The story behind the name:

One evening, at the Old Broadway Grill in Fargo, North Dakota, my brother caught the end of a Mountain Dew commercial. In the commercial, a Mountain Dew drinker was riding a shark in the ocean. My brother exclaimed in surprise, not realizing that it was a commercial. When I told him he declared "All I saw was a guy coming out of the shower with a shark." Of course, he meant water, but the idea of showering with sharks has been with me ever since.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

20 Percent

So, I thought it was time - past time, perhaps - for me to post another commute story.

Back story first:

Mark is usually funny, but occasionally he is tear-inducing, can't-catch-your-breath funny. Several years ago, Mark figured his funniness into a ratio. I was talking about how sometimes, with Mark, you have to suffer through a bunch of comments that maybe aren't so funny until you get to that one real gem. I said that the wait was always worth it, because he's come up with some real winners. Mark declared that it was a 80/20 ratio. Eighty percent of the time his comments were poor to average. Twenty percent of the time they were almost-pee-your-pants funny. Mark has pulled out the 80/20 ratio explanation several times. On instance had him explaining the ratio to our friend Jon Auel. I wasn't there, but I guess Mark was particularly "on" at the time. Our friend Jon declared that Mark was 20 percent 100 percent of the time.

Back to this morning:

We were just crossing over Winnetka on our way to daycare. Mark had his hand fisted inside is glove so that all the fingers were empty. He was driving, so don't ask me what exactly he was supposed to be accomplishing with his hand like that. Anyway, he shook his fist at me so that all the fingers waved around.

"Look," he said. "Chicken hand!"

I laughed. It didn't make any sense, but I laughed anyway. I think the delivery was funnier than the actual comment. Also, those flapping fingers were funny.

"It's white meat," said Mark.

I laughed some more. Then I stopped.

"I'm not sure why I'm laughing. That didn't really make any sense. And it's not that funny."

"Yeah," said Mark. "I think it accidentally slipped into the 20 percent. That happens."


Later that same commute:

We were on Hwy 55 driving behind a short bus. I mean, the bus was shorter in length than what you consider to be a "normal" bus. Yes, everyone knows what a short bus is, but I wanted to explain that in this story, it was the literal meaning, not the connotative meaning.

As we followed the short bus around the corner Mark said, "I wonder if anyone drag races short buses?"

"I don't know, honey."

"I bet you could google it."

"You google it. I don't want to google your stupid stuff. I have my own stupid stuff to do."

"But, honey," said Mark. "Our marriage is based on our doing stupid stuff for each other."



  1. I love the 20%. I wonder what my ratio would be....hmmmmmm.......