Wednesday, July 30, 2008

1000 Words or Bust

They say a picture paints a thousand words. I have decided to see if this is true. I found this picture on the Internet. I'm not sure whom to give credit to, and if I borrowed it from you I apologize and thank you.

As I stare at this picture, I laugh at the comical element of this proverbial "fat cat" and wonder what he may be thinking. The first thing I think of is the fact that he looks like he just smoked a big ol' fattie blunt and is wondering where the Cheetos are hiding. "Why are you pointing that device at me laughing man? Quit screwing around and pass me the Cheetos man. God I am so wasted. Why is there no hair on my belly? Seriously man where are the Cheetos? Wow I have gloves on my hands. Check this out, mittens. Hey that rhymes with kittens. I used to be a kitten once. Whoa, my belly is so fat, maybe I ate a kitten. Dude, where's Bootsy? Bootsy? Oh God I ate Bootsy. Damn I could really use some Cheetos."

"Why am I sitting like this? I want to cross my legs but I can't. Check it, this is insane, I am wearing boots. He he he he, waiiiit a minute. I'm Bootsy. I didn't eat Bootsy, that would be impossible. I can't eat myself. I can lick myself. Watch this, uuuggghhhh, uuuggghhhhhhh, ok maybe I can't lick myself. What happened to you man? You used to be top cat. You were buff, you were suave. The ladies all wanted you. Now you're just a fat, stoned mess. Did you know cat nip is a gate way drug? Just try it they said, it's totally awesome they said. It's all natural. Drugs. Man I am really hungry. I think I saw some Ding Dongs up on the shelf. Mmmmm Ding Dongs. Are you still here with that contraption? Who are you looking at? Are you looking at me?"

"See this hand right here,the one between my legs? I'm gonna scratch myself with it. Where am I going to scratch? Figure it out man, right between the legs. You know what they say, if you have an itch, scratch it. Man, I have a dicky do. You know a dicky do, when your belly sticks out further than your dicky do. Damn I'm fat. I'm going to start exercising tomorrow. Turn over a new leaf. No more smokin' up, no more bags of Cheetos. Hell who am I kidding? Look at my face. I'm not going to stop. Are you looking at me? Take the picture already. Do you see this nose? This nose. Don't you just love how it is outlined from the rest of my face?"

"Did you know I am part tiger? Check out my stripes man. Tigers have stripes, I have stripes, ipso facto, I'm part tiger. Shear Khan was a tiger, he was a bad ass tiger. If I was Shear Khan I would have eaten that punk ass Mowgli. Tie a stick of fire onto my tail. Please, I would have knocked his punk ass down with one fell swoop of my massive paw and then just devoured his scrawny ass before he could be tyin' some fire stick to my tail. Wait. Dude! Did I eat Mowgli? Is that why I am so fat? Dude I AM Shear Khan." (571 for those of you who are counting).

I am now more than half way through 1000 words and quite frankly I think I may just be rambling hoping that I some how get to 1000. I mean seriously, a stoned, talking cat? Although come on, he does look stoned doesn't he? And fat, quite Jabba-esque don't you think? Yeah there is no way I am going to hit 1000. I am not even really inclined to continue trying.
Perhaps it is that I am not fully inspired by this particular picture. Perhaps I am not the word-smith that I thought I was. Maybe I don't see all the beauty that this pudgy little feline has to offer the world apart from a pretty stellar stoned face look. What about what's on the inside of this rotund mammal. His heart, what is it saying? "Damn I wish this beast would lose some weight so I can take a break from the responsibility of transporting all this THC to his brain so he can get his stone on." His lungs, are they laden with scorch marks from inhaling the smoke? Is his stomach really full of junk food from his constant state of munchiness? I wonder how much this portly fellow weighs. Is he sitting in front of that vent across the way so he can cool down with the nice cross breeze that wafts through providing a welcome respite from the no doubtingly increased body temperature that he experiences from the additional layers of cat blubber that he carries. For all we know this guy is just sitting there after suffering a massive coronary infarction while the owners are away and now rigormortis has set in. Maybe just maybe this is some backwoods family whose sick idea of cool is to stuff animals in funny poses after they die.

Regardless of what is really going on with our friend in the picture, did it live up to the haughty task of aspiring to create a thousand word blog on my part? Did it fall short like a geriatric Casanova hoping to satiate his proclivity for romance yet having the inability to create arousal without pharmaceutical assistance. 1000 words is not a task that one should undertake lightly. It can easily turn into non-sensical blabber that can leave the reader thinking that the writer should have stopped at word one. And for all of you haters out there that are going to count each and every word, pointing out that hyphenated words should only count as one word or that Jabba-esque isn't really a word (1000) and you had the nerve to use it twice. Well to you I say "Suck It" I did it with twenty five words to spare!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Me? Serious?

Sometimes I amaze myself. I like to think of myself as a fairly easy going non-serious kind of fellow. When I write my blog I am usually trying to figure out ways to make people laugh or keep it light. I have developed this desire to blog and yet when I sit down to do it I don't always come up with something witty and then abandon the process hoping that perhaps something will happen during the day to inspire me to write. Invariably I just get bogged down in my day to day grind at work and yet another day passes without a column.
Today however the grind has produced a more serious, contemplative mood in me and I have decided to explore this for a change. The last couple of days at work have been quite stressful. I won't elaborate on the fine details, but suffice it to say that the work load for the people I supervise is sharply increasing as is my frustration with "administrative protocol".
Working for a government agency has it's benefits to be sure, but more often than not it comes with a myriad of headaches that people in the general public refer to as "red tape".
Now as I previously stated, I am not by any means a serious individual and I would hardly describe myself as passionate on any given day. However today is one of those days that I have discovered something in myself that has probably always been there, but my self inventory has revealed what I would label as passion.
It comes on the heels of yet another conflict with a "higher power", the court system. I have kind of always viewed my job as just that, a job. I don't know that I became a social worker because of some idealistic principles to which I adhere or that these were ingrained in me by my parents. The job just kind of fell into my lap.
I think perhaps I have embraced these idealistic principles by virtue of doing the job, and this is who I have become. You see today I found myself arguing with not only the judge in this case, but my own legal counsel. I felt a driving need to get this attorney to represent to the court what I feel is in the best interest of some children that have been removed from their parents home and custody. I felt like I had "passion" for not only this situation but the aforementioned struggle to get through the red tape that I actually represent through my job. As I look at the definition of passion in the dictionary I am not certain that it completely fits what I have experienced lately. It describes either "boundless enthusiasm" or an "abandoned display of emotion". Regardless, I felt something, call it what you will. I enjoy fighting the good fight. I feel like I have purpose in my direction.
On the other end of the scale I have a lot of apathy about a great many things. I don't see myself taking up any big political causes. I care about the environment as long as it is convenient for me. I still resent that the city I live in has forced me to recycle AND they are charging me to do it, I mean what is that all about? I enjoy driving my big SUV. I don't like paying for it, but I enjoy it none the less. I think there are a lot of atrocities in the world that get my attention, however I am content to let other people worry about those things. Is that so wrong? Am I a horrible person because I have become a bit myopic in my crusade?
After all I think I am doing my part. I am helping the little guy in my own way. I am fighting for things that others may not recognize as important. But by gum I am going to keep doing those things and whether or not it makes a big difference in the world remains to be seen. Maybe I am passionate. Maybe, just maybe I am more than what I traditionally believe about myself.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


So I wasn't going to blog today, mostly due to a lack of focus on my part, which in all actuality is more the norm rather than the exception. But I just got off the phone with a client. As you may know I am a social worker and work with people that have abused or neglected their children in some way shape or form. Actually I am a "program manager' which in lay men's terms means "boss". I actually prefer to be called Commodore, but that isn't in the HR definitions for an administrative position. So I am a program manager. As such I supervise the day to day work of several case managers that do the actual work and I just sit around and blog about things and occasionally give advice about things related to our job.
I have a wonderful group of people that I manage, and the majority of the time they make my life pretty easy. But as the old saying goes, you can please some of the people some of the time...but you can't please all of the people all of the time. Given the nature of our work, the ability to please any of the people any of the time becomes quite a monumental task, but some how some way the majority of the time our workers manage to find a way to please their clients. Well as much as you can please someone who has every reason to be difficult.
So my job for the most part is pretty easy for me to do, but there are those instances that despite their best efforts, a worker just can't seem to get their client to understand what they need to be doing and I get the complaint call. Today was one of those days.
Now 99% of the time I am very good at what I do, and have a certain, as the French say, Je' ne'sais quoi. But there is 1% of the time that I just well, let's just say don't care. It actually doesn't occur until after I have already begun the process of listening to the client, and then it just comes on like a Mack truck barrelling down the freeway with no brakes. It is usually sparked by one little word or phrase that they spew forth in their, let's call it passion, like venom flowing from the fangs of a viper. It usually isn't even anything personal towards me.
On this occasion it was the use of the word "ignernt." Now I am by no means the smartest guy I know, but I do pretty well in the intelligence department. On most occasions I am every man. I can relate to anyone and part of that is my ability to put aside my superior intellect and just go with the flow. Sorry if I seem a bit braggadocios, but it is what it is!
So this angry mother is talking in circles and not saying anything at all. She doesn't even know what the problem is, she just knows that she is upset at my worker. I can also hear a voice in the background, a male, spouting off about what I can only assume are the very things that this woman is yappin' about. She says to me, "she was sitting in our front room being all ignernt to us." I bite my tongue and ask for clarification. "What do you mean she was being ignernt?" Only I pronounced the word correctly. "Ignernt" she says, she is so ignernt to us. I snapped. "Do you even know what ignernt means?" I purposefully pronounced it wrong. "Of course I know what it means." At this point I have already lost my "Je' ne'sais quoi" and said to myself what the fuck. (sometimes you just have to say "what the fuck"). I said, "you don't really know what the word means, it means that she doesn't know something."
Now this goes against all of my training in conflict resolution and how to deal with difficult people, but it was just like word vomit, I couldn't stop. Along with my correction of her grammar, I could here this man still flappin' his gums and again I figured "what the fuck" stick a fork in me because I'm done. I say to her "who is that in the background because it is really distracting so if he wants to say something to me, put him on the phone." Fortunately for me he was a bit more rational than this woman and I was quickly able to regain composure and have a civil conversation with him. However by the end of this 30 minute phone call I was spent. The good news, I found my inspiration to write today. The bad news? He asked for my supervisor's name and number. This doesn't worry me because I can play this off as "one of those clients that we just can't please". I am certain that my boss will find this out quickly and commiserate with myself and my worker.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An Ode To Toe

Hidden so deeply under leather and cotton
yearning for the release from it's restrictive prison. A toe lies in wait, twitching and flinching, wondering when it will next see the light of day. Crowded and cramped by it's taller skinnier brother, it flounders and flops taking what liberties it can while respecting the proximity and attachment to something bigger than he.
A small gathering of hair holds a celebration of triumph, standing atop the chubby protrusion of bone and flesh. Temporarily matted and oppressed by this system of containment called shoe. Hoping, anticipating, living, for that moment in time when the host will release them from their bonds. It comes not soon enough, they concede for now, choosing to remain prostrate to a higher calling of which they have no understanding.
Evolution has created this marvel of horror and beauty, a stabilizing appendage of biological construct, yet less significant than his cousin opposable thumb who comes to visit when the call goes out for assistance. A indulgent scratch, a tug, a traumatic intervention of cropping. The harvest? Keratin Protein. The majestic and equally mis-understood toe nail.
Thumb has purpose, he has use. Jealousy creeps into the primitive mind, we have purpose, we have meaning. Respect is something lacking for our friend, yet admiration is on the horizon. For were it not for this unsung hero, aesthetics become challenged, balance becomes skewed, and the greater system would be less for not having known him. For he is... Toe.

Monday, July 14, 2008


There is a phenomenon in Utah that I find quite amusing. Actually I am certain it probably isn't just Utah, but there is a version of it that is prevalent here that just takes it to a whole other level. Whole other, this is an aside, but don't you just love people that say "whole nother" instead of whole other. I digress yet again.
So I was thinking about the practice of substitute swearing. I again must confess that I am guilty of such a practice in days of yore. I won't trace the origins of such a thing as I am sure I could spend my whole day looking up articles about it, however I just get a kick out of the practice here in Zion.
There has always been the obvious "dang it" that is substituted for "dammit". I believe most little kids grow up learning to shout "dang it" when they get blasted on a video game. Hell, oops I mean heck, my boys consistently drop "dang it" when they are playing rock band. The one that cracked me up the other day was my boy Keaton who dropped a "son of a.." and stopped it right there. It was funny because his step-mom was giving him crap about it saying he was in trouble. This is the same kid that when he was about three years old dropped a "what the hell is this?" in the middle of a crowded Asian food restaurant when they brought him something to eat that wasn't mac and cheese. I have high hopes for this one actually picking up his father's love of expletives solely based on this one incident.
One of my favorites is the liberal use of the word "fetch" among Utahn's. Again I am not certain of it's origins, but I know that the missionary population is quite fond of this one. One that has emerged in the last few years is "shut the front door" a variation of good old "fetch or fetchin"
Now we all know what these words are substitute for so I will forgo using the actual word. (your welcome mother!)
Other substitute swears are variations of "son of a.." such as "summer ditches" "son of a biscuit eater" and the ever popular "sunny beaches"
A variation of the biggie of taking the name of the Lord in vain is "got dandruff" or "cheese and rice".
Me I decided long ago just to go with the profane. I tried on the substitutes and honestly they are good for a laugh or two. They come in handy when you work with people that get offended easily by vulgarities. However these same people that use the substitutes are in my mind just being hypocritical. After all doesn't it say somewhere that "as a man thinketh, so is he?" If you are going to use substitutes, isn't it really just the same thing as actually swearing? Maybe it isn't that black and white for people, but for me, I wonder if you are really gaining points with the big man upstairs by replacing the actual word with one that has the same intent.
I think I'm sounding a bit preachy at the moment, and in reality I want to avoid that so I will dispense with the sermon.
In conclusion I want to just say; what the heck is the problem here? I mean seriously all you sunny beaches out there that think it is a fetchin problem to swear or curse need to re-examine your friggin' values and determine if this crap is really going to dang you all to heck and keep you from heaven. For heck's sake just get off your behinds, and shut the front door as you get the flock outta here and quit worrying about the consequences of saying what you really mean!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Music. I like it. I like most of it. I can listen to just about anything. Yes even country music. I recall having a little AM radio when I was a kid in California, listening to whatever station it could pick up. You kids these days probably don't even know what AM radio is. We didn't have these fancy Ipod's or booming car stereos when I was a kid. It was the early 70's and disco was coming on strong, but I still always had an affinity for the rock and roll. I found myself torn between the two styles of music. I say torn because as disco gained it's stranglehold on the airwaves you started seeing tee shirts that said disco sucks. A tee shirt told me that disco sucked so I guess disco sucked. But I liked it. I was a closet disco fan. At this point not knowing what being in the closet meant I would take my radio into the closet whenever a disco song came on and I would listen to it in there. It's a wonder that I am not gay from spending so much time in the closet and listening to disco music. (Not that there's anything wrong with you Ryan!)
The point of all this is that I developed a taste for different music genres. I listened to whatever was pleasing to my ears, and I listened to everything. I eventually began piano lessons and had to learn the classics, Beethoven, Bach and the likes. I gained an appreciation for these master pieces and what it took to master playing them. In junior high I began learning to play the trombone and I was initiated into the world of jazz music. Our high school jazz band was spectacular and we took first place in two different national competitions.
The 80's came and with it came alternative music. I fell in love with what in my opinion is one of the greatest musical geniuses of my time, Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo. I mostly wanted to listen to it because they had such a cool name. It just rolls off the tongue. Oingo Boingo. Once I heard them I was hooked for life. The 80's were an interesting time for music, but I went along with it, listening, absorbing, and at the same time learning to play music gave me a greater appreciation for what the musicians were trying to do with the sounds. I had a buddy who turned me onto Rush. My muse B-dog is probably getting a shiver as I write this because he just doesn't like Rush. We have agreed to disagree about this band. I like them for the intricacy and complexity of their rhythms. Because I was learning to play jazz music I was really into the theory behind the music. My fellow band geeks and I had fun trying to pick out the time signatures and phrasings of some of these songs.
The 90's brought on a new era for me and I discovered a new band that I absolutely love and that is the Bare Naked Ladies (BNL). This is another band that I just had to listen to because of the name. Now musically they aren't anything special, but lyrically they bring something to the table because the make me laugh. Their music is smart to me. To this day I think that they are my favorite band to see in concert because of the show they put on and I always come away laughing at some of the stuff that they have done on stage.
The whole reason I decided to write this piece was inspired by something I saw on the music television yesterday. It is rare these days when a music television station actually plays music videos, what a novel concept huh? That is another blog for another day. The point is that yesterday morning I caught VH1 playing vidoes and one happened to be on that caught my attention. The music wasn't bad, it was actually as I said before "pleasing to my ears". I watched and noticed that it was 5 men dancing and singing. Now I realize that boy bands have been around for a very long time. I don't credit Boyz2Men or N'Sync for this musical style, but they certainly ushered in a huge tsunami of boy bands that were popular in the 90's, one of which was New Kids on the Block. So I'm watching the VH1 and see Marky Mark's brother dancing and singing and think to myself, "no, it can't be". Sho 'nuff the name of the band and title of the song comes onto the screen and it was none other than the New Kids on the Block. I just laughed out loud, literally. Seriously? You guys are old. You're certainly not kids. Sure I get the whole reunion thing....hell I'm still holding out for Oingo Boingo to get back together for their second coming. Zepplin did it, the Police did it and they hated each other, you can too Danny, I'm beggin you!
But come on "Kids", you probably need to re-think this whole name thing. I'm just sayin. So I liked the tune. I'm not going to run out and buy the album, but I won't change the station if it comes on again. After all I like music, it's good for you. It's Good for Your Soul....come on Danny, Steve, somebody please make it happen!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Just For The Articles

So my buddy B-dog, my self-proclaimed muse, has suggested that I do a piece that reveals a more personal side. I took some time to think about this concept and the following is what I think will be a personal yet entertaining look at the man, Rich.
I do not subscribe to or even own a copy of the skin mag Playboy. (My mother who has begun reading this, as well as my wife will appreciate that disclosure). But you always hear the joke that "I get it for the articles." Riiiight, the articles. I have decided that though I don't read or look at Playboy, I wonder what the "article" about me would read like.

Playboy: So Rich, you are a social worker. How did you get into this work?

Rich: Well it started back in 1986. I had just returned home from an LDS mission to Australia (hard to believe I know!) I was working at a Sizzler in Salt Lake City. To this day I still struggle to not answer the phone "Steak, Seafood, Salad, Sizzler on South State." I was also taking some classes at the Salt Lake Community College. My mother was working for a program that worked with teenage delinquent girls. She got me a job doing maintenance around the ranch. You know, fixing holes in the walls that the girls would punch, changing light bulbs...that sort of thing. The program decided to start a boys program and asked me to work as a night watch staff. I took the job and got to work with some of the kids a little bit. I found this to be interesting. The kids seemed to like me. I felt like I was helping them by just listening to them when they couldn't get to sleep. I decided to take some psychology classes to see what was behind that sort of thing, and liked what I was learning. Long story short, here I am 22 years later and I am still working with people. Now I work for the State of Utah in the child abuse and neglect realm and really enjoy helping people. I am a supervisor over 7 people. I mainly help them understand how we need to work with these families that have neglected or abused their children. I do a lot of listening like a therapist, but not really therapy. I actually do give advice based on what I believe is the best course of action for them to take in trying to help people. It's funny because I have a couch in my office and people come in and I tell them to sit on the therapy couch. It seems to be pretty effective.

Playboy: You're a funny guy from what we have read in your blog, is that how you deal with such a difficult job?

Rich: What by blogging? Yeah I know that was lame. Actually, thanks! I like to think I have a pretty good sense of humor. Sure it may be warped at times, but in general, you know what they say. Laughter is the best medicine. (Reader's Digest isn't going to sue me for trade mark infringement are they?) I have discovered that finding humor in everything can really help you cope with life in general. I wrote a screen play about this concept.

Playboy: You wrote a screenplay?

Rich: Actually I have two and the beginnings of a third. The one I referred to is one that is kind of a memoir if you will, of my job experiences and how I have found humor as a way to deal with very difficult situations that I have encountered over the years. I also have aspirations of actually making a couple of these scripts into movies. They are a collaborative effort with a very good friend of mine, J-Hi.

Playboy: Have you had anyone read them?

Rich: Other than family or friends no. I dabble in film making and editing. I have done some weddings and personal things that have turned out alright. I think that I could go Kevin Smith on the world and make the next Clerks. Ok maybe that is a bit of a stretch, but hell who knows right?

Playboy: Your 43 and have four kids. How old are your kids?

Rich: I have a 17 year old daughter, a 13 year old son, a 11 year old son and an 8 year old son. I can't believe my daughter is going to be a senior in high school this year.

Playboy: Does your daughter drive then?

Rich: Thank God no! I am kind of lucky actually. She hasn't bugged us to get her drivers license. Hell she hasn't really even been dating anyone. She went to her junior prom this year. That was nice for her. It was a group date thing so I feel pretty lucky that she isn't all infatuated with one boy friend.

Playboy: And your boys?

Rich: They are good kids. They are all really good students and stay out of trouble. The 13 year old is going into 8th grade and made the honor roll each semester last year.

Playboy: Your divorced right? The kids seem to be doing well in spite of such a tough thing to deal with.

Rich: Yes I am divorced. My current wife and I have been able to work well with my ex and her husband. The kids have had some minor things throughout the years, but over all have really thrived. I think we all do a great job of co-parenting the kids. I pick them up every Friday after work and they stay with us for the weekend. We have even done a family trip to California with their mother and step-dad. Talk about out of the norm. It worked out quite well, and best of all it was a good message to the kids that parents can work together despite the pain that can come from a divorce.

Playboy: So you don't read Playboy, you won't be reading this article then?

Rich: Well, you know, if I want to see a naked woman, I can just go tell my wife to prance around the house naked. She probably won't, but I am sure I could persuade her if it was between that or me going out and buying a magazine. By the way who is the centerfold this month? Maybe I will go out and buy it....just for the articles!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"Air Quotes" and the English Language

Why do people do "air quotes"? I thought about this as I caught a buddy of mine doing it this morning. I must confess, I have used the "air quotes" liberally over the years. The more I ruminated on the subject the more and more ridiculous it seemed to me. I recall a character of Chris Farley, (God rest his soul) that exaggerated the use of "air quotes" and it was hilarious to me. I despise these motivational speaker types the get up on a stage with their wireless microphones and power point presentations, preaching about the beauty of some multi-level marketing scheme that has made them a millionaire and can change your life too if you just "Believe" dropping the "air quotes" on the frenzied crowd. Yet as I took respite from my attempt to deliver another gem of a submission for your consideration to staff some cases for my real job, I caught myself dropping an "air quote" on my worker. Oh my hell. I am a freakin' idiot! This is insane. I begin to obsess about why people, including myself make this inane gesture. In my insanity I start thinking about the word "air". Air and heir have the same pronunciation. Why isn't it an "heir quote"? I am certain that society inherited this ritual from someone who thought they were being clever.
Suddenly my mind gets held hostage at this question. Why is the English language so confusing? Heir/Air. Are/Our. The letter "R" is commonly used as a substitution for the word "are" in the realm of shorthand texting. Why do we have to spell out W-h-y when a simple letter "y" would suffice? So many words have similar pronunciations yet have different spelling and meaning. Unfortunately my inability to correctly spell the words "pronounce" and "pronunciation" led to the premature death of a really good bit. God bless the spell check feature! I could drudge on with anecdotal observations about a myriad of discrepancies with our beloved language, but I will abstain, you get the point.
In summation, I find myself wondering if I can ever cease the use of what I believe should be an archaic idiosyncrasy, yet is still perpetuated by fools like me. Damn the person that believed it would be "cool" to raise both hands in front of them and use the index and middle fingers to simulate quotation marks. Damn them for passing it on, bestowing it upon the general population. Damn them all to hell!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Our Problems Are Now Solved!!!

Asparagus! You have read it correctly, I said asparagus. Scientists have discovered that the soil on Mars is capable of growing, that's right, asparagus!
Here is a link to the article.;_ylt=AjCrZWGJf3lvw37Q4d2jIDL737YB
This is astounding! The soil environment on Mars will support a vegetable that makes urine smell after you eat it. This poses the question for me, I wonder if Martians eat asparagus and does their urine smell? Does the Phoenix Lander have olfactory capacity? Because that would be the easiest way to determine if there has been or is life on Mars. Take a big ol' wiff of the air and see if it smells like asparagus pee!
Me, I'm not a big asparagus fan quite frankly. In fact I think it is quite a dangerous plant. They are shaped like spears, and it would seem to me that they could put your eye out if you had a sudden stroke while eating one. Maybe that is why there doesn't appear to be Martians on Mars. Perhaps they all got maimed or killed from eating asparagus.
I have a thought, and if anyone steals my idea, I have this as evidence so I wouldn't consider pilfering this one from me. Don't think I won't get all litigious on your ass because I will. I am going to be the first asparagus farmer on Mars. I will make a fortune. Martian grown asparagus, I am sure it will be all the rage in places like L.A., Paris, New York. I can make a killing. And if they won't buy it from me I will just threaten to put their eyes out with it.
Asparagus reportedly also has aphrodisiac properties. Which is contradictory to my theory that it may have led to the extinction of the Martian race, because one would think that were it an aphrodisiac, those Martians would be bumpin' uglies all night long, thus perpetuating the species. One would also think that the pro-creation factor would probably out pace the mortality rates, however even that is not definitive because the intelligence factor is still unknown. After all who builds a society around the cultivation of a weed that makes your urine smell? Not to mention that the smell factor would probably counter-balance the aphrodesiactical properties, (yes I just made that word up) thus negating the pro-creative factors, allowing the mortality rate to prevail.
Maybe I am going to re-think my original statement that our problems have been solved. After all, The Answer Is Always More Cowbell!