If I had a nickel for every time I heard that fucking hack quoting that cheesy-ass “Cucaracha” in the middle of his “Footprints” solo, playing two trumpets at the same time, one on either side of his mouth, making all the old farts and freshman girls in the park giggle and clap, I’d have enough money to buy every trumpet and ever flugelhorn in the world (because that’s right, it’s not two trumpets—it’s a flugelhorn and a trumpet), buy a gigantic smelter and melt them all down into brass, and then entomb that motherfucker in it like he was a gay Han Solo.
Watching that asshole play trumpets is like watching a woman “ooh” and “ahh” and try to have sex with a man with two dicks. She realizes very quickly that it’s an impractical and unsatisfactory arrangement, but the pornographer won’t let that hesitancy show. Cut that shot. Cut to the fake orgasm and the pasty hose-down.
Fuck your gimmicks! I am the ejaculator! It is my voice that counts! I leave my computer chair like I leave that park, ashamed that I have to share space and time with these idiots.
I want to film this fucking trumpeteer and put it up on YouTube so everyone will know how stupid he is. I’ll wait till their next set when he strikes up the “Cucaracha” line again. And sure enough when I take up my camera Señor Cucaracha’s big black guitar-playing buddy stands up from his seat to look menacingly in my direction. Yeah he’s got that nasty stink-eye. Yeah he’s trying to intimidate me. As if I’d be scared by a guitarist who plays a semi-acoustic hollow-body.
“No video recording.”
“Don’t worry about it. Keep playing. I want people to see how stupid you guys look.”
“No video recording.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll give you $20.”
He showed himself to be a $20 whore. But everybody has their price nowadays. Everybody will sell their dignity for their fifteen minutes of attention or that equivalent in money.
Everybody. Everyone. Even me. I’ll admit it. It’s merely a matter of demanding a respectable amount of money, or fame, in exchange for your lampoon. At that point you’re not selling your dignity, you’re accumulating interest on its investment.
I posted my video to YouTube and it got 1,000 likes in two days.
—Two trumpets! That’s two-bular!
—LOL! Two cool!
I’ve been changing my IP address and disliking that video everyday for the past week.
People have to understand their stupidity and the superiority of substance.
But then I realized I was thinking about it wrong: People are liking the video because it is stupid and allows them to mock and laugh scornfully. And that’s great because then the people in the video feel that they’re being liked and accepted when they’re really not! They don’t even know that they should be feeling shame!
When you post video of your pug trying to chew his way out of a Pikachu outfit, it is not his cuteness that we are laughing at—it is you and your stupidity! When you post video of your friend trying to hit himself in the testicles by rolling a bowling ball off a skateboard ramp, we like it because we hope he is now impotent. And all those videos of people alone in their rooms talking to their webcams, sharing their feelings, crying, saying useless controversial shit, reviewing things like fruit snacks and new Super Mario video games—we like you because we hope that you will always have nobody but your webcam to talk to!
And cats—all your fucking cat videos—we like those because they remind us that we’re human, and therefore self-conscious, smarter, stronger, and more beautiful than fucking house cats.
Fucking house cats.
I am the hater. Spread my word.
April 20, 2012
I was over at Reese’s the other day picking up treats, man, cause I was fiendin’.
Now, it was Reese because my first man, my Cap’n, Cap’n Crunch, was outta town. Cap’n left his business to his cousin, who’s a goddamn Pop Tart. I don’t do business with him—made a point of that years ago. Reese—Reese’s like a Count Chocula, got the killer pad, got the treats, pretty regs, but good ya know? I was fiendin’, didn’t really need no real Rice Krispy shit, ya know what I’m sayin?
So I Fruit Roll Up over to Reese’s and I gets my treats. I’m in and out, he gives me a good price, I say what up to the Honey Bunches and my Oats and I’m out, slam Dunkaroo, I’ma hit it. I head back to the Bowl, I drive round the Box a few times and find my Kid’s Korner—know what I’m sayin? And I Cookie Crisp it up.
‘Cept. It didn’t feel right man. The feeling, you know it, right when the spoon hits and you lean back in your chair and you Chex out and you start seein’ Starbursts and all that—I didn’t feel it. I hit the back of my seat and just sat, just sat for like five minutes man, didn’t feel muffin. I’m so Pez’d man, I’m fiendin’ harder than ever and gettin’ nothing of it, and I just start thinkin’ bout killing this Nutter Butter.
But first I call up Cap’n Crunch and I give him the Fun Dip. He tells me to sit tight and stay Kool-Aid, and don’t do anything licorice. So I do, I indulge him, I sit tight. But sittin’ there I start thinkin and fiendin’, and I mean really thinkin yo—I’m seein’ Count Chocula, that goddamn Airhead, sittin’ up there in his castle all Chuckles and Snickers, thinkin’ he’s hot fudge. And then I see me comin’ up on him and gettin’ Nutrageous on his ass! I’m Snap, Crackle, and Poppin’ ‘im; I’m makin’ Mounds in his face; his teeth are fallin’ out like Tic Tacs! It looks so good, makin’ Reese’s Pieces, I’m thinkin’ I’m actually gonna Almond Joy it.
A Junior Mint’s gotta know that he can’t Trix a General Mills like me out his treats like that. They all gotta know.
So I Cheez Whiz back over to Reese’s. I sneak around back real Fruit by the Foot and I get into his living room. Place was a mess. Couple of the Honey Bunches were Chex’d out on the couch—they obviously were tastin’ on the real Treats. The table was littered with all of it—the dude had probably seven Teddy Grahams of Cookies & Cream, FL OZ’s of Coke, Cracker Jacks, Special K enough of it to send all Three Musketeers to the Milky Way and back. I Double Stuff Oreo’d my pockets with some of it—haha yessir! Gave my teeth a little rub so I could feel a bit of that Sour Power, and I headed back into his room.
I find him on his bed messin’ around with this Tootsie Roll and I say, “Honey Bunch leave, I needa have a few words with your jelly bean here.”
Reese gets up and says, “You? What do you want?”
I lifted my Twizzler and says, “I want what the fuck I paid for! And I want to end you, Froot Loop, cause you need to be taught that you don’t Cheeto a General!”
I pull back the Apple Jack ‘cause I always love that sound—Kit Kat. And Honey Bunch starts screamin’ and right as I’m about to Frito I hear that Ho-Ho sound and a “POLICE OPEN UP!” I say “Shit!” and I bounds back through the gum drop and I Kix out the screen door, couldn’t be bothered openin’ it, and I’m out.
But the thing is now, this all puts me a spot, something that’s been Devil Doggin’ me for a while. What I figure is that it was my Cap’n Crunch that called the cops on Count Chocula, takin’ my revenge, yessir, but where’s the honor in that? Whether the Cap’n had some larger scheme of it or somethin’ I don’t know, but I’m startin’ to doubt my brother now. If he in leagues with the Gobstoppers I can’t exactly be poppin’ my head in and out of his crib all the time, naw what I mean? And where else am I gonna cop my Treats?
I’m feelin’ like everyone around me Gummy Worms and Gummy Bears, man. It’s gettin’ sticky, and I don’t know how much S’more I can take.
I was tasked to eavesdrop on a conversation for my writing class. I holed up in a bagel shop and overheard the following interaction. The juiciest parts of it were taken down word for word. Had to fill in some of the gaps myself because the boy [Paul] was a mutterer. I did it up all nice and story-like for your reading pleasure. Two absurd New Yorkers in a bagel shop:
In an overpriced bagel shop in the Flatiron District, Ivy sat feigning lunch with her boyfriend Paul. She sat picking at her bagel and flipping locks of blue hair out of her face, glancing up every so often to watch Paul eating intently, and eating quietly. Ivy was a slim and wiry girl. She was an assortment of studded and patched jackets. Her boyfriend dressed like a college professor and had the academic scruff to match. Ivy had grown bored of eating long ago and struck up a line conversation, the first thing that popped in her head, trying to catch her boyfriend on her life of late.
“I applied for a topless modeling job in Times Square for body painting,” she said, “they never got back to me.”
“Oh. That’s a shame,” Paul said drily.
“Yeah! They’re going to miss out. I am awesome at public nudity; I don’t give a shit!”
Paul gave a meager smile and muttered, “How much were they going to get pay you?”
“$30. It would’ve been great.” Ivy crossed her legs and kept her eyes on Paul.
“$30 an hour?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, when I did that modeling thing over the summer,” Paul said, “I was getting $40 an hour for a two hour session, coming out to $80. I assume that the body painting takes a long time to do, so if you’re doing $30 an hour you will probably come out with some good money.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t get it, Paul, they never got back to me. And what are you talking about your modeling for? Are you trying to compete with me or something?”
“No. I was just trying to give you some perspective.” Paul said.
Ivy sneered, “I don’t need your perspective, Paul, I just need a job and some money ‘cause I’m fucking broke. Doesn’t matter how much I get as long as its something. Hell, I’d consider doing it for free ‘cause it’d be fun.” Ivy looked at Paul and scrutinized his face for his reaction. Paul had turned back to his sandwich and said nothing.
Ivy sighed briefly and looked out towards the door and the avenue beyond it.
“I think you’d make a great body paint model,” said Paul softly.
“Thank you Paul,” Ivy said, shifting her sharp gaze back onto him.
The two sat for a minute in silence. Ivy scratched at a little crust on her jacket’s frayed shoulder and Paul ate. Then Ivy struck up another conversation again with the same random alacrity as before. “Imagine someone overhearing us here talking about modeling, they’d be saying: ‘What? They don’t look like models!’”
“Maybe you don’t, but I do.” Paul said melodically but quietly, smiling so that Ivy would know he was kidding.
She laughed. “Yeah, you look so high fashion! Haha! God forbid I ever get asked what I do: ‘I stand naked and get paid.’”
“Well you didn’t get the job, Ivy, so you don’t have to say that.” said Paul.
“What if I do get it? I’m going to be applying to others, maybe I’ll get those.”
“Lie. Say you write children’s books or something. You should lie.” Paul said the last sentence very seriously.
Ivy murmured an approval and looked back out towards the door.
Remember this commercial from the 90s? You probably do if you watched TV even semi-regularly because it was hilarious and also strangely memorable, for some reason. I’ll call now. It just sticks with you, ya know? I don’t watch TV much anymore, but I missed this commercial’s omnipresence in my life, so I worked on bringing it back. I took a little artistic license in updating it’s musty 90s kitchy commercial sensibilities to give it a more risque, modern feel–I hope you don’t mind. Its also about 5x as long now for 5x the enjoyment!
Have fun with it and stay cool…
Sweltering in the midday summer heat, Susan fans herself with the door of her family’s opened fridge.
“I can’t live another day without air conditioning,” she moans.
“It says tomorrow is going to be hotter,” comes the response from her husband Hank, who is sitting at their kitchen table, parroting the newspaper.
“Like yesterday,” says Hank.
“Yesterday?” Susan asks and she moves around the fridge door so she can see her husband. “Yesterday you said you’d call SEARS.”
“Well I didn’t get around to it,” Hank says as he straightens a page of his newspaper, “I’ll call today.”
“You call now,” says Susan. She picks up the phone off the counter and holds it out to him.
“Susan, I’m doing something right now. I’ll call later.”
“Doing something? You’re not doing anything. You’re just reading the newspaper for, like, the third time this morning. The news is: I’m hot and I need my husband to call SEARS for me right now. After that you can go back to your paper and your coffee and I will stop bugging you.”
“Honey, what did I just say?” says Hank, “I’m busy. Why don’t you just keep hanging out in the fridge. I’ll call later.”
“Hank,” Susan says, “You call now.”
Hank looks up from his paper and sees his wife staring at him expectantly with wide eyes. Her face is flushed and her forehead is beaded with sweat. Her hair falls scraggled and greasy against her spaghetti strapped shoulders. She looks very unattractive. Hank looks away, back down to his paper.
“Don’t look away from me, Hank. I’m talking to you. We’re talking here.”
“What do you want from me, Susan?”
“I want you to stop reading your paper, get off your ass, and call SEARS!”
“Fucking Christ, Susan, I said I’m busy. Why don’t you call them?”
“Don’t talk to me that way, Hank, don’t you do it,” says Susan, brandishing the phone at her husband.
“What way Susan?”
“You cursed at me.”
“I did. Because you won’t leave me alone. As far as I can see, you aren’t doing anything right now, if you really need SEARS called right now you should do it yourself.”
“I can’t call SEARS, Hank.” Susan said starting to get slightly exasperated, “You have to do it.”
“And why is that?” says Hank glaring.
“Because I don’t know anything about air conditioners!” Susan exclaimed, holding out her arms to her sides as if she were trying to mime an air conditioner and didn’t even know its dimensions, “You are the man of the house and the utilities, Hank. You pay those bills. And those are the kind of things that the man of the house has to take care of.”
“’Man of the house’? What is the household of the 1950s?”
“No but there are certain things that always are. My father would always take care of the utilities for my mother. He would have gone out and installed for her himself. I’m not asking you to do that for me because the people at SEARS are perfectly capable and have reasonable rates. I just need you to call them right now for me because I am telling you to.”
“Aw give me a fucking break Susan! Your father’s alcoholism’d never permit him to hook up an air conditioner with any sort of competence.”
“He wasn’t always an alcoholic!” Susan cries.
“Think about the consequences of that statement, Susan. And also, why do you always compare me to your father when your mad? It’s weird. I think you should think twice before you do that next time, for your own sake.” Hank sees that he has caught Susan off guard with this comment because she does not immediately retort. Hank’s confidence grows and he refolds his newspaper and continues: “Do you want to know what I’m doing right now Susan? You haven’t asked. You assumed I’m reading the news, which is not very important, you are right about that. Are you curious? Do you want to know what your ‘man of the house’ is doing right now that is so important he can’t be torn away, which is such a bother to his sweet, helpless wife? I am looking in the Classified Section for a fucking job because we, as a family, have no sources of income right now. SEARS is the last thing on my fucking mind right now, and the last thing on our family’s list of necessary expenditures. If you want to call SEARS and get a rate quote you can, God knows you have plenty of time to do it, because you’ve never had a fucking job, and then we can talk about it. But no, instead of calling them, you’re here riding my fucking ass about it! You don’t need to know anything about air conditioners to call SEARS, Susan! SEARS are the ones who know the shit about air conditioners! When I tell you I’m busy, I’m fucking busy. Call SEARS yourself, Susan, or shut up and I’ll do it later.”
Hank finishes his rant and turns his glare back to his paper.
“…You said you were going to be nicer to me, Hank.” Susan says softly.
“Well Susan, I’m trying, but when you fucking harass me when I ask you not to it gets very difficult.”
“Fuck you, Hank!” Susan cries.
“Fuck you too, Susan.” Hanks says cooly.
“Go fuck yourself!”
“Or better yet: go fuck your secretary.”
“Susan, that is not fair! That was three years ago! I don’t even have a secretary anymore! That is not fair for you to bring that up now, in this context, that has nothing to do with anything!” Hank yells angrily.
“Call SEARS later and then go fuck your secretary, Hank!” Susan yells, storming out of the kitchen.
Hank sits for a minute. He look down at his newspaper and stares at it for a minute, not reading it. “Goddamnit,” he mutters. “Susan,” he calls, “Susan!”
Now’sTheTimeToSaveOnSEARSInstalledCentralAirConditioning.Get0%FinanceCharge,NoBilling,AndNoPaymentsUntilAugust WithTheSEARSChargeHomeImprovementPlan.CallNowForAFreeInHomeEstimateOnAKenmoreAirConditioningSystem.State OfTheArtEngineeringMeansGreaterEnergyEfficency.ANewKenmoreCouldSaveYou10to44%OnYourAnnualCoolingCosts,InTime EvenPayForItself.SEARSAlsoOffersFastEmergencyInstallation,AFiveYearwarrantyOnPartsAndLaborPlusOurSatisfactionGua rantee,AndYouKnowSearsWillBeThereToBackItUp.Get0%FinanceCharge,NoBilling,NoPaymentsUnitlAugust.OfferEndsMay31, SoCALLNOWAndSaveWithSEARS!
“So what’s the paper say about tomorrow?” Susan asks.
“Another scorcher,” says Hank.
“Cool,” says Susan. She has a strawberry speared on the end of her fork, and she pops it into her mouth with a smile. “Aren’t you glad I called SEARS?”
“Yes, Honey. You did a good job,” says Hank.
“You want to know what else I did?”
“I had nasty, trangressive sex with Brian, the SEARS air conditioner man, right on top our rumbling, new KENMORE in-home air conditioner.”
“You…what? No. Outside?”
“Yes outside! My breasts were hanging out of my bikini top and I could tell he liked what he saw, and I let him take me.”
“No I don’t believe this. You didn’t. Outside? Jesus Christ! Where all the neighbors could see you?”
“Perhaps. I got to thinking about what you were said about our roles in this household, and how they were unequal. And so I had sex with the air-conditioner man, Hank, and I thought he did a great job.” Susan smiled, her voice was devastatingly cheerful, “Maybe you should be nicer to me and call SEARS when I ask you to next time, you fucking bastard, so I’m not left in a situation where I might have to make decisions like that again.”
Hank is looking up at the ceiling of their kitchen, trying to control his ragged breaths. He is muttering oaths under his breath—she is stupid, don’t kill her, she’s stupid, don’t kill her—He lets his eyes roll back into his head for a moment before exploding:
“You fucking little c—”
Drowz’d and Daydream’d
If I were a lazier man…
***Most likely the best poem I’ve ever written. At least it’s my favorite that I’ve ever written. I suck at poetry.
Sriracha / Or, How to Make Food Taste Awesome / Or, How to Roll a Spliff / Or, How to Write a Homework Fiction Piece / Or, My Work Ethic
Tom was sitting in a room with two couches. He had his computer in his lap and was typing diligently. His roommate Nick was on the other couch.
“Yo guy, what are you doing?” Nick asked Tom.
“I’m working. What?” Tom said.
“What are you working on?” Nick asked.
“It’s schoolwork man. I’ve got to write a story.”
“What kind of story?”
Tom looked up at his roommate on the other couch and saw Nick staring wide-eyed. Tom knew what Nick wanted because it was always the same thing. Tom sighed; he figured that for now it would be easiest to answer the question: “It’s a kind of a ‘How-To’ story. We have to write about something we know how to do really well and include it in a narrative, or just write it out like a recipe. I’m writing mine about how to make food taste awesome. And the moral is put sriracha on it, because sriracha makes everything awesome. I’m gonna tell the story about the time I put it all over the apple pie Rich made while it was in the oven and he loved it without realizing.” Tom smiled figuring he was going to get a rise out of Nick, and they could start a funny conversation about putting sriracha on weird foods, which would help him come up with some more ideas for his story. But Nick didn’t bite, Nick said:
“Word. When is it due?”
“Monday,” said Tom.
“Word, you’ve got lots of time to do that. You want to do that later and help a brother out?”
Tom’s face flattened. “Really? What do you want?”
“I’m trying to smoke, man, and I want you to roll something for me…us, if you want to join me.” Nick grinned
“Nah, I’m doing work right now. I gotta get this done. Roll something yourself.”
“You know that I’m no good at that man. I’ve got fat fingers.”
“Fuck your fat fingers, your fingers are fine. You just gotta learn the proper technique and then practice. It’s not hard,” said Tom
“It is hard,” Nick said, “I’ve tried before and it always comes out sucking. It’s fucking frustrating, and I just wanna smoke; I can never get the fold. You need piano player fingers for that shit.”
“You sound so stupid when you talk about your fingers like that. I heard you talking about that same piano shit yesterday with Jess. You suck at piano because you suck at piano and only got good at one song, the ‘Bowser Battle Theme Song’. It has nothing to do with your fingers.”
“Hey, I worked that whole song out by myself note by note, man! That was a feat! And I was kidding about all that shit with Jess. I stopped taking piano lessons because lessons are boring and ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Litte Star’ is a bad song.”
“Sure.” Tom replied.
“I can also play Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ and ‘Smoke on the Water’” said Nick
“Let’s smoke on the water.”
“Yeah?” asked Tom, “So you’re gonna be fucking relentless about this?”
“Yeah, kind of, so you should roll me something. Just do it quick. It’ll take you like three minutes. I do want to learn some day, but I can’t. So will you just do it for me now and stop working on your bullshit for like two minutes, please? I mean honestly, you’re a college senior and you’ve got a whole Sunday to do your ‘How-To’ thing! Come on, just do this for me.”
Tom growled and looked at his measly one paragraph of a Word document. He hadn’t written anything important. It was an aimless paragraph and had nothing to do with anything. It was about couches. Tom knew he wasn’t going to be able to get anything done with this tension and Nick’s insistent chiming hanging in the air. So Tom assented saying: “Alright I’ll do it, but come over here and watch me. I’m going to teach you right now, and then you can go out and buy your own papers and practice. Don’t use mine because you’re going to fuck up a lot and waste a bunch, and I’ll be pissed.”
“Sweet. Thanks buddy. You’re such a softy and that’s why you’re awesome.”
Nick got up and came over to the couch Tom was sitting on.
Tom’s couch was the uncomfortable one, good for schoolwork; the other was more comfortable, but still uncomfortable enough to keep one awake during slow movies. The uncomfortable one was fake denim, the other fake suede—the kind that if touched by anything warmer than a Chinese food take-out container, takes up the heat, runs with it, and burns up as much of its own material as possible.
“Bring me the supplies and put on a song—something without words so you can listen to what I’m saying,” Tom said, “And don’t go back over there and smoke this shit on that couch again. I don’t know how we’re going to patch that hole.”
“I wasn’t smoking on the couch man I told you. I was having sex on it.”
“You cut a hole in our couch and fucked it?”
“You were having sex with it?”
“No, I was having sex on it. I was pulling out and misfired, and my semen is like hydrochloric acid. It burned straight through,” Nick said.
“Wear a condom next time then, please,” Tom said.
“Can’t. My semen’s like hydrochloric acid.”
Tom chuckled. Nick picked a song— “Zodiac Shit”—and brought over the supplies, and Tom began his lesson:
“Alright. First thing you gotta do is break up your green. Grind it first and then break it up between your fingers to work out all the stems. Add some tobacco and then give it a quick toss, like a salad, so it’s well mixed. Then get out a paper and fill the crease with the goods. Use king size because you’re a boss and you should not be limited to an inch and a quarter smoke. Brown’s or Raw’s are harder to fold but they burn slower, I like them.
“Take a piece of cardstock—an business card or a bookmark or something—rip a small piece about quarter inch by an inch and roll it into a small spiral. This is your filter. Place it at the end of the paper and begin to roll the whole spliff back and forth with your fingers, so you can compact the nugg into a tubular shape.
“Roll it near the edge and go for the fold. It’s more of a tuck actually. Tuck the paper under the weed so that you can start to roll it proper. The best way to get the fold is to try and get it piece by piece, from one end to the other, slowly, like you’re wrapping a gift one edge at a time. Be gentle with it, like you were tucking in your grandmother.”
“What the fuck are these similes?” Nick said laughing.
“I’m trying to get you a feel for what’s at stake,” Tom said. He continued: “So roll it up and once you got it rolled then lick the gum and seal it, slowly again, piece by piece. Pinch the end and shake it to get it packed down, and twist it off when it feels solid. Then dry the licked crease with a light if it’s wet. Loosen up the grounds on the inside by rolling it in your fingers, if you need to. And that’s it, you’ve got it!”
Tom presented the finished spliff. It was quite a looker. Very smooth, very pretty. Nick said, “Very nice, Tom, you’re an artist. Now lets throw some sriracha on this shit and smoke it!”
“Yeah, you should fill the filter end with it and smoke the whole thing through the stuff. Probably be awesome.”
Nick took the spliff and hopped over to the other couch. “Do you wanna choose the music or should I?” he asked.
“I’m not smoking man. I still gotta write this ‘How-To’ thing,” Tom said.
“You kind of just did.” Nick said.
“Yeah you’re right. I guess I did.” Tom said and he closed his computer contemplatively.
“Put on some music,” said Nick.
“What do you want to listen to?”
“I donno something bumpin’, and spicy.”
“Sriracha,” hissed Tom.
“What? Sriracha? Nothing. Let’s listen to…” And Tom picked a song—“Poe Mans Dreams”—and Nick took a light to the end.
That was a poem I wrote 2 years ago. One of my best, or rather, one of my only good ones. I’m not going to bore anyone here with too much poetry, cause that stuff is musty and on its way out. And rap is better. I know I’ve got some other good things to throw up here to help start this off right. Let me see…