Friday, December 06, 2019

Noshin' While Joshin'


Josh: They were huge stars in their heyday. Stars of music, television and movies. But exactly where are they now? That’s tonight’s topic on “Nosh with Josh”, the show where I interview a group of fascinating people, while offering them some yummy snack food, because my fridge just died and this shit will spoil soon anyway. 

(applause)

Our panelists tonight are some very interesting “blasts from the past.” And we’ll get to them in a moment, but first, let’s take a look at today’s noshibles! Here, behind me, you’ll notice what appear to be normal corn dogs, but instead of typical beef franks inside, it’s actually scrumptious penguin meat! Next to that we have onion rings. The interesting thing about these onions is that they comprise the entire harvest this year of the Fahrvergnügen Tribe of the Southern Amazon. They most likely won’t survive the year. C’est la vie! Lastly, we have a nice, light salad with spinach leaves drizzled with gold and tomatoes dipped in silver. It is entirely inedible! But damn it looks good.

(applause)

Now with the food being presented, let’s move on to our guests tonight. Up first is the original sexy, muscular man himself: Gerardo!

Gerardo: Hola. Good to be here, somewhere…anywhere actually.

Josh: How very depressing. Next, on Gerardo’s left, we have our favorite Big Fat Miposian Cousin: Bronson Pinchot!

Bronson: Hi Josh. By the way, quick question: what does penguin taste like?

Josh: Buttery, juicy heaven. But don’t take my word for it, mosey on over there and try a corn dog. As a special treat, the mustard is infused with Salma Hayek’s breast milk! Alright, next up is the adorable munchkin who knows the weight of a human head: Jonathan Lipnicki!

Jonathan: Thanks and hello Josh! Wanna know how much my DICK weighs?!

Josh: I can have security drag your adorable ass out of here with a snap of my fingers. Lastly and very much least, we have “That dude you know who peaked in high school!”

That dude: Hey man, good to…

Josh: It sure is. Why don’t you stuff your face with some food while the rest of grown-ups talk?

Jonathan: Well actually, I think he’s older than I am. I mean, I know I didn’t go to high school with that guy.

Josh: I can feel the migraine forming already. Mr. Suave! Let’s start with you. What are you up to these days? Still getting those residuals 21 years later?

Gerardo: Listen man! I’m sick of this! Ever since that goddamn song came out (in 1991!) People think my name is Rico Suave. Everywhere I go, it’s Rico this, Suave that. It’s never-ending. It’s inescapable. My life is a nightmare that only the sweet release of death can fix. I am GERARDO!!!!
Josh: Ha ha ha! I know what your name is, I just don’t care.

Gerardo: That’s the response I usually get. I’m not really up to much these days. Just getting by. On the bright side, it looks like acid-washed jeans with holes in the knees are coming back, so maybe I’ll be back in style one day?

Josh: Keep hope alive man. 

(applause)

Moving on to Mr. Pinchot, tell me sir, you were a huge star in the 80s, everywhere people went, they’d see your giant schnozzle on their tv and movie screens. How’s life treating you these days in Mipos?

Bronson: That’s both funny and original. For the last few decades I’ve been doing a lot of voiceover work, kids’ shows, video games, cartoons, I dip my fingers into a lot of different pies. Very lucrative.
That dude: Hey, I remember you man! You’re that Urkel kid! You used to say “Not the Mamma! Not th…”

Bronson & Josh: Shut up.

Josh: Well, I’m glad you’re doing well. Are you going to reprise your famous role of Serge for the upcoming Beverly Hills Cop 4?

Bronson: What? There’s going to be another…

Josh: Oops, guess I let the cat out of the bag there. My bad. Maybe some of these delightful onion rings will make you feel better. Chow down with glee as you think about how some kid with a distended belly is starving to death far away in the jungle. Trust me, that’s a better seasoning than salt!

Next is the little charmer himself: Generic 90s cute kid!
Jonathan: You can call me John for short.

Josh: Like it matters.

Gerardo: See? He’s an ass! He did the same thing to me!

Josh: Silence you! There’s a bar in the back if you want a cold cerveca.
John! My pint-sized man! What are you up to? Haven’t seen you in…decades, it seems.

Jomathan: Well actually, much like Balki…

Bronson: Hey! Some professional courtesy?!

Jonathan: Sorry, habit. Anyway, like Bronson, I’ve been doing a lot of stuff. I’m very much still in the game in Hollywood. My IMDB page is quite extensive.

Josh: Oh yeah? Name one thing besides Jerry McGuire that I’ve seen you in.

Jonathan: …Dawson’s Creek?

Josh: Thought so. Well, that’s about it for tonight’s episode of "Nosh with Josh". Join me next time when…

That dude: Hey, what about me guy?

Audience: SHUT UP!

Monday, December 02, 2019

Please Give Until It Hurts


Good evening and thank you for tuning into The Altruistic Nation Show here on channel 1998, WGYP, Your Donation Station, with the phrase that pays (us)! “We put the ‘ow!’ in endow!”

I am your host Sir S.G. Thuggish Killington III, Esq. here with you tonight for a very special episode. Of course, every episode is special as long as we are able to reach just one person’s heart, which we then bleed dry of all the money we can get.

Wait a minute, who wrote that on the teleprompter? Ha ha ha, folks, just a little in-studio joke. Moving on.

We know that for the past three decades Sally Struthers has berated you to symbolically adopt a child in a third-world country with a bloated stomach and not enough sense to brush flies away from walking on their eyeballs. All for the price of coffee. Very noble, very commendable. Very much a load of horseshit.
It’s all well and good to throw 35 cents a day into a mailbox and think no further of it, knowing that so shines a good deed in a weary world or whatever. But we here at WGYP feel that’s a copout. Don’t you really want to help those less fortunate than yourself? Don’t you truly want to make a difference in the world around you?

It is often said that charity begins at home and I, for one, agree. To that end, we at Altruistic Nation are offering a unique and immersive experience. Why just tell your bougie friends you’re supporting somebody’s life when you can show them! With our new Adopt-a-Sloth program, we won’t just send you a picture of little Abebyie in the Ivory Coast, we’ll send you Greg, the Philosophy major with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt to come stay in your house or apartment! You’ll feel the joy and pride that comes from hosting an unfortunate soul who picked a stupid major and can therefore not support himself in any meaningful way!

Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to clean up behind a slob who doesn’t understand what it means to wash their dishes, or that rocky road ice cream is not a suitable substitute for vegetables at dinner? Just imagine all the hours you’ll spend washing shit-streaked underwear and ironic tee shirts for some Hasbro toy line from the 80s! And you reward for all this hard work? The satisfaction of a job well-done. And, every two weeks, after Greg get his paycheck from Popeyes, it’s bong time!
If Greg doesn’t fit into what you’re looking for right now in an Adopt-a-Sloth, not a problem, we have many varieties of slackers for you to choose from. Our supplies are boundless!

For example, take Black Cherry. She tends to typically work nights and pretty much only needs a place to sleep during the day. Why not your bed? You’re not using it! Just make sure to have the sheets disinfected by a HAZMAT team.

Seriously, whoever is playing around with the prompter needs to stop before they get my Thuggish boot up they ass.

Anyway, Black Cherry is very gregarious. She loves to talk and has the skill (amongst many) to make it seem like she’s interested in whatever moronic garbage spews out of your mouth. And no, that wasn’t a teleprompter mistake.

Black Cherry has lots for female friends who may often come by to visit. She also has a few male friends who may also stop by for a quick drop in from time to time. Oddly enough, they’re all named John.

Another added benefit is that Black Cherry has quite the exercise regimen. She does a lot of cardio and core work and would be happy to show you her routines. She also includes pole dancing exercises, which will get you in shape and teach you the latest dance moves. As a bonus, you get one free drink per visit at Black Cherry’s job down the street at "Club Wax On/Wax Off". Anything more than that, be sure to bring cash, credit cards are not accepted. What fun!

And finally, if neither Greg nor Black Cherry are up your alley, for a limited time, we do have a third hopeless soul that you can reach out to and save: Crunchy Joe, the Hamburger Pimp.

Crunchy Joe is a special case and needs your help most of all. You see, he’s getting treatment at the local methadone clinic for his addiction to meth and he needs somewhere to stay during treatment and for those rare* lapses when he uses and comes down and needs a corner in which to vomit and shit and probably piss as well. Your house is full of corners, can’t you find it in your heart to spare one?

While Joe needs more attention than a three-year-old with two left hands, his actual needs are simple. Just throw a mattress on the floor and keep the fridge stocked with plenty of 40s of St. Ives. He should be able to keep himself occupied. As so not to rile him or make him angry and violent, keep all televisions showing nothing but cartoons, preferably My Little Pony, he loves that shit.
On a last note, hide all knives, scissors and other sharp implements and buy a safe to store all of your valuables. There are weird people out there these days. Just an FYI.

Thank you for joining me on tonight’s episode of Altruistic Nation and we really appreciate all of the help that you are putting forth. The giving. The sharing. The more giving, to me. You make this old Thuggish Killington shed a gangsta-ass tear. Please contact our operators at the number at the bottom of the screen to get the process started. That’s 1-800-Give-Now. That’s 1-800-448-3669.

Call. Call now. Call now or I swear to god you’re gonna be waking up with a severed horse head in your bed.

OK! THAT’S IT! WHO IS MESSING WITH THE DAMN TELEPROMPTER???!

*Not rare

Friday, November 29, 2019

Studies Say THIS is Why Reading is Fundamental


Ms. Gemmae: Alright kids, hope you had a good lunch in the cafeteria. I hear that the lunch ladies were serving mashed chicken and broccoli jam sandwiches on pickled rye toast today. With a side of deep-fried lettuce and glasses of baked water? Sounds both nutritious and delicious!

And I hope you were successful with burning off excess energy at recess with games of Five Square, Calvinball, Sinless Stone-Casting and the like? Excellent! Well, as you know, since this is Wednesday afternoon, it’s time for our weekly book presentations! Who will go first? Esuriit?

Esuriit: My book today is Elements, by the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid, the father of Euclidean Geometry, and the guy Euclid Street is named after, the street that no matter where you live, you can buy a dimebag at 2 am (after midnight) from a sketchy black car with smoke pouring out the windows. 

I found this book to be both interesting and insightful and the fact that I can read Greek at the tender age of 10, made comprehension quite easy. Euclidian Geometry is the study of the circumference of the hole inside a donut vis-à-vis the circumference of a donut in its entirety. It was mastery of this field of math that allowed our hungry forefathers to create steam- and water-powered donuts, thereby staving off the Great Flour Famine of 187 A.D. (Absent Donut).
If you’re into math, or baked goods, I suggest checking this book out. The section on frostings alone will boggle your mind.

Ms. Gemmae: Thank you Esuriit, that was very insightful. Now Meditati, you’re up!

Meditati: Hey everybody. My book this week is a collection of poems from the venerable Asian poet Su Xiaoxiao. Su Xiaoxiao was a famous poet and courtesan in the Southern Qi Dynasty. She lived 479-501 A.D. (Always Denim). She originally hailed from Qiantang City, later renamed Hangzhou once it became the capital of the Zhejiang Province. Other famous poets from this city include Bai Juyi and Su Shi*, though they came centuries later.

So, “Little Su” (her street name) was known for the images of beauty and love that her poetry evoked. She felt that it was her duty to spread the idea of seeing beauty in the world around us, if only we can imagine it. In fact, before she died at 19 from a terminal disease, she saw her illness as a gift, since it allowed her to leave her mark on Chinese history and culture.
She was also a ninja. The end.

Ms. Gemmae: Alright Meditati, thank you for that. I enjoyed the twist at the end there. Didn’t see that coming.

Well, it looks like we’re almost out of time. Damn these 15-minute long class periods! But what can I say? You kids gotta get back to work down into the goulash mines, you know the paprika reserves a quite diminished.

So, last up for today is Timor. Timor, show us what you got.

Timor: Greetings fellow pupils of Miss Gemmae’s fifth grade class. I am pleased to present my book for your naïve indulgence. For I hold no ordinary volume in my hands, but one of the rarest, most potent texts ever transcribed by man: The Magnum Necronomicon.

The Necronomicon was written in 725 A.D. (Anti Deity) by the “Mad Arab” Abdul Alhazred, a Yemenite who worshiped the Outer and Elder Gods Yog-Sothoth and Cthulu. Originally titled Al Azif, (roughly translated as “The Sounds of the Insects at Night, Bringing Evil”, or “Terror by Night”) Alhazred wrote the horrifying grimoire after a sojourn to the ruins of Babylon, in the Nameless Quarter of Arabia. Therein, he discovered the “Nameless City Below” where he was given the words, invocations, enchantments, spells, incantations, portends, symbols and more of the eldritch languages used within the mythos of Mlandoth, Mril Torion and Azathoth, otherwise known as The Domain of the Dreamlands. A place beyond of madness and human comprehension.

The book was renamed The Necronomicon in 950, which is Greek and has several meanings, including “The Book of the Law of the Dead” “The Book of the Words of the Dead” and “A Book to Categorize the Dead.” Of course, due to its occult nature, the book and its worshipers have been banned, cast-out, tortured, burned and destroyed by countless pseudo-religions, would-be-gods, egotistical “holy men” and so-called kings and lords. And yet the mythos endures. Those who practice these unholy rites and rituals in the dark, under the nocturnal blessings of the Yellow King can never truly be vanquished.

Today, you undeserving younglings are blessed, for I have the original inscription of The Necronomicon. Written in Alhazred’s own blood, mixed with ichor from the various demons who whispered these malicious words into his demented head, and bound in the putrid, stinking flesh of a hundred unwilling sacrificial martyrs. This very tome has caused more wars, plagues and violence in the name of evil than any Brett Ratner movie.

And now I will recite a passage, to summon a vile entity.

Ms. Gemmae: Timor, that’s quite an imagination you have, but I think it’s about time to wrap things…

Timor: Silence, you pathetic excuse for a scholar. I begin:
Optha, on’knvyn swuthir d’jhzix flef
slmooith tlaxin dwiq!
ibc’blin lttzim, zaren vrin’soq hrota
ich bin ein Berliner
!
Congratulations, you are all now jelly donuts. You’re welcome.

Esuriit: Yes!

*Not a joke, dude’s name was Su Shi and he was a renowned poet and governor of the province around 1089 A.D. (Apple Dumpling). Irony: He was allergic to fish.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Dante Is A Fish


Dante is a fish. I hope the title didn’t ruin it for you. He’s a Betta, to be exact. To be more colloquial, he’s an ass-kicking Siamese Fighting Fish. I can only assume he can kick ass; I haven’t trained him. I figure there was some kind of aquatic Mr. Miyagi at the pet store to handle the kung-fu aspect of his crazy lifestyle.

I didn’t name him Dante. My sister did when she gave him to me. Somewhat as a gag gift I imagine. Perhaps a social experiment to see if I was worthy to take care of another living thing, (besides that patch of mold I’ve been growing in my dirty clothes bin for the last 18 months. His name is Gary.) You see, I don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to stuff like that. With both animals and plants. Maybe it’s my natural ability to be extremely self-absorbed and my astounding lack of empathy for others. Who can say?

Every plant I’ve owned, up until the last five years or so, has been a cactus. My logic being that cacti live in the desert; they barely get water. So I only make the least amount of effort to keep the plant alive and it’ll do fine. It does its cactus thing, I do my human thing, we both exist in the same room, it’s all gravy. His name is Arthur. Arthur the Cactus.

That logic is what led me to have at least four Arthurs in my life, (Why bother coming up with a new name? My time is too valuable to be naming all the green things in my life. Cartoons aren’t gonna watch themselves.) I’m not entirely sure of the various ways in which my Arthurs died, but I did learn one valuable lesson in my capacity as a plant owner: don’t water them with bong water; there’s no such thing as a cactus/weed hybrid.

I currently have a hanging ivy plant named Porthos, after the fat, bon-vivant Musketeer. He has a name because I actually put effort into keeping him alive. He was given as a consolation present (is that a thing, by the way?) when my father died. Which means Porthos is over three years old. Not bad. I guess I’m growing more responsible in my old age.*

Dante is my first pet. As in, my own personal pet. My family had a cat when my sister and I were growing up. Don’t ask me what kind of cat, I don’t know from cats. All I know is she was black with orange splotches and she disliked everybody but me. Her name was Prickles, just like Gumby’s yellow dragon friend. We almost named her Pickles, but I’m glad we didn’t. Isn’t that what Doug named his dog?
My sister is to pets what I am to plants. She’s like a real-life Elmyra from Tiny Toons. Stephen King could have written three sequels to Pet Sematary based off our backyard alone. It was a regular Noah’s Ark of Death back there. She has no pets now and each summer, the plants in her garden commit seppuku rather than suffer under her care.

Dante is about one-year old. He spends his days and his nights alone, in a fish tank, about 8”x6”x8”. Not very big, but then again, he’s not a big fish. Every morning, I feed him flakes of food that include fish as one of the ingredients. That means Dante is a cannibal. This pleases me. He wakes up when I wake up. Our schedules are as synced as two ladies sharing the same cycle for their menses. I assume he wakes when I do because it’s the only time he interacts with anybody or anything.
Once a week, (give or take) I clean out Dante’s tank. Not a complicated process. Probably like giving a dog or cat a bath but, oddly enough, with less water going all over the place. In the end, I give Dante some blood worms and let him go back to doing whatever the hell he does all day. I’m sure, like me, much of it involves napping.

Sometimes, I just look at Dante in his little tank. All he has is some pebbles at the bottom, along with a tiny pineapple house in the corner. Seems more like a gauche Christmas ornament than a tank decoration, but what do I know? Maybe Dante really loves SpongeBob. But anyway, that’s all he has in his tank. No other fish are allowed in there, because he’d try to beat them down or something. Maybe eat their corpses in victory? That’s what the pamphlet said, at least. And who am I to question the words of a pamphlet? Same thing applies when I read The Watchtower.
So I wonder what he does all day. All by himself. In a tiny tank. Does he miss his parents? His bros? The lady fish? The Incredible Mr. Limpet? As he swims around the same miniscule area he’s gotten to know over the last several months, I ponder: what does he think about? Does he discover anything new? Does he stare at me and my room the way I stare at him? Does he wonder what I think?

I coulda invented a story to tell through his eyes, I’m good at that. But I decided not to. I’m not sure I could imagine what goes on through his ridiculously small fishy head. Maybe nothing. Maybe he’s content. No goals to achieve. No mortgage or rent to pay. No career to suck his life away. Nobody to break his heart. No concern about what the fuck is going on with Kanye these days. All he does is chill out and eat…and poop.
I like that. The simplicity, (Not the pooping part. Although, I could be persuaded. Who hasn’t fantasized of sitting in front of a tv, watching The Six Million Dollar Man while defecating in their soiled sweatpants from a sports team that hasn’t existed since the 70s?** It’s the goddamn American dream!) Anyway, maybe there’s a lesson to be learned from Dante the fish.

Nahhh…


*I.E. feeding a plant beer is just alcohol abuse. Beer doesn’t grow on trees people! 

** Wow that’s an extremely specific scenario.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Guess We Do Die Alone After All



(Sorry for there being more spelling errors than usual. This was a rush job this morning. Please to be grain-of-salting this thing I wrote in 30 mins.)

As many of you, some of you, none of you know, I (Josh) like to keep abreast of the daily goings-on in the world. From political debacles in Latveria, to the latest lotto winner in Thalidomide, AK., I stay in the know by watching and reading the news on an almost daily basis. So imagine my surprise, sadness and befuddlement when I read this news story last night.  

It seems that the body of a Navy vet was discovered in his apartment in the quaint, and oft-overlooked town of DeSoto Tx. (Motto: Where am I on a map again?) He was dead, and had been for a while. How long you ask? Oh, I dunno, how about

THREE YEARS!

Wrap your head around that. I want you to go sit in a corner, facing the wall, put on some noise-cancelling headphones, ignore your surroundings including your boss Mr. Wormface telling you to get back to your cubicle, and try to comprehend the situation I have just laid out before you. Do you know how many factors had to be in play for this to happen?

It seems that he had his rent paid automatically through his income. Although, unless he specialized as being a corpse in episodes of Law & Order, I have no clue what his income would be. But whatever, he had enough in his bank account to take care of rent. But that still doesn’t make sense.

I’m a man of the world, I’ve lived in houses, apartments, yurts, dorms, tents, barracks, crawlspaces and mystical caverns. I have yet to live in an apartment complex that didn’t raise the rent yearly. But that’s fine, let’s say that either his brand-new (more on that later) apartment was rent controlled, or he had enough in the bank to cover any rate hikes, there’s still the fact that he needs to sign contracts to stay or leave the apartment after a certain amount of time. That’s just how the faceless, heartless companies that run apartment complexes work. It’s all about the paper, both money and legally-binding contracts.

But ok, ignore that. Also, let’s ignore utilities. I’m not aware of an apartment complex that covers all utilities, but maybe I’ve just drawn the short end of the straw with that and there are places that do cover every utility. That’s good, more power to the people who live in those complexes, I’m jelly. However, what about his cable or satellite bills? Surely those weren’t covered by his rent. Then again, maybe his service provider just cut off service and sent angry letters about his account. But if that’s true, that brings me to my next point: what was the deal with his mailbox?

I once lived in an apartment where I literally stopped opening my mailbox and checking my mail, because I mostly had junk mail and flyers and shit. One day I opened the box to discover a note from the mailman saying that they quit delivering my mail (something about no more space in my mailbox) and I could go pick it up at the post office. To which I replied with my own note that as soon as he stopped delivering junk mail, I’d start picking up my mail.* It got to the point where they started returning letters to people who sent them to me. I find it surprising that the post office in DeSoto didn’t do something similar.

And what about packages that UPS or FedEx shipped? Wouldn’t they have put sticky notes on the door? And every building has that one nosy tenant (I’m talking about you Mrs. Snodgrass!) who would say something to management about all the stickers, or the pile of newspapers in front of the door. None of it makes sense!

Hey, you’re wondering, what about the smell? And you’re right. Once a guy died in my father’s apartment building and nobody noticed for two weeks until the smell became too much. Same thing happened a few months ago to a college student in Europe. He’d been dead in his dorm room for a month before the smell finally made people notice something was wrong (by the way, how much do crime scene cleaners get paid? It’s not enough). The cop who arrived on the scene said he “noticed that the decomposition was advanced.” I know that eventually once all the liquids dry and the gases dissipate, that the smell lessens, but still. Did he live in a building full of noseless people? The news article said that the windows in his brand-new apartment were still sealed shut and airtight with plastic. I didn’t know apartments came that way, but it’s still confusing as to why he didn’t remove the plastic and get some air in there. It was Texas after all.

He was discovered by maintenance guys checking apartments where occupants weren’t using water. That also seems bewildering to me. Usually maintenance workers always have to install some kind of new filters for your AC or whatever, or do yearly pest sweeps or something. I just don’t understand how everybody could have ignored him for YEARS.

What about his family? Well, that’s the kicker. He was 51. His mother had no idea where he even lived. She called him once for his birthday in 2017. He didn’t answer. And that’s pretty much it. She couldn’t afford private investigators, and cops said that since he was naval and tended to travel, that he was just out gallivanting or something. She just gave up and sat there crying every holiday, wondering why her son was never there to be with her.

He lived alone. He died alone. But at least he died as he lived: Face down, Ass up.

*It didn’t work. Never fight the post office kids. They are a powerful lot.