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November 22nd, 2008 · 5 Comments

I. Dinner with the Donners

(Heads bowed.)
DAD: Amen.
MOM: I’ll get the meat.
(Screaming; whacks and thumps.)
SON: What was that?
DAD: What?
SON: The scr—
MOM: Dig in!
SON: I didn’t know hogs were this big.
SON: There’s something on mine. Denim?
MOM: Dressing, dear.
SON: That reminds me of something Uncle Joe said—Where is he? Sick?
SON: This isn’t pig…
DAD: Son, I love you.
SON: I love you too, Pa.
DAD: Would you mind moving closer to the knife?

II. Russian Roulette

—Red seven, come on… Damn it.
—Something’s not right, doing this.
—But you love roulette!
—I know, I know, but it’s—just not Russian enough.
—Maybe we should bet more. Cars? Houses?
—How about life?
—Yeah! What?
—OK, imagine we roll something and if we lose, we go and kill ourselves.
—No, wait—duh! Spin a revolver with just a bullet. Two in one!
—Hold on…
—What do you say? Wanna give it a shot?
—Just to clear up: we die?
—Might. Yes.
—Let you drive the Camaro?
—Deal. ◆

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June 27th, 2008 · 5 Comments

I. Shakespeare at His Agent

—Come in, sit down. It’s good to see you! How’ve you been?
—Fairest-tempered, if I do self-contemplate.
—Ha-ha, yes! I’m—no, we’re just super. I just got off the phone with the Arts editor at the Times. They want to do a cover for their theater issue, a “day in the life” kind of a thing. I penciled you in for the 5th, alright?
—Well… thou dost perchance infringe upon plans yet earthly laid.
—Could you move things around? This is big.
—In hypothetical rumination, still I know not the consequence of—
—Super. More news: Disney has a TV pitch for you. Everyone knows that Romeo and Juliet died at the end of your play. What this show presupposes is: maybe they didn’t?
—I am not of proper certainty—
—Hold on a sec. Imagine if the two star-crossèd lovers had to put up with a crazy old butler, Bartholomew, that they got from a dead uncle or nobleman or something, and they got dragged into wacky, family-friendly adventures when he just would not sit still. They’ll call it “Wherefore Bart Thou?” That’s the catchphrase, too!
—This seems not to be in accordance with my will for the heritage of my own theatrical composition.
—Shakes-e-poo, I’m not going to beat around the bush. You want to be big. I want you to be big. This is how we get big. Market saturation.
—If it must be so, let it… The conclusion of our dialogue, hast thou reached it?
—Actually: what would you think of “Othello—The Game?”

II. Automotive Assistance

—Help, I’ve crashed my car under a bridge and I can’t get out! Can somebody help me?
—I don’t know, can somebody help you? Can somebody help anybody?
—Please, I’m stuck down here and the river… Oh God, it’s getting deeper!
—Yeah, sure. Ya think you got problems?
—(Pause.) Yes!
—I got problems, le’me tell you. I got mo’ problems than a hound dog on the fourth of July.
—What does that even mean?
—Sometimes, I just got to sit down with my here guitar and play a sad little melody ‘bout my woes. Could’ja let me do that, for you?
—Not now. If you’d please ca—
Oh my woman lef’ me, lef’ me clear as day…
—Sir, could you just sen—
Oh my woman lef’ me, and I got to pay…
—Is there someone else I can talk to? I don’t think you get the “now”-ness of the situat—
Well I don’t know what love is, now her bags done gone away.
—The water!
I don’t know what happen’, how she got the gag out…
—The car’s starting t—wait, what?
I don’t know what happen’, I blocked the only known route…
—Whoa, hold on a secon—
Next time I see her tho’, sure as hell gonna make’er shout.
—(Pause.) I think…you should…get…some…help… Awwgfffgffaaaw…
—Why do they always make that noise? ◆

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Ranting in Favor of “The Royal Tenenbaums”

June 27th, 2008 · 4 Comments

This is funny.

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June 11th, 2008 · 8 Comments

Attention: Are you a go-getter, sort of? An expert in something utterly useless?  Ever wanted to experience the glamour of celebrity without all the long-term hassles? Well, now you can have your cake and eat it too.
Introducing… the Internet!

Instant Fame: Yours, If You Want It
So, what’s the big deal? What’s the secret? Imagine a get-rich-quick scheme, except instead of taking advantage of a whole slew of people, it’s only exploiting one—you! As long as you have some mesmerizing skill or are mind-numbingly stupid (preferably both), you’re set. Just keep in mind that people are taking time out of their own lives, time they’ll never ever get back, to stare and/or laugh at you. Own it!

Three Keys to Unlocking the Internet

You might be saying, “This sounds too good to be true. And even if it weren’t, there’s no way I could do this.” Really though, the whole process is incredibly easy and intuitive. Here are the three surefire steps to success:

1. Embrace Your Inner Warhol
First, using any consumer camcorder or camera-phone, record yourself doing whatever it is you do well (or poorly). Don’t worry about shaky cameras, inaudible sound, or any other “professional” concerns. Resolution? Where we’re going, we don’t need resolution!

2. Mixing It All Up

Now it’s time to put your video up, sans editing, for everyone to ooh, ah, and otherwise gawk at at. This step is as easy as simply clicking the button labeled “Upload” found on the front-page of the Internet. Remember: the less comprehensible the title, the better.

3. Slow and Steady Wins the Race—For Last
Finally, watch your video as many times as humanly possible, and then some more for good measure. Not only does this prepare you for the multitude of morning news shows you’ll be interviewed by, it also boosts your video’s view count, and soon all the urban hipsters will be flocking to the see the next big “up-and-coming” thing. Once you see college kids in ironic t-shirts spawned by your little slice of the zeitgeist, you’re home free. Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the procession of copycats following your video as it steadily makes its way to the top. Congratulations, you’ve made it!

Time and Tide
Of course, nothing lasts forever, and in three weeks time another ridiculous time-suck will steal the limelight. Soon you’re back to being another mere name in the phonebook. But what does that matter? You’ve experienced what may very well be the greatest accomplishment of your entire life. And wasn’t it just the greatest?

Are You Ready?
So now, the choice is yours. The ball is in your play. What will you do? Look, we all lose our dignity at some point—why not enjoy the ride? Instant celebrity is just a few keystrokes and pratfalls away.
Carpe diem, my friends. Carpe diem. ◆

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May 16th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Nowadays, more and more people are discussing the big important things that are really big and important to them in big, important ways. But what exactly are they?

The Economy
Right now, a lot of hardworking folks are worried about how far their dollar will go during a recession. This is a very valid concern because, as everyone knows, the kid that don’t run far or fast at recess, say during daily soccer games, always gets left behind and has to play goalie, except the ball never gets down on that side and so he stands around looking like a loser, and the girls always notice and from then on will make sure to automatically reject him as a teenager even as he struggles to make eye contact and ends up just creepily smiling at them while he gets his inhaler because his asthma flares up when he gets excited. But everyone can tell he’s excited. Everyone.

Gasoline Prices
The cost of filling up your tank is astronomical, shooting for the moon and past the stars so fast an actual physical hole has been ripped in the space-time continuum, or at least some guy in a talking wheelchair told me once (this may have been a joke—I couldn’t tell from the inflection of his robo-voice).

Many Americans are turning to buses and other mass transit, and some converted commuters are affixing buttons reading “Dumped the Pump.” Shockingly though this ends up being a really ill-advised, i.e. poorly thought out, i.e. stupid, decision.

For starters: buttons? What is this, Nixon ’72?

But! What people don’t realize is that millions of households across the country are literally figuratively sitting on a goldmine of transportation that costs them pennies on the dollar for what they’re paying for automobiles.

I am talking, of course, about the Internet.

What we take for granted on our personal computers is really an untapped resource for getting around. Forget biofuels—too little difference to warrant starving the poor even more. Hybrids just give you a leg up at haute dinner parties where everyone one-ups the last’s vert-ité during apéritifs. Hydrogen fuel cells? Remember the Hindenburg? Exactly.

But with the Internet, the opportunities are endless. The World Wide Web is already the Information Superhighway: Why not the Any-mation Superhighway? It’s already a series of fiber-optic wires, how hard could it be to make it a series of people-sized tubes? I even think they brought that up in the Senate, and when Congress starts talking you just know something’s going to happen soon.

This is a particularly contentious subject in today’s modern world. From what I’ve heard on TV and the radio, waves of Mexican migrant workers haven been catapulting across the border into the US to “steal” American jobs.

It’s understandable why people want this to stop. No human being should have to use a catapult, trebuchet, or other sling-like apparatus to launch themselves anywhere. For one thing, it’s not very safe to plummet to the ground from any appreciable height. Remember those poor Acme pianos?

Randomly slinging yourself places is also just not a very effective method of transportation. With variables like tensile strength, weight, and wind speed, there’s no telling where somebody might land. How is a familia of five supposed to stick together in the middle of the Pacific? ¡Ay, caramba!

Besides, why would you want to “steal” a job, anyway? You can get one for free—just volunteer, dummy!

Foreign Policy
Some today worry about America’s standing in the international community. Personally, I don’t think we have anything to worry about: in fact, I’ve never been standing better. My back’s pretty straight and I never had scoliosis. All in all, my posture’s been good—pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Although I can’t speak on behalf of the other 250 or so million people in this country, I’m guessing that the majority of us stand up pretty well most of the time. It’s probably because of those who stood before us, all our forefathers, the pioneers of anytime who had to stand tall and march into the bold unknowns and the final frontiers for a new tomorrow, not just for themselves or their descendants, but also for all mankind that was and was yet to be.

Or maybe it’s just all the chiropractors around here. Same difference. ◆

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April 29th, 2008 · 7 Comments

[Part Four of the Britain Series]

I am writing this to keep myself awake. (scribbles) Well, at least I’m mostly writing because of that—I also just want to write something. (more scribbles) Right now, I’m sitting in the middle of the gate at Terminal 36 of London’s Gatwick Airport, and I’m really quite sleepy. Jotting down these words in a (indecipherable) continuous stream is the only (word missing?) that is working from dozing off— ◆

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Spotted in Edinburgh

April 29th, 2008 · 10 Comments

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April 27th, 2008 · 8 Comments

[Part Three of the Britain Series]

A plastic fork just dropped down next to my seat. Do I have to tell the stewardess about it? Would doing this oblige me to pick it up?

That flight attendant looks like a girl I once knew—Is there a chance that they’re related? If so, does this count as a good icebreaker?

Why is this plane so damn cold?

Is it strange to be more than cordial with a stewardess? Do people really ever strike up friendships with these people?

Would it be possible that I’d have a chance if I made a move on her? Could the possibility still be considered when my living a million miles away factors in?

What about me being at least seven years her junior?

Returning from a tour of Britain, one thing I’ve noticed is that there are many, many smart, determined, and good-looking young women on the other side of the pond. What’s the deal?

Even if I were older, rich, and living in Europe, could I ever make a go at it with any of these amazing women? Corollary: Could I make it with any girl?

Am I a failure?

There is a baby crying behind me. Am I a horrible person for wanting to shove it in the overhead bin?

Would this be a good use of my energy?

I’m very tired and in need of some coffee: this airplane stuff really just doesn’t make the cut. Is there a Starbucks at the gate? ◆

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Alzheimer’s – It Just Gets Worse and Worse (Salisbury)

April 27th, 2008 · 7 Comments

This was from the front of a building in Salisbury.

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April 22nd, 2008 · 5 Comments

[Part Two of the Britain Series]

Not too long ago, I returned from a two-week tour of England and Scotland. The following are bits and pieces of what makes Britain Britain, culled from my traveling perspective:

Great Britain, the primary component of the United Kingdom, lies on the British Isles, which are composed of the countries England, Scotland, and Wales. There are some others(?).

There were many kings and queens that have reigned over the United Kingdom, with different lineages and varying timelines that make the whole of royalty very hard to remember, let alone understand. Luckily, there are really only three that you actually need to know: Edward I “Longshanks,” who was kind of a douche to the Scots; Henry VIII, who was the world’s first hardcore pimp; and Victoria, who stole half the world to get tea and cut drugs (she also outlawed fun—ironic?).

There is a bit of animosity between England and everybody else around then, stemming from them trying to conquer anything that moved. Frankly, the English are convinced they’re just being bad sports about it.

Britain is located above France and the rest of Europe, separated by the English Channel. The French call this “The Sleeve,” due to all of the tricks the English have pulled out of it.

City Planning
Fact: the British have been scientifically proven to be at least 500 IQ points smarter than you. These cerebral masterminds have wielded their god-like intelligence to adapt to traveling in cities with twisting streets that change names every block, cutting through neighborhoods that seem to have been organized by a tweaked-out meerkat.

Nietzsche’s Supermen have arrived, and they are tour bus drivers.

Who built that cathedral? Sir Christopher Wren. How about that armory? Sir Christopher Wren. That palace? That chapel? Guess who! Every. Single. One.


Seen from space, Britain is the whitest landmass on the planet. This luminescence is predicted to jump by 20% in the next three years because of the sheep infestation that’s plagued the islands for countless millennia.

Oh, and there are some horses, too. ◆

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