13 May 2010

Sneaking Out Of Work

Hello, friends -

I read an interesting email the other day from one of my readers:

Dear Bill,

I'm planning a trip to Vegas with my buddies next week and want to take off work on Friday without using a vacation day.  But if I use a sick day my boss will get suspicious.  What can I do?
Now that's an interesting problem. It boils down to wanting to have your bottle of scotch while also enjoying is intoxicating deliciousness. Getting a free Friday is quite a trick - especially if your boss is the kind to ask for a doctor's note for any weekend-adjacent sick days.  But it's not impossible.  It just requires strategy, cunning, and the ability to carry out a plan with razor-sharp perfection. Still, one small mistake and you could be looking at some severe disciplinary action.

Are you sure you want to try this?

Well, I am here to help, so here it goes.  What you want to do is create a situation where your boss actually becomes so concerned about you that he demands you leave work on Thursday and not return for at least a week.  So you had better start now.

Begin on a Monday with with a few subtle sniffles, coughs, or winces of vague pain. Don't over do it, but be sure your boss notices.  On Tuesday, begin to be more obvious.  Sneeze loudly while he is talking to you.  Make unsolicited complaints about body aches.  Complain that there are no aspirin around to help alleviate your suffering.  By Wednesday you should add fainting or dizziness to the repertoire.  Don't be afraid to be dramatic.  When passing your boss suddenly roll your eyes back in their sockets and flail around like a drunk about to collapse.

Then, on Thursday you'll be ready for the knockout blow.  Tell your boss you need to talk to him about a project, but make a quick detour to the bathroom beforehand.  Douse your face with cold water - but don't dry off.  Keep the wetness on your face when you meet.  Then:

1. A couple of minutes into your discussion suddenly convulse your body as if you've been hit in the solar plexus with a sledge.

2.  Bug out your eyes and gape your mouth.  Clutch at your throat as if you're being strangled by some unearthly force, Make every breath a labored struggle for survival.

3. Collapse to the floor and writhe around as if the pain in your bones is like white hot fire.


At this point your boss will probably tell you to just go home with the understanding that you'll also be out on Friday.  If not, maybe you can beg.

Have fun.

22 April 2010

The Perfect Gift

Well, hello again, friends.

I know I haven’t been as consistent with posting on this blog as I should be, but you have to understand that I do have a life.  My horses and my numerous charitable organizations demand attention, and there are the non-stop requests for interviews, offers of roles in movies and films, and my constant negotiations with various heads of state.  Not to mention the endless fistfights and women to seduce.

Yesterday I received this email, and it really struck a nerve:

Dear Bill

Next week is my anniversary and I have no idea what to get my wife.  Help!
It’s a conundrum we all face at one point or another.  The worst part is, your wife will probably tell you that the actual gift doesn’t matter.  Doesn't matter?  Just you try and give her a year’s membership to Jenny Craig and we'll see what matters.  Oh no, friends, the gift matters.  A lot.

Now, if you were to seek advice from one of those so-called helpful websites or from another woman they'd likely tell you to try and find out what your wife really likes and get something that fits her interest.  Or they might recommend that you to look through her clothing so you can get some jewelry that would complement her style.  Or, even worse, that one day you accompany her on one of her pointless, meandering trips to the mall and take notice of what she looks at and what she thinks is nice.

Are you sure you would want to do that?  That sounds like an awful lot of work to me. And, even after all that effort there remains more than a puncher’s chance that you would get something she won’t like - which will make her upset and land you in the doghouse. Seems like a pretty steep bet.

From my point of view the sensible solution is to find something that transcends her hobbies, fashion style, or personal interests.  Something that's timeless, in unquestionable taste, and that provokes admiration and jealousy among those who see it.  And let’s face it, women are very vain creatures and crave possession of something other women covet. It's just their nature.

Luckily, I never have a problem in finding the absolute perfect gift for a loved one - whether it be my mother, one of my wives or girlfriends, one of my daughters, my agent, one of my fans, or even Nimoy.  I give a gift that says I truly care.  I give an autographed photo of myself.  I give the gift of Shatner. My advice to you is that you do so as well.

Can you just imagine the look on your wife's face when she unwraps her present and sees a framed photo of Bill Shatner, complete with flirtatious look and provocative expression staring  at her. Even better, one that is personally signed by me.  The flood of gratitude (to say nothing of  the searing rush of desire) may overwhelm the poor thing.  Be sure to have a glass of water handy to help her recover her composure, and then be prepared for what may be the night of your life.

Consider that last part to be my personal gift to you.

16 April 2010

The Story of My Life

Hello, again

Today I received this email:

Dear Mr. Shatner,

I want to say I am your biggest fan!  I’ve seen every movie and tv show you did!  I have read all of your books!  And I’ve even bought your records!  You are the best! I just know that one day they are going to make a movie all about your life and I wanted to know who you thought would be the best person to play you in it?  Would you like that guy who played you in the Star Trek movie to play you in your movie?

First off, thank you for such a lovely letter. You really are a huge fan, and I certainly do appreciate your support.

Now, even though I don’t know whether I deserve a full movie about myself, I have been working on a script for quite a while and do have a treatment for it.  The working title is Needs More Shatner: The Bill Shatner Story, and it would basically be a very intimate portrait of me.  It would have everything anyone would ever want to know about me.  Not one of those boring movies that goes back to my childhood and reveals things like what it was like to grow up in Canada, but a movie about me.  What I like to eat.  Whether I like boxers or briefs.  What channels I watch on television.  Which supermarket do I go to.  Things like that.  Things about me.

Needs More Shatner: The Bill Shatner Story

I actually have given considerable thought about who could portray me. I'm a complex man, and the actor who would take on this challenge would need to be someone with the range and the depth of emotion needed to bring out all of my subtleties and shades.  Friends have suggested George Clooney or Johnny Depp, but to be honest with you, I just think the role is beyond any current actor.  No, the only person I think has the chops for this is me.  And who better, anyway?  After all, I know the character pretty well, and even did play myself once before in a movie.  Besides being the only one able to pull it off, the marketing would be a snap.  I can picture the billboards now, with my face 100 feet tall: Bill Shatner starring as Bill Shatner in Needs More Shatner: the Bill Shatner story.

It has a nice ring to it, no?

13 April 2010

Puppy Love

Hello, friends

When I woke up at 10:45 this morning, I saw this interesting email from someone who seemed to genuinely need some help:

Hi  Bill,

My girlfriend just brought a puppy home and it is very cute.  But it is totally out of control and is chewing up everything.  I’m afraid it will soon destroy my collectible Captain Kirk action figure.  How do I get this dog to behave?

PS: I want to call him Kirk.
Are you sure you want to name him that? Think of the pressure.  Having such an iconic name sets the bar very high in terms of expectation.  But of course, I am flattered that you want to name the dog after me (some would say it was just a character I played, but in reality, I was and am James T Kirk).

Of course, there’s more to having a dog than just choosing the perfect name.  It turns out that dogs (like horses and women) have their own intelligence, communication, and social behaviors.  Like an alien race.  And although we can reach out and establish friendly relations with them, we do need to be careful whenever dealing with aliens (or dogs, or horses, or women).  Misunderstandings can quickly escalate into savage attacks on undefended remote outposts, and before you know it, you may find yourself in a one-on-one battle to the death on an uncharted desert planet.

Fortunately, I don’t have much trouble in dealing with pets (or women).  My charisma is so potent that all I have to do is smile and my charm overwhelms the animal.  Even cats respond to me. I can’t explain it.  It’s simply a gift.

So my advice is for you to treat your new puppy as if it were a young woman who has caught your interest. I know it sounds absurd, but it just might work.

08 April 2010

King of the Road

Hello again.

Excuse my absence, but I was recently on vacation.  Now, I know some of you would say, “But, Bill, your entire life is one big vacation.”  Of course, you’d be right.  But every now and then one needs to take a vacation from a vacation.  Even if it is only for a change of scenery, to hear a new accent, to see different kinds of people, or simply to boldly go where no man has gone before.  Preferably with a much younger, attractive woman.

The problem, however, is getting from one place to another.  The logistics involved in setting a trip – particularly one in which lengthy travel is involved – can be quite daunting.  Luckily, I have the good people at Priceline.com take care of all of my travel needs: from planning the itinerary to arranging the color of the drapes in my penthouse room.  I never have to do anything other than tell them where I want to go, and when.  And sometimes not even that.  Sometimes all I have to do is mention that I’m thinking of getting away for a bit, and they will provide me with a list of 25 destinations, dates, and traveling options.

It’s in my contract. 

Anyway, the one thing that seems to be out of the control of the professionals at Priceline.com is who else happens to be on the flight (or train, boat, etc) at the same time as I am. Which can be a problem, as I am so well known.  Aside from the imposition of having so many people wanting to get my autograph and have their photo taken with me, the real discomfort comes when sitting next to someone who is either grossly overweight, has an offensive body odor, or both.  Having to contend with an overstuffed, wheezing person, who requires a seatbelt extension in order to get the strap around their copious lard reservoir and who breaks into a sweat fastening the buckle can really take away from the entire allure of travel.

What to do?

Calling the stewardess is pointless, unless you’re asking for a drink or trying to find out which hotel she’ll be staying at so you can drop by for a bit of fun.  And there is no chance that anyone around you would be willing to trade seats.  Unless it’s the poor guy sitting in front of a screeching child. And at that point the trade doesn’t do any good.

No.  The answer is simple.  In order to ensure that the tranquility of your flight is not marred from being squeezed along the edge of your seat by someone three-times the size of a normal person is to have your people buy up all the seats around you.  Not only in your row, but in the rows immediately in front and behind you.  This has the added benefit of allowing you to switch seats based on your need – such as whether you want to look out the port or starboard windows, or if you’d like a center seat for the in-flight movie.

That is also in my Priceline.com contract.