Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We Will Get Through This

It’s rare that I feel the need to comment on current events, I like my entries to be timeless (except for the first three years of this blog, which were unfortunately very MySpace-centric). But sometimes things occur and I just have to give my two cents.

Situations take place that demand a strong, brave soul to step up, grab the mic/bullhorn/conveniently-located breast, and lead the masses with powerful words and inspirational language that comforts, soothes and placates the people across the land.

This is one of those times.

I am that person.

This summer sucked dead, yeasty, rotted hobo balls.

It’s true that things happened across this tiny blue marble in the past three months to give us pause and make us send our hearts and thoughts* out to others in times of despair. There have been storms and hurricanes, floods and fires. Wars in several countries, landscapes littered with the dead husbands, wives, parents and children of the unenviable survivors of these violent acts committed by man against man. There is Malaysia Airlines, which can’t catch a goddamn break. The death of celebrities, either by natural causes or their own hands. The use of deadly force by those we entrust with public safety against an innocent man. The really, really shitty movies released in theaters for our “pleasure” at seizure-inducing prices. People randomly posting videos of themselves dumping buckets of water on their heads for reasons that are now lost to time, forgotten and meaningless. The lime shortage that effected my enjoyment of summer cocktails. Sharknado 2.

But most importantly, the summer did not live up to its contractual obligation of being oppressively hot and sweaty in the DMV. I don’t know about things where you live,** but here in the Nation’s Capital, this summer has been a big old moist let down. August alone was just a month-long cloudfest. The temperatures were warm and comfortable, the humidity wasn’t a problem and we had plenty of rain to make sure plants grew and lawns were watered. And I say boo to all of this.

Where were the mosquitoes? What happened to the requisite weight-loss through sweating? Or the hours spent in icky bliss, peeling off sunburnt skin? And the Ice Cream Man, dammit! Where was he?!

All of the things that make summer simultaneously the most fun and most frustrating time of year were not evident in 2014. I mean, for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, school started in August! That offends me to my core. Do children no longer have a voice to speak out for themselves? Let the kids be kids. Don’t force them into classes so soon. And don’t give me that crap about how kids need to be in school more to stop their brains from atrophying during the summer (both the purpose of summer in the first place, and the name of my next album: Atrophying Brains) and make us more competitive in the global arena. Americans lost that battle years ago, as exemplified by the fact that there’s a television reality show about Amish criminals.

Sure we can blame any number of things. It’s the fault of Climate Change. God is punishing us for worshiping the Kardashinans. Maybe we need to all get our shit together and throw a couple virgins into a volcano. Perhaps evil aliens are slowly transforming our planet into an environment more suitable for them (I call credit if that ends up being the real reason). But it doesn’t matter. The summer is over now, and with it, joy. Now we get on with our lives, spend the rest of the year plodding through our pointless and wasted existences. Doing our best to pretend that it’s all for the best. That we enjoy waking up and it’s dark out. Getting off of work and it’s dark out. Bundling up in layers of clothes. Dealing with increased traffic and gridlock.

But still, somewhere deep in our minds, always there, always waiting, like a beacon of purpose and fulfillment: the image of a palm tree on an empty beach at gloaming.

And those damn mosquitoes.

*Absolutely no idea what this phrase means and you don’t either. Don’t even pretend like you do. It’s a mindless thing that people repeat because others say it. Like “please” and “thank you”.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Where Do I Begin?

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

For Better Or For Worse

Let me tell you the story of a little boy, much like yourself. A special little boy.  Not special as in learning disabled (although a case could certainly be made that he was). Not even special like he could run faster than anybody else or jump higher than anybody else, or even that he was smarter (though again, a case could be made). No, this boy… let’s call him Chester, I always liked the name Chester, was special because he was different. Where other people did, Chester observed.

It all started when he was a child. On the first day of kindergarten, Chester left the security and familiarity of his home and for the first time met other children. It was a day of firsts for him. First time being away from his parents, first time having a teacher, first time having to learn things (even if all he learned was how to color inside the lines and trace around his hand with a crayon to make retarded, mutant turkeys with more humps on their backs than a camel) and it was his first time having recess, meaning his first time having social interaction.

It went wrong from the start. As soon as the kids were ushered outside, they began to gather in groups of two or three or more. They flocked to the sandbox, the jungle gym, or the swings. They climbed trees, threw around balls, or just ran around in circles like idiots. Some of them played in the dirt, hell, some of them were eating dirt.

Chester just stood there, mystified. What were these kids doing? How did they know what to do? Why were they automatically, instinctively, able to socially interact with each other? What were these unspoken rules that governed their behavior?

Curious, Chester tried to awkwardly join in with the others. But none of it made sense to him. Instead of throwing the ball to somebody, he threw it at them. Instead of eating dirt, he was shoving dirt in other kids’ faces. The more he tried to fit in, the more he got things wrong and the worse he made the situation.

He got in trouble. He was labeled a bully and separated from the others. Which only confused him more. He didn’t understand why he was unable to easily grasp the “normal” things that other kids took for granted. Frustrated, Chester decided to turn his back, (Figuratively, of course. Literally would have been extremely difficult, those kids were spread out and moved pretty damn quickly.) he found people too difficult to comprehend, so he decided not to even try.

Effectively cutting himself off from other people his own age, Chester needed to find other ways to occupy his time. So he turned to the written word. Books made more sense to him. They followed rules and logic and the behavior of the individuals was fairly predictable. Fiction (his favorites were by an author simply known as Mr. Brooks), biographies how-to manuals, romance (yuck!) Chester read them all. And in doing so, he believed that he was understanding human behavior a little bit better with every sentence. Every chapter helped to unlock the mystery that was the people around him.

Every so often, thinking he had things figured out, Chester would try stuff, like making friends, or small talk, or even dating. But much like the proverbial dancer with two left feet, he just couldn’t make things work, everything was always slightly askew.
With every failure, Chester would run back to the world he knew, where things made sense and his questions were answered. He decided that the real world was nothing but a confusing place full of unanswerable questions. And the worst part was that people just did, they never wondered why. To them things were the way they were and they thought no further about it. Meanwhile, Chester had nothing but questions. Why were some clothes appropriate for certain situations, but not others? Same with words. The same thing went for behavior: why was it alright to call somebody an insulting name when it was a friend, but not when it was a stranger? And what about driving? That was an entire world of befuddlement in itself! But every time he posed these questions, he was told to shut up, mind his business, let it go.

As time passed, Chester grew older and his separation from the rest of humanity grew deeper. To some he was considered aloof, to others heartless, to almost everybody else, incomprehensible. They would give him drugs or therapy, but to Chester they never seemed to understand that the problem, the defect, was with them, not him. So his life continued; an island of one.

Then one day, Chester met a woman named Roseus. Roseus seemed different than most people. While not as inquisitive as he was, she did have many questions about how things worked. But unlike Chester, she found pleasure and happiness in wondering how and why things worked. That was most attracted him to her, she was able to question, but strong enough (stronger than he was, in his opinion) to not let the lack of answers or logic make her jaded or alienated. With her, Chester had found a balance to his own personality and he was happy to discover that when he was with her he started to care less about the answers. He was, in spite of himself, becoming “normal.”

But just as Roseus’ personality rubbed off on Chester, so was his rubbing off on her, until the morning came when she woke up, rolled over in bed and could only look at Chester in disgust. To her, he didn’t understand that what he had with her should have been more than enough. Instead, he was unrelenting with his questions, his quest to rid himself of his confusion and everything that kept him from being normal. Didn’t he understand that he was special? Much better than “normal.” Why did he insist on ceaselessly asking questions? If he wasn’t satisfied with her alone, then what was the point of being together?

And so, while he still slept, Roseus slipped out of bed and removed herself from his life.

It was the first time Chester had ever felt sadness. He wasn’t quite sure what to do with it or how to behave. He just knew that he was again alone. Possibly for good.

So he quit. He gave up on observing, he gave up on questioning, he gave up on understanding and being normal. He gave up on caring. He finally understood that he’d never get answers or a normal life. He was who he was, for better or for worse.

With that realization, he locked himself away. He felt that it was best for him, for Roseus and for humanity in general. He just existed. Alone. As an island of one, he was finally normal.

Until the Blue Fairy came and turned him into a real boy.

I dunno, the story seemed to bum you out. I just wanted to cheer you up. Merry Christmas kid, here’s your coupon for a free chiropractic exam.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

They always come back to haunt you (or: Revenge of the Bond Girls)

Announcer: Good evening and welcome to the James Bond reunion show, where we have gathered many of the old flames of our favorite super spy, Mr. 007 himself: James Bond. Our host, Dr. Gooch, will catch up with what they’re doing now and what future plans they may have.

And now, our host, Dr. Gooch!


Dr. Gooch: Thank you, intrepid announcer. And welcome everybody to another episode of “Reunion Riot” with me, Dr. Gustav Otto Olberov Christof von Hubberstein, or Gooch, for short. We’ve got a great show for you tonight. We have searched the globe for the people who know James Bond the best (and I do mean know), the various women whom he has bedded, (and lived to talk about it!) the famous Bond Girls!


Thank you. Now, let’s meet our guests tonight: Pussy Galore, Dr. Christmas Jones, Jinx, Agent Triple X and maybe a surprise guest or two. Let’s start with one of the first Bond Girls: Pussy Galore!

Pussy: Hi Dr. Gooch. First of all, let me say that I’ve never liked the term “Bond Girl”, it’s so demeaning. Secondly, that man is a rude jack ass.

Jinx: Amen sister!

Pussy: Exactly. He has a way of waltzing into your life, screwing everything up, possibly getting you at least fired from your job, and at most killed by some weirdo with a blade in his hat brim. I mean, what the hell is that? Then, just like that, the jerk disappears.
Christmas: So true! He uses you for whatever he wants, then throws you away. Like a used tampon after an extra heavy, bloody flow.

Dr. Gooch:

Jinx: Honey, with a mouth like that, there may be more than one reason why he left your crazy ass.

Christmas: I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m a nuclear physicist!


Triple X: Ladies. Let us stay on topic here. And to be honest, my experience with Double O Seven was nothing like that. We came from different agencies and counties, and worked together to our mutual benefit. We accomplished our mission and parted ways. Professionally.

Jinx: Now wait a minute, James and I had the same experience, but with a different outcome. Explain that.

Triple X: “James”? I fear that you may have gotten a little too close, my dear Nubian faux-spy.

\Dr. Gooch: So ladies, from what I can tell, none of you are fans of “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”?

Pussy: You got it pal. In fact, I had lunch last week with Dr. Goodhead, Tiffany Case, Kissy Suzuki and Honey Ryder, for our monthly meeting of W.H.I.N. And they were also commenting on how Double O Dickweed treated them like crap too.

Dr. Gooch: W,H.I.N?

Pussy: “Who the Hell Invented our Names”. We have chapters all over the world.

Dr. Gooch: I see. Well ladies, what’s going on in your post-Bond lives?

Jinx: Well, I don’t know about the rest of these hookers, but I’m out there every day, wearing skimpy, tight, revealing clothes and doing my best to seduce and capture villains. I also started daring a wonderful man named Mr. Brooks.

Pussy: Well, since double-crossing Goldfinger, I’ve had a hard time finding employment with a boss who trusts me. So, I took my ill-gotten loot and bought a bunch of stallions for studding. There’s nothing as majestic as watching two horses humping. Truly breathtaking.

Triple X: That’s disgusting. As for myself, since the fall of our glorious Soviet utopia, I have been forced to become a mercenary. So, if you have the money and you know where to find me, you can call: The X Team!

Jinx: That sounds familiar…

Chrisrmas: I’m a nuclear physicist!

Dr. Gooch: Yes my dear. We know. And now, (and this is quite a treat) we have a special guest on the studio. Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm round of applause for…

Octopussy: James! I love you! Why did you leave me?! Is he here now? I heard he was going to be here. I saved all of his toenail clippings and stray pubic hairs in a pouch made out of my own labia. All for him! James!

Pussy:  Ugh. Pathetic. See what he does to women? Octopussy, sit down. You’re making a fool of yourself!

Dr. Gooch: Ahem. Yes. Quite. Well, that’s all the time we have for this week’s edition of Reunion Riot. Join us next week, when we have a panel discussion with all the Lost Boys that Peter Pan left behind in Neverland and how they feel about being abandoned. Should be juicy. Goodnight folks!


*curtains close; fade to black*

Ocropussy: James?

Christmas: Me smart science person! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dial 0 For An Operator

So last week on Facebook, I noticed that it was my friend’s birthday.  I wished to do the polite, friendly thing and wish him a happy birthday, but being the mentally under-developed, man-child that I am, I couldn’t just say “Happy Birthday Buddy!” because that’s too easy and makes too much sense.

To be honest, I really don’t like having to be reminded of my friends’ and family members’ birthdays through a soulless website. I don’t think I’m alone in that regard.  But, much like the rest of the mindless cattle that make up the Internet community, I don’t like having to remember things like birthdays, anniversaries, blood types, which color wire to cut, when to enter the number sequence into the hatch computer, how many bushels are in a peck (or vice versa?) and so forth. It’s a hassle. Having a machine do it for me is so much more convenient. Which means that when SKYNET takes over and the robots enslave us, we’re going to all stand around in a confused manner, trying to remember if it’s Taco Tuesday or Hot Wing Wednesday.

Anyway, I decided to congratulate my friend on surviving another year, but I wanted to do it in my own special, idiotic way. So I texted him. Allow me to present the conversation in its entirety:

There are a couple of things you may notice with that brief conversation. The first being that I completely neglected to say anything birthday related, or even positive, during that exchange. I completely dropped the ball on that. Oops.

The next thing you’ll notice is that I begin by beseeching my friend to “stay black.” This is impossible, of course, because he’s white. But we can all dream, can’t we?

The other thing that may jump out at you is that this person has absolutely no idea who I am. None whatsoever. But, being the trooper that I am, I push through and continue with my end of the conversation, undaunted.

At no point do I break character or fumble on the main talking points of my argument. I want this person to stay black and I want them to know that I cut bitches. Also, because I like to add a dash of mystery/suspense in all that I do, I leave them curious as to my identity.

Keep in mind, even though I was not recognized during this text conversation, I was convinced that I was talking to my friend Tom. It wasn’t until a few days later that I talked to him and discovered that he had changed his number (Years ago and never let me know. Some friend he is.) and the person I texted is a legit stranger and probably now stays up at night wondering about the random person who texted him about his bitch-cutting hobby.

With this being the Internet, I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody out there knows who this person is, or knows somebody who knows somebody who once sniffed a chair that this person I texted once sat in. In which case, you have two options here. You can let that person know that I made a mistake, I meant to text a happy birthday wish to my goofy white friend, and then you can both enjoy a hearty guffaw. Or, you can tell them that you’ve heard whispers about me. I’m out there, I’m sharpening my knives. And I’ve got hair like mid-90s Lorenzo Llamas*.

*Because, why not?