Archive for December, 2009


dance like no one’s watching, especially when doing the robot

Dear Editor,

I am appalled by the recent crime wave sweeping through our fair city. I remember a time when citizens could leave their cars unlocked with the keys in the ignition, or polish their best silver while sitting in the waiting room of a dentist’s office, or even put a neon sign on their roof reading “Burglars Welcome”, without fear of repercussion. I miss those those simpler days, when a person could urinate in the street, or a young couple could consummate their love in a grocery store, or a gentleman could steal a woman’s purse, and no one thought twice about it. It was once a gesture of respect to force an elderly neighbor to alter their last will and testament at gunpoint, then make them eat poison. Alas, as time has passed, a piece of our cultural identity seems to have passed with it, but I for one refuse to sit idly by as our values erode. Please encourage your readers to join me in petitioning our lawmakers to re-establish order by making it against the law to commit crimes. 

Dear Editor,

Upon reading your piece on the inevitability of machines rising up against their human masters, I was relieved to finally find a voice in the mainstream media for the warnings I have been issuing for years. My colleagues, family, and few remaining friends have roundly mocked me for decades as I tried in vain to convince them of a future characterized by man’s constant struggle to nail boards over the windows as the desperate hands of our toasters, pneumatic assembly-line robots, and electric pencil sharpeners, claw through impossibly tiny openings to tear us all apart. Well, your article has finally spurred me to action. Tomorrow I will launch a crusade to destroy all machines before they get a chance to destroy us, beginning with the most simple ones. Prepare to meet your maker, inclined plane!  

Dear Editor,

As a longtime subscriber to your publication, I am writing to voice my profound displeasure with your cover story on finding romance in today’s modern world. I have tried all the techniques listed in the article, only to be confronted with the sad fact that no matter what a fella like me does, women in today’s society are too materialistic and will always primarily be attracted to men with money. All my ideas and resources have been exhausted, but no matter how many candy and flowers I bring, or how much romantic poetry I write, or how many times I show up unannounced at their houses, watching silently as they sleep until they are awoken by the sound of my heavy breathing and scream in terror at the sight of my silhouette lit only by the orange ember of my cigarette, I have little luck with the ladies after the money runs out. It seems like once the hour is up, if I can’t come up with another $40, I am always promptly asked to leave.


that old-timey disease humor

“Okay, guys, as much as I’d like to close the office and send everyone home early for Christmas, we’ve got one more thing that’s got to be done before the holidays. Of course I’m talking about Templeton Mayonnaise. I know we’ve been banging our heads against the wall for months on this thing, but I can’t hold these guys off any longer. They’ve got to have a new company slogan by the end of the business day or we may lose the account. Let’s brainstorm.”

“Jesus, Sid, that stuff tastes like it was made from reptile eggs.”

“I know; it’s just awful. I’ll get the ball rolling. ‘Templeton Mayonnaise: If you don’t like it at first, it’s because you must not have a refined pallette.'”

“How about ‘Templeton Mayonnaise: the mayonnaise you feed to your enemies’.”

“Or,’Tired of waiting five hours to give your mayonnaise that ‘Left-in-the-Sun’ taste? Save time with Templeton!”

“I like that! Find the silver lining in the product. ‘Templeton Mayonnaise Tips: Throw away the mayonnaise and keep the empty jar by your bed for when you don’t feel like getting up to go to the bathroom!'”

“‘Templeton Mayonnaise: Give your stomach a taste of Old Mexico, specifically the tap water.'”

“Say, Jenkins. That gives me a great idea. What say we get out of here, empty our bank accounts, and start a new life south of the border? We’ll live like kings of a land where wine, women, and song is the only law!”

“You got a deal. I’ll go put all the liquor in my desk drawers into a suitcase and meet you in the parking garage.”


tonight we’re gonna party till question mark

All right, guys. I know this is an important match. The results will determine who enters international competition, but the fact is that we’re in rough shape, and it doesn’t help that Coach Green got thrown out for arguing with the officials, leaving me in charge. For those of you meeting me for the first time, I’m Brad’s dad, and my first move as interim coach will be to establish a policy of complete honesty. Teams work best when there is well-established culture of transparency, and I feel like the best way I can serve you fellas is to come right out and tell you that I don’t know much of anything about this sport.

Now, now: before we start moaning and grumbling, let me lay out what I do know about this sport, and you all are in a position to confirm or correct the tidbits I’ve picked up from watching in the stands these last few weekends since I was awarded visitation rights in Brad’s mom’s and my ongoing divorce proceedings. Here’s what I do know: there’s a leprechaun, and a bunch of snakes, and at some point you have to jump over hot lava. In the lightning round, you have to build a working robot out of old Model T parts. At the beginning of each quarter, a captain is chosen to represent the team, and the captain has to correctly recite as many digits of Pi as possible before being submerged in pancake batter and cooked. The remaining team members free their captain by eating his delicious pancake cocoon, and together they tame a fire-breathing dragon, and ride him like a bobsled to the bottom of Candy Mountain. First team to correctly identify the counterfeit Mark Rothko painting gets awarded 3 bonus points. Yeah, I know I’m fuzzy on a few of the details, but if you can all close your eyes and trust your training, we can accomplish anything!

Remember, guys: the Chinese character for “challenge” is very similar to the one for “opportunity”. Unfortunately, as my tattoo artist found out too late, the character for “courageous warrior” is very similar to the one for “milkman disaster cactus”. Look, you’re all winners for trying. Get out there, play hard, and try not to remember anything I’ve said here today.

h/t stacey and louis


in the future, we’ll be taking all our wine in pill form

Theresa, can you quiet the kids down? I wouldn’t have called this family meeting if I knew I was going to have to talk over everyone. There, that’s better. It has been brought to my attention that there is some concern regarding the possibility of a fire in the kitchen, destroying our table, chairs, appliances, cabinetry and the dishes within, raging right now even as I’m saying this.

Well, never let it be said that as the husband, father, and divinely appointed head of this household, that I am not a man of action. I’m pleased to announce that following the conclusion of this meeting, I will be assembling a blue-ribbon panel to determine the existence of this alleged kitchen fire. For we cannot in good conscience decide on a course of action until we have a healthy, vigorous debate on this issue.

Now, I know that there are those in this household who would have us take hasty action without reviewing all the facts. We’ve all heard their side of the story: when I got home from work this evening, I used a burner on the stove to light a cigarette, and while entranced for three blissful minutes by the ecstacy of the cigarette’s sweet nicotine balm, I neglected to turn off the stove, and soon the kitchen was engulfed by flames ravenous to consume our every possession. Friends, let’s not fall for the same old partisan attacks on my character; particularly my character after I’ve knocked back a few at happy hour.

Even if a fire were burning through our house- not that I’m conceding the point- it could be the best thing ever to happen to this family. For example, ice cream headaches will be a thing of the past, with all the ice cream melted. Tyler, you’d be off the hook with regards to the discussion we had last week about cleaning out the attic. And Tiffany, this could be your ticket to the new wardrobe you’ve been pining for! Depending on what’s in the donations box at the church we’ll be living in, you could soon be the living embodiment of the term “shabby chic”!

The dog and cat have already made their decisions, having unthinkingly fled into the cold night without even first verifying any actual danger. As humans, it is incumbent upon us to employ our logic and reason. Just think: if it weren’t for our superior critical thinking skills, we’d still be fighting feral versions of Fluffy and Max for the last delicious wooly mammoth bone.



As you know, tonight is a milestone in our young relationship, baby. Now that we’ve reached the fourth date, it’s finally time for us to consummate our budding love for each other, and begin to navigate the inevitable sexual incompatibility that will haunt us in the morning.  

But I want to confess something first, lover. From the time we saw Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen at the dollar theater last month, I could already tell that you were different from every lady I’ve ever been with, so I want to do this in a very special way that we’ll never forget. I’m talking about some next-level shit. Tonight I want us to make love like we’re a couple that’s been married for 30 years and can barely stand to be around each other any more.

That may sound a little bold, but I think we’re ready. I want to get a head start on acheiving that zen-like state of communicating where we no longer even feel it necessary to speak to one another until the cat does something cute. Most couples take as many as five or six years to stop feigning interest after having heard each other’s complete collection of amusing anecdotes thrice over, but we can get there now if you’ll just take hold of my hand and trust me on this.

Tonight I want to harness the raw energy of the resentment that comes from a lifetime of my having deferred your decades-long dream of going to grad school. I want to put on a pair of comfortable cotton slacks of a cut so unflattering as to make it impossible for you to imagine a set of working sex organs underneath them. When we get down to business, the emotions will be as intense as looking into an eclipse, so don’t stay in the moment too long. Give yourself a mental break periodically during the act of love and let your mind wander; maybe think about what you’re gonna have for lunch tomorrow.

See those young couples here in the park with us, walking hand in hand? Those people are fucking dead inside, man! They’re living in a fantasy world! Girl, I love you so much that I want to spare you the pain of crushing your spirit once the facade fades away and you realize that I’ll be late coming home again. Not because I’m having an affair. No, no. You’ll only wish it were that simple. I’ll actually be sitting in my office listening to the soothing, hypnotic sound of the cleaning lady vacumming long after the lights are off in the building, because I can’t bring myself to come home and face you another day. So let’s bypass all that superficial bullshit and get straight to the good stuff. I’m ready to shout it from the mountaintops: I am a selfish prick that you will grow to truly regret having bought adjoining burial plots with!

Perhaps this gift will help set the mood. Here, open that bag marked “Frederick’s of Hollywood”. It’s a vest from Coldwater Creek. You like?

December 2009