Monday, July 30, 2012

Oh Golly!

There are lots of good reasons that I'm not a parent, least of which is my life-long devotion to avoiding responsibility. Being a parent requires making good, tough decisions in an effort to help children develop into healthy, responsible and (reasonably) happy adults. That's a lot of added pressure when it's all I can do to keep myself upright most of the time. I'm sure I don't have what it takes to raise kids and I applaud those who do. Life is a minefield and it's just way too easy to screw things up, even for those with only the best intentions.
For example, let's say this is your daughter:

 She's a nice looking kid. Other people think so too. Someone suggests she could be a model. She thinks that would be fun too. You're thrilled that at her young age she's already demonstrating an interest in something that could be turned into a career. Sure, growing up to be a fashion model may not be the most realistic career goal but there are lots of different things to do in the fashion industry. And the last thing you want to do to a child is dampen their enthusiasm. So you take on the role of her agent and start looking for modelling jobs. You're very careful to steer clear of anything that is exploitative or inappropriate in any way whatsoever. As a result, you turn down lots of gigs, even though it's difficult to find any work at all, since it's so hyper-competitive. But that's okay. Better safe than sorry, right?
Then one day you find out about an audition. It's for a company that sells knitting patterns. They're looking to portray a family (mom, dad and a couple of kids) wearing matching sweaters and your daughter would be a perfect fit. Fantastic! What in that scenario could possibly be anything less than ideal?


(I stole this photo from The Kitsch Bitsch)

Friday, July 27, 2012

The answer to America's obesity epidemic has been in front of us the whole time!

Never before have so many Americans been so fixated on eating healthy. And yet, never before have so many Americans been overweight. What gives? How is this possible? I think I know.
Study this picture of a backyard get-together from America's Golden Age (aka, that period between black people being allowed to enjoy baseball and Nixon being elected president) for 15 seconds and if you don't guess the answer yourself, scroll down and I will tell you...

Did you figure it out?
Okay here it is...
Food used to look like shit!
Pre-poured beers, sitting there getting warm. A couple of tureens of mottled yellow goo. Pale red tomatoes, paler green...whatevers, palest people eating them. Hell, those brown globs sitting on giant pieces of iceberg lettuce might actually be actual pieces of shit! For that, people would dress up nicer for a backyard barbecue than people do now for an opera performance. 

Here, look at this. This is what food looks like today...

Everything you see here will kill you. But only because you want to eat everything here. All of it. Even the stupid green beans look delicious. There is nothing in that picture you wouldn't stick in your mouth. Now look back at the picture from when everyone was hot. Everything you see there will make you want to kill yourself. It's not even interesting looking. Nobody got fat because nobody wanted to eat any of it. And don't let the presence of a handful of under-ripe vegetables and the world's saddest plate of onions fool you. That stuff wasn't good for you. People back then cooked with butter and mayonnaise the way we cook today with, okay, well, butter and bacon...but you get my point, hopefully. It just didn't matter how the food was prepared or even how it ended up tasting. Most of it never got eaten. Maybe a nibble here and there to be polite because your hostess looked like a movie star and deep down you hoped that if you were nice, you might get a chance to sleep with her or do some other awful thing to her, but nobody ever actually wanted to load up a plate with that stuff and chow down.
Need more proof? Oh, I've got it...

Looks like we've got two hunks of rice or some kind of dressing that congealed overnight in the bottom of a casserole pan, separated by a layer of shaved meat, boiled egg slices and peas. On top, to make it "pretty", some more eggs, a tomato slice, green olives and a sprig of parsley. It's all served up on a bed of orange slices and more green olives. Nobody's ever going to ask for seconds of this. Which is kind of ironic. because it probably tastes just as "good" when eaten as leftovers.

These are doll vaginas pear halves with a dollop of mayo and some cherry tomatoes. And this is a dessert, a treat you're supposed to enjoy after you finish eating dinner. Is there a better reason to not join The Clean Plate Club?

Whatever this is beyond some sort of slurried tuna or chicken or garbage (oh wait, it says "pork" right there...whatever) baked into an utterly colorless loaf, it's what you serve your family when you want them to know that you don't love them anymore but mere words just can't make that point strongly enough.

Remember those kids in the lunchroom when you were in grade school who would take the leftovers from their lunches and mix it all together in an attempt to gross people out? They'd start with some corn or peas, squish those into a pulpy paste, toss in some pudding, crumble up a cookie, add salt, pepper, ketchup and mustard, and then pour chocolate milk all over it. Hilarious. Back when those kids were allowed to live past the age of ten, they would eventually grow up and go on to work for Spam, Inc.

You think that's a cake, don't you? The shape, the size, what looks like a delicious buttercream frosting. All those things make you want to believe it's a cake. But your eyes do not deceive you: those are wedges of summer sausage or pepperoni, tomato slices and a whole shitload of more green olives. There's no telling what's underneath all of that. Hunks of an old mattress. Mouse meat. Definitely some more green olives. Still wanna stick a candle in that thing and sing Happy Birthday?

If you had to visualize sobbing uncontrollably while giving a drunken birthday clown with a prosthetic leg a handjob in the restroom of a Greyhound bus station very far away from your home as some sort of food item, this is what you would see.

I appreciate them cutting this one open, because the cross section shows us exactly how to whip this up in our very own dream kitchens. First, take four large sausages and jam them into a giant brick of cream cheese, coated with macaroni and just enough cheese to legally call it that. To top it off, pour some ketchup across the top diagonally and decorate it with green olives (Was there a time when olive farmers were the most powerful men in America? Did the members of the Big Olive cartel turn against each another and destroy themselves in a hail of bullets and pimento strips?). If it looks like the medal emblazoned sash of a Girl Scout or the archduke of one of those small European countries where goats are treated both better and worse than you'd expect, you did it right. Pour the remainder of the ketchup around it on a plate like the blood that pools around a suicide victim who cuts his wrists in the bathtub. Who's hungry now? That's right. Nobody.

That's my theory. I would start preparing this stuff at home to test it but I'm afraid if I purchased these items together at the grocery store, a hotline would ring at some government office and I'd be arrested in the parking lot.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Traditional marriage is challenged once again

Call me a radical. Call me a rebel. Call me an anarchist, avant-garde, extreme left-wing, militant, non-conformist, subversive firebrand freethinker. I don't care. Because, truth be told, I'm a traditionalist at heart.
For example, I still believe that the single most important thing to remember if you want to have and maintain a successful marriage, or any relationship for that matter, is that it is ultimately a 14.2857143% x 7 partnership.

Now let's all put our politics aside to wish the happy septet the best and have a slice of heptagon-shaped cake to celebrate!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An appeal for help on behalf of Caleb Medley, please and thanks

Hi folks.
Real quick post to let you know about Caleb Medley. He's a 23-year-old comedian and was among those wounded in the attack at the movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado. He has lost his right eye, has brain damage and is currently in a medically induced coma. His 21-year-old wife Katie is in the same hospital, having given birth to their first child yesterday (Monday). She was not wounded in the attack.
To put it simply, these folks need help.
Click here to visit Caleb's web site and if you can spare a few bucks, please do so. Prayers and kind words are appreciated as well. Think of it this way: we all feel terrible about what happened in Aurora and we all love comedy. Consider this a therapeutic measure.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Okay, I'm back and I'm quitting

Shown here: A quitter
 As much as I didn't want to do it, I think this little break happened at as close to a perfect time as possible. To those who passed along well wishes, either through comments left here or email or phone calls, thank you very much. That was very kind of you and extremely helpful to me and I'm sincerely grateful.
I'm going to be handling some things differently in the future, none of which should affect what you see here, other than it will (should) probably be better. So if you're just here for the fart jokes, YAY! Those will resume on Wednesday. Otherwise, while life is an ongoing, never-ending project (a philosopher said that, one who owns stock in Lowe's, I think), I feel re-adjusted enough at this point to go forward. As I do so, I'd like to share with you some philosophy (from what some would probably consider a somewhat unlikely source) that I will be employing. It's a good idea if you read it so the headline above will make sense after you read it.

Better Off Dead

Or Why Quitting the Movie Industry Was My Path to Salvation

By Bobcat Goldthwait

Most people think I’m dead. At first I found this insulting. I mean, I know I look like fuck pie, but I’m only in my 40s. Eventually I realized that my problem was because of two things: 1) People are confusing me with Sam Kinison (the other obese, long-haired, screaming comedian from the 80s), and 2) people assume that if I WERE still alive I would obviously be on Dancing with the Stars or I Was a Celebrity—Watch Me Eat Crocodile Balls or whatever.

I know that you’re not supposed to talk ill of the dead, but I give as much of a fuck about Sam’s friends and fans as he gave a shit about Rock Hudson’s or Liberace’s. So allow me to clear up any confusion on the first issue.

Sam died in 1992 in a car crash driving to a gig in his Trans Am. I currently drive a sweet 2009 Ford Escape. Sam was the screaming misogynist xenophobe comedian. I was the screaming pinko comedian who acted like a crazy street person. Sam liked to pick on outsiders and misfits, while I always related to them. Sam prayed to Jesus and Hollywood, and I already knew that those things are as real as that giant hand-puppet-y shark on the Jaws ride.

As far as the Dancing with the People You Kind of Remember from That Thing That Time question—I don’t have to do that. I have already sold out. As a young man, I sold out big. I was at a point at the beginning of my career that most people don’t reach until the end. I was making Police Academy 2 the same year my high school classmates were graduating from college. Youth is not necessarily an excuse for dumb career decisions, but I’m just trying to put it in some kind of perspective for you. Think about the shit decisions you made at 21. Now imagine that a giant check was involved, and think about how much worse everything would have been. Now you’re with me, Sweetchuck.

I have been a game-show host, a talking puppet, and a Happy Meal toy. My acting has been dubbed into more languages than I can name. I cashed huge studio checks and got flown around the world. And I was miserable the entire time. Seriously—being the man’s dancing monkey was fucking horrible. I’m not bitter about it now (no, really), because it’s behind me. I love my life now. But it took me almost 30 years to get here.

Most people in showbiz are either bitter that they aren’t huge stars or unhappy that they are. From the Starbucks barista to Oscar winners, almost everyone thinks that they’re getting a raw deal. Here’s my advice to them and to all of you: Quit.

Quitting is how my life changed. After years of going to auditions and pitching and writing scripts for shit commercial hits, I came to a realization. I realized that I would never watch any of the fucking things I was doing. So I quit. I always joke that I retired from acting at the same time they stopped hiring me, but it’s true. To pay the rent I relied on doing a stand-up character I no longer related to at venues in the heartland, where it’s still the 80s.

Fortunately for me (as even the heartland has had an assload of the screaming comic), I also got work from Jimmy Kimmel as a director. Jimmy believed in me when most people were using my name as a punch line. His confidence that I could direct made me realize I had other options. Maybe it was because I was finally working in an environment where people encouraged me to have fun while being creative, but I did something I hadn’t done since my teens. I wrote things simply to write.

I wrote a very noncommercial screenplay about honesty, unconditional love, and bestiality. My manager at the time read it and told me that he was not going to send it out because he was afraid of what people would think about my mental health. (I fired that asshole a week later.) I liked it. But it sat in my desk for a year until my friend Sarah read it and said, “This is good. We should make it.” And with two weeks off, 20 grand, and a crew hired from Craigslist, we did.

We did it really just for the sake of doing it. It was almost like a dare to see if we could. Then it got into Sundance. For me, that was a big deal. I’ve made two more movies since then and have written five other scripts lots of people think are crazy (but anyone on my payroll knows not to say too bluntly).

My movies are far from mainstream, and I like it that way. I have no interest in making R-rated studio comedies with the sole purpose of entertaining teenagers. I hate teenagers. I think most of them are fucking idiots. Christ, I hated teenagers when I WAS a teenager. Besides, I will be 50 this year, so how the hell would I know what teenagers like? I make movies that me and my friends like, with actors I like working with, and on shoestring budgets far outside the system. I have found producers who support me and who also are, unimaginably, not even a little bit douche-y. As for Sarah, we are now married.

My point is this—if you want to be happy in showbiz (or any creative field), listen to that voice inside you. Even if it says “Fuck it” sometimes. Work with your friends. Avoid chasing fame or money. Just do what you want to do, when and how you want to do it. And if it’s not making you happy, quit. Quit hard, and quit often. Eventually you’ll end up somewhere that you never want to leave.

This was originally posted at I knew more people would read it if I actually copied and pasted the whole thing here rather than throwing up a link. It's not that I wanted to rip off; it was just important to me that  people read it. I sincerely doubt that they care but I really hope they aren't mad at me. Because by all means, is a great web site. Seriously. Go there right now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hiatus extended

The following is intended to inform. It is not intended to be cryptic or to elicit concern or sympathy. All is fine, if not well.
If you take nothing else from what follows, refer back to that please.
I'm taking a little time off from this blog that you're currently reading to figure some stuff out, that's all. People who know me are liable to say, "that means he's brooding." That's fine. It's accurate enough that I don't need to argue the finer semantic details.
This little enterprise (the blog you're reading) is attached to Facebook and Twitter and some other stuff which all seems very cluttered and noisy to me right now. And tacky, too. Thanks to people's over-reliance on communicating via "funny" pictures with text, Facebook is looking kind of MySpace-y these days, and that isn't good under any circumstances. 

That whole self-contained universe is not conducive to introspection and contemplation, which is what I need right now because I have to answer some questions for myself.
Okay, I can see how that part sounds cryptic and might elicit concern or sympathy. So here's what's up with that.
Recently, a series of (relatively) small setbacks, personal, professional and semi-professional, have caused me to question, if not my self worth, at least my role (specifically whether or not I have one) in The Grand Scheme of Things (but yeah, mostly my self worth). None of these setbacks alone is that big of a deal and if I detailed them here one-by one, your justified response to each would be something like, "Seriously, you big baby? Life is difficult. Get a helmet and suck it up, buttercup." And your assessment would be correct. But taken together, all occurring in a relatively short period of time, they've kind of combined to form one potent gut shot and have taken me off my feet.
You know how we're all supposed to have a place in the world with a role to play because in some way or another, we're all valuable? Well, I'm not sure that's necessarily true. After all, there are over seven billion people on the planet (an aside: when you start typing "what is the world's population?" into the Google search box, among the auto-generated suggestions you get are "what is the world's largest spider?" and "what is the world's hottest pepper?"); doesn't it stand to reason that a few folks are just hanging around, getting in the way, eating the food and soiling the linens? Not maliciously bad, per se, but just kind of...pointless. And if that's possible, is it impossible that I'm one of them? It's like when you sit down to assemble a model airplane. You open up the box and there are several plastic racks with all the individual parts attached that are needed to complete the model you see pictured on the box. But in addition to the necessary parts, sometimes there's also a weird, misshapen glob of plastic there. Probably the result of some glitch with excess run-off melted plastic from the mold at the factory. It didn't ask to be included in the box with the legitimate model pieces, but it's there. It's part of the package, just like the wings and the wheels and the flaps and valves and all the other stuff that goes into an airplane...except it shouldn't be there. Because it's not a part. It serves no purpose. It's nothing. And it is never, ever going to be part of the airplane.
People want to believe that they matter. That's a pretty basic, primal need. Now, I've been in therapy where I've been focusing a lot of attention on irrational thinking (how to identify it and how to combat it). When a bunch of stuff happens in a relatively short period of time that suggests that maybe you don't matter all that much, you (well, I) have to question, at what point does something go from an irrational thought to a rational one? How many...or how few...individual circumstances have to occur before a series of similar-but-unrelated coincidences becomes a trend?

Exactly how many flying dogs do you need
 to see before you say "Dogs can fly"?
 That concept is something that's on my mind right now and it's making me unhappy. Among my primary reactive instincts is to be hurt and resentful toward people I encounter who have nothing to do with my problems and certainly don't deserve to be treated that way.
For example: These people? Screw them.
 That's a shitty way to be. People don't deserve to be treated that way and I don't want to live like that. That's what I want to fix.
Anyway, this is just something I need to take some time to think about quietly and without a lot of trying to bring the LOLZ to this blog three times a week and all the raucous cacophony that tends to accompany that. I need to find a nice, shady tree and sit under it without thinking how many people I could hang from each branch. I had hoped to jump back in with some new LOLZ by Monday, July 23, but this is taking longer than I thought it would so that arbitrary, self-imposed deadline is going to pass without new content. Sorry about that. Hopefully, among the stuff I figure out (eventually) is how to come back to this with new, good stuff...or whether to take things in a different direction entirely.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A day in the life of Maury Povich

From Wikipedia: "Maurice Richard 'Maury' Povich (born January 17, 1939) is an American television talk show host...In September 1991, he left A Current Affair to host The Maury Povich Show, which was nationally syndicated and distributed by Paramount Television in partnership with Povich's production company "MoPo Productions" and in national syndication from 1991 to 1998...In 1998, the show was taken over by Studios USA (then a division of USA Networks, later renamed Universal Television after being sold to Vivendi Universal; and NBC Universal Television after VU Entertainment was sold to NBC owner General Electric). When they took over the show's production, they renamed it Maury. The show often veered into what critics called trash TV, and in 1998, it became known for a segment called "Who's the Daddy?" during which men who were denying paternity (or who wanted to know if they really were the father) were given DNA tests and the results were revealed on the air." This is what I imagine his daily routine is like...

6:45AM, at home, in the bathroom...

CONNIE CHUNG: Honey, I have to get going but I just wanted to remind you about what we talked about. You know, trying to make the best of a situation...
MAURY: No need, sweetheart! I'm on top of it!
CONNIE CHUNG: Oh! Well...that's great! I will see you later then, and I hope you have a great show today!
MAURY: Hey, thanks dear! I'm sure we will! You have a great day too! (plugs in hair dryer and steps into bathtub)

8:30AM, on his cell phone, commuting to work...

MAURY: Hey, I'm running a few minutes late but I'm on my way in. I was just wondering, what's the agenda for today's show?
ASSISTANT: Looks like you'll be revealing the results of paternity tests again.
MAURY: Okay, sounds super! (steers car into the path of an oncoming cement mixer)

9:15AM, at the studio, having hair and make-up done...

MAURY: I guess I shouldn't complain, right? I mean, being on television is still a dream come true, right?
MAKE-UP STYLIST: Mi hijo dijo que querría estar en esta exposición algún día. Lo dije que bebería más bien veneno.
MAURY: Hey, that's a great way to look at it! Thanks! (resumes tying hangman's noose)

9:30AM, at the studio, on the phone with his agent...

MAURY: It's just that I think I could be doing so much more. I honestly believe that I could be doing something worthwhile and accomplishing some real good in the world. I mean, I have a degree from Penn, you know? And I...what? It's muffled? How about now? Is that better? Okay, good. What? Okay, but could we at least discuss this at some point please? All right. I'll talk to you later. (hangs up, puts head back in oven)

10:59AM, on set at the studio, just prior to taping...

MAURY: Can we just take a minute to discuss how this is going to go?
DIRECTOR: Why, Maury? We do this show four times a week. Just do it the way you always do it.
MAURY: (Sigh)
DIRECTOR: Look, you're the best at this, Maury. You've done it a million times. Now just ruin Demetrius and Chantelle's lives and we'll break for lunch.
MAURY: Are those really the names of our first guests?
DIRECTOR: Probably. Who gives a shit?
MAURY: I should write that down...
DIRECTOR: Sure. Whatever.

2:00PM, leaving the studio...

ASSISTANT: See you tomorrow, Mr. Povich!
MAURY: Oh yeah, I can hardly wait. Let me guess; I get to introduce America to another batch of babbydaddies. Wonderful. (puts handful of pills into mouth)
ASSISTANT: No, actually you're slated to host a round-table discussion regarding the current political instability in Egypt. We've got a professor from Georgetown and a former member of the Egyptian parliament who are prepared to discuss what they think president Mohammed Morsi should do next. It should be fascinating.
MAURY: (spits pills out) Seriously?!?
ASSISTANT: Ha ha ha ha! Man, I can not believe you still fall for that every single time!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Down with "Eat Fresh"; Long live "Cheesy Goodness"!

If I'm ever elected to a position of power (something all of you should work together in an effort to make sure never happens), one of the first things I'm going to do is make it illegal for companies to use the phrase "If this guy can do it, ANYBODY can" as well as any similar variations thereof. Why? Because it simply isn't true. I don't care how easy you think hang gliding is, some people are never going to be able to do it. As such, under my administration, Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle will be hunted like a war criminal and upon his apprehension, he will be exiled to an uncharted island in the Pacific.
Nobody has played the "...Anybody can do it" angle like Subway has. Obstensibly waging a one-fast-food-franchise war against obesity, Doctor's Associates Inc. (the company behind the Subway brand) has portrayed themselves as the bastion of healthy eating while shoving the likes of Jared and Michaels Strahan and Phelps in our faces, and trying to get us to believe that their sandwiches are made of magical weight loss medicine.
However, it appears they may be abandoning that campaign, and in the most emphatic way possible... 
"Nachos" is Spanish for "healthy" which case, it looks like Jared Fogle is on his own from here on out.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Dr. Science apologizes for not sharing the Higgs boson particle

Hi there. Dr. Science, king of all the scientists* here. You may remember me from answering your questions and debunking your so-called "Solar System". I was busy last week, foiling a plot by the alligator men (a genetics experiment by a colleague that went slightly awry) to steal a nuclear submarine and attack America. You're welcome of course, but honestly I didn't really do anything. I knew their arms would be much too short to operate a periscope so I just waited for them to scuttle the sub while attempting to navigate out of Science Harbor, which they did
Anyway, I heard you were all excited about the "discovery" of the Higgs bosun particle, which is basically a tiny, sub-atomic particle that interacts with other sub atomic particles by slowing them down, which determines that matter in the universe has mass. I'm sorry; I didn't even know you guys were looking for it. We found them on Science Island years ago, where they're all over the place now, like those berries that makes birds shit purple all over your car. I probably have some lodged in the radiator grill of my hovercraft if you want them.
I sometimes forget how behind the times you guys are here on the mainland. My bad. I guess it's good that the folks at CERN were finally able to get that Large Hadron Collider of theirs to pay off. Bravo for them! Of course, virtually every household on Science Island has one of those. We use them to make the most delicious (and small) paninis you've ever had.
I'd better get back to Science Island, where in the future I will try to keep track of your primitive exploits. Somebody said that some of you are still using the two-party political system. Oh man, you guys are hilarious! In the mean time, if you need something, just ask. I make new science every single day, you know.

Take care,
Dr. Science

* = by virtue of winning the annual Science Island Bare Knuckle Fisticuff Competition For The Purpose Of Selecting A Leader for the fifth year in a row.

Friday, July 06, 2012

The douchiest thing I ever did (in sports)

If you look closely, you
should see wristbands
 When I was younger, I played A LOT of softball (that's me in the picture, wearing tight blue pants and playing for the mighty Bravo Company, 4th Support Battallion in Frankfurt, Germany. My game went to seed right around the time I got really serious about a girl for the first time. I'm sure that's just a silly coincidence and the only thing you should imply from that is that women have ruined my life in a variety of ways.

In both baseball and softball (which are essentially the same game), I was a chatterbox (shocker) catcher and first baseman. My power numbers weren't that impressive but I could always spray the ball around the yard for a high batting average. Considering my husky boy build and complete lack of speed, I was probably better suited to be a Greg Luzinski-style home run slugger instead of a Rod Carew-esque singles hitter. But even though I didn't hit many homers, I could always get on base and drive in runs. Point being, I really was a pretty good hitter.

And I was pretty competetive about it too. If I'm being completely honest, I took it waaaay too seriously. I'm much more mature now. If I'd had my current temperment back then, I probably would have been a better player. But back then, I'd get all psyched up the day of a game and would celebrate wins with high fives and mourn losses with streams of swear words. In baseball parlance, I had a terminal case of red ass. Either way, lots of grunting and yelling. And I never wore eyeblack, but sweatbands, double batting gloves, sunglasses (the flip-up kind, later replaced by Oakleys when they came out), sweatshirt under my jersey and a short-sleeve pullover windbreaker on top ? Oh yeah, all of that. Point being, I really was pretty obnoxious.

At one point while I was still in my prime, I briefly dated a lovely young lady named Dani and we went to her company picnic. I didn't know any of her co-workers prior to that so I hadn't planned on participating in any of the games or festivities. We were having a nice time, eating food, drinking beer and mingling. There was a softball game taking place, with men, women and little kids playing, obviously not competetive and very low stakes. As it got later in the day, some of Dani's male co-workers started chirping, egging us on to play. I really didn't want to and she definitely didn't want to. She was wearing a sun dress, I had on a polo shirt and jeans and neither of us wanted to get all sweaty. Plus, Dani had seen me play softball competetively, where I engaged fully in the back and forth chatter and, being as she was a reasonable, well-adjusted human being, it was not her favorite aspect of my personality. But the chirping started taking on an edge, like I was being challenged to play and if I didn't, well, that was some sort of statement on my masculinity. Why did they insist on drawing me in? It wasn't like I was the only guy not playing. But it sure felt like I was the only one being called out. Maybe it had something to do with Dani and some sort of office politics. Maybe they assumed (correctly) that I had easily pushable buttons. I never did figure it out. No matter, I eventually caved in and joined just in time for what they had determined would be the last inning. 
I stood around in right field (with no glove) for the 1-2-3 top half of the inning, thankful I didn't have to chase down any hits. At this point, I was far more interested in not annoying Dani than I was in the outcome of the game. The team I was on came up to the plate was behind by a few runs and I was buried deep in the batting order. It was looking like I'd get in and out without having to do anything at all, which I knew would make Dani very happy. However, my side started slapping together some hits and rallied. I also started kinda getting into it a little bit. Then a lot into it. Damn it, I wish I'd had my batting gloves.

Or at least my Oakleys, bro! Damn!

Soon, I found myself on deck with nobody out, two runners on base and down by one run. Unless the guy at bat hit into a triple play, I was going to have to bat. The appeal of ending the game as a hero was pretty strong, but I still didn't want to annoy Dani by going all alpha-Clark. That's when I came up with my idea. If nothing else, I thought it would be funny. The idea made me laugh, anyway.
The guy ahead of me lined out and I stepped into the batter's box with one out, the winning run on first base and the possibility of a game ending double play a grounder away. I took up my stance by spreading my feet really wide, with my knees turned awkwardly inward and held the bat over my head with my hands apart. The pitch came in and I didn't move my body but flipped the bat using nothing but my wrists, mustering a completely harmless "swing". Strike one. A loud sarcastic "Wooooooooo!" came up and the players on the other team moved in close.
The second pitch came in and this time I used my entire body, except for my wrists, to swing, twirling in a circle and almost screwing myself into the ground like a cartoon character in the process, but not coming even close to hitting the ball. Strke two. Now that I had established myself as a hapless spaz, my opponents moved in even closer and some of them even sat down and took off their gloves. I swear I could smell potato salad on their breath. Perfect.
As the pitcher started his wind-up, I modified my stance. I moved my feet to shoulder width, bent my knees, leaned in and lifted the heel of my left foot slightly. My right elbow went up, my left elbow tucked into my side. I re-gripped the bat with my hands together and waited for that big, fat ball to make its way to the plate.

It's difficult to describe with words, but when you hit a baseball or softball right, I mean really hit it, it almost feels like the ball is made of liquid and your bat is slicing through it. You know you've gotten hold of it and unless some stupid fielder does something inconsiderate and miraculous, you're going to see their backsides while they chase after it.

The first person to realize what was going to happen, even before I did, was the pitcher who saw me uncoiling after he released the ball and said, "oh, shi...". With a loud, wet smack, the ball took off over his head, his infielders heads and had yet to reach its peak as it flew over his outfielders. Did it travel farther than most normal humans can hit a softball, like something you'd see in a movie"? Not at all. In all likelihood it would have been nothing more than a routine pop fly out if the outfielders hadn't been a bunch of smartasses and moved way in to cop squats in the grass, which they probably wouldn't have done if I hadn't pretended to be so feeble in my previous two swings. They didn't even bother to chase it, instead just glaring at me as the two runners ahead of me crossed the plate. I didn't even run all the way to second, instead heading back to my date after touching first. Game, picnic and relentless loudmouth chirping over. 

But it's probably a good thing that girl and I broke up before her Christmas party.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy 4th of July

That's Independence Day to you Americans who haven't packed up your guns and headed off to Canada.

I don't know about you, but I've had a pretty shitty last ten days or so. This video made me feel a little better. Hopefully, if you're having a shitty time, it will help you too. And if you're not, good for you, I hope you enjoy it as well.
Happy 4th!

Monday, July 02, 2012


Lawyers are very sensitive about how their image is portrayed. They bristle at references to certain carnivorous fish or the pursuit of vehicles equipped for taking sick or injured people to the hospital or any of the numerous jokes about their profession. They also don't like being criticized for advertising. They ask (rhetorically, one would presume), "In a democratic society, should a particular business, trade, or profession be protected by restrictions on domestic competition, thus depriving consumers?  Why should lawyers be singled out to enjoy this protection from competition, at the expense of consumers?" Well guys, maybe because it's our ads themselves that make you look bad. Like this one that ran in last Sunday's Tampa Bay Times...
"You did? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!"