April 23, 2014
Gods and Monsters: Thoth Ridiculoth
Last night, as I was about to go to bed, Sifu stopped me in the doorway and demanded that I smooch him. I was happy to comply. As we both leaned in, our noses bashed together momentarily and I saw stars.
This was not the first time I was inadvertently injured in an act of affection. I love too hard, my friends sometimes say, but I believe, I believe, that a Sifu should be loved that way. If only my head had some sort of hard, knobby, god-like beak sticking out of it instead of this adorable little button I call a nose, I wouldn’t find it so flummoxing to be friendly.
In a previous installment of Gods and Monsters, we attempted to misdirect the Early Man Division of the Human Studies Department of the Global Space University of the Future! via an experiment in Misanthropology - namely, assigning incorrect and misleading significance to the random and often really, really stupid public street art displays available for all to “enjoy” on the streets of New York City.
What I forgot to include in my original plan was the entire subgenre of marketing statuary that is so plentiful in Manhattan - specifically, storefront mannequins.
A little backstory! Years ago, I can just vaguely recall it, mannequins in store windows were pretty much humanoid in nature. You wanted to sell someone, for example, a shirt. So you, as an agent of Big Shirt, stuck a shirt on a person-shaped hanger, positioned it in a window, and sat back while the bucks rolled in.
The mannequins were often somewhat racially vague - you didn’t want to alienate your clientele by insisting that only women of a certain shade could wear this shirt - so the plastic women were often silver, or see-through, or obsidian. The goal was to make any woman see herself in that shirt. “That could be my shirt,” Anywoman would say to herself as she passed by. “I feel included in the intended demographic.” Depending on the item in question, sometimes the gender was grayed out as well, leaving it up to you whether you had the right kind of nads for that ski jacket or sex whip or whatever. All inclusive. Bring your money forth.
Sometime in recent decades, however, Your Friends in Marketing determined that the average shopper might not necessary have a head shaped head, and to minimize the risk of excluding the wealthy population of individuals who had random things for heads, a revolutionary new mannequin design plan was unveiled. The extreme profit bolstering practice of Mannequins With Things For Heads.
They started off by playing it safe, catering to the Women With Pyramid Shaped Finials for Heads market. When this proved wildly successful, they branched out to the Headless Demographic, focusing on the Women With Lengthy Neck Stumps Topped by Nothing arena. And then, finally, the doors were flung wide to include women of All Head Denominations, including Women With Spike Heads, and Women With Coil Heads, and Women With Animal Heads:
And here we find ourselves in the Misanthropological section of today’s lesson: Her name was Herrera, and she was the Bird-headed Goddess of Sundresses. It is said that ancient peoples of the 21st century paid homage to her by scheduling a first annual pedicure of Ostara, at which they would sacrifice the outer layers of their hooves and go forth into the world, ripe for fertilization, leaving a scattering of tampons and Cadbury crème eggs at her altar.
April 17, 2014
Big Boss of the Day: New Hannibal
Sifu: “One day, before it gets too warm, you should wear a plastic slipcover suit on the bus, and see who notices.”
BIOU: “I need one of those suits.”
Oh hi there!
Fancy a heaping helping of Grade B Creamy Thai Chicken? It’s NEW! Let’s not think too much about the creaminess of it. Actually lets not dig too deep into the definition of “chicken”, either.
Or, perhaps you are watching your figure. That’s a popular thing that people are doing nowadays in these modern times, isn’t it? I’m very old, and a little out of touch with what the hep, hip young kids are up to. Jane Fonda rollerblading and portion control with your Walkmans and listening to the disco music, right? Far out.
If that’s the case, you’ll probably want to enjoy a tasty Weight Watchers egg and cheese breakfast sandwich, with the bread peeled off because I can’t have bread. Protip: DO NOT PEEL THE BREAD OFF THESE THINGS. What lies within is a sight that can never be unseen. You are truly better off just eating the box they came in than looking at the egg disc nestled innocently between those fluffy, innocuous English Muffin horror shields.
On a distantly related note, here is a terrifying picture of a bleating lamb from a book Sifu purchased for Little13.
This book is chock full of nightmares, including an artist’s rendition of the early stages of a ritualized cannibalism ceremony involving a baby donkey. I am not making this up.
People (including me) will eat some disgusting shit, but that is not The Point.
I am approaching The Point.
Truth be told, I do not recall if Original Hannibal was the first Big Boss of the Day, or if it was someone else (Brother Justin, maybe?) That was over one hundred years ago, when the earth’s crust was still cooling after the Big Bang and Simian Idiot began, back when I used to post pictures of myself with no pants on. No link to that one. You can look it up if you must.
But, whether he was the first Big Boss to crawl out of the primordial ooze of my brain, or a tentative follower in those ancient early days, he WAS a Big Boss, and I continue to fear and revere him. WWHLD is tattooed over my Caesarian scar, like a binding signature on a legal document. No it isn’t. That’s a lie.
Original Hannibal (let’s not get finicky about the details of Original Original Hannibal) is a personal icon of style for me, and the reason why I can’t see Anthony Hopkins in ANYTHING without a visceral pang of fear transmitting out of my core. He just always seemed like the kind of guy who really knew how to live. The kind of guy who wouldn’t settle for anything less than the best. The kind of guy who seized life by the balls, and then removed those balls, plucked them, sautéed them, and ate them over linguine. With the right kind of wine that goes with balls. Which he would know, without having to look it up, is Nardonnay. I’m sorry. So so so so sorry.
Back on track! Because I was so enamored of Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal, I was resistant to the New Hannibal all my friends were talking about on their rollerblades at the discotecque. I call this the House Effect - my adoration of Hugh Laurie as a bumbling British comedian made it very difficult to embrace him as Dr. House, but inevitably, I allowed myself to do this, in large part because his accent was so dead on balls accurate. And here we go with the balls again. Pinut Noir. I SAID I’M SORRY. Christ, get off my case already.
But Hugh Laurie’s balls are not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about New Hannibal, which I started watching a couple of weeks ago and then quickly spiraled into this desperate pit of yearning where I had to watch every single episode until they were all gone. And now they are. At first, I was eager for New Hannibal to get back into the TARDIS and morph into Anthony Hopkins already, because I am stubborn like that. But in reality, it only took me approximately 4.3 seconds to fall in love with New Hannibal, because he’s somehow even classier and more refined than ever - which is amazing - and his crimes were so fucking ORNATE, with all the positioning and the theatrics and what have you, and I found myself wondering how he managed this without leaving his DNA all over absolutely everything, and then I saw THIS:
OH MY GOD HE HAS A KILL SUIT. A plastic kill suit. Somebody get Dr. Henry Lee on the phone - this shit is huge.
Just like that, the deal was sealed. Hannibal became my hero anew, with his amazing plastic sneeze shield splatter guard blood suit, which HE TOTALLY HAS, and because he is Hannibal F’ing Lecter and not SOME SCHNOOK, it’s CLEAR, instead of some cheapy ugly garish gaudy surgical white scrub uniform like some LOSER would wear to make a tree sculpture out of human remains. It’s SEE THROUGH so you can appreciate his GORGEOUS THREE PIECE SUITS that he wears to COOK FANCY DINNERS FOR HIMSELF, WHAT.
This is how you do it, Idiots. Hannibal doesn’t make dinner in threadbare sweatpants with elastic around the cuffs. He doesn’t have old underwear. He doesn’t sweat, he doesn’t panic, he doesn’t ever get anything stuck in his teeth. He doesn’t wipe his hands on his undershirt or eat Styrofoam egg patties off wax paper plates with a plastic fork under fluorescent lights in his cubicle. He knows that life is too short for that shit. Seize the day. Seize it’s balls. Eat them. It’s the Hannibal Lecter way!
Ballbec. I’M SORRY.
Please don’t eat me.
April 16, 2014
Impressions are usually such a low comedic art form. They amount to little more than an admission that another party is interesting and funny and clever and unique, and you are the pale, wavering shadow that clings to their shoe. Impersonators are one step above mimes on the hierarchy of humor, and ten steps above prop comics.
Let’s do this!
As an experiment today, I am going to do a brief impression of the top ten e-mails in my “Promotions” tab on Gmail. “Promotions” is a nice promotional word for “Spam”. Here we go!
"Your house stinks!" - Bath and Body Works
"We urgently need you to purchase twelve tea pots. Don’t even consider making tea in these." - Crate and Barrel
"Elderly people like yourself need C0Q2 supplements and b0ner pilz, and one weird trick to lose your unsightly facial fat." - Health eTalk
"Here’s more identical stuff to the stuff from the last six e-mails!" - Gap
"You’re FAAAAAAAAAAAT. Holy shit, you’re probably dead by now you’re such a lard whale. Look at you." - Health eTalk
"You’re HAIRY, too. And stingy. Discount waxing is available in your area." - Amazon Local
"Indulge your sexiest wealthy grandma fantasies!" - Anthropologie
"I mean your house REALLY reeks. Holy shit. It’s worse than a meat refinery. Also, your body." - Bath and Body Works
"Feeling under the weather? It could be HAIR CANCER. Move your bowels today!" - Health eTalk
"Oh the boners you could be having!" - Ask5)2325m**amstl
"For all of life’s adventures, there are old lady shoes." - Old Lady Shoes Online
Once again, the point is driven home to me, as a consumer, that the best way to sell somebody something is to insult them, and then offer up a delightful fantasy world in which, for just a few dollars, they could not be so fat and gross and hairy and ugly and frumpy and boring and uncomfortable and constipated and smelly and stressed. It would only take a few clicks and then you, yes you, could live in a world without foot pain, garbage odors, lip hair, dull shelf tableaus, erectile dysfunction and loneliness. And, you didn’t even realize you were plagued by these things until they told you!
Don’t you feel better?
April 15, 2014
Because the dreaming brain is free to run wild and sculpt mad, surreal universes around our fantasies, in which we are free to roam unfettered for several hours a night, last night my incredible imagination conjured up an alternate universe in which I spent hours cleaning the oven with an exciting new orange-scented de-greaser.
I wish I were making this up as a statement about my life or feelings of spiritual stagnation or whatever, but facts are facts: given a limitless landscape which I am free to manipulate with my mind in every implausible way, and an endless and varied cast of fully customizable characters which are limited only by my imagination, with literally everyone from the historical Jesus Christ to the boy I liked in 5th grade available to the casting agent in my head and no contract restrictions on what they’re willing to do in their performances for an audience of only me, my slumbering mind concocted a hypnagogic fantasy world in which I was dazzled by the incredible cleaning power of citrus.
There was a certain amount of controversy, because in the dream, as in real life, my oven was previously owned by my mother in law, a woman so notoriously clean and finicky that she owned FIVE SEPARATE GLASS TOPPED SIDE TABLES in her living room, and yet I never saw so much as a single fingerprint on any of them. It was almost as though she kept them stacked in a closet and only put them out for company.
So when the Dream Me looked into the oven and found it caked with baked on grease, and then discovered a magical elixir capable of clearing it where my immaculate mother in law had failed, well there was some tension I can assure you. I recall her big face floating over my efforts in a manner most impossible from a real-world physics standpoint, her voice coming at me as though from a great distance: “NOOOTHIIIING CAN CLEEEEAAAAN THAAAT. I’VE TRIIIIIIIIEEEED.”
This was probably just a subliminal response to my brain’s continued attempts to cope with a recent viewing of “Grease”, and reconcile its importance to my dear mother in law.
"Grease", it would seem, is still not the way we are feeling.
It was during my one and only viewing of “Grease”, which clearly had a profound effect on me in that I am still talking about it, weeks later, that I turned on the closed captioning in order to help me understand exactly what in the fuck I was standing around here listening to of my own free will, when a song came on (the entire movie is pretty much songs, for those lucky few who can still claim ignorance) about how a certain car, given a significant amount of work, would be able to go very fast.
Most of the songs in “Grease” are about things like cars going very fast, or being sad because someone doesn’t love you. It’s a pretty accurate musical microcosm of the real world, in that regard. At the very end, (spoiler alert), the one relatively authentic character in the entire movie makes drastic physical and personal modifications to herself to attract a male, and we, the audience, are meant to find this satisfying and victorious. Then a song about behaving correctly to please your love interest is sung, involving uncomfortable looking pants and a carnival, and then the elderly cast sings yet another happy song about how, after high school, the existing social structure remains intact for the rest of time, which we all know is not only completely true but also desirable. The friends you make as a 35 year old high school student are the best ones you’ll make in your entire life.
I’m getting off track. The song about the car going very fast is on, and the guys are dancing all about like a bunch of fucking woodland pixies, and I’m thinking about how my mother in law adores this movie and soundtrack in its entirety, including even the weird theme song with its blatant Gibbery (Gibberish?), when I encountered the lyric:
"You are supreme,
The chicks’ll cream
For greased lightning”
At which point I turned to my captor Sifu and asked, “Is your mother aware of that lyric?” I found it difficult to envision her bopping her head and singing along with the music and actually uttering that line. Sifu wasn’t sure.
It didn’t match her personality. Perhaps she doesn’t know what it means, like when my friend in college told me that someone had written “I love your filthy gash" on her dorm room door. "What does that mean?" she asked, with complete sincerity. Perhaps this creaming thing was like that.
I am incapable of letting things go, so I continued to badger him. “I just can’t see how she’d miss that part. He says it like fifty times.”
"You know my mother," said Sifu. "She could very easily not notice something moderately sexual in a song she’s sung along to for decades."
"We have to get her to sing this," I said. "I want to hear her sing those words and then ask her how she didn’t realize what she was saying."
"I don’t want to hear my mother sing ‘Greased Lightning’, at all," said Sifu.
Fast-forward to Sunday. Picture it! My house, Palm Sunday dinner, assorted cousins present, thousands of pounds of food on the table, weird Easter bread,
with the eggs suspended in it like festive spring tumors, and the radio on, because Little13 has to dance while she eats. Some sexy Barry White is playing, which is totally not uncomfortable or weird in any way, and it’s casting a certain mood of awkwardness that cannot be denied. Suddenly the song changes, to Patti Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade”.
"Now THIS is the kind of song I can get into," says my mother in law, in this spotless, innocent fashion that is in no way a pretense for masking her discomfort with the subject matter of "Lady Marmalade". She starts chair dancing in this very upbeat, completely irreproachable manner, the picture of child-like innocence.
"This song is about prostitution," comes out of my big evil head before I can stop myself. You could hear the record-scratch. "What?" says my mother in law.
"Prostitution. Lady Marmalade is a woman of the evening. The guy goes to New Orleans and she propositions him, and then when he goes home to his normal life, he is forever changed by the sexual liberation he experienced with her." Blank stares. "Come on. ‘Struttin’ her stuff on the street’? ‘More, more, more’? You have to realize this."
"I did not realize that," says my mother in law.
"Can we talk about ‘Grease’ for a minute?"
"Can we not?" spake Sifu.
We did not.
It all ties together - the cleanliness of a spotless looking oven that, on the inside, is not so squeaky clean after all - the orange degreaser, Grease, Lady Marmalade, ORANGE Marmalade - there are undeniable ties between my subconscious, American musical culture, and reality, and if you really think about it, there is nothing more blatantly sexual than a dream about scrubbing a filthy oven. Sometimes an oven is just an oven, but usually, it’s a cavernous, smutty lady hole just dying to be sprayed down with the citrusy freshness of a young John Travolta in a very fast car.
And if this seems like a lot of words to read on a Tuesday morning, well, imagine how I feel.
See you tomorrow for more bullshit.
April 11, 2014
Text Message Conversations That Explain Everything: Sorry, Dad
My dad is so cute.
He’s not a doddering old dad, having spawned me when he was still a teenager, and he’s a really cool guy. He’s very like The Dude. He’s The Dad.
But when it comes to certain technologies, he is woefully behind the times. I recently procured an mp3 player for him, because it was embarrassing seeing him on the subway with his discman and binder full of CDs, in 2014. And he doesn’t do text messaging, which is the preferred method of corresponding with me above all other platforms and frankly I just feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t interact with me in that way, in that I am simultaneously very efficient, and ridiculously inarticulate with it. People who text me regularly live up to fifteen years longer, because of laughing at my errors.
He doesn’t do the texting, but he’s starting to branch out a little and try new things. Hopefully we won’t have any awkwardness in our relationship as a result of this correspondence on my birthday this Tuesday:
Dad: Happy birthday! Doing anything special?
BIOU: Nope! Just wanking.
Dad: (never texts me again)
April 10, 2014
Big Boss of the Day: Randal Kleiser
I have mentioned before, I think, how Little13 prefers to be dancing at all times, and ideally to the oldies radio station. When she is eating, especially, there must be music playing so that she can make it impossible to get the food into her face.
Every night, my mother-in-law, who lives downstairs from us, comes up to feed Little13 her evening meal. It’s a special bonding thing for the two of them, and it allows me to get a few things done while also enjoying the sounds of my MIL’s excellent singing. Sometimes she sings nursery rhymes, which are so horrible, and sometimes she sings along with the radio. A couple of weeks ago she was singing along with Frankie Valli - a song I’d heard a billion times but had never quite listened to, on the grounds that it sucks unimaginably.
I was tuning all this out pretty successfully until Sifu came in and stated, matter of factly, that “Grease”, apparently, is the way that we are feeling. “I’m not feeling Grease,” said I. “I don’t even want to know what it feels like.”
"It’s the word. It’s the time, the place and the motion," said Sifu.
"It is the word," said my mother-in-law, and I knew, at that moment, what it must feel like at the very instant that you realize that the neighborhood association meeting you thought you were attending was actually a mind-control cult’s secret initiation services.
"It’s got meaning," said Sifu.
"I need to get out of here," said I.
"I love this song," said my mother in law, which surprised me because it didn’t seem like her kind of song. "Grease is one of my favorite movies of all time."
"Rev. BIOU has never seen ‘Grease’," said Sifu.
"WHAT?" said my mother in law.
"It’s true," said I.
"She’s very proud of it," said Sifu.
Just like that, the days of my pride in never having seen “Grease” became numbered, because Sifu made it his mission to ensure that I could no longer honestly make that claim. Within days, I was laying in bed watching Investigation Discovery when Sifu came into the room, commandeered the remote control, and forced me, Alex Delarge style, to watch “Grease” in its entirety.
It was…about what you’d expect. It was…
Of course, I had a few questions running through my mind after watching “Grease”, such as “Did this movie know that it was awful? Was the humor intentional?” and “Aren’t those teenagers a little rough around the edges? How are they still in high school? Rizzo looks like she should be pregnant with her GRAND children.” and “Is this the prequel to ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest?”
But mostly, the question in my mind was, “why is the opening theme a disco song if this is set in the fifties?”
It turns out, I was not the only person to ask that question. The director, Randal Kleiser, agreed with me, according to the Internet Movie Database, or “IMDB” as its known to those of us “in the know”.
Apparently, it went like this:
Adapted from the stage show, “Grease” was set to become a major motion picture, directed by a relative unknown young upstart with few notable credits beneath his belt. Originals for the motion picture soundtrack were to be composed at least in part by Simian Idiot demigod BARRY GIBB, who was riding high on his massive success from Saturday Night Fever, also known as the greatest story ever told.
The opening theme, as submitted by Gibb, contained that distinctive Gibb flavor, but was saturated by a sleazy disco aroma that Kleiser felt was inconsistent with the tone of the flick. In my observation, the only thing it has in common with “Grease”, is that it is decidedly greasy. It is as if Barry Gibb coated this song with a thick layer of Vaseline before allowing Frankie Valli to sing it from the inside of an oil well.
However, although Kleiser was the damn DIRECTOR, he was not quite important enough to measure weenies in a power struggle against the behemoth Gibb, and as such, his first great success, and the title for which he has gone down in history, is OPENED with a song he did not like or want.
Lesser men would have castrated themselves and leapt into a volcano, but our Big Boss of the Day, Randal Kleiser, has gone on the record with his defeat, making it known that Barry Gibb was not, in fact, infallible. Was imperfect.
For his bravery in speaking out against Big Gibb, we salute today’s Boss, Randal Kleiser. For the making of “Grease”, we can only hope to accept his apology.
April 9, 2014
The FAR Edge of Seventeen
It’s my birthday! I am old, old, old. So very very old. I am so old that after putting my daughter to bed, I must goose-step out of her room because the sound of my ancient knees snapping will startle her out of her peaceful state, afraid the house is collapsing in on itself. I am so old that my fully erect gray hairs pick up disapproving transmissions from outer space - alien beings thousands of years old, whose entire bodies are mottled and piebald gray and who have witnessed, first-hand, the birth of the solar system, whispering to each other, “Look at that earthling HAG. Is that her skin or is she huddled under the remains of a dead ELEPHANT? Is that her actual flesh or is she swathed in a mile-long shroud of crackling No Nonsense pantyhose remnants from 1972? Good god she is OLD.” And then they all laugh.
I’m old, you guys.
But, it’s not the years, it’s the mileage as they say, which is to say that I’m even older than I thought I was. Due to the mileage. Of which I am very well miled. Well travelled. Whatever. I’m threadbare. I’m so used up that European tourists on the streets of New York routinely flick cigarette butts through me, believing me to be an empty trash receptacle. I’m so ancient that ghosts stay off my lawn. I’m so worn out that I recently found a vagrant sleeping in my hair, because he believed me to be a discarded refrigerator carton. I’m so old and fragile I’m grandfathered in, even though I don’t meet current codes. If you scratch me with a piece of wood, there’s sparks. If you blow in my face, I disintegrate.
But first I punch you until you are dead, because don’t blow in my face. I may be old but I don’t have to take your shit, whippersnapper.
The fact of the matter is, there aren’t many living humanoids who are even older than I am, and if I were a primitive person like Turkana Boy, there would be even fewer. I’d be a village elder, at the mid-way point between owning all the reverence of the village for my unparalleled wisdom and the best seat at the Tribe Barbecue, and getting shoved out to sea on a burning raft. But this isn’t primitive times. This is now.
But wait. Now is the primitive times of the future! Today is tomorrow’s yesteryear! The niggling inconveniences of 2014 are the maudlin nostalgias of 2054. Remember when! Those were the days! How did we survive!
On a long enough timeline, we don’t. So the time has come to celebrate as if I were simultaneously very, very young, and ancient enough to be made of dust.
Today is my birthday. With every passing moment I feel wrinkles carving their telling crevasses into the timeline of my face. With every passing moment I feel my untrustworthy meatsack breaking down just a little bit. With every passing moment, I give less of a fuck than ever before.
Happy birthday to me.
And because I am the most important person on the internet, MSN wrote an article about me.
They forgot to mention me in here, but that’s just a courtesy. They know I like to keep my greatness under wraps, sharing it only with a select few.
YOU are the few. Drink to my health, Idiots.
See you tomorrow for more dementia-flavored elderly ramblings.
April 8, 2014
Let’s Learn Religion: BIOU’s Hypothesis of Relativity
Last week, in anticipation of the changing seasons, I noticed a trend of men wearing shorts under their puffy winter parkas. It was as though their brains knew it wasn’t really spring, but their legs couldn’t stand the confines of pants for another minute. In a fit of uncharacteristic optimism about the looming warmth, I swapped out my heavy winter coat, which I am sick to death of, for a lighter weight model. As I tried it on, I found three dollars wadded up in the pocket, probably from last September, and my heart soared like an eagle.
Years ago, Sifu and I and two of our friends spent an afternoon picnicking riverside in beautiful Pound Ridge New York. While we inhaled sandwiches and tasty marinated mozzarella knots, Sifu stood on the bank of the river waving a stick around, attempting to whack some fish.
Suddenly, his gleeful shouts indicated that he had captured a trout. Because this is a “catch and release” area, he reeled in his prize, held it above the earth at an elevation most unnatural for a creature of the trout variety (unless it is soaring majestically to its death in the grip of a predatory bird), and then gently extracted the hook from its face before setting it free again in the river, a little worse for wear, but hopefully wiser, having learned a thing or two about selectivity in the course of choosing a meal.
What a rollercoaster ride this must have been for the fish. The highs and lows, the parable of maybe in action, the ups and downs, strikes and gutters, slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. I imagine it went a little something like this:
Trout: “Hello, I am a trout. I swim about in the gurgling streams, searching for tasty flies to eat. Flies are filled with delicious goo. I’d sure hate to be a fly on THIS river, which is the territory of yours truly, Nameless Brown Trout of Pound Ridge, the scourge of flies everywhere! Why, I think I see my next victim right now, bobbing deliciously on the surface of the stream. I think I’ll go have a bite!”
“Oh bother, this fly has skewered my lip and now I am flapping in the air in a most unseemly fashion! I’ve never been out of the river before. I don’t care for the sensation of air against my slime coat! Surely this is the worst thing that is going to happen to me today.
“I spoke too soon! A large, gil-less land mammal has gripped me by the torso and is holding me aloft! God damn it. This is horrible. It simply cannot get any worse than this!
“Just a moment - the mammal is not my tormentor, but rather, my savior! He is extracting the prong from my face and appears to be setting me free again. All praise the hairy land mammal! I will live to hunt again! I hope I can find that delicious fly again.
“Uh oh, a snake is now eating me alive.”
For that is what happened, Friends. Following a close brush with mortality, that fish was returned to the safety of the river only to be swallowed, ass-first, in slow motion over the course of fifteen minutes, by a hungry river snake, while four picnickers holding greasy heroes stood by, mouths agape, watching the trials of life in action. It took fucking forever for that snake to get that fish down, and the poor fish was conscious and aware through the entire merciless process, because weakened by his struggle on sifu’s line, he was caught unawares from behind.
We have referred to that incident many times in the ensuing years, because it was so surreal. In part, there is the element of guilt. Had Sifu not caught the fish, it probably wouldn’t have been such an easy catch for the snake. The fish would have survived, but the snake would have gone hungry. And had the trout not snapped at Sifu’s fly line quite so greedily, a fly might not have lived to see another day, or gone on to breed millions of other flies, for other fish to be sustained by. All of nature is a food pyramid, and a block removed from one part of the infrastructure may cause another side to topple. It’s best not to even think about what was in those greasy Italian sandwiches. In all probability it was cured slices of animals that don’t even exist except in the minds of mad Italian butchers, who manifest their offerings out of sheer evil will and a big crate of Cholesterol Supplement.
But isn’t that the way of things. You think things are going pretty well, or else you feel like you’re on a pretty bad losing streak, and then out of nowhere, life blindsides you with a little perspective. “Oh, you think it sucks to caught on a fishing line? Try getting eaten alive, sucker.” Or, “Oh, you think it’s great that winter is finally ending? Well hope you enjoy this bonus THREE BIG ONES, AMIGO.”
Now that I put it in writing like that, the perks look pretty sad compared to the negatives.
And THAT is MY dose of perspective for the day.
Eat, drink and be merry, Idiots, for tomorrow someone may devour you, ass first.
You have learned Religion. Go in peace.
April 3, 2014
Big Boss of the Day: The Sounds of Silence
As many of you know, when I am faced with an existential crisis or a social or ethical conflict, my first and best recourse, in most cases, is to go on Facebook and inflict it on my closest friends and most distant acquaintances.
This happened yesterday morning, when I inadvertently left my headphones at home, and then made a critical tactical commuter error - namely, sitting down next to two people on the bus who clearly know each other and have a lot to catch up on.
As it was pretty early in the morning and most of my friends, elementary school buddies and American History teachers are busy showering, eating breakfast, and sleeping like sane people, I didn’t expect a whole lot of interaction on the subject of my disastrous seating misstep. This was fortunate for me, because nobody gave one shit.
Nobody giving a shit has never stopped me from blathering, so I posted the following:
BIOU: The two most boring women on earth are sitting next to me on the bus, having a loud conversation.
One of them has a birthday coming up on the 17th, which is funny because Linda’s birthday is the 26th! Isn’t that an amazing coincidence?
The one who does not have a birthday coming up just pulled a contraption out of her handbag and is curling her eyelashes with it.
At this point, the comments started rolling in like wildfire. It is telling, of what I’d rather not surmise, that all the comments were from me.
BIOU: It makes me feel so sad that after all that effort with the eyelashes, she doesn’t look any better, or any different at all. What a waste of time and energy. Energy that could have been spent talking about the car she bought in 97 that’s finally starting to go, and school fees, and the death of Gianni Versace, and all the other important issues these two women who will not shut up have to cover in the scant ninety minutes we all have together on this god damned bus.
BIOU: Speaking of Linda, I hear her dog isn’t doing so well.
BIOU: She’s putting curlers into her hair. I have taken a picture but there is no way to attach it to this comment.
BIOU: Time to apply bronzer!
BIOU: I don’t know about you, but the lady with the curlers on her head prefers when things stay traditional.
BIOU: I literally cannot stop taking pictures of her head. With the zoom on, some of them come out very grainy, as though I were in the presence of Bigfoot.
BIOU: Just these two little tragic rollers nestled pathetically on top of her whole head of hair, that she waited until she was halfway to wherever she’s going to put in. But this was not an afterthought, this was premeditated. She brought those rollers with her with the intention of improving her coif. Perhaps she is going on an interview. This thread is basically therapy for me, obviously.
BIOU: “My son came over on sunday, looking ridiculous. I made a baked ziti. I didn’t want to say anything, but he just looked ridiculous.”
At this point, some fucking asshole chimed in with a comment:
Ahole: This is like your subconscious speaking out loud. Being inside your head, if only for a moment, is therapy for us.
BIOU: The only for a moment part is key.
Ahole: I know. Sometimes I pick my words deliberately.
It was around this time that I allowed my brain to exit my body and float into space, where it hovered just a few inches above the roof of the bus, outside, in the damp, cleansing air. I had to stop focusing on what was going on around me, lest I become consumed with the plight of Linda, and Versace, and the birthdays, and the dog, and the ridiculous son, at a point in my commute where I would have to get off the bus and miss the climactic ending. Never one for a cliffhanger, I detached from my conscious mind, allowed my body to evaporate, and let my imagination wander. As it happens, it wandered to the subject of sign language, or more specifically, American sign language.
What puzzles me about sign language is that it would be so intentionally divisive. The fact that language has evolved in such a factious manner is due, I would think, to the distant, global nature of early humanity. The world is smaller now, with technology bringing those of us who are so far apart, so close together. And yet there is no globally universal language. But if there were, wouldn’t it be nice if it were a series of hand gestures? Wouldn’t it be nice if the one way we could ALL communicate, regardless of language of origin, culture, or creed, was SILENT? I can’t imagine why I was thinking this way as I sat on the bus next to Curler Head and Smoker’s Cough, but for some unknowable reason, the fantasy was there, and it was real.
What if, in the dark, we could all just shut up?
For giving me this notion of a peaceful, quiet world, I hereby name Curler Head our Big Boss of the Day. Like the Loch Ness Monster, her image cannot be clearly captured on film, but she is ever there, lurking in the shadows, ready to rise to the surface and swallow your morning, and capsize your train of thought. Today is your day, Curler Head. Go out there and party like it’s April 17th.
April 2, 2014
April Idiot’s Day
In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, which I observed yesterday by questioning everything I read online like some kind of paranoid doubting Thomas, are you familiar with the Annoy-A-Tron?
It’s a small device that beeps at random intervals, which one can connect in a covert location via magnet.
The Annoy-A-Tron has been put to notorious mis-use in the past, by moronic prank-minded individuals who had never heard about minor things like national security, leading to police raids and what have you, but that is not what I want to talk about today. Sifu has put the Annoy-A-Tron to perfect and correct use by affixing one to the back of his mother’s dresser, but that is also not what I want to talk about today.
Today I want to talk about my undergarments.
The past three years or so have seen dramatic changes to my sorry carcass, including briefly swelling up like a hot air balloon, followed by a surgical situation, followed by treating my meatsack like a very low priority while various things happened to it. The end result of all this is that last week, I finally caved and went bra shopping, because my jugs don’t behave the way they used to.
It is said that something like 90% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. For once, I could proudly side with the majority. My new knockers are a 36D, whatever that means.
It meant several hundred big ones in new bras, is what it meant.
Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready for w*rk, the darndest thing started happening at seven o clock in the fucking morning. Namely, the City of New York began jackhammering the sidewalk apart, right outside my window.
Sifu’s head poked out of the shower. “Pardon me,” his head said. “But what the fuck is that ungodly noise at this insane time of day?” In my best Hunter S. Thompson voice, I replied, “Is this not a reasonable time to jackhammer the god damned sidewalk?”
Little13 slept peacefully on, because she is capable of snoring straight through fireworks and construction, but god help me if I step on the squeaky part of the floor four rooms away. That is neither here nor there. The intense volume of the construction obscured what revealed itself, between eruptions, as a strange squeaking noise that seemed to follow me wherever I went.
"Sifu," I asked said as he stepped out of the shower like a hairy Adonis. "Do you hear that?"
"The jackhammering has stopped momentarily," he replied.
"Not that," said I. "That delicate squeak."
"I think I do hear it," said Sifu. "What could it be?"
"I believe," said I, "Nay, I am certain, that that soft chirping is the sound of my pricy new brassiere, which whistles every time I move my arms like this."
"Pheeeeee!" said my expensive new bra.
"I’m going to have to throw this bra away," I said, forlornly. Because as previously mentioned, I might have spent a ton of money on this bra. It was worth it, too. It held everything up beautifully. Two hypnotic swaying globes affixed to the front of my chest spoke volumes, but unfortunately, the bra itself spoke additional volumes. "Pheeee!"
"Don’t do that," said Sifu. "Maybe it just needs breaking in."
"You are such a man," said I. "Bras don’t have to be broken in to stop making noise. That’s absurd."
"Perhaps you should lube it," said Sifu. "In fact, yes. Let’s grease you up."
What a man.
"Why didn’t you make sure it didn’t make noise before you bought it?" asked Sifu, who has little experience with bra shopping.
"Because it DIDN’T make this noise until I wore it for a while," I said. "You can’t try the bra on for hours. Eventually they insist that you pay for it and leave the store."
"Maybe it will be one of those noises you get used to over time," said Sifu. "Like a train that runs past your house."
"Like an Annoy-a-Tron", said I.
And just like that, blog continuity was attained.
There are noises you get used to, annoyances that your brain forms a callous over to protect you from a terrifying descent into madness. When I was a kid, I watched a science show about nerve endings, and the narrator pointed out that a human being cannot possibly experience all existing stimuli simultaneously without brain overload. “Think about your clothes,” said the evil head on the screen. “If you were always aware of them touching you, it would be like torture!”
Which was all it took to kick-start a lifelong awareness of my clothes touching me.
But until yesterday, I didn’t have to think about my clothes talking to me. I guess if it has to be any garment running a narrative all day long, my bra is the way to go. I like to think that it’s softly whispering, with each persistent squeak, “How fine it is to be wrapped around your bosom, friend. How I look forward to the days I spend gently cupping you, supporting you, being there with you through thick and thin. The sound of your heartbeat is the soundtrack to my day. I love being your bra.”
Because if I had to hear my thong all day, I don’t think I could handle it. The best I could hope for is, “Thanks for putting me on sideways again, asshole.”