Thursday, September 25, 2014

Put Me in Coach

The rock band KISS has recently bought themselves an Arena Football league team and named them after themselves, the LA Kiss. I did some research and found out they aren’t the only musicians getting into the sports ownership business:

Lady Gaga and members of the Goo Goo Dolls worked together to purchase a minor league soccer team based out of Washington State. The Walla Walla Ga Ga Goo Goos are playing in their first season but struggling. Many fans are blaming their uniforms. The Gaga designed ensemble includes a loin cloth over a pair of metallic Speedos, blue and silver body paint in lieu of a shirt, cleats with six inch heals and pinched toes, and atop their heads a cap with a 3 foot replica of the space needle.

Boston bad boy Steven Tyler purchased an independent league baseball team: The Plymouth Ak-Ak-Ak-Ows. Some of their promotional attempts to attract fans have had poor results: A free ounce of marijuana to the first 100 ticket holders ended with 100 arrests by Plymouth police and “Lost in a Barbiturate Haze Night” sent 27 people to the local hospital. On the field, the team itself took a cue from its owner by tying multi-colored scarves to the end of their bats while hitting and there is 31% more crotch grabbing in an Ak-Ak-Ak-Ow game than in any other.

Pop songstress Taylor Swift bought a majority stake in a minor league basketball team, the Nashville Exes. The team started out strong, winning their first 8 games. Since then, however, Taylor has dated the entire starting five and an assistant coach causing a lot of hurt feelings and bad publicity. “I knew something was wrong on our third date,” said point guard Web “The Comet” Jordan. “All during dinner I was telling her about my favorite movies and she was writing a song chorus rhyming comet with vomit.” The team is currently riding a 13 game losing streak but Taylor has another number 1 CD with “Songs from Half Court”.

Canadian rockers Rush have become the owners of a minor league hockey team, the Yukon Snowdogs. As lifelong fans of the sport, this was a dream come true for Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson. To help gain attendance the band wrote a team song that’s played before every game. The tune, titled “Epithet for a Dying Sport: Suite Bobby Orr, Opus 243 (Drop the Puck)” has caused consternation among fans however, as it is 23 minutes long with lyrics in three different languages as well as references to Tolkien’s The Silmarillion and ancient Indian myths. Hockey is never mentioned.

These are just a few of the examples I found. Bruce Springsteen has bought himself a professional dodge ball team, U2 own a third tier tetherball franchise and rapper Flo Rida has a jai alai team called the Or Lando Playas. The list goes on and on thanks to KISS.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Mighty Johns

The other day I watched a movie called Invisible Invaders. It was made in 1959 starring B movie stalwart John Agar and some other "so-you-think-you’re-an-actor" actors. I love these 1950s sci if movies. There's something about them that speaks to me, but let's be honest, on a competence level these are adults working at about a 3rd grade level.

This blog contains spoilers so if you were planning on watching this masterpiece on a special occasion in your warm pajamas with some soft brie cheese and a box of your favorite wine, stop reading NOW.

Invisible Invaders tells the heart warming story of a race of aliens that took over Earth's moon and now live there. Earthlings, with their rockets and nuclear bombs and easy bake ovens have become too advanced so they decide to conquer us. This is all told in one dull blob of exposition by one of the aliens to an Earth scientist. The alien is actually invisible but it inhabits the dead body of a scientist who’s played by John “I briefly had a respectable career” Carradine. The alien gives the scientist 24 hours to convince the world to surrender or be destroyed.

For some reason we humans refused to believe there were ancient invisible aliens living on the moon who wanted to enslave us. Go figure. The invasion begins with the aliens inhabiting dead bodies to wreak havoc on the world. They do this by setting fires and blowing up bridges and buildings. This being a film shot on a budget of $85 and a can of cheeseballs, this is all shown as zombies walking slowly on a sound stage followed by cut-in stock footage of firemen fighting a blaze or something blowing up. This movie is only 68 minutes long and 15-20 minutes is borrowed from other sources. The same images are used repeatedly. Intense, quality film making.

Something that bothered me was why they needed to inhabit the bodies at all. The John Carradine alien made a huge deal about them being invisible, so why make themselves visible? Why not pull all of your shenanigans while invisible? No explanation is given for this little question.

Eventually John Agar’s army major and two scientists end up locked in a military facility to protect themselves from the radioactive alien zombies. The scientists are tasked with finding a way to fight the aliens. The smarter of the two (and that’s not saying much since the other one has the IQ of a sea anemone) needs to study one of the aliens but that means capturing one. To engage this plan, John Agar needs to go outside among the radioactivity so he dons his protective suit which is a pair of painters’ pants and a bee keepers’ mask.

The first attempt to catch an alien goes awry so a second attempt is made. Agar has to take the dumber scientist out with him. When the doctor protests that there’s only one radiation suit, Agar assures him that the cab of the truck will protect him. I was expecting a thick, heavy military vehicle with a lead-lined cab. Nope, it’s Grandpa’s pick-up truck, the one he uses to transport the chickens to market. And let’s say for argument’s sake it does protect you from radiation, when Agar opens the door to get out, aren’t you now negating the protection by allowing radiation inside? Yes. Yes, you are.

The movie goes on for a while longer, ends abruptly and stupidly with more useless stock footage and sub plots never resolved. The important thing to remember though is that after the inevitable nuclear holocaust, the earth will be repopulated by the only survivors: painters, bee keepers and Ford F-150 owners. Very sad.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I Was Over There, Now I'm Over Here

I went away for a while, but now I’m back.

Please, please, the applause isn’t necessary. I’m glad to return . . . a standing ovation? That’s a bit much. Sit down.

Is that music? You hired a band to play for my return? Wow. I don’t know what to say. Yeah, they’re good, sounds a little like Aerosmith.

My God, champagne? Really, I don’t drink. Ok, to be polite I’ll have one glass.

Who’s that talking? The Mayor of the Internet? I didn’t even know there was such a person. He’s giving a speech about me? I don’t think that’s at all necessary, although, did he just use the word “aplomb”? Nice.

Well, I’m going to  . . . what? A gift? You didn’t have to buy me anything. Yes, the wrapping is lovely. Ok, ok, I’ll open it. It’s a book, great, I love to read. Let’s see “Blogging for Complete Idiots”. Uh . . . thanks, I guess.

This was nice but now I have to . . . what now. A parade? That’s absolutely too much. Good God are those giraffes? Oh no, clowns. You know how I feel about clowns, get them out of here. What are they juggling? Live cobras? Are you insane? Well, yes, I admit they are putting on quite a show and the tall one is striking with his orange/blue Mohawk but, holy shit one of them just got bitten! He dropped the snake, someone stop the band! Tell them to back off, please. Stop the tuba players. Stop! You’re going to run into the clowns, look out. Shit! The snakes are loose! Cobras! Run! Someone help the French horn player, she’s stuck in a bass drum. Two more clowns are down, get the snake handlers!

Oh my God, where did that car come from? It’s running down the woodwinds and . . .  yep, there goes the last of the clowns. Who’s driving that thing? After party entertainment and it’s not just a car, but a time machine? Holy crap it’s a DeLorean. How did you . . . wait, someone is getting out, who is it?

Bill Hicks, Stevie Ray Vaughn and the Hee Haw Honeys.

It’s good to be back.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Blood Test Shuffle

The following is based on a true story:

The sign read:

Welcome to the Memorial Hospital Lab. Please follow our simple 31 step process to register to see one of our phlebotomists. Thank you.

Step 1: On your left you will find a sign-in sheet. Please write your name on the next available line. If the sheet is full we will bring a new sheet out at some point between our mid-morning break and when Dottie comes down from the second floor to gossip about the doctors. More than likely we’ll throw the filled sheet away without making sure that everyone on it has been registered so your best bet is to sign your name on any piece of paper you see as well as the wall, the vinyl seats and the registrar’s arm.

Step 2: Sit and wait. Settle in because it will be awhile. If you have a sleeping bag or small tent feel free to set it up, although we ask no campfires in the building. Hot plates can be plugged in to the wall outlets.

Step 3: When someone who came in after you gets called before you, and it will happen, please respond in one of the following ways:
a.       Silently fume to yourself as it happens
b.      Give the registrar a dirty look and throw your arms in the air hoping that this will adequately display your displeasure.
c.       Jump up from your seat and yell “What the hell? I was here before him.”
Please do not do the following:
a.       Pull out a 9mm handgun to shoot the staff before shooting yourself
b.      Overturn the furniture while shouting “I’ll burn this motherfucker to the ground!”
c.       Make monkey noises and gestures while pretending you work for the lab

Step 4: When your name is finally called proceed to the registrar’s office and take a seat. For the next 32 minutes we will ask you the same questions we asked on your last visit. Even though we input your info into our computer system, it is not retained. Yes, we know this is the purpose of using electronic health records but apparently we are doing something wrong. It’s also likely the registrar is a part time person and will not know how to use the registering program properly so will need to get help from someone else a minimum of 4 times. She will also need to make a copy of every piece of identification you have ever owned including ones you do not actually have with you and a few you possessed in a past life.

Step 5: The registrar will print out many copies of your information. One for you, one for the phlebotomist, one for the hospital administration, one for the insurance company, one for the NSA, one for the department of health, and one that will be carelessly thrown into a dumpster where it will be found by a homeless person who will sell your social security number for $15.

Step 6: The registrar may or may not give you an arm band. If you receive one, place it around your wrist and take a seat in the seating area again to wait for the phlebotomist to notice that you are wearing the magic arm band. If you don’t receive an armband, and some of you won’t because remember the registrars are only part-time, sit and wait while thinking to yourself “Hey, why didn’t I get an armband like that woman over there?” When she gets taken back to have her blood drawn before you see Step 3 for the proper way to react.

Step 7: Walk up to the phlebotomist and ask when it will be your turn. When she asks where your armband is inform her you didn’t receive one. When she asks if you took a number from the revolving pickle barrel, say no. She will inform you that that’s ok because we have discontinued use of the take-a-number system anyway. When she asks if you pre-registered say no. When she asks if you registered, say yes. When she asks if you’ve post-registered answer “Huh?” If she asks “Is it safe?” walk away quickly and find security. When she sighs heavily and asks “Do you really need your blood drawn today?” say yes and she will most likely assist you. However if she simply walks away please go back to Step 1 and begin again.

Thank you for visiting Memorial Hospital.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Under Pressure

The stress ball had a smiley face painted on it. While I worked it stared down at me from a shelf. I didn’t even remember it was there until I would reach up for a pen or lean back in my chair to stretch and catch a glimpse of the wide, grinning mouth. It was a benign presence in my life until the morning it started talking to me:

I cut off a guy’s foot once with the wheels of a rickshaw when I lived in Hong Kong.

Have you ever eaten Ritz crackers with dried squid on top? It’s not good but can come in handy when you need quick appetizers for a party.

I’ve never been kayaking. Always wanted to.

Dollar to donuts is a strange expression. All things being equal I’d rather have a bagel and buffalo head nickel.

This world will bleed from its eyes when the acid rain of the gods falls from the sky to burn away the unrighteous and the feral and if you don’t want to be one of the unholy undead then bow down before me in unrepentant supplication

Uh . . . what? I’ll admit when the ball first spoke to me it was a little weird, but since it wasn’t saying anything important, I learned to live with it. One day it recited a great recipe for chicken and sautéed mushrooms in a white wine reduction. Another day it did a complete play-by-play of the previous night’s Phillies game. I tuned it in when I wanted to and out when I needed to. And then it said this one afternoon:

You will be judged not by gods or demons, myths or facts, illusions or reality, but by the lightning strikes that scar the earth

Yeaaaahhh. When I looked at the ball it stared back at me with the same expression it always had. I picked it up, threw it against the wall and the smile stayed. As an experiment I put it away in a drawer but I could still hear it.

Falafel is a funny word. Falafel falafel falafel falafel falafel falafel falafel

I was parasailing once in Cabo and the rope broke. I floated away, smashed into a building and broke like six bones. I spent a year in the hospital, and then sued Jungle Jim’s Ocean o’ Thrills for a nice settlement. Blew the money on Turtlewax, leather shoes and a hooker named Patti. True story.

Is there anything better than reruns of T.J. Hooker? I think not.

The reign of man endeth when the alpha and omega become one to rule this planet with a bloodbath of the unsound, a symphony of wails for the children of dirt and a self-righteous uncoupling of the serpent and the priestess

I was baffled at this point. There were less and less knock-knock jokes and more apocalyptic warnings. But when I looked out my window the Sun was still shining, the Earth was still turning and the rabbits were still eating my portulaca from the garden. I decided to talk back to the ball . . . which turned out to be a mistake as well.

Me: Soooo . . . what’s with all the threats lately?
Stress Ball: Oh, now you want to talk? I’ve only been trying to hold a conversation with you for almost a year.
Me: Well . . .
Stress Ball: I knew you could hear me. You think I didn’t see the looks or hear the laughs when I told a Bruce Jenner joke?
Me: Look . . .
Stress Ball: I know my mile-wide smile is creepy. Yeah, my purpose is for you to squeeze me as hard as you can to relieve your stress, but what about mine? Compressing my foam like that is dangerous. The doctors tell me I may have internal damage but I can’t do anything about it because I don’t have insurance. Obamacare doesn’t cover rubber balls. The inanimate object lobby in Washington isn’t a strong one, it’s hard to get a senator on your side when you try and talk with him but he thinks he’s hearing voices from all the cocaine he’s been smoking and the girl who’s with him doesn’t want to get involved because she’s married to a foreign diplomat and could be deported. The other girl, the one hiding in the bathroom, she’s so paranoid she thinks the voice she hears is coming from her own belly button and she sticks her finger in there to shut it up. She screams in pain which makes the first girl scream and now the senator is naked with pillows over his ears yelling “turn it off, turn it off” right before he leaps into the door and knocks himself out cold. The married girl grabs the rest of the coke and tries to leave only to find her husband at the door berating her in Portuguese and it’s now that the other girl runs from the bathroom with a bloody finger, crying about the millipedes crawling from her navel. Cut to the senator’s body guard who’s been getting oral sex from the front desk clerk and just now realizes things have gone very wrong . . .

I threw the ball out into the street and watched a dog come by and take it. I feel a lot less stress already.

Friday, June 20, 2014

One of Them

It was rainy that day. Cold drizzle fell from an indifferent sky onto sour faces attached to sagging shoulders. I walked through the parking lot to the door to my office building already dreaming about my mid-morning break. The thought of an over-sweet snack from the vending machine was still dancing a jig in my skull when I entered the lobby and was greeted by the first clown. He was my height but with his baggy suit was twice as wide. His meaty hands deftly tied off a balloon animal and handed it to me.

“Uh . . . thanks . . . for the dog,” I stammered.

“It’s not a dog silly. It’s a capybara.”

“A what?”

“The capybara is the world’s largest rodent, it’s indigenous to the Amazon rain forest.”

“Ok. Well, thank you.” I started to walk away and then turned back but he was gone. I looked down at the balloon in my hand and it exploded into a mist of confetti.

“What the hell?” I mumbled, shaking my head. Only on a Tuesday I thought.

I walked down a corridor toward my desk, sneaking glances into cubicles along the way. In each, instead of my usual co-workers, I found a clown. Some were tall, others were squat. Some had red hair, others green or blue. Red ball noses bulged from the middle of their faces as they sat in $700 office chairs making balloon animals and beeping annoying horns.

The trip to my corner of cube farm hell left me shaken. Where were all of my fellow office drones pouring bitter coffee into their bodies to jumpstart another day of blankly staring at a computer screen? Why were there clowns everywhere? And why did my capybara explode? I had a place on my shelf all picked out for it.

I dropped into my seat. A tall, thick clown with multi-colored hair appeared at my shoulder.
“Hey there! Do you have your project report completed?” he said in a shrill sing-song voice. Then he tooted his horn twice with a belly laugh that shook the wall of my cubicle. I saw he had a name tag over his heart. Scrawled in black Sharpie was “Mr. Flippo, manager”.

“Uh,” I started, both fearful and confused. “I have . . . a little more work to do on it.”

“Get it done mister!” Toot! Toot! Then he walked away, his over-sized shows knocking down a plant in the corner.

At 10:15 balloons dropped from the ceiling while calliope music blared over the loudspeaker throughout the building.

Noon brought the “parade of clowns” through the office where I was given the nickname “Frowny” and a balloon gazelle to replace my lost capybara.

I tried to work but the infernal horn tooting and singing “Happy Birthday” to everyone who called on the phone were driving me mad. The break room was chaos with battling games of pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs. I went to the men’s room to find make-up smeared paper towels lying everywhere. When I got back to my desk someone had left a red rubber nose on my computer keyboard. As the afternoon wore on I felt eyes upon me. They were trying to draw me in, to make me one of them. Usually I stayed late to catch up on emails I hadn’t had time to answer but on this night I actually snuck out early with one last horn blast from Mr. Flippo.

I walked briskly to my car needing to be away from work as quickly as possible. The indoctrination, however, wasn’t over. My Honda CR-V had been painted a miasma of psychedelic colors. There was a squirting flower stuck to the top of the antenna and an over-sized bow tie attached to the car’s grill. I pulled a note from under the windshield wipers. It told me I was driving car pool tomorrow morning and included a list of 27 co-workers I needed to pick up on the way.

I got into my car, banging the steering wheel in frustration. When I looked at myself in the rear-view mirror I cried out. My face was covered in white make-up.

I’m becoming one of them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Part of a Balanced Breakfast

I was feeling strange. My morning banana for breakfast every day was transforming my insides to a semi-hard yellow goop and my skin was jaundiced with patches of brown. My spine had curved convexly stretching my head and neck out over my feet which kept trying to take root. Every step I took I was dragging a pulpy tangle of wood tendrils. When I stopped they immediately dug into the floor. I had to keep moving like a shark to keep myself from being a planted banana tree, but even that wasn’t the worst thing.

The monkeys. They were the worst. Macaques, howlers, marmosets, spider monkeys, capuchins, tamarins, colobus monkeys, mandrills; climbing on me all day long. They just appeared out of nowhere and sat on my arms eating nits from each other’s backs. The macaques stayed in a tight group on my feet while the colobus sat on my neck shitting on everything below them. At night they all got drunk on wine they made from their feces and then threw the leftover poo at each other in a screeching, wailing, foul primate bacchanal.

Then, just when I thought I was at my low point, my life got worse. The Monkees showed up. That’s right, look at the spelling. I’m talking about those Monkees.

It was a quiet day at the office. I was sitting at my desk pretending to work, wool gathering about me, Kate Upton, a desert island, a can of Ready Whip and a winning lottery ticket when I felt a tug on my right leg. I looked down to see a white-faced tamarin Peter Tork climbing up my pant leg. When I confronted him he started beating his chest and humming “Daydream Believer”. While still trying to shut him up red-nosed mandrill Mickey Dolenz pounced on my back, singing:

“Take the last train to Clarksville
And I’ll meet you at the station”

“Shut up,” I yelled, my hands clawing at his bushy hair. I stood up and tried to shake them off. That’s when I heard the deep, rough cough. I looked up to see an enraged lowland Mike Nesmith charging me, his arms raised high over his head. I managed to fling Tork off my leg and into Nesmith. The two rolled across the floor, a tangle of arms and legs, barking and biting at each other. Dolenz jumped up and down on my head shaking loose a few small, unripened bananas that had grown from my armpits. The singer leapt to the ground for the fruit giving me the chance to kick him in the rear. Screaming he fell into Tork and Nesmith forming a ball o’Monkees that I rolled down the hallway and out the front door.

I sat back down at my desk thinking I would finally get some peace and quiet but then the sons-of-bitches set up their equipment and gave an impromptu concert in the parking lot. I’ll never get that damn theme song out of my head.

Here we come . . .”

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Global Rocking

New from Hotter than Hell Records it’s the music collection for the global warming generation, Global Rocking! 2 CDs containing 23 songs of carbon dioxide emitting rock n’ roll.

The collection begins with a bang, “Climate Schmimate” by The Deniers.

Global warming?
It was freezing this winter
The only one who still believes
Is my baby sister

Punk rockers Titanic and the Icebergs contribute “I’m Melting!”

I’m melting, I’m melting
Holy shit it’s over
I’m melting, I’m melting
Everybody run for cover!

Only the biggest hits were included in this deluxe recording so it wouldn’t be complete without progressive metal heroes Permafrost and their song “Rise, Oceans, Rise”

Rise up
Oceans of our fathers
Rise from your slumber

Rise up
New ocean waters
Make your people humbler

CD number 2 will melt your face like an atomic bomb. The action starts with rap/rock super-group Al Gore’s Internet and their magnum opus “I Invented Global Warming”

Global warming is here
Instilling us with fear
I am the Gore man
I speak only truth man
We’re doomed unless we change here
You don’t understand we’re in danger

I invented this shit
I created my bit
Let’s come together and get lit
No need to throw damned fit
I invented this shit

And what music collection would be complete without a little reggae to dance to. Here’s 97% Agree with their chart topper “Who Cares, Let’s Get High”

The ice she is melting
Who cares
The water she is rising
Who cares
The Earth she is warming
Who cares
We are to blame?
Who Cares

Let’s get high

Global Rocking is available from Hotter Than Hell Records, produced by Rising Sea Level Productions and distributed by No Matter What Evidence You Present I Won’t Believe You Imports and Exports, Trenton New Jersey.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


I’m coming to you live from my workplace cafeteria where I was intending to heat up my lunch of a container I found at the back of my refrigerator containing what I believe to be meat of some kind. However, the room is full today. There is a 3 deep line at both microwaves. On the left someone is cooking a pheasant they hit with their Toyota Tundra on the way in this morning complete with a remoulade made from toilet water and bodily fluids. And on the right a hazmat team is cleaning up an explosion of the office cook’s homemade chicken corn and yellow cake uranium soup.

Next to the microwaves Tall Dave and Short Dave are making a fresh pot of coffee. It’s a blend Dave bought on a trip to an African country that has since changed its name six times. Dave refers to it as “Dave’s Midnight Special”. The rest of the office calls it “That Shitty Coffee that Gives Everyone Diarrhea”. Dave drank some of Dave’s coffee and loved it so now Dave and Dave are close friends. When Dave drinks a cup it makes Dave happy which makes Dave feel good that he could be such joy into Dave’s life. Aaaaaaaand . . . there’s the smell. Wow.

There is also a clean-up going on in fridge number 3. Apparently Marta left a piece of her grandmother’s tree bark pie in a plastic container since last Arbor Day. The container has melted, merging with the wire metal rack of the fridge into emerging limbs. The pie inside decomposed until the cellular structure evolved into a sentient being. Three stout men are trying to remove it from the fridge but the beast is holding on, demanding to speak to a representative from the American consulate.

The hazmat team has finished and the pheasant smells like rotting plague-flesh. A fight has broken out for use of the microwaves now between a testing team who wants to heat up slices of watermelon and pepper jack cheese pizza and an ex-marine with an MRE from the Spanish-American war.

It doesn’t look like I’ll be eating anytime soon and I was really looking forward to my block of beefchickporken.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Ode to Spring and Summer

Sing to the tune of My Favorite Things

The smell of mown grass and burgers on the grill
Light evening rain and sparrows on the window sill
Baseball games going into extra innings
These are a few of my favorite spring and summer things

Fireworks on the fourth and women in bikinis mowing the lawn
Dogs going on walks and seeing the sun rise at dawn
A cool breeze that catches colorful kites on strings
These are a few of my favorite spring and summer things

Bike rides and long walks up and down the trail
Trips to the shore chasing waves and setting sail
Star gazing at night searching for Saturn's rings
These are a few of my favorite spring and summer things


When the air cools
When the pipes freeze
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite spring and summer things 

And then I don't feel so bad

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Down at the Old Phishing Hole

On a weekly basis I receive phishing emails that are made to look like my credit cards, my phone company, etc. Most are very authentic with logos and business language. They come from addresses like Visa_admin or Verizon-customersupport, something that looks and feels official. Yesterday I got a phishing email that was so amateurish I actually felt bad for the person trying to scam me.

The email address it came from was simply “Credit Card”. Not Visa, not Mastercard, not even the annoying little brother of credit cards, Discover. Just “Credit Card”. The body of the email was three lines long and changed point sizes 3 times. My favorite though was the misspelling of “you’re” as “you’r”. I decided to reply.

Dear Credit,

Thank yu for you’r resent communicashun. I appreshiate you letting me know that my new statement is availabull for my Credit Card. I will log in and check it out as soon as my lobotomy is compleeted.



Tonight I’ll be dipping my feet in the old phishing hole and casting my line out to see how many red herrings I can catch.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

16 Tons

8:30 a.m.
I arrive at work with heady enthusiasm ready to take on another day. Carpe diem.

8:31 a.m.
I’m bored.

8:33 a.m.
The soul-crushing thought of another 8 hours trapped in the cubicle farm has sapped my will to live.

8:39 a.m.
I have turned my computer on, hoping the light from the monitor will brighten my mood and allow me to go on.

8:43 a.m.
Our morning meeting has begun. My mind is wandering to my days as tugboat captain in New York harbor: Me and Tony “The Big Toe” Canoli pulling the cargo freighters into port during the day and prowling the streets at night for an underground tetherball club. We had . . . wait, did someone just ask me a question? Shit, I have to answer . . .

“Yeah, I took care of that yesterday.”

Wow, that was close. I have to pay more attention in these meetings. Hmm. Everyone else is back at their desks. The meeting must have ended.

9:50 a.m.
I have a request open in front of me, but instead of working it I’m staring out the window. There’s something in the middle of the alley that I can’t make out. What is that? I stand up and press close to the glass. Yep, I was right. It’s an ear.

11:08 a.m.
I did some work for the last hour. I feel a small sense of accomplishment, but not enough to energize me to do more.

11:17 a.m.
Curiosity got the better of me. I went out into the alley for a closer look at the ear. It’s human with a three gold hoop earrings in it. I was trying to decide what to do with it when a dog came out of nowhere and snatched it away. The last I saw he was trotting down Queen Street chewing on it like a rawhide toy.

12:04 p.m.

12:35 p.m.
Lunch is over. Back to work. Not much going on outside.

2:14 p.m.
There is so much dirt under my nails. Was I sleep coal mining again? Was I buried alive and had to dig my way out of the grave? Where did all this dirt come from?

3:45 p.m.
I took apart my watch because there must be something wrong with it: It can’t not be quitting time. I was only supposed to be here 8 hours; I must be going on a hundred and six.

I put the watch back together again but I did something wrong. It says the time is 3A76 Greenwich Mean Time. I don’t know what that means.

4:23 p.m.
The dog is back. He’s dropped the ear at the base of my window as some sort of gift. He’s eaten about half of it, the rest looks like regurgitated cheap ground beef. I thank the pup anyway. It’s the thought that counts.

5:00 p.m.
Oh sweet merciful God it’s finally time to go home. I don’t know how one day can feel like a century but it managed.

Huh. My watch says it’s next Tuesday.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Danger in the Toothpaste Aisle

I was buying toothpaste the other day at the grocery store and was marveling at how many different types they have now. Cavity protection, triple protection, whitening formula, super whitening formula, Whiter Shade of Pale whitening formula, sensitive, sensitive plus whitening, sensitive plus whitening plus cavity protection plus will do the housework while you sleep, overly sensitive formula, Alan Alda sensitive formula.

Then I noticed one labeled Pro-Health formula and that made me wonder if there was an Anti-Health formula as well. What would the anti-health formula be; a tube of hot road tar that simultaneously turns your teeth black and causes third degree burns on your gums?

Doctor: What happened?
Patient: I dused da anthi helt formla of Cwest toodpast.
Doctor: That was a stupid thing to do.
Patient: Ted mee abut id
Doctor: You do have fresh breath though. Like a freshly paved road in the summertime.
Patient: Dank yu

What would happen if the pro-health and anti-health formulas came into contact with each other? Would they cause an explosion like matter and anti-matter on Star Trek?

Kirk: Open the tubes of pro-health and anti-health at the same time!
Scottie: Captain! I canna let you do that. If those pastes mix you’ll blow up the ship.
Kirk: Scottie . . . I’m responsible . . . for the lives of 419 . . . people. We have to take better care of . . . our teeth. Bones, explain it to him.
Bones: Damn it Jim I’m a doctor not an oral surgeon.
Kirk: We have plaque and cavities. So many . . . cavities. Uhuru needs a root canal. Spock, help me.
Spock: I’m sorry Captain. On Vulcan our cleanliness rituals are ear-centric. We do not brush our teeth.
Kirk: Somebody obey my order . . . and . . . open those tubes!

I couldn’t find a tube of the anti-health formula although I’m sure it was there, lurking, waiting to pounce. I think I’ll stay out of the toothpaste aisle for a few weeks.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Water Torture

I’ve been drinking a lot of water recently; half a metric ton every day. I’m noticing some changes in my body too. It all started when the wooden pole grew out of the top of my skull. It was about twenty feet high with cables and pulleys attached. Already struggling to get into the building at work every day, it didn’t help when a large triangle of cloth unfurled from the top of the pole, falling down in front of me so I couldn’t see a thing. I crashed into a homeless man named Itchy Pete that morning. I tried to help untangle him from the cloth but my hands wouldn’t work. When I looked down I saw they had become oars.

I’m turning into a boat.

Drink lots of water they said. You need it to be healthy they said. Your skin will be more vibrant, your kidneys will thank you, and everything will come up puppies and rainbows they said.

This morning I sprouted a rudder from a very uncomfortable place.

I realize that drinking water is healthy. I understand that for a long time I didn’t drink enough. I’m cognizant of the fact that human bodies are 75% water and that 75% of the Earth is covered by water and that life first formed in water and in fact life wouldn’t have formed without water. All salient points. However . . .

My torso has just evolved into a deck.

Is this still healthy? I’m drinking the water but can’t walk, only float. People at work are noticing the pool of water in my cubicle. Also, I saw something in it yesterday. Something big. With tentacles. How healthy do I really need to be? Maybe I could be half healthy, half fat and happy: A hybrid like something out of Greek mythology. I could be “fealthy” or “hat and fappy”.

Oh great.

I’ve just been boarded by pirates.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Forest for the Trees

I’m turning over a new leaf today. The old one has changed to strange colors, a mixture of the entire rainbow after being dragged through Penn Jillette’s colon. The leaf has also gotten too veiny. It looks like a bus route map of Passaic New Jersey and the veins are protruding from the flesh like the Loch Ness monster posing for photos. The old leaf is dead. God save the new leaf.

The new leaf, his name is Jerry, is shiny and sleek. A vibrant green, Jerry is ready for action. Whether it’s leading a sales meeting, throwing a dinner party or rescuing a dog named Poochie from a barn fire, Jerry is there. Jerry will give you a high five after you hit the winning shot in a Tuesday evening rec league basketball game or offer admonishment when you take five pennies from the “take a penny” plate at the gas station.

Jerry is a leaf’s leaf. He is the alpha leaf, top leaf, the big leaf in the forest. Jerry is the kind of leaf trees dream about when they’re still saplings. Other leaves are jealous of Jerry. Other leaves call him names like “Leafy O’Toole” and “Mugs Maple”, but it all rolls like water off of Jerry’s shiny back.

I’m turning over a new leaf today. Yep, it’s Jerry and me against the world. Jerry says hi.