12/23/2007

A classic Christmas song..

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the tree-tops glisten
And children listen to hear sleighbells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write:
"May your days be merry and bright...
And may all your daughter's boyfriends...

well, you know the rest!

Merry Christmas.

Much love and regards,

LBB

12/18/2007

Bullet-ins

  • Celine Dion is retiring from her Las Vegas gig. People watch her and see a gifted singer, a marvelous performer and a remarkable rags-to-riches story. I watch her and think, Wow, she's got the smallest cans of any Las Vegas performer in history. I want my money back.
  • Why do we stereotype gay men with having limp wrists? I would think their wrists are the strongest, most rugged structure on the human body, what with all the tug jobs and hair styling.
  • I wish we could buy food and merchandise directly from the shipping trucks as they roll down the highway. I drove past a Whataburger truck today. The picture on the trailer looked appetizing. So I pulled along side him and shouted out my window, "Hey Pedro. I got a five-spot in my wallet. How about you toss me one of those chicken sandwiches and a large fries? And hurry, will you? A Sears truck just pulled up on my left and I need to buy my kid a Wii." Also, I think they should develop in-drive refueling. It would work like in-flight refueling systems for fighter jets. When you're running low on gas, you click open your fuel door and drive by a Mobile truck. He shoots the hose over...clink. Then you gas-up on the go make it to work on time. Yo, Maverick and Goose. Fill'er up with 87-octane.
  • The people who complain that Christmas is too commercial are the same people who complain when Christians return the holiday to its roots: the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Instead of parsing, why don't these people admit they hate Christmas, Jesus and America; then they can be free to be the communist buttholes they long to be.
  • Does "across the fruited plain" mean the USA, or just San Francisco?
  • Speaking of San Francisco, the mayor wants to impose a tax on sugary drinks. If San Francisco really wants to raise revenue, it ought to tax protein drinks (rimshot!).
  • I read in the news today that Iranian police have closed down 24 Internet cafes. I was shocked -- not at the encroachment on Iranian citizens' freedom, but that Iran has at least 24 working computers!

12/13/2007

A confession and leftover Xmas stew

All right, I have a confession to make. Boy, I've been hiding this secret for a long time and I can't believe I'm revealing it now.

I'm no longer a Macintosh user.

I'm going to wait for NWJR to recover consciousness and pick himself up from the floor. Then I'll explain...

A little over a year ago, I powered up my PC tower and it sounded like a UFO at liftoff -- and not one of those stealthy, X-Files UFOs; one of those big, Close Encounters motherfuckers: Doo DEE duh dun Daaaaaaaaaah. What the hell is this? Do I need to go carve a plate of mash potatoes into a bust of Bill Gates? Naw. It'll resolve. I'll just give it a minute to warm up. It's probably just a gyroscope that fell out of balance or something. So I waited. No luck. My PC box continued screeching. I rebooted without success. I unplugged/replugged it. I gave it a couple of love raps on the housing. Still no luck. Whenever it was powered on, it howled incessantly. How bad was the noise? Imagine Fran Drescher getting fucked in the can by a Clydesdale. Now strap a megaphone on the bitch. Bingo.

The intolerable howl made the computer effectively useless. The problem was the little fan inside the thing went on the fritz. Those little fellas jack-hammer your eardrums when they go bad. I had to fix it. I should mention that my computer was a cheapy eMachine. By this time, they were giving eMachines away with any 50-dollar grocery purchase at Safeway, so I hadn't much to lose when I decided to disable the fan. I popped the cover off the tower, traced a black wire to the little fan and clipped the wire with a pair of nail clippers. MacGyver ain't got shit on me. In fairness, however, MacGyver would have remembered to unplug the computer, thereby sparing himself the small electrical shock I took through the little, metallic tool.

Things worked great after my operation. The computer functioned flawlessly and silently -- for about 10 minutes. I excused myself to pour a Diet Coke. When I returned, the computer lay lifeless. The monitor, a black void. Oh my God. Chips, speak to me. But Chips didn't respond. He couldn't move, beep or flash an error message. He couldn't signal any signs of life. I tried everything. I CNTL+ALT+Del'd, I delivered CPR. I sprayed WD-40 on the motherboard (again, MacGyver would have avoided a small house fire by unplugging the computer before spraying an aerosol lubricant on electronic components). Flatline.

I killed the eMachine with my crude surgery and savage disposition. I was the Michael Vick of computer owners. Oh well, time for a new computer. I figured I may as well bury all my Microsoft Windows problems out in the backyard along with the PC and replace it with my first Macintosh. Macintosh was selling a reasonably priced Mac Mini with the Intel Duo. Now was the time to ascend into a higher lifestyle: the world of Macintosh. Everybody who owned a Mac, loved it. So I followed along.

I loved my new Mac. It was sleek and pretty and stable. It was silver and pearl. It had a remote control and a digital monitor output. It had cool shit that I didn't know what it was for like Bluetooth and Firewire and Airports and shit. Did I mention that it had no fan? Plus, it allowed me to look down my nose at PC users everywhere. There was only one problem: it was slow. It just wasn't that quick. Multitasking was dicey. Sometimes I'd wait damn near a minute to see the contents of a folder. If I liked waiting, I'd date a Catholic girl.

It got to be too much, all the waiting and slow performance and whatnot. So I threw my Mac on eBay and crawled back into bed with Microsoft. I refused to pop for a top-end Mac with the power I crave. Instead, I bought a low-end PC laptop with a dual-core Intel. It's hella fast. My performance problem is solved. Plus, now I can blog as God intended -- from a laptop at the kitchen counter.

So I'm a PC user again, just like you guys. I realize that I may have come off a bit condescending back in my Macintosh Mafia days. If memory serves, I wrote that you all should feel lucky I'm still speaking to you, what on account of me being a highly evolved, super sophisticated Mac user, while you are all still PC simpleton rubes. Sorry about that. Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Now I'm stuck in a world of crappy GUI operating systems, second-rate graphics, antivirus software, firewalls and useless error messages. I'm in Macintosh exile. I've been cast down to live among the little people like a chump.

What's the point of all this? Well, the above anecdote leads me to why I don't have my new post. When I dream up a new joke, an idea for an essay or a bullet mark or whatever, I record it into my digital voice recorder. But sometimes, if my recorder is in my car, which it usually is, I'll jot down ideas on an applet called Sticky Notes. It's a widget for MS Vista. Macintosh had a Sticky Notes program, too, which stands to reason because Microsoft's "designers" are really the guys at Apple who dream all the shit up for Microsoft to steal. Anyway, I used Apple's version with great success. When I reverted to PC, I installed the Sticky Notes program. However, when I recently tried to throw away an outdated sticky note, I accidentally closed the program. Oops. I re-launched the program and found my worst fears realized: all my blog ideas were deleted. Windows didn't give so much as a warning before annihilating all my work for the week. Do you know how many fucking years I've closed down Windows programs only to have that annoying little dialogue box pop up? Are you sure you want to exit this program without saving changes? The one time that pop-up box would have been useful, it's nowhere to be found. Phew! That was a close one, Microsoft. Your software almost helped somebody out!

So, no post. My ideas have been sucked into the pandemonium of a Windows Vista hard drive. I'd have more luck looking for Jimmy Hoffa. But Christmastime is here and I refuse to send you away empty-handed. Here's an old Christmas post regaling readers with my trip to Costco. I hope you like leftovers!


Costco is the reason for the season

Having returned from Costco, I’m happy to report the Christmas Spirit thrives. It hangs thick in the air and infects all who inhale it or imbibe it mixed with an equal portion of liquor. It resonates in the horn-beeps of armed motorists who for a lack of a clean shot stew behind sluggish, wayward motorists in the left lane. It shines in the eyes of the child who gave me the finger on my drive home. Merry Christmas, little fella. I hope Mom and Dad give you the news of divorce this year. And what might that be in your stocking? Are those admission papers to military school? You’re twice blessed, young man.

Retailers hustle all year earning little or no profit merely to survive until the holiday season, where they capture the Spirit along with windfall profits which will keep them afloat until the next year. Likewise, I live for the Christmas Season. It rekindles my heart. It redeems my soul. But most importantly, it moves me to shop at Costco.

My trip began with a gridlock formation in the Costco parking lot. It was the funniest thing. An old man was trying to prove his virility by backing into an empty parking space (the empty space itself was a Christmas Miracle). Had he pulled in, it would have taken a few seconds of everybody’s time. Opting to back in, he exceeded his diminishing driving abilities. It wasn’t long before he found himself in a Christmastime quandary. Through a series of over-corrections, he had wedged himself obliquely between two parked cars. His front end protruded enough to block traffic in both directions. The stationary thoroughfare locked in those Costco patrons trying to back out of their spaces. Several motorists blared their horns in celebration of the Christmas Spirit. Fearing gunplay might accompany the Christmas Horns Medley, I resisted the temptation to join them. I eventually found available parking in the adjacent zip code. The aforementioned driver was ambulanced to St. Joseph’s Medical Center after a road rage battery. Those of you wishing to send a fruitcake can email me for his room number.

I entered the store awash in Christmas Spirit. Several patrons loitered in the entryway while talking on cell phones, rifling through their wallets or attending to other personal matters. They afforded me the opportunity to test my driving skills by maneuvering my shopping cart around a constellation of bovine discount shoppers. Naturally I had to fish my membership card out of my wallet while negotiating the dicey entryway. I had to laugh when the Costco Nazi girl in the Santa hat failed to look at my card as I conspicuously displayed it. Oh, well. It was fun just fumbling for the thing.

As I shopped I encountered several more bovine discount shoppers who in a frenzy of Christmas Spirit cut me off, blocked my forward progress and screened me from whatever merchandise might have taken my interest. They congregated around the food samples and competed for morsels of smoked salmon, potato soup and cheese spread. I can only hope some red and green glass shards found their way into the samples. What are the holidays without the hors d'oeuvres? Merry Christmas.

I finally finished my shopping and proceeded to the checkout lines. I found a short line -- another Christmas Miracle! Well, it was short when I entered it. Fearing I’d be lonely this holiday season, a Marlboro-smoking hag barreled her way in front of me. How thoughtful. But for her, I’d have zipped out of Costco without the opportunity to bask in Christmas cheer. The Marlboro lady didn’t have a cart or any merchandise. Instead she beckoned a son (I assumed after seeing the cart-toting male behind me that a man mustered the courage to copulate with her long enough to reproduce) to insert himself and his wares between me and the cashier. The son initially showed reluctance. He gestured at me. But the Marlboro lady assured him I wasn’t worthy of consideration. After all, I had the nerve to enter the line before she got there. The Christmas Spirit prompted me to yield to the son. I suspected he had enough troubles. I moved along to the next line.

It moved surprisingly fast. Before I knew it I was loading my 9-pack of Duraflame Logs on the conveyor belt along with several food items. The cashier and the bagger both seemed friendly enough. The former uttered a hello before whispering to the latter. It didn’t take long for me to learn that the whispering was about my decision to load the case of logs on the conveyor. Said the bagger “Next time, sir, you can leave the case of logs in the cart. Now Cece has to lift it.” At once I offered to lift the case myself, but it fell on deaf ears. The Christmas Spirit had infected these two like a case of gonorrhea. They wouldn’t hear of it. Instead, they struggled with the case together and placed it back in the cart, all the while flashing me contemptuous looks. I noticed that Cece was wearing a wrist brace. One has to wonder why they’d put a cripple on a warehouse register. Many large and bulky items make there way through checkout. Perhaps a job scrubbing bathroom shitters would prove more befitting an employee in her condition. I made certain to suggest that very thing to the line manager on my way out. Anyway, I wondered whether long hours of cashiering wore her wrist. Perhaps her wrist gave way to the chronic stress of furnishing her boyfriend with hand jobs. But for a possible case carpal-tunnel syndrome, I’d have encouraged her to wipe her ass with her attitude. As a healthcare professional, I couldn’t encourage her to further aggravate her ailment. Conscience got the better of me.

I spent my money and it was time to leave. Costco members know you don’t just stroll out of the building. You have to prove you’re not a shoplifter by presenting your receipt to the Costco Doorman. Usually two lines form -- one for each doorman. Today's group of bovines didn’t understand the “form-a-line” concept. The one doorman was standing there with an idle Sharpie Marker. I saw my chance. I darted past the bovines. Just then the other one -- this one a lady, so what does that make her -- a doorperson? -- shouts “people, we have to form two lines. That’s it. Two lines!” Now I started feeling pangs of guilt. Being as smart as your average kindergartner and knowing how to form a line had put me at an advantage. Consequently I zipped past several patrons who’d arrived before me. I’d be damned if I were going to lie in the moral gutter with the Marlboro lady. So I stopped and gestured several bovines to take cuts. But they didn’t get the message. They just chewed hay and stared. That didn’t stop a lady behind me from thundering past and filling the gap with her big, fat Christmas Spirit. I surmised she had a “Save Tookie” rally to get to. I figured that was more important than my thawing chicken pot pie. I waited my turn. Again.

I eventually made it to the doorman who noticed the Heat Dish in my cart. He disapproved of my purchase. In fact, he questioned my sanity. “All these people are buying these things and it hasn’t even gotten cold yet. Crazy.” He didn’t appreciate the irony that even as he spoke, he was wearing a jacket, snowcap and gloves! I saw he was chock full of Christmas Spirit. So I told him that I hoped Santa would bring him that man-sized penis he’s been hoping for so he can donate the 3rd grader one he currently has to charity.

So ended my trip to Costco and so began my Christmas Season. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am!

Merry Christmas.

12/10/2007

Bullet-ins

  • I saw a guy wearing a novelty t-shirt that read, "Genius by birth. Slacker by choice." The only thing missing was, "Douche bag by wardrobe."
  • I saw a lady shopping yesterday with a walkie-talkie. Rummaging through the discount rack, she conversed with a man on his CB radio. I eavesdropped on the conversation. Turns out the reason for the walkie-talkie was, her husband was currently co-piloting the space shuttle. No cell phone service up there. Still, Captain Blake Reynolds radioed his wife to go ahead and buy the Old Navy winter fleece pull-over in neon orange. Endeavor, all fleece is half-off. Roger that Houston, we are go for savings.
  • There's a new Fight Global Warming commercial featuring a series of kids each looking into the camera and saying, "Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop..." All right, you li'l' bastards. You want to fight global warming? Let's start by taking away your Nintendo Wiis. Those things are made from petroleum and they waste electricity. You put Mario and Luigi on the chopping block and those kids will shut the hell up. By the way, kids, if we see increased hurricane activity this season, we'll have to confiscate your Tickle-Me-Elmo dolls and bury them. Sorry.
  • The vanity mirror on my car's visor should have a message on the bottom: "Warning: boogers in nostrils are larger than they appear." Boy, that would have saved me some embarrassment at last weekend's office party.
  • I saw a bumper sticker that read "Your SUV is fueled by the blood of a dead soldier." So I pulled along side of him, rolled down my window and asked, "Hey, how many miles-to-the-corpse does your Subaru get?" Honestly, some people are too damn cynical.
  • Professional wrestling is becoming more violent. I can't wait for them to create a wrestler whose trademark move is to light his opponent on fire with lighter fluid and a TASER gun. His uniform could be an LAPD officer and a "kiss the cook" barbeque apron. Only he'd better not steal that cheesy line, "Can you smell what The Rock is cookin'?"
  • I Googled "nothing" and got 68,500,000 websites. Then I Googled "infinity" and got a mere 6.3 million sites. According to Google, "nothing" is ten times bigger than "infinity." This is chick-math. I figure the "nothing" search should have read, "Nothing matches your search criteria. Try refining your search." The "infinity" search should have imploded the universe into itself, ceased time and annihilated existence. Google sucks.
  • I digitized my Mozart CD and played it backwards. At approximately 2:34 into Piano Concerto #23 in B-flat Major, I was able to make out the words, "Beethoven takes it up the butt from Bach."
  • Parents use the Santa Claus myth to bamboozle their children into behaving: He's always watching; if you're bad, no gifts. But the hoax backfired on my parents. After I saw all the presents under the tree, I concluded that I had breathing room to behave even worse next year and still get some pretty good shit at Christmastime. One year I electrocuted my little brother and still got a remote control car and an Atari. That pretty much gave me a license to kill. Cool, Santa grades on a curve!

12/05/2007

Dying alone

Are you afraid of dying alone?

The fear of dying alone threads its way through the collective conscience. We all fear it, much like that up-skirt shot of Britney Spears...











Golly, that's one ugly cooter. Anyway, everybody fears dying alone. And this fear gives rise to romantic pursuits. Specifically, it expresses itself in an urge to marry. A spouse, we reason, guarantees us we'll have someone to comfort us at our deathbed, a comrade who can escort us to the Great Beyond. Somebody to hold us, somebody to quell our pain. Somebody who hopefully won't defile our corpse with a Sharpie Marker, some shaving cream and a box of condoms, and post a picture of the prank on Google. So we marry (some of us, 2 or 3 times) simply to preempt a lonely death. Do not underestimate how strongly this fear motivates marriage. Consider: many who've escaped the surly bonds of a dysfunctional marriage are the most anxious to remarry. When friends remind them how miserable they were while married, how desperate they were to be single, they respond with, "Yeah, being single is great. But I don't want to die alone." Such is the power the fear of dying alone has on our psyche.

But Marriage doesn't help. The painful truth is, we all die alone -- unless, of course, you enter a murder-suicide pact. Also, airline pilots and bus drivers who happen to die suddenly while on the job will enjoy the company of 100 screaming friends joining them on their final voyage. Barring these rare exceptions, you depart this universe utterly alone. But do not fret. Dying alone affords a luxury that people fail to appreciate. I'd like to highlight it lest you squander peace of mind while anguishing at the thought of dying alone. It may even dissuade you from marrying the wrong person for the wrong reason.

As death claims us, our bodies are going to do things that require a little privacy. To wit, acute lack of bowel and bladder control accompany a dying body. Whatever gas is present in the alimentary canal will whistle past your listless O-ring. Take my word on this. I work in a hospital. Dying people damn near take the lives of those around them, what with all the noxious gas and bio-hazardous waste belching from either end. It's really gross. Dude, I know you're in a lot of pain and dying and whatnot, but pop a couple Bean-o for Christ's sake.

Scientists have attempted to measure the mass of the soul. They placed dying people on scales and recorded their weights before and after passing. Behold, they detected a slight loss in body mass, post-mortem. They accounted the 21-gram discrepancy to the soul leaving the body. However, these scientists failed to compensate for flatulence and defecation. Further experimentation proved the soul is actually weightless, and that the average flatulence discharge accounted for the 21 grams, plus or minus a turd.

Most of us prefer privacy when we're doing the deed. Hell, that's the reason I never joined the Army (Sir, the Private has finished defecating. Permission to pinch off the loaf, Drill Sergeant, sir... Permission granted, Private. And don't forget to double-flush that shitter, maggot!) No stalls in Army base bathrooms. A $300-billion defense budget and Uncle Sugar can't put stalls in the head? I never understood that. Regardless, dying alone spares us what would be the most embarrassing 10 minutes of our lives. Therein lies the virtue.

I hope I've alleviated the fear of dying alone for my readers, and I hope that they will share what they've learned today with friends and family. Pass it along. We need not fear dying alone. It's a blessing. Growing old is one indignity after another. Thank Goodness that when our indignity is at its zenith, when we're gasping our last breaths, regurgitating our Ensure, soiling ourselves like a gin-soaked Kennedy, and shooting Little Debbie Snack Cakes into our adult diapers, that we're utterly, utterly alone.

11/29/2007

Five things

  • Waiting to pull into traffic, I spotted an oncoming SUV speeding my way. I spied the most charming Christmas decoration on his grill plate -- a wreath illuminated with Christmas lights. How novel! I was charmed that someone was so taken with Christmas spirit that he'd wire his car with lights! But something about me drew his ire: ole Chris Cringle in the SUV gave me the Italian salute. How had I offended him? It was either my gawking, or else he mistook me for a Christmas-loathing Jew. Either way, I made sure to brandish my middle finger in sight of his rear-view mirror. Hava Nagila, scumbag.
  • You know what would make life in America a lot more interesting and fun? The government should grant every citizen 3 prosecution-free homicides. The way it would work is, after you kill the guy, the police respond to the scene and hole-punch your Social Security card, like a drink ticket. If you already have 3 holes, you go to jail. I know I'd use up at least two of mine while shopping at Wal-Mart. How would I do it? Bare-handed strangulation, of course. I'd want to savor the experience. Attention service clerks: clean-up and body retrieval on aisle 14. With any luck, Wal-Mart would have a sale on homicides that day. Two-for-one special. That would be great. I'd have one left over for a guy who wears novelty t-shirts, or maybe Carrot Top.
  • People fret over global warming endangering polar bears. Don't worry about them. I swear on my life, we've got a polar bear here in Tucson, AZ -- in the effing desert! He's at the local zoo, living the life of Riley. I gave him a Snickers Bar just the other day. Ungrateful bastards, those polar bears. After I tossed him the candy bar, he scoffed at me and said, "What the hell is this? Usually you're good for a Slim Jim at least." Up yours, Klondike. You don't hear the rhino complaining about the Pop Tarts I gave him.
  • Human rights activists are up in arms over how we treat enemy combatants at Gitmo. At issue is how we coerce information from detainees without descending to tactics like water-boarding. I say, Why not get them drunk? Certainly an all-night drinking binge and a few dirty magazines don't amount to torture. Instead of water-boarding, make them keg-stand a barrel of Keystone Light. Not only will they spill the beans about terrorism plots, they'll be high-fiving the guards and singing The Star Spangled Banner. The best part is, the next day, they won't even remember what they told us! Built-in counterintelligence. Then we can tell Human Rights Watch to go scratch, that is unless they have a good remedy for a hangover or want to help clean up some vomit.
  • The facts are in. A large percentage of Internet bandwidth is consumed by porn. My question is, When is Apple, Inc. going to wake up and introduce the i-Vagina? And for you ladies -- the i-Brator. Click, click.... Buzzzzzzzzzzzz.

11/27/2007

The rest of your questions, anwered

Here you go, readers. And thank you for all your queries. They were great!


Honest Juanita

Why are facts often met with denial and excuses?

Great question!

I remember the psychological theory called cognitive dissonance from a college psych class I took 10 years ago. Fascinating stuff. I believe it answers your question. I’m working from memory, so I hope I can do the theory justice: CD postulates that we have a drive to keep our beliefs, perceptions and actions in congruency. When the universe presents us with a fact incongruent to our convictions, our brains subconsciously contrive an explanation -- however fanciful -- that allows us to simultaneously maintain our convictions and accommodate the invading fact.

For example, let's consider a reader who maintains that a blogger's works are unfunny, uncreative and lack literary merit -- and who furthermore extends these criticisms to all other bloggers who associate with this blogger. I know what you're thinking: this reader sounds like a real douche bag. I agree. But he serves as a choice example of CD. The reader betrays his convictions by visiting the blog he criticizes hundreds of times, as evidenced by the logged IP address (22.61.133.122, and how are things in Lowell, Mass., anyway?). He never misses a post or an opportunity to comment -- and all this over a month after he swore a "return visit is not in the cards." I've had women propose marriage to me on this blog who don’t visit so much!

Any fool can see he enjoys what he's reading. And nothing’s wrong with that. But according to cognitive dissonance theory, he must maintain his original conviction. So he brings his conflicting beliefs (that what he's reading is rubbish) and behavior (visiting 10 times a day, commenting, devouring every word in ecstatic joy) into alignment by telling himself he's not enjoying a bit of it. Or something more fanciful: that he’s an Agent of Truth charged with the task of identifying substandard writing in the blogosphere. Lacking the gift of wit, he wields clumsy insults at friendly bloggers, and when these bloggers defend themselves, he paints himself as the victim of an unprovoked(!) counterattack. Behold, he’s a martyr. The purpose of the Superhero of Truth fantasy is threefold: it masks his envy-fueled hostility, it brings his frequent visits into congruency with his bogus critiques per cognitive dissonance theory, and it justifies the Underoos Underwear he wears well into adulthood.


Tequila Mockingbird

Why is the cranberry sauce out of the can taste so much better than the home made stuff? is it the botulism? is it just because it's ribbed for pleasure? i can't understand it.

We often try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to food. Sometimes we succeed, but often it’s best to leave food preparation to the experts. Cranberries are gross. The scientists at the cannery have worked long and hard in the laboratory to make cranberry products edible. What you taste out of the can is the miracle of their labors. By all means, do not attempt this at home. These are trained professionals!


QOFD

When you die and God casts you into the fires of hell for that Kunta Kinte remark, do you suppose you might earn flame-retardant gear after a few millenium of frying like a super model lathered in Coppertone?

I appreciate your concern, QOFD. But I’m in luck. God has a sense of humor. If anything condemns me to hell, it won’t be my blog. It’ll be my masturbatory habits!



BottleBlonde (BJ)

Who's your uncle? Michael Jackson? I see the resemblance.

Funny you should ask, BJ. My uncle’s been asking about YOU.


Palm Springs Savant

Why do electrical cords ALWAYS get tangled?

Because they can. Say, when women deliver sextuplets, do you think the umbilical cords get tangled? If those things are anything like my DVD cables, the OBGYN’s life must be a constant hell. Now where the hell is this kid’s cord going...?



Enemy of the Republic

I still don't know why some men are selfish in bed? Perhaps you thought I was referring to their general nature. I wasn't. I'm talking about the men who get what they want and the female might as well be a crater on the moon.

I apologize for the misunderstanding. I suppose it’s because sex is a selfish thing by nature. Sure, it’s nice when she enjoys it, too. But after working so hard and waiting so long, our priority is OUR enjoyment.

A biological perspective may explain things, too. The purpose of sex is procreation. The male must ejaculate in order to fertilize. Women, biologically speaking, need only to lie there and be the receptacle. This was the case until the 1970s, when NOW brought a class-action lawsuit against Mother Nature seeking the creation of the female orgasm (Ref: Pushy Broads vs. M. Nature, 1973). They won on appeal in a 5/4 split.


Midas

I have always wondered why being "homo/gay" is almost as powerful as being called "ni**er". Both have the power to make you lose your job...[Editor’s Note: I’ve replaced the N-word here so that the liberal homos at Google won’t deactivate my account in the name of “tolerance.”]

Good question, Midas. The truth is, everybody’s trying to get in on the act. Blacks had a monopoly on victimization for a long time. And the notion had merit in the past, when this country still had the remnants of vile racism within its laws and in society. But other special-interest groups saw in anti-discrimination efforts a hitherto untapped potential: to lay claim to something without having to earn it. The next thing you know, everybody’s a victim! If you use a prohibited word against a protected class of people, you pay. One day, white heterosexual males will establish themselves as a victimized demographic. And when that day comes, I’m resurrecting Johnny Motherfuckin Cochran from the dead, programming him into my speed-dial, and tapping into our justice system for millions! We’re going to march on your asses!


Call Me Maniac

Why is it that the last drop can never be shaken into the bowl instead of my whites? I've spend as much as 5 minutes before attempting to come home clean but to no avail... What can I do?

Indeed, you can’t shake that last drop, Maniac. But you can enjoy trying.


I Dig Hootch and Cootch

Will my neon yellow "Choose Life" t-shirt ever come back in fashion?

I doubt it. Life -- human life, at least -- isn’t very popular nowadays. Haven’t you heard? We’re destroying the planet with our “carbon footprints.” By that rationale, every aborted child makes for a greener earth.

But neon yellow is a fine color, especially for automobiles, which coincidentally are destroying the earth, too. Come to think of it, IDHaC, you’d go further wiping your crack with that t-shirt than waiting for it to come back in style.


Mo

How do I tell my non-handwashing after peeing/pooping co-worker that he's a nasty sonofabitch without getting myself fired and/or looking like a total bitch?

I have three ideas. None of them are very pleasant:

1) Sprinkle glitter on his junk. Then he’ll have to wash his hands, or else resign to looking like a fruitcake.

2) Give him a case of herpes, then remind him that if he fails to wash, he risks spreading it to his mouth when he eats.

3) Give him an embarrassing nickname, like “Edward Pisserhands.” Use as necessary until the sick bastard runs some water over those soiled digits.



Top Cat

How did I get over here?

You accidentally found my blog by Google-ing the search string “Frightening Cum Butts.”


Tornwordo

Were you serious about the Holocaust and shaving your bean bag?

No and yes.

I believe the Holocaust happened exactly as history recounts. How can six million Jews be wrong? Open-minded Colombia University recently invited the leader of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to guest-speak and inform the world that the Holocaust is a canard (no invitations yet from Colombia to invite Global Warming “deniers” to speak. Go figure.). But Ahmadinejad also denied Iran has gay people. Not one single gay fella in a nation of millions. I figured Ahmadinejad himself was gay based on his suit. Have you seen it? It makes him look like a Persian Pet Shop Boy!

As far as my beanbag, I resisted the trend as long as I could. But that’s the way the wind’s blowing. And speaking of blowing, that’s what chicks want to see when they’re on the job.

Both sexes are shouldering the others’ encumbrances. Women are discovering the “equal opportunities” of paying bills, 60-hour workweeks, office politics, self-identity deriving from career success, the dangers of military service, paying child support and alimony, and other traditional male “privileges.”

Men, meanwhile, are struggling with their new role as sex objects: coiffed hair and nails, aerobics, body spray, shaved genitals, and finding the perfect pair of shoes to match an outfit.


MsPuddin

Is there really such a thing as blue-balls?

Only when it’s really, really cold outside. Otherwise, no.

11/20/2007

Thanksgiving post and YOUR QUESTIONS

Dearest readers: Below is a Thanksgiving post from 2005. I reprised it for T-Day '06 and it appears again this year. I couldn't wait until the end of the holiday weekend to answer your questions. So, immediately following the T-Day post is the first batch. It's not too late to submit a question. I'll publish the next batch after Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

This Thanksgiving, I'm reflecting on how thankful I am for all my wonderful readers, their comments and their blogs. Some of us go back almost 3 years now. For these last three years, one of my greatest joys has been reading your works. Your blogs are must-reads, right up there with the editorial columns at Drudge Report.com and Internet porn.

Even after all this time, I feel such excitement when I click on my comments and discover what you guys think. So thanks a million for those, and for being such entertaining writers and good friends. I hope we meet someday. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and eat way too much good food. Enough of this faggy crap. Here's the Thanksgiving Day Post:


11/16/2005
Some thougts on Thanksgiving

Every Thanksgiving I get to thinking about the Indians. I wonder if they celebrate Thanksgiving. I don’t imagine so. The way I see it, Thanksgiving is like their Pearl Harbor Day -- nothing to celebrate. Let’s just hope Indians don’t retaliate with an atomic bomb like we did! Ah, why worry? They’re way to poluted with "fire water" to split an atom. Good luck, Chief Tumbling Dice!

Being a paleface, I love Thanksgiving. I enjoy the way we celebrate with lots of food. Thanksgiving is the time of year I wish I had 4 stomachs, like a cow. That would be great. As long as I had a crapper near by, I could eat non-stop by circulating my four stomachs. Come to think of it, better throw in a couple extra poop shoots. You don’t want to bottleneck the system. If I break off the bigger part of the wishbone, I’m going to wish for that -- and for my enemies to be in pain, and a bigger penis if the wishbone can get around to it.

I love the kinds of food you find at a Thanksgiving feast. Turkey is traditional fare. Cooked correctly, it’s lean, tender and juicy meat. Some people claim an ingredient in turkey acts as a sedative and induces slumber. I’m skeptical. I account the after-meal drowsiness to stuffing one’s gullet with a lawn bag-full of food, and all the hooch in the egg nog. Here’s a tip for this year’s feast: marinating the turkey in Rock Star and seasoning with crushed No-Doze offsets the drowsiness. After all, you’ll need your wits for those inevitable family fights -- another Thanksgiving staple. I always pocket a shard of wishbone in case I have to stab my drunk uncle in the neck and make a quick getaway. That’s another tip I’d like to share.

I love egg nog, too. Eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and your favorite liquor. It’s chock full of calories. I drank two glasses of egg nog last Thanksgiving and didn’t recover my appetite until Cinco De Mayo. It’s filling stuff. We could nourish the entire continent of Africa with a few pints of egg nog. Happy Kwanza, Kunta Kinte. Drink up. Incidentally, I pride myself on being a non-judgmental person. But if Africans celebrated Christmas instead of Kwanza, God wouldn’t let them starve.

After a huge meal, the family has to unbutton their pants to accommodate full bellies, all except my uncle, a Class 2 sex-offender who remains under court-order not to unbutton his pants within 50 feet of a minor. Unbuttoned pants are the hallmark of a good meal, aren’t they? That, or a really good adult website. I can barely move by Thanksgiving evening on account of my alimentary canal being full of food. But who needs to ambulate when you’ve got all those wonderful Christmas specials on TV? Every time I watch Macaulay Culkin get his genitals caught in the food processor while watching himself in the mirror, I laugh my ass off. “Agggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” It just keeps getting funnier every year. Some people think it’s the cologne he applies to his face. Not true. This year, pause your TiVo and look at the bottom of the screen. Freggin’ pervert is copulating with a Proctor Silex Salad Pro.

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. Enjoy, Turkey.


And now, for your questions from the previous post:


NWJR

Please explain life's greatest mystery: the enduring popularity of "America's Funniest Home Videos".

I think it's because AFHV offers the audience something rare in today’s programming: Innocence.

I'm thinking about the shows I love: Weeds, Dexter, Sopranos, Six Feet Under, King of the Hill, Family Guy, American Dad. One glorifies drug use. The other makes a serial killer the protagonist. The third features death and familial dysfunction. The forth celebrates amorality, organized crime and violence -- along with interludes of mental disorders. The others satirize American values and traditional family life.

They're all tremendous shows -- very entertaining -- but they do leave a void, especially if you have children. AFHV fills a niche in the broadcast market. It's harmless fun. It shows families at their best -- laughing, loving each other, enjoying their pets, their homes, their loved ones.

I personally hate it. Always have. But I understand why people watch.


Zendenzien

What the hell does "waiting for the other shoe to drop" mean?

The cliché means, another unfortunate event -- sequential in a series -- is pending. I'm not sure from where the idiom derives. I am certain, however, it is unrelated to the condition of waiting for the other testicle to drop. The latter is a good thing when it finally happens.


Random Moments

How can I get my adult, supposedly professional boss to not dribble on the floor when going in our shared, unisex bathroom?

It may surprise you to learn you're suffering God's wrath. God intended two separate bathrooms for the two sexes. Then some busybody cunt won a lawsuit and forced us all into the same crapper. God doesn't give a hang about the ACLU and He answers to no judge. Instead, He miracles men's penises to dribble to and fro when urinating in unisex bathrooms.

I sympathize with you, RM. Can I suggest capri pants or a business-length skirt?


Roxrocks

What should I be now that I am an alleged grownup? (Keep in mind I am very lazy...)

Great question! And my answer is, as little as possible. You'll find most of your plans won't work out, anyway. In fact, most of what we plan underwhelms or backfires. Therefore, the less you do, the further along you'll go.

Isn't that great news for us lazy people?


Dan O.

Where did the concept of "bad" words come from? What makes them bad? Why is fornication okay, but not fuck, feces, but not shit, rectum, not asshole, etc. ad infinitum?

I've wondered this myself. I figure it's because people insist that certain things be handled with delicacy -- things like sexuality, the human body and Our Creator.

Refraining from "bad" words is a lot like wearing a yarmulke in a synagogue or removing your shoes before entering a temple or lowering your head in prayer. It has no practical reason. It's a gesture of respect.

Prohibiting words coveys reverence to whatever those words describe. It's a tactic for commanding respect. It may seem arbitrary. It often is. Consider political correctness, which reaches beyond vulgar slang and prohibits innocuous words like: black, Eskimo, lady, gal, illegal alien, retarded, oriental, manpower, etc. NONE of these words indicates malice. Yet some people demonize them. Their intent is to inflate the importance of the object to combat a perceived persecution. It's a game. And that's why it can be so frustrating.

This is a great question, Dan O. I wish I could have done it justice.


Tequila Mockingbird

Why do people have such a problem with the word midget?

See above, TM.


Enemy of the Republic

Why are some men so selfish in bed?

If you go to bed with a selfish man, you wake up with a selfish lover. And so many women are so willing to do just that!


Jack K

How high is up?

"Up" is a relative term. So "up" is anything higher than the observer. If you're frying Chicken McNuggets while grease bubbles explode in your face, and the McBoss promotes you to the McRegister, you've taken a step up. On the other hand, if you were the vice president of a sub-prime mortgage broker and after being laid off, you're working the register at McDonald's for McChump-change, you've fallen down a few rungs on The Man's ladder. Relativity at work.


MsPuddin

When will it be socially acceptable for women to fart?

You're in luck, MsPuddin. It already is. As long as you're not in an elevator at the time.

Men are practical creatures. We love to hear women fart. Why? If you fart on the first date, you'll fuck on the first date. Hell, you might even be up for a three-way with your hot friend. Just don't break wind during that, missy.


Raggedy

Actually, I was just wondering how the hell the E. Coli gets in our gut in the first place.

Lacking epidemiology credentials, I can only guess. I think E. Coli comes from the swing shift crew at fast food franchises everywhere. They blaze up a fatty, toke up and forget to clean the grill. Thanks for the 3-day vomiting spell, Antwon.

How many sheets of paper can one tree make?

According to the National Society of Paper Products & Textiles: "...if you were to place side-by-side all the 8.5 x 11-inch paper yielded from a mature, healthy oak tree, you'd have enough to cover 90% of Rosie O'Donnell's fat ass."

Is reality confined to what is in principle perceptible to the senses?

No.

Our senses (hearing, sight, touch, taste) are a merger of physics and biology. Reality extends beyond the laws of physics, and it certainly extends beyond the province of biology.

Although I wonder if one's sense of humor encapsulates reality. I'll have to smoke a little more dope before I contemplate that.


Ari

Should I continue trying to locate a man who is my equal or better in wit and intelligence, while still remaining fat and sassy, or get costly, annoying gastric bypass surgery (which will do little to lessen the sassiness)?

A woman's fate is to marry beneath her. Abandon all efforts to discover an equal man at once. Instead, seek a man who doesn't infuriate you or nauseate you. If you can find him, consider yourself lucky. You're ahead of 90% of women.

And avoid gastric bypass surgery. I see many GP patients with complications at the clinic. If you insist on surgery, may I suggest breast augmentation?

Supposing I do, is marriage even worth the trouble?

The appealing thing about marriage is, you're going to get laid, even if it's only once in a while. That's reason enough for me!

Will you seriously post about your life o' hell at Osco? Please?

Yes I will. That's a wonderful idea. I can't believe I hadn't thought of it.


R.E.H.

If a person reeks for any reason, and appears not to be aware of this... do I tell them? And, if so, how do I go about letting them know?

Ah, I love questions of etiquette. Let me share with you what I find an effective fix for stinky people. I wait for them to begin speaking to me. Then I interrupt them with my raised index finger -- body language for "give me just a minute, please." I then produce a pine tree air freshener from my personal effects and thumbtack it to the odoriferous person's breastbone. I sniff the air and confirm the effectiveness of the air freshener. Finally, I invite the neutralized farm animal to continue: "You were saying, scumbag?"


Preposterous Ponderings

Why do guys scratch themselves so damn much?

God has a sense of humor. He put body hair in the same places we 1) excrete from and 2) are sexually attracted to. Good one, my Lord! Anyway, whether one goes al-natural or shaves, it's going to itch. My beanbag is shaved as bald as an Abercrombie and Fitch model's chest. It still requires a fly-by scratching once every few minutes. Sorry ladies.


Bone Sucker

If car A leaves Seattle at 3pm and car B leaves Boston at 5pm at what time do I care?

I suspect you haven't cared since high school algebra class, and I'm doubtful you cared even then!

Why doesn't glue stick to the bottle?

The same reason politicians don't stick to their promises: they're both full of horse shit!

If a vice is a bad habit, what is a versa?

Versa is an Italian broad who, should you fail to keep your distance, will give you the clap. Or as they say in Italian, "Clapella."

What do you do with a perpetual 1-upper?

Two-time them. If it doesn’t work, then three-peat.

If I spin counterclockwise fast enough, can I reverse time?

No. But if you spin cycle, you can achieve orgasm.

What is the square root of -1?

i

Can you explain the string theory?

String theory postulates that anything worthwhile comes with strings attached.

Would you rather be right or happy?

Being right makes me happy. But being happy feels so right. So I guess either one will do.

When are we going to be allowed to SAY fart, let alone do it!!??

Of course you can say it. We've never held women to account for what they say (Good news, Hillary!), merely how they smell.


Superstar

Why does Honest Juanita feel it necessary to be right about EVERYTHING?!?!?

We all feel the need to be right. It's human. Unfortunately, finding fault with others is all-too-often how some go about convincing themselves. The lower our self-esteem, the greater the temptation to find fault in others.

At what point did tipping a server 20% become the "norm" and not the "hey you gave me outstanding service" bonus for a job well done?

Roughly the same time engagement rings should cost "2 months' salary."


Just a Girl

Why is daylight saving time not observed in Arizona?

Because we've got enough damn daylight here; we don't need any more!

How important is giving a good blow job in the success of a relationship?

I hope not much. I know I'd be just horrible at those.

Can you purchase tequila with the worm?

I think the worm has gone out of style. Nowadays, they're putting a cucaracha at the bottom of the bottle.


Raggedy

I want a quick easy fix to stop hubby from SNORING!

Nothing cures snoring like a good, spontaneous blowjob. So start sucking. (Hey, Just a Girl: I guess blow jobs ARE important to a relationship.)


Doug

How many licks odes it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

Based on my research, which amounted to an 18 year-old Japanese school girl in a too-small uniform dancing provocatively in front of an Internet camera while licking a Tootsie Pop, I say about 42 strokes, er, uh, 42 licks. Forty-two licks.


Stacey the Peanut Queen

Why is it that in Playboy, all the women are smokin' hot with hardly a flaw...but in Playgirl, I see...um...I mean...I've heard that the male models sometimes can be seen with pimples on their asses.

Women are more forgiving than men, and more tolerant to physical imperfections. Playgirl publishers understand this. Moreover, there is a shortage of unblemished male asses. Any guy who's taken gym class in high school knows this.


Someone's wife

The Honey, the hubby, or scrap it all move to someplace warm and start again?

I know what my female readers are thinking: if you have a honey AND a hubby, stay put right where you are! Furthermore, it should be plenty warm between the two of them.


Sassy Blonde

Why are boobs such a fascination for men? I mean, so many of them gain a few pounds and get their own, so does the fascination then shift to themselves?

You know how you love nice eyes, a great smile and a sense of humor in men? Well, that's exactly how we feel about boobs. We see them and our brains broadcast the message: Jackpot!


Emmak

[Men] are very basic organisms and they spend very little time on the traditional female pursuits of overanalyzing relationships etc. Please clarify for me once and for all that the inside of men's heads are chock full of breasts, pussies and er...what else, if anything?

Why, Emmak. How dare you reduce men to sex-crazed simpletons? You forgot about football, auto repair, beef jerky and action movies. See? We're pretty sophisticated.

By the way, we DO analyze our relationships with women -- in private. But just as we'll never reveal we're lost by asking for directions, we'll never reveal how desperate we are by analyzing our relationship with the broad we're trying to keep banging.


MILF Gone Wild

Are you attracted to older women? If so, you and me babe, how about it?

Why, yes. I love older women so much that I married one.

Have you had a lot of experience with older women and are they better in bed? If you have slept with an older woman are they less of a pain in the arse than some of the younger ones?

Yes, yes and yes. By the way, at 34, you're not the "older woman" just yet. By all means, continue being a young pain-in-the-ass.


Karen

What percentage of men think a camel toe/moose knuckle is attractive?

We all feel the same way: we're equally turned on and appalled by it at the same time.

11/19/2007

Kiss my beanbag, Ann Landers

Do you have a problem? How about an ethical dilemma? A wonderment or curiosity? A difficult choice to make? An unidentified skin ailment? Having trouble navigating your career or love life? Does something have you mystified? Are you stuck at the verge of a great scientific or philosophical discovery? Do you need a blog topic?

Now is your chance to get help. Lightning Bug’s Butt is currently fielding all queries (that’s exotic French talk for “questions”) for discussion in an upcoming blog post. Go ahead, ask LBB. Think of me as Ann Landers, only without all the electric, middle-aged sex appeal. Oh, also, I don’t renounce Christianity and crack wise about the Pope, religious icon of 700 million Catholics. And also, I don’t endorse prostitution like that senile old whore, Ann Landers. Come to think of it, don’t think of me as Ann Landers at all. Imagine me as the overbearing, back-handing husband Ann Landers should have had to keep her in line and out of print.

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed mental health practitioner. I am not a professional counselor. I don't presume to have all the answers to life's problems (unlike that haughty Ann Landers). In fact, I'm still trying to master some basic life skills such as:

  • mastering mishap-free urination without raising the toilet seat. (the holy grail of bathroom etiquette).
  • mentally compensating for trailing automobiles whose reflections in the mirror depict them as closer than they appear.
  • successfully using Glad's Yellow-And-Blue-Make-Green technology for sandwich bags. (I wrestle with those things for 30 minutes or so and the closest I've gotten was an odd, mauve line with red splotches).
  • mixing the perfect margarita (either I use too much mixer or, I err on the other side and wake up in a Mexican jail cell. Hola otra vez, Capitan Diego).
  • refraining from laughter at the sight of another’s misfortune.
  • allowing Ann Landers to rest in peace and free from posthumous libel.
  • Coexisting in a world with Glade Plug-ins and bottled water.
  • Believing in silly notions such as global warming, the Holocaust and "women astronauts."
...and many other shortcomings.

My point is, please read my responses for entertainment purposes only. Or, if you find a particle of merit in the advice, apply it to your life without delay!

I look forward to your questions. With such a bright and lively readership, this project promises to be a piece de resistance. Please know that I’ll publish your (brief, concise) questions along with my response. I’m hoping for a large body of whiz-bang inquiries. So feel free to take your time and revisit. Serve me up a real doozy. I’ll post my annual Thanksgiving Day essay later this week while I contemplate your questions and write my responses. Then after the holiday I’ll publish them, perhaps in a series of installments, should the volume of questions require it. I hope you have as much asking as I will responding.

Anticipating your question,

LBB.

11/15/2007

Thanksgiving dinner

Check it out. These fellas make a habit of visiting my home every trash night. As I took this picture I was karate kicking the rest of the javelinas off me (they travel in packs of about 8). They savaged my shins with their tusks, but I got the better of them. I slugged the one on the left in the gut (the flashbulb prompted him to charge) and sent him hurling into the desert. I've seen Enter the Dragon 34 times. Taste my pain, bitch.

As you know, Thanksgiving is approaching. I usually roast a turkey, but this year, inspiration struck.

Tonight I've set up a high-tech gizmo. It involves a stick, a crate box, a long segment of string, and some prickly pear fruit as the bait. If all goes as planned, I'll entrap one of these savage beasts. Hopefully I won't tip them off as I hold vigil in the shrubbery with my wireless laptop. Don't mind the strange, glowing bush, little fella. Don't you want to eat that succulant cactus fruit?

My trap will work. Few know the javelina is the most gullible creature in the desert. I once talked a Javelina out of an Almond Joy bar he found in the desert by telling him they put pork byproducts in them, just like Slim Jims. Sucker.

Anyway, after I catch him, I'll give him a shave, knock back a few drinks with him (javelinas prefer tequila around the holidays), sing some old western folk songs (javelinas have beautiful singing voices and a great ear for harmony) console him for being naive enough to fall for the oldest trap in history, and then, when T-Day arrives, his rodent ass is going in my turkey fryer!

Mature javelinas go about 55 pounds. That's more than I can eat. So if you're one of my favorites, I might Fed-Ex you a package of javelina jerky for holidays. A little taste of desert living from me to you.

What's next on LBB: I have an LBB advice post coming tomorrow where you share your problems and I'll offer solutions. I'll also reprise my Thanksgiving Day post which has become a tradition.
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11/12/2007

Bullet-ins

  • Warren Buffet, the second-richest man in the world, plans to leave no money to his kin. His kids and grandkids won't see any of his fortune, most of which is already committed to charity. If I were one of his grandkids, I'd threaten him. "Hey Grampa Warren, if you don't give me a 7-figure cut, I’m telling the press that I caught you in bed with a sailor back in 1974."
  • Here's my abstract of the television show, Heroes: Generation X-ers watch as X-men meets X-files.
  • Never pay asking-price at a yard sale. Remember, everything at a yard sale is shit they'll have to haul to the dump if it doesn't sell. Everything must go. And nowadays, it's shit that won't even sell on eBay, so you know you've got them by the short-and-curly's. When I go to yard sales, I like to imagine myself as royalty, sifting through my subjects' shoddy belongings and family heirlooms. "Do you wish to eat bread this week, my royal subjects? Then you won't scoff at my offer: 2 dollars for the Weber grill, and you shall dance for me like dogs as well. Dance. Dance so that you might eat." Then, when they ask me to leave, I return the two dollars to my billfold and laugh with the contemptuous mirth of a king.
  • Here's a product conspicuously absent from the drug aisle: 'taint cream.
  • L.A. Fitness is a wildly successful health club chain throughout the Southwest. I opted for its sister franchise, East L.A. Fitness. Its main equipment is a big wall you practice scaling and jumping over. They also have a sewage-laden lap pool you swim across while still wearing your clothing and towing a garbage bag full of your belongings. They don’t allow Spandex bicycle pants, just tattered Levi’s jeans and a flannel shirt. Se habla Espanol, muthafucka.
  • Do you know what pisses me off? Screwdrivers. Not the drink, that actually helps soothe the anger, but the tool. Phillips or Regular? What the fuck is with two different kinds of screwdrivers? That, right there, is a microcosm for life and all its aggravating splendor. When you need a phillips, you have a regular and vice versa. I don’t care which one we go with. Both work great. Just stick to the one. Some of you think you can get around this. You try to insert a flathead into one of the slots of the phillips screw. But that never works. The flathead won’t fit into a phillips slot unless it’s too narrow, so it slips to and fro and strips the phillips screw. Now, nothing will work! And I won’t even start with the allen wrench. Fuck Mr. Allen, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Flathead. While I’m letting it rip here, who invented ball-peen hammers? How much chemical adhesive do you have to sniff before a rounded hammer makes sense? I’d like to beat the guy who invented the ball-peen hammer -- with a ball-peen hammer. “Hey look buddy. We finally found a use for the dumb-ass tool you invented.” Man, I hate tools. I have this yearning to kick Bob Villa in the crotch right about now.
  • There’s a great motto capturing the experience of military combat veterans: All Gave Some; Some Gave All. That same motto, coincidentally, applies to the varsity cheerleading squad at my old high school.
  • On my commute to work I pass two radar speedometer signs that publish my speed as I drive by. Here’s a waste of municipal resources. I don’t need a sign. I already have a speedometer. Why stop there? How about a billboard that reads “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear?” Are they trying to threaten me? I passed a speed sign yesterday and it read “Your Speed: 75.” Thank you very much. You’ve saved me the agony of glancing down at my speedometer. Oops, I’m in a school zone.
  • I think Burger King should do a commercial with that Journey song, Anyway You Want It:” Any way you want it, that’s the way you EAT it, any way you want it... She said hooooo... oooh...oooo, ohhhhhhhhh... hold the onions.

11/06/2007

Three little pigs

  • I'm a horrible gambler. A friend and I started watching a 5-disk documentary on the Civil War. I bet him 20 bucks that the South would win. Oops. Also, I made a side-bet that Fredrick Douglass would turn out to be the bad guy in the film. I can't win for losing! By the way, I hear J.K. Rowling is making her own Civil War documentary. In her version, Abe Lincoln is a pickle licker.
  • I read in the news today that a Japanese woman leapt from a building and committed suicide. Problem is, she landed on some poor bastard pedestrian. Question: if the lady was aiming for the pedestrian, is it technically a murder-suicide, or a kamikaze?
  • I hate when newscasters use the "N-word" to indicate, well, the N-word. Even the kids in Harry Potter learned to say the word Voldemort. Yeah, Voldemort was able to track them down, but they survived his wrath. That's just fantasy, anyway. Why are we afraid to say the N-word? It's not like Tupac is going to hear it, rise from the dead and cast some Rastafarian voodoo spell on us.

11/02/2007

Gratifident

There ought to be a word for a fortunate accident, something that gratifies even though you were trying to prevent it. Gratifident, gratify + accident. How's that for a new word? I don't know. Anyway, here are some examples of what I mean:

Imagine you're drinking a chocolate milkshake. It's too thick for a straw, so you're drinking from the cup. You tilt the glass (or better still, that metal container from the electric mixer -- why does it taste so good to drink it from that thing?). As you drink, you peer down the glass. Lo and behold. There's a glut of ice cream settled on the bottom. Coaxing the milkshake to ooze down while taking care not to dislodge the ice cream bomb, you tap, tap, tap the back of the glass. Tilt, tilt. Tap, tap, tap... careful... careful... Whoops! Splat!... the glut of ice cream breaks way, slides down and slaps you in the mouth like a pair of D-cup titties. Now you've done it. You've got a mouthful of decadent ice cream flooding your mouth, cheeks, and chin. You just made a gratifident -- a gratifying accident.

Bodily functions can be gratifidents. Burps and farts, though accidental, can prompt laughter and fun, given you're not in an elevator at the time. And believe it or not, premature ejaculation can be a gratifident, too. You get what you want and you can still catch Leno's monologue. Ah, did I tag you in the face with that one, darling? Heads-up for next time!

Here's another gratifident. Have you ever accidentally beeped your car horn? Sometimes I'll reach for my turn indicator or a new CD or my penis or something, and I'll accidentally press the horn. A little honk escapes. Likely, the guy in front of me hears it. For a split second you feel embarrassed. Oops. You feel sorry for the disturbance, and you hope he won't take it personally. Maybe you give him a little "I'm sorry" gesture, similar to the "thank-you wave" when another motorist lets you turn or change lanes. Just then, he gives you the Italian Salute. Va Fungu! He doesn't care whether it was a mistake. He flips you the bird or flashes you the "are-you-a-fuckin'-dumbass?" face. He beeps his horn -- a long, dragged-out beep reeking of hostility. Then he taps his brakes. He decelerates his vehicle to an obnoxiously slow pace. He'll give YOU something beep at, pal! By now you realize this guy was an unidentified asshole and you were lucky enough to give him what he deserves preemptively! Now, you feel downright satisfied that you aggravated the jerk. Feel free to take down his license plate and make an anonymous call to the police. Tell dispatch you're pretty sure you saw him with an underage girl and that both parties were drinking beer while the driver brandished a firearm. Beep, beep, jag-off!

Oversleeping can be a gratifident. Sometimes you need an extra hour or two of sleep. Your body decides to take it without your consent. You wake up late. You fret and worry, but then you realize you're not late that often. You have plenty of vacation time. Your role at work isn't terribly important anyway. Also, you're surprisingly well rested and lucid for a change. Plus, you arrive at work to a shortened workday. The irony is, if the boss or your colleagues are cranky because you showed late, it's probably because they're tired from lack of sleep. Here you are doing the responsible thing, getting enough rest and arriving at work cheerful and energized for the afternoon workaday, and they're throwing a wet blanket over your cubicle. Screw them!

Gratifident, n. Gratify + accident. Definition: a gratifying accident.

Spread it around.

10/30/2007

Bowling for Jesus?

Today's Chautauqua is about follow-through.

When I was young, I belonged to a Saturday bowling league. Our team had half a dozen kids, all aged about 8 years or so. Every Saturday, all teams paired off and competed for dominance and advancement up the league roster. The contest took 2 hours -- which is to say, about 15 minutes of bowling sprinkled within 1 hour and 45 minutes of hijinks. Bowling is mostly just killing time while others bowl. Between turns, we often caused trouble. My favorite bit of mischief was producing the sound of flatulence by compressing my hands over the air hand drier. Also, projecting a larger-than-life silhouette of your middle finger onto the overhead score card was an entertaining diversion. Eff you, Brunswick! "Accidentally" timing your ball to collide with the pin-setter mechanism had to be done sparingly, lest management intervene, but it was a sure crowd-pleaser if one could pull it off. I found an off-speed 12 lb. ball produced a pleasant, resonating tone as it struck the metal pin sweeper, something the whole bowling alley could enjoy. Other kids opted for a maximum velocity 8-pounder. I found this practice cheap, second-rate and anything but subtle. Vandalizing bowling equipment is a fine art.

I wasn't the best bowler on my team. The truth is, I sucked. I ranked above only one other bowler on my team, and I believe he was mildly retarded. Bowling frustrated me. It looks deceitfully easy. I would peer down the glossy strip of wood paneling at the 10 helpless pins and ask myself, How hard can this be? Roll the ball straight down the lane and clobber them? It's not like the pins can dodge the ball or put up a fight. Hell, hitting the head pin should be easier than pegging the fat girl in a game of dodgeball.

Nevertheless, I earned the name "Gutter Ball." My average hovered well below 100 (a respectable goal for a kid bowler). My frequent gutter balls were a source of embarrassment. Nothing infuriated me like watching my ball slip into the gutter and skid and shimmy down the alley, unless, of course, it collided with the 5,000 dollar pin-setter, in which case it was a riot. Still, my crappy bowling drew much ridicule from the other kids. And I wasn't improving. I was handicapping my team.

My mom drove me to league bowling and occasionally stayed to watch. She was a good bowler in her day. And I would enjoy the good fortune of her counsel. One day she watched me stink up the lane with gutter balls and crappy shots that claimed only a few pins per frame. Then she resolved to teach me the importance of follow-through. Hitherto, I saw my mom as a nuisance. Moms aren't that cool to 8 year old boys. Even those liberated moms who buy the kids beer and make drunken sexual advances at them aren't cool until about the age of 14. Before the onset of adolescence, boys leave their moms with very few options for achieving coolness. So it was with my mom and me at the bowling alley. Ideally, my mom would remain quiet, anonymous, and watch my game from the back of the alley, presenting herself only long enough to provide cash for the vending machines and cafeteria.

On this day, she violated the rules. She was seated right behind the ball return, keeping score. As I tossed another stinker down the lane, she’d shout, "Follow through, Richie. Follow through!"

What? What did she mean, "follow through?" I couldn't even roll the damn ball in a straight line and hit a few miserable pins. I wasn't in the mood for vague instructions. I was embarrassed enough already. Shut up, mom.

Then she committed blasphemy. As my bowling buddies watched, she escorted me up to the line, stood behind me, took me by the waist and wrist and reduced me to a bowling puppet. I sensed an ass-kicking from the fellas pending! Already fuming from a dozen frames of dismal bowling, I scoffed through the lesson. But as she guided my wrist straight upward after the release, I finally understood what she meant by "follow-through." I just didn't see the merit in it yet.

I retorted: It doesn't matter what the hell I do after I release the ball. The shot is already done. After releasing the ball, I could dance an Irish jig while reciting dirty limericks and the ball wouldn't give a damn. It already has its trajectory. It's deaf to all entreaties (I didn't say those exact words, but that was the substance of it). I argued that it couldn't possibly matter what I do after I release the ball.

She contradicted me: From a physical standpoint, you're right. Once you release the ball, it acts according to Newtonian physics. But alas, what you plan doing after your release affects what you do before the release. And this has a great deal of bearing on your bowling game. Herein lies the value of follow-through (these weren‘t her exact words, but that was the gist).

I was desperate. I took her advice. The results were instantaneous. Following through on my bowling stroke, I produced a series of dead-on, straight shots. I was knocking down pins. No more gutter balls! What's more, I was striking the pins near the pocket. With an occasional spare or strike, I could reach the 100-point mark. Wow, Mom knew something useful after all. Thanks, Mom. Now get the hell out of here. You’re embarrassing me. Go buy me some candy or a dirty magazine or something.


I wonder if religious faith is a sophisticated kind of follow-through. Religion, especially Christianity, is the subject of ridicule and scorn. The argument against religion is, it's not scientific. It doesn't stand the test of reason. Its tenets cannot be verified through experiment. It's blind faith! (How refreshing it would be to see these arguments aimed squarely at yoga!) People with religious convictions are often perceived as rubes (or worse, potential criminals). Those with rational, scientific minds, the independent thinkers (read: smarter), often hold religion in contempt. Churches are chocked full of simpletons.

It’s true. Religion doesn't withstand the rigors of scientific investigation. But neither does a proper bowling stroke, or golf swing, or a free-throw shot. Science dictates that the projectiles in these sports follow the laws of Newtonian physics. But we can demonstrate statistically -- through scientific experiment -- that proper follow-through and form improve performance. There's more to it than mere science! Many unscientific practices yield results: Public speakers give better speeches by imagining the audience in their underwear. Marathon runners imagine their bodies floating in frictionless cylinders. Impoverished entrepreneurs imagine the millions are already in the bank. Singers imagine singing above an imaginary pencil clenched in their teeth. Everyone's familiar with the success philosophy, Act as if -- a practice that has you actively ignoring the facts around you and make-believing success. Are all these people dupes, simpletons, fools, Fox News fans?

While the dogma of whatever religion may not be true (Did human life begin with Adam and Eve? Did God really flood the earth? Did Christ turn water to wine? Did that Gazoo fella really appear before Fred Flintstone when he and Barney were in a quandary?) the virtues of religion are realistic. They can be proved, observed. Who doesn't behave a little better when he remembers God is watching him? I recently thumbed through my 4 high school yearbooks and read the entries of the Twenty Most Likely to Succeed students. The majority of these students (80 in all) cited their faith in God or Jesus Christ as the impetus for their success. And I thought they were just nerds and Jesus freaks!

Just like follow-through is important in bowling or golf, so might focus on the afterlife improve one's motions through this life. Was it just a statistical anomaly that the majority of those 80 students cited God, or that religious people as a whole tend to be decent, happy and successful? Or are religious fables packaged with useful life lessons. A lot of religious people, I'll suspect, intuit their religious faith is allegory. Pinned down by debate or interrogation about the existence of God, religious people may reveal their doubts. They may find it hard to fathom the stories of Moses marching down the mountain with Ten Commandments, or the Burning Bush, or Christ rising from the dead, or God keeping a ledger of good and evil deeds. But they choose to believe them because these allegories reinforce virtues; believing helps lead a better life.

Maybe this is why so many athletes are religious. If my livelihood depended on rolling a strike, hitting a little white ball moving 96 mph or pole-vaulting 22 feet in the air, I'd kiss the little gold cross around my neck beforehand, too.

10/22/2007

Bullet-ins

  • I dread reaching the age when I must consider how the quality of my diet affects the quality of my stool. This food backs me up. That one gives me the runs. This one will activate my diverticulosis. Can you imagine the day when, before you eat, you have to ask yourself, "Will this come out OK? Literally, will this come out OK?"
  • Why do they call the clap, the clap? I think they should call it the scratch. Or maybe, the wince. Maybe it's because of the clapping sound your hand makes across your genitals when you try to take a leak.
  • Have you seen the Toyota truck commercial where the Loch Ness Monster bites the truck, drags it underwater, savages it like a pit bull, then spits it 100 feet into the air? Question: what the fuck are you doing to your truck that this ad speaks to you? Who buys this crap? Imagine this guy at the sales floor: "Tell me, my good man. How does this truck fare against savage mythological beasts? Are dragon bites covered in the bumper-to-bumper warranty?" What scares me is, I watched this commercial about 15 times before I woke up to its absurdity. At first, I'd watch it and think, Wow, that's a tough truck right there -- like it was a real event or something. Then I snapped out of it and had to punch myself in the face for being so dumb.
  • I wonder if other religions have their version of the devil. What about Judaism? What's a Jewish devil like? I'll bet he's a big, tall, blond haired, blue eyed sales clerk who stands behind a divine register and forces evil souls to pay retail for discounted items.
  • I'm proud to report I've grown the biggest bonsai tree on the planet. I keep it planted in my backyard and I trim it to look just like an elm tree.
  • It would suck if you were renting an apartment, but you couldn't afford the rent. So, you had to rent a truck to move the furniture, which you were also renting, out of the apartment and put it in a rented storage facility. Also, it turns out your girlfriend is a hooker.
  • If you broke wind in a perfectly air-tight room, would your ears pop?
  • Some watches have both a digital display and an analogue display. Why stop there? Why not put a sundial and an hourglass on the piece of crap?