Saturday, February 27, 2010

Scene from a discussion

"MOM... Susie stole my cheeseburger..."
"Susie, give your sister back her cheeseburger."
"But MoOOoom, Elaine stole my drink!"
"*sigh* Elaine, you give Susie back her drink, Susie you give Elaine back her cheeseburger."
"Mohhhhhhhhmmmmm! Susie just threw my cheeseburger at me, and now she's on top of the television stand!"
"Elaine, stop tattling on your sister. Susie, stop throwing cheeseburgers and get down off of the television stand."
"Mom! Elaine just flipped me the bird!"
"Elaine, stop flipping your sister the bird right now."
"Augh! Mom! Susie just spit at me!"
"Mom! Elaine just punched me in the arm!"
"Susan! You watch your language!"
"But Mom! Elaine just punched my tit!"
"Damnit Elaine! Stop punching your sister in the breast! She's going to need those if she's ever going to get Steve to notice her!"
"What? Didn't you tell me that Steve was just the dreamiest guy ever the other day?"
"Hahahahahahahaha! Susie's got a crush on Steve!"
"Shut up you horrible brat! I do not!"
"So why did you tell me that you would absolutely die if Steve asked you to the dance?"
"OW! Mom! Susie just kicked me!"
"Susie, you need to calm down! You don't have to kick your sister! We're just playing with you... oh for the love of god!"
"Get off of my you fat cow!"
"Not until you apologize for for calling me a horrible brat... and a fat cow!"
"Why should I apologize for telling the truth!?"
"Elaine! You get off of your sister right now! I'm serious! You are both too old for this! Do I have to spank you?"
"Mohhhhm! You can't be serious!"
"I am totally serious! If you too don't knock it off right now, I'm going to spank both of you!"
"What do you think? You think we can take her?"
"Don't you even.... Girls, stop it! No! No tickling! no.... ah hahahahahahahahaha!"
"C'mon Elaine, let's get her!"
"Oh god! noooooooo! hahahahahahahahahaha oh my god! you've got to stop!"
"That's it Susie! get her! Especially her ribs! She can't stand that"
"*shriek* Oh you two are soo dead when I get out of this! hahahahahahahahahaha!"
"I'm gonna get her feet!"
"NOOOOOOO!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahaha!"
"Oh hell! Someone's at the door!"
"Quick, Elaine, I'll hold mom down... you go get the door!"
"Hell-ooooo? STEVE! Oh my god! Hi!"
"Uh, Hey Elaine, is Susie here?"
"Oh... yeah... we were just having a tickle fight with Mom. Would you like to come in?"
"Yeah, I would like that."
"Quick! Susie, run! I'll try and keep him distracted so you can get cleaned up a little!"
"Thanks Mom!"
"Oh Hello Steve, how are you today?"
"Hi Mrs. Jenson, I'm doing good. How about you?"
"I'm doing well. What brings you over today?"
"Well, I was going to uh, see if uh, Susie wanted to go to the dance with uh, with me."
"Well, Steve, I've got to tell you; I can't speak for Susie, but somehow I get the feeling that she could be persuaded."
"Hey Mom? Where did Susie go? She was just heaugh!"
"She's been in her room... remember?"
"No, why did you just kick my shin-eaow!"
"Elaine? Is everything alright?"
"Yeah Steve, for some reason, I keep getting these pains in my leg"
"Oh, Steve! I didn't know you were here!"
"Wow.... Susie, you look stunning"
"Well, thank you Steve. What's up?"
"Well uh, I was wondering if... if..."
"Well, that is, uh, I was wondering if, uh, you wanted to maybe, uh... go to the dance with me next week?"
"Steve, I would be honored to. Steve? STEVE!?"
"Oh my god! MOM! Something is wrong with Steve!"
"Steve! Steve? hey, wake up!"
"Holy Crap Susie! You Killed Steve!"
"Shut UP! Mom! Tell Elaine to shut up! I didn't do anything to Steve!"
"Elaine, either shut the hell up, or go to your room. Steve? There we go, how are you feeling kiddo?"
"Uh, what just happened?"
"You fainted kiddo, you sure you're o.k.?"
"Uh, yeah.... I think so..."
"Here, let me help you up... Are you going to be alright to make it home?"
"Uh, yeah, I think so..."
"Mom, what if I walked Steve home, just to make sure he doesn't fall?"
"That would be a great idea Susie, hurry back though, we have a lot of work to do still."
"O.k. Mom, C'mon Steve, let's get going..."
"I don't get it Mom, why did Steve faint?"
"Oh, Elaine.... it's just something that you'll have to experience when you're older. It's something you feel deep inside."
"Like a fart?"
"Nevermind... why don't you go out and play?"
"O.k. Mom.... y'know, that was pretty cool how Susie managed to get Steve to faint like that. You think I'll ever be able to do that?"
"Elaine, I know you will.... now go play."

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Good Ol' Fashioned Love Story

She gave me a picture, I gave her my heart. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Harv was waiting for me at the far end of the tank today. I had been a cooler day, with the sun spending most of it behind a cloud. Not that I was complaining - It's been a hell of a week so far. First it was the kids from the private school who started yelling fat jokes at me, then a drunken frat boy puked in our pool, but by far, it had to be that goddamn giraffe sticking his neck where it didn't belong. That was the last straw. I got so pissed off that I charged the wall separating our two enclosures.
Bad move.
Not only did that long necked bastard get the pleasure of watching me practically bash my brains out, but he also laughed at me. I swear, I'm gonna get that spindly legged freak and show him the meaning of awkward social situations.
I was muttering to myself when Harv interrupted me.
"Yo, Steve, how's the head?"
I looked up, startled, opening my mouth. "Damnit Harv! Don't do that!" Harv backed up quickly, and I closed my mouth. As we walked back into the feeding pen, I sighed and prepared myself for another boring evening of grasses and fruits.
"Hey, it looks like we got a feeder!" Harv said as he entered the building. Glancing up, my heart stopped. At first I thought she was Taweret in physical form, but then I realized that she was just a very beautiful, albeit skinny human. I was lost.
Over the following weeks, I looked forward to her in the feeding pen. Whenever she would come by, I would open my mouth and posture for her. A couple of times I chased Harv around, just to show her how awesome I was. I finally stopped when I chased him into the gate, bending the bars.
I thought she might be digging me, but I wasn't sure, until last night, when she dropped a photo into the pen. It was then that I knew that it was true love. Wanna see the picture?

Isn't she gorgeous?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Battle

I groaned into my milkshake. "Jesus Ash, that was terrible!" I looked across the Formica table at my roommate. He grinned at me, shoving another pile of fries into his mouth.
"I dunno, I thought the whole pi thing was damn brilliant."
"How many times have I told you, jokes are fine, but if you start punning, you're liable to get schooled?" I looked him in the eye, waiting for him to back down.
"Oh really? You think you can out pun me?" Ash winked at me. I hate it when he does that. Every time he winks like that, you know he's raring to go. Well, this time, I was going to really put him in his place. I just had to start out a little easy.
"Alright - what'r the stakes?" I looked at him, figuring if he was going to back down, now would be the time.
Leaning back in his chair, he slid his hands behind his head. "Well..." he looked at the ceiling for a moment, trying to throw me off. "Howzabout this... if I win, I get your collection of zombie flicks for the month." My mouth tightened in a grimace.
"And?" I prompted.
"In the highly unlikely event that I lose, you can do my laundry for a month." He grinned at me, expecting me to fall for that ploy again.
"Not so fast smartass, If I win, you have to do my laundry for a month, and give me your copy of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.... for keeps." My heart raced as I threw down the gauntlet.
Ash sat forward abruptly, a look of cold steel in his eyes. Yup, hit a nerve.
"Alright - but expect to be doing laundry for a while, I'm gonna sleep in it for a week first."
"Well, since you started out, I'll go ahead and start out" I explained, settling back, thinking quickly.

"Didja hear about the young man that broke up with the telephone operator? Apparently he felt disconnected from her, plus she had too many hang-ups." I started, testing the waters.
Without blinking an eye, Ash replied "I riposte that for a fencer to admit he's been foiled is a hard thing touche." Inwardly, I winced - I was hoping to save that one for a little later.
"Y'know, I once forgot how to throw a boomerang, but then it came back to me." Again, I winced - not one of my better ones, and I knew what was coming. "I saw this baseball that was getting bigger, and then it hit me." Wait a second, did I just see a slight tic in Ash's eye? I must have, because that one was even worse than mine.
"Hey, you hear about the guy that got hit in the head with a can of soda? He's gonna be o.k. since it was only a soft drink." I could feel a little confidence sprouting.
Ash wiggled his eyebrows at a passerby and replied "The Short Fortune-Teller who escaped from prison was considered a short medium at large!" Immediately I fired back with "It's better to love a short girl than not a tall." A groan behind me boosted me up. Ash looked over my shoulder and explained "I thought I saw an Alaskan Eye Doctor, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian."
Ouch. I had to think of something fast.
"Did you know that England doesn't have a Kidney Bank, but they do have a Liverpool?" A boy behind Ash rolled his eyes. We were starting to get serious now. I could tell because there were several dogs hanging out. People were starting to converge.
"At the rum factory docks, they all talk in verse - it just goes to show that rhymes fly when your heaving rum!" Several groans, eye rolls, and a chuckle or two. I had to start pulling out the big guns.
"A Chess Convention was being held in Denver. Before the convention opened, many of the attendees were standing around the lobby of a hotel near the convention center, bragging about their previous games. After about an hour of this boasting, the manager of the hotel decided that he had heard enough and started chasing the players out. Another customer came up to him and asked him why he had just kicked out all the players. The manager replied 'I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer'".
More groans and chuckles. In the background, I thought I heard someone retch.
Ash's eyes narrowed. "So that's how it is, huh?" I nodded, a slight smile traveling to my lips. He sighed "Alright, For years and years, a doctor had been having a drink after work at the same bar. Every time he walked in the door, the barman would mix his favorite drink, a hazelnut daiquiri. One day, the bartender didn't have any hazelnuts in the bar. Wondering what to do, he spied some hickory nuts and tried to make the drink from them instead. The doctor came in at his regular time, took a sip of the drink and exclaimed 'This isn't a hazelnut daiquiri!' 'No,' said the bartender, 'it's a hickory daiquiri, doc.' Much eye rolling from the crowd, some groans, a few laughs... I had to end this now.
Taking a deep breath, I looked Ash in the eye and started "There was once a huge starship, called the SS Titanic." Watching him closely, I could tell he knew this one was going to be a doozy. "It was a mighty cruise ship, set to sail the inky blackness of space. The first voyage of the immense vessel came. Thousands of people on board - mostly the rich and famous, and of course, a large crew to cater for their every need."
A thin sheen or perspiration began to form on his forehead. If I could keep it together for a little longer, I knew I would have him. I continued. "As the ship set off, no-one realized that her fate was just around the corner. She flew around the galaxy, visiting several resort planets, before heading towards her last solar system. As she arrived, everyone found themselves looking in horror as the star exploded in front of their eyes - a supernova."
I took a quick drink from my shake - I had to make this next part difficult, or I was going to loose it, and blow the punchline. I let the image of the ship exploding settle in everyone's mind before picking the story back up.
"Of course, everyone was killed, and although search parties spent several years looking, nothing was ever found of the great ship, except for a single twisted, half-molten chunk of metal that had come from the toolkit of one of the ship's engineers. The chunk of metal was put on display in a museum dedicated to the memory of the ship." Pausing for dramatic effect, I could tell Ash knew he was already beat. I let him sweat it for a few seconds, as I looked around at the crowd. The more I got them involved, the more it would hurt when I finished the story.
"It became known as the Star-Mangled Spanner."

The crowd erupted into a wild mob - approximately three-quarters grabbed their noses and ran from the room screaming - others just sat there, stunned. A few were laughing so hard they had tears streaming down their faces. Ash sat there, looking at me like I had grown a second head.
"You better get a wash ready" I told him as I got up and left the table.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ET - Seriously WTF!?

So I was sitting on the couch tonight, prowling the interwebs and half-listening to the tele, mainly just letting the noise create background music, waiting for the olympics to start back up. As with most commercials, you have the filler crap for sitcoms or dramas or that rat bastard whose name I will not mention who gets his damn show back (alright, enough of that).
I'm zoning out, the noise in the background, and an ad for Entertainment Tonight comes on: Edwards' sex tape, blah, blah, blah, Queens of Alice in Wonderland, blah, blah, blah, Charlie Sheen in Rehab, blah, blah, blah, Tiger's Children, blah, blah, blah, Jo Frost sticking her nose where it probably shouldn't be, blah, blah, blah, and then [SERIOUS TONE] Animal Attacks - see what happens when wild animals kept as pets attack their owners! {immediately followed by} [LIGHTHEARTED TONE] Former Baywatch Beauty was overweight, can she get back into the red swimsuit?
I don't know what happened - I just lost it. I started frothing at the mouth, my eyes got that crazy color changing thing that used to happen to Kaa from the Jungle Book and this inhuman, otherworldly voice started screaming...
"What the hell is that shit!? I mean, seriously! How they hell can they sleep at night? Are you shitting me? [SERIOUS VOICE] ANIMAL ATTACKS! [LIGHTHEARTED TONE] Former Baywatch bouncer too fucking fat!"
As I slowly regained my senses, I realized that a) I had some strange sort of disconnect, b) Entertainment Tonight is full of fail and bad editing and c) I had just taught my three boys some new vocabulary that I will spend the next two weeks trying to get them to stop repeating in front of parents, police and priests, d) Apparently when I get really offended (holy crap, I'm getting offended! I'm getting old! Nothing used to offend me!), my wife finds it absolutely hysterical.
So now I'm fuming over the fact that the digital equivalent of a Cleavland Steamer has been dropped in my living room, and Melissa is laughing like a ten year old at a fart convention, and I have no clue as to what she finds so funny.
This gets me to thinking about what was so wrong with the program in the first place.
One: Why the hell is ET showing video of any type of animal attacks right around dinner time, when most families are either crowded around the television, eating dinner with the television on, or crowded around dinner with the television at the table?
Two: Why in the world would anyone think that an actress who was "overweight" at one point in time be a nice segue from violent, vicious animals attacks into lighter fare? They show video of her wearing the Baywatch swimsuit, focusing on her ass, and all I can see is a lion coming out of nowhere and taking a bite out of that ass.
Three: This stuff is so inane in the first place, I don't know why anyone would want to talk to them in the first place unless you are either broke, an attention whore, clueless, or no moral compass whatsoever. Apparently, everyone on that show has all the above... in spades.
So, how do we combat this encroaching vapidity and intellectual bankruptcy?
two words: 80's music.
You know you wanna.....

Monday, February 22, 2010

Breaking News

Newscaster: Breaking news tonight out of the local school district... Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security has taken several students into custody, along with their teacher. Hello, I'm Winston Taekabow. Today, several students were apparently arrested along with their teacher in what Homeland Security is calling "a sting of epic proportions". Strata Raffia is on site with this report. Strata?

Strata: Thanks, Winston. Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security has been following this cell of students for several months now, in anticipation of something like this happening. As you can see over my shoulder, the school in question where the raid took place. At this time, the suspects, four students and a teacher have been detained and are currently being questioned about their involvement in the incident.

Winston: So, can you tell us what happened?

Strata: Absolutely Winston. Apparently, this morning at approximately 10 a.m. several students burst into a classroom waving a rubber band pistol, several paint ball guns, and water grenades. Witnesses I have spoken with described the scene as one of incredulity, tinged with fear. According to one eyewitness, they came bursting into the room during algebra class, screaming incoherently and waving guns and grenades. At the time, no one could tell if the weapons were real or not.

Winston: What about the suspects, can you tell us anything about them?

Strata: We're still getting preliminary reports, but from what I've been able to find out, it was four students aged between 15 and 17, and a teacher. There is no definitive word yet that the teacher had anything to do with the students, but he has been taken into custody. Since the suspects are all under 18, we are not allowed to release their names, but the teacher is alleged to be Roger Smith, 39. Now, from what we've heard, he is a popular teacher here at the school. He has been teaching English for several years now, and had just started teaching Algebra... hang on Winston, we're getting a live update.... [grabs piece of paper shoved at her from off camera]. The police have officially taken the suspects into custody, and are apparently charging them with some grievous charges. The police chief is holding an impromptu press conference now.

[Cuts to] Police Chief: We appreciate your attentiveness to this situation. I will explain a little of what happened today, and how it will be handled. Our colleagues in Homeland Security tipped us off to a possible threat today, and with their assistance, we were able to thwart a vicious attack on this school. The suspects have been officially arrested in connection with bursting into an Algebra class, brandishing weapons. In a separate incident, the teacher in the room, Mr. Roger Smith, has also been arrested. At this point in time, we are still not sure as to the connection between the two acts, but we're positive that given time, they will be proven to be part of a larger attack.
At this time, the four teens who burst into the Algebra class waving weapons have been charged with 27 counts of disturbing the peace, and four counts each of using weapons of Math Disruption. Mr Smith was captured with a protractor, graphing calculator, and several sharpened pencils. Subsequently, he has been charged with carrying weapons of Math Instruction.

[Cuts away to] Strata: And there you have it. A terrible crime was narrowly avoided today. As more information comes to light, We will update you. Now, Back to you in the studio Winston.

Winston: Thank you Strata. In Nationaly news, Puxatawny Phil had a close encounter with a disgruntled Northerner today.


Sorry to put the pic at the end of the story tonight, but it would have given away the punchline!

Musing on Music

Music has always been an integral part of my life. Not that I make it on a regular basis or perform or some such stuff like that, but I've always had music in my life. From my earliest memories, I've always had music around me. I've found that music helps me think, lets me relax and/or pumps me up.
Now, I like to listen to a lot of different genres (or styles) of music. Rap and country are not my favorite, but I've found stuff from both that have spoken to me. The genre I listen to the most however, is Rock - Hard Rock, Alternative, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal - I enjoy it all. I also enjoy other genres, pop, jazz, funk, blues, classical and folk, for example.
There is something about rock that speaks to me however. I don't know if it's the use of power chords, or if it's the beat - heck it could even be the lyrics, but there is something primal about rock that speaks to my soul. Some classical music strikes those same chords, but most other styles don't hit on that primal level.
Honestly, it is too difficult for me to put into mere words the effect music has on me. Music compels me to create, it compels me to destroy. There are not words in the English language that are adequate to describe what music is to me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This Story is Just a Little Less Morbid that Originally Written

John had been performing with this outfit for several years now, first as a living being, and then after the accident, he took some time off to get himself back together - as it were - before returning to the stage. Over the years however, especially after the accident, he came to loathe the people that came to watch his show.
The crowds filled the auditorium, jostling one another as they crammed their over-sized bodies into paths designed for people half their size. John stood behind the curtain, watching them find their seats, wrestle their coats off, and then sit down, only to stand up a moment later - as another squeezed past. He hated them - with their fancy skins and dress ups.
Sighing softly, he moved to the center of the stage, and waited for the curtain to raise. Again, the gasps of shock as the spotlights illuminated his skeletal form, the hot lights amplifying and brightening his already bleached bones. Throwing his skeletal arms wide, He faced the audience, his empty eye sockets taking in the audience, the cavities in his head soaking up the horrified sounds of fear and revulsion that was now all too familiar.
The ringmaster's voice boomed over the speakers. "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! BOYS AND GIRLS! I give you the amazing SKELETON MAN!" John bowed deeply, and stood back up, rattling his bones in the process. Turning to the side, he struck a model's pose, arm upraised, fore leg thrust out before him. "Once upon a time, many years ago, he was a living, breathing man, but due to a horrific accident, he is now the creature you see before you"
John grimaced at this, although the audience couldn't see his reaction, due to lack of muscle, or facial features for that matter. He had talked to the ringmaster about that statement before, he was not a creature! he was a man... at least the re-animated, skeletal remains of a man. Changing poses again, he now showed his back to the audience, flexing like a bodybuilder.
"This accident stripped all living tissue from his body, leaving these bones. If it was not for the benevolent ministrations of our resident witch-doctor, Ooloo M'Baku, he would have been hanging in a doctor's office." A small squeak could be heard coming from John as he ground his teeth together. More lies.
'Benevolent ministrations my bony ass' John thought to himself sourly. Barney had been drunk to the point of falling down when he did the ritual that had brought John back to life. Changing positions again, John lapsed back into thought. 'Ooloo M'Baku? Jesus they're really milking this whole witch doctor shtick.' Barney Johnson, or 'Ooloo M'Baku' as he was apparently being called was as close to a real witch doctor as John was to a intimate physical relationship with anybody.
Again the voice spoke "And now, SKELETON MAN will perform some daring feats of acrobatics!" Another sigh, and John stood on his hands. After a few seconds, he did a back-flip, rattling his bones. Grabbing his skull, he began to juggle it, along with several balls that were thrown to him from off stage. juggling the objects, he danced a little jig, all the while thinking 'I've got to find something else'.
His big finale came, where a giant ball rolled out onto the stage and john jumped up on it, still juggling. The inane music started up, making this last bit almost unbearable. Finally, thankfully, the music stopped, the crowd applauded, and John could escape the stage, escape the eyes of the audience, and get back into his trailer.

Friday, February 19, 2010

This Story is Just...

(55 Words)

Hank walked back to his apartment, his hands full with grocery sacks. Silently, he cursed himself for arguing with the cabbie - now he had to traverse fifteen blocks with the bags weighing him down. Stopping for a moment to catch his breath, he absently scratched the melon, opened the bag, and aired his head out.

--- ---

(Slightly Morbid)

The crowds filled the auditorium, jostling one another as they crammed their over-sized bodies into paths designed for people half their size. John stood behind the curtain, watching them find their seats, wrestle their coats off, and then sit down, only to stand up a moment later - as another squeezed past. He hated them - with their fancy skins and dress ups. Sighing softly, he moved to the center of the stage, and waited for the curtain to raise. Again, the gasps of shock as the spotlights illuminated his skeletal form, the hot lights amplifying and brightening his already bleached bones.

--- ---

(Slightly Funny, but Disturbing)

We danced that night. The music was incidental, as we moved to our own internal rhythm, lost in the simple fact that we were finally together. While people stared, we cared not, knowing we were happy together, united at last. The waiting had be torture, but finally, we were joined, just a boy and his blow-up doll.

--- ---


I just had to know, so I waited until she was gone to start snooping. After checking the usual places, I was still at a loss, but the need to know was just too much. After poking into unlikely places, I finally found what I was looking for in the garage. I had my answer.

--- ---

If you're at a loss for what these are, I found a suggestion to try and write "super-flash fiction" or stories that are 55 words. The prompts in parenthesis are what I felt the story encapsulated after the fact, following the title of tonight's blog.
The second story violated the 55 word limit by quite a bit, but at the time I was feeling that I would try a more "traditional" flash fiction story, but undershot the mark by quite a bit (flash fiction is usually 250 words).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Drunken Confession (warning! adult themes)

It was the other night at the bar - I was sitting down towards the far end, nursing a beer that I wasn't feeling, and trying to ignore the local garage band murdering their own works.
Normally, I don't hit the bar anymore - not since that incident with the monkey, the hooker, and the priest. I know... sounds like the setup to a terrible joke, but I've told you that story already - no need to go over it again. What were we talking about? Oh, right, right.... the other night.
So I was nursing that beer, and listening to so bad music, when I notice this guy kinda unsteadily raise up from his chair. Honestly, it was too smooth a motion to say he stood, but you could tell he was lit up brighter than the Denver Skyline at Christmas. For some reason, I can't stop watching this guy - it's like watching someone pulling their parking brake on ice, you know it's going to end in tears and you don't want to watch, but you know that if you do, you'll hate yourself for the rest of your life.
Even from that far away, I could tell he was trying to focus on his surroundings, just that kind of far-away, glazed, "where the hell am I" type of looks that serious drunks tend to get when they want to talk to their friend, but don't know where they left them at. As his bleary, unfocused eyes swept the room, I felt my heart stop. The temperature in the room dropped. I could feel a cold sweat rolling down my spine as I tasted ashes in my mouth. He hadn't locked on to me yet, but I knew, I just knew, her was going to make a bee-line for me.
My mind started screaming "Get the hell out of here! Go to the f'ing bathroom! Dive out a window! Just don't let this drunken sot wrangle you!" I'm telling you man, I willed my body to move, I literally tried to throw myself on the floor, but my body would not move. It was like I was trying to move a puppet without touching the strings. Sure enough, his gaze fell on me, and this big, wet grin appeared on his face.
By now, I've made eye contact, and I can't look away. You know how there are those snakes that can hypnotize their prey by looking at them?
Yeah, just like that - I was caught.
My mind was still trying to badger me into fleeing, but now that the guy had seen me, I couldn't just get up and walk away, that would be rude!
Oh, so now you're telling me about morality? Mr. "I'm gonna make this chick into a pirate by jizzing in her eye and stomping on her foot to make her shout 'ARGH!'" You have no right to tell me what is socially acceptable.
Anyways, this guy comes tottering over, and plops down next to me. You know how there's always that silence that occurs when someone first sits down and they're kinda getting a feel for their seat? Yeah, got that going on, which is a shame, because it's giving me a chance to experience the ordure that is seriously encasing this guy.
I don't know if he hasn't showered in, like, three years, or if he just found something wet, dead and decomposing to roll in outside of the bar before he came in, but I imagine if I had wanted to, I could have cut a chunk of this smell off and sold it on eBay.
Anyways, I'm sitting there, trying to prevent my eyes from drying out from this stench, and trying to figure out how I'm going to get away tactfully from the human cess pool, when he turns to me.
"Hey buddy!" he rolls the h out so it's like "hhhhhhhhhhhhey buddy!" I blink furiously, my eyes fully dehydrated in their sockets - I swear, I can feel them wilting. If I thought his funk he was wearing was bad, it was like a garden full of roses compared to the shit that came rolling out of that mouth.
Obviously, this guy hadn't showered in years, but whatever he might have rolled around in? I think he ate it instead. I don't know how I managed not to barf in his lap.
Anyways, after his greeting, I smiled weakly, and tried to look at my beer, which had apparently developed a thick coat of slime on it, simply from the toxins in this guy's breath.
Glancing back over at the guy, I could tell he was getting ready to unburden himself onto me. I don't know why, but it always seems like when someone has a big heavy hurt, they dump it on me. Sighing, I looked at him, and prepared myself for the worst. "You look like a man with something on your mind" I said to him, trying to get this over with.
He sat there for a minute, staring at the bar top. Right when I started thinking that he decided to back down and I could get out of there, he spoke up "I've told you about Bea, my daughter, and everything we've been through" his voice was leaden - quite the change from the boisterous drunk I was accosted by a minute ago. There was real pain there, along with what I could only figure was remorse, possibly shame, and regret - a lot of regret.
Before I could set him straight, he continued "Well, the truth is that she was mine. She wasn't my daughter, she was my possession. There was no blood relation. In fact, I kidnapped her when she was sixteen." he lapsed into silence again, and I felt my stomach begin to flip-flop and try to tie itself into knots. Very soon, I was going to be sick.
"For the first couple of years, I kept her locked up in a hidden room." He spoke again, his voice wavering slightly. "Those first couple of years, I had to fight the urge to take her. First I had to win her trust, then her love, then we could be together. Now I knew we would never be able to pass ourselves off as a proper couple, so I concocted that story about how she had been living with her mother out of the country, but had to come live with me after her mother died."
The nausea was building, I could feel my throat constricting, and my heart-rate was through the roof. I swear people across the bar could hear it thudding in my chest.
"After the first two years, I was able to convince her that I wasn't going to hurt her, and I started letting her out of her room. Of course, I had to keep the doors and windows locked, but I treated her like I would treat my own flesh and blood. After a while, we started talking, getting to know each other, and I managed to get her to understand that I didn't mean her any harm. I even got her to admit that she liked me!"
I was gasping for breath by now. Motioning the barkeep over, I asked for a glass of water, trying to find some way to signal the guy that I was next to a psychopath, but unfortunately, I couldn't find a way.
"After several months of talking together, I finally convinced her to sleep with me-"
That's when I cut him off. "O.k.! I get it man, just please, no more!" Fear lit my eyes as he stared at me, shock and recognition flooding his face.
"You're not...." He stammered, realizing that he was talking to a complete stranger. "Oh... shit..." he went pale, his eyes getting bigger and bigger.
At the same time, I started freaking out, not knowing what was going to happen. Was this guy going to kill me? Was he going to run off? It was right about that time that my question was answered for me.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement by the door. Glancing over, I saw several policemen enter. Looking back at the (now sober) drunk, I whipped my head back around to stare at the cops. Taking my cue, he looked over his shoulder, gave a strangled yelp, and tried to run, only to get tripped up in his stool. He went down hard, the cops swarmed him, and I watched him get hauled off.
The entire he was there, getting cuffed, he just stared at me - not really in a threatening sort of way, but almost like he was saying "what are you going to do now?"
I still don't know what I'm going to do man, I mean, what can I do?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Sorry guys, I've got nothing.... we'll try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Proper Lab

Good afternoon class, I hope you enjoyed your lunch, now let's get to the introductions: My name is Doctor Snyder - Dynamic Dog. All joking aside, I am a Labrador, and yes, I teach science labs.
Please stop snickering - I've been teaching these classes for 5 human years now, and those jokes were all old when I first started out, barely out of my milk teeth. Now, this semester, we will be studying many different aspects of doggy science - from the science of smells, to why exactly we have to find something that smells like it not only died, but is actively rotting, and then roll in it.
Excuse me, but what is your name? Bingo? Nice to meet you Bingo, what is it you have there? A Kong ball with peanut butter in it? I sure hope you've brought enough for the entire class. What is that? No? Well then, Mr. Bingo, I suggest you go bury that outside until after class. Thank you.
As I was saying... excuse me, but that is enough of that! I understand that miss princess may be in heat, but there is absolutely no copulation in this room at any time, nor is it allowed on school grounds. Yes, I know she smells wonderful, but you must restrain yourself Mr. Rex... and before you ask, no, you may not hump your neighbor's leg.
Now, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted: Throughout the year, we will be performing experiments with volatile chemicals, many of which smell delicious - under no circumstances are you to lick, lap, snarf, wolf, or taste these chemicals. Many of these chemicals are quite dangerous, and most will kill you slowly, painfully, and horribly.
Well, with that bit of pleasantness out of the way, we will start by distributing your goggles. Now remember, you are not fully prepared for lab unless you have your goggles. No they are not chew toys - you will be required to replace them if you get a hankering for plastics and acrylics.
As this is a lab taught by a lab, you must be in proper lab attire for this lab to teach this lab.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bionic Mom

So I just got home from the hospital - my Mom went in for a new knee today, and she suggested the title for tonight's idea.

Mom, this one's for you:

Music: bump bah-bump bah-bump bump duh-duh-duh-duh do do do

Voice Over - Male, steel in voice: Once, she was a mild mannered librarian and author

Images of woman working with people, transitioning into same woman working at a typewriter

Music: buh-duh buh-duh du-duh-duh

Voice Over: Until one day....

video of ugly men throwing books which cuts to woman recoiling and getting hit by books (all in slow motion)

Music - Dramatic Chord: DUH-duh Dah-duh!

Voice Over: However, they were able to rebuild her.

Montage of doctors, heart monitor, physical therapy

Music upbeat, but agressive:

Voice Over: Now, she spends her time Fighting evil, recommending books, and raising kids...

Music gets more aggressive:

Voice Over: She is...

Music hits crescendo:

Voice Over: Bionic Mom!

fade to black:

Opens on a park scene - kids playing in background, Bionic Mom rooting through trunk looking for something

Bionic Mom: I know it's in here somewhere....

Kid's Voice: No, really! I can wait... it's not that big a problem.

Bionic Mom: I'm serious! You'll love this one!

Kid's Voice: Uh.... Bionic Mom?

Bionic Mom: Yeah? (stands up and turns around) what is.... it?

cut to buttoned down SERIOUS MAN: Ah! Bionic Mom! I see you're still peddling your smut and filth, trying to subvert our children!

Bionic Mom: What are you talking about this time SERIOUS MAN? (crosses her arms)

SERIOUS MAN: This! (Throws a book at Bionic Mom's feet) [cut to book title: Book reads Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse]

Bionic Mom: Oh give it a rest, have you even read this book yet?

SERIOUS MAN: well, uh, that is, er, um, no...

Bionic Mom: So why do you think this is smut and filth?

SERIOUS MAN: (Sneering) Why do you think you're bionic mom?

Bionic Mom: (Knees SERIOUS MAN in crotch) Feel that? That's my Bionic Knee!

SERIOUS MAN: (Collapses) uuuuhhhhhh......

Bionic Woman: Here, since you could use this [produces book< Emily Post's Book of Manners] I suggest you read it, and don't forget; it's Bionic Mom! Don't forget the capitals!

Kid's Voice: Boy Bionic Mom, you sure got a leg up on him!

Bionic Mom: Well, if he had boned up on his women's lib studies, he wouldn't have gotten the "Point"!

(Freeze Frame)

Mellow, melancholy music plays as Bionic Mom walks down road, thumbing ride

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Things I Want to Do in Life

a note of forewarning: naughty language may appear suddenly tonight

Once more, we shall peer into my diseased mind to see what some of my thoughts are. Watch your step, the dogs have been out, and I haven't had a chance to clean up after them yet.

- Find a career (this may seem like a no brainer, but it means a lot to me. I feel that a person is not truly happy unless they have a career. Jobs are bullshit time wasters, careers are things you pour your heart and soul into)

- Buy a house (As I get older, I'm realizing that I'm wanting to do things I thought I would never do, like putter around my house. I don't think other people would like me puttering around their house.)

- Write a best seller (I also believe that everyone should have an impossible dream; if you're going to shoot, aim reeeaaaaaaalllllyyyyyyy high)

- Come to terms with the fact that I am cooler and more interesting that I think I am (why stop with one impossible dream?)

- Convince people that I'm not always mad or grumpy (it's true! I think fiercely, plus the thick Neanderthal brow ridge doesn't help either)

- Cultivate a proper mustache (not some caterpillar mutant dog tail across my upper lip)

- Watch my boys grow up to be successful in all their endeavors (unless it's criminal - then they had better be supervillians)

- Get a dog (just seems like something that needs to be done)

- More tattoos

- find a deep, strong friendship with a like minded writer that blossoms into a lifelong experience (I mean like Lovecraft and Dereleth, not Sigfried and Roy)

- Be able to say exactly what I mean when I need to, not ten minutes after the fact (I think this is pretty universal)

- Find some way to let my wife know that I will always love her and be by her side, no matter what life throws at us

- imbue in my boys the sense that as long as they stay true to themselves, they will never have to compromise their ideals.

- find every erogenous zone on my wife (probably TMI)

- Be the subject of a book signing (or book burning - either/or)

- write a successful comic book

- stop being so insecure (yeah right!)

- Travel the United States (I could never make it past customs - it's the brow ridge)

- Better define my religion to others (even though I'll still sound like a crackpot, people won't think I'm just using it to annoy them)

- Learn how to make animated gifs

- Successfully lobby to make Saskatoon an American province

- Figure out why vampires sparkle (or at least discover the formula that will allow me to pass of crap as literature)

- Write that short story about Hemingway and Joyce brawling (It would be really cool too: [spoiler! Hemingway takes Joyce's eye ala Kill Bill!])

- Win a national award for my writing

- become an editor for a major publishing company

- become a publisher in my own right

well, that's all I can really think of right now... If I survive the night, I'll be back Monday!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Whale Bites and their effect on Sea Donkeys

Announcer: Tonight, on Undersea Explorer, we examine the unpredictable and stubborn Sea Donkey.
>Intro sequence, music<

Announcer: First discovered in the late 1800's by belligerent Portuguese Sailors, the aquass or "sea donkey" is a mystifying creature that to this day is still barely understood. A very distant cousin to the manatee or "sea cow" the aquass resembles an actual donkey the way a certain former Alaskan governor resembles a coherent, intelligent, well put together politician.
>footage of ugly creature swimming through water<

Announcer: The earliest records of the aquass describe the creature as being smart and helpful.

Voice actor: Today, we saw another of those majestic creatures - Pio claimed they were stubborn creatures, but I could see a fierce resolve in their eyes. One even came close enough for me to touch - its skin was wet, yet supple, and its back looked like it could take a heavy pack for gold mining.
>show plays for a while<

Announcer: The one thing that scientists have discovered is that while not a natural enemy of whales, the aquass tends to respond negatively when bitten by these large mammals - No two reactions are ever the same, but scientists have recorded instances where an aquass was bitten by a wright whale. Escaping from the large aggressor, the aquass swam along for a moment, and then rapidly expanded in girth and diameter, only to expel a vast quantity of air, shooting off into the distance "Much like a balloon when let go before tied off" one viewer was quoted as saying.
In another instance, a killer whale nipped an aggressive Aquass, which in turn prompted it to stare at its attacker for several minutes before apparently breaking down into a sobbing fit in which it could not be consoled for ten minutes. Still, probably the most disturbing event was when a giant sperm whale bit into an aquass, not realizing that it was even there... scientists watched in horrified fascination as the aquass began a horrfying transformation.

Nameless Scientist: It was awful. This aquass was miding it's own business when this whale comes out of nowhere, takes a bite out of it, and swims off - no apology, no nothing. The Aquass is floating in the water, when suddenly, it starts turning green and growing in size. After what seemed like forever, This aquass looks like a seriously pissed off underwater version of Lou Ferrigno. It then swam after the whale, beat the whale, pulled some drowned, peg-legged, white bearded dude that was tied to the whale off the damn thing, and ate it!
At that point, I was all like "Dude, we got to get ourselves one of those!" And that's how we ended up sponsoring all those gamma radiation tests with Dr. Bruce Banner.

>show continues<

Announcer: And that's how to avoid making these creatures angry enough to shortsheet your bed while you're in it. For Undersea Explorer, I'm Random faceless announcer, saying good day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trifecta... Nerds, Canada & Sleep Deprivation

So, I would tend to agree that nerds tend to work towards being smart, since obviously they can't or don't have the looks, or social skills in order to interact with the popular kids.
Now, popular kids can't tell you where Saskatoon is. Hell, if you're lucky, they might stumble across Canada trying to find the hangouts shown on the Jersey Shore. If you're not lucky, they're liable to tell you that back bacon comes from Kabul.
So since we've established that nerds know where Saskatoon is, let's discuss sleep deprivation and it's effects on typyn in on the other wha' who huh?
Ugh.... sorry.... now here's what I was thinking aboot Canada. Why is it that they have to be so damn good at hockey? I mean, sure they've got ice and beer, and a back yard view of Russia from our back porch, but they can't dime to after when even didn't walk up the down side.
But that really begs the question: Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?
To which it has been posited: You’ve got to be kidding me. I’ve been further even more decided to use even go need to do look more as anyone can. Can you really be far even as decided half as much to use go wish for that? My guess is that when one really been far even as decided once to use even go want, it is then that he has really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like. It’s just common sense.
If in you believe after when Saskatoon born nerdcore popular asking good why nod something.....

Oh, and by the way...
Here's Saskatoon:

Not to mention a poor town whose name has been hijacked to mean "erectile piercing"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Life and Times of Barbie® and Ken®


The story of Barbara "Barbie" Millicent Roberts is a long and sordid one, but no relationship has sparked more controversy and talk than the bizarre and tangled love triangle of Barbie, Ken, and Joe, the General Infantryman.
Barbie first met her longtime flame, Kenneth Carson, on the set of a commercial they had both been cast in. Quickly hitting it off, the two were seen at the most popular hangouts: The Whiskey-a-go-go, Woodstock, the International Foundation for Internal Freedom alongside Dr. Timothy Leary.
Times were good, until Barbie happened to bump into an enlisted man one day while out on Fisherman's Wharf.
He was tall, handsome, articulated, with a manly scar on his cheek and a birth defect that caused his right thumbnail to grow from the pad side of his digit immediately drew Barbie's attention. Privately, they began to see each other while Ken toiled away in various jobs.
Barbie and Joe's friendship were not to remain a secret, and eventually, Barbie introduced Joe to Ken. While publicly, the two never got along, privately, the two spent many hours in a brownstone in San Fransisco, singing show tunes and wearing tight fitting clothes.
Ken's relationship with Barbie and Joe have not been the only intimate events in Ken's life. Rumors have always dogged Ken about his relationships with such icons as He-Man (and the Masters of the Universe), Stretch Armstrong, and many allegations of impropriety with Chatty Cathy - although he has always been acquitted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
In 2004, Barbie and Ken experienced a break in their relationship -the official story was that the two felt it was time to spend time apart - but the truth of the matter was that Ken, Barbie and Joe finally discovered that they had all been sleeping with one another over three decades.
Ken was devastated - joining a commune of Uglydolls and Hello Kitty refugees, Ken tried to get his life straight. Barbie and Joe continued to date, but both felt that something was missing - ultimately in 2009, Barbie and Joe managed to track down Ken and begged him to join their relationship - this time as a full partner, not a side project.
To this day, the three toy icons spend their time either fighting the forces of evil, working various jobs, or trolling the downtown shops looking for young men to invite back to their house.

For Q! Bullshit Stories, this is your announcer, saying Good Night.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Movie Review

So Melissa and I finally managed to get a night out for a date tonight. In our town, the downtown district has a setup on Tuesdays: Dinner and a Movie. The premise is, you go downtown, eat a meal, go to the Avalon, present your receipt, and you get two free admissions to a movie that has been out for a while.
So, I find out that the movie they're showing is the seminal slacker anthem "Clerks", Kevin Smith's first film that he shot back in 1994. Now the movie was never commercially released in theaters - it was a straight to video release from the now defunct Miramax. The film follows two clerks at work for one day. Dante Hicks, the "main" character of the film, and his antagonistic, foul mouthed, acerbic pseudo-sidekick Randall Graves.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD! Now, if you haven't seen the movie by now, that's your own damn fault. The movie has been out for fifteen freakin' years now.
Anyways, Clerks is to the shiftless, slacker, lay-a-bout set as Seinfeld was to everyone else who watched television. Dante is called into work on his day off, and like the spineless tool he is, goes into work. Setting up the store for the day, he discovers that papers have not been delivered, someone has stuck gum in the padlocks, shoe polish stench does not wash off, and a gum salesman stages a near riot to increase sales of his gum product.
Throughout the day, Dante has to contend with bizarre customers, angry customers, hockey games, a wake, being chased out of a wake by an angry mob, self-involved drug dealers, a foul mouthed, acerbic, perennially late, hermaphrodite porn lovin' friend, an ex-girl friend who has a naughty tryst with a dead jew, and a girlfriend who reveals that while she has only slept with three guys, she's orally manipulated thirty-six guys (thirty-seven, if you count Dante).
So we're sitting in the theater, watching the beginning of the movie. I'm thoroughly enjoying the film, and Jay and Silent Bob walk onto the screen. Jay starts dropping F-Bombs like he's in Vietnam cleaning out a village, and two older women in front of Melissa and I get up and walk out.
Always a good sign.
So we're watching the show, and I'm laughing like a fool, reliving all of my favorite scenes, and I happen to glance around the theater. The only couple younger than us in the theater has to be in their 20's. (Melissa and I are in our Thir- twenties! Twenties!) All the other viewers are in their late 40's - and I'm thinking to myself 'holy shit' this theater is going to be empty by the end of the movie.
So, the movie ends, and we all get up to leave, and I ask Melissa what she thought of the movie. "It's not my type of movie" was her reply. Now, Melissa and I have been married for ten years now, and I tend to forget that our taste in films is often different.
On the way home, we discuss why I enjoy the movie so much. "I guess if I was fifteen when the movie came out I would have enjoyed it more" Melissa explained. "Well, I think that the reason the movie was so popular was that it was aimed at Generation X, and it was also the mindset of the viewers who watched it."
That got me to thinking - what was it about Clerks that I find so appealing? As we rounded a corner, it finally struck me as to why I liked Clerks so much. "I think that the reason I like the movie so much is because at that time, I was 19, and I felt like I was Dante Hicks. I was always knuckling under to pressure, I couldn't say 'no' if my life depended on it, I was in a dead end job, and I was constantly bitching and complaining about my situation on life, but was unable to man up enough to make any change to better myself. Then you came along and made me change. In order to change my life, I had to be willing to make those changes."
"So you're saying I bullied you into changing?" Melissa asked.
"No, no.... it was because of you that I decided to make these changes. I guess to draw a parallel between us and the movie, you're Randall to my Dante during the 'Epiphany' chapter. The rest of the time, Randall was all of my friends from that time period."

So, now that I'm older, wiser, a little thicker around the middle, I have come to realize that while most people watch Clerks for the humorous anecdotes in it, on some primeval level, it made me take stock of what was important in my life - and at that time, it was getting my shit together so I didn't blow the biggest good thing in my life.

That being said, I would just like to say this:

Melissa, thank you for being there for me when I need you, and for slapping me into shape when I need it.

Also: Smith's films include the aforementioned Clerks (Awesome), Mallrats (great), chasing amy (great), Dogma (Brilliant), Jersey Girl (Jesus what a mess), Zach and Miri make a porno (You are not Judd Apatow! Don't try to imitate a pale imitator) Clerks 2 (Have not seen), and the forthcoming Cop Out (haven't seen yet).
Check 'em out - buy a comic book or two of his, show him some love.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Personal Grooming 2: Rise of the Neckbeards

We've all seen them before. They're there lurking at the fringes of the video rental store, or occasionally peeking over the shelves at the bookstore. Most often, they're found in their lairs (either the parent's basement or the local gaming store), obsessing over the latest user-input distraction (read video game), their personal pr0n boxes (read PC), or crafting their very own fantasy worlds where they're god-kings with young, attractive, nubile members of the opposite sex falling all over themselves to join up with this paragon of testosterone.
I'm talking of course, about those social rejects often referred to as nerds.
Nerds have enjoyed a huge surge of popularity over the past decade or so, simply due to the fact that we have gone (as a society) from industry based mouth breathers to technology based rescue inhaler breathers. Allegedly, there is something incredibly sexy about pasty white skin, sunken chests, social retardation, and a crippling inability to carry on any sort of meaningful relationship with a REAL WOMAN that aforementioned women find irresistible.
So what is a member of the nerdcore to do when he is suddenly confronted with real life boobs?
Originally, they would panic, break out into sweat, stutter uncontrollably, and quickly run away, only to find some dark corner of their room to mentally review the boobage while having a meaningful relationship with themselves.
For many years, nerds relied on ill-fitting, outdated clothes rescued from their parents closets. When that stopped chasing women off, nerds went on the offensive, and taking a cue from the war in Vietnam, developed Body Odor. Now, normal body odor can cause a nose to wrinkle, but in the hands of a true nerd, the odor takes on a whole new dimension - one that has been carefully cultivated with a steady diet of fast food, dark places, pr0n and growth beds based solely on the same clothes being worn for weeks at a time. By the time a nerd has cultivated their own unique funk, this new Body Odor (notice the capitals) has the ability to not only singe the hairs in your nose, but can also peel the paint off of a new car. Combined with Proto-Offensive Halitosis, the modern nerd is indeed a formidable force for self-bleaching of the gene pool.
Today's nerds however, have developed an insidious new tool to chase off even the most ardent suitors. Through genetic manipulation, many nerds have actually managed to survive puberty, and have managed to develop hair where normally it wouldn't grow. Specifically, the neck.
Lo! The neckbeard! The most disgusting growth of fur on the male body. Granted the beard has long been a staple of nerddom, but many nerds had the foresight to grab a razor and trim the beast back into shape. However, a new crop of ubernerds has discovered that by cultivating the neckbeard, not only do they keep their adam's apple warm, but they also manage to reduce their sex appeal to negative nill. For example:

This is actually a cross between a neckbeard and a chinstrap. So, double chances of getting women to love on him.

Do me a favor, If you see the neckbeard, grab a razor, charge the wearer, and scream at the top of your lungs "I HAVE TO SHAVE THAT PARASITE OFF OF YOUR NECK!" while swinging the razor.
Believe me, after he recovers, he will thank you vigorously for giving him his sex life back.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go shave.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Farming Games

What is it about these programs on social network sites that require you to put on your digital dungarees and muck around on a farm that in real life you would probably go no where near?
The two biggest offenders are "Farmville" and "Farm Town" - both require tilling the land you have, planting seeds, going to your "neighbor's farms" and doing something that helps out another farm. After several hours (or days) you reap your plants and get money and experience to spend on more stuff for your farm. In order to unlock certain new items, you either have to spend real money for fake in-game money or pester the hell out of your friends to join the game and become your neighbor. Now, this repetitive action is nothing new. In fact, it's not even exclusive to farm simulations. The "official" term for this is grinding.
According to Dictionary.Com; the term "Grinding" means to work or study laboriously; while the Urban Dictionary defines grinding as A repetitive task usually involved in a Massively Multiplayer Online Role playing game (MMORPG) where a character's skill's are based entirely on killing monsters to gain strengths or levels. In most MMORPGs, there is no skill from the player involved, so anyone who plays 20 hours a day of grinding will be stronger than a player who does not. MMORPGs become a game genre filled with those who are too slow to play First-Person Shooters (FPS) or too dumb to play Real Time Strategy (RTS)
Many people have the patience and fortitude to constantly churn out these repetitive actions over and over again, reveling in the fact that they have unlocked the latest addition, or they've reached some new level that is just ungodly impossible to reach under normal means. This type of dedication is commendable, and if used in the proper context, much could be accomplished.
If you think about it, this type of dedication is not new either - this type of single-minded dedication can be traced back to the mid-1980's when an entirely new type of electronic entertainment debuted in America. Of course, I'm talking about the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The original opiate of prepubescent boys everywhere, the NES taught entire generations that a single minded dedication, combined with a total lack of actual real life interaction can get you to levels of a game that has no real life application to speak of, baring the fact that the player has managed to waste time that could have been better put to learning a new language, or finishing projects, or even doing naughty stuff.
Obviously, with all of this intense focus on attaining ever higher levels, the aforementioned naughty stuff is really non existent. Partially due to the fact that 1) naughty stuff requires real life interactions, and 2) personal hygiene has a bad habit of disappearing due to the inconvenience of having to step away from the computer long enough to dispose of gamer funk - that odd, strangely repellent odor of old caffeine, body odor, stale junk food, and despair.
Now other people have no interest in these types of games - They're either too busy working on stuff they don't want to, or they figure they're too cool to geek out about these games. Instead of posting updates on their levels on these games, they will often post multitudes of pictures of their dogs, kids, wall stains, or religious figures appearing on various foodstuffs on their page. This is secretly due to the fact that these people feel like they have to keep up with the proverbial Jones' updates.
I suppose the long and short of the entire thing is that regardless if you play or not, the true issue lays in the fact that Facebook is the problem. Apparently, the simple fact of posting your status updates is much more important that real life face to face interactions.

Oh, and before anyone starts getting pissy about those two groups, I've been in both. In fact, I spent close to 20 years in the first group...
so, I speak from first hand experience.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Strange Device in the Basement.

My grandmothers basement is filled with jewels of novels that I've never read, so one night after my weekly visit, I strolled down into the dark and seldom visited basement, past the old boxes and forgotten memories to retrieve one such book that might hold my imagination.
While reaching for a book that looked particularly mysterious and gruesome, I saw something that caught my eye, nearly hidden in a dark corner. An old guitar case that belonged to Uncle Jeff. Mere curiosity forced me to gather the case but the weight of the case took me by surprise. It was much heavier than I would have suspected... From what I could remember about Jeff, he always played acoustic guitars, but this was way too heavy for an acoustic guitar.
As the nearest light was a good fifteen feet away, I lugged the case over to the naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling. Under the glare of the bare bulb, I examined the case. The faux leather case had definitely seen much better days, and a few of the stickers were faded into obscurity, wile others were torn or scratched beyond recognition.
The clasps on the case were showing signs of rust, and a look at the hinges revealed much the same with the hinges on the opposite side. For some reason, there was a tightness in my chest that made it difficult to breathe - at the time, I didn't know if it was from fear, excitement or something else. Reaching out, my hands trembled as I touched the clasp, trying to open it.
I didn't know what to expect - perhaps a heavenly chorus, or shafts of light shooting forth from the case. In some part of my mind, I wouldn't have been surprised if a ton of flesh eating beetles had surged forth and picked my bones clean in thirty seconds.
What I wasn't expecting was the clasp to be stuck.
Exhaling sharply, my head swam while I contemplated the fact that nothing had happened. Trying the clasp again, the metal still refused to move.
Anticipation quickly devolved into frustration as I tried to pry the clasp apart with my fingers, and then with my keys. Unable to budge the rusted metal, I stood up, feeling my legs protest with the sudden strain on them.
Casting about the room, I caught a glimpse of a screwdriver on top of a stack of magazines. Stepping over some unidentified trash on the floor, I grabbed the flashlight, and crouched back down to work on the clasp again.
After several minutes of cussing and scrabbling at the lock, I managed to get the metal apart. With my breath catching in my throat, I slowly lifted the lid, visions of souls whipping out and melting my face, much like a Nazi glimpsing the ark of the covenant.
The only thing that wafted out was a stale, dusty smell that set me off on a vicious sneezing fit. After getting myself under control, I looked at the inside of the case, finally getting a look at the prize inside the case.
Inside was the most bizarre looking musical instrument I had ever seen. It looked like equal parts guitar and bagpipes with some possible dulcimer and kazoo influences. Now normally, I would have just started laughing, but something told me that this device was serious business. For some reason, I felt the need to say something, and in the emptiness of the basement, I uttered "And between you and me, something amazing happened... and now I can talk to animals! It's really cool, but totally secret. And you know what? Life's never been the same."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Creepy Steve's Creepy Resume

"Creepy Steve" Creepington
123 Sleezeball Lane
Squicky Feeling Falls, WI

Purpose: To achieve gainful employment in staring, stalking, and or lurking in an effort to creep out total strangers.

Prior Experience: Successful lurking outside of supermarket for 15 years without being arrested once. Stalked several tv personalities for several years.

Special techniques: standing half-hidden in shadows; wearing trench coats; dull, vacuous stare; heavy breathing; bug-eyed; misshapen face; lack of social skills

Favorite Hobbies: staring at attractive young women until they leave; following famous celebrities; digging through trash; dead animal delivery; practicing my 1000 yard stare.

Most worthwhile achievements: singlehandedly giving a "squicky" feeling to twenty people at the same time at a TGIFridays.

Biggest disappointment: Inability to forge meaningful relationships with anybody

Best way to contact: Look around, I'm probably watching you already.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The most unusual things that have happened in current or previous jobs

I'm sure that most people have horror stories from work experiences in their past that they'll trot out when work discusses. Well, now it's my turn. Please sit back, relax, and feel free to cringe, wince, laugh, or groan as I regale you with some of my more horrifying tales...

*warning* contains animal violence

Colorado Springs, 1995

I was working for a national pizza outfit that was test marketing delivery (I know, shocking... pizza without delivery), and I happened to be one of the guinea pigs. I had been living in Colorado springs for approximately 8 - 9 months at this time, and was still not that familiar with the city.
It was late night, I was the only driver, and I had a delivery that took me out towards the far end of town.
Somehow, I got lost.
Now, when I say "lost", I don't mean "Oh crap, I missed it by three streets", I mean "Oh my holy hell, I'm looking at Denver" sort of lost.
I'll let that sink in for a minute....
Now, that was just the apex of this debacle.... The events on either side of the lights of Denver are just as bad. For starters, I hit a cat. The worst thing that ever happened to me, I hit a freakin' cat - with my tires. The minute I realized what happened, I hit the brakes and started skidding - with my tires. I was absolutely beside myself. I was crying... no I was bawling like a little kid who was just told that Santa Clause wasn't real and he had just murdered Mr. Rodgers.
I couldn't see because I has so much moisture coming out of my eyes, and when you start crying like that, it gets into your nose and it gets really messy. So there I am (finally stopped) tears and snot just streaming down my face, practically hyperventilating, and the odor of burnt rubber and fur permeating the inside of the car.
Finally, I get myself composed, and continue on my way - obviously I'm completely rattled by this point in time (which partially explains why I ended up where I did) and eventually I stopped and saw... The lights of Denver. Finally it sinks in... I'm lost. (Insert your well duh comments now)
I turn around, start back on my way back to Colorado Springs (now, you've got to remember this was before cell phones were ubiquitous, hell beepers will still hot shit) and go shooting through some small town at close to 80 billion miles an hour.
That's when I see the headlights come on.
I was pulled over, with my license, insurance and proof of registration out before the cop could even get turned around. I honestly don't even remember pulling over. I knew I was screwed (at this point in time I had a bench warrant out for my arrest due to failure to appear).
All I wanted was for the cop to take me into custody, call my roommates and spend the night in jail.
As if I was so lucky....
Sheriff comes walking up, screaming and yelling the entire way (I didn't help that I had a 'Bad Cop No Donut' bumper sticker on the back of the car" ). Taking my info, he continued to scream and holler at me, then he walked back to his car. Sighing deeply, I knew that it was just a matter of time before he asked me to step out of the car and put my hands behind my back.
Ten to fifteen minutes later, he comes back up, writes me a ticket, and tells me that the bench warrant only extends to the edge of the county (which is approximately two miles away from my current location). Thanking the cop profusely, I continued on my way, thinking I got off easy.
Wrong again.
Twenty minutes later, I had passed through Franktown and ran out of gas. (Still, no cell phones)
Fortunately, I had a gas can, so I trudged back into Franktown to the only thing that was open - a bar. After trying to get several people to take me to a gas station, or failing that, to my car, I trudged back to my car in the rain.
By now, I knew I was probably fired, so as I got into my car, I dug around for some blankets or something to cover myself with and settled in for the night, figuring I could walk back into town in the morning to get gas.
As I dosed off, I had visions of my boss killing me in increasingly violent and gory ways, I heard a knock on my window. Jerking awake, I looked straight into the light of a flashlight. Blinking furiously, I rolled my window down....
"Are you Nathan?" The cop asked.
Rubbing my eyes, I affirmed that I was.
"Your roommates have been very worried about you." He explained. Over the next couple of minutes, he radioed back to his station explaining what all was going on. "I've let dispatch know that you're safe, and from the sounds of things, someone should be out to get you soon." With that, the cop got back into his car and drove off.
Within half an hour, my roommate showed up, called his triple A contact, who sent out a wrecker with a gas can. We managed to get enough gas in the car that I could make it to a gas station where I was able to fill the tank.
Sure enough, the next day, I got reamed by my boss, and was forced to stay in the store.
The worst part?
That little fiasco seized my engine. I not only lost a good paying job, but my main means of transportation, and a huge amount of pride.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Attack of the flying monkeys

"It all happened back at the beginning of the century, and I was deployed in France at the time." The old timer said.
My brothers and I had stopped off at a gas station to stretch our legs, fuel up, and get some snacks on our trip to see mom and dad. Mark had gone in to pay to fill the tank, and Patrick had gone off in search of a bathroom.
Since I didn't have much going on, I spent my time wandering around the station, if you could call it that. It was a ramshackle rundown house that had been converted into a business too many years ago, with a couple of above ground holding tanks behind the building. The pump was one of those old jobs that from the era before credit card readers, and there wasn't even a canopy over the pump to keep the elements off of it.
What ever icons or brandings on the pump had long since bleached out to a pale, faded rusty white and half of the numbers on the rotary dial were faded out. I grunted slightly at the fact that the pump wasn't even digital, and that's when I saw the old man.
He had been sitting at the corner of the patio, just rocking back and forth in an old rocking chair that just screamed cliche. A feeling deep in my gut screamed at me that under no circumstance was I to talk to that man, but at the same time, I just had to, otherwise I would go crazy trying to convince myself I was not in a bad horror movie parody.
Walking over to the old man, I introduced myself.
He looked me over, slowly rocking back and forth in his chair, not saying a word. Right when I was getting ready to give up and walk away, he spoke in that creepy, old timer voice that always signified something horrible would eventually befall us.
"It all happened back at the beginning of the century, and I was deployed in France at the time." He said, looking me in the eye.
I found a chair, pulled it over, and sat down on it. "What happened?"
"The most amazing, yet horrifying attack I have ever seen" was his cryptic reply.
I rolled my eyes.
"There I was, with a cute little French honey on my arm... we were on the Eiffel Tower taking in the sights when they attacked. At first, we couldn't tell what it was that was coming at us, but as they got closer, we couldn't believe our eyes. My girl thought we had had a little too much wine, but for some reason, I knew what I was seeing was true, no matter how impossible it was. As we stood there staring at these things, the guy next to us was attacked! Before we could get out of there, the damn things had chewed his face off!" The old man was starting to get worked up.
I felt a tap on my shoulder and looked around. Mark and Patrick had shown up. "We're all gassed up and ready to go" Mark said, jerking his thumb back towards the car. I glanced back at the old man, then back to Mark, gesturing him to move closer.
"Listen" I whispered, "this guy is rambling about some crazy thing back when he was stationed in France. I figure we can humor him and then get the hell outta here." Patrick had found a couple of chairs and both he and Mark now sat down to listen to the old man.
"So, what was it that had attacked you?" I asked the old man, trying to get him to finish.
"We'll, I had the young lady run back into the stairwell to try and escape. I was right behind her. those things were at my back, screeching, clawing, throwing feces..." he trailed off, his face turning white.
"Feces?" Patrick asked, incredulously. "What the hell were they? Monkeys?"
The old man whipped around, his eyes wild. "Were you there?" Panic gripped his voice. Patrick jerked back in his chair, knocking off balance, and tipping over backwards.
"What?" Mark and I yelled at the same time. "Are you serious?" Mark cried. "Monkeys? You really are out of your mind!" I reached over and put my hand on Mark's arm to quiet him.
"Listen, he's an old man, he's a bit of a loon, just humor him" I whispered. "Humor him? He's off his nut!" Mark replied. "C'mon Jack, we've got to get outta here."
"Yeah" Patrick added as his stood up. "Mom's gonna kill us if we make her wait longer - it's been months since she's seen us."
I held up a hand quieting them. Looking at the old man, I prompted him to continue. "So what happened?"
"Those monkeys started attacking all sorts of people, often swarming them, knocking them to the ground, eating them... it was awful. They got my girl - finally, we managed to beat back the rush of monkeys - it took everything we had, but we did it, and we also managed to keep it out of the press."
I was completely flabbergasted by now, and decided enough was enough. I shook his hand. "Listen old timer, thanks for the story, but we need to get going now."
Several hours later, I was sleeping in the car as Mark drove. In my dreams we were being pursued by flying monkeys who were trying to eat us - finally, one of the monkeys had crashed through the windshield and was getting ready to eat me when I jerked awake.
"Oh good, you're awake" Mark said, glancing over. "Listen, a big, flying, carnivorous monkey appeared in front of the car. Patrick was freaked out, so I ran it over. Sounded like a bag of wet laundry going under."
Feeling weird, I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Deputy Cattle Guard

(Imagine for a minute the Mayor is played by Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster) and Farmer Brown is played by Cletus T. Judd.)

Minutes from the regular session of City Management for Podunk USA.

Mayor: ...And finally tonight, we have a request from a Mr. Farmer Brown. >looks around< Is there a Mr. Brown here?

Farmer Brown: >hand shoots up< Yessir, I'm right here, sir >stands up awkwardly, arm still in air<

Mayor: Alright Mr. Brown, please approach the podium >waves hand in front of himself< and tell us your request.

Brown: >finally puts arm down< I appreciate this opportunity yer honor >steps up to podium< I... uh... my.... that is.... >clears throat<... uh...

Mayor: >scowls slightly< What's your first name son?

Brown: It's Farmer, sir.

Mayor: Son, you had better not be playing games with me.

Brown: No Sir! My parents wanted to make sure I knew what I was going to be when I grew up, so they decided to call me Farmer, just t' make it easy on everyone.

Mayor: >looking incredulous< So.. your parents... named you Farmer Brown?

Brown: Well, Farmer is actually my middle name.

Mayor: so what's your first name?

Brown: Old Man.

Mayor: >muttering< oh for heaven's sake.... >to Brown< so, your full name is "Old Man Farmer Brown"?

Brown: yessir. You see why I go by my middle name?

Mayor: Well, let's just get to what you want to address the town council for.

Brown: >clears throat< yessir. >pulls papers out of breast pocket and smooths them out< uh... As you all know, we have many cattle guards out here in the parts, and while they have served their purpose, I think that they're not being taken seriously anymore. >looks up quickly< What I am saying is that cows are no longer abiding by the cattle guards, often they just go right over them, without any regard for what the guard is trying to do - which is keep the cows in one spot. What I am proposing is deputizing these cattle guards - giving them badges and guns so they can better police the cows.

Mayor: son, let me stop you there for a minute. >takes glasses off and rubs his eyes< You want to deputize cattle guards to prevent cows from walking over them?

Brown: that is correct sir. I know for a fact that my ol' Bessie really doesn't give a damn about no cattle guards no more. In fact, I know she and a couple of her friends are planning on staging a walk over just to prove they can.

Mayor: Son, are you delusional?

Brown: uh... I'm not really sure what that means, so I'll have to say no.

Mayor: So you want us to purchase badges and working revolvers for stationary cattle guards to prevent cows from maliciously walking over them?

Brown: yeah, all of that, except for the maliciously part... they ain't got no taste.

Mayor: >throws hands up in the air< alright, what the hell... we'll go for it.

End Transcript

Clipping from Podunk USA Weekly: