Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's an Eighty-Four Glyde Thanksgiving!

It's that time of year. And just like the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special (originally created in 305 B.C.) will air every November until the fall of our great country, I've decided to create my own yearly tradition. So here's the Eighty-Four Glyde I wrote about Thanksgiving two years ago. It's the definitive blog about Thanksgiving and could never be duplicated, improved or changed. It's the ultimate story of Thanksgiving! So settle in with a nice pumpkin martini, and prepare to learn about...

The History of Thanksgiving(originally written 11/23/06)

Ahhh, the colors of the leaves on the trees, the smell of a plump and juicy (unless you're at my mom's house in which case it's a dried out and whizzled old) turkey, the sound of people shuffling through dead leaves, lost on their way back home because it gets dark unnaturally quickly, the taste of a fresh and deliciously prepared pumpkin pie, and the feel of something vaguely autumn-related on your fingertips; they all combine to spell out one thing: tryptophan. Just kidding, they spell out Thanksgiving, the American holiday dedicated to eating large quantities of food, watching football games and falling asleep at random points in the afternoon. Oh yeah, and giving thanks.

I would be remiss this holiday season if I didn't help those of you out there with any and all Thanksgiving questions. Because who hasn't wondered about the secret, mystery-shrouded origins of this ancient and beloved holiday? I know that I wonder. A lot. It consumes me. So, I figured that other people might also be interested in the past, and maybe settle a bar bet or two. Please sit back and enjoy as I present this short, but completely thorough and one hundred percent accurate history of Thanksgiving.

THE NEW WORLD, (i.e. America) 1645

After a long and devastating war between the Catholics and the Protestants, resulting in the deaths of millions and the invention of the microwave oven, the super up-tight Protestants gathered together on boats made from billions of pine needles woven together and began their journey to America where they could live in up-tight splendor. Not engaging in sexual relations, drinking, using soap or showing any parts of their bodies beneath the lower lip

When these pilgrims (Latin for geeked-out loser) arrived in America, they landed at Plymouth Rock, which immediately sunk their boats, removing all hope ever returning to the old country (Blatislava I think?) But the pilgrims didn't mind because they looked only to the future and because they were really stupid. What they didn't count on was landing during the biggest snowstorm to ever hit the east coast, (as featured in the movie The Day after tomorrow).

The first thing the pilgrims did was to sign a pact, while they were still on their boat (the SS Minnow) that no matter how bad it got in the new world, they would never eat each other. This important and history-making pact is known to us today as The Something-or-Other. I did a report about it in 8th grade.

As previously mentioned, the pilgrims were stupid, and didn't really know what it would take to survive in this new and exciting world. Whereas a normal person might bring tools to build houses and seeds to plant vegetables, these people only brought corkscrews and Playstations. This was quite a tragic move as electricity had not been invented yet. So basically, ye olde pilgrims were screwed.

Until they met Squanto. You see, Squanto was a hero amongst his tribe (the asquamotavotivains) which was located very close to the cesspool the pilgrims decided to set up in. He was the Indian version of Superman, he could do anything: fight bears with his legs tied behind his back, swim up waterfalls to spawn with the trout, fly across giant precipices and make love to five squaws simultaneously.

Squanto taught the pilgrims how to plant barley, hops, yeast, bananas and cannabis trees. He showed them the secrets to trapping and killing the wily and extremely cunning wild turkey, and he instructed them on the proper way to drink wine while acting pretentious and snooty.

The pilgrims were so thankful for the things Squanto showed them that they decided to have a really big party with food and fun for everybody. It was to be the first Thanksgiving. Sadly, the pilgrims got distracted and slaughtered Squanto's tribe instead, but at least their hearts were in the right place, right?


The nation was deep in a war between people who were for turning to communism and people who preferred a totalitarian oligarchy. Our 23rd president, Abraham "Deep Pockets" Lincoln needed something to unify the people of America. Luckily, Lincoln had a time machine and was able to go back to the planning of the first Thanksgiving. He thought it was a great idea, (though it lacked a little in the execution) and decided to bring it back with him. Thus Thanksgiving was born. He also placed it on the fourth Thursday of November. This might seem arbitrary, but it actually required a lot of calculations and phases of the moon and junk like that. Trust me, it was a lot of work.

YOUR HOUSE, TODAY (well, not today really, tomorrow would be more accurate)

This Thanksgiving you will most likely (unless you're a dirty, hippy vegetarian!) enjoy turkey, cranberry sauce, some sort of potatoes, gravy, some pies, booze and Go-bots. This is because of the sacrifice and hard work put forth by the pilgrims so long ago (and by the sacrifice and hard work put forth by the illegal aliens last week.) So be proud of your heritage and be sure to fill yourself to bursting this Thanksgiving. Do it for Squanto!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hey Jealousy!

It’s the sweetest word on ones lips.

Or maybe it’s just me.

Jealousy has always been my favorite emotion, (followed by the contentment one gets after a really good bowel movement). I see it as a mixture of anger and sadness, with just a dash of hate thrown in for good measure. Truly, a recipe for deliciousness that often delivers the satisfaction of a belly-full of drama.

I’ve been a pawn of jealousy, as my friends and some ex-girlfriends can account to. It’s not my fault. I just happen to suffer from a distinct need to care. After all, those who know me know that I’m Johnny McCare-a-lot, (put that on my tombstone!)

But in all honesty, jealousy is a wholesome, if not essential, emotion. Jealousy drives us, it is the catalyst (as much as an emotion can be a catalyst) of everyday life.

Don’t believe me?

Remember that one time? You know the one. It was the time you did something, but it wasn’t based on jealousy for you…it was vengeance. Or, if you don’t like that word, it was justice. Jealousy is healthy, isn’t it? You want the one you’re in a relationship with to be jealous, to some degree, n’est pas? After all, it’s a sign of power.

Jealousy is the driving force in American culture. It’s the foundation of how our wacky country works. The “American Dream”, going “from rags to riches”, “keeping up with the Jones’”, basic ambition, all are driven, in part, by jealousy. We see other people having good jobs and we want that for ourselves. It’s capitalism! If, as Gordon Gecko said, “Greed is good,” then surely jealousy is the bees’ knees as well.

Hell, just about all of Greek Mythology is based on jealousy. That’s why everybody was getting killed, dying or being tortured. Those gods were some green-eyed bitches!

Alright, let’s break it down between the two camps, within the confines of a functioning (or semi-functioning) relationship. Either you are the jealous one, or you are the one creating the jealousy. You’re bound to play at least one of these parts at least once. Let’s go with the latter first.

Jealouser: It’s all part of your plan, you sly devil. Think about it: this makes you the bad guy. Is that what you want? You are purposely creating strife in your relationship*. And why, for attention? Maybe it’s for the action. I can understand that. Relationships are, by nature, boring as shit (and I don’t have to be in one to know that). We, as normal, everyday, average people, feed on drama. It’s intrinsically more interesting than a safe, boring relationship. Whether it be real life, or fiction. Nobody wants to watch Ozzie and Harriet on tv anymore, we’re all fascinated by Heidi and Spencer.

I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’ve rarely been on that end of a relationship, (as far as I know). Why do people create jealousy? Is it even done on purpose? I’m curious to know others’ opinions on this.

Jealousee: Ahhhh. Now it’s your pain I understand. Let us join together. I plan on hosting a retreat next winter. We’ll get together, roast marshmallows, engage in trust exercises and sing campfire songs.

It’s always easy to be the victim, isn’t it? It’s so easy to take the attacks, the shit, the rebukes, of the person you’re with. Leaves you in the clear, blame-wise. There’s nothing cleaner than that. But it isn’t fun to be jealous, (unless that’s how you get your jollies). It becomes a slippery slope.

First you start of as a kid, being jealous of a sibling or playmate for having something that you don’t, perhaps a toy or a room with a western-facing window. Then, when you get older the jealousy spreads, you can’t control it. You start being jealous of what your friends are eating for lunch, their Hello Kitty! erasers, the fact that they have cars before you do so you end up having to walk to and from school everyday, regardless of the weather and nobody ever offers you a ride, (jerks!).

Then you become jealous when you enter a relationship. You’re jealous of your partner’s friends, be they same, or opposite sex. That’s just one step away from being an obsessive and controlling nutjob. Which is no fun for anybody.
Tell me, is it your partner’s fault for making you jealous, or your fault for having no trust?

Don’t ask me. I’ve played both parts. And I hate them. But I can’t help it, I’m a prisoner of my own character traits and values.

For me, my jealousy will keep me apart from people that were/are my friends, (unless they’ve got free pizza and beer, in which case I might be willing to compromise my values). My commitment to self-reliance and independence only adds to my earlier declaration of being a loner. I have strong feelings about people who betray** me.

I have a strong feelings about myself, for betraying people.
Oh, what a crazy world we live in.

*no matter how tenuous that relationship may seem

**what a great word, it reminds me of Darth Vader pulling a Dr. Phil while talking to Luke about his feelings in Return of the Jedi

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You wanna know what frosts my buttons?

1 - People who say they don’t care what other people think. Those people are idiots. Everybody cares about what other people think to some degree, and if they don’t, they should. They just shouldn’t care too much what other people think, or else they’ll end up doing nothing but sitting in their apartment waiting for their lives to happen.

The whole concept of “I don’t care what people think about me!” is pretty juvenile actually. Everybody typically says it during childhood, or when they revert to childlike behavior during arguments and the like. But what pisses me off are the people who actually mean it.

You have to care what people think, even if you don’t want to. Because of what the Mormons think, now gay people in California can’t get married. That’s right, because those wacky polygamists hold marriage to be so sacred, they dumped millions of dollars into making sure that same-sex couples can’t enjoy the same soul-crushing confinement that opposite-sex couples enjoy. Why? Was it encroaching on their Mormon beliefs? Were same-sex married couples getting all the chapels Mormon men wanted to use to marry their fourth wives? I don’t see how what other people do, hundreds of miles away, is even the business of the Mormon Church. But, they decided that they care about the issue enough to meddle in the affairs of others.

If you’ve ever been on a job interview, then you have to care what the interviewer thinks, or else you won’t get the job you want and you’ll end up working the graveyard shift at Jack in the Box for the rest of your life. Bummer.

See, the key is to care about what people think, in moderation. Take me for example. I do my own thing and I don’t mind admitting it. You’re damn right I watch a ridiculous amount of cartoons. I played with G.I. Joes until at least my freshman year of college. I don’t know anything about cars, (including how to drive a stick) and I don’t really care about sports. These are all the things that make me different from others; they make me who I am. Yet I don’t live in a vacuum. I temper my personality and behavior with a little bit of others’ opinions about me. This helps to make me the dynamic nutcase you all know and love.

That’s why, even though I do care, (to a degree) about what people think about me, I still don’t mind sharing embarrassing stories, about me taking a dump in the woods in front of an old couple, with you: the invisible audience.

2 – People who compare their pain with others. You know what I’m talking about.

Bob: Hey man, what’s new?

Deacon: Not much Bob. Just broke my leg yesterday falling out of a tree.

Bob: That’s a shame man.

Deacon: Yeah, but it could always be worse. At least I have both my legs and they still work. I’m very grateful for that.

Bob: Boy, look at you - comparing your situation with those less fortunate, just to make yourself feel better. What do you do when you feel down, drive by the ghetto and measure your life against those of crackheads? You sicken me.

Am I the only one who finds this practice to be disingenuous? No matter what your pain is, no matter how bad things in your life are, there are always people out there who are worse off than yourself. Why lessen what you’re going through by comparing yourself to others? Your pain is just as real, and most importantly – relevant, because it’s happening to you. Who cares what unfortunate thing is going on with some faceless member of the huddled masses?

If there’s some kind of pain going on in your life, embrace it, luxuriate in it, (but don’t wallow in it), learn from it, grow from it. Lessening the turmoil in your life by comparing it to others is equal to pushing it aside, ignoring it, marginalizing it. That’s not helpful. Life is about learning from experiences and maturing because of it. When there’s some pain in my life, let me just sit in a corner listening to emo music for awhile.

Or I’ll write a nonsensical rant. Whatever works.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bizarre Foods Are That Way For A Reason

I’m sitting here (at work, doing a whole lot of nothing), watching this show on cable. It’s called Bizarre Food with Andrew Zimmerman*, and as you can tell by the title, it involves this dude traveling the world and eating the craziest shit he can find. He can often be found in some back alley in Mumbai, eating goat penis and rooster balls.

This show is gross. That’s the only word for it. Wait, that’s not true, I could also use the words: sickening, foul, nauseating, repugnant, grody, icky and nasty. If I’m in an old-timey mood I could use the words: ghastly, vulgar, abominable, loathsome, macabre and horrid. The point is that it’s not a pleasant show to watch.

Nothing is too disgusting for this guy. Nothing is unpalatable. He’ll sit down at an old wooden table, probably made back when Jesus was doing his carpenter gig, swat away the thousands of flies obscuring his face and laying who knows how many eggs in his food, and happily chomp on a sheep bladder marinated in urine and camel spit.

Typically, the food he eats has a rubbery, slippery texture and the appearance of an aborted fetus. The main colors of the food are yellow and gray. And, of course, they are the parts of animals that people don’t usually choose to eat unless they’re dirt poor and starving. Testicles and internal organs feature prominently.

It’s like that dinner scene in Temple of Doom, but much worse. This show makes eating chilled monkey brains and snake surprise look absolutely scrumptious.

As mentioned in previous entries, I’m a bit of a stickler for good hygiene. Especially when it concerns food. Which brings me to the biggest problem with the show.

It would be bad enough if this guy just hung out in his kitchen and made these disgusting meals in the safety and cleanliness of his own home. But that’s way too simple. Instead, Zimmerman travels to the dirtiest fourth-world shitholes he can find, to eat their greasy food. These are places where people get a gallon of water a day to use for cooking, cleaning and bathing, and where the plague and cholera are your dining mates. The people there are already used to undercooked food; their bodies are full of bacteria and germs that would kill an American within hours, so they’re fine eating chicken covered in filth. But if you or I were to travel to Morocco and decide to be daring and eat some local cuisine, we’d be sitting on the toilet for so long our skin would fuse to the seat.

I speak from experience. When I came over here to Iraq the first time back in 2003, my dad told me to sample the foods and cultures of this place, because who knew when I’d be over here again? (answer: two years later) and it would totally broaden my base of knowledge and experience. So, I ate the gorak, the kabob, the tikka, the goat-cheese pita pizza and the ill-conceived pizza with potato and beans topping, (seriously, potato chunks on a pizza, and it was specially made for me by some terrible pizza place in Dohuk, I had to try to gag it down while the cook stood there watching me with hope and glee) and the chicken. In Mosul there was this place we called Chicken Alley because there were dozens of chicken rotisserie places on either side of the street for a couple of blocks. It was always nice when our convoys would travel down that road. The smell would make our stomachs rumble.

Sadly, though the rotisserie chicken smelled succulent, it wasn’t too good for one’s gutty-works. Instead of the chickens I’m used to, (injected with hormones to grow dangerously fat in an unhealthy amount of time, forced to live in a one foot-by-one foot cage with forty other chickens, and with beaks painfully clipped at a young age; you know, good old American poultry!) the chickens they cook are the stringy, gamey, sickly birds that feed at the innumerable garbage heaps in the city. So in every bite, I was enjoying yummy trashy goodness!

They called what I caught eating the chicken the first time “Saddam’s Revenge.” Simply put, in the following three days, my sphincter got more of a workout than Marcellus Wallace’s in Pulp Fiction. I lost a dozen pounds or so. I highly recommend it for people trying to go on crash diets. Luckily, after the first time, the stomach gets used to the Iraqi food and hardens up a little against the onslaught of uncooked poultry.

That’s why this show is so nasty. This Zimmerman guy has to have a cast iron stomach, or else he’d have puked and shit himself to death halfway through the first season. And absolutely nothing he eats looks the least bit appetizing.
I’m going to drink some water now to wash the taste of that show out of my mouth. Bon appetite!

*Otherwise known as Hey everybody, watch what this WP shoves in his mouth!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quite Idealess or, Tabula Rasa

People often ask me*, “Josh, where do you get your hilariously wacky ideas for Eighty-Four Glyde entries?” The answer is: everywhere. I get ideas from television, movies, celebrities, current events, political figures, things that happen to me during the day, something I picked out of an orifice on my body, something somebody said, etc.

Of course, sometimes I run out of ideas. Then I write about whatever is on my mind at the moment. You can tell when I’m writing without any particular inspiration because I just kind of…ramble…with nothing important to ………………………
………………….. say.

It is at these moments that my intellect and finely honed skills as a writer come into play. With a few keystrokes I can camouflage an especially pointless blog entry with a clever joke or insightful comment on the world in which we live. Such as: hey, just how did He-Man become Master of the Universe? Did he apply for the job? Or did he just steal the position by kicking the last Master in the doodads?

That was just an approximation of a joke, of course. A joke-lite if you will. Half the calories and a third of the mirth. Had it been a real joke you would have laughed, guffawed, giggled, chuckled or at least shook your head in amusement.

In these inspiration-less times, I’ll turn to some of my basic Eighty-Four Glyde standards. You know, the series I write. Let’s go down the list.

Josh’s Guide to… I’ve done plenty of these over the years. Currently, I’m in the middle of explaining how to create different types of movies. But I want to take a break from anything movie related. I talk about cinema too much; I don’t want to be a one-trick pony.

Tales of Bathroom Horror. I just did one of these a few weeks ago. While hilarious to everybody else, they tend to be embarrassing to me. So I ration them out like Scrooge giving Cratchett a piece of coal.

Hot Sheets. Due to popular demand I’ll only do one of these once a month or less. I thought they were funny and topical. Guess I was wrong.

Forgotten Heroes of Yore. Too many of these in close proximity and they’ll end up even more hated than the Hot Sheets. Fear not though, I’ve got plenty of these in my bag for future use.

Reviews of Movies I haven’t Seen Yet. Like I said, I talk about movies too much. I’ll end up relegating myself to the Hollywood nut section of the internet.

WTF. I don’t do these too often, but I’ve done one recently and can’t revisit too soon.

Anything with Dr. Gooch. He’s getting played out, don’t you think? I need more fictional go-to characters in my Eighty-Four Glyde world of make believe.

You know what I haven’t done recently? A Guest Blog! I enjoy when people fill in as guest host, like Joey Bishop to my Johnny Carson. So, if anybody would like to write an 84 Glyde entry about anything (previous Guest Blogs have been about female flatulence, random ramblings about stuff from the 80s, the Earth, and adventures in public transportation) feel free to write me a comment or message or whatever and let me know what you want to write about. I’m always looking for other funny people around cyberspace.

Also, being one with a head that’s completely lacking in ideas, I’m always up to taking requests. So if you have an idea of something you’d like to read, or that you’d like me to write about (to see my wacky, unconventional take on a subject near and dear to your heart, and whatnot) then please file it with my assistant’s secretary, who will then give it to my assistant, who, with a panel of three others, will decide if the topic is worthy of Eighty-Four Glyde (i.e. I haven’t written about it before, it can be made side-splittingly funny, it could possibly get me a book deal and/or get me laid) then it will be put on my desk for me to get to sometime in the next fiscal year.

Or you can just write me a message if it floats your boat.

So, until next time, this is Joshua saying: Ummm, I got nothing.

*And by often, I mean never

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Until All Are Free

Ever have one of those deep, straight-from-the-belly, independent, unburdened, unencumbered, long, loud, boisterous laughs after hearing of the problems of people in relationships?

I laugh like that every time somebody (usually in the military) asks me if I’m married. I can’t help myself. No matter who asks me, or where we are, I suddenly explode in uncontrollable laughter. Me? I ask. Married? Surely, you must be joking! Do I look like the married type to anybody?

It’s even funnier when it’s from somebody who should know better than to ask. I’m the furthest thing from a responsible person. Not to mention I’ve got the mind and maturity of a young, emotionally-stunted child. Those out there in internet land who know me know this to be true. I’m not the marrying type, unless the broad is old, sassy and close to death. Kinda like Joan Collins from Mommy Dearest. She’d be interesting to hang out with, don’t you think?

Once people discover that I’m enjoying a hassle-free life, they start to radiate waves of pity, which confuses me. As far as I’m concerned, guys in relationships are severely suffering from Stockholm Syndrome (sufferin succotash! Dig the alliteration!) You know, that thing where hostages end up forming close bonds with their captors. Then they forget how life was before they were trapped in a relationship.

“But Josh, that’s so harsh! Damn, you’re jaded about relationships!” you’re saying to yourself. “Relationships are wonderful things that bring great joy and happiness into the lives of people.” To which I say: Go sit and spin!

The life of a relationship-free person is an enviable life. It’s a life of freedom and independence. A life of leisure, where one doesn’t need to bow down or concede to anybody. It’s a simple life of contentment and quiet pleasure.

When I come home at night from work, (I lease out use of my stomach for washing clothes) I get to watch whatever I want to on television. I get to cook whatever I want for dinner and sit as comfortably as I want to on the couch. I can drink as much as I want, without anybody hassling me about it. I get to fart as loudly and as often as I want. I can leave the toilet seat up whenever I piss. I get to go to sleep whenever I want and hog as much of the bed as I desire.

They seem like simple pleasures, true. But it’s the simple pleasures that add up. As a semi-selfish person, I enjoy not having to share my stuff unless it’s by choice. As a loner, I have absolutely no problem hanging out by myself.

When I go out I don’t have a curfew. Nobody to check in with. I don’t have anybody to answer to. I can just go out and enjoy myself without fear of making some chick irrationally jealous. I can disappear for days if I so choose, (I don’t have any pets, just a half-dead fichus.) It’s nice.

Oh sure, I’m probably missing out on some stuff. Another source of income to mooch off of. A guaranteed person with which to go out to dinner, or the movies. Somebody to nag me to death about trivial minutiae. Somebody to clean up my stuff so that I have no idea as to the location of any of my shit. Somebody to throw away something of value to me by accident or stupidity. Somebody who gets on my nerves so often, by saying or doing something stupid, that I contemplate smothering them with a pillow in the dead of night.

And of course, having sex with the same person over and over and over and over and over* until it becomes routine and boring and one or both of us end up cheating on the other, or our sex drives wither and die from lack of new, interesting encounters.

Gee, all of that sounds so swell! I’m totally missing out on a relationship! When I get back to America, the first thing I’m going to do is go out and find a soulmate who will make my life miserable and whose life I can make miserable in return! Jay-Z had it so wrong! It’s not enough to have 99 problems! I need more female-related problems in my life! Dammit, my plate isn’t full enough! I need heartache, depression, stress, desperation, body-image concerns, performance concerns, paranoia, jealousy and much, much more!

Single people, no more being shackled by the term “Lonely Hearts.” Claim your unfettered status! Rejoice in your freedom! You don’t have to feel bad, or like less of a person because you’re alone. Trust me, you’ll end up being sucked into a relationship eventually. It happens to just about everybody. You might as well enjoy your life and your freedom before you’re forced into a relationship (or series of relationships if you manage to keep escaping) where you’ll be stuck for the rest of your life. Relationships are like a prison cell, being single is the freedom that comes from not being behind bars.

Don’t believe me? Nelson Mandela was wrongly imprisoned in a South African prison for 27 years. He led a brutal and miserable life 365 days a year, for over two-and-a-half decades. Within months after his historic and monumental release, he divorced his wife. You know why?

He realized he was just moving from one kind of cell to another.

*And over and over and over

Monday, November 03, 2008

Voting got you down?

Tired of all the election hoopla? Don’t know who to vote for? Is your brain unable to wrap around the simple concept of picking a candidate? Too lazy to vote? Don’t want to stand for hours upon hours? Not registered?

Fear not citizen! I am here to help. I feel your pain. Enjoy this list of things to do instead of voting. It’ll occupy your time until this whole election thing dies down and we can all go back to the important news stories, like what color panties Britney is wearing today.

• Reorganize your porn collection. That one clown porn DVD has been mixed in with the bondage DVDs for months!

• Live a day as a dog. Drink toilet water, pee on fire hydrants, poop in people’s yards and smell other people’s butts. Hump people’s legs. Gain a newfound respect for our canine friend.

• Use a razor blade to carve all of your ex girlfriends’ names into your forearm. Be sure to leave space for more names.

• Invent a new Kool Aid flavor.

• Write a guest Eighty-Four Glyde entry and send it to me to be posted.

• Try to make and eat one of those big ass, three-feet-tall sandwiches like Shaggy and Scooby enjoy when they’re not being chased by ghosts or hitting the doobage.

• Reinvent the wheel, but add a beer cozy to it.

• Watch all of those old DVRed TV shows you’ve got that you’ve never gotten around to.

• Lose yourself in the magic that is All my Children.

• Try to figure out the appeal of NASCAR.

• Learn to play an instrument.

• Practice your free-styling skills. Challenge random passersby to rap battles.

• Make a home porn of you by yourself. Leak it to the internet and just wait for fame and fortune to arrive at your doorstep.

• Try to invent a new cocktail.

• Play a game of HORSE against yourself.

• Join the military, but don’t show up.

• Reenact every scene from Gummo with sock puppets.

• Go on a hunger strike until Lee L. Mercer Jr. is elected President.

• Go to Chuck E Cheese in full scuba diving gear. Jump into the ball pit and pretend to spear hunt sharks.

• Rob a bank dressed as one of the candidates.

• Dance like nobody’s watching.

• Learn all the dance moves from HSM3.

• Open a home proctology/gynecology office.

• Come up with new zombie escape plans. Practice them! (The day is coming, believe me.)

So, just do one or more of the things on this list and escape from the whole “voting” thing. Instead of wasting a day standing in line with a bunch of people with questionable personal hygiene, being bored and wondering just how much your vote actually matters (here’s a hint: none at all), you can enjoy tomorrow and truly make a difference in your community.

No need to thank me, just doing my civic duty.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Greatest Joke in the World

There’s this old Monty Python sketch about a joke that was created during WWII, that was so powerful and so funny that as soon as the guy finished writing it, he died laughing.

Naturally, the British Government felt that this joke would be a powerful weapon to use again the Axis powers. So they decided to have it translated into German. It took translators weeks to do it because they had to work in shifts. A person could only translate a few words at a time for fear of being overwhelmed by the sheer hilarity of the joke. One guy had to go to the hospital because he accidentally translated four words.

Once the joke was finally translated, copies were given to British soldiers who didn’t understand German, to read aloud during battles. Instead of firing their rifles, the soldiers would simply advance while reciting the joke at the top of their lungs. Everywhere they went, German soldiers would fall, dead.

Of course the Germans tried to develop their own joke, but failed miserably. Just as they have done with everything besides beer, cars and shiza porn.

I’ve always wondered just what that joke was that made people die laughing. If such a joke were to exist, what could it possibly be about? What type of joke is it? Is it about some sort of wacky person walking into a bar?* Perhaps some sort of limerick? Maybe a dirty joke unfit for mixed company? Or was it a knock-knock joke? (Which I doubt, because those are never funny.) Was it a dead baby joke? Maybe something simpler, like a clever play on words, a pun or some other bon mot or turn of phrase. You know, a more cerebral joke, dry humor for a more sophisticated palette.

Though, I doubt it’d be something cerebral. It’d have to appeal to everybody. Kind of like a Lowest Common Denomination thing. Which, when you think about it is even harder to create. It’s got to appeal to the upper class, the lower class and everything in between, (ummm, the middle class?). Republicans have to find it funny. (Which means it can’t be about the government, or patriotism, or abortions, cause they seem to be sensitive about that stuff.) Democrats have to find it funny, (which means it can’t be about anything racist or sexist or involve cute, little puppies.) It must be found equally humorous to Catholics and Jews, meaning it can’t be about pedophile priests or the Holocaust respectively. If you want all the races to enjoy a chuckle, it can’t be about lynchings, stupidity, the eating of cats, rednecks, illegally crossing international borders, or any racial slurs.

As you can see, that’s a hella long list. Which just goes to show you how easily offended everybody is by just about everything. So basically, all that leaves us with, internationally, is making fun of the French. Which is something we can all enjoy together, (except for the French, but they don’t count.**) But that’s too easy, everybody’s made fun of the French. Just like blond jokes and Michael Jackson jokes, jokes about the French are trite and no longer funny to anybody.

So what does that leave us with? Only stuff that’s inoffensive to anybody.

Which isn’t very much:

• Wood
• The weather
• Bugs
• The color fucia
• Drapes
• Water
• Toenails

That’s a pretty lame list. I can’t think of how to make a joke out of any of that stuff, (except maybe toenails.)

Maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way. Maybe the joke is so overly offensive that nobody takes it seriously, and nobody gets pissed. In which case it could be about almost anything.

What is the funniest joke you’ve ever heard?

* Which makes me wonder, do bartenders really see that many priests, bears, pieces of rope, grasshoppers, etc, walk into bars? Are they good tippers?

**I kid the French! One of my best friends is French and I’ve known him for over 20 years. He seems pretty decent. I mean, I think I would have noticed anything untoward by now.