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

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.