Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Milestones



Well, it sure as hell took me long enough, but we’re finally here! My 300th Eighty-Four Glyde entry. You’ve come a long way baby! Of course it took my lazy, thin-skinned ass 12 years what I had planned to do in six. But oh well, better late than never, right?*
Over the last twelve years that I’ve been airing my inner demons via bad jokes and pointless observations about white people. I’ve had quite the existence. I’ve been sent to Iraq twice, I’ve moved nine times, have had six or seven jobs and assassinated four heads of state. Never a dull day for me!**
I started Eighty-Four Glyde in 2006, during my second tour in Iraq. This is a matter of historical record and can be easily verified in any reputable library. (Side note: with all the biopics they’re making these days, when are we gonna get a movie about that Dewey chap and the creation of his decimal system? The world awaits eagerly.) I started writing for a few reasons. I’ve covered them in depth in previous entries, so I’ll just skim here. I was a journalist in the Army and enjoy writing. I always liked the humor columnist Dave Barry and wanted to do something similar. This year was also when MySpace was gaining in popularity (I have no MySpace jokes. I’m going to let Tom rest in peace.) and it made a great platform for people trying to write, discover their talents and spread their work to the world. Unless you were Tia Tequila who chose MySpace to publicly document her decent into madness and obscurity.
I’ve covered a lot of topics over the years, from movies to Japanese porn, all the way to movies. It was truly a comprehensive list of subjects. I tried to never get political, though this blog has existed during Republican and Democratic leaders in office. Presidents come and go.
I took a year off in 2017. My head just wasn’t in the game and couldn’t think of anything funny that didn’t also open the door to my own issues. And I wasn’t ready to be that open to a bunch of (nonexistent), faceless people online. So a break seemed in order, perhaps maybe something more permanent.
You see, there’s been a huge shift in Internet content. People used to enjoy reading stuff online. But tides have changed. Amateur videos on YouTube are all the rage right now. These days people are more into images and symbols (like Wing Dings) than words. Why write the word “penis” when you can just post an eggplant emoji? (Also who decided that shit?) they say a picture’s worth a thousand words, and much easier to read. Lazy millennial bastards!
Sorry bout that. Anyway, with the sea change taking place online, people like me have to translate their skills because blogs and their ilk are relegated to the outskirts of the web. They still exist, they just get fewer visitors these days. Like your grandfather in a nursing home. Gee, that sounded darker than it should have. Let’s brighten the mood!
Everybody raise your Zima high in the air! Let us celebrate the past 12 years and 300 entries and pray (in English) to god I get some kind of book deal soon so I don’t have to do this for another 12 years!

*Wrong.
**Still wrong.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Show Us Them Pearly Whites


I like to watch television. I’m just old fashion that way. It’s an American tradition, dating back to the first broadcast, when Thomas Edison strip-teased for Dr. John Watson, all the way to when Snookie strip-teased for an audience of absolutely zilch. I’m proud to be a part of this grand tradition.

Of course television, as the ever-evolving organism that it is, has been changing. This is only natural. As the medium grows, it’ll become bigger, its voice will deepen, it’ll have certain urges and hair will grow where there was none before. Wait, what was I talking about again?

With the invention of “Curated Television” * with devices and platforms, such as Roku, Amazon Fire, Netflix and Skynet, people can now watch the shows and movies they specifically want, thereby cutting out superfluous channels, (I’m not entirely against this, I only have sports channels in case the Testosterone Police show up to do an inspection) and commercials.

It’s the second one I draw offense at. People need commercials. They’re vital. I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. Hell, I’ve even previous written at least three columns about them. Now, don’t get me wrong, commercials can really suck, (I’m looking at you General Insurance Company) but they can also be very innovative and/or funny, especially ones involving Jean Claude Van Damme doing epic splits.

But there is one thing about commercials that now seems to be standard and bugs the shit out of me: people smiling like they’re deranged.

I understand that for some products, it makes sense for people to smile, like toothpaste ads, or anti-depression medication commercials. Maybe even the occasion beer or Doritos spot. But these days, marketing companies are taking it too far. I’ve recently seen commercials for cars, pillows, cell phones, underwear, the very concept of cooking and even bleach. where people grin like maniacal goons.

Why do they do this? Not everything is inherently funny, or worth smiling at. There’s even a meme called “Women Laughing Alone With Salad” where somebody googled that phrase and came up with a surprisingly large amount of stock pictures of women doing exactly that. Who came up with this concept? What are women laughing at salads supposed to convey? Why didn’t anybody stop these mad men before these generic photos were taken? We may never know. It’s baffling.

What’s even more testicle-shriveling stupid are the commercials where the people are so ecstatic about the product they’re trying to sell you that smiling isn’t enough, they must DANCE! As spastically and incongruously as possible. And for once, black people don’t get a pass for automatically being better dances. In this endeavor, all races are equally bad.

I recently saw a series of commercials for a furniture delivery company where people are so excited about their dinning room table set appearing out of thin air that they must dance their dignity away, never to be seen again. Then, they drop their magic phones on the ground as the song accompanying the visuals implores them to “drop the mic”, because leave it to a furniture company to get with the times in terms of slang, right jive turkeys?

You all may not notice this phenomenon, (you will now dammit!) But I have, because I’m just that observant. And once seen, it cannot be unseen. You can never purge yourself of what your eyes will have beheld. Just pay attention sometime and you’ll wonder to yourself “Hey, why is that lady smiling like a crazy person while looking at that Tide Detergent pod? What does she know that I don’t?”

Always wonder, my friends. Always wonder.


*The very phrase is an abomination.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Notel Motel



I’m a sucker for motels. I love ‘em! I often wish I was a white guy traveling salesman in the 50s and 60s so I could witness motels in their heyday.*

                                                                  ***

I imagine myself driving in my 1958 Chevrolet Emasculator, on Route 66, listening to Whitey McCracker & The Honkies (best music outside of Pat Boone. Much easier on the ears than those punk kids with their Rock and Roll or those damn beatniks with their bongos and jazz cigarettes!) As the sun sets in the west, I decide to pull over at a roadside diner to get a cuppa joe and eat the blue plate special (typically dry ass turkey with red-eye gravy, or warmed-over meatloaf that was conceived in Satan’s own oven many decades ago and is now old enough to vote) while looking over the day’s sports scores (go L.A. Sharks!).

After dinner, I’ll amble across the gravel parking lot to the adjoining Motor Hotel and bar. I’ll gulp three or four scotches (neat) and suck down half a pack of Pall Malls. Then, when my loins are suitably girded, I stagger over to the check-in counter and get a room key from Gus (or Mac, or Hank, something like that) and meander to my cabin, Room 5. I walk in, enjoy the splendor of the gleaming majesty that is American craftsmanship, design and execution, before peeling off my smelly 1950s loafers and falling face first on a quality bed with good, clean sheets. Dead to the world.

I wake up in the morning, make my way back over to the diner for three cups of coffee and my usual morning porterhouse steak with whiskey syrup. Then it’s back on the road on my way to Toledo. I hear only good things about that place and feel it would be a great market to sell door-to-door lock-picking kits.

                                                                  ***

Doesn’t that sound like fun?! That’s the life for me man! Long, lonely, monotonous days on the awesome highways and byways of the U S of A, and lonely, monotonous nights in tiny, horrendously maintained places where the wretched go to die. Throw in the occasional hooker (missing AT LEAST two teeth) and large quantities of gut-rotting booze and that’s living the American dream!

I know what you’re thinking, “Josh, motels are gross, you’re gross, and I think much less of you now for learning this about you, and I didn’t even think that was possible!” To which I say “Fine, then you’re not invited to my birthday party at the bowling alley this year.”

Let’s break down the attributes of your average motel. We’ll name it “The Discharge Inn”:

-It’s dirty (starting off vague and general here).
-The sheets haven’t been washed since snap bracelets were a thing.
-The walls are so thin you can hear somebody thinking in the next room.
-The pillows are oddly damp.
-That one light just won’t turn on and it makes that corner of the room exist in eternal darkness.
-What’s that sound?
-The bathroom contains its own ecosystem.
-The tap water is yellow and chunky.
-The bathtub just growled at me.
-Oh, hi Norman Bates.
-Seriously though, what is that sound?
-The carpet goes up to my ankles. Are carpets supposed to grow like hair?
-Listening to other people having violent, brutal, animalistic sex does not a good lullaby make.
-A free, secondhand high from the copious amount of weed overtly smoked everywhere.
-Plenty of free, preused condoms at your disposal.
And so on and so forth. And I have to admit, all of that is true. And worse. And that’s why I LOVE MOTELS! The more it looks like the scene of some grisly murder/suicide, or like a coven of CHUDs live there, the better.

I have been known, in the past, to just take pointless, random road trips. I hop in my car, point it in any direction and just go. My only rules are: 1. No Interstates, 2. No particular destination, 3. Motels when possible. This leads me to some very off-the-map places. At the Lakeview Motel, in Fannettsburg, PA, I met a curious collection of inhabitants. Lakeview was a cabin-style motel. The weird thing is that, of the dozen or so cabins that were there, all were occupied, yet I was the only customer. You see, everybody else just lived there. On my left side was a middle-aged woman, to my right was her daughter and granddaughter, (both grandmother and daughter worked at the honkey tonk behind the motel. I’m not entirely sure how living at a motel works. Do they have mailboxes? How does rent work? We may never know. Oh, and by the way, there was absolutely no lake to be viewed at all. Lies!

Once, a long time ago, I heard on the radio that according to the rules of salesmen on the road, that they’d buy porno mags, “use them” and then stuff them under motel mattresses for the next traveling salesman to “use.” Of course, I had to see if this was true. Six years later, after checking under mattress in dozens of motels, I finally found what I had been looking for. At some shitty motel in Battle Creek, Mich. (Sadly, I also discovered that there were three giant holes in the mattress created by a somnambulistic smoker. I was stuck in that room for a week.) Yes, I touched the magazine. No, I did not have direct physical contact with it. I went full on HAZMAT when I touched it, much like the Kardashians’ laundress does when handling their underwear. And also yes, the pages were sticky.

Anyway, that’s enough grossing you out for today. I’m on my way to my annual road trip, this time to Breezewood, PA., the “Town of Motels”.

Now where did I put my blacklight?


*And to drink at work and sexually harass and debase women AS GOD INTENDED!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

We Can Rebuild Him, We Have The Technology


Congratulations ladles and jelly spoons! Eureka! We did it! You can pack up all your shit and go home now. The job is done. Science has achieved the unachievable! Obtained the unobtainable! Postered the preposterous!

Forget living on other planets! Screw aliens! Spare nary a thought on time travel, nor perpetual motion machines. The Matrix? Child’s play. And don’t even get me started on those damn hoverboards. All of those things are as a house made of sticks, to the stone house science has just created!

As I’m sure all of you knowledgeable, well-informed people have already heard, good old-fashion American SCIENCE! and KNOW-HOW! gave us the first attempted (and successful) full-on junx transplant!

Last month at Johns Hopkins Hospital (MOTTO: Forget about Ben Carson. We sure have.) An American service member underwent a 14-hour operation to replace some…body parts. It turns out that dude had his whole area blown way the hell off by a bomb in Afghanistan. This was a major deal. This explosion wasn’t like the plethora of times that Bugs Bunny has blown up Daffy Duck. This is more like…hmmm. Well, the closest thing I can compare it to is having a bomb explode your crotch into many small chunks scattered around a 25-foot radius.

Ouch.

It turns out that a majority of soldiers who are wounded in battle (or from Karaoke Night at Gus’s Saloon and Spittoon) and wake up in the hospital immediately ask if their twig and berries are still intact. Now that’s how proper priorities work!

Private Deacon: Uhh, hello?

Nurse: Sir, you’re awake!

Deacon: How long have I been out?

Nurse: Eight days. We were losing hope. The chaplain came by and spent two days praying by your side with your best friend. We flew your entire family out here in hopes that their very presence would somehow radiate hopefulness and good vibes. Bono and U2 wrote a song for…

Deacon: How’s my dick?

While there have been two previously successful johnson transplants, those were just the wangs. This soldier got a new dick AND balls. Both of dude’s legs were blown to hell right above the knees, but it was his manhood that really got him worked up.

“That injury, I felt like it banished me from a relationship,” he said in an interview last week. “Like, that’s it, you’re done, you’re by yourself for the rest of your life. I struggled with even viewing myself as a man for a long time.” * Of course this dude’s keeping his identity a secret. He probably wants to avoid the groupies and whatnot.

But the real question isn’t can we do this surgery? The question is should we do it?
The answer is a resounding: Nahhhh

Being the elite journalist that I am, I spent the day querying how people would feel if they either were given or interacted with transplanted genitalia. Naturally, this is both a delicate and serious topic. So I made sure to approach people and asked them with tact and discretion their thoughts. It went like this:

Me: Yo man, could you spend the rest of your life with somebody else’s DICk and BALLS between your legs?    

Invariably, most of the guys’ answers were quite similar. They ranged from “I can’t do it,” to “If my own shit was blown off I would have to set off another bomb for the rest of me.” Some guys simply sent me rude and offensive pictures and one gentleman even took a swing at me.

The women, on the other hand, were far more openminded about having interactions with relocated schlongs

Me: Yo, would you DO IT with a guy who had a phallus transplant?

“I probably would be ok with it as long as it works. It might be a little weird at first, but it’s not like I’m staring at it,” said one lady person.

Another responder answered “I mean, it doesn’t matter as long as he’s disease free and it’s consensual.”

So there you have it. Something happened and people think stuff about that something. They have opinions and beliefs and prejudices, and gingivitis. We have only scratched the surface of this topic here today in this column. There’s still a million questions to be resolved. Such as:

Is the dick the same color as the guy its attached to?
How do you bring a dead dick back to life?
Does it work?
Whose little soldiers are swimming around in that ball sack?
Can he get a chick pregnant?
Is it possible to get “phantom limb” syndrome with your dick?
Will the previous owner’s personality take over the new host and he’ll end up killing and/or making love to a lot of people?

All these questions and more were probably answered in the news article I just skimmed, but I’m too lazy to go back and read. So let’s just assume that science is magical and beyond our mortal comprehension. Science works in mysterious ways and we should all be humbled to be in science’s presence. **


*If he dated any of the women I‘ve dated, he’d consider himself lucky to not have to deal with relationships, amirite guys?!

**Ha! I made it through the whole thing without saying “penis” once!...Oh, wait.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Eighty-Four Glyde Libs



For those of you who are unaware, or had terrible childhoods, Mad Libs was a word game for rambunctious kids during road trips. They were books that contained a couple dozen short “stories” a few paragraphs long that had certain words missing. The goal wasn’t to try and figure out which word was supposed to fit into the sentence, in fact, the kid guessing the word didn’t even know what the story was. One kid would have the book and every time there was a blank in a sentence, the book would altruistically tell you what type of word fit there, such as “noun”, or “adjective” or “part of body”, and the other kid just picks a noun or adjective at random. At the end the kid with the book would read the entire story with the words inserted and both younglings would laugh uproariously at the gobblety-gook they had created. Fun for everybody!

But who said Mad Libs are just for kids*? What happens when a group of fun-loving adults get together with some incredibly adult libations, decide to give in to their immature yearnings and do some Mad Libs?

You get Eighty-Four Glyde Libs, of course!

HOW TO SPEAK LIKE A SPY
Spies speak their own SLIMY language. Common terms include:
Target—a person or an APPLE of interest whom a spy watches come and CREAM.
Surveillance—to monitor or observe a FIRE with visual, listening, or FASTING equipment like cameras, satellites, or long-distance BALLS.
Bug—a FUNKY device that can be placed on an object such as a car, remote control, or CARphone to listen in on a target’s SWEATY conversations.
Alias—the name a spy uses-like Ronald McDonald or ASHLEY-while undercover.
Mole—a BLACK HOLE from one spy organization who gets a job within a rival STUMP organization in order to obtain inside information or other secret APPLES.
Classified—sensitive and DUSTY information that only certain levels of CHIPS have authorized clearance to access.

A SPY BIRTHDAY PARTY**
When I turned 15 years-old, my mom and ASS threw an AVUNCULAR spy-themed birthday party for me. I invited ten of my closest TURTLES, and we spent a HAIRY afternoon doing cool spy stuff. We slipped black sunglasses on our TOES, grabbed MEANDERING toy cell phones, and practiced our surveillance techniques with a game of hide-and-SQUATING around my backyard. We decoded COMFORTABLE messages that my parents had written on colorful BACTERIA. We pounded on a CHAIR-shaped piñata with a wooden HUMAN FLESH, and we put spy tattoos like binoculars, computers and micro-YURTS all over our EYES. Later my mom served cake and ZITS, and everyone sang “SPARKILY Birthday” to me. I got a ton of HEROIC gifts, but my favorite was the motion-activated MEAT that would alert me to any UVULAS about to sneak into my room. Every good spy needs one of these!

FROM THE SPY FILE
To Agent JOSH: At this morning’s SCRAPPY management meeting, it was decided by Agency Chief SNOOP DOGG that you are being assigned to the case known internally as Operation MILKING WART. This memo will provide the MOIST details of the case, and you will be briefed further in the coming week. As you may know, this case involves a band of FLAKEY thieves who stole the blueprints to a top-secret robot GOITER that threatens the security of our LUMPY country. They have hidden the prints somewhere in a STIFF location on the outskirts of the SAVAGE LANDS. Their leader’s name is Uno Ojo, which translates to FLEXIBLE COCK. You will know him by the black eye patch he wears over his TAINT. Be advised that he and his group of evil STARS are armed and BUMPY, so use extreme caution if you come face-to-HEMMEROID with any of them. As any good spy knows, you’re of no use to the agency if you’re PUNGENT.


*Mature adults who don’t understand the concept of fun and who sit in their depressing office cubicles trying to buy Crocs for their dogs or some shit. That’s who!  

**Yes, these are all spy related.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Dungeon



Most of us live relatively normal lives. We work, we play, we raise younglings, (who we must sometimes chop down with lightsabers to prove ourselves to Lord Sidious and the Dark Side). All and all, a pretty typical, monotonous existence. That’s probably why people do stuff like sky-dive or eat Tide Pods or experiment with veganism. It’s understandable.

But for some people, that’s not enough. They go where we dare not tread. They like to skulk in the shadows, the shady underbelly of society, (no, not Arby’s.) Living the deviant lives of which we can only dream. You know, like being a pizza delivery guy in a porno movie.

I speak of…The Dungeon.

A few years ago, when I wasn’t busy filming Vines and doing the Ice Bucket Challenge or whatever, I was a manager at a warehouse that assembled beauty and make up kits for ladies and bros who like to look pretty with voluminous hair*. My duties and responsibilities at the warehouse were varied and important and only slightly involved ogling women in an unprofessional fashion. But that’s a subject for another day, (and for my lawyer to deal with.)

The warehouse where I worked was part of a large complex of buildings and businesses. There was a landscaping company, a guy who would make you tee shirts and towels (or something like that, it was all pretty janky) a delicious-smelling bakery and…The Dungeon.

How do I describe this place without coming off like the naïve puritan that I so obviously am?

As far as I can tell, the Dungeon is a place where people film music videos, record songs, enjoy alcoholic beverages and engage in sexual dalliance with each other…possibly while filming videos and listening to music**. It’s kind of confusing what that place was about. Even the business’ own set of rules is vague on the concept.


I only encountered the Dungeon after it was abandoned. My boss needed more warehouse space, and since that section of the complex was recently vacated (I think it had something to do with an FBI sting, or maybe INTERPOL) he was able to get it for cheap. And when we went to explore it, it really looked like the Dungeon had been abandoned in the middle of the night, because there was an odd assortment of items scattered about. Like a sex swing, (don’t Google that one kiddies, Big Brother is watching!). I’ve never used a sex swing before, so I’m not entirely sure how they work or how people get introduced to them. Who commits financially to buying a sex swing unless they know they’ll get plenty of use out of it? And if you were dating somebody who already owned one, wouldn’t that set off some alarms in your head?

I also found this:


Yes. Latex polish. A real product being hawked by the freakiest superhero mascot with a porn-‘stache since Buttplug Man. What is latex polish? I assume it’s something one uses to polish their gimp suit. I didn’t know that was an issue people had, but then again, I don’t own any items of clothing made out of latex, I dropped the ball on that one, sorry. My favorite part of "Black Beauty" latex polish is the name of the distributing company. I think it’s quite apt.


The owners and patrons of the Dungeon weren’t just sexual heretics (great band name). They were also accomplished artists as exemplified by the bathrooms. There were surprisingly few used condoms in the trash. Although I do believe the roaches probably had herpes.


My only regret is that in the years I spent working within a stone’s throw of a sex club, I found out about the Dungeon too late. It’s like…finding out you live next to a sex club the day after it closes. 

Well, I guess the only thing I can do is create my own place for people to get down and dirty. What should I call it?

*I’ll never know the feeling of hair such as that. I weep.
**2LiveCrew always does it for me.

Monday, April 09, 2018

NO(!)stalgia



These are dark days. Murky clouds gather above us and blot out the bright light of the Esoterica. The light has been shut out to those who thrive in its radiance.

Basically, what I’m saying it’s no fun being into obscure or old stuff right now. Especially 80s stuff. That nostalgia shit is everywhere and will only get worse instead of better.

The 1980s were a decade. New decades seem to come around every ten years or so. It’s mysterious. That particular decade is similar to ones that came before and after it. People existed, they wore clothes, listened to music, had extremely specific hairstyles that were instantly outlawed by the following decade and they probably ate food.

So what makes the 80s different/special?

Well, in a way, nada. In other ways everything (I’m nothing if not specific). The 80s saw the dawning of the computer age, as exemplified in movies like Tron, War Games, D.A.R.Y.L. and Explorers. It was also the heyday of cocaine, as demonstrated by Scarface and everything that Stephen King was involved in.

But while I could easily write multiple columns about how tits the 80s were, they’d be incredibly boring to anybody who considers hip hop from 2000 to be “old school”. The question isn’t “why are the 80s so popular?” it’s “why are the 80s popular now?” Easy.

People who, as children, suckled on the teat of the 80s, (me and most likely you if you’re reading this) are the leading generation. We’re in charge now, and that means that all the garbage we grew up on is now, by law, bodacious and relevant again. No matter how obscure (or, let’s be honest, in retrospect --terrible) the pop culture of yesteryear was, it was ours goddamn it and we will drag it, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century and shove it down everybody’s throats like a hot dog at an eating contest, (just sit there and picture that scenario for a minute.)

This isn’t fair for other generations, but too bad. I had to grow up living under the nostalgia umbrella of Generation X (motto: Our music can only be written in minor keys and all our rappers must have ‘MC’ in their names.) And they were forced to deal with their hippy drippy parents’ cultural memories. It is, as my friend Elton Jonathan once called it: “The Mobius Strip of Life”, never-ending and very unsatisfying.

The problem for people like me, those who swim in the waters of incredibly specific and pointless things from the past, is that the market has been saturated. Thanks to schlock like Ready Player One and Stranger Things, you can barely take a step without bumping into She-Ra or Hacksaw Jim Duggan.* There is no room for people like me. We used to gather in the secret places (comic book shops and bars) to discuss things like who would win in a fight between Airwolf and Blue Thunder. Because to let people know what geeky stuff we were into branded us as pariahs to our peers. But no longer. Now that which was niche is mainstream. But at what cost!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a butthurt fanboy, mad that the rest of the world is finally being introduced to stuff I’ve been into for decades. I’m all about sharing the wealth. So far, my boy Mr. Brooks is the only dude I know who can rank Duck Tales episodes with me based on how spectacular Launchpad’s crashes were. I’d love to bring more people into the fold. That way my sister won’t look at me like a crazy jerk anymore. But let’s give the 80s a break, shall we? No more reboots, remakes, re-animators or rebuttals. We don’t need any of our beloved (and objectively bad) movies turned into tv shows, or our choking-hazards masquerading as toys turned into movies with three sequels. The let past go. Or pick another decade.

I’ve heard good things from my southern friends about the 1860s.

*And I feel cheap for even making those references.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

For a Good Time, Call…(Or, What’s the Number for 911?)



*Ring, Ring, Ri*

“Hello Mr. Hunt. Your mission, shou…”

“Wait. Wait, Hold on..Gotta…gotta catch my breath here…Whew!”

“What are you doing Mr. Hunt?”

“I’m catching my breath. I’ve been running around the whole goddam city!”

“You ready now?”

“Sure, go for it.”

“Thank you. Now, Mr. Hunt, your mission sh…”

“Wait a minute. Don’t you want to know why I was running around the entire city?”

“Not especially. Mr. Hunt. What you do on your time is your own business. Besides, from I’ve heard, you’re an avid runner. You practically never walk.”

“Well, that’s true, but…”

“May I finish please Mr. Hunt? I Don’t have all day. I need to brief 007, in ten minutes, Spy Kids in 45 minutes and Austin Powers in an hour.”

“…”

“Now, as I was saying, Your missi…”

“Let me stop you right there, friend.”

“This is highly unprofessional!”

“You want to know what’s unprofessional? This whole thing here. Who was the jackass who came up with the idea of calling me on a payphone?”

“I’m quite sure I don’t know and I don’t see how that’s relevant.”

“It sure as shit is, Mister Phone-Voice Guy. Do you know how many payphones there are in Toledo?”

“I have no idea, 300?”

“Twelve! Twelve damn phones!”

“Well, Toledo can’t be that large, it is Toledo, after all.”

“It’s 84.12 square miles, with a population of 287,208! This place is too big to pull these shenanigans on a guy in his early fift…, uhh, mid-forties.”

“Mr. Hunt, the Impossible Mission Force does not partake in shenanigans. Now if I can just get this over with…”

“’Get on this over with’ my scrawny, Scientologist ass! I busted my kidney with all this running! And you don’t even want to know how raw my nipples are right now.”

“Sigh. Look, I’m sorry Mr. Hunt, but that’s really not my department. Now if we can…”

“Shove it. Take a wild guess as to how many payphones there are in America.”

“I…”

“Wanna know? I looked it up, because this whole thing is bullshit. In 1995 there were more than 2.6 million payphones in this country. Know how many there are now? One hundred thousand! That’s quite a drop, wouldn’t you say? You’re more likely to get hit by lightning on the day you win the lottery than find a phone!”

“I told you, Mr. Hunt, it’s not my department to come up with these things, we have a whole section devoted to that. You’re lucky the call wasn’t in a submarine.”

“You people spend all day on your bulbous, fish belly-white, flabby buttocks, ordering us field operatives around like we’re frickin’ trained monkeys. Not giving a damn what we have to go through on a regular basis. I had to physically touch Philip Seymore Hoffman! Imagine having to lay hands on that doughy physique. I practically dipped my hands in lava afterward, just to feel clean.”

“Enough of this! We need to do this before the damn phone self-destructs.”

“Smart move guy. Let’s make it 99,999 payphones in this country. Is this all part of your sick scheme to rid this great nation of all our coin-operated telephonic devices? I’m on to you.”

“YOUR MISSION, MR. HUNT, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO AC…”

 “Nope.”

*Click*

Monday, April 02, 2018

Message In A Bottle



It’s Spring Break time again, (so I’ve been told by MTV) which means that it’s time to put away my winter caribou pelts and sacks of whale blubber, and unleash my Adonis-like gorgeousness upon the world, for all you pathetic mortals to see and covet.

Usually, for Springapalooza, this nation’s (United States of America) youth migrates to southern shores, to bask in the sun, wear revealing bathing suits near bodies of water (yet rarely going in said water. Scientists have yet to explain this phenomenon.) and drink extremely sugary fruit-based cocktails with names like I Don’t Remember Eating That, The Dangling Participle, Busta’s Lament and the always popular Englebert Humperdinck.

I’m too old and world-weary to partake in such juvenile behavior. But there was a time not so long ago* I used to hit the beach to boogie board and get stung by every jellyfish in a hundred-mile radius. And as I reminisce on Spring Breaks past, one memory stands out to me. The time I made a fascinating historical discovery that would change my life.

It was December 8, 1998, (I take my Spring Breaks whenever I damn well please. In this I will not apologize nor compromise.) and I was walking along tranquil (and frigid) Avery Road Beach, in scenic Silver Springs, FL., which is odd, because I’m pretty sure that town is landlocked. All of a sudden, the big toe on my left foot, in its never-ending quest to stub itself on every possible object, came across an unidentified object buried in the sand, although this was Florida, so it was probably 95% sand and 5% cocaine. After the requisite three minutes of me cussing out my evil toe and threatening dismemberment, I removed the object from the sand. To my surprise, I discovered that it was an 18th century bottle of British port. Even more interesting was the note I found inside.

It went, a little something, like this…
                                                                                
                                                                    ***
Captain’s Log: 8.12.76 Day 47
The men’s morale is low. We are down to the final barrel of limes. Poor Bosun’s Mate Smyth had a third tooth dislodge itself from his mouth, last eve. I fear a sudden, ship-wide onset of scurvy. Even worse, weevils have been found in the flour. The cook is having a devil of a time removing them in totality. Many a sailor on this fine vessel has found a portion of these vile worms in their meager ration of bread.

To make matters worse, we have not had a favorable wind in almost a fortnight. We are left in the hands of the Lord our God, and the winds of chance.

Captain’s Log: 23.12.76, Day 63
And still our dire straits continue. I had hoped and prayed that the upcoming Christmas Time would be a cause of joy and merriment amongst the hearts of this beleaguered crew, but I fear it is for naught. It is a bad omen and does not bode well. All I can do is pray to the heavens and beseech God for mercy upon his humble servants.

Captain’s Log: 13.1.77, Day 84
Huzzah! Success at last! A wind, heaven-sent I am sure of it, has finally filled our formally barren sails! As the hundreds of tons of strong and stout English wood, christened the HMS Falcor, strain under the pull of the wind, the men rejoice to once again feel the salty spray on their withered old sea-dog faces.

We can only hope the winds carry us, in the ocean’s embrace, to a most well-received locale. I have ordered the First Mate to have the crew trim the sails properly. A task they were quite eager to undertake, to wake themselves from the tediousness of days of inactivity. Only fortune and hope guide us now.

Captain’s Log: 15.1.77, Day 86
The abundance continues! We are blessed by the Lord Almighty. Our nets overflow with all manner of sea life, some of which I am sure have never been seen by the eyes of white, Christian men.
The only unfortunate report is that our man Smyth was accidentally knocked overboard whist pulling up the netting. But we can take solace in the fact that his death will mean larger rations for the rest.

Captain’s Log: 2.2.77, Day 94
Land ho! We have not yet sighted any native life, but from the crow’s nest, we can see a lush, verdant countryside: trees, bushes, birds and wildlife. A veritable Eden! Tomorrow I shall lead a group ashore for further exploration! God’s mercy be with us!

Captain’s Log: 3.2.77, Day 95
Oh shit! Aaaah! Ruuuuuun!
                                                                             
                                                                     ***

And it just ends right there. Kind of weird, right? Was this guy dictating his log entries? Who takes the time to write while running for their lives? Who was he? Where did they land? So many unanswered questions. I didn’t know where to start!

So I just wrote DEEZ NUTZ at the bottom, shoved it back in the flask and threw it back in the ocean. Let’s see what future Indiana Jones makes of that!

*Bullshit. It was a LONG time ago. Possibly even never. Who can say?

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Kolektanto


(In honor of the recently released Mr. Rogers stamp.)

As a young child, I was just like any other rambunctious rapscallion. As the Terror of the Neighborhood, I was ready to get down and dirty with the best of them. There was nary an ant I wouldn’t burn with a magnifying glass, (by the way, who lets kids go around with magnifying lenses? We clearly aren’t looking for clues to solve murders, nothing good can come of it.) Nary a fly whose wings I wouldn’t pull off. Pushing kids into mud was a pastime of mine. Petty arson, light breaking and entering and vandalism? Sign me up!

But of course, all that is par for the course, and I’m sure you knew that stuff about me already. But I bet there’s something about me as a kid you didn’t know…

…I collected stamps!

In my youth I was an avid Philatelist.* My interest has died down over the last few decades, but there was a time when I’d go swimming in pools of stamps like Scrooge in his money bin. Of course, all of the stamps had been previously mailed, so they were absolutely worthless, but I always hoped that I’d get that one upside-down airplane stamp. You know, the one from Brewster’s Millions**. Literally the only stamp anybody thinks of when they think of valuable stamps, (except for that topless Harriet Tubman stamp, but those are really hard to find.)

I grew up at the bottom of a dead-end street. A few houses up from me was a nice old lady named Mrs. Smith. She was called Mrs., but she lived alone; her husband having died years earlier. I’m not sure why, but she had boxes and boxes, (and boxes) of stamps from all over the world. American stamps, French, British. Stamps from Greece, Italy, Oompa Loompa Land. It was a treasure trove of mostly valueless, but still very interesting, little pieces of paper. The interesting part was in imagining where the stamps had traveled, what they’d seen, what kind of letters they’d been involved in. Love letters? Dear John letters? Ransom demands? (I imagine a really dumb kidnapper who sends the note by mail and stupidly puts his*** return address on the envelope, making the entire police force piss themselves laughing.)

I’d go with my friend Alex and my sister. We’d sit on Mrs. Smith’s living room floor for hours, sifting through the boxes, taking whatever caught our little numskull eyes. I only collected American stamps, because I’m a goddamn patriot, through-and through; I bleed red, white and blue! But the other two Philistines took their collecting international. A pox on them, I say! Who needs a stamp of Queen Beatrice of South Hamptonbergshire or wherever, when you can have a Fat Elvis stamp? (he was actually “Young Elvis,” but I would draw his belly to the size I desired.)

I collected a lot of pointless stuff as a kid. I have hundreds of Garbage Pail Kid cards, MacDonald’s toys, Mad Magazines, Pauly Shore movies, morning stars, bellybutton lint. You know, the usual. But by far and away the most pointless thing that I collected was also a pastime for my entire family. The whole Hutcheson Clan got involved in this foolishness: collecting Kool Aid points.

Remember those? On the back of Kool Aid packages and containers were little parts of the label you’d cut out that’d say something like 1 Point, or 5 Points, or what-have-you. And then you could redeem for all types of “prizes” like a beanbag chair, or a Kool Aid Man stirring spoon or other vital sundries. What fun! For years, nay, decades! My family of Kool Aid junkies would collect and horde these points, just waiting for the day Kool aid would finally offer something good, like the Batmobile or (if I had my druthers) a Japanese hooker. Instead, Kool Aid just stopped doing the whole points thing entirely, thereby making our years of collecting incredibly pointless.

And don’t get me started on Pepsi Points and the Harrier Jet.

*Japanese for “He who fornicates with stamps.”
** Classic Richard Pryor!
***Or her. It’s the 21st century after all!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Forgotten Heroes of Yore: President William “Laffy Taffy” Taft

                                                                                       *



Wow, I haven’t done one of these in many a year. But I can’t help it! Recent activities and words spewed out by our current president (Dr. Evil) have made me curious about past presidents, like President Allstate Insurance and President Pull Pullman. But more importantly, what about non-fictional presidents?

Today I picked to discuss our 27th, and girthiest president, William “The Incredible Bulk” Taft. A president whose achievements and accomplishments in U.S. politics are so well known that I’ll bet you $10 you can’t name a single damn thing!

Let’s do a brief overview of his life. Join me, won’t you?

William “Baba-Booey” Taft was born in Cincinnati, Oh, in 1857. Growing up, he invented Skyline chili, thereby making him popular and zaftig at the same time. Taft was born to Louis Torrey and Alphonso Taft. William was a twin, but his brother was eaten in utero.

Taft wasn’t a necessarily bright child; he once spent an entire day having a one-sided (but by all accounts, very productive) conversation with a scarecrow. But he was known for being hard-working and was able to graduate from high school and go to Yale, where he studied law under the famous professor Judge Dredd.

Taft also became a member of the secret society “Skull and Bones,” which meant that he was instrumental in having an effect on global markets, keeping the water-fueled car under wraps, making sure Reparations never happened, and lying about the existence of Squid Men from Beyond Venus.

Post-graduation, William “Big Willy Style” Taft, decided to run a bar down in Cancun. That’s where he met his future wife Helen Herron. After a lovely first date, where Taft woke up in the morning in a bathtub full of ice and no kidneys (man that guy has bad luck with bathtubs!) Taft an Herron were married in Vegas, by an anachronistic Elvis impersonator.

Anyway, after all this, Taft when on to work as a lawyer and judge in various capacities around Ohio, (making sure to stay away from Toledo.) His tenacity and anti-svelte build caught the eye of many prominent political figures, including Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland (who wasn’t even from Ohio, the big faker!) And Teddy Roosevelt.

In 1904, Roosevelt made Taft the Secretary of War, which was a pretty cushy gig, considering there wasn’t any war to secretarize. Which reminds me, vote Josh for Ambassador to Oz. Together we can build yellow-brick roads between our two great nations!

Over the next few decades a bunch of really boring stuff happened to this guy, which would only make historians wet. It’s all so boring that I can’t even properly make fun of him. Let’s just say we all have that friend or acquaintance who is so boring that you feel sorry for them and can’t even insult them to their boring, bland face, right? I know I do. I’m looking at you Bob.

Anywho, with Roosevelt’s backing, Taft won the 1908 presidential election as a Conservative Republican. During his four-year tenure as Mr. Potato Head-in-Chief, Taft Was pro-unions organizing, but not boycotting, maintaining the privatization railroads in the hands of Robber Barons, appointing various staff positions, setting up future interaction between our country and Latin American countries, did some shit with tariffs (good or bad, who cares?) something called the Ballinger-Pinchot Affair and…

…Ahhhh! Who cares? It’s so boring my brain just ran away. Damn it! I should have picked a more interesting president. Like that dude who got sick and died after five months. What was his name? I bet he did more stuff.

And you wanna know the worst part? Fool never got stuck in a bathtub. Sure he was 350 pounds, but he always made sure he had big ass bathtubs everywhere he went: on ships, various White House bathrooms (I guess he liked to switch up bathrooms to keep things interesting?) his vacation house, even his brother’s house. Next somebody will tell me that the story about Abraham Lincoln going to San Dimas High never happened!

I will leave you with this one true fact, make of it what you will. I don’t know who tracks this stuff or why, but it seems that William “I can’t feel my left arm” Taft was the last president to have facial hair.

Never let it be known that I don’t teach you guys stuff. And now, I haiku.

Our president Taft
Probably did a good job
Or not, I don’t care.

*By the way, that's his actual tub. Seven feet long and 41 inches wide. Even Wilson Fik couldn't get stuck in that!

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Zombie Wave Has Broken



(This is gonna be a short one, I’m just flexing my writing muscles after a long hiatus. I’m a wee bit rusty in the old joke factory.)

I was lounging around my apartment the other day, doing my regular activities (watching cartoons in my underwear and scratching my balls) when my EUREKA! moment happened.

I really hate zombie movies and tv shows.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of zombies. I’m all for shuffling hordes of flesh-eating ghouls who are an allegory for the Communist menace. I delight in imagining scenarios wherein I kick in doors, waving various four-fours, rescuing damsels and killing the undead in imaginative ways, (I’m trying to figure out what I can do with a loaf of bread and a jar of chunky peanut butter. Zombies have allergies too, right?)

No, my problem is with zombie movies. Why? I’m glad you asked.

In vampire movies, people are aware of the existence of vampires. In werewolf movies, people have heard of werewolves before. Same goes for ghosts, Creatures from Black Lagoons and even Hellraisers. Even if the people in those movies don’t believe in those things, they at least have some passing knowledge on the subject.

In 99.5% of zombie movies, nobody has ever heard of zombies before. Nobody has any knowledge of how to deal with them. Hell, In The Walking Dead, they don’t even say “zombie,” they’re “Walkers.” What kind of bullshit is that? Some of them are missing legs and gotta crawl to get around. What are they called? Ankle-biters?

That means, practically every zombie movie or show has to always include the origin, and I’m tired of it. Each time, we have to follow a new set of dopes as they slowly discover the rules to dealing with zombies that we, as the audience, have known since we were in the womb. It’s the same damn tropes all the time. For example:

1. Somebody has to ask a friend or loved one what’s wrong at the very beginning. Which leads to said loved one turning around dramatically.

2. People eventually discover that zombies have to be killed by brain trauma.

3. They eventually discover that being bitten leads to infection. Which leads to…

4. …Somebody being bitten and hiding it from the rest of the group.

5. Somebody tearfully having to kill a loved one and refusing. Tearfully.

6. A character valiantly sacrificing themselves for the good of the group. Valiantly.

7. At least one joke about a zombie “losing their head.”

8. Decaying zombie bewbs.

I’m sick of it! Why are we subjected to seeing this mobius strip of stupidity? Why can’t more movies be like Zombieland? That movie starts after the zombie apocalypse and the story picks up with survivors who already know the rules. Or, if they insist on doing a generic zombie movie, throw in a zombie expert. Let’s get a Van Helsing in that piece! Somebody who knows something and can save us the trouble of the first 45 minutes of people stumbling around going “duh.”

I dunno. Maybe I’m thinking about this too much. Perhaps I should pursue more enlightened endeavors, such as finally getting those hoverboards invented, or solving world itchiness.

Nah…