Archive for April, 2011

27
Apr
11

old people should call sleep “death practice”

Hey Randy,

It’s me, Anu. You know, the 6,000 year-old Sumerian deity? Anyways, I’m in a bit of a jam and I could really use your help here. It’s kind of a long story, and I promise I’ll catch you up on all the deets once there’s more time, but basically I’m the one true god. Yeah. Omnipotent, immortal, strangely petulant and vengeful, the whole package. Long story short, I got a little tied up dealing with some crazy shit with my ex (don’t even ask!) up here in Dilmun, home of the gods, for a few millenia and have totally gotten lax about tending to matters down there. So I’m looking for a new earthly prophet to help me re-establish my kingdom, and although I’ve got emails out to several folks on this matter, you’re my guy. If you’re not busy with anything else right now, the job is yours.

I’ve been trying to get hold of you for a while, but it’s been sooooo long since I interacted with humans and I’m super out of practice. Let me apologize in advance for any misunderstandings that may have occurred while I was trying to alert you to my presence. For example, remember when your pubes went prematurely gray? That was my lame attempt at a sign or whatever. And again, sorry about that girl in college telling everyone your junk looked like Leslie Neilsen. Oh, also: your older sister didn’t run away from home when she was 17. I turned her into a motorcycle, which, I know, terrible idea. I should have made her like a sentient motorcycle that could have told you what was up, or given you the keys to the motorcycle, or maybe put a note on the motorcycle, and it was totally unfair for me to expect you to somehow know that an ancient celestial being was trying to get back in the game and wanted to recruit you to be his terrestrial intermediary. Whatevs, that’s on me, and I’m big enough to admit it. I thought I was getting a little better at conveying my message when I had that tornado destroy your old house, leaving only some 2x4s standing in the shape of an “A” (for Anu), but honestly, I should have just done email from the very start.

Okay, so this relaunch (what my PR people are calling it) of Anu worship is gonna be a weird transition, especially the part where I, through you, have to explain to the entire planet that every practitioner of every religion since the late Bronze Age has been wasting their time and that everyone’s ancestors are currently suffering eternal torment for worshipping false gods. On a side note, I cannot believe how popular Yahweh got while I was away. I mean, the three biggest monotheistic religions on earth worship him in some form! This may seem hard to believe now, but in early primaries, he was polling at a paltry 4%, so my hat is off to him. If I had known he had such staying power, I would probably have paid closer attention and stopped the Israelite army from decimating the ranks of the Hittites and Amalakites back in the day. Truth be told, it’s a little embarrassing to have let everyone down, but that shit’s in the past now.

If it’s not too inconvenient for you, I’d like to take a human form for a couple of weeks to get a feel for earthly life, and I could use a place to stay. I can’t help much with the rent, but I’ve already got a job lined up at this beer distributor, so I can probably get us pony kegs at wholesale prices. Plus, as a god, I’m used to getting quite a bit of female attention, and you are welcome to any spillover tang I may not be able to get to when my hands are full on weekends. Anyways, think it over, I hope to hear back from you soon. I also hope this is still your current email address. If not, I think I have an old fax number for you somewhere. Peace, Randster!

Anu, god of heaven and the firmament

“Some people claim there’s a woman to blame, but I know it’s my own damn fault” -Jimmy Buffett

Sent from my Blackberry wireless

20
Apr
11

what physical properties uniquely qualify a semicolon to do its job?

Being one of only two or three varsity athletes in my high school’s freshman class failed to deliver the social standing or respect from my peers that I had hoped for, but such is the case for a 103-pound wrestler, especially a wrestler that only ascended to that position due to a freak injury to the senior incumbent (of equally meager social regard). As such, I elicited an array of responses from the girls of my peer group ranging from outright hostility and disgust, to consideration as a potential candidate for the similarly sexually frustrating, benign, let’s-not-ruin-our-friendship variety of friendship. My knowledge of Heather Jurenberg was characterized by the former.

Heather was, while not popular for any discernible reason like cheerleading or student senate, usually in close proximity to popular people and known to attend the popular parties I had heard about. And she wasn’t the prettiest girl in school, but she was probably in the 80th percentile. In 5th period art class, students sat two to a table, and for some reason she and I were assigned to the same table, where she called me pizza face and told me she’d better not ever catch me looking at her chest or she’d tell the whole school. One day in class, however, the teacher brought out the slide projector for a lesson on cubism, then turned off the lights on the classroom.

At this, I felt a rubbing on my shin that I was horrified to discover was  from the foot of Heather, who had moved her chair to view the slide presentation and was now sitting perpendicular to me instead of at the other end of the table. I moved my leg away suddenly, silently terrified at the prospect of Heather loudly asking why I was touching her leg, just to embarrass me. Strangely, though, the rubbing resumed a few seconds later, and when I looked at Heather, I knew it was intentional. She had taken off her shoe and in her sock foot was tracing every part of both my legs. The secrecy of it all served to build a sort of conspiratorial intimacy between us that I hoped could last at least until the next big party, and I took the fact that she kept getting more daring as a sign that that intimacy was growing stronger. By the time our teacher joked about “the only nude you’ll ever see in this class” before showing a slide of Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, Heather had extended her foot’s exploration well into my swimsuit area, as if to make sure her exercise was having the desired effect. It was, and after 40 minutes it was getting a little uncomfortable down there, unaccustomed as I was to a sexual encounter taking more than three minutes, or occurring with a second person in the room. Then our teacher turned the lights back on, and as soon as she did, Heather stood up to move back to her seat, then stared down icily at me and said in a stern voice only I could hear, “If you breathe a word of this to anyone, I’ll tell the whole school you’re a fucking liar.”

In the intervening years hence, I’ve tried to look her up on Facebook, Myspace, classmates.com, Friendster and LinkedIn, if for no other reason than to get a quote for this story, but I can’t seem to find her, so I can’t update you on how her life has gone since then. Probably pretty awesome, though. As for me, I grew up to have no super weird feelings about girls at all.

13
Apr
11

assigning anthropomorphic traits to inanimate objects will only make them mad

Although you haven’t been a restauranteur very long, I’m sure you know by now that a city health inspector with a clipboard as heavily annotated as mine is unlikely to be delivering good news, and I’m afraid that’s the case here. Having to recommend that your eating establishment be shut down is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, as this restaurant not only features the finest crab salad sandwiches with blueberry waffles as the bread that I have ever had the pleasure of shoveling two-handed into my insatiable maw, but also emblemizes the spirit of American entrepreneurialism in a way that truly touched my heart. When you couldn’t scrape together the funds to hire a kitchen staff, you put in the long hours and displayed the innovation and patience to train stray dogs and cats rescued from an animal shelter to keep this place running, in the process even teaching them to use hand sanitizer and getting them all certified to administer CPR. In the face of negative reviews from our media’s sneering, elite, out-of-touch restaurant critics, you launched a popular cable news network dedicated to combating their collective inherent bias toward a bland, homogenous, syringe-and-used-condom-free dining experience. But you flew too close to the sun when, in the interest of attracting a hipper, edgier clientele, you began garnishing all dishes with pickle spears whose ends have been deemed entirely too pointy to be in compliance with Statute 437.89.

Keep your chin up, pal. Nothing  feels worse than discovering that your ambition exceeds your potential, and no one knows that better than yours truly. It was difficult after my grandma died, when I went to her estate sale to discover dozens of copies of my old band’s unlistened-to CDs being sold as coasters, but I learned that part of becoming an adult is realizing that your dreams are fucking stupid. Now, don’t give in to the temptation to feel sorry for yourself. I’m a big believer in the power of beating yourself up over even the most trivial minutiae, so you should spend as much time as you need brooding and stewing over every detail of what went wrong, then solemnly swear vengeance on all who stood as a barrier to your rightful success and get back out there. Oh, and if you ever do decide to open that Robocop 2-themed diner, I’d be happy to come aboard as an investor. Not only because I believe in your indomitable spirit, but also because ever since my son went back to prison, the money I saved for his college tuition has kinda been burning a hole in my pocket.

06
Apr
11

henny, weed, cash, hoes, snacks

Have a seat, son. I know I don’t bring you into my home office much, but I think you and I need to have a man-to-man talk. See, your mom was cleaning your room and stumbled across your diary, and while we would never pry into your personal business, she did accidentally glance at a few pages that have us concerned. You know, buddy, having feelings is gay enough, but expressing them? That’s the first step down a pretty bad path, pal.

Look, it’s only natural that you want to sleep with with the cheerleaders from your school, but you’re going about this in the wrong way. These are not the kind of sleepovers a young man your age should be having. I mean, taking the minutes in a spiral notebook as they talk about boys at school they like? The last thing you should be letting these girls do is confiding in you. I admit, I should have talked with you about girls  at a much younger age, but let’s start fresh, shall we? The first thing you need to know about girls is what they want: aloof, distant, emotionally withholding guys who give off just a hint that they can be “fixed” if only the right girl came along. Then once you’ve got them talking to you, you must remember never to do anything that would validate her self-esteem, because once a girl feels comfortable in her own skin and confident enough to make her own decisions, one of those decisions might be that she likes someone other than you. Finally, you must always remember to build and maintain an atmosphere of uncertainty. After all, time spent wondering why you won’t call is time spent thinking about you, am I right? Then, once you’ve reached the point where they’re afraid of losing you, they’ll fuck you just to keep you interested. As for honesty, open lines of communication, accountability, and mutual respect? These are the penis’ natural enemy, son.

Feel free to pass any of this along to that kid Doug you’re always hanging around with, by the way. Poor guy will never get laid if he keeps up with that approach. He’s way off-base if he thinks girls will relate to him or whatever if he watches America’s Next Top Model with them while helping them decorate their Homecoming mums or altering their prom dresses. It may seem like he’s created a welcoming atmosphere for girls in his bedroom by plastering all those hunky guy posters on his walls, but chicks just don’t go for guys with lisps. Hey, are you guys still thinking about rooming together at college next fall?