Friday, January 30, 2009

If You're Being Chased By a Mummy, You're a Cow.

Chatter X: "Moo" is inherently funny.

me: Cows are inherently funny. They are the quintessentially absurd animal.

Chatter X: We had this conversation once.

Chatter X: I think monkeys > cows.

me: Monkeys are a different vibe

Chatter X: But I believe it's a matter of taste. Manatees....also good.

me: Cows find themselves in situations. Monkeys make things happen.

Chatter X: I found that statement so funny I had to look down and stifle laughter. It's the seriousness with which you consider the comedic value of cows vs. monkeys that does it.

me: Hey, comedy is serious business. Cows are more Kafkaesque. Monkeys are like The Marx Brothers.

Chatter X: I completely went to the Marx Brothers = monkeys notion. But I couldn't come up with a good cow. Mr. Magoo?

me: Charles Grodin.

Chatter X: W. C. Fields as cow or monkey? Jack Benny is cow.

me: Fair warning. This chat may turn into another post. And W.C. Fields is a rooster. Monkeys are silly, not witty.

Chatter X: But cows aren't witty, either.

me: That's why he's a rooster.

Chatter X: Well, we're introducing new animals now?

me: Well, you can't boil every comedy trope down to a cow or a monkey, now. Let's not be silly.

Chatter X: We had a nice dichotomy going on.

me: They're not ends of a continuum. They're points on a graph.

Chatter X: I'm sticking to making mischief vs. having mischief thrust upon you.

Chatter X: If you get chased by a mummy, you're a cow. If you dress up like a mummy, you're a monkey.

me: Wow. That's very nearly profound.

me: That should be the blog entry title. "If You're Being Chased By a Mummy, You're A Cow"

Chatter X: Early Eddie Murphy was a monkey. Dr. Doolittle is a cow.

me: The Nutty Professor is definitely a cow. But Buddy Love is a monkey. Hmmm.

Chatter X: Eddie Murphy, cow or monkey?

me: Via the preponderance of the evidence - monkey.

Chatter X: Yeah, he's always going to be a monkey at heart.

me: Steven Wright is a cow. Mitch Hedberg is a cow. Richard Lewis has a cow for a mother and a monkey for a father.

Chatter X: Chris Rock is a monkey. I'm not feeling too good when I write that.

me: Why did you feel okay calling Eddie Murphy one then?

Chatter X: Oh, I did, then, too. It was naming two black comedians in a row and calling them monkeys that really pushed it up a notch. I'm Howard Cosell.

me: You're not Howard Cosell. You're okay with Jews.

Chatter X: He was an anti-semite?

me: No, he was actually Jewish, but I think he was self-loathing.

Chatter X: Aren't they all?

me: All of them except Barbra Streisand.

Chatter X: The woman who still gets stagefright?

me: Oh, please. Her ego couldn't fit through a garage door.

Chatter X: Yes, but she's self-loathing to the max, too.

me: It's an affectation.

Chatter X: You don't understand the modern jewess.

me: Now THAT would be a nice title. "Understanding The Modern Jewess"

Chatter X: Actually, you have a sizeable ego that you heap self-loathing upon.

me: Mine is compartmentalized though.

Chatter X: Hers could be, too. Why can't Barbra be complicated, too?

me: Because I hate her.

Chatter X: And we've just determined you have something in common with her.

me: That and we both have regular sex with James Brolin.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chatters Say The Darndest Things

I was looking through the "My Documents" folder on my computer today, and there are some real gems that I've kept over the years. This is one of them.

I frequented a chat room a few years ago, and there was a character there who went by the screen name "Like an abaratar". He had very little grasp of spelling or grammar, but he was a Yogi Berra-esque master of unintentional humor and folksy wisdom. Back then I took some of his best lines, grouped them into categories and assembled them into a document that I sent out to the chat room. He saved me today, because I have nothing to write about and found humor is still humor. Enjoy!

Abaratar the Entomologist

Like an abaratar: if you take they wings off a butterfly and let i cral around it looks kinda like a little dinosoure\

He’s a Lover, Not a Fighter

Like an abaratar: bought a bottle of that new heated ky and a rose last week, didn't have the nerve to bring out the heeted lube its still in the rapper

Like an abaratar: true its not lying if your trying to get sex

Like an abaratar: explain this this, you get denied sex to wake up to her toughing her self, that one blows my mind

Like an abaratar: blame thursday night I got drunk started thinking about you, and signed up for aol

Like an abaratar: chics with low self asteem are easy to get in bed

Where is Plato When You Need Him?

Like an abaratar: is it a threesome if the cat is watching

Like an abaratar: I am home alone, thinking about having a jack and coke, but its 5 am , but I;ve been up all night so its really not morning , is it?

The Armchair Anthropologist

Like an abaratar: I would think that if some one peed on you it would meen they didn't like you, but what do I know

Like an abaratar: on tv today i saw chimpanzees that were tought to reed and right, and you that it sucked talking to indeans when you had problems with your aol service

Like an abaratar: ugly people have to mary ugly people and make ugly people and they are almost always poor

I Don’t Even Want To Ask About My Bike

Like an abaratar: how often do you see sexy people on a bus, but airports are full of sexy people

Sunday School with Abaratar

Like an abaratar: one got tossed for posting a link to in the muslim room and asking if it was a ligitiment muslim sight

Like an abaratar: and it couldn't be the christian right saying drive an SUV go to hell, born againers pop out almost as many babies as beeners, its either an suv or a bus to get the famalies back and forth to church

Like an abaratar: I was rraised baptist but, like to drink, and church is a strange place for a single guy

Take my Abaratar…Please!

Like an abaratar: Was at a bar with my dad bar ender asks "what would you like" dad says "a little pussy" bartender says " me too mines as big as a cows"

Like an abaratar: an old man sits down to breakfast his wife asks "why is there a suppository in your ear" he says " I think I know where my hearing aid is"

Like an abaratar: I have a wallett made out of the fourskinns of circumsized babies, its awsome, if you rub it it turns into a briefcase

Abaratar is From Mars, Women are from Venus

Like an abaratar: when I was in La I saw a big black cajin chic damn neer rape a little white man at a bar nobody tried to help him

Like an abaratar: dumb you are surronded by some pretty orrigional minds, even some of the girls in here are smart

Like an abaratar: talk to people kie you are trying to sleep with them, if they willsleep with you they will by fromyou

Like an abaratar: cock block- when the hot chicks fat friend rescuese her form you at a bar by not going away

The Gay Gourmand

Like an abaratar: crussonts are gay food (they are not gay whin stuff full of sausage and cheese though)

Like an abaratar: is the felet minyon a gay stake?

He Really Likes Dip

Like an abaratar: I learned that if you double dip in the dip you get all the dip to your self

Abaratar for Surgeon General!

Like an abaratar: if there is nothing worng with you they will make something wrong with you and they don't want to fix you because then you won't come back

Chat at Your Own Risk

Like an abaratar: now that makes sence, now I will IM famaly (I don't want them exosed to this place)

They Call Him “Kickstand”

Like an abaratar: actill I am happy befor I wake up
Like an abaratar: but it keeps me from rolling off the bed

My Sword is Loaded

Like an abaratar: does anyone know that peom about the two guys that stood back to back and pulled out there swords and shot each other

Can We Meet Halfway at Kahlua?

Like an abaratar: I hung in coffee bars with the pail types all nate as a youngster before I was old ennough for real bars, the people still pail and in coffee bars after 21 are just weird

No Wonder They’re So Good at Poker

Like an abaratar: nell, a horse has a better momory then a dog, it can remember a trail and were to turn many years after it has been there, but a dog has better problem solving skills

We Close With Some Advice That May Save Your Life

Like an abaratar: but when your girl frind ask why you go into chat rooms never say "for intelligent conversation)

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Emperor Has No Parachute Pants

Inspired by one of the seventeen posts Dr. Zibbs made during his lunch break today. The one about The Breakfast Club.

Some Pop Culture Sacred Cows From My Youth That Sucked Then, Suck Now And Will Suck For All Time

The Breakfast Club


Fruit Roll-Ups

The Goonies

Farrah Fawcett

Star Blazers

The Electric Slide

H.R. Pufnstuf

Kix (the cereal AND the band)

Real Genius

Not taking our clothes off to have a good time

Midnight Oil

Lynn Swann

Jolt Cola


Cheech & Chong

The Lost Boys

Marcia Brady haircuts

Z. Cavaricci

Cool Ranch Doritos

Bucky Dent

Bob Geldof the musician (not Bob Geldof the humanitarian)

Janet Jackson

Lloyd Dobler

The A-Team

Nerds (the candy, not the social outcasts)

Discuss. A point to anyone (besides Beckeye) who can pick out which one Beckeye will disembowel me for.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Modest Rant

You’re at a party, and someone says, “Hey, did you see Top Chef last night? Can you believe that Hosea and Leah actually made out after swearing they were just friends?” Now look around. You know that guy in the group that crinkles his nose like he smelled something foul and says “Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t watch TV” in the same tone you'd tell people that you would never serve Hot Pockets to your wedding guests? That guy is a bookist. And I can’t stand him.

Bookist n. 1. One who dogmatically assumes the superiority of the book over other forms of communication or entertainment.

That’s right, you just saw a term being coined. You can say you were there when.

This guy and his ilk are also known to say the following:

“I’m sorry, I only watch PBS and C-SPAN.”
Ed. Note: This one is a dead giveaway. Nobody watches C-SPAN.

“No, I didn’t see that. I rarely go to the movies anymore, too much Hollywood crap.”

“That movie was terrible. The book was so much better.”

That last one is the one that burns me. Bookists use reductive logic, starting with the given that they are smarter than you because they think books are better than movies. Besides, they don’t even count Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution or Sports Illustrated as books! What kind of bullshit is that? They do not accept the very basic idea that filmed entertainment and books have drastically different dramatic requirements. Movies are two hours long, and yes, parts of the book have to be condensed or eliminated. Take out your favorite novel, Fauntleroy, and read for two hours. How far do you get? Not very fucking far. Frankly, many times the story improves when a lot of extraneous crap is excised. Books and movies are separate works that should be judged on their own merits. Either medium can produce genius or trash, so don't act like Moses brought Confessions of a Shopaholic down from Mount Sinai on stone tablets because it's a book. You know who I blame? Educators. Teachers are the ones that taught us that books are good and TV is bad. And they want raises?

So why are bookists wrong?

One reason is that the golden age of English literature was the 19th century. One key characteristic of the 19th century is that there was NO TELEVISION. Books were the popular medium of the day (except for street theater, which sucked just as much then as it does now), so all the happening creative types wrote books. Is it outlandish to suggest that if Charles Dickens lived today, Great Expectations would be an HBO miniseries? Hell no. And that would just leave your average bookist in the fetal position crying for mommy.

The other reason is that the mass media are the only thing left giving us a shred of connection to our fellow man. Anyone of a certain age remembers watching the moon landing. The Kennedy assassination. Hosea and Leah hooking up on Top Chef. It’s a sad thing, folks! Network TV = Community. Nobody stands around the water cooler talking about the Utne Reader.

I don’t think I’m any smarter than these people (as far as you know.) But don’t be a hater. Especially since I know…deep down…in my gut…you sit home on the odd Saturday night with orange Cheeto dust on your fingers, watching some guy in an undershirt get dragged out of his trailer and whaled on. And Cops ain’t on PBS. Yet.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I've been in exactly three fistfights in my life, and all of them happened between the ages of 12 and 15. I've never been the type of guy that incites people to want to punch me in the face. First of all, I usually keep my thoughts to myself. Secondly, I tend to make people mad by saying their favorite movie or band sucks, not by calling their mother a whore. The kind of people you usually get into arguments with over movies or music are rarely the same people that brandish broken Miller Lite bottles. They wear far too many cardigan sweaters for that sort of thing, and would likely be afraid that a fistfight would result in a broken iPhone.

All this changed yesterday when I had my first physical disagreement (I wouldn't elevate it to the level of a "fight") in...well, some years. I had the misfortune of attending the NFC Championship Game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Arizona Cardinals, with the winner advancing to the Super Bowl. As an Eagles fan in the Cardinals' stadium, it was already a dicey situation. But then the Cardinals actually won. If you are a sports fan, you know how utterly ridiculous this sounds. If you are not a sports fan, it would probably help to point out that a Cardinals appearance in the Super Bowl is mentioned in the Book of Revelation right after the part about the sun turning black as sackcloth and the moon turning red as blood. They've been so bad and so ignored by their "fans" for so long that I'm pretty certain part of the ensuing celebration was fueled by a realization that in fact Arizona had a professional football team.

My friend Jason and I were exiting the stadium and walking somberly back to the parking lot in stunned silence. The promenade outside the stadium was jammed with happy Cardinals fans and despondent Eagles fans, with a few mounted policemen around to keep the peace. Suddenly I heard a drunken yell of "Eagles suck!" as I was jumped by one of the few guys present who was bigger than me. He bear hugged me and attempted to tackle me. I threw him off me and charged him, shoving him back, whereupon he invited me to engage in sexual congress with myself. I was suggesting that he do the same when another Cardinals fan nearby decided that this looked like a fun time and got up into my face with similar language. At this point, with apologies to Dustin Hoffman, I think I actually said "I'm just walkin' here!" I was still astonished that somebody would jump me when all I was doing was minding my own business, walking with my head down. Especially when his team won. The first guy charged me again but was held back by someone, and then three other guys were headed my way but were blocked by the police. They must have either assumed I was the troublemaker or just didn't care because I was wearing the wrong color jersey. And I'm sure they knew no one would take note. Rude fan behavior is only reported and decried when someone from Philadelphia does it.

What really scared me about this episode was my own reaction. I went from placidly depressed to pistol-whipping homicidal in about 0.2 seconds. I know what temporary insanity is now, because I became so enraged so fast that I absolutely would have stomped that guy's neck given the chance. In that moment I was filled with righteous rage and completely capable of an atrocious act. I just felt so wronged that in my mind nothing I could do that that guy would be considered indefensible. I had not been a boorish fan. I had conducted myself with class and congratulated the Cardinals fans seated in my section. I just wanted to walk back to the car and be left alone with my pain. I had done the right thing. And then this guy had to set me off. I'm not sure if this makes me unique or if we all have this inside us. If we retain some vestige of the past that probably served an excellent purpose when we were beset by saber-toothed tigers and velociraptors and that dickhead Grog in the cave next door, but is more of a liability in today's world.

In the end, I guess I learned two things. We really are just big dumb animals. And when you're in the other team's stadium, keep your head on a swivel.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Ballad of Big Daddy

Every now and then you run into a blowhard who emphasizes the importance of a concept by saying something like, "You know, the Greeks have 26 words for buggery but none for deodorant." Well, the nickname "Big Daddy" is the inverse English equivalent. It's one name that has 26 meanings. First up is the obvious one - you might be fat. Go check. I’ll wait. Not fat? Okay, the next possibility is that you're being flirted with. Of course, for women, flirting comes in two flavors: A, flirting with intent; or B, sadism - the woman is hot and enjoys making boys cry. If you are a man, please keep in mind that Type A flirting and Type B flirting are indistinguishable. This is because most women do not decide which type they are practicing until well into the flirting - or in extreme cases, until after you have had breakfast together the next morning. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not state one more reason that you might be called Big Daddy. You may have a freakishly large penis. However, if you find that your penis is being praised for its unusual size, then I daresay the question of why you were called Big Daddy is rather unimportant.

It happened one Christmas season while I was picking up some extra money at Macy’s selling dishes, cookware and George Foreman grills to shrill women with too much jewelry. Suddenly, three attractive single (yes, I looked) women in their early thirties were looking for dishes. My first assumption was that they were given grievously wrong directions to the Donna Karan racks. But in fact, they asked me to help them find a dish pattern that was on display. Their leader was a striking 6-foot Amazon with tons of curly auburn hair who sort of looked like Julia Roberts' evil twin. She was flanked by two other women who were almost but not quite as pretty as she. They looked like nothing so much as Pips to the Amazon's Gladys Knight. One was short with a chestnut pixie haircut, and one had shoulder length blond hair and the power to turn water into ice by staring at it. Despite much crawling around on the ground by all four of us, the dishes were not to be found. I graciously offered to look in the stockroom, and left them.

When I returned with the dishes, I heard it off in the distance. "Can I help you ladies find anything?" "No thanks, Big Daddy over there is helping us find some dishes." Now, my immediate assumption was that they were calling me fat, as alluded to above. In fact, at a Chinese restaurant that afternoon, my fortune had said "You will travel far and wide", and I took it to mean that I would soon need larger pants. But I digress. I brought the dishes over to ring them up, and Gladys said "Thanks for looking, Big Daddy!" I'm sure I mumbled something singularly stupid, and then I ran the credit card through. The card was of course declined, because there was nothing on TV in heaven, and God wanted this uncomfortable encounter to last as long as possible. Then the Pip with the pixie hair pulled out some cash, and as a testament to Gladys' force of personality, it was only at this point that I realized she was not the one buying the dishes. These lucky women then got to watch me learn how to do a transaction that involves paying partially with a credit card and partially with cash. It is a poorly kept secret that women swoon at the sight of a man that not only needs to wear a name tag at work, but also has not yet mastered his duties.

It was about this time that one of the shrill women described earlier approached me at the register with a question. I answered it, only to be chastised by Gladys. She told me that while I was waiting on them, I was not allowed to talk to other women. "You have three lovely women right here, Big Daddy, why do you need to talk to any others?" Her logic at once made perfect sense, and yet upon further review proved ridiculous. I'm sure that there are men who at this point would say something with playful wit and aplomb. I discovered to my dismay that none of these men are me. I believe I emitted a sound that can best be described as a nervous chuckle that morphed into a cough.

The transaction mercifully ended, I thanked Gladys and the Pips and handed them their bag. "Good night, Big Daddy!" they giggled as they made their exit with waves and smiles. It would seem that I should feel like half a man after an encounter such as this. After all, I had just been mocked and debased thoroughly by three women who are clearly several rungs above me on the attractiveness ladder. And by this point it was obvious that these women fell under the 'sadist' category described above. But despite my trouble with women, I have a pretty strong sense of self-esteem. And you know what? I just refuse to feel belittled by women that buy cat-themed pink, green and yellow dishes that look like paper plates for a five-year-old child's birthday party.

Still…I knew that it was a terrible idea to wear that white dress shirt without a jacket.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

We Should Have Listened To Icarus

"Ah, for the days when aviation was a gentleman's pursuit - before every Joe Sweatsock could wedge himself behind a lunch tray and jet off to Raleigh-Durham."

- Sideshow Bob

I am completely incapable of traveling by air without complication. In the past I have been bumped off my flight numerous times. I have traveled on a different aircraft than my luggage on more than one occasion. I have been taken off a plane and bussed to another airport to fly out 11 hours later. It just never goes smoothly for me.

I traveled home to Philadelphia for Christmas on December 22nd with a layover in Dallas-Fort Worth. The flight actually started normally and I arrived at DFW with no problems whatsoever. I had arranged to meet an internet friend who lives in the Dallas area since my layover was three hours long. It went well and she was as spectacular as I had hoped. Surely I should have known that everything was going a little too well. But I did not.

I made it back through security and to my gate with moments to spare. As luck would have it, I was seated next to a strikingly pretty woman who was also traveling from Los Angeles to Philadelphia for the holidays. Amazingly, she had moved across the country to LA only two months after I had back in 1997. I have frequently lamented that I have never been seated next to an English-speaking woman of any age or attractiveness level before, let alone one that shared ice-breaking coincidences with me. I am usually seated next to a trucker-hatted beefy ex-linebacker whose amorphous body swallows the shared armrest or a douchebag workaholic who tries to concentrate on his laptop and assorted paperwork from the middle seat. I have had the good fortune to be seated next to a small child once, and aside from a beautiful woman a child is the absolute best seat partner. They don't try to talk to you, and the armrest is yours for the taking.

We were still waiting to taxi away from the gate while I struck up a nice conversation with my fellow Philly-to-LA transplant. I slowly noticed that my throat was feeling dry and the air was almost imperceptibly hazy. I asked, "Is it just me or is it getting cloudy in here?" as the man across the aisle was saying the same thing to his wife. Within a minute or two, the air in the cabin was filled with a talcum-powder like substance to the point that you could see the beams from the overhead reading lights. The pilot announced that the powder was coming from the plane's air conditioning unit and that they would turn the A/C off to see if the air cleared. After about 10 minutes this move proved futile. That's when we heard the announcement that every air traveler dreads. "Sorry folks, but for now we're going to have to ask everyone to deplane until we can figure this out."

As we trudged back into the terminal, I was certain that I'd be sleeping in the airport. We've all heard stories of passengers kept on planes for eight hours or more, and I figured if they were taking us off the plane they must anticipate a really long delay. The part that bothered me most was that I was stuck in the airport and had I known beforehand, I could have spent a lot more than 90 minutes with Dallas Girl and in a much nicer place than baggage claim. The gate agent told us that it would be at least an hour until we knew anything, so everyone headed to the bar to watch Monday Night Football. After some bad Mexican and good beer, we were herded onto a new plane and left only two hours late. Luckily, DFW is American Airlines' hub and there was a spare plane laying around. I continued my chat with my pretty seatmate, although not without difficulty. My ears were completely plugged up as they normally are when I have a cold, and not only could I not hear very well, but I was unable to judge the volume of my speaking voice. Predictably, the conversation was peppered with "Huh?"s and "What?"s on both sides. I'm certain that right now she is blogging about the very trying Christmas flight where she had the misfortune to be seated next to a deaf-mute.

My trip back to Los Angeles was no less eventful. After another painless first leg back to DFW, I was bumped from my connecting flight. In keeping with the airline's policy of overselling flights, this flight was oversold. Eight of us got bumped. I was placed on a short flight to Austin two hours later, after which I would fly from Austin to Los Angeles, getting in four hours later than originally planned. It was New Year's Eve, which caused much grumbling among the inconvenienced. Luckily I hadn't made any New Year's Eve plans, knowing that I'd just want to go home and relax after traveling all day. I wasn't that upset. I thought a four hour delay and an extra connection was worth the $300 voucher they gave me.

The short flight to Austin was uneventful and I was soon waiting in the terminal to board my final flight of the day. Suddenly, I froze with fear as I was paged by the gate agent. "Will passenger WWW please check in at the counter." Great. The perfect end to this trip would be to be bumped off a second consecutive flight. I wondered where they would send me this time, hoping for Las Vegas. "At least this will make a funny blog entry", I thought. I shuffled up to the counter like a dead man walking and announced myself. The gate agent slid a boarding pass across the counter and said, "This is on us. Happy New Year." I was shocked to look down and find none other than a first class ticket waiting for me.

I don't know why they did it. Maybe it was because I'd been bumped and there were empty seats in first class. Maybe it was because I'm a Super Awesome Grand Poobah Hot Shit member of their mileage program. Maybe someone was just being nice at the holidays. But whatever the reason, it made me want to kiss Todd the gate agent on the lips. I'd never flown first class, and it was always a frivolous life goal. It was everything I thought it would be and more. A dude hung up my sportcoat, they fed me actual food, they got me tipsy, and the generous seat was a fat guy's dream. It was almost too much - I spent the entire time waiting for someone to discover that my bank account was smaller than the flight attendant's and that I was a fraud. I will also confess that when they came around and passed out hot moist towels, I had to spy on the other passengers to learn what the hell I was supposed to do with it. Apparently it's so you can clean your hands before dinner. Who knew? If I were left to my own device, I would have wiped my face with it. This is why they don't normally let people like me in first class.


I had very little time online over the holidays, so I am well behind on reading and commenting other blogs. Rest assured I still love each and every one of you (yes, even you) and that I will now be back to normal. I hope you all had a happy holiday of your choice, even if it was just a couple of days off from work. Please enjoy looking at but not eating this plate of homemade Christmas cookies that could have been yours if you had just pretended to like me more: