Friday, September 30, 2005

My left eye

My left eye is blurry today. Not my right, just my left. This is probably my fault. You see, I have this roommate. He's a nice guy and all, but he doesn't share his toys. So, sometimes, I borrow them without asking. Well, last night, my roommate comes home drunk (and shirtless, for some reason). He catches me playing with his G.I. Joes. Nothing intense. Just a little play acting. He looks at me like he's gonna grab his gun (he has two), and I'm like "no, dude, chill... Here's your toys." And he's like "I don't want 'em now, you ruined 'em." And I'm like "What, were you drinking again." And he's like "you don't know me" and throws his cell phone at my face.

Then antenna catches my eye, so that is probably the source of my fuzzy eye. But that's not all. My roommate, again, a totally good guy, resistance to sharing toys aside, gets up on our roof and starts screaming "hey, everybody look at my roommate, he steals toys!" And I'm like "dude, you are such a prick, nobody likes you when you're like this." And he's like "shut up, nobody likes you cause you're gay," and I'm like "that doesn't make any sense, I have a girlfriend."

So the cops arrive. And he's like "bring it on 5.0!", which is a ridiculous thing to say. So they shoot him in the groin with a rubber bullet, and he comes tumbling down to roof all sideways, and lands in the bushes. They arrested him and brought him to justice...

And I'm playing with his toys I write this. It's just that my left eye can't see them very well.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Scenes From a Grocery Store

At the awkward precipice
Of the conveyor belt
Who cares about Delta Burke any more?

The tiled floor is warped
In a way I can feel through my shoes
And seems coffee stained
Though that is unlikely

I'm going to buy Mentos or Certs
When that time comes

At the end of the conveyor belt
Invariably stands a person
Who is invariably worn out, and invariably a lady
And invariably doesn't want to be
On the receiving end of my order

The unspoken ritual of price announcement
And payment
Aided, improbably, by laser technology

The reading of stickers by machine
Communicating value
Demanding compensation
For a smattering of items
That are, to varying degrees, microwavable

An agitated person with two kids
Directed to customer service with an apology
Joining the line of nicotine addicts, gamblers,
And un-proud owners of dented avocados
And ravaged eggs

Now I come to the end
Of the rotating rubber belt
To wait for space-age technology
To render a verdict

Certs...
If you wondering
spearmint
I'm in for a treat

I shoehorn a smile into my demeanor
"How are you today?"

I ask, Cause I’m Christian,
And she should know that about me

She'll respond
"Oh, just busy livin', or,
"Workin' hard" or,
(Imitating my Christian accent) "I'm just fine."

Each Invariably followed by
"How are you?"
Which I ignore,

And futz with the credit card acceptance ensemble
While my accurately priced food
Floats by underneath

I'm in luck, she informs me,
I saved $17.22 today,
On food that fits
In just four paper bags with handles

She extends her arm with a receipt,
Fraught with coupons I couldn't imagine using

My cheery greeting revealed my faith
So I catch menthusiastic give her an enthusatic
"Thank you"

With a straight-from-Jesus...

"Very much"

As I leave,
The worn rubber of my cart
Trundling against crackled concrete

I wonder, only briefly
Why God makes us shop for groceries.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Need energy?


As we all know, our country is currently facing an energy crisis, thanks to President Bush. Fortunately for us, there is no shortage of energy drinks on the market. While our cars and houses may be immobile due to a paucity of oil or natural gas, our bodies have all the intense, carb-loaded fuel we need for optimum performance. Unfortunately, selecting from the many choices available can be a daunting task. Never fear, TPWK has enlisted experts to review some of the top energy drinks on the market today. See below.

Red Bull Energy Drink
Tastes like: Carbonated Pixie-Stick
Key Ingredients: Guarnine, Ginseng, B12, B6, B38, B72, Niacin, B167, B3.6
Effects: Sudden burst of energy, followed by 2-3 days of nausea and reduced self-esteem.

Sobe Dragon Kill
Tastes like: Cheap champagne
Key ingredients: B5, B23, B3.14, Cocaine, Methylchloroisothiazolinone
Effects: An immediate spout of rage, followed by trembling arms and excessive blogging.

Rockstar Mindscrew
Tastes like: Vinegar and vodka
Key ingredients: B7, bleach, quinine, horse semen, riboflavin
Effects: Internal hemorrhaging, resentment of parents, followed by coma

Nestle Punisher-9000
Tastes like: Hot engine
Key Ingredients: B52, Meth, Emu esophagus, Soilant green, wheat grass
Effects: Immediate burst of racism, followed by reconciliation

General Mills Corpseslam
Tastes like: Burning
Key Ingredients: B -5, lead paint, blood of (approx.) 17 virgins, thiamin
Effects: Drowsiness, followed by a long bout with cancer

Hope this helps you make an informed decision!!!!!!!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Gilbert, Part 3

Read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here

Student Reviews for Professor Gilbert Halquinn, circa 1999.

Average Student grade: B

MATH/PHILO – 33 – The Anatomy Of Mathematical Thought (Interdisc.)

“Prof. Halquinn may be a little on the boring side, but he knows his stuff. If you’re going to learn about the philosophy of mathematics, you might as well learn from the world’s guru on the subject.”

“zzzzzzzzzzzz….”

“His class is tough, but he certainly makes you think. He’s a little dry, but so is the material, and Gil works hard to make it accessible. He’s always available to meet and go over the material. Note to weary Seniors, the final paper is a bitch.”

“I LOVE PROFESSOR HALQUINN! ASK HIM ABOUT HIS BAGPIPES!”

“I dropped out of this class. For die-hards only.”

“A good way for math nerds to get a liberal arts requirement out of the way, and learn something in the process. Prof. Halquinn is recognized as a leader in the area of mathematical and philosophical relationships, and his knowledge is on full display in this course.”

“zzzzzzzzzzz….”

“Professor Halquinn is soooo cute…. Seriously, he is, in a nerdy way. His class isn’t too fun though. I got a ‘B-‘, and I did all the homework!”

PHILO/MATH 96 – From Pythagoras to Bob Dylan: Love, sex, and algebra

Average student grade: C+

“Don’t let the name fool you. This class is boring.”

“I took this class cause I figured it would be an easy way to fill the PHILO requirement. Wrong! The class has three major essays, with two of them due during midterms and finals week.”

“I don’t really think Prof. Halquinn ever listens to rock and roll. He plays the bagpipes for crying out loud. The class is fine, though, I suppose.”

“zzzzzzzzzzzzz…..”

“We spent the first three week learning plain old pre-algebra. What the hell was that about?”

“I feel bad for saying this, cause Gil is such a nice guy, but this class sucks. Prof. Halquinn is definitely more in his element teaching upper level seminars. This course reeks of condescension, and is not particularly enlightening.”

“One day, I was really hungover for class. Midway through, I puked on my desk. He let me go back to my room. Gil’s good like that.”

“zzzzzzzzzzz…”

Now it is time to talk about Capitals!

State Capitals are haaaaaaaaaaaaaaard!

There’s like millions of them, and they’re hard to spell. Some are easy though, like Atlanta, but most are hard, like Mt. Peliair. It’s stupid… I don’t even live in most of these states.

Mr. Johnson is a jerk for making us learn all of these. He smells, too… And he’s divorced. His wife left him for some literary agent.

She set his car on fire, cause she’s crazy… I like her, though.

You know what the capital of Minnesota is? Wrong! It’s St. Paul. Everybody thinks it’s Minneapolis, but it’s not. I live in Eagan, though.

Did you know there was a state called Delaware? I didn’t either. One more capital to learn.

Daddy says all those little states should combine into one big state, then succeed from the union, and form a country called “Liberal Land” and leave hard-working, God-fearing people alone, dammit. Daddy’s kinda silly…

When our founding fathers sat down to write the Constitution, they decided to break up our country into mini-countries. Each mini-country would have it’s own hub, known as “the capital” where it could transmit messages to homebase. If any two mini-countries had a dispute, they would fight about it. The losing state had to change it’s capital city. That’s why Sacramento is the capital of California, and not Los Angeles.

That was my answer to an essay question on Capitals. I got a D- on that test cause Mr. Johnson is so dumb.

Daddy says if they graded us on eating, I’d get an ‘A’, but reiterated that I would be unlikely to receive such a grade under any other scenario.

In conclusion, state capitals are important. Every state has one, and they’re really hard, but some are easy though. They are important because they are like homebases, and that’s where governors live. They are not cool like bombs or missles that go psshskkeeewww, but they are cool, I guess.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Gosh... Idiot!



You know what I’m sick of?

Napoleon dynamite.

Seriously people, it’s not that funny. I’ll admit, I saw the film in the theaters. I thought, “gee, this had a few laughs; what a decidedly average film.” One year, and 200,000 “Vote 4 Pedro” collectible icons later, I’m sick of it.

For those who don’t know about the film, here’s the plot. A sad, lonely teenager’s grandmother (aunt? Whatever) abandons him, along with his balding brother. Inexplicably, their disturbed uncle comes to live with them. He befriends a Hispanic stereotype. Irony ensues.

See, the plot of the film doesn’t matter. Napoleon Dynamite is composed purely of nihilistic, quotable references. There are no characters, per se, nor are there any comedic scenarios which develop throughout the film.

The film seems entirely designed for 17-year-old males who, devoid of any actual personality, simply quote movies in an attempt to win female affection. No offense to these kids, but why do we need our film industry giving them fodder? They already have Abercrombie & Fitch to mask their insecurities.

Look, it’s an okay film. I laughed at the Tupperware related hoo-hah. It sort of succeeds as a Seinfeld-esque film about nothing. But if I hear another guy saying “nun chuck skills” or talking about a lyger, someone is gonna get kicked in the teeth. By me.

Being obsessed with Napoleon Dynamite is like being obsessed with How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Not necessarily a bad film, but good grief.

Seriously though, buy a Vote 4 Pedro t-shirt. It’ll be freaking hilarious…

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Power Outage


Last night
the power went out
I couldn't see
which is the most boring thing imagninable
it turns out.
I prayed briefly
found a flashlight
poured a glass of whiskey
read a politically-themed magazine
glanced out the window
small pods of leaves and branches
glowing under the lightning like jellyfish
my deck chair broken
tossed, to and fro, as they say
I thought about movies
and about intruders
how I'd beat them to death
with my flashlight
if they tried to steal my stereo
and how that would be so cool
I thought about my father
how I'd like to visit him
cause he'd like that.
Then I realized
that eveything:
my conversation
my movie critiques
my heroic flashlight-related manslaughter
and maudlin father-visits
were in my head
just my imagination
I found that sad...

So I went to bed...

And the power came back on.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

An Open Letter To The President

Dear President Bush,

Anyone who knows me knows that I have been a fan and supporter of you agenda. By and large, I think you do a great job.

But this crap with the hurricanes has got to stop.

I mean, first we get Katrina, which literally destroys a whole city. What were you thinking there, W? I mean, when I first heard the hurricane was coming, I certainly gave you the benefit of the doubt. "Maybe he's just trying to get their attention with a little storm activity" I thought to myself. Well, great. Now your hurricane has killed thousands. Happy now, Mr. President?

And now we have word that Hurricane Rita has been uprgraded to a Category 4, and is headed for the gulf coast! What are you and Karl Rove thinking? The last thing America needs right now is another hurricane.

The statistics are clear. Hurricanes damage houses, kill women and children, and cost literally billions of dollars. What, precisely, is the upside here? The weather service is running out of names for all the hurricanes this administration has ordered. This is a profound example of the hubris of the George Bush presidency.

I think I speak for all American citizens when I say that we need to stop focusing on creating more hurricanes, and start focusing on a cohesive domestic agenda. The money spent on hurricane aftermath could be spent on better schools, for instance.

Mr. President, enough is enough. I am asking you to put an end to this madness. Work with the National Weather Service and put an end to these terrible storms. Your supporters will thank you.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Lose - Part 2

Read the first part here

There’s a Polaroid of me, as a boy
In my too-large cookie-consumption-themed sweater
My hat facing backward, unironically
I submitted that picture somewhere
I never got it back

Like all my baby photos, ensconsed in a Polaroid fog
My visage aging under the mustard mist
Of twenty years
I want to jump in those photos,
Hug that baby boy

And tell him
You’ll lose things
It’s what you do
You’re a loser
You could fill a home with what you’ll lose

So you’ll be prepared
For baseball caps, and car keys,
Best friends, innocence
And damp library books

You’ll lose your invinciblity
At nine years old, in a pile of playground woodchips
When it dawns on you
That everyone dies, including you..

And that thought stings you
More than anything had ever stung you before
As the sky turns a grayer shade
And things seem pointless for awhile

It’s okay, I’d tell him
We’ll lose things together
It’s what we do
We’re losers
We could fill a house with what we’ve lost

It might make sense to him, then
When he loses his father,
And can’t express in words,
The intangible feeling
A shade yet grayer

Still and unchanging,
Glued to that swivel chair, his only possession,
On an island of woodchips
For fear that he’ll have nothing left,

His face silhouetted against the sky
Fading and blurring, like the polaroids

If I could be there, I’d tell him
We lose that we can live
That in our darkness, God creates light
He creates books and playgrounds
That can never be lost

Perhaps, then, he won’t be so angry
That I had to turn my back

My life had no room for a child
Whose sun rose and set
With the papery haze of his father’s
five o’clock shadow

Who needed a man
To hold his hand
To play in the woodchips with him
And tell him to get his coat back

Implacable child
The unspoken elephant in every room of my soul
In his zip-up sweater,
His too-large baseball cap slunk awkwardly on his head
Fading and hardening within me, as a scars bond to flesh

And finally, I lost him, too
But hey, I lose things
It’s who I am
A loser
You could fill a home with what I’ve lost

-------

Lose

Author's note: This is the first part of a poem I wrote about my life before and after my father went to prison. I'm trying to keep my entires short, so I am breaking it into two sections, today and tomorrow. Hope you like it... If not, leave a comment...

I lose things
It’s what I do
I’ve lost keys, car-keys, house-keys
I’ve lost favorite t-shirts, yearbooks
I’ve lost cutlery, and at least one phone book

That’s just the way I am
I lose things
It’s what I do
I’m a loser
You could fill a home with what I’ve lost

I lost a book from the library when I was six
I found that in the rain two days later
The pages crusted and warped
Smelling like moss
I paid two weeks allowance to replace them

I lost my winter coat,
Some kids threw it in the garbage
When I wasn’t looking
They bought me a new one
I lost it a year later

But hey,
I lose things,
It’s what I do
I’m a loser
You could fill a home with what I’ve lost

I lost my trapper keeper
With about a dozen homework assignments
That I’d forgotten to turn in
The teachers wouldn’t take excuses
So I lost my grade in the glass

When I was young, I had a little red hat
It had an unofficial looking baseball embroidered on the center
And an itchy zip-up sweater with picture of a monster
Devouring cookies with a zeal no kid thinks to question

I can’t find them anywhere

And a little toy swivel chair, that I had long outgrown
Cracked and withered from times I lost my temper
And threw it here and there

This went to goodwill, presumably


(to be continued)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Problem With Memories

So, it appears as though I am between jobs, as they say. It's a long not-as-bad-as-it-sounds sort of deal, but it did give me an opportunity to clean out my inbox. I came across this message. it was the first, and only, time I asked a girl out via e-mail.

Subject: TB

It stands for tuberculosis, which continues to kill thousands in third world nations ill equipped to deal with the ravages of AIDS...

Fortunately for us, it also stands for Tucci Benucch... And while $30 in gift certificates will do little to curb the plight of poverty-stricken Africa, it will go pretty far in buying dinner for two...

You in?


- The Kev


Inexplicably, she said yes, and we stopped dating 8 weeks later. It was startling to realize that this happened almost one year ago. It's as though I hit a certain age and, presto, time is moving at warp speed. What a sad development. Everyone can remember their parents telling us to enjoy our youth, cause time flies before you know it, to mix metaphors.

Lately, I have been reflecting on this phenomenon in which time seems to go exponentially faster. It's as though we experience time as a function of how much time we've spent on this earth.

I want to stop it. Or, at the very least, stop the way in which it seems to eating away my life before I have time to use it adequately. I want to shirk this ubiquitous "aging remorse", but I am confronted, on a continuing basis, that the way I have spent my time has been, in many respects, wasteful.

In the time since I sent that e-mail, I have acquired a new girlfriend (who, I hope will put this blog in perspective), and will have a new job. I've sold my house in the ghetto, moved to the suburbs, traded my $600 beater for a 2002 Ford Focus. I'm a young executive on the go , or whatever the fuck.

And yet, I could live in memories like this. What a happy moment. Guy feigns confidence with a smart-alecky proposal to go out for dinner. Girl is charmed, and accepts offer.

I could spend my life smiling at the way things were. Why is that? Why do we spend our futures trying to reconcile with our past. Why, if this is our goal, do we fail so miserably at that task? If the past is so wonderful, surely the present is much moreso, with its unpredictability and excitement and overall nowness.

My faith-life predicts heaven upon death. i believe that heaven awaits, and yet it seems like an ironic proposal.

Perhaps heaven will grant me the opportunity to explore the vagaries of the past, to fully experience its miseries and sorrows. I pray that it will give me the wisdom to reject the past, on the merits, and look to the eternal future. Perhaps it will allow me to forget the past entirely.

Until then, I will try to slow the passage of time.

Chicken Voice - Part 2




Read Part One

One day, I come home. Sure enough, the chicken is reading “SAT Vocab for Experts!” by Sustren and Schultz. I pull a John Ritter double take, and ask him what’s up. “Quagmire,” he says, and goes on reading.

That’s how it was between me and him for awhile. Roy, a chicken, couldn’t say normal conversational words. Just words out of that damn book. We’d be sitting back, having a beer, watching various entertainments that are now considered ironic, and he’s say like “obfuscate” or “syllogism”. Sometimes he’d freak out, and just start yellin’ “esoteric, homily, firebrand!”, and I’d be like “this isn’t right.” And he’d calm down and say “semantics” or something chill like that.

Of course, Roy was a chicken, and chickens can’t, and I’m speaking in generalities, talk. So I get an idea for novel little stage act. I’d rile up the chicken, poke him with a stick in a humane way. Sure enough, Roy starts yelling his 50 cent words. Weird thing, they start repeating the words back to him.

“Deleterious!”
“Deleterious!”

“Facile!”
“Facile!”

“Abstruse!”
“Obtuse!”

Suddenly, I go from ventriloquist with industry buzz to circus ringleader. “Roy, the articulate chanting Chicken” sells out stadiums. Jerry Seinfeld opened for us once, which is neither here nor there, and blatant name-dropping, I understand, and mention only to illustrate the profundity of our situation.

Now, the novelty of the situation was bound to wear off. A comedian needs to keep things fresh, so I decided to purchase the complete Sustren and Schultz “Word Power for the Aspiring Collegian” series for $47.

I decided to make it a sort of birthday present. Roy and I experienced a certain level of difficulty overcoming the chicken-man hurdle, friendship-wise. I thought a gift of mutual interest would enliven, you know, things. We went to his favorite restaurant “Steaks n’ Steaks” (one of few eateries of any quality in which Roy would not be forced to witness de facto cannibalism).

So there we are, munching on steaks. Roy, being a chicken of unknown origin, had no apparent compunction with respect to devouring what one might assume to be one of his compatriots. At any rate, the feller loved the stuff.

It was just us… Chicken, man, steak, SAT Vocabulary builder cum birthday gift… And all was right with the world. Then, the Hell’s Angels arrived.

(to be continued)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Now It Is Time To Talk About Asteroids!


Asteroids are cooooooooooool!

Asteroids are big, like little planets in space that float around. Spaceships sometimes hit them, and it kills the spacemen unless they had their force field turned on. Then the spacemen fall down, but they don’t die though.

Asteroids are mostly brown, and have holes, and they are sometimes hot, but mostly cold cause they are out in space where it’s dark. Sometimes they are hot, though.

Asteroids are formed at the core of the larger, gaseous planets. Due to their distance from the sun, these planets rotate very rapidly, condensing their gasses into massive rocks. As soon as the rocks become big enough, they are forced out of the atmosphere through violent volcanoes. Their porous surface is the result of damage from particles originating in their home planet’s atmosphere. Asteroids can live to be 70-90 years old.

I have been informed that this is not accurate.

Some people think the dinosaurs were killed by asteroids, but probably not though. The pterodactyls probably did battle with them, to save the dinosaurs.

Sometimes asteroids collide with each other, and make this sound:

Kaprooooshhhhhkillllllll!

Some scientifisists think that an asteroid may again hit the earth, thus ending the human race.

Daddy says “it’s about damn time.”

In conclusion, asteroids are big and massive, and part of the infinite. They are big, but some are small and cagey. Asteroids are not afraid of us, and they float in space, which is cool, except when they killed the dinosaurs, they probably didn’t though. Asteroids are special, unlike comets.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Gilbert - Part 2

He stands up, dizzy and empty from the expenditure of excitement. He jaunts to the kitchen with a sort of kinesis, like when you’re excited about something, but can’t do much about it, so you walk. That kind of kinesis.

He grabs a box of crackers. The heavy, fibrous kind, designed to withstand the spreading of soft cheese. They form a thick, rubbery mass in his mouth, down the lining of his esophagus, and into his stomach, which shivers gingerly under the density.

If he had the mirror, it could go… Where? Where to put a mirror? It wasn’t a bathroom mirror. No… Shutter at the thought, all steam and mildew and warped wood.

The living room? He had heard, and assumed to be true, that such things as mirrors open up rooms, creating the impression of larger size. Seems hard to believe, size is size, after all. Distance from couch to TV the same, irrespective of any mirror.

Not the bedroom. No. Too intrusive. Also requiring the sight of his own nakedness. His own nudity was a fear, caused by aforementioned serotonin deficiency (same problem with the bathroom, though towels could come into play).

The dining room was certainly an option. Mirrored-self creating the resemblance of companionship. A self-pitying thought. Various counselors advise away from self-pitying, potential-to-result-in-drastic-action type thoughts among those with serotonin issues.

He ventured toward the dining room table, examined the deepness of the wood veneer, felt the ripples and dining-related dings. A match. The mirror, should it find its way in, would find a home in the dining room.
With that thought, his pulse quickened, tapping against his arthritic wrists like a tiny hammer. It was, as they say, go-time. He donned a jacket, if only because the jacket, in its donning, would absorb more time. Delaying the inevitable, the jacket.

The sun spilled from every crevice of the house like brothy soup run amok, it’s heat sipping into every crevice and nuance of the little house. His jacket felt superfluous on his sweating torso. It was navy blue, with the sort of nylon-ish sheen that featured prominently in most jackets during the era said jacket was purchased. It was a sports jacket, a “San Diego Clippers” insignia rendering it an unintended collector’s item.

He reached for the door handle, still salty and moist from it’s previous encounter with his hand. He pulled it open, the sun barging in like he was about to enter a ghost closet, or heaven.

In times of stress, he had learned to make himself numb, to dry his thoughts of anxiety, and experience nothing, happy or sad. This was one of those times.

(to be continued)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

An Interview With Beaker



Every now and again, The Problem with Kevin affords me the opportunity to interview certain celebrities. This week, I am proud to introduce Beaker, longtime member of the famed Muppet Show troupe, and author of the new book Puppets and Paradigms: Toward a Panoptic Modality of Postmodern Muppetry. Beaker, welcome to TPWK.

Beaker: Meeeeep!

TPWK: Before we, before we go on, I would like to take note of you book’s dedication. Of course, the world was devastated by the loss of Dr. Bunson, your longtime muppet compatriot. Indeed, he was the proverbial “straight man” to your more madcap approach. How did his death influence your writing of this book?

Beaker: Meeeeeep!

TPWK: Now, in the years after the Muppet Show went off the air, a number of your fellow Muppet Show cohorts sought to capitalize on their fame via film, advertisements, merchandizing et al... You opted to lay low for several years, why is that?

Beaker: Meeeeeep!

TPWK: Obviously, the maneuver paid off. You first book Beaker: A Muppet, a series of semi auto-biographical poetry, was a bestseller, and was short-listed for the Pulitzer prize. Before we talk about puppets and paradigms, I would like to read my favorite excerpt from your first book

Beaker: …

TPWK: It is from the poem Why am I dry? And, I think it reflects a very forward-thinking interpretation, now wholeheartedly embraced by academic circles, of the essence of the puppet. It reads:

You ask me, why am I so dry?
No tears to shed, my plastic eye.
No means to share a mortal’s strife
Beneath this swath of clothy life.

An act belies the dream dispatched
A yen denied by strings attached
The clapping hiss that lock the chains
An audience of cotton brains


There is an almost accusatory tone here. You seem to indict us all, the clapping masses, as puppets. These two stanzas, of course, provided the impetus for the early 80’s puppet-autonomy movement that led to the revolutionary P.E.P.A. legislation and subsequent constitutional amendments granting equal rights to puppets.

Beaker: Meeeeeeeep!

TPWK: In Paradigms, you seem to take this one step further. By virtue of the fact that we are, and take this as I mean it, responding to the various puppet-related entertainments… The Muppet Show being, I think, the quintessential example… Do you see yourself as a sort of puppeteer, holding sway over your audience?

Beaker: Well, I think that is an oversimplification. First off, such a thesis would inherently disregard the role of puppet-master. Remember, it is the puppet master, and I’m using the term broadly to mean “creator and executor of puppet-related entertainments”... I’m talking writers, producers, directors, on top of the puppeteers themselves. There is an orchestrated confluence with the express goal of eliciting certain responses in order to achieve a desired outcome… In most cases the desired outcome is the purchase of advertised goods, but there are others. In a sense, then, and I think this is the basis of the Puppet-autonomy movement, we are both in the same proverbial boat. Just as I am beholden to the manipulations of the puppeteers for my very existence, my very character, you, the audience, are responding to precisely the same manipulations.

TPWK: Fascinating. So, in essence, you see a third striation, controlling the entire scenario. While man and puppet have equal rights to so-called autonomy, we are really a step below the creators of the puppet-related entertainments. In other words, the bifurcation of treatment, previously delineated between man and puppet, really ought to exist between manipulator and manipulated. Of course, this opens a Pandora’s Box of ethical issues... But then, you’ve never been one to steer clear of controversy.

Beaker: Meeeep!

TPWK: Well, unfortunately, that is all of my time for today. I certainly hope you will join me again at a later date, Beaker. It has been an enlightening discussion to say the least.

My Weekend To-Do List

-Wash sheets

-Apologize to Leroy, Dehnke family

-Face facts

-Dry cleaning

-Alien microwaves (ask Fred)

-Weep inexplicably

-Write blog (to do list?)

-Grocery store

Stove Top stuffing
Cumin
Grapes (seedless)
Cookie Crisp
Feta*

-Annoy girlfriend

-Have epiphany

-Kill self

-?????

*-Do not forget

Friday, September 09, 2005

A break from the alienation

As a Christian, I prayed about a lot of things with regard to Katrina. I prayed that families would be protected, that the city would get back on it's feet, that aid organizations would be effective, and that Christians would give their time and money to the relief efforts. However, I also prayed that Christians would not use this as a means of trumpeting their pet issues. I could only blush with anger and embarrassment as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson blamed 9/11 on lesbians et al...

Fortunately, Pat Robertson was already in hot water for his silly comments about Hugo Chavez. This has likely tempered the "God gave them a hurricane because of topless women at Mardi Gras", and "These people deserved it cause they lived below sea level." type rants. This is God's punishment for their hubris. As the days passed, it looked like Christian talking heads has behaved, and that we were in the clear.

And then I read this, from a Christian group called Sojourners. It was written by a fool named Wes Granberg-Michaelson, who is general secretary of the reformed church:

Years before becoming general secretary of the Reformed Church in America, I led a group studying global warming and the responsibility of the churches for preserving the environment when I served as director of Church and Society for the World Council of Churches. Even then (1990), a clear global scientific consensus warned that global warming due to human causes - especially the accelerated use of fossil fuels - was causing disruptive climate changes. And I clearly remember listening to scientists say that one effect could be that storms such as hurricanes would increase in their intensity and destructive effects because of warmer waters and changing sea levels. So a part of Katrina's fury was not completely "natural."

(snip)

He goes on to say this:

When I see the devastating effects of Katrina, I don't simply regard these as an inexplicable "act of God." I also focus on the sins of humanity. We've disobeyed God's clear biblical instructions to preserve the integrity of God's good creation, and to overcome the scourge of poverty. In the aftermath of Katrina, we desperately need not only compassion, but also repentance.

Sojourners is perhaps the most prominent Christian Liberal activist group in the nation. They're ostensible purpose is to separate Christian ethics from a liberal or conservative agenda. However, in practice, they do precisely the opposite. This is certainly their right. Differing political viewpoints help keep the Gospel open to a broader audience, and create a more dynamic and diverse cultural environment. I would encourage them to be more forthright in their purpose, but what are you going to do?

This, however, is disgusting. Perhaps those have gone without food for days should take a good hard look at my gas consumption, and repent. Perhaps those who lost loved ones should really think about buying a Prius, so that they can please God. A large number of the people stranded have no automobiles at all. Perhaps the folks in the supporting and Astrodome can take a good hard think about how dumb it was for us to build all those big cars in the 1950s. God sure got them for that sin.

Ignoring the tenuous science behind his reasoning (the hurricane was actually weaker than anticipated), the notion that God would use the poorest people in that nation as some sort of de facto whipping boy for the excesses of the wealthy is nauseating at every level.

God is sovereign, and in control. I believe that he allowed, or caused this hurricane. I don't claim to know why. I can only respond in a way that is informed by Him.

Sorry... I will resume the weird, ironic poetry next week...

On a lighter note, spellcheck wanted to replace the word "topless" with "topology"...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

That's a Wrap


On my desk, I have not one, but two sour apple Jolly Rancher wrappers. I actively dislike the Jolly Rancher, an uncomfortable amalgam of jawbreaker and stale taffy, over-flavored to the nines.

And, yet, there they sit, unmistakable evidence that I have consumed, at minimum, two jolly rancher candies. Clearly, this was a sort of subconscious act, my passive tendency toward candy consumption overwhelming my aggressive malice toward the Jolly Rancher candies.

We have a basket of candy, the undeniable genesis of my Jolly Rancher lust, at the receptionist desk. The basket usually features an assortment of Starburst (whose website is hideous, btw), a treat of which I am decidedly more fond. Clearly, Starburst were not present. Hence, two Green Apple Jolly Rancher wrappers on the desk.

Jolly Ranchers are artificially flavored, which is unsurprising.

When left to his own devices, a man is capable of doing anything. Like the thieves looting department stores in New Orleans, so I have succumbed to my inner beast.

And the beast wanted Jolly Ranchers, it turns out.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Interview


Interviewer: I see you grew up in Louisiana. New Orleans, in fact.
Interviewee: Yes, indeed, sir.
Interviewer: Lousy fortunes. Storm and all. Is that what brings you here?
Interviewee: Yes. An unfortunate run-in... With said storm.
Interviewer: A run-in.
Interviewee: A perfect storm, sir.
Interviewer: Indeed.
Interviewee: Bedlam, a literal anarchic confluence.
Interviewer: So I’ve heard. And you, trapped in the city, no doubt.
Interviewee: Trapped. You could say, trapped.
Interviewer: I could say, trapped?
Interviewee: Yes, trapped. Such a shame. The water and debris.
Interviewer: A miserable death, no doubt. I see you have an injury.
Interviewee: Um, yes… Injury, or injuries, I suppose. Plural, I guess.
Interviewer: From the debris?
Interviewee: Yes, debris. Well, not precisely, debris. Debris in certain respects.
Interviewer: Certain respects. Shall we talk specifics, then?
Interviewee: Yes, specifics. Bullets. Bullets are the specifics, sir.
Interviewer: I had read there were snipers.
Interviewee: Snipers, yes.
Interviewer: Shooting rescue boats. Rescue boats, of all things.
Interviewee: Chicanery.
Interviewer: Guns aimed toward heroes.
Interviewee: Women, and children. The undeserving. The underprivileged.
Interviewer: Villainy. And you found yourself in the crossfire?
Interviewee: Crossfire, that’s how I’d put it.
Interviewer: How you would put it?
Interviewee: Well, how to say it. The anarchy….
Interviewer: An anarchic confluence.
Interviewee: A confluence. That’s on the mark.
Interviewer: You were caught between bullets and their targets, yes?
Interviewee: Caught, yes, caught. Tough to say.
Interviewer: Caught between good and evil.
Interviewee: Good, evil. There was so much at play.
Interviewer: At play…
Interviewee: The floods. Changed things. Priorities.
Interviewer: I don’t follow.
Interviewee: A new world, bequeathed to the powerful.
Interviewer: ….
Interviewee: But there were threats.
Interviewer: A threat.
Interviewee: To the order. The order of things. There are always threats.
Interviewer: You mean, the snipers.
Interviewee: It should be obvious by now, I’m not speaking of snipers.
Interviewer: Obvious.
Interviewee: But, the water. It gave us new life.
Interviewer: And the rescue boats.
Interviewee: I could have helped. Those people. It could have been our city.
Interviewer: Your city.
Interviewee: Ownership.
Interviewer: And the rescue boats?
Interviewee: Why the questions?
Interviewer: Have you any idea who I am?
Interviewee: I… No… I don’t know you.
Interviewer: That much is clear.
Interviewee: We were all just…
Interviewer: ..
Interviewee: But, why go into it?
Interviewer: Indeed. Now that we’re… Familiar… I’d like to share with you something intimate.
Interviewee: Yes, intimate, fair enough.
Interviewer: Shortly before your debris-related “run-in”, you saw a peculiar sight.
Interviewee: There were so many peculiarities. So many.
Interviewer: You saw a little baby boy. Wearing only a diaper. Wandering around the street.
Interviewee: I remember. The boy, I remember.
Interviewer: That boy was alone.
Interviewee: Alone? Perhaps, maybe yes… Probably alone.
Interviewer: He said something to you, yes?
Interviewee: Yes… Well, maybe not to me.
Interviewer: He called you daddy.
Interviewee: Yes, he said that. He said that. Not true, of course.
Interviewer: Of course.
Interviewee: I have no son.
Interviewer: So it would seem. You left the boy.
Interviewee: It was. Truly sir, it was a confluence. Right, wrong… Ethical lines and boundaries.
Interviewer: And now that child is dead.
Interviewee: Dead?
Interviewer: Drowned.
Interviewee: A tragedy. Inestimable. Grim.
Interviewer: In need of rescue.
Interviewee: Certainly.
Interviewer: You could have rescued him.
Interviewee: The difficulty. You have to understand.
Interviewer: You did not rescue him.
Interviewee: I. I was defending.
Interviewer: You fired at the rescue boat that would have saved his life.
Interviewee: How to know that? We can’t know that.
Interviewer: Your bullets drove away his only hope.
Interviewee: These could hardly be called questions.

Interviewer: There was a reporter.
Interviewee: A television guy. Saw a few of them. Scared away. Good riddance.
Interviewer: If you had saved the boy, he would have it on film.
Interviewee: …
Interviewer: You would have been famous.
Interviewee: Perhaps…
Interviewer: Talk-show appearances. Telethons. Mini-celebrity. A touching act of humanity amidst the anarchic confluence. An angel amidst devils.
Interviewee: Everything was so confused, so undelineated.
Interviewer: Instead, you are here.
Interviewee: A turn of events, no doubt. Luck…
Interviewer: A turn of events… Luck..
Interviewee: And certainly. Apologies, condolences et al… A baby boy, after all.
Interviewer: Condolences.
Interviewee: Certainly, condolences. Forgive my lack of tears. I am numb.
Interviewer: …
Interviewee: I believe I know you now.
Interviewer: I never knew you.
Interviewee: Never is an interesting term.
Interviewer: And I never will.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Imaginary Heroes


The traffic on Telegraph Avenue was steaming and still. It was summer, and we were on our way back from something to which my mother had a mind to drag me. Old Toyotas don’t have air conditioning, or at least ours didn’t. I shifted endlessly, my exposed legs chafing against the faux-plaid interior, my damp shirt melting in a cliché sort of way, my belly button exposed to a leering glove compartment.

Children hate traffic. It’s boring. A twenty minute inconvenience for an adult represents an interminable blight on a child’s day. Time slowly disintegrates under the candle of boredom as the opportunity cost of free-time quickly escalates. While adults are given to the task of driving, children are forced into a state of inaction, their seatbelt binding and choking like a noose. Time raveled me in it’s slowing.

“There must be an accident.” My mother said. Delight. An end to this tunnel. Good news, indeed. This paused torture was not for nothing. My patience would be rewarded with all the trappings of vehicular mayhem. Crinkled bumpers, shattered glass, blood if I was lucky. All of them awaited me just a mile up the road, wrapped behind a line of cars, like a macabre Christmas gift.

Moments later, an ambulance siren. It’s histrionic wail piercing my ears as the vehicle negotiated the grassy boulevard, its swirling lights enveloped in the horizon of sweaty automobiles. Then nothing… No sight or sound. Just the same cars, virtually still, waiting in line to see a show for which they had no ticket.

My mind drifted aimlessly as the nauseous heat streamed in, amplified by the preponderance of glass as we remained fixed within the concavity of our little hatchback. The windshield featured, at its apex, a dark, opaque strip designed to block the sun’s rays. It always made the sky seem a deep blue which was richer and sadder than the unfiltered sky. I would stare at it, and convince myself that it was later in the day.

Our radio was operated by a plastic dial which made it nearly impossible to retrieve a signal of any real clarity. The car sighed listlessly, forming a faint din which my ears had long ago converted into silence. My mother interrupted the damp silence with the occasional “for crying out loud”, or similar exclamation.

My sense of time hinged upon television. My internal clock ebbed with the animated heroics of He-man, his universe masters, transforming robots et al., and flowed with the commercials that sectioned my entertainment into manageable chunks. Today’s accident had already cost me Gobots, and was cutting into He-man in a serious sort of way. I slunk in my seat, trying not to meditate too heavily on my loss.

Ahead of us was an eggplant-colored Oldsmobile Toronado. The Toronado had a little circular hump on its trunk, which reminded me of a clock, cut in two. It also played upon my irrational fear of storm activity, at least obliquely. The car moved in fits in starts that were difficult to predict. On occasion, my mother would simply allow it to get several car lengths ahead before moving forward, put the Toyota in park and rest her feet until the utter lack of progress became unbearable even to her.

The sun was extraordinarily bright. The leaves swizzled back and forth under a light breeze, almost blinking as they twisted under the sun. The windy branches contrasted the motionless air inside the car, descending like a blanket.

I began to think about what I might see. In the past, I had seen common fender benders, jack-knifed busses, trucks in ditches. My favorite was a car that had some telephone pole-related misfortune. The front folded around the virtually unscathed pole, almost embracing the thing. It looked like a stapler. The probable owner stood, shaking his head confoundedly in a “one of those days” sort of pose.

My mind scanned previous ads, and “stay tuned next time” snippets to anticipate which episode I might be missing. My unspoken fear was that I might miss the episode, that one fabulous episode, where the villains won out. He-man wouldn’t be saved at the last minute from lava-related death by a heretofore non-heroic comic-relief type character, and the show would never be the same, and I would miss it because I was stuck in a car, with my mother, sweating. This inexorable fear plagued me, contrasting the excited butterflies associated with the imminent purview of real-life carnage.

My eyes drifted to the “object in the mirror may be closer than they appear” caveat engraved into the passenger side mirror, and I briefly tried to unravel that paradox. I shifted again, my legs making a scotch tape sound against the incongruous amalgam of slick cloth and foam. At the height of my tossing about, I caught my first glimpse of what was clearly a fire truck, its electric yellow visage adorned with glistening metallic knobs.

Everything about emergency vehicles is disconcerting. Their mere presence connotes hideous misfortune, and they look the part; glassy tanks, strewn with lights and knacks, and acronyms ending in ‘D’. I remember going to visit a firestation, the trucks stowed away in the garage, like sleeping lions that could be riled into violent action at any point. Wrathful and angry, but angelic in purpose, a spectacle unto themselves. I always felt weird about them.

I craned my neck to try to grasp the scope of the accident. It was bad. Really bad. Action packed. From a distance, the cars had the look of being utterly destroyed, their shells balled like aluminum foil. There were seven emergency vehicles in all: Two police cars, three ambulances, and two fire trucks. The mathematics of the situation were daunting.

In the previous episode of He-man, one of the secondary, potential-for-romance type characters had fallen down an endless pit, but had the good fortune to land on a small ledge some 20 ft. below. She was rescued, via lasso, to my recollection….

My heart began to against my sternum in absurd anticipation, the sweat streaming from my forearms to my aching palms. My mother broke the silence with a very concerned “oh, dear”. As traffic began to slowly accelerate, a stretcher made its way from one of the crumpled hulks to the formidable ambulance. No indication of real injury. Just smashed cars… But, good show… Worth the wait.

Then I saw it... Immersed in the passenger seat of one of the crumpled hulks was a little girl. She was pretty, from what I could tell. She had some blood streaming down from behind her ear, but seemed otherwise to be okay. The paramedic attending to her was seeming to pick at her hair. Her eyes were eerily bright and vacant.

“Oh…”
“What, mom? Is she okay?”
“They're picking glass from her head. That’s not a good sign.”
“But her eyes are open.”

I felt the way a novice gambler must feel the first time they lose too much. Expecting some rush of excitement, not really considering the awful possibilities. That brief sting of excessive loss that cannot be recovered. Inexplicably, I turned back to look at the girl. Her eyes didn’t blink. Neither did mine…

The sky looked old and gray through the strip in the windshield, as we made our way home. My tongue was numb and dry, my legs bonded to my seat. My blood buzzed with a painful lightness. I looked forward. I didn’t speak. I knew too much, already.

Our car sped past the stoplight, past the A & P, past the convenience store and the Comerica bank. I was cold, dizzy and dry; I felt as though I were underneath the heat, staring at life through the haze. The car strolled easily through our subdivision, time resumed it’s faithful tick.

We arrived home just in time to see Orko held captive by some miscellaneous contraption, set by a secondary, special-appearance type villain. His quandary seemed terminal. No hope for escape. At the last moment, He-man made his famous transformation. Orko was saved. Credits rolled. I simply blinked.

And time moved faster than ever.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Now It Is Time To Talk About Robots!


I loooooooooove robots!

Robots are made of metal. They have to be, so that they can do battle. Robots are sometimes good. Sometimes really bad. Usually, the good ones fight the bad ones, but not always.

Robots shoot lasers. Sometimes they shoot lasers out of their eyes, or from a little gun on their arms. But robots don't have to shoot lasers. Most robots shoot lasers, though.

Robots sometimes come into my room, and play my nintendo. Then they read my books, and tell me my literary tastes are, and I quote, "banal".

I disagree.

Robots are silver, or white. Sometimes, robots are purple, but I don't like those robots. Evil robots can be black, and transform into cool trucks, or pterodactyls.
When they do that, they make this noise:

chee-chah-choo-choo...

Lots of robots levitate, and get away from the bad guys, unless the bad guys can levitate too, and then they laser fight.

Robots are big, and sometimes have chambers, where kids can sleep. Only good robots, though. Bad robots mean harm.

Robots have a gaze that could penetrate through the soul of any man.

Robots killed daddy.

In conclusion, robots will always have a special place in my heart. They are big, and sometimes warmhearted, but sometimes they are bad, and coldhearted. Robots inhabit the earth. Some of them can talk.

Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans

Below is a piece I wrote after the Tsunami in December. I thought it might be appropriate. If you wish to give to the relief efforts go here

Alone in my living room, spilling beer on my laptop
Or: where I was while a tsunami was killing millions of people

I have a 1993 Chevrolet Cavalier
It has 127,346 miles on it, and counting
It leaks oil, I suspect,
And makes discouraging noises in the cold

I don’t have a girlfriend
I live in the ghetto
My toilet runs
My carpet is dirty
My roommate doesn’t clean dishes
And I can’t knit with my left foot

Today’s paper features a photo
Of a mother wailing
Over the bodies of her ten children
Age 1-12
Situated in rows
Youngest to oldest

Within those sixteen square feet,
Lay anything she had to live for
The silent, unspeaking vessels
That, were she to encounter them in their rooms
On a peaceful evening
Would appear to be sleeping
Breathing succinctly,
Under the reliable hiss
Of waves reaching shore

When I was a boy
I was afraid of aliens
In my dreams, I’d wake up in bed
And they’d just be up there
Vaguely celestial,
Their presence more terrifying
Than anything real in my life
I’d slink back, under my sheets
Hoping they couldn’t see me
They could literally do anything
But they never did

My car is this shade of aqua blue
Like every American car made in ‘93 or ‘94
The interior is the shade of gray
That isn’t even trying to be gray
The thing looks like a cheap, abysmal toy

At work, I wonder things, like:
What would a 40ft. wave look like
And, how do Christians know about the Tsunami
Since all of them claim never to watch TV?

I hate cold weather
And phony people
I hate bland food
And purchasing licence plate tabs
And hate, frankly, that I don’t have nicer dishware
For when I have company

On TV, they showed footage from a helicopter
Of a village, or what was once a village
Of 50,000 people
Now reduced to a smattering of white-gray
An expressionless landscape
Featuring arbitrary clumps of materials
That can no longer plausibly be called homes
They used to feature life, and families
Where men and women made love,
Had children…
And huddled with their families just before they died
The TV didn’t show most of that

My car has this particular glitch
Where it won’t always go into reverse when I want it to
It stays in park
And I kind of have to readjust it

When I was a boy,
I saw a news story
About another boy,
Who was burned alive by his father,
In a domestic dispute
That apparently merited the burning of his only son
As the boy was wheeled through the hospital,
He had these circles of gauze around his eyes
Every night, I’d huddle under the sheets,
Terrified that if I looked out my door,
I might see that boy, in his bandages
Still burning…
I was afraid of that kind pain
And I thought, if I didn’t see him
Then he wouldn’t be there, even if he stood
At the foot of my bed

I hate poorly written sitcoms,
Houses that are painted pink,
Especially the old, beautful ones
I hate the suburbs
And I hate the way metal forks taste,
If I allow myself to think about it

I was reading on the Internet
About a woman who was rescued
From a flooded river in Indonesia
Her rescuer carried her off
Then raped her, and threatened to kill her
A Google search of the story brings up porn sites,
For some reason

Leftover TV dinner containers are distressing
My fork hanging precariously on the edge
Threatening to stain my carpet
With spaghetti matriciana – or some such

I wonder about that mother
Wailing over her loss
What did she hate?
When she was a little girl,
What made her shrink and hide?
Because whatever nightmares she had
Fears or premonitions,
For her, they all came true

The driver’s side door of my car won’t open
The plastic handle burst out of its socket one day
So I have to climb over the passenger seat
Which isn’t all that difficult,
It turns out
I hate my car

A life changing event
That changed no lives at all

As for me,
the day will bring nothing substantially different
The moon and stars, undulating, but affixed
To roughly the same spot as the night before
My dreams and nightmares
Reflexive of the same fears and desires
It’s all I ever ask from God
And all I ever receive
And I hate that about myself.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Chicken Voice



This chicken owes me $47.

I should backtrack a little, for clarity.

In 1979, I was a struggling ventriloquist. I earned small gigs working in sleazy 2 drink-minimum-but-there-will-be-pressure-to-drink-more comedy joints. My claim to fame is that I opened for Garry Shandling (who stole an amusing bit from me about shampoo, but that’s neither here nor there).

My gig was a goofy Sesame Street lookin’ feller named Hodge. He had these happy, drugged sort of eyes like all those muppets seem to have. I picked him up in a thrift shop in Santa Fe. I bartered an old Howdy Doodie doll that wasn’t working out for me. It had some antique-type value, but my life could not support such nuance.

I had a good regular gig in an L.A. Hodge would do some lewd jokes, and it’d be ironic cause he looked like he was one Sesame street. One-trick pony. More clever then than it is now. Dated, I suppose. Anyway, I was doing a show, and some Hell’s Angels stormed in, of a sudden. They literally ripped Hodge from my hands, strung him up, and burned him on-stage. Then they left. The audience barely roused, which left me in a bit of a pickle. All I could do was murmur “help me, I’m burning, this is a horrible way to die.”, in a high-pitched squeal, without moving my lips. It was lousy improv, but I didn’t want to spoil the illusion.

So, no more Hodge.

I fly back to my semi-regular apartment in Phoenix, and I hear a noise. Sure enough, there’s a live chicken, sitting on my stove, like it was waiting for me. Attached was a note:

Sorry about your puppet… We, the Hell’s Angels, have a passion for the absurd. Please, take Roy (the chicken).

Sincerely,

Killteeth


I had some gigs in Chicago lined up (Shandling again). Good money gigs. Cancel-them-and-your-blacklisted type gigs. So, I went with what I had. And what I had was a chicken. Typical ventriloquist methods of manipulating movement were out of play, for obvious reasons, so I tied the thing to a leash for my act. I did my gig, my usual pastiche of sex jokes and so forth, using Roy in lieu of aforementioned charred puppet. And it was the damndest thing. Through no apparent control of my own, the chicken played along. I made a joke about a bald guy, and Roy would turn to face him. I made a wry joke about the chicken getting laid, and laying an egg (another improv), and he wryly cocked its head. Like symbiosis or something.

And, you know what? The crowd ate it up. I started headlining. Things were falling into place. Then, that San Diego Chicken got huge, and we were really big time. There were animated chickens, alien-chickens, chicken sandwiches (called chicken burgers at the time). Chicken was chic, and we were chicken. We even had a gig on the late show (Carson invited me to sit down, sans chicken). We had a sitcom in the works.

It seemed my dreams we coming true, in the least cliché way possible…

(to be continued)

Fats Domino - Dead???

Fats Domino is missing in New orleans. Read about it here.




this is important for a couple of reasons. First, that is my first ever link on my blog. That is the most exciting news ever. Second, Fats Domino is semi-famous. Third, I am in Bismarck on business, and this is also my first ever I-don't-care post. Yep, I'm phoning it in on day three.

See, there are riots, fires, floods, thousand of lives lost, a resulting energy crisis... And yet, there is some journalist, somewhere, devoted to scouring celebrity addresses, to see if anyone recognizable has died. I remember during the Tsunami, when the "which celebrity died" crew focused on some Czech model who had a hip injury. nothing against her, or against fats, but geesh. People are dying. Do they need to be celebrities for that to matter?

All of this is doubly ironic since Fats is actually crashing at my place, you know, 'til everything dies down...