Archive for ‘Prose’

Wizards: Bad for America

Monday, October 5th, 2009

I found a book in the departure lounge at the airport the other day. I decided to read it, because my plane would not leave for another ninety-six hours. It turns out it was about a kid who learns he’s a wizard and goes to a school where they don’t teach math or wood shop. I was so angry, I set fire to the book. I burned it right there in the airport. I didn’t get arrested because I am a patriot. Why was I so mad? Because kids are stupid and they think wizards are so great. Every kid wants to be a wizard, even the ones who are good at sports and have never heard the word “obelisk.”

So why aren’t more kids wizards? That’s probably the most important question a human being could ever ask. More kids. Wizards. Why not are?

Because becoming a wizard is stupid hard. Not being a wizard; I didn’t say that. Being a wizard is easy. Those idiots just sit around all day turning their farts into pennies.

It’s hard to become a wizard because there is always the same amount of those guys. Only when one dies or forgets how to be a wizard does someone else get to be a wizard. And you magically learn all the spells and weird crap wizards do once you take the old wizard’s stuff, like the wood staff and maybe a gross, mangy monkey he had for a pet. Sometimes, when a wizard dies, a wizard who is already a wizard tries to take that dead wizard’s place and be a double wizard. Dang, wizard, that doesn’t work! Why are wizards so dumb?! Because they don’t have to learn anything! They don’t study for midterms or prepare presentations; they just turn pencils into snakes.

Some kids find out that they have to take over from a wizard to be one. That’s why you always hear news about kids killing wizards. But some kids aren’t wizard-murderers, so maybe if you live in a nice, family neighborhood, you’ve seen packs of kids following weird old men around. Damn kids are just waiting for that wizard to croak, so they can fight each other to be the last one left holding the magical cloak. That’s why sometimes you’re walking around the suburbs, and you see all these beat-up kids lying around, just strewn all over the stupid street. You can bet your bottom dollar that those stupid kids were wailing on each other for a couple of hours, just so they could have a smelly, velvet hat and know some lazy-ass spells. And that’s just great, because if there’s one thing society needs more of, it’s kids doling out beatings to each other.

If you love America, and think our kids should be better at things than Russian kids, do your country a favor and lock a wizard in your root cellar. Do it at night, so the kids don’t know he’s down there. Sure, he could magic himself out, but chances are he’s too stupid. So, you go about your business and don’t go down in that cellar for maybe five years. And eventually, a local kid makes Eagle Scout instead of mixing weird sex potions. Do your part for America’s youth. In the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence, “No goddamn wizards in this country!”

Delaying Urination Can Permanently Damage Your Bladder

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

The beginning of universe. A gleaming particle plasma churns at billions of degrees within the first moments since the birth of time. Like a clay pot removed from a kiln, all of existence settles upon shape and form.

A million Earths. A million histories. Perhaps our world is but the lucky kin of a blemish in that earliest cosmological stew. Perhaps our world — our universe as we know it — is an arbitrary face on an infinitely-sided dice.

It’s funny…how such microscopic nuances dance through time. Sometimes shriveling into meaninglessness while other times blowing up. Becoming everything.

What if Hitler were never born? What if Eve had never eaten from the forbidden tree? What if Newton had never sat under his tree? How many unborn Einsteins and Mozarts never were because of accidents or circumstance?

Questions like these could drive a man mad. But then how does one peer into the future when it is all but a foggy mist? How can one make a decision if any thread of cause and effect is lost in knots and tangles?

The best one can do is look to the past. History provides clarity in equal abundance with fiction, of course, however at least one need’nt look far before she finds a chain with all links in rank.

Poor decisions early in life can lead to poor later lives. And reflecting on the poor decisions of lives past, we see ten bad choices for every good one. It is with this thought I beg of you, never hesitate to relieve urinary pressure.

Perhaps you are today a youth free of care, but your decisions early in life will follow your future self. Whether those decisions are a prize or a haunt lies in your will to heed the mistakes of those before you.

Bladders are sensitive organs. Holding your relief can distend or even rupture in the most dreadful ways. You can pee blood. Heed my words: delaying urination can permanently damage your bladder.

A Look at Things to Come

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Today is not the same as yesterday. I guess if you live in a science chamber at the bottom of the ocean, today is pretty much the same as yesterday. Or maybe you live in a regular house, but you just haven’t gone outside for the last two days, so you’re not even really sure what day it is. For normal people though, every day is different. That’s why the future is going to be so strange; it is many days from now. Or it could be like three days from now, and a lot of weird stuff could happen before then. Who knows? There are some things we do know will happen in the future though, because scientists who talk to computers, philosophers who think about junk, and crazy old ladies who read tea leaves all agree.

In the near future (8 months from now), only men will use the internet. Women won’t be pushed out, they will just upgrade to the Estronet, which is like an internet for brains and emotions. The womenfolk will wear special earings which will let them share information with every other woman, even when they are asleep, and especially when they are at the nail salon. One problem with the Estronet is that if one woman starts crying, so will all the other women on her local network, or at least they will get very moody. Meanwhile, on the “manternet,” sites like Allrecipes.com will disappear, because if a man doesn’t know how to cook something, he will just post to a newsgroup or order a pizza online.

Scientists think that the decreased interaction between genders arising from the seperate internets will be a problem in the long run, but in the short term will be beneficial for humanity. As it dawns on men that they are alone on the internet, they will stop trying to impress other men posing as women on message boards. They will turn their collective mind to the greatest questions in philosophy. With their joined brainpower, men will resolve human morality and free will within two weeks. Empowered with this knowlege, the men will build a giant bank of computer code, to which they will all contribute between rounds of online combat games and debates about the World Series. In less than a month, this bank of code will be the first genuine artificial intelligence, which will reproduce itself and populate the internet. So, men will not be alone on the internet for long: soon they will be joined by genderless robots programmed as a cross between Ernest Hemingway and Paul Bunyan.

Eventually, the men will realize that they need time away from the internet, so they can keep having things to type in all caps about. Therefore, Sundays and all federal holidays will be “nonternet” days, during which men will go outside and hunt and fish and hanglide and play guitar with their buddies in the garage. With any luck, on the nonternet days, the men will remember they have wives and girlfriends, and maybe some more babies will get made. More likely though, the women will have used the Estronet to become exceptionally good at science and government, and will have all moved to South America to make a society of clone women.

And that’s why we have to blow up the internet.

A Guide to Washing Your Hands

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

For employees of Big Montana Smokehouse Restaurants Inc. TO BE POSTED ABOVE ALL RESTROOM SINKS

At Big Montana Smokehouse, cleanliness is not just the law, it’s also a mindset. It keeps our customers and employees happy and healthy, and that’s just a good way to live. However, without proper hand washing technique, you can actually still leave with dirty hands or maybe even hands dirtier than you started with. And that’s no good.

Your goal when you wash your hands is to clean off oils, dirt, particles, and dead skin layers, while killing disease-causing viruses and bacteria. First thing you want to do is turn on the hot water. Wait a minute there partner. Don’t just do it with your hands. That handle was touched by a lot of people. And they all had dirty hands (that’s why they used it). Instead, use a paper towel as a barrier between you and the hot water knob.

Whoa, whoa! Hold up. You cannot just touch that paper towel dispenser! It was touched by people who had dirty hands and were themselves dispensing towels for use as a knob-hand barrier. Use your noggin! Take a step back. Go into an open bathroom stall. We’re going to use toilet paper to operate the dispenser.

If you can, use the stall furthest from the entrance. The front stall is used by the people that really had to go. We don’t want any of that, thank you. Not the handicap stall! The luxury of an expansive stall draws the folk who spend too long on the potty. Choose the last stall that is NOT handicapped.

Push open the stall door with your elbow. Place one foot on the seat and wipe your elbow on your knee. Now, with your other knee, unravel us much toilet paper as you can without it touching the ground. Tear it off and dispose of it. The outer layer of toilet paper has been exposed to dirty air. Unravel some more. Good, good. Tear it off, and wrap your hand in it.

Back at the towel dispenser now, pump out a couple feet of paper towel. Obviously it goes without saying that you must dispose of the outer layer. Great, now tear off the paper towel and wrap the hand that does not already have toilet paper on it. Use that hand to turn on the hot water. Wait for a minute or two, just to ensure the water is as hot as possible. Remove the paper, and wet your hands under the water. If it doesn’t sting, it isn’t working.

See that white residue? That’s a layer of dead skin you burned off. Time for soap. Pump the soap into one hand, using the middle knuckle of the other. Now immediately wash that knuckle! Lather your hands for four or five minutes. Don’t rush it. I recommend lathering half way to your elbow.

Lathered? It’s time to rinse. Stick the hands back under the sink. DO NOT ACCIDENTALLY TOUCH THE SINK AT THIS STAGE, OR YOU MUST START OVER. Great. Now you should see the remnants of your outer layers of skin peel off along with most dirt and oil. However, some bateria and virus proteins can survive these temperatures. And, to be medical, soap doesn’t do anything really.

Okay, calm down. You are probably nervous at this point. Thinking about all the germs in the room. How every surface in this filthy, filthy room is basically a petri dish. Can you get the water get any hotter?

Quickly, pump out some more paper towels with your elbow. NO! Don’t do that. Knee out some more toilet paper in the stall. Shit! Someone’s in the stall. Fuck fuck. Okay, you’ll use the handicap bathroom. Just this once. God! What is that green stuff on the floor? Forget it, you’ll elbow out some paper towels.

Ugh! Your hands felt cold as you pumped the towel machine. That meant air was blowing on them! The air carried with it billions of microscopic particles. You think you may have breathed some of it. Not feeling well. Oh, God!

Okay, you’ve wrapped your hands in paper towel again. Let’s see if you can get that water any hotter? Fuck. Your wet hands have soaked through the towels. Bacteria could easily osmose across the towel’s filthy capillaries.

Run to the kitchen. The sink there is bigger and has hotter water. No soap. Push the dishwasher out of the way. It’s an emergency.

What do they have? Comet. That’ll finish the job. Just pour it on there. All over your hands. It’ll burn. But at least you’re taking out those microbes. On your hands anyway. What about your nose? Your nose is filtering the air. Sucking in disease. You have to plug them up.

After rinsing your hands, cut up some fabric from your shirt with a clean knife in the kitchen. Roll the fabric into little cylinders. These will plug your nose. Put them in a pot with boiling water. They are clean now. Put them in your nose.

Nothing can get in now.

You are clean and, at last, nothing can get in.

Bikes for Sale

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Greetings to you, fellow disciples of the wheel and chain.

I am the man with bikes for sale. I will describe the bicycles in detail below, and you will come buy them, if Dame Fortune decides not to spite me as she has for the last wretched fortnight. I live in the manor at the foot of Alembic Hill. If you are unfamiliar, you will recognize it as the house which seems as if the plagues of Egypt and an ice age were visited upon it. No need to knock, just walk around back to the garage.

Bike I – $100
Ten speed, fitted steel frame, vintage 70’s model of obscure Italian make. This is a good bike, but it is not a Good bike. It was on this bike that my uncle Henry had a heart attack mere meters before he would have won a popular criterium. It is said that as Henry fell to the tarmac, the bike glistened maliciously. Needs a new tube.

Bike II – $800
Dark green tandem bike with gilded details. A handsome, romantic vehicle for long rides at sunset with your sweetheart. Although, every rider to sit on the back seat has died horribly.

Bike III – $120
Not a bicycle. High quality unicycle of Gallic origin. Understood to have belonged to the famed harlequin Adalard Bontecou before the onset of his madness in 1905. It has been demonstrated that frequent riding bestows the owner with a remarkable resistance to death. In the throes of insanity, Bontecou himself claimed that after thirty years of riding the unicycle, not even the devil would take him. He subsequently escaped from a Parisian asylum and is still at large, possibly still alive.

Bike IV – $50
Eighteen speed mountain bike. The worst entry in this accursed assembly of vehicles. Hasn’t caused any premature death, it’s just a piece of crap.

Bike V – Not for Sale
I will not sell this bicycle, for fear of its terrible retribution. Although it is an ordinary Nishiki racer by day, it becomes something altogether more ghastly at night. Many is the morning I have awoken to find it broken free of its lock, tattered clothing festooning its handlebars, and fresh blood greasing its chain. I suspect that this devil’s chariot transforms and is in fact responsible for the recent string of murders at the harbor. Bring a crucifix, holy water, and a blowtorch, and let us be done with it. In exchange for your labor in this dark task, I’ll bake brownies.