Friday, December 12, 2008

Villainous Ne’re Do Wells

Due to contractual obligations with being a member of the upcoming presidential cabinet, Dr. Gooch will be unable to participate in any Eighty-Four Glyde entries for the next couple of months. In the meantime, I’ve asked my other Glyde contributor, Sir S.G. Thuggish Killington III, Esq. to help me with today’s entry.
With the recent release of the new James Bond movie: Quantum of Solace, we’ve decided to track down and interview some of the best, old Bond villains to see what they’re up to these days. So, without further ado, Here’s the esteemed Sir Killington and his interviews.

Killington: Salutations. We’re joined here today by a great member of the Bond Gallery of Rogues. He was the only villain to appear in more than one movie and was an excellent foil to 007.
Mr. Jaws, thank you for joining us today.
Jaws: Mmmphhirg.
Killington: I’m sorry, what? It’s hard to understand you.
Jaws: Shorry, itsh shometimes hard to talk wif deesh teef I’ve got.
Killington: Yes. Tell us about your teeth. They are quite a defining characteristic. Why did you choose them?
Jaws: Well, assh you know, I have titanium teef. I felt that deesh teef would be a great ashet to my career aash a goon. Before I had deesh, I was jusht a lowly thug on the totem poll. My only defining feachur wash that I wash really, really tall. Wif the new teef I wash able to update my resshume, wif shuch shkillsh assh: cable-bitter, bullet-chewer, flesh-ripper, and of coursh pershonal mirror for any criminal geniush in a hurry.
Killington: Fascinating. So tell us, Mr. Jaws, what have you been up to since your days as a badguy?
Jaws: Ironically enough, I’ve become a dental shpecialisht. I shpecializsh in dental work for children wif bad teef. I’ve alsho had quite a lucrative shide-job making grillsh for rappersh.
Killington: Thank you Mr. Jaws for that insightful look into your life.

Killington: Next I was able to sit down for a short time with the original Bond villain. The one by which all other Bond Second-Bananas were judged.
Oddjob, tell us what you have been up to these last 30 or 40 years.
Oddjob: (Annoyed grunt)
Killington: Really? And how has that been treating you?
Oddjob: (grunt)
Killington: And what lies in store in Oddjob’s future? What’s next for you?
Oddjob: (Very annoyed grunt)
Killington: It’s truly been an honor talking to you sir. Thank you.

Killington: Imagine my surprise when my next guest agreed to my interview. I’ve long been a fan of this particular Bond villain since I was but a wee Killington, and I was excited to be involved with this.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mayday!
So Mayday, as the first major female Bond villain, how did you feel blazing a trail for the evil bitches who followed you, such as that Russian temptress Xenia Onatop?
Mayday: Well, Killington, I thank you for the praise, but there were actually a few villainesses before me, such as Pussy Galore and Octopussy. These women gave me the inspiration to join up with the forces of evil.
Killington: True, true, but they all ended up as Bond’s lovers and eventually his allies.
Mayday: If you recall Killington, I too shared James’ bed.
Killington: …That’s right….I guess I had blocked that part out.
Mayday: It was a wonderful, and memorable, evening. Up till then I had just been the concubine of the evil genius industrialist Max Zorin. But after that night with James, I had changed from a six-foot-three, short-haired, androgynous, ebony villainess with jungle fever to a six-foot-three, short-haired, androgynous, ebony villainess with jungle fever who cared about the fate of the Silicon Valley.
Killington: Yikes. Okay. Well, what have you been up to since your supposed death at Bond’s hands?
Mayday: I’ve been keeping very busy! I’ve spread my wings and discovered the joys of being a professional call girl for Japanese businessmen in California.
Killington: Really?
Mayday: You’d be surprised how many Asian men have a fetish for tall, scary-looking black women with eyes that bug out.
Killington: Yes….Yes I would.

Those are all the interviews I have space for this time. I look forward to sharing some more of my interviews with Baron Samedi, Tee-Hee, Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint and many more, when the next James Bond movie is released.
Sir Digby Chicken Caesar was unavailable for comment.

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.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I now formally announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America

Democrats, Republicans: you’re idiots.

Like idiots you’ve been swallowing every random lie your political overlords have been feeding you.

Like idiots, you continue to abide by a two-party system that often places in power somebody that a lot people don’t want to see as POTUS. I can’t begin to recall how many times I’ve heard people saying they don’t like either candidate running for president (and not just this election) but have been guilted by society into voting for one of them (Vote or Die? Really Diddy? Does that make sense to anybody?).

Well, fret no longer idiots. It’s time for you to be represented by an idiotic Commander-in-Chief! It is for this reason that I formally announce my… wait for it… candidacy for President of the United States of America.

My platform will be based on strengthening our pitiful economy and making America a kick-ass country that people respect and love again, instead of just a place the rest of the world hates and fears because of our insane obsession with forcing democracy on the unwilling, (because honestly, has democracy done us much good recently?)
As president I will:

• Legalize a basic broadcast porn channel. Nobody should be without access to porn 24 hours a day.

• Put watchers in bathrooms to make sure everybody washes their hands. These people will have tasers they will be allowed to shoot into the naughty parts of violators.

• Make all gas stations sell gas for the same price. No more getting gas at one place then looking across the street to see it 5 cents cheaper. That’s so frustrating!

• Allocate money to scientists to create the Flux Capacitor.

• Crush all will and hope of people around the globe in an iron fist! (Oops, how did this one get in here?)

• Give more funding to figure out alternate fuel sources, like solar or hamster power.

• Legalize weed. That’s right, I said it.

• Use all of our recycled soda and beer cans to create giant robots to guard our border. Not the border with Mexico, the Canadian one. Those crafty bastards have been up to something for a while now.

• Outlaw any movie with the word “Movie” in the title, like “Date Movie,” “Epic Movie,” “Superhero Movie,” and “Movie: The Movie.”

• Force Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly to train as MMA fighters for two months. Then at the end of those two months, they’d have to go into the Thunderdome. Two men enter, one man leaves. Whomever wins gets to be the official spokesman for my white house press conferences.

• Do Bai Ling in the Lincoln bedroom and Rosario Dawson in the Oval Office. That’s called international relations bitches!

• Send some covert ops people to take out anybody in the world I didn’t like. I’m not talking about World Leaders here, just people I don’t like. I’m looking your way - guy who kicked me in fourth grade.

• Learn another language. Not for any specific reason, I’ve just wanted to learn Spanish or whatever and I think I’d have enough free time as the President to get that done.

Let’s get serious here. People are going to demand honest changes, and I’m the guy that can make those changes happen. Our economy right now is crazier than Lizzie Borden* on meth and it’s up to a strong leader to slap that bitch sane again, and since there are no strong leaders around, I’ve volunteered to take responsibility!
So on Tuesday (two days after my birthday, represent) step boldly into that voting booth with pride in your heart, a pen, marker or crayon in your hand, and be sure to cross out Barack Obama and John McCain and write in Joshua: President of the Eighty-Four Glyde, with a big ole check mark next to it! You’ll be doing this country a favor.

I’m Joshua Hutcheson and I approve this message.

*Let it not be said that I don’t keep it topical!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Forgotten Heroes of Yore: Rudy Ray “Dolomite” Moore

Dolomite was his name and *#$&ing up mother $*#*%^ was his game. He’s the one who killed Monday, whooped Tuesday and put Wednesday in the hospital. He called up Thursday to tell Friday not to bury Saturday on Sunday. And you could tell he meant every word of it.

Dolomite was the trash-talking, poem-spewing, ass-whooping, lady-seducing human tornado alter ego of comedian Rudy ray Moore.

Born in Cleveland on March 17 1927, Rudy Ray Moore spent his life as a comedian, singer, actor and Blaxploitation icon. His performances were a mixture of clever wordplay (see the opening paragraph) and witty rhyming. He was an early pioneer of rap. He’d get up on stage and tell funny, lyrical stories in a complex rhyming style.

I once did a blog where I simply copy and pasted an entire story of his, The Signifyin’ Monkey. It’s the only time I just used a poem that was written by somebody else. Part of it was laziness (duh) and part of it was it stood very well on its own and anything I added to it would just lessen its impact.

Back in the early 70s, Dolomite was framed for smuggling drugs by two crooked cops: Mitchell and White and his arch enemy: Willie Green. Dolomite was forced to give up possession of his club “The Total Experience,” as well as all of his prostitutes.

After five years in jail, Dolomite is pardoned by the warden (I didn’t know they could do that) due to a story told to him by Queen Bee (Dolomite’s bottom bitch) about Dolomite’s nephew being killed in a drive-by shooting. This story, as well as the current socio-economic problems in whatever city this takes place in, thaws the warden’s civic-minded heart and he sends Dolomite out to clean up the streets of the town.

Armed with a wardrobe full of flamboyantly tacky 70s-era pimp fashion (made of 50% Polyester, 50% Awesome) and an army of kung fu fighting hookers, Dolomite was able to fight for control of his club, bang a bunch of chicks, cleanup the neighborhood and rip a man’s heart out of his chest with bare hand. Defending the pimp lifestyle in American culture, Dolomite has done much for the pimps up, hoes down way of life.

That movie is so absoludicriously bad, it’s great. It’s nothing more than boom mics in shots, bad overdubbing, actors looking at the camera, forgotten lines and terrible acting. I love it. It’s always great at parties.

Dolomite spawned an equally bad sequel called The Human Tornado, in which Dolomite bangs some white chick so hard that the bed spins, the ceiling shakes and it looks as though the room is possessed by poltergeists. It was also an early role for everybody’s favorite ghostbuster, Ernie Hudson, back when he was a swingin’ 70s cat.

I heartily recommend that everybody check out Dolomite at least once. Though watching it twice to catch all the lines you’ll miss from laughing so hard the first time, wouldn’t hurt. Another good Rudy Ray Moore movie is Petey Wheatstraw the Devil’s Son-in-Law, which is as ridiculous as it title suggests.

Rudy Ray “Dolomite” Moore died earlier this week at the age of 81. He died from complications due to being too much of a badass for this world. I’m not sure where he died, but I like to picture him as not waking up after a night of satisfying dozens of women.

However he died, Moore heavily influenced black culture in America, and to a lesser degree our country’s culture as a whole. His style and wordplay were very unique and can’t be duplicated. He is survived by his family and the Cheeseburger Pimp.

And now, as I am oft want to do, a haiku in honor of Mr. Moore.

Dolomite the great
His pimp hand is the strongest
It falls like thunder

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Joshua’s Tales of Bathroom Horror: Trapped!

This is the most recent of my horrific bathroom tales. So recent that I still fume about it. But I got tired of telling people this story and having them laugh about it while I just got more frustrated. So I decided that sharing it will help me to separate from the awful experience and see the humorous side of things.

About a month and a half ago, my inconsiderate roommate (as featured in my poem: “Requiem to My Forced Shared Living Space Counterpart”) redeployed back to America, leaving the room entirely to me, to enjoy in naked, dingle berries-dangling-in-the-breeze happiness.

Of course, since he’s an thoughtless bastard, he left a ridiculous amount of trash that he didn’t feel like throwing away and personal stuff that he didn’t want to take back with him. Took awhile to clean. But at least it felt like my own room.

But this story isn’t about my roommate leaving, it’s about what happened a few days before he vamoosed.

Allow me to set up a little about the trailer in which we lived. It was a pretty decent-sized room with one door for an entrance, one door for a walk-in closet and one door that led to a bathroom that was shared by an adjoining trailer, where two other people lived. Since it was a shared bathroom, with a door leading to each living area, it only made sense that the doors had locks on them so people couldn’t just walk into other rooms and steal all of their precious…whatever (I honestly have no idea what I would steal from the other room. Since they were soldiers, it was very likely that the only things they had were copious amounts of MMA DVDs and Toby Keith albums). However, due to the fact that these trailers were built in Iraq, by the lowest bidder, (somebody who obviously got all of their construction knowledge from episodes of Bob the Builder) the locks were on the wrong side of the door.
At the time, my roommate was working a regular 9 – 5 shift and I was working the 11:30 – 8 pm swing shift. Which meant that I was able to sleep in and shower at my leisure. This allowed me to enjoy hot water and privacy.

One morning, while I was bathing my glorious, Adonis-like body, in what I thought was privacy, my roommate knocked on the bathroom door, yelling that he had to take a piss. I didn’t know why he was back in the room when he should have been at work and I really wasn’t down with him being in the bathroom at the same time as myself, but I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of an answer. So I didn’t say anything. He came in, did his business and left, closing the door once again behind him. I finished my cleansing ritual, (which is more complex than Patrick Bateman’s) wrapped myself in my towel and proceeded to exit the bathroom so I could get dressed and go to work.

Only, I wasn’t able to exit the bathroom. My roommate had locked the door behind him. I was trapped in the bathroom!

You see, with the locks on the wrong side of the door, it wasn’t possible to lock people out of the bathroom, for privacy’s sake, but it was very possible to lock people in.

At first I wasn’t too worried, I figured he was probably in the room packing to leave, or perhaps watching one of his many, inane skateboarding videos. So I knocked on the door to get his attention. No response. I knocked harder and still no answer. I started banging on the door furiously - all in vain.

I turned my attention to the opposite door, hoping that somebody in the other room was around and would be able to let me out. I knocked in their door, cautiously at first, but with increasing fervor. There was nobody home.

Realizing that I couldn’t depend on others to help me get out, I decided to use my own skills at breaking into buildings to break myself out of my bathroom. I tried prying the door open, I tried removing the hinges, I even tried taking off the doorknob. Nothing worked.

It was at this point that I began to panic. I was trapped in a room with no air conditioning, no clothes and no way to get in touch with anybody. I couldn’t contact people at my job to let them know where I was and it looked like I was going to be a prisoner until the end of the work day, when somebody came home. I wasn’t claustrophobic, just pissed. My anger at my roommate grew by the second.

Fast forward to 40 minutes later. Sitting despondently on the toilet, I suddenly heard a sound. One of the people in the adjoining room had finally returned. I knocked on the door and he opened. I was free! I explained my situation to the guy and thanked him for letting me out. But it wasn’t over yet.

I realized that my roommate had not only locked the bathroom door, but he had locked our trailer door as well. I had gone from being trapped in a bathroom, to being locked out of my room…while wearing nothing but a towel.

The next step was to get a back up key from the billeting people, a five-minute walk to another part of the compound, through heavily trafficked areas. Not an appealing prospect. Fortunately, I was in a bit of luck there. An hour earlier I had taken a load of clothes to the laundry trailer to wash. I only had to make it as far as the laundry trailer in the towel; I could then (as long as nobody was around) change into some clothes and go get the key. So that’s what I did. With each step I grew more and more angry at my roommate, fantasies of vengeance playing in my mind. A speech wrote itself in my head, waiting to be yelled at my roommate in a public place.

I made it to work on time that day, no thanks to him. I encountered him in our work place, but because I’m a sucker who doesn’t like confrontation, I toned down what I said and delivered it with a touch of barely controlled rage. I told him what he did and told him to stay far away from me until he left for America.

Telling other people what had happened only made me madder. Because, honestly, it’s hilarious to hear stories of somebody locked in a bathroom, (unless it happens to you). If it had been a closet or just about any other kind of room, the humor factor wouldn’t exist. But bathrooms are naturally funny. It’s just the way things are.
Now, many people believe in karma. Somebody does something bad to you and something bad will happen to them at some point down the line. You probably won’t be around to see it happen, or get any satisfaction from it, but you just have to believe that it’s going to happen.

I don’t buy it and I don’t outsource my revenge to cosmic forces, I like to take care of business myself. Luckily, I’m an Evil Genius™ so vengeance comes naturally.
I won’t go into details of what I did to the guy. Suffice it to say, I did something to his boots and some of his favorite DVDs. I set up some treats in his baggage for customs to find as he was going through Kuwait. But my favorite part was what I did to his precious, precious lotion. From that day on, each time he applied lotion to his face (which he loved to do at least twice a day) he was applying just a little bit of my own special ingredient to his skin. I hear it’s high in protein, so maybe I did him a favor. Perhaps I should market a brand of “Josh’s Own Baby Batter Lotion.” I think it’ll be a big seller.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Only In My Dreams

Dreams are crazy things, aren’t they? Can’t be predicted, can’t be controlled, hell they can’t even be understood, let alone explained (though a lot of people make money off of doing so anyway.)
What are dreams? Why do we have them? Why do so many of my dreams involve zombies?
It’s typically at this point where I’d turn to my friend and long-time contributor Dr. Gooch for answers, but we’re currently in the middle of salary renegotiations and he refuses to appear in another Eighty-Four Glyde until he gets paid more. Greedy bastard.
When Dr. Gooch fails me I turn to that glorious thing known as the internet for help, but unfortunately, due to recent false online voter registrations I did for Acorn, (who knew they’d notice Mickey Mouse doesn’t live in Michigan? I thought I was being slick.) my internet privileges have been revoked. So I guess I’m just going to have to speculate wildly about the nature of dreams.
The first time I had a dream, I was asleep. Of course, in the elusive nature of dreams, I can’t remember what it was about. I can’t remember what 90 percent of my dreams are about and I bet you can’t either. From what I understand about dreams, they occur in a part of the brain (the clitoris, I think it’s called?*) that doesn’t really deal in memory. Also, when talking about dreams, it’s important to throw in words like subconscious and unconscious. Not really too sure what the difference is, but they seem pretty damn similar and make me sound like I know what I’m talking about.
Dream experts (which is a totally made up term, like financial expert) say that the best way to remember dreams is to keep a “dream journal,” or “dream log,” next to your bed, on your “dream bedside table,” and every time you wake up, immediately write down what you remember with your “dream pencil” or, failing that, your “dream cheap-ass Bic pen that fell down behind your mattress like 6 months ago that you’ve been too lazy to get.” It seems that writing down what you remember helps train your brain to remember more.
There are a lot of different kinds of dreams. Some of the most popular are dreams involving falling, flying, being chased, sex, people from your past, what you’re going to get for Christmas (or equivalent holiday) and in my case, those damn zombies.
Dreams that people rarely have, yet have somehow been made popular by Hollywood, involve not studying for a test, forgetting to wear pants to school, getting everything you want only to see it taken away and getting it on with a totally perfect female form with Abraham Lincoln’s head.
From previous research I’ve done on dreaming, “experts” say that dreams are any number of things, from entertainment for our brains while our bodies recharge, to a download of everything you observed during the day (both consciously and unconsciously) for filing away in your mind. Considering that we use only around 12 percent of our brains (Joe the Plumber and people who enjoyed Beverly Hills Chihuahua, use significantly less) there’s plenty of room in our heads for useless stuff, which is probably why I know so much about bad movies.
Of course, in the end, we really don’t understand our minds at all. I know I certainly don’t, and I’ve been eating the brains of my enemies for years to absorb their knowledge!
They say that different dreams mean different things. Dreams about falling probably have something to do with an unaddressed fear of being overweight. Likewise, dreams about flying deal with an irrational fear of gravity. Dreams about being chased represent a subconscious feeling of guilt about something, or a subconscious desire to be a track star. Dreams about people from your past are really about unresolved issues that continue to haunt you, or maybe they’re about a love of fishing. I’m not too sure. And, of course, dreams about sex are really about an urge to do your taxes and roast a turkey until it’s really dry and tough.
As previously mentioned, I have an inordinate amount of dreams about zombies. I honestly have no idea why. In some of these dreams the zombies are people I know (but gladly kill anyway) and in others people that exist only in my mind. The oddest thing about the dreams though, is that I remember them clearly, down to the last detail, and can recall them at will, years later.
I’ve always had a theory about dreams. While dreaming, I can never tell that I’m in a dream. I mean, I know things aren’t right and that the last thing I remember before I went to bed isn’t being a superhero in New York, but I can never put two and two together and say to myself “Hey, I’m dreaming!” All I know is that I never really have to fear or take anything seriously in a dream because I can somehow tell that it’s not true.
My theory is that if I can realize I’m in a dream while dreaming, then I should be able to control the dream, much like Neo can control the Matrix. It’ll be a Battle Royale between my conscious and subconscious. Two parts of my brain fighting it out over control, kinda like being able to sneeze with your eyes open.
Once, a few months ago, I actually realized that I was in a dream and decided to take advantage of it. I started off small, changing the color of a nearby mailbox, and graduated to turning myself invisible to engage in shenanigans. The problem though, is that when I woke up, I didn’t know if I actually had control over elements in my dream, or if I only dreamed that I had control. My subconscious is a wily devil!
I hope I answered all the questions you had about dreaming. And I did it all without the help of Dr. Gooch or actual research! I’m so proud of myself.
Now why don’t you take a nap and dream a little dream of me?

*I’m not that stupid! I know the clitoris is in the gastrointestinal tract, what kind of idiot do you think I am?!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Josh’s Guide to Making a Movie: The Horror Movie

Hi! And welcome back to my multi-part Guide to Making a Movie. Today I tackle making a favorite genre of mine, the Horror movie.

Done right, the Horror movie can inspire fear and pants-wetting across the country and spawn generations of copy cats. Who knows, If you’re good enough, you can make the next Evil Dead flick!

The Horror Movie: Horror movies are simple. There are two main types: Supernatural and Psychotic. Supernatural horror movies usually have a villain, or villains who are other-worldly in nature. Ghosts, monsters, religious items, leprechauns, dead slaves with hooks for hands; these are all examples of supernatural elements. Psychotic horror movies usually involve crazy people, serial killers, long, sharp objects that poke through people and leave bloody holes and radiated and/or mutated animals that go crazy and attack people.

Key elements to horror movies are: A large amount of blood. A virginal and innocent female lead who lives to the end. A strong male lead who looks like he could take care of business and therefore is killed in the first five minutes. A comic relief character who elicits sympathy but gets killed anyway. A bunch of stupid white people to get killed during the course of the movie. And at least one smart black person who decides to get the hell out while the gettin’s good, (but is killed anyway because WPs are jealous they weren’t smart enough to do the same thing.) Due to Affirmative Action, if there’s more than one minority in the movie (black, Latino, Asian, Indian, well-bathed European) then at least one must live.

When it comes to the gore factor, there are two approaches. You can either make the gruesome elements subtle and leave most to the audience’s imagination, or you can go the opposite direction and put way too much gore and blood in the script. Either approach works and what you decide should depend on what kind of audience you want to go for and if the straight-to-DVD market is up your alley.

On another note, torture porn is a very tiny niche of horror movie and really shouldn’t be considered if you’re going to make a movie. The market is over-saturated and cannot bare another of these flicks.

Nudity is vital. Your dialogue and special effects will probably be subpar, and the best way to keep people attentive is to include bewbies and sex. You shouldn’t consider yourself above it, nor should your actors consider. Remind them that there’s a paycheck involved, so they’d better get to debasing themselves with the quickness.

On the other hand, don’t hire actors and actresses based on how they look or how sexy they are. Otherwise it just seems like a soft-core porn flick with a little horror thrown in for good measure. The size of an actor’s/actress’s physical attributes is inversely proportional to their acting ability. Just ask Misty Mundae.

Be sure to add plenty of fake scares in your movie. Have people slowly open closet doors with a dramatic music build up, just to find the closet empty. Then, naturally, put the real scare less than five seconds after the fake one.

There are two types of endings to horror movies. In the first type, the bad guy kills everybody and wins. This is a pretty typical ending. It’s expected. You can’t go wrong with it. In the second type the villain is thought to have been killed, but one last lingering shot reveals to the audience, with dramatic irony, that the bad guy is still alive and just itching for the sequel.

The horror movie is a good movie to make because you’re guaranteed at least two sequels. And that’s more money in your pocket. But avoid remaking Japanese horror movies. Those have a short shelf life and Sarah Michelle Gellar is getting kind of tired of starring in them.

Join me next time, when I explain how to make a Sci-fi movie.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Forgotten Heroes of Yore: Don Knotts

Throughout the history of Hollywood, there have been comedic geniuses, Buster Keaton, Danny Kaye, Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks, Jim Carrey, Dave Chappelle, Bill O’Reilly, Dame Judi Dench and of course, Don Knotts.

But it wasn’t always that way for Don Knotts. He long harbored dreams of being a Shakespearean actor in British theatre.

Don Knotts, born Julius Aloysius Thumington Knottsbury the Third, came into existance in 1924, while his family was summering in the south of France, specifically their summer villa and winery in the Bordeaux region.

The acting bug hit young J. Aloysius early in life. While in preschool, he took on the role of Baby Jesus in the St. Jean-Pierre Church production of the Nativity. Unfortunately, others in the congregation felt that a four-year-old was too aged to be playing a newborn. They also took offense with the fact that the Knottsbury family was actually Zoroastrian. The congregation stoned them (and not in the good way) and chased them out of France, all the way to Morgantown, West Virginia.

Destitute and smelly, the Knottsburys shortened their last name to Knotts and took over managing a manure farm, (human manure, unfortunately) making them even smellier. To rid themselves of their outsider status, J. Aloysius and his brothers, (Thurgood and Chesterford) changed their names to Don, Ron and Jon, respectively. They all attended Spittle County Public School (grades: 1 – until people get tired and leave) when they weren’t shoveling manure.

While in school, young Don Knotts continued to practice his acting skillz. He starred in a locally-aired commercial for “Knotts People Poop Fertilizer.” A small-time producer saw Don’s portrayal of a hungry child smeared in human excrement and was blown away by the sheer acting genius. He hired Don for his first big time acting gig as Deputy Barney Fife in The Andy Griffith Show. Here’s an excerpt of Andy Griffith’s memoir, The Space Between Two Big Ass Ears:

“The first time I met Don was very interesting. He affected this British accent that he said he cultivated during his childhood in the champs of Southern France. This was a bit of a problem since none of us could understand a lick of what he was saying! Not to mention I don’t even know how you get a British accent from living in France. So for the first three and a half weeks Don ended up working with a dialect coach to rid him of his accent and make him sound a little more down home. You might notice in early episodes how he doesn’t talk that much…he does grunts and other wacky noises.”

After a few seasons as Andy Griffith’s bumbling sidekick, Don Knotts felt that it was time for him to move on to more sophisticated fare. In the mid 60s, he decided to move to Hollywood to work in motion pictures.

This was the best time to break into movies because Hollywood was going through a renaissance. Dramatic and sweeping epics were becoming huge and extremely bankable. It was the exact type of acting that Don dreamed of doing. The first role he auditioned for went back to his early acting roots when he attempted to play Jesus once again, this time in MGM’s production of Jesus Saves Easter.

Unfortunately, due to his jittery, emaciated countenance, he was unable to secure the role as the Messiah and ended up playing an animated fish in the Disney movie The Incredible Mr. Limpet. The pain was compounded as the actor who did land the role of Jesus, Tommy Kirk, won the Oscar that year for best actor. This turn of events led Don into a deep spiral of depression that could only be alleviated by his blossoming addiction to sniffing people’s chairs.

After a series of semi-popular Disney movies, including The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, and The Apple Dumpling Gangbangs Annie Oakley, Don was feeling used up by Hollywood.

He moved to New York to clear his head and try to make it onto Broadway. He felt that the fast lane lifestyle of smelling chairs and doing “zany” movies was the wrong direction for his career. He remembered his early dream of being a Shakespearean actor and felt that the NYC theater scene could catapult him onto the British stage.

He started off Broadway, playing a small bric-a-brac giraffe in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. During the climactic scene his character is swept off a table and crashes to the floor where he breaks into a thousand shards of glass. His performance was immediately noticed by theater critics, who hailed Don Knotts as the best non-gay man on Broadway.

Don was able to use this praise to land a starring role in Carnival of Souls: The Musical! It was a smashing success and for the first time in his life felt like he was living his dream.

He then decided to quit bullshitting and moved to England to act in theater. His first and only role was as the Necrophilia-obsessed Vicar in the lesser known Shakespearean tragedy Vicars. Bollocks & Spotted Dick, at The Globe in Stratford-upon-Avon. The play was considered extremely bad by everybody in the audience. In a violent rage they burned down The Globe, dug up Shakespeare and desecrated his body and lynched any member of the cast they could get their hands on. Don barely escaped with his life and only survived due to his amazing skills as an actor and his ability to fit in anywhere.

He moved back to America and ended up taking his second most famous role as Mr. Furley in Three’s Company, from 1979-1984. As Mr. Furley, Knotts was able to use his fame to bed any women on the set, and many men as well. It was at this time that his terrible addiction to seat sniffing reared its ugly head, stronger than ever.

Regardless of personal problems, Knotts soon became immensely popular and was mobbed everywhere he went. It wasn’t the fame and success he craved. It barely filled the big gaping hole in his soul. Over the next 20 years he slept walked through roles in Scooby Doo, That 70s Show and much more. He became a hollow mockery of the great actor he once was.

Don Knotts died by auto erotic asphyxiation February 24, 2006. He was found by his maid, laying naked in bed, his head in a plastic bag, and a tube of KY on his bedside table. A nation mourned for a full week and the government would have declared February to be Don Knotts month, but was scared of black people rioting and corrupting all of their innocent, nubile white daughters.

In the end, the people of Morgantown, West Virginia, erected a statue of Don Knotts in their town square. Unfortunately decided to depict him as he was found: strangled to death while masturbating.

That’s messed up.

I end this testament as I do with each of them, by haiku:

Don Knotts is the man
He seemed to have the palsy
Like a shaky stick

Sunday, October 05, 2008

WTF is a “finance”?

Hello and welcome to another episode of What The F*ck? In this episode, our financial expert and economist Dr. Gooch will answer all of the made up questions posed once again by you: the made-up readers! Got a question about the current state of the American economy? Then worry not friends! Dr. Gooch is here to allay all your fears and worries.

Q: Lay it out for me doc. What the F*ck is going on with the American economy? Say it in a way a typical, God-fearing, PBR-drinking, gun-shooting, wife-beating, minority-hating, English-speaking, child-abusing, meth-taking, red-blooded, patriotic white American male like myself can understand. Homer S.
A: Not a problem Homer. The American economy is doing about as well as a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest against the Rockettes. In other words, pretty soon the Peso is going to make the dollar look like so much toilet paper.

Q: How did we get this way? Suzie O.
A: It didn’t happen overnight Suzie. You see, for the last forty years American businesses have secretly been funneling money to Santa to keep his operation in the North Pole afloat. It works for both parties, Santa gets to send toys to the kiddies and the businesses get free advertising for their products. What happened was Saint Nick went bankrupt a long time ago due to a mixture of extremely high overhead and an addiction to gambling. That’s when we stepped in to bail Santa out, for the good of boys and girls all over this great Christian nation of ours.

Unfortunately, Santa just couldn’t stop looking for some action. He got in over his head with the Yakuza while betting on the ponies and three-fourths of his work force was kidnapped by the Japanese as forced labor in animation studios to churn out cheap Hentai cartoons. So, in order to buy Santa’s elves back in time for Christmas this year, American businesses had to hand over ass loads of money to the Yakuza. That’s why they’re broke, and by extension, you’re broke.

Q: Are we in a recession? And if so, will that lead to a depression? Alan G.
A: Yes Alan, we are in a recession. You can tell because the price of MacDonalds’ Big Macs and Popeyes chicken have gone up. So has Amish clown porn. It’s a sad time indeed.
As far as a looming depression, my Magic Eight ball says all signs point to yes. The only way to prepare for this is to take all your money out of banks, hide it under your mattress and hope that you don’t accidentally burn your house down while smoking and drinking all day due to being laid off from your job at the novelty squirting toilet factory.
See you in hell.

Q: What will the Bailout package do for me? Isn’t it just paying off the people who put us in this situation in the first place? Barney F.
A: The bailout package is actually a stroke of political genius. You see, the government is going to give large quantities of money to those who deserve it most: the people who barely have enough cash to fuel their private jets or maintain upkeep of their many palatial homes. We have to make sure these people are able to continue living the lives they’re accustomed to. After all, they’re living the American Dream and represent the very best of us. Don’t be jealous. Just keep eating your sugar sandwiches, using your food stamps and only having enough water to bathe once a week. It builds character.

Q: What stock market advice do you have? Nancy P.
A: Good question Nancy! This is a great time to play the stock market if you know what you’re doing. First of all, buy up all the stock you can. It doesn’t matter what stock it is. The cheaper the better. Take any money you have and sink it into the market. While everybody else is scared and selling their stocks, you’re in a prime position to diversify your portfolio. May I suggest you load up on the stock of various banks? They’re due for a boost. You can ride this bull market to a financial orgasm!

Q: What does “finance” mean? George B.
A: If you don’t know it means by now, then don’t worry about it. Only a few months left to go, jack ass.

Join us for another episode of What The F*ck? When we answer all your questions on a whole range of subjects. From how to change the oil in your car, to how to recombine Deoxyribonucleic acid to give yourself super powers.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Josh’s Guide to Making a Movie: The Romantic Comedy

So, you want to make a movie? Good for you. If you’re gonna make a movie, you’ll have to figure out what kind of movie you want. It’s really not that hard, there’re only a few different types and they’re all pretty easy to figure out. This is Hollywood, where nothing is new or experimental. Everything follows a specific formula that never changes. Let’s explore the first one…

The Romantic Comedy: (Not to be confused with the Chick Flick, though it is a sub-genre.) This movie is important in American cinema. It’s much needed filler, in between the action, horror and comedy movies, that arrive in theaters. Much like a drink of water in between dinner courses at a fine restaurant, or eating a rice cake, the” rom-com” is a palate cleanser. It’s just so much fluff. Without the “rom-com” theaters would be so full of movies that people actually want to see, that people won’t be able to make up their minds, and society will collapse from indecision (if it hasn’t already collapsed financially.)

There are some important elements to a romantic comedy: At least one person in the couple-to-be needs to have some kind of quirky or off-beat job. This job should require very little work, but provide the character with all the money they’ll ever need. The characters who are to be romantically linked cannot meet in a normal way, like at a bar or at work. They have to be thrown together in a way that doesn’t make a lick of sense and is most likely impossible. Examples include:
Time travel

One person is a ghost

One person is an angel

One person pretends to be a chick but is actually a dude

The characters win the lottery together somehow

Make up your own unlikely ways for your characters to meet. Don’t worry if it seems totally outrageous, women will still flock to the theaters in droves. Hell, make one of ‘em a cartoon character. I don’t think that’s been done yet, (though I could be wrong, there are literally 3 billion romantic comedies out there.)

Also your movie needs to star either Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson or, most likely, Drew Barrymore, as the female lead. The male lead can be Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, or some other non-threatening white male, possibly with a foreign accent.

A rom-com with just two people falling in love is really nothing more than a romance flick. So you’ll need a wacky family member or wacky friend/neighbor. This side character is there simply to say what’s on the mind of the audience members (“Kiss the bitch already! Put me out of my misery!”) and gets most of the laughs. Often, this poor soul will carry the film.

Most rom-coms also include at least one ruined wedding and typically have one of the main characters having to leave an established relationship to enter in a new one so that the movie can exist.

The rom-com can end in one of two ways. The first way is one person in the relationship does something completely outrageous and stupid to demonstrate their love for the other person. Of course, in real life, such action is highly unrealistic because, to be honest, nobody is really that much in love, or that committed to a relationship to run across a baseball field barefoot, or purposely lose a career-making court case. Besides, behavior that is considered romantic in a rom-com is considered obsessive in real life.

The second type of ending is the most common and is the simplest. It simply involves one character running to or through an airport to stop the other person from leaving his/her life forever. It should be an airport, although, bus stations, train stations and cabs are also acceptable.

The most important thing is to end the movie right when the couple gets back together, but before we can see any awkward fights, or the inevitable break-up that will occur within a few months. This is the best way to confirm the concept that love is the best thing in the entire world and is totally worth all the crap you go through. It’s upbeat and saps in today’s audiences need that.

Join me next time when I explain how to make a horror movie.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hot sheets: Got a bun in the oven and always carry your lucky human’s foot

Howdy friends. Got a new Hot Sheets for ya this week. A little levity for you to enjoy on this easy, laid back Sunday morning.

First off, in Portland, Oregon (Motto: Oregon, more than just a cheesy computer game from the 80s) comes the interesting tail of a 71-year old who went into the Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach with abdominal pains only to discovery the actual diagnosis was pregnancy.

The actual hospital paperwork stated “Based on your visit today, we know you are pregnant.”

There are stories like this; rare, but they happen. Like once every ten or so years you hear about a ridiculously old chick who finds out she’s pregnant (speaking of which, I hope to never make it to that age, cause I really don’t want to find 70-year-old women attractive. It’s not adorable, it’s unsettling!) while going to the hospital for gout, or shingles or some such.

The only problem is, this time it wasn’t a 71-year-old women. It was a dude. A grandfather named John Grady Pippen, to be exact.

According to William McMillan, the hospital administrator, it was “an errant keystroke” that caused the wacky mix-up.

Ok, now, we can all enjoy a hearty larf at such zany shenanigans, but that’s because the “errant keystroke” caused nothing more than a minor disturbance. Obviously the guy knew he wasn’t preggers, so it was no big deal.

But, what’s worse are the stories where some dude goes into the hospital to get his tonsils out (do they still do that anymore?) and ends up getting his frank and beans chopped off because the doctor had the wrong paperwork. That shit is scary! And it happens a lot more than we know! I watch Scrubs, I know that hospital administrators bury mistakes and silence witnesses. Just like that one episode where J.D. and Turk went to the home of that botched surgery patient and killed and dismembered him so he couldn’t sue. It was a heart-warming episode.

That’s why I do all my own surgeries at home. It’s cheaper and I rarely make mistakes.

Toes grow back, right?
The next story is all the way from a little place called Fort Pierce, Florida. The home of cokehead alligators and the country’s stupidest voters (I say you guys should vote for Bush again. Let’s see what happens!)

Just a little word of warning if you’re ever in St. Lucie County: Don’t get into a car accident on I-95 and have your foot severed!

Besides the obvious reasons of doing your best to not get your foot lopped off, there’s another reason. Those damn sticky fingered firefighters might steal it!

On September 18th, there was a car accident where a guy’s foot was sheared off, (he probably let his wife drive and she was distracted by texting, or something). He went to the hospital for treatment (and when I say he went, I’m sure he was taken there by an ambulance and didn’t walk).

According to the fire department’s policy, they’re supposed to take severed body parts to the hospital with the victim. Well, it looks like this foot didn’t make it to the hospital until September 24th! I did the math, that’s six whole days later. I’d like to imagine the conversation when they discovered the foot was missing.

Victim: Honey? Have you seen my foot anywhere around? The doctor is asking for it.

Vitcim’s wife: Your foot?

Victim: Yeah, you know…the thing I walk on…S’got five toes…was cut off in that horrible car accident we were just in?

Victim’s wife: No dear, I haven’t seen it. Who had it last?

Victim: The last person I saw it with was that creepy-looking fireman who was fondling it, drooling and muttering to himself.

Victim’s wife: Uh-oh.

Man, I’ve heard of some freaky fetishes in my life, (I particularly enjoyed the Hot Sheets I did where the dude cut a whole in some chick’s couch and crawled inside) but I have never heard of a severed appendage fetish. And why a foot? Did he have a heavy door that he wanted to prop open? Perhaps some severed foot fetish magazines he didn’t want blown about his windy apartment? I can’t even imagine.

So there you go. What have we learned today kiddies? If you’re an old dude, don’t get pregnant, it won’t end well. And if you get a body part lopped off in a devastating car accident be sure to put it in your pocket, or at least get a receipt.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Public eating etiquette for men and women

I love to eat. My stomach and the extra holes I had to make on my belt can attest to that. I love to eat and I love to cook. I find cooking to be soothing and focusing. When I have had a bad day or am just bored, I get in a kitchen and just go to work. It calms me down and I enjoy myself. Even if nobody likes the food I make, I just love to create and experiment in the kitchen.

When I’m not cooking for myself or for guests, I like to drag my fat ass to restaurants. I’m a big restaurant guy. Especially American restaurants where they give you, per sitting, more food than five African villages have seen in a year. Not to mention the booze.

Of course, one cannot go to a restaurant alone. To do so is a huge faux pas. You look like a friendless turd who couldn’t get a date or a companion if your life was at stake, (well, maybe not that bad, but pretty close.) So you’ll always want to make sure that you’re out at a restaurant eating with somebody, even if it’s some bum off the street.

On a side note, eating at a bar is a totally different vibe. You are allowed to eat alone at a bar, because doing so seems kind of like something to do while your body is absorbing all that alcohol that you truly went there to enjoy. In that case, be sure to enjoy at least two drinks and maybe some bar nuts or something before you order food, or else it’s just weird.

Now, let’s pretend that, like me, you’re a dude, (albeit, not as manly as me, but that’s to be expected, don’t worry, you can’t help it.) who’s going out to eat with another guy. There are a few reasons you’d eat with another guy (or guys).

• You’re both just finishing up some manly sporting event and you want to celebrate at a nearby establishment.

• You haven’t eaten large amounts of cow flesh, or quaffed great amounts of beer in the last four hours.

• You’re getting a full belly before going out to a bar or club to pick up some women with loose morals.

• You’re hungry.

Eating with a male friend is easy. We don’t ask for much. Appetizers will most likely be ignored, in favor of going straight to the main course, unless the appetizer itself is the food. If that’s the case, then it’ll be something fried and greasy.

Beer or some other alcohol is likely to be purchased. If appetizers are also ordered, they will be individual appetizers and are not to be shared! (more on that in a bit.) And the food will no doubt be loaded with calories and fat. Salads are not allowed.

There will be little to no small talk while waiting for food to arrive. Unless said conversation is about:

1. Who would win in a three-way fight between Chuck Norris, Steven Segal and Mr. T
2. How the local sporting teams are fairing
3. All of the women they’ve banged and any subsequent lawsuits
4. Why The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension could be the best movie ever made

The meals will be short, not lingering affairs where the participants sit around, sipping cups of coffee and gossiping.

There will be no ordering of dessert. Ever.

When a man (usually me) and a woman are eating at a restaurant, whether they’re friends or it’s a date or whatever, there are some rules that women need to follow.

1. Eat what you order. If you want to eat the spaghetti, then order the spaghetti. Don’t order the spaghetti if you really want to sample what’s on my plate. There’s nothing more annoying than the female habit of food-sharing. Leave my food alone! I ordered it cause that’s what I was in the mood for.

2. Eat what you order. I’m probably shelling out good money for the meal, so you’d better damn well eat everything on your plate! Don’t be modest and save shit for later. That’s dumb.

3. Order some damn food! I didn’t take a shower, get dressed in my finest duds, (you know, the t-shirt with the tux design on the front and my favorite plaid shorts) drive all the way out somewhere (and wasting $100 on gas) to watch you order a salad. Not hungry you say? Better make some room for this knuckle sandwich you’re about to eat!

4. I don’t care if you order dessert, as long as you don’t care that I’m ordering my eighth drink so I can put up with listening to you babble about every thought that wafts through your empty head.

5. In fact, don’t talk at all. If you’re talking, then you’re not eating. And certainly don’t expect me to hold up my end of a conversation. My mouth is full of food.

6. Feel free to pick up the tab sometimes. Women have been liberated for decades, chivalry is dead and Japanese porn isn’t cheap. Priorities!

If everybody just follows these simple rules of etiquette, then we’ll all be happier and better off. Especially if I’m forced to go to that ridiculous excuse for a restaurant, The Olive Garden. Yeah, I said it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hot sheets: Free parking my ass and kids (porn) say the darnedest things

For this week’s Eighty Four Glyde Hot Sheets, I decided to go with a new approach. Instead of wacky stories from around the country, I’m going to offer commentary on real stories that may or may not affect you. Stories that you might actually have an opinion on. Let’s see how it goes.

The first story: “Cities rethink wisdom of 50s-era parking standards” concerns parking spaces in cities like Washington D.C. and others across these fruited plains. It was reported in USA Today, yesterday.

It looks like the District has a parking problem, but not the one you’d think. Some critics think that there are too many parking spaces in D.C. This “over abundance” of spaces apparently make the city look ugly and “eat up space that could otherwise be used for trees.” Because, as well all know, people go to cities to enjoy the foliage.

The idea is that if “they” make it harder to park in major cities, then “they’ll” be able to use the empty lots for new and thriving businesses, like restaurants that aren’t up to health codes and porno stores.

Less parking spaces means more pedestrians and less traffic and congestion. This means that we’ll have quaint little cities where everybody walks where they need to go, regardless of the weather or if they have a lot of shit to carry.

Let’s think about that for a moment. I happen to live near D.C. and I find this idea to be retarded in the extreme. I hate going downtown already because of the lack of decent parking. But don’t take my word for it. Read the words of Virginia commuter Randy Michael: "Today I had an 11:30 meeting and I had to plan an extra hour just to park" said Michael, 49. It ended up taking him 40 minutes to find a metered spot.

How ridiculous is that? And less spaces will make the situation better?
There’s already too few parking lots and parking garages in D.C. and the ones that are around are so expensive that I end up having to take a loan out before I drive into the nation’s capital.

“But Josh,” you say. What about that famous D.C. mass transit system? I mean you’ve got buses, taxis and the metro!”

Yes, let’s talk about the metro for a minute. Half the time there are delays that can take hours, or entire lines are shut down because some hobo’s remains were accidentally run over. The other half the train’s packed so tight with commuters that you can tell if the guy next to you is circumcised or not. And that’s not my idea of fun.

Nope, people who want to erase parking spaces from the face of the Earth so that they can plant trees and make the city “look nice” should go play in the traffic they so desperately want to get rid of. We need to burn down more buildings so that there are more spaces, more spaces means cheaper parking.

I vote that we pave paradise and put up an all night, five-story parking lot with stairwells that don’t smell like piss and vomit.
The next story is from Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell, and it’s about a new and exciting cult from the bottom lands of Arkansas.

Feds raided a Christian ministry compound in Arkansas looking for evidence of child porn. I know what you’re thinking, Christians? Priests? Sex with little boys? Give us something new Josh!

And so I will. This time, it turns out that it’s not Catholic holy men who are into the kiddie porn. Nope, it’s the Tony Alamo Christian Ministry! Sounds like a new religion created by some radio D.J. from the 70s, doesn’t it?

Anyway, Rockin’ and Rollin’ Tony Alamo’s take on Christianity is anti-gay, anti-Catholic and anti-government. Well, I can’t fault them on the last one, at least. Oh yeah, and they’re also pro-polygamy, (which has always struck me as odd. Isn’t it enough just having to deal with one wife? Who needs more of that nonsense?!)

The feds raided the 15-acre compound without any kind of arrest warrant, which is just silly because that’s only warning people of what you’re trying to do. It’s like going to rob a bank but not bringing a gun, or mask, or sacks with dollar signs on them and asking politely for the money. It just doesn’t work.

Not that it matters anyway, because Big Bad Tony Alamo was actually in Los Angeles, probably to get the movie deal about his cult. Here’s what he had to say about the raid:

"We don't go into pornography; nobody in the church is into that," said Alamo, 73. "Where do these allegations stem from? The anti-Christ government. The Catholics don't like me because I have cut their congregation in half. They hate true Christianity."

Spoken like a real man of God.

I’m not exactly sure what makes this guy’s congregation a cult; it can’t be their dislike of the government, that’d make most people in America cultists. It can’t be the polygamy, or else Mormons would be cultists*. Hell, Alamo says he doesn’t even practice polygamy. And it can’t be the kiddie porn, or else Gary Glitter and more people in the country than I’d like to think about, would be cultists.

The ministry’s website says that Tony Alamo and his Wacky Morning Zoo is "dedicated to spreading the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the winning of souls worldwide."

That sounds wholesome and decent to me. I might have to shun my atheist ways and see what all the fuss is about.

Oh, and the name of where this compound is located?

Fouke, Arkansas. Not sure how it’s pronounced, but I bet I can fouken guess!

That’s the Hot Sheets for this week, join me next week when I just make up my own stories and then make fun of ‘em!

*Yeah, I know the Mormons don’t get down with polygamy anymore, but they used to, and people don’t accuse John Smith of trying to create a cult. Or do they?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Forgotten Heroes of Yore: Steven Segal

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Imagine it’s 1991 and you find yourself walking down a street in “The Big City.” It’s your first time there and you tend to gawk as you stare upward at the skyscrapers. Your every movement telegraphs the fact that you’re a tourist to everybody around.

You accidentally make a wrong turn while looking for the Museum of Vomit Splatters Shaped Like Religious Figures, and end up in some dark and smelly alley. You’re confused and apprehensive. You’ve heard that in the alleys of “The Big City” roving gangs of hoodlums and ne’er-do-wells hold sway, attacking and killing innocents like yourself, at will.

Suddenly, from the corner of your eye, out jumps three street thugs. They look big and mean and are holding various implements of destruction, while yelling at you, (with vulgar language no less!) that they want your wallet, watch, phone and any other valuables you have about your person. You’re scared stiff, unable to even comply with their brutish demands. Your eyes, locked on their knives and chains and whatnot, have you rooted you to the spot out of fear.

Like lightning, a flurry of fists and elbows attack out of nowhere, pinning the thugs against walls and throwing them to the ground. The thugs, bruised and battered, run for their lives, while your savior reveals himself to you. With squinty eyes, magnificent ponytail and mumbled, flat-toned words, the good Samaritan hands you back your wallet and tells you to be careful, before disappearing in the shadows like a ninja.

You have just been rescued by the force of nature that is Steven Segal. And you can take solace in that. But at the same time, let your heart hang heavy, because you know that every minute Steven Segal wastes in “The Big City” saving your ass, is one less minute he gets to spend in Montana, saving the mighty caribou, or the majestic spruce tree.

You see, Steven Segal would prefer to not be a fighter but, rather, a lover. A lover and a fighter. Okay, I guess he really wants to be both, but only for the most noblest of causes: Mother Earth. Steven Segal deeply loves nature and the environment and he’s willing to spastically aikido chop in the neck anybody who threatens his lady love.

The story of Steven Segal is a boring one, but one I shall tell nonetheless. Maybe I’ll throw in some explosions and gratuitous nudity to spice things up a bit.

Steven F. Segal (the F is for Fabricated) was born in 1951 in Lansing, Michigan. Poor boy. I’ve been to Michigan and I instantly pity him. When he was five, he (and probably the rest of his family) moved to California, where whatever it is in the air out there that instantly turns people on the west coast into loonies, worked its magic on him. He began studying aikido, which in Japanese means “martial art that a fat guy can do without moving around too much.”

Besides mastering aikido, (later earning the rank of Shodan, which really isn’t as impressive as it sounds) Steven Segal also earned belts in karate, kendo and judo. They were chartreuse belts, but they were belts none the less! And it’s more than you have, gaijin!

Feeling the high from all the fashion accessories he was earning, he moved to Japan and became the first foreign manager of an aikido dojo, (of course these days, the Japanese have outsourced all of their dojo managerial jobs to phone technicians in India. The students have suffered terribly due to communication problems.) He also claims to have fought Yakuza, but after seeing the kind of people he fights in his movies, I kind of doubt it.

Anyway, after a decade or so slumming around Japan, Segal came back to America in the early 80s and was a personal bodyguard for several Hollywood celebrities. I, for one, wonder just who would hire him as a bodyguard. Estelle Getty perhaps? Carrot Top?

It seems that somebody in Hollywood was impressed with Segal’s sixth-degree aikido black belt and decided to give him his first movie. And if you’re wondering, yes, that somebody in Hollywood was a movie producer who enjoyed freebasing crack. Segal’s first movie was 1988’s Above the Law, wherein he beat up a lot of people for a reason that I’m sure seemed good at the time, (not to be confused with the much better Above the Rim, starring the late Bernie Mac, the really late Tupac and the man with one name, Leon) and its synchronistic release, during the late 80s-early 90s rush of corny action movies, made Segal an instant action star.

Segal went on to star in many other forgettable action movies that did very poorly at the box office. In fact, I don’t think I can name a single one of them, but I know that in each he out-acted the hell out of everybody else who ever appeared on screen with him. That’s because Steven has only one acting style, “dead.” No matter what emotion he was supposed to portray, no matter what his lines were, he had no more facial expression or tonal inflection than a dead person, (yeah, I know that dead people don’t have tonal inflections, but that shows how much you know. He’s only mostly dead, smarty pants!) He may not have won any awards for his acting, (or maybe he has, I didn’t check) but he’ll always be a master thespian to me.

Steven Segal hasn’t had a movie released in American theaters since 2003, but that hasn’t stopped him from making at least a dozen movies so far this decade. Surprised? You shouldn’t be, he’s a hardworking man. But, as he says “I am hoping that I can be known as a great writer and actor some day, rather than a sex symbol*.” And perhaps time will bear out that hope. Probably not though.

The thing is, acting is secondary to Mr. Segal. He’s really got a chubby for the environment. That’s why he did that one movie where he killed everybody in the EPA, (but he recycled their mangled corpses as fertilizer, because he was green before being green was in.) And that other movie where he and the four other Planeteers got together to unleash the power of Captain Planet and fight the evil of Hoggish Greedly. Or something.

He’s also an accomplished musician. Perhaps you’ve heard of his albums Songs from the Crystal Cave and Mojo Priest? No? Then you’d better get to iTunes right now and start downloading his soothing guitar work. The rich melodies and intricate compositions will blow your mind!

Segal is also a marketing genius! I drink at least two cans of Steven Segal’s Lightning Bolt a day. You want to know why? Because according to Steven “I have traveled the world creating this drink; there is none better that I know.” And syntax that distracting has to be right!

I’d like to finish up this tribute to a forgotten hero with a haiku:

Steven “The” Segal
Spaz chopped my still beating heart
With his manly love

*No shit, that’s an actual quote!