The Ballad of a Boring Man

By Andrew Niesen in boring

I’m boring.

This isn’t one of those posts where I complain about how boring it is to get older. In fact, I’ve always been boring.

When I was a kid, my neighbors would come and ask if I wanted to play. I would decline and resume the monotony I was deeply entranced in inside. As a college student, I would pass on most adventures, a decision that, while usually the smart idea, was not always the most exciting.

Even now I’m boring. I have devised boring plans for my weekend. They are to eat sushi and go to a movie.


If you think I’m exaggerating how boring I really am, here is a rundown of my day:

7:43- I wake up and look at the clock. Since I am supposed to be at work at 7:45, I do my best roadrunner impression (minus the annoying “Beep-Beep!”) and head out the door.

7:48- I arrive at work, nearly on time.

7:48-12:00- I read every article on the CNN website. I also write a little bit.

12:00- Lunch

12:30-6:00- I continue to read every article on, occasionally stopping to look something up on Wikipedia.

6:00-10:00- I tell my wife all about the articles I read on (“Did you know that Barack Obama was going to meet with,” I will start before she interrupts and says something along the lines of “Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.”)

10:00- I sleep.


If you are awake after that explanation of my day, congratulations. You should receive some kind of medal for people who can withstand insane amounts of boredom. It would be less respected than the Presidential Medal of Honor, but more so than a daytime Emmy.

I don’t know where my boredom came from. I would assume that it is a family trait, having been handed down from generation to generation. My great great great great great great grandfather was probably invited on the Mayflower but stayed in England, saying, “I don’t know about that, guys. That water looks really cold. I might fall in or something. I think Shakespeare has a new play this weekend. I think I’ll check that out. Next time, though. For sure next time.”

I’ve thought about doing some more exciting things to bump the excitement level of my life up a notch. Maybe I should go skydiving or bungee jumping, I thought. I do not, however, have any interest in plummeting from great heights, so those activities are off the table.

I could start a dog fighting ring. I like dogs way too much for that, though.

Maybe I should bump it up a few notches. I could live my life purely for excitement. I could ditch all of my personal belongs and jump a train, headed to an unknown destination. Once there, I would go about town charming the women and fighting the men, a drifter in an unknown city. I would gamble for a living and spend my evenings at the local hot spot, scamming people into giving me their hard earned bucks. With that money, I would buy the supplies for a high profile art heist, one the likes of which has never been seen or will be seen again. After becoming a billionaire from black market art dealing, I would escape to a remote island, narrowly avoiding imprisonment. There I would live out the rest of my days.

That seems like a lot of work, though.

I think I’ll see what’s new on

Thanks For Visiting, Summer. Could You Leave Me Alone Now?

By Andrew Niesen

Kansas City: We'll Clear Out Your Pours Whether You Like It Or Not

I hate summer.

I hate summer more than you can imagine. If I were a superhero, my arch nemesis would be Dr. Summer. I would spend all of my time trying to stop Dr. Summer from destroying Megaopolis, my superhero location, with his heat ray and humidity blaster.

I remember when I was young, I loved summer. Summer meant no more school which equaled freedom. Yes, around mid-July, the freedom did start to get boring, but I was free nonetheless. It didn’t matter if the humidity was 625% or the heat index was clocking in at 212 degrees.

As I grew older, though, this love of summer drifted away. Maybe it was my childlike wonder dying. Maybe I had grown disillusioned with the world. Maybe I was no longer allowed to summers off as an adult, making me increasingly bitter.

Whatever the reason, the views of summer are drastically different between childhood and adulthood. The differences in the view of summer can be expressed with these two formulas:

Childhood: Summer=Freedom


Adulthood: Summer=Seriously? Does the thermometer really say that? Looks like the lawn isn’t getting mowed this month…


Now, all of this is not to be blamed on Mother Nature. She’s a good ol’ dame, providing us with a great deal of pleasant weather. Remember spring? Now that is a season. No, I give equal blame to the weather and to Kansas City.

Ah, yes. My hometown. There is a lot to love about Kansas City. There’s barbecue, there’s culture (Seriously, there actually is. Our art museum has an exhibit of Monet’s water lily paintings right now, and if that isn’t culture, then I don’t know what is.), there’s an interesting history involving Jesse James and Charlie Parker and Walt Disney.

One thing you can’t love, though, is the weather.

You know how people try to justify the heat in Arizona by repeatedly saying, “It’s a dry heat,” completely ignoring the fact that their dry heat is clocking in at 115 degrees? Kansas City doesn’t even have that luxury. It isn’t uncommon to watch the news and see a weather report saying, “The high tomorrow be a hot 100 degrees with a heat index of 112.”

See, Kansas City is home to the heat index, a mythical calculation of humidity and temperature that tells you what it feels like outside. This calculation was invented because meteorologists felt stupid getting on TV and saying, “Tomorrow will be 100, but it’ll feel super-hot instead of just really-hot.” It is used to try to adequately express how much you don’t want to go outside because you will instantly feel sweat pouring down your face.

In fact, a better measurement of temperature would be the sweat index. This would be calculated by the number of seconds it is until you feel disgusting and are in need of a shower. When the weatherman said, “The sweat index tomorrow will be 1.3 seconds, so definitely bring a change of clothes and an extra Speed Stick!” you would know exactly what was being talked about and how that relates to your real life.

Fortunately, the air conditioner was invented. Without it, Kansas City would become a ghost town. No one would move, everyone would sit on their couch, fan blowing at them, thinking about how nice Minnesota must be this time of the year.

You’re still prone to think this occasionally even with the AC. Air conditioners can only do so much and until I find a portable air conditioner suit (You’d think if they can send a man to the moon…) then I will still spend a good amount of my time worried that my insides are beginning to boil.

I’m thinking about moving to a zoo’s penguin habitat during the summers. There’s fish to eat and that’s brain food. It’s cooler and you don’t feel overdressed with your tuxedo on. I will have no reason to step outside during the summer months. There, I will wait out Dr. Summer until Fallman finally arrives.

 He is significantly more pleasant.

More Tips For An Exciting Conversation

By Andrew Niesen

A while back, I posted several ways to start a conversation for the more awkward amongst us. After all, it can be hard to make friends, particularly if everything that comes out of your mouth is complete and utter nonsense.

In a continuation of my effort to help these people overcome their issues and remove themselves from any list of social pariahs they may have been placed on, I have come up with more conversation starters for you. If these do not help you make friends, you’re probably hopeless and should move away from mankind and live with the chimpanzees like Jane Goodall. Chimpanzees are too busy throwing their own dung to care about what you say.

The Official Life and Times Conversation Starters Part II:

-Does this milk smell alright to you? I found it in the dumpster out back…

-Would you like to go halfsies on a package of tube socks?

-I couldn’t help but noticing your mole. It looks very regal.

-Estoy hablando en español. ¿Alguna vez se habla en ninguna lengua extranjera y, en caso afirmativo, ¿cómo son sus habilidades para contar en ese idioma? Sólo puede recibir hasta 113.

-Would you like to see the designs I had shaved into my back hair?

-Just for the record, your toilet cannot flush down a loafer. In other unrelated news, we have the same shoe size…

-This gum still hasn’t lost its flavor. Here, taste it.

-I am a robot from the future. I am here to destroy you…

-How are your masonry skills? I really need to build a wall.

-Who would you rather date: Richard Dreyfuss or Joan Jett? I’d choose Richoan Dreyett.

-John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt? His name is my name too. What a small world!

-At what point does flatulence stop being funny? I say around the 8 second mark.

-My mom is on the phone. She’d like to say hi.

-I seem to have misplaced my pants. Yours are really comfy though.


Using these is guaranteed to make you the life of the party.


North Dakota is Technically Not a State, Also Technically Not Interesting

By Andrew Niesen

All states marked in red are boring and bad at writing constitutions.

Warning: The following post contains graphic taunting of the state of North Dakota. I would like to apologize to each and every North Dakotan (all eight of you) in advance. This is not directed at any of you, but rather at the incredibly dull and lifeless area of the country that you have chosen to make your home. Seriously, it is a giant snoozefest.


As a Kansan, there are not a lot of states we can make fun of. Both coasts are better, so they are off limits. Illinois has Chicago, so that’s gone as well. Most of the other states at least have a nice landscape, totally destroying western Kansas’ endless flat farm land.

That is why I was very happy when I became friends with some North Dakotans. North Dakota is almost the only state that makes Kansas look like a fun place to be. I would consistently laugh at their mentions of their hometowns knowing that Kansas had this state beat.

We would debate the validity of North Dakota as a state with me taking the stance that we might as well sell it to some other country because no one would miss it. “It doesn’t really count as a state at all,” I would say to varying degrees of disagreement.

It turns out all this time, I was right.

North Dakota is not actually a state.

(North Dakota Fun Fact: The population of the entire state is 672,591 making it roughly the same size as Poughkeepsie, New York!)

For years, 82-year-old John Rolczynski has insisted that there was an error in the North Dakota state constitution. All of the North Dakota state politicians said, “Old Man Rolczynski is a nut job! Just ignore the crazy fool and get back to your beet farming.”

Finally, state senator Tim Mathern looked into the matter. What he found was that the state constitution did not require officials to be sworn in, a requirement for a state to be ratified.

North Dakota was never officially a state.

(North Dakota Fun Fact: The official state beverage of North Dakota is milk! They have not specified what animal’s milk they are referring to, but I assume, since it is the STATE beverage, it must be from the official state animal, the Nokota horse.)

So now that North Dakota is a territory again, what should we do with it? I think everyone can agree there is no reason to make North Dakota a state again. All they do is provide us with beets, lentils and honey. Beets are gross and the lentils and honey can come from elsewhere.

One possible solution is to sell it. America has a $14 trillion debt, meaning we owe people the equivalent of 933,333,333 Honda Accords. That’s a whole lot of sensible sedans.

Selling the North Dakota Territory would be a start. We paid $1,260,000 for it originally. That means it has to be worth a solid $1,500,000 now. If we can just find some sucker country willing to buy it (Check with the Netherlands. They’re always high, so they’ll definitely take it) we’d start getting some of that paid off.

(North Dakota Fun Fact: Bismarck, North Dakota has been named the safest place to live in America! It’s difficult to have a rash of crimes when your entire population is made up of livestock.)

Another option is to just combine it with South Dakota, making one boring state called Dakota.

The issue this brings up is our flag. We have 50 stars, but we’d only need 49. People would be cutting out one star on all of the flags to make it accurate, leading to a great influx of flag stars in our city dumps. Eventually our dumps would be over filled, causing America to become a giant trash heap. Our country would look like the set of Sanford and Son, but with no Redd Foxx to amuse us.

To offset this, we could annex Mexico. It’s a lot warmer than North Dakota, plus drug wars are a lot more interesting than the North Dakota State Fair. Who wants to go Minot, North Dakota anyway?

(North Dakota Fun Fact: North Dakota is home to the Norsk Hostfest, the second largest Scandinavian festival in North America! It is also home to… well, nothing else really.)

Both of those ideas, though, pale in comparison to my final and best idea: make it an island.

People love beach front property, but America only has one island state to take advantage of this.

Before we allow North Dakota back into the country, they will have to carefully chisel out along the state boundaries. Then giant cranes will have to lift the state off of the ground, carefully carrying it across the country to its new home in the Pacific Ocean. Not only will this make a great new island state, but it will create a sixth great lake.

(North Dakota Fun Fact: A popular winter time sport is raccoon hunting! You may fill in your own joke right here…)

Mathern, though, is trying to poop on my party (Figuratively, of course. Mathern has never been to any of my parties, nor has he defecated on them). He has introduced a bill that will change the state constitution, allowing them to quickly become a state again.

This means we have a short amount of time to make a ruling on what to do before things are back to normal.

The only possible way to delay the state’s decision is to get everyone out of the state. It shouldn’t be hard. There aren’t all that many of them.

We need to find one thing all North Dakotans like. I vote the state fair since it gets 250,000 of the 672,000 people to arrive. Having chosen a favorite North Dakotan item, we tell them that it has moved into the state of Michigan for the next few months.

The North Dakotans will have mass exodus from their state. With at least 250,000 people gone, chances are that a good amount of government officials have left the state as well. This will keep them from voting, giving us more time to put North Dakota up on Craigslist or whatever we decide to do.

(North Dakota Fun Fact: The state motto is “Legendary!” Apparently in North Dakota, motto is defined as “a single word.”)

To any North Dakotans reading this (I don’t know if any of them are actually literate), it has been a great run. It was fun having you in our country for a while. We shared some laughs and some tears. You can’t figure out how to write a state constitution, though, so you’re out.

We will miss your dry edible peas, though. Those were delicious.

Look At Me! I'm an Expert!

By Andrew Niesen

I, once again, have been deemed an expert at something. I am, apparently, an expert at making sarcastic comments about the government and foresters that happen to play hillbilly music. My mother must be so proud!

Alice Lipowicz quoted me in an article on the 41,037th most popular website in America, Federal Computer Week. It is, without a doubt, the predominate source of news items about… well, Federal computers, I guess.

The other big news is that I am officially titled a blogger according to Ms. Lipowicz, a huge step up from my previous title of obnoxious ingrate.

If you want to see my name on something I didn’t type myself, go here.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled internetting.

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