Added bonus - 4/5 Initially, discovering the lie will hurt, but later in life you will see past your local congressman's shit-eating grin, consider laundry detergent commercials with skepticism or even topple an oppressive dictatorship.

Overall rating - A disconcerting 12/25 for one of our society's strangest rituals.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bed sores, beer guts and an eternity in hell

'Idle hands are the devil's tools.' -- Grandmas and CCD teachers.

Unfortunately, SitOnThings has had a pitchfork in its ass these past few weeks, a seamless stream of days spent dawdling across the northeastern United States. SoT has relaxed in a disturbing amount of deck chairs, comfy beds and dimly lit couches. We have, as the idiom goes, sat on our hands -- and for too long.

Not to be preachy and hypocritical, but SoT submits this expose as proof that our nation is toes over a precipice. Yet, contrary to the banal-cliche-loving media and faculty lounge crowd, 'this tough economy' is not at the root of our evils. Subprime mortgages and the federal deficit are not the problem. Nor are gay marriages, universal healthcare proposals and Congressional green energy iniatives responsible for our downfall (Taxpayer-financed Argentinian homewreckers are -- j/k).

But let's geat real. Society's ills can be traced to one thing: Sloth. 



Or, more bluntly, an invitation to Satan. The party's 'RSVP regrets only' and he ain't calling. Inertia is an aphrodisiac to the Prince of Darkness.

Consider the lazy, slack-jawed children pictured above. The little slugs rot on a lunchroom bench (a bench!) waiting for el diablo to have his way with them. This school, like so many others, is failing its students! Attention kids: it's time to finish your hot dog and fruit punch, get off that stodgy seat and exercise your free will and creativity. 

Stop sitting on your hands. Or else:

Pros: Ample time to think about the next great American novel, you know, the one you'll never get around to writing.

Your mom will make you cold cut sandwiches.

Finally have an opportunity to study your old yearbook and decide which girls you "totally could have got with."

Cons: See Post Title.

HBO and Showtime air the same movies all week long.

From bed to toilet to chair to couch to bed. Repeat.

You will forget how to write well.

If you enjoy hearing "And if you call within the next ten minutes, we'll throw in..." with your back to the television as you surf Match.com, then sit on your hands. Do nothing. Watch your hairline recede and rabbits eat your garden. Just remember, you will have an internet girlfriend who amounts to a steamy pen pal. You will be the last person using Myspace. You will fail to make polite conversation with adults who ask the dreaded "So, what are you going to do next?"

At least Sportscenter is live now.

Stability - 3/5 You cannot slip if you're already stuck in a rut.
Cool Factor - 0/5 Dr. J, Leo and Obama are motivated and ambitious.
Difficulty - 0/5 Your dad does your laundry for you.
Perilousness - 2/5 Your health, your mind, your looks atrophy.
Added bonus - 1/5 The OC on SOAPnet. 

Overall rating - A bleak 6/25

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pour salt in the wound of a dying medium

"Hello? . . . Yes, hi, I'm calling to cancel my subscription . . . Yes, well, I've already stacked a number of old ones on top of each other to use as a video game chair and I really don't need any more . . . What's that? . . . Oh, I understand it's nice to have a hardcopy to hold in my hands . . . Of course I understand newspapers have been the number one news source for the past three centuries . . . I'm sorry, but don't YOU think they've run their course? . . . Yes, well, someone probably should have thought about that before they made all the same content available for free online . . . Look, I understand every cancelled subscription means fewer advertising dollars for you, but that's really not my fault. I simply can't justify wasting hundreds of pounds of paper each year just to glance at the first few front-page headlines so I can pretend to keep up on current events . . . I-- . . . I -- . . . I understand that, but -- . . . Wait, are you kidding me? Did anyone in the newspaper industry even notice the internet, let alone work to adapt to the information revolution? . . . Boxscores? Boxscores! I'm sorry, but do you own a computer? MLB.com updates their boxscores in real-time! . . . Listen, I can't continue this conversation. I understand the newspaper industry is dying, but it's their own damn fault. I'm canceling my subscription . . . Sure, I'll hold." 

Decades from now, it should be funny and a little embarrassing to explain to our grandchildren, that, "Yes, Virginia, people just like you and me had to wait HOURS to read about the previous night's baseball game on a thin, foldable piece of gray paper.  Hard to imagine, right? Wait, there's more! If the game was in L.A. you'd have to wait two days! . . .  No, you get out . . . Prove it? How about this?"

Man, newspapers seem dumb, but at least a stack of papers, or better yet one of those clunky newspaper vending boxes, provides a relatively sturdy seat.

Pros: Subtly show dinner guests that you collect antiques.

Every saved newspaper is one less piece of windblown-trash on the street.

Read a little between your legs to pass the time, that is until . . . 

Cons: . . . Story continued on page B8 -- down by your heels. 

Every saved newspaper is one less crappy blanket. Or one less place to put my gum on the T.

Black ink is to white pants as the the internet is to the newspaper industry.

Gray is attractive, but dingy yellow? Ew. 

You need a lot of twine and patience to secure a bunch of frictionless piles of paper. 

At the the very least, newspapers are good places for your cat to sit and learn where to piss in your house.
Although the hard-copy newspaper will soon go the route of the town crier, bundled Boston Globes, Daily Free Presses and Star Ledgers continue to serve a purpose as a relatively comfortable chair in your attic, garage or basement. 

. . . 

One more thing before the final tally: The death of the newspaper industry will no doubt lead to the movie Bloggiez, a film recounting the golden age of web-based media, which focuses on an ambitious, young blogger's (played by Zach Efron) citywide quest to boost the unique-hits counter of his own unsolicited-and-uninformed-reactions-to-noteworthy-events website in order to secure premium adspace from Google. 

"That's my Adobe Creative Suite 4! You'll illegally download anudder. Hey, bloggers we got woik to do . . "

. . .

Stability - 2/5, Though this number jumps to 3/5 when twine is introduced.
Cool Factor - 1/5 Newspapers are so 1951-square, man.
Difficulty - 3/5 To your wallet, that is. The few newspapers not about to die will soon cost even more.
Perilousness - 1/5 Nope. Sorry.
Added bonus -  3/5 A true piece of Americana -- a genuine newspaper. Again, wow your grandchildren.

Overall rating - A pitiful -- and soon to be worse -- 10/25

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A great seat for defying traditional gender roles

'Little' Miss Muffet -- the nickname is supposed to be ironic in the same way you call a really tall guy "Tiny" or an idiot "Einstein" --  sat on her tuffet enjoying her zero-carb curds and whey protein shake after blasting her pecs and abs.  

To clarify, a tuffet is a clothed and cushioned stool, kind of like a small ottoman, usually considered feminine furniture.  Muffet's choice to sit and enjoy her post-workout mix of Muscle Milk and cottage cheese on a tuffet demonstrates her calculating mind, progressive attitudes and mastery of symbols.  You see, Muffet defies stereotypes. She is a modern woman who successfully juggles single-motherhood, a career as a premier personal trainer and a demanding competitive weight-lifting schedule while maintaining her womanliness.

Just because she can bench-press more than most NFL linebackers doesn't mean she can't also hem and pleat the skirt of her lovely tuffet or, for that matter, get a little freaked out when she sees a spider.  Spiders are gross no matter how big your muscles are.

Pros: After choosing the perfect pattern from JoAnn's Fabrics, measuring the cloth so it falls just above the floor and applying the necessary stitches, finally enjoy your handiwork and reflect on your most recent workout.  A true Renaissance Woman.

Force people to rethink their conceptions of femininity. 

With heels on floor four-feet in front of you, grip sides of tuffet and dip body so that backside approaches floor for an excellent triceps workout.

Cons: Tuffets provide no back support, which sucks after you just pushed your lats to the limit.

Fabric layers attract insects and, by extension, spiders.

Really ties a room together.

When the documentarians came to spend a day in the life of Miss Muffet, she could have sat anywhere -- a weight bench, a leather office chair, a locker room countertop -- to recharge after a hard workout.  Instead of a more "manly" location, she consciously chose her tuffet, a symbol of traditional femininity, to promote modern womanhood. Today, women can seek a life beyond rigidly defined roles.  The fun-loving sorority girl can also be an exemplary student and the home-economics teacher can talk baseball like Peter Gammons. The jacked gym-rat isn't just "butch." She can also be an elegant homemaker and doting mom.  Miss Muffet, her protein shake and handcrafted tuffet remind us of that.

Stability - 3/5 -- Tuffet is physically stable, but like Muffet, you can use it to shake up the status quo.
Cool Factor - 5/5 You can be anything you want to be.
Difficulty - 2/5 -- Hard to create, easy to sit.
Perilousness - 1/5 -- Only dangerous if neighboring spider is a Black Widow.
Added bonus -  4/5 -- Pick and choose your own interests, not those prescribed by a conservative society.

Overall rating - A progressive 15/25. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Eggs are fragile but rewarding

See those thin, brittle ovals resting on a branch stories above the ground? Your CHILDREN are in them. Now go plop your entire body weight on top of them. For weeks. 

Talk about pressure. 

I've heard the rumors that birds are such bad parents that they can't even remember how many eggs they have, but I don't buy it. They love those things. Seriously. They love their kids so much they'll turn bulimic in difficult economic times just so their babies won't go hungry. That's why birds survived the Great Depression and, despite rising unemployment and scarce loans, seem to be thriving right now. 

People are lucky. We have uteruses, papooses, and car seats to carry our kids in. Birds have a cramped circle of sticks, a dank hole in a dead tree or their own spit on which they must sit. And sit. And sit -- the whole time knowing even a load-shifting sneeze could mean a miscarriage while a trip too far from the nest will provide a raccoon with a nice continental breakfast. 

Pros: Whenever your kids whine about not wanting to go to the statewide crafts fair or outdoor sculpture garden that you saw in the paper, just remind them how you dutifully sat for months to ensure their normal brain development. 

Catch up on The Secret Life of Bees and the rest of Oprah's Book Club or sell your busy friends' stuff on eBay (for a percentage).

You can host Pampered Chef parties from your nest . . .

Cons: . . . but be prepared for the old crows you call 'friends' to talk about your unkempt branch, widening ass and generally haggard appearance as soon as they leave.

You have no choice but to go on maternity leave and risk losing your job to some goody-goody kiss-ass fresh out of State who think she's going to change the world! 

Good luck meeting new people. 

If your children die, it is officially your fault and even a lifetime of therapy cannot change that.

Sitting on eggs takes patience, willpower and the perfect distribution of body weight.  It's hard to find a comfortable position when sitting on a bunch of spheres all putting unequal pressure on points across your butt.  To keep from going stir-crazy, the mother bird must only concentrate on the outcome of her diligent incubation -- a healthy kid with a chance to score a college scholarship and later support his or her parents in a moderately priced, but attentive, assisted-living facility.

Stability - 1/5 There is a reason the phrase "walking on eggshells" exists.
Cool Factor - 2/5 Moms wear mom jeans.
Difficulty - 2/5 The fate of your forebears depends on your vigilance and body heat. But again, you are just sitting at home. Possibly in front of the TV.
Perilousness - 5/5 One false move and your baby dies.
Added bonus -  2/5 Step forward every time your mammal and fish friends complain how tough their pregnancies were.

Overall rating - A monotonous, but maternal 12/25. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Live, Suffer, Die, Rise, Chill, Leave, Sit.

Yes, Sit On Things congregation, He will come again to judge the living and the dead, but until then He is seated at the right hand of the Father -- a not too shabby spot in the grand (some say the grandest) scheme of things.

Dads are cool. They occasionally give you money, remind you you are special and provide a well of life lessons. For most people, however, remaining glued to a dad's side for a couple millennia would get tiresome.

Pros: Learn a firm handshake from your grizzled pop. You are an arm's reach from his right hand after all.

Gripe about the Giants together while watching them lose on the cosmic TV in front of you. 

Chill on clouds with an Earth ottoman.

Cons: Sitting at the right hand of your father may be ever-stimulating if He is also your God, but in my experience, wet tissue paper can sometimes separate awesome bonding and annoying banter. For instance, dads use a lot of puns. Others ask if you've found a job yet. Some do both.

Dads aren't tech-savvy so good luck setting his cell phone alarm and helping him buy tickets on eBay.

In some cases, you sit in that spot because you just suffocated to death knowing the whole time you couldn't save yourself because your wrists and ankles were nailed to boards and your forehead had thorns jammed into it. Oh, and some douch stabbed you in the stomach. 

Although it's hard to overstate the importance of good dads, the dad worth sitting next to forever is rare. Find him and email Sit On Things. I want to meet that dad. (Start at :29)  Until he is revealed, the spot at the right hand of the father seems less and less appealing with each passing minute and G-rated play on words.

Stability - 5/5 -- A dad will never let you down. If only so his progeny may go forth and multiply, thereby continuing his name and memory.
Cool Factor - 1/5 -- 'Drop me off a few blocks from school, please. I can walk the rest of the way.'
Difficulty - 2/5 -- Some, like the man pictured above, take more difficult paths to their seat than others.
Perilousness - 1/5 -- Again, dads are in it for the long hall.
Added bonus -  2/5 - Dads can tell you about girls. Then you realize the girl they have the most experience with is your mom.

Overall rating - A paternal 11/25. 

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Idaho Paradox: Grace when supported by good and evil

Wedged between a bunch of Tetris blocks, shins squished against an uncompromising Wyoming, Idaho somehow manages to retain its dignity and excellent posture.  Consider his pointy head, level and staring on a line toward the East Coast.  With broad shoulders thrust gracefully against Oregon, Idaho grips his elevated knees without showing a hint of discomfort. Clearly, this is a Catholic-school-educated state.

Like an unwavering Civil War general riding stern and straight-backed among his admiring troops, Idaho, cemented in a regal right angle, commands respect. However, sitting atop Nevada and Utah is not for the undisciplined.

Pros: The slight southerly slope from the Pacific Ocean toward the Wyoming intrusion allows you to recline while maintaining a sturdy back. 

Majestic views.

Under 21? Grab some beers from Canada up there.

Cons: Instead of appearing on his shoulders in times of moral dilemma, the angel and devil are an omnipresent force located below Idaho's buttocks and feet.  Sitting in place of Idaho, you will never escape the constant struggle between vice and virtue. To his rear, devious Nevada pries open the gates of Hell as it promotes prostitution, intoxication and games of chance . To his front, Utah offers salvation by way of 3.2 beer, boredom and the denial of every basic human instinct. Truly, a perch above Nevada and Utah forces one to endure an inescapable battle between good and evil.  This is the Idaho Paradox.

There is an active volcano just a few hundred miles from the back of your head!

As you stare longingly at the blinding metropolises of the Northeast, you wonder what could have been had you pursued your MBA or followed your Broadway dreams.

It's like the coldest place in the entire United States. Also, there must be some reason no one knows anything at all about Idaho. 

So long as you can cope with the Idaho Paradox and cold, rigid borders, the region atop Nevada and Utah provides a commanding sentry post.  From here you can monitor 45 states without even turning your head. West Point graduates take note, this position requires vigilance and discipline.

Stability - 5/5 -- United we stand.
Cool Factor - 5/5 -- What is coolness but the respect, admiration and deference of others?
Difficulty - 3/5 -- Though your aching back may scream and your stiff legs may burn, you shall remain Buckingham Palace Beefeater.
Perilousness - 0/5 -- You sit and watch.
Added bonus -  3/5 You are the David Blaine of states.

Overall rating - A rocklike 16/25.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sitting for tranquility

In the quest for inner peace, spacing out beneath a Bodhi tree beats tapping your head against the ground five times a day or squeezing inside a cold box to nervously tell a stranger how many times you glanced at the mannequins in the Victoria's Secret window.

Directions: Plant tree. Chill beneath it.

You are now a Buddhist.

Surely, the shady spot under a Bodhi allows you to reflect on and then reject the stress caused by passive-aggressive emails, parking tickets and the New York Mets, but unless you're Siddhartha, there remains much to desire.

Pros: Nirvana. As in freedom from suffering.

Awesome excuse to escape the responsibilities and pressures of the real, tangible world.

It's hip as hell -- See.

Cons: Nirvana. As in Kurt Cobain, a Buddhist who offers possibly the worst endorsement for a religion that promotes an end to internal torment.

Your God is considered a vapid fat guy by the majority of Westerners who also rub his smooth gut for luck when they eat at China Buffet. You may think he's this sleek, enlightened teacher with a hair bun, but, whatever, he's a rabbit's foot with manboobs.

'Om Mani Padme Hum' gets annoying after like 45 seconds.

Since more than 360 million people do the exact same thing, is the patch under a Bodhi tree any different from a chair?

Plenty of people dig that silent, enlightened type and will definitely be into your simple poetry. Then again, if you don't move to the Himalayas or renounce all worldly possessions, the rest will think you're a douch.

Still, Bodhi trees have cool-looking heart leaves.

Stability - 3/5 -- Firm and bare from hours of sitting.
Cool Factor - 2/5 -- Some people think so. You included.
Difficulty - 1/5 -- While probing the depths of your soul is hard, resting cross-legged in the shade is Sitting 101.
Perilousness - 1/5 -- Check for beehives.
Added bonus - 3/5 -- Sitting under a Bodhi tree pondering peace is a lot better than sitting around considering why what you believe is so superior to what they believe.

Overall rating - A placid 10/25.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring Break Sitting Competition

Relaxin' a few years before chairs became cliche

Sandy beaches provide a comfortable seat and a terrific chance to show off your tris

Although Sit On Things is stuck in 34-degree Boston -- where even now snow is piling up on pathways and sidewalks, we can still enjoy Spring Break '09 vicariously through YOU.

That's right, The Spring Break Sitting Competition is now under way! Whether you are in Vegas or Vermont, Panama City or Park City, go sit on some cool stuff, take pictures and submit your best material to davidsitz@gmail.com

Pictures of friends, strangers, animals, trees that look like people and girls on topless beaches are all valid. So are celebrity sightings and snapshots of your buddy's prison cell right before you bail him out. Chairs are not. Multiple submissions welcome.

Winner(s) will receive lavish prizes.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

A seat worthy of its name

I assume some will look at that picture, see the gleeful young woman and accuse me of breaking my own cardinal rule by praising a chair on this website. Fine. You're right. Technically, the Zamboni driver sits on a chair. Are you proud of yourself, cynic? 

Picking out the chair while ignoring the greater good is to comb Hamlet for typos, the Grand Canyon for donkey shit or Harry and David Moose Munch Bars for high-fructose corn syrup.

Leave it to some people to find the tiny flaw in the Lucky jeans at Marshall's rather than gladly accept the 75 percent discount.

Removed from the Zamboni, then yes, it's a chair, but for our purposes, it is Italy's greatest contribution to sitting.

The woman driving clearly relishes the moment, beaming and mouthing, 'I did it! Thank you!' as she waves to her parents in the crowd while they proudly smile and nod their approval. 'We always knew you would, honey.'

Completely customizable.  

PROS: Few other minimum-wage sitting-jobs allow you to brag as much and impress so many third-graders.  Tollbooth attendant,  telemarketer, Glamour Shots clerk? Hardly.

It's just you and your partner out there. The crowd focuses on your every swerve, marveling at your control, wondering just how the hell that giant thing works and how anyone could possibly understand how to operate it as well as you.  That's called respect.

The only other on-ice activity that commands that kind of attention is figure skating. And you don't have to wear sequins and skin suits.

Twice every night you have the ability to soothe thousands of borderline-OCD-sufferers simply by hitting every spot on the rink.  You have more power than a teacher erasing the blackboard!

Do you see that sliver of scuffed ice near the blue line? Do you? WELL, DO YOU? Why are you driving in the opposite direction? NO. NO! HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT! Wait. What? You're turning around? YES! You're turning around! You're driving right toward it! YEEEEEEEAH!!!1!! Oh, sweet relief. 

CONS: But on the flip side of that coin, you have the power to cause mild discomfort among those borderline cases and absolutely ruin the night for actual-OCD sufferers.


Thousands of back-seat drivers critique your every move. That's called pressure.

You instantly become the object of scorn and envy among the rest of the maintenance staff, which may result in a coups-de-zamboni.

Overheard as these two friends passed each other:

"We really are living the dream, aren't we?"
"You know, every morning I remind myself not to take this for granted."
"You got that right. See you in the second intermission."

Stability - 3/5 -- Zamboni - stable. Melting ice - notoriously fickle.
Cool Factor - 5/5 -- YOU THRIVE ON ICE. Literally cool.
Difficulty - 3/5 -- Just like two driving tests a night.
Perilousness - 5/5 --  A multi-ton machine sliding across ice all the time.
Added bonus -  5/5 -- People love you. You make sports safer, faster and more enjoyable. Though you drive 1/20 the speed, you are better than NASCAR.

Overall rating - To the best seat in sports, a 21/25.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Really, Snorlax?

The entire Pokeworld and you're lounging here, blocking all of Cycle Road?  Do you even realize there is an empty field behind you? And what about that forest FOUR FEET in front of your fat face? Unless you think your stupid purple fur will get a tan, you'd be a whole lot better off under one of those shady, perfectly arranged trees.

Look, I'll make this easy:

PROS: ABSOLUTELY NONE. ZERO. I wonder what he thinks will happen. Like, he must think I'm just going to say, 'OK, well I've come far enough. I'm cool with not reaching the Dojo.' IDIOT.


You will never receive a strong letter of recommendation after you lose your security guard post over here. Why? Well, here's a few words that come to mind when I think of you -- lazy, selfish, slothful.  No one in their right mind would hire you.  I am pretty confident you lack even basic computer skills since you spend days at a time sitting on a street.

I don't even know how to read music, so when I play the Pokeflute, you are in for a rude awakening.

I hope some shut-eye on this path is worth eternity in a Pokeball.

You will soon be unemployed and unappealing:

You really need to reevaluate things, Snorlax. Time to finally fulfill a New Year's Resolution and do something with your pathetic life.  "Happy-go-lucky" gets old fast.

Stability - 0/5 Cycle Road is not going anywhere. But you are.
Cool Factor - 0/5 -- Frustrating children is not "cool."
Difficulty - 0/5 --- Sitting on a sunny path in the summer? 
Perilousness - 3/5 --  Not that you realize this, but you'll soon be in a ball 1/100th your size
Added bonus -  2/5 -- Maybe losing to me in a battle will be the ultimate incentive to finally turn your life around.

Overall rating - 5/25

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dead Animals are Better than Giant Beanbags

That last post reminded me that animal carcasses are nature's leather recliners. Before they start to stink and ooze maggots, slaughtered mammals also make terrific booster seats. Fisher-Price eat your heart out because that fourteen-point elk pictured above doubles as play-set and stuffed animal and will soon be rustic, living-room decor and possibly a years-worth of jerky. 

Freshly killed bear-skin rugs are both romantic and manly. 
Vroom-Vrooooom! A buck or an imaginary Harley?

Clearly, cadavers have much to offer.

Pros: Dead animals are firm but forgiving and their thick pelts provide a warm, comfortable cushion. 

Animals can be found and killed everywhere in the world except former nuclear test sites and toxic waste dumps.  If only I had driven a few mph faster on numerous moonlit roads, I could have a collection of white-tailed deer to sit on as I waited for AAA to tow my busted car.

Instead of dining on Steak Tartare in a cramped booth at some overpriced French bistro, just dig your Bowie knife into your elk-sofa's flank and extract a tender wedge of deer-flesh.  Bon apetit. 

You'll look like a total man's man. 

Cons: Sitting on antlers may violate Christian doctrine. 

After a few hours, you will have to contend with hyenas and vultures if you hope to maintain your spot on a lion's back. However, if you successfully kill them you will have your very own sectional couch. 

Without a pick-up truck and a few weight-lifting friends, your new seat is stationary.


Lest you're pursuing a PETA fanatic, killing and then sitting on an animal will surely make your crush think of you as badass champion in the ultimate test of Man vs. Wild.  Unless you use an automatic weapon. Or a tree stand. Or a helicopter. Then you just look like a pussy. 

Stability - 3/5 -- Decay sets in quickly. 
Cool Factor - 4/5 -- But then again, I'm not an animal rights activist 
Difficulty - 2/5 --- Easy to sit on...
Perilousness - 5/5 --  ... but harder to kill with bare hands.
Added bonus -  3/5 -- Rest for now, food for later.

Overall rating - A macho 17/25

Courage and Patience: The Proper Way to Defeat Dangerous Chairs

Whenever a devilish beast terrorizes a village, courageous men will rise to the challenge and risk their lives for the good of the community -- think Kilmer and Douglass in The Ghost and the Darkness and Scheider, Shaw and Dreyfuss in Jaws. After the soulless dining room chair pictured above spent months instigating rifts between friends, generating extreme intoxication among teenagers and generally terrorizing Ashford Street, five grizzled sportsmen answered the call to protect their friends and family.

The struggle was intense and splinters abounded, but thanks in large part to the efforts of the indomitable Philip Guidon (center), the group subdued the beast, rendered it completely unsalvageable and restored tranquility to the region.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Milk Crates for Stability in Your Life

Partly out of necessity, but mostly because of shared creative genius, the homeless have long been the sitting world's Steve Jobs, believing less is more and considering user-friendliness the key to a strong product. So, while the saturated streets of Washington, D.C. forced hundreds of thousands to spend hours standing or settle for spots amid Dunkin Donuts cups and pretzel-chip bags on the frigid, yellowish-green cement between the Capitol and the Washington Monument, these three men whipped out simple, but effective, milk crates to observe the festivities.

Let's examine the pros and cons of these mesh plastic squares.

Pros: When not used as a seat, the milk crate doubles as a reliable container for everything from young puppies (especially when crate is Bungee-corded above a rear bike tire) to Topps trading cards.

When stationed above a subway grate, the porous milk crate allows steam to warm your body, recycling the heat energy from below for an eco-friendly solution in a chilly city.

As pictured, milk crates foster hope and a sense of community among those in need. 

Cons: Be careful, milk crates are considered contraband. Possessing one will garner you serious jail time. 

Use over many hours may sear embarrassing mesh pattern on buttocks and upper hamstring.

Again, no lower back support. 


Although practical and sturdy, the milk crate won't help you look cooler or more appealing to potential spouses. However, there are plenty of men and women who, weathered but looking to love again after years spent with unreliable, disloyal and flaky intimates, are just searching for a stable companion. Sitting on a milk crate will prove that if you were a carpenter's level, your green bubble would always remain between the center lines.

Stability - 5/5
Cool Factor - 1/5
Difficulty - 1/5
Perilousness - 3/5 -- May cause severe police reprisal
Added bonus - Milk crates typically arrive with complimentary milk. 3/5

Overall rating - A steady 13/25

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Dependability of Polished Granite

Countertops offer a number of benefits, especially for the amateur sitter just beginning to test the waters beyond his or her trusted Adirondack chair.

Pros: Recorded history shows zero instances of sitting-induced countertop collapses.

Sitting on a counter offers the average partygoer an unimpeded view of the festivities while resting his or her slowly blistering feet.

The stationary countertop forces friends and acquaintances to come to you. While surrounded by a semi-circle of smiling friends in your slightly elevated position, girls/boys will find you appealing.

It's fun to dangle your feet and pump them back and forth.

Cons: Sorry, no skirts.

Sitting on the counter may expose you to week-old coffee stains, globs of marinara sauce that have turned orange and crusted over but stay squishy inside and the intolerable stench of George Foreman grill fat drippings.

Coffee-makers and Franzia boxes provide poor lumbar support. 

Wayward appendages or articles of clothing may activate hazardously close stove or oven.

I suggest monitoring this recent trend because it seems to be approaching critical mass. Once you see some kid wearing a Che Guevara shirt and sipping a Pomegranate Juice cocktail as he slouches between the blender and the row of commemorative Jagermeister bottles at your next Allston house party, you know it's time to locate a fresh perch. 

Stability - 5/5 
Cool Factor - 3/5
Difficulty - 1/5 (Unless you lack the upper-body strength to hoist yourself up)
Perilousness - 2/5
Added bonus -  A spot on the countertop typically means bananas, Cheez-Its and other treats are a short reach away.  3/5

Overall rating: A respectable and reliable 14/25