Monday, October 31, 2011

This IS my costume

I'm a big guy. There's no way around that. That's just the way it is. I generally don't complain but sometimes it makes things difficult. One of those things being Halloween.
If you look for "big & tall" stuff at a costume store, options are pretty limited.
That's about it.
If you try to put a costume together yourself, you put yourself at risk for considerable ridicule, especially if you want to go as any kind of recognizable pop culture icon.
Elvis? You're fat Elvis.
Indiana Jones? You're fat Indiana Jones.
Darth Vader? You're the guy who ate Darth Vader.
Batman? Go ahead and make the obvious punchline yourself.

The point is, I find it best to abandon the whole pop culture scene and look to areas more philisophical and existential for inspiration. Personally relevant and easy to do are factors also. As a result, THIS is my Halloween costume this year...
Get it?

Friday, October 28, 2011

I feel pretty

This is a photo I took of my reflection in what's left of a mirror inside of a portable toilet.
What I thought was notable about this, and worthy of documentation in pictures and words, isn't that the mirror inside of a portable toilet is all jacked's that there's a mirror inside of a portable toilet. Because there are certain very specific circumstances under which you will ever find yourself in a portable toilet. Those being that, obviously, you're involved in some sort of outdoor activity (like attending a music festival or you're working on a construction site) and you're not drunk enough far too civilized to just do your business in a plot of weeds or behind a tree. Regardless, primping is not really something you're concerned about. You probably don't think you need to check your mascara before rejoining the mosh pit and/or cement mixing action. And yet, the manufacturers of portable toilets want you to look your absolute best after you finish peeing and pooping into their fetid tubs of toxic chemicals.
I think that's nice. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Anon and on

The undergorund collective of "hacktivists" known as Anonymous has set their sites on those who distribute and peruse child pornography on the internet. You can read more about that here and/or also watch their video message embedded below.

For what it's worth, I find the things that Anonymous does entertaining. It doesn't hurt that I find many of their targets (Scientology, the Westboro Baptist Church and yes, child pornography) as reprehensible as they do. So there has been more than one occassion when I've read about how their antics have created havoc for their foes and I've pumped my fist and cheered in support. Hell yes, go get 'em, Anonymous!

Still, there's part of me that kind of feels like mere mortals of Metropolis probably do when they wonder, "what if Superman got bored?". In other words, what if Anonymous does what they do as much to entertain themselves as they do out of a sense of righteous indignation and in the spirit of fighting for truth, justice and the Internet way? It's not that I doubt their sincerity at face value, but cheering for Anonymous sometimes feels a little like cheering for Hannibal Lecter: sure, their victims have it coming, but who's to say that I don't have it coming?

That said, I'd just like to tell any members of Anonymous who might happen to stumble across this site - I'm a fan of your work; please don't shut down my humble repository of fart jokes. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Everybody hates The Piano Man

9:00 PM
On a Saturday.

"Hey, is Bill playing tonight?"
"Yeah, he is. He's great, isn't he?
"He sure is. He sure is. Woo! Piano man, you rock!"

La la la, di da da
La la, di di da da dum

"Yeah, that's the stuff. Pure gold!"
"He's got us feelin' all right!"

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free...

"Wait, what? Why does he get free drinks?"
"Bill, what are you doing? You're gonna get me fired!"

...But there's some place that he'd rather be
He says, "Bill, I believe this is killing me."
As his smile ran away from his face
"Well I'm sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place"

"A movie star? Haw haw!"
"Hey, George Clooney, quit giving away drinks. Otherwise, I can easily arrange for you to be some place else, movie star."
"Damn it, Bill, I told you that in confidence..."

Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife...

"Umm, I thought everybody knew Paul was gay."

...And he's talkin' with Davy, who's still in the Navy
And probably will be for life

"Holy shit, Davy is gay! I knew it! I told you guys! I knew it! I knew it!"
"Huh? No, I'm not!"
"Are you ashamed of me, Davy?"
"Shut up, Paul. This is not the time or place for this."

And the waitress is practicing politics
As the businessman slowly gets stoned
Yes, they're sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it's better than drinkin' alone

"Christ, this is a downer."
"Geez, no kidding. This sucks. You guys want to go to Chili's?"
"Where are you guys going? We got two-for-one! Two dollars off all appetizers! Come on!"
"Screw this. We're outta here."

It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday
And the manager gives me a smile
'Cause he knows that it's me they've been comin' to see
To forget about their life for a while...

"Oh, get bent, piano man."

Friday, October 21, 2011


This is a picture I took where I work, at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Last night, on this surface, a professional ice hockey game was played, right here in Tampa, Florida. The hard-working people you see in this photo will have spent the night covering that surface with plastic grass so that women in their underwear can play football on it tonight.
When real life is filled with circumstances this bizarre, who needs drugs? 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What are we looking at here?

This is Marine Corps Sgt. Shamar Thomas, verbally confronting New York City police officers and questioning their purpose and sense of honor in dealing with the Occupy Wall Street situation...

Are we witnessing the birth of a post-modern folk hero or just the latest viral video sensation? Personally, I don't know what to make of this. It's five and a half minutes of video. I don't know what happened before the cameras started rolling, I don't know anything about Sgt. Thomas's background, I don't even think I have a real good grasp on what the Occupiers are trying to accomplish. At any rate, I certainly don't have enough info to form an opinion on what, if anything, this means. Would a young Bob Dylan have written a song about Sgt. Thomas or is he going to end up yet another YouTube punchline? Are these "Occupations" truly organic expressions of unrest and discord, signalling a return to activism and social change or is it a bunch of misguided and disorganized would-be hippies nostalgiac for a lost childhood that occurred 20 years or more before they were even born? Or is the truth somewhere in the middle, like it usually is? Is there even such a thing as "middle" anymore? I guess we'll find out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A short conversation about kidding around with your buddy

"Hey, you know how we're always joking around, insulting each other, calling each other names?"

"Ha ha! Yeah, you fag. What about it?"

"Well, I just wanted you to know that I actually am gay."


"It's no big deal. You're my friend and I know you never say it with malice. I just thought you should know."

"Wow. I had no idea. Should I..should I apologize?"

"No, I'm not mad. I was just letting you know for the sake of context going forward. I figured that it was better for me to say something to you than have you find out and maybe feel awkward about it. That's totally unnecessary, because as I said, it's really no big deal. Honestly."

"I kind of...I don't know. This I don't know what to do now."

"Well, for starters, try not to be such a fag about it."

Friday, October 14, 2011

This is glue. Strong stuff.

In case you've been reading this for a while and haven't figured it out yet, I am what is commonly referred to as "a stupid person." If you're thinking, "Oh, he's so humble; I just love his self-deprecating sense of humor and how it makes me want to make out with him!", let me assure you that I'm not kidding, unless you're serious about the making out, in which case, I might be. If you're not thinking that and need an illustration as proof of what I'm saying, I'll just offer this...

The other day, I noticed my shoe was falling apart. The way I "noticed" this was after the third or fourth time I nearly fell flat on my face after tripping over something hanging off the bottom of it (this isn't necessarily the part where you can go ahead and conclude how stupid I am, but if you're in a hurry, it'll do). Eventually deciding that this situation was untenable, I sat down and took a look at what was going on. A big chunk of the sole had torn and was nearly three quarters off, flopping around dangerously every time I took a step. It's either a miracle or a testament to my inherent grace and athletic ability that I didn't face-plant several times...probably a miracle.
On the way home, I stopped at Wal Mart to get something for dinner and some super-strength adhesive to fix the shoe. People like to criticize Wal Mart, but seriously, where else can you stop and resolve two disparate issues like that at the same time? I found some stuff that came in an aluminum tube, labeled "Bonding Agent". It cost $7, more than other glue-like substances with far less serious sounding names (like "glue) and roughly half the price of a brand new pair of shoes (I never said they were nice shoes), and I was in business.
The back of the package was covered in teeny-tiny instructions, but I couldn't think of one good reason why I would need to put in a half hour of reading before operating glue. So I sat down on my bed, popped it open and smeared some between the sole and whatever you would call the part between that and what your foot goes into. I pressed the parts together and held them firmly and then put the shoe down. That's when I realized I had bonding agent (not mere glue) on my two fingers and they were stuck together. My mind went off at 100 mph in at least as many directions. Oh no. My fingers would be stuck together forever. I started to reach for a towel and realized my fingers would be stuck together and to a towel forever. I went to put my hand on the dresser and immediately visualized my hand, bonded!...permanently to the biggest piece of furniture I own. My body wouldn't be found for months (because honestly, who would even notice I was missing for at least that long?) and when they broke down the door, they'd find a skeleton with his bony hand glued to a dresser. It would be labeled "weirdest suicide ever" because there's no way a medical examiner would imagine anybody dumb enough to die that way otherwise. Yep, too stupid to even earn the description of "accidental death". That's when my survival instinct kicked in. Maybe I could get out of it by gnawing away at the dresser. Maybe over the course of several days I could chew off the chunk my hand was glued to and go to a hospital. Maybe, if it came down to it, I could actually chew off my own fingers. People have done worse to survive calamity like this, right? Oh god, I bet they'll taste terrible. When was the last time I washed my hands? I don't even remember! Not to mention it's going to hurt like a bitch. Maybe when it's all said and done, I can make a couple bucks off of being a motivational speaker, bravely telling others about my harrowing ordeal and how they can apply my story to their efforts to sell more car insurance. "Yeah", I thought, "I'm sure there's a huge market for people teaching life lessons by surviving their own stupid mishaps". Way to compound a stupid occurrence with an even stupider fantasy about the resolution and aftermath. As I sat there, becoming more and more panicked (I hadn't touched the dresser or anything else yet, but it was just a matter of time), one last desperate idea entered the raisin-sized brain-like thing rolling aimlessly around the inside of my cavernous skull: maybe, just maybe, I could stand up without touching anything, go in the bathroom and try to wash my hands.
Which is what I did. 
And the "bonding agent" rinsed right off.
It didn't work on the shoe either.
And I didn't get my money back from Wal Mart because I lost the receipt.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Budget-Conscious Tourist's Tale

The movie "A Dolphin's Tale" has been in theatres now for three weeks, last week grossing over $9 million in ticket sales, proving once again that people love dolphins! Whether they're the subject of a family film or playing the game of football really badly, folks just can't get enough of the shiny, bottle-nosed fish-mammals. It's no surprise that one of the most popular tourist attractions popping up at vacation spots are dolphin encounters, your chance to actually swim with the lovable scamps of the sea. These places use this kind of verbiage in their ads...
"Imagine an exchange of looks; a gaze full of liberty and love. That is the beginning of an unforgettable experience in Puerto Aventuras beside marine friends, the dolphins. During the Dolphin Encounter ® program, you and your family will have the opportunity to receive all the affection of these tender and playful animals that always seem to smile.Imagine an exchange of looks; a gaze full of liberty and love. That is the beginning of an unforgettable experience in Puerto Aventuras beside marine friends, the dolphins. During the Dolphin Encounter ® program, you and your family will have the opportunity to receive all the affection of these tender and playful animals that always seem to smile. In this swim with dolphins program your kids will be able to enjoy safe and fun activities that Dolphin Discovery Puerto Aventuras has specially designed for all ages. Doesn’t matter if you are 1 or 80 years...Your new friend will give you unlimited love, he will give you a Handshake, he will Sing and Hug, you will be able to pet him and swim in a place that he and his other dolphin friends call “home”: the Mexican Caribbean."

Hmmm, seem familiar?
Sounds pretty great, right? Well, even if you get past the fact that in spite of some marketing department's efforts to convince you that dolphins are just hanging around and learning tricks so you'll come and rescue them from being lonely and that they aren't wild animals, you're looking at a cost of anywhere from $90 to $200 each for a half hour of encounter time. Ouch! (that's the noise you'll make when you see your credit card statement...and also if you're violated by a 12" prehensile dolphin penis).
That's why I'm introducing (just in time for the winter tourist season here in Florida)...
Clark Brooks' Dog Encounter!

Imagine an exchange of looks; a gaze that says, "Hey, you got anything to eat? No? That's cool. But maybe later, we can get something to eat? Think about it; because I will be". That is the beginning of an unforgettable experience in Tampa, Florida, where you'll re-connect with Man's Best Friend, the dogs. During the Dog Encounter ® program, you and your family will have the opportunity to receive all the affection of these tender and playful animals that always seem hungry. In this swim with dogs program your kids will be able to enjoy safe and fun activities that Clark Brooks's Dog Encounter ® has specially designed for all ages. Doesn’t matter if you are 1 or 80 years...Your new friend will chase a tennis ball, he will give you a Handshake, he will chase a tennis ball, he will chase a tennis ball, you will be able to pet him and swim in a place that he and his other dog friends call “the causeway on the way to Clearwater, because Tampa actually doesn't have any beaches and all the 'nice' beaches generally don't allow dogs anyway”: the Courtney Campbell Causeway (connecting Tampa and Clearwater, because the dogs are right), between the Chevy van with some dude sleeping in it and a pile of broken beer bottles. All this for a mere fraction of what a session with dolphins would cost. Say, I don't know, $5? We'll work it out.
NOTE: Please allow at least two hours notice before booking your encounter, so I can round up some tennis balls. And a dog.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why this generation of Americans sucks

The other day, I was at the local K-Mart. On the way out, I glanced at the coin-op vending machines near the exit doors and saw this...
Tabletop footballs? Pre-made and for sale in a machine? Cripes.
There are so, so many things wrong here, so many things symptomatic of what is wrong with us as a society.
Let's start with the fact that tabletop football, like the wildly popular sport of NASCAR, has roots in illegal activity. The original stock car racers were bootleggers, running moonshine and trying not to get caught by the law. The original tabletop football players were juvenile delinquents, goofing off during class and trying not to get caught by teachers. I suspect in the case of tabletop football, that's still probably the case. Nobody ever played it at home. Why would you? In my day (I'm very elderly, as clearly evidenced by the phrasing at the beginning of this sentence), if you were at home and wanted to play football, you went outside and played football.
    Or maybe this.
Now, I'm sure kids that want to play football at home fire up their Xbox or whatever home video gaming system is currently popular (again, I am very, very elderly). Either way, kids don't play tabletop football at home any more than criminals spend all day lifting weights when they get out of prison.

"I'd rather be raping"
That's because tabletop football was/is something to do when you're not interested in participating in what you're supposed to be doing. My point: Why is the NFL encouraging delinquent behavior? Tabletop football in social studies class today, boosting stereo equipment to feed a meth habit tomorrow. Thank you, corporate sponsorship!
Secondly, a store-bought tabletop football, with or without an NFL team's logo embossed on it, is equal parts pathetic and ostentatious. Have we just accepted the notion that kids in other countries are so fundamentally superior to ours that we've just given up? Forget math, spelling and science; American kids are so stupid that we don't think they're capable of figuring out how to fold a piece of paper into the shape of a triangle. Screw it, we're Americans! Even our poor people still have enough money to spend some on stupid shit. We'll just go to the store and buy one...which was probably made in one of the countries where the kids kick our asses.
Third, there's the unnecessary, gratuitous use of profanity to promote the sale of these things.

Oh, wait. It says "FLICK it", not...never mind. Hmm, I wonder if there's one with a Buccaneers logo in there?

Friday, October 07, 2011

You can't make this stuff up...well, you CAN, but you shouldn't

The other night on the way home, I stopped at a 7-Eleven to get some gas. I also needed to put fuel in my car but the main reason I went there is because I wanted a 7-Eleven Big Bite hot dog. I went up to the counter and informed the clerk that I wanted one...  "Do you want it on a (unintelligible; might have been "rat", "raft", "wrap" or something else)?"
"On a (same thing; seriously, I have no idea)"
"It's what I call a bun."
"Oh. Yeah. Yeah, I want it on a bun."

  • First of all, of course I want it on a bun. Why would I not want it on a bun? It's a hot dog. How else would I want it, stir-fried and served over noodles? Am I supposed to believe that people walk into convenience stores, ask for a hot dog but say, "hold the bun, just hand it over" and then walk down the street munching away on it like a candy bar? Okay, I can believe that probably does happen. But not often enough for it to be something the clerk needs to ask about.
  • Secondly, what the hell are you talking about? Did you say "rat"? Because that's what it most sounded like. Where and why did you come up with that? If it's because of an incident that happened in this store, I don't want to know...yes, I still want the hot dog though. Don't judge me,
  • Third, who are you, that you think you can just invent brand-new slang terms for things that have existed for centuries?
  • Three A, how do you expect anyone else to be familiar with a slang term that you invented and that only you use? Can I pay for it in farts? Oh, "farts" are what I call "money" and I'm the only person in the world who does this. As a result, many servers in restaurants insist that I not tip them.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

As might be seen on TV

The other day, I heard through an indirect source that a friend of mine had appeared in a local television commercial. Of course, I got very excited and contacted my friend right away. This is what happened next:

"You're in a commercial?"
"Yes! Wow, did you see it?"
"No. I read about it on Facebook."
"That figures."
"Is it a lawyer commercial? Do you have lines in it? Should I be in the next one?"
"No, it has nothing to do with lawyers. No, I don't have any lines in it. No, there isn't going to be a next one. I did it for a client of mine who..."
"Mmm-hmm, mm-hmm. So what you're saying is yes, I should have a speaking part in the next lawyer commercial. Let me think about it; okay, sure, I'll do it."
"Hi! Clark Brooks here for the law company!"
" you think it has anything whatsoever to do with lawyers? Because it doesn't. At all."
"Do you need some laws to sue somebody? Do you want some so you don't get sued? Do you like pizza? Of course you do! Everybody likes pizza and is suing somebody!"
"I kind of wish you had seen the commercial because it doesn't have anything to do with pizza either..."
"I will, of course, be dressed as a pizza chef, twirling some pizza dough in front of a brick oven. I feel like that's a really strong visual that will resonate with the criminals and low-lifes you're trying to reach."
"Hi! Clark Brooks here. Do you make bad decisions that hurt innocent people? Would you rather hire a lawyer than stop doing that? Come on down to the law company or whatever and we'll talk about it over a slice of pizza!"
"That's...really something."
"Then I'll mumble something really fast about how the spokesman is not an actual lawyer nor a pizza chef and certainly has no intention of sitting down to talk with low-lifes about their criminal activities. Like a disclaimer."
"Of course. I can't wait to propose it to my client who isn't a lawyer and is not making another commercial. I'm sure it will be a hit."

So we all have that to look forward to. 

Monday, October 03, 2011

Get back or get a head

If you watched ABC's 'Good Morning America' last week you might have learned about the latest hot trend in plastic surgery, what's being called "The Pippa Butt Lift". Inspired by Pippa Middleton, Kate's sister, and how smokin' hot she looked at this summer's Royal Wedding (a brief aside: DAYUM!!), it's basically a procedure that involves liposucking fat out of your body where there's too much of it and re-injecting it into another part of your body that needs a little help. In this case, into your pancake-flat white girl booty. Well, there's more to it than that, but that's the short version.
This is, of course, excellent. Finally, science has done something worthwhile! It's a form of recycling and who's to say that we shouldn't be able to re-zone our property and re-distribute the ASSets (see what I did there? Wordplay!) as we see fit?
I'm all for it! I've been thinking about it, and I think what I'd like is some fat sucked out of my butt. Not so much that it loses it's shapely charm but enough to create a second, somewhat smaller novelty head which would then be grafted on to my back, between my shoulders, right behind my current head. This is officially the best idea for cosmetic improvement I've ever had, topping the one I had of having a more handsome person's face tattooed on my face and even the one I had of having my own face tattooed on my face, but slightly off center in the hope that The Blurry Look would eventually become popular. But a second head is infinitely more practical, just from a security standpoint alone. No more sneaking up on me! Granted, second head may not always care for the view, especially when attending a movie or concert or sporting event:
"Hey, what's going on up there? This sucks. I can't see a thing."
"Shut up, fat head. I'm guessing your view is about 100% better than it was a week ago when you were in my butt."
Of course, there would be no retort to that because every single word of that sentence would be true. And that's how I like my supplemental body parts; not running their mouths...even if they have one.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

A real friend

I learned something about true friendship tonight that I would like to share with you in the form of a quick story...
There are extensive renovations taking place where I work right now. We're talking about MAJOR construction, with entire portions of the building being completely torn down and re-built. To chronicle this, they've placed a time-lapse camera to capture the process and it runs around the clock. When it's all over they'll have a pretty cool sped-up video documenting how it all went from old to new.
It's startling how so many of my best ideas really aren't even good ones. I have ideas all the time, none of which address the various forms of suffering going on in the world at a given moment. Nope, these are ideas on a much, much smaller scale: things that amuse me. One of my latest has to do with the fact that I know where the time-lapse camera at work is. And my idea is to stand in front of it, as motionless as possible for about 20 minutes or so, so that when the renovation is complete and people watch the video, I pop up just long enough for people to say, "what...did I just see?". And the answer would be me, with a stupid smile on my face, saying "hello!". All I really need to pull it off would be a ladder and somebody keeping lookout. I brought this idea up to my friend and asked what she thought and her reply was, "I really think there is great potential for growth opportunities for you there in the future and I would like to see you in position to take advantage of them."

The moral of the story is, sometimes in life, you will have dreams and aspirations that need to be crushed and snuffed out before somebody...probably you...gets hurt. Not every balloon you blow up deserves to soar off into the wild blue yonder. Some balloons need to be punctured before they can get loose, spread out and breed. If you're fortunate, you have at least one friend who can deflate your bad balloons. If you're really fortunate, they'll do it by gently squeezing all the air out of it instead of just jamming a pin into it.