Monthly Archives: April 2014

On Being Weird

toilet

I think I may suffer from some sort of mental illness, because the most random things come out of my mouth and fingertips, and I don’t mean balloons, basketballs or broccoli. Out of the thin blue yonder I’m liable to say or type anything; the more profane the better. It may be a distant cousin of Tourette’s, but then it may be a brother to heavy cannabis use in the 80s and 90s. I personally believe I say the things I do is because of an accident that happened to me when I was eleven years old. It was so horrific an accident that I can’t remember a thing about it, nor can anyone in my family. Not only can no one remember the accident, the injuries I sustained must have healed immediately because I don’t recall them, either. It’s even been rumored that no such accident ever existed, but that hasn’t been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It had to be an accident, I tell you. There’s no other way to explain it.

We lost our cable TV during a storm late last night, and when I called to report it, the customer service associate said that the entire neighborhood was affected. Without thinking, I replied with a sigh, “Well, it gives me great comfort to know I’m not the only one suffering.” The associate must have been starving for some sort of deviance because he almost choked on his headset. Why did I say that? Goodness gracious, I don’t enjoy the suffering of others! Well, there are a FEW exceptions to that statement, but they only involve children and small animals. But that’s beside the point. My attorney will field all inquiries from here on out.

There was the time I answered an unknown caller by screaming “THE BABY’S COMING! I CAN SEE HIS – WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?” and then hung up abruptly. Turns out the caller was a 63 year old man on his first day as a telemarketer in Emporia, Kansas. I settled out of court and agreed to pay his cardiologist fees. My favorite blurt memory is that time I found myself in the middle of a crowded elevator at the VA Hospital in Birmingham and said in a loud voice over the silence: “I suppose you all wonder why I invited you here today.” Everyone under 30 laughed. Actually, there was only one person younger than 30 in there. I basked in that gentleman’s delight while the other twenty nine passengers frowned and stared.

It doesn’t help that I especially like potty humor. I’ve been that way since antiquity. I mean, I’ve never crapped in one hand and wished in the other (contrary to what Wikipedia says) or actually flung feces (except for that time in Rio, and it was justified) or found myself staring lovingly at my bowel movements; I just enjoy a good poop joke. Here’s one: What do you call a little one who fills his diaper at a birthday celebration? A party-pooper! (I’ll wait here until you stop laughing) Actually, because I pride myself on having a college education, I like to tell strangers that I’m the world’s foremost amateur scatologist (a scatologist is someone who studies shite – really). That allows me to venture into areas the average pooper-trooper can’t go. For instance, I like to hang around the hair care aisle in Wal-Mart with a sign that says “BOYCOTT SHAMPOO! DEMAND REAL POO!” But mostly the title of scatologist allows me to make scientific speculations that are in no way scientific, like “Wow, your poop is bright red! I suggest you cut back on the Red Dye #3 for awhile. What? You think it’s blood? What school of scatology did you go to, buddy? Suck it up and stick some duct tape over it.”

That’s not all. Oh, no. I not only like to spout crap, I get a kick out of farting randomly in public. You would not believe the reactions I get. It makes cats jump, it makes kids giggle, it makes church congregations want to get so carried away in the Spirit they have no conscious awareness of the foul smell settling on them like pollen. Did you know you can train your anal sphincter to sound just like a bugle, trombone and tuba all at the same time? I especially love showing off my rendition of John Phillip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever“. Once you experience it, you’ll never be the same again. Elevator farts won’t even make your eyes water anymore. I was going to mention some of my most memorable farts (like that time in the Christian Book Store when my sister got blamed for it) but that would require a much longer essay.

I don’t necessarily like this way I am. Oh, it provides me with a wealth of fun. But when I’m in bed at night and have no one to share my eclectic thoughts and observations with (like ‘How come I only itch down there when I’m trying to sleep?!’), or have to go through the humiliation again of having cops bust down my door because one of the neighbors said the stench of rotten meat and rotten feet were emanating from my place, I mean, it can get pretty lonely. Every morning I find my cat hiding in the garbage disposal and my dog scratching hunks out of the back door.

If you doubt my extreme weirdness (is ‘weirdness’ classified as a mental disease?), just look me up on Facebook or Twitter and hang around a few days. Maybe you’ll be the person who can help me with this disorder. If not, I’ve got a few disgusting jokes I want to share with you. It may take a few days to respond, as I am currently working as a test subject on some new toilet designs that are claiming to be Chimichanga proof. I will blow them out of the water, not so much because I have a particularly potent defecatory process, but because as a scatologist, I am adept in excremental mechanical physics, and can deliver a turd with the power of a 9 mm bullet to the weakest spot in any toilet and… well, you get the point.

Next time you’re in a grocery store, deliberately brush up against some random shopper, count to three then turn around, run up to them, grab their shoulders and shout in their face: “SAY SOMETHING!” No matter what they say, get all excited and yell “I CAN HEAR! IT’S A MIRACLE! THIS PERSON HEALED ME! EVERYONE, MAKE NOISE SO I CAN HEAR IT!” You’ll get a taste what I go through every single day.

Great, ain’t it?

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Bootie Call

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I love Judge Judy. I really do. I’m like the Rainman every day at 6 PM. It doesn’t matter where I am I have to find a TV to watch her show. If I don’t get my daily Judge Judy fix I start getting irritated, my skin feels like bugs are crawling all over and I have the irresistible urge to call someone a moron. It’s no picnic shouting our “MORON!” at a firing range. Or a baby shower. Not that I’ve ever been to one of those things … recently.

Judge Judy is a no-nonsense girl. I love seeing a participant act like they’re trying to get over on her. She either kills them with a thousand paper cuts or just lobs off their head. She has no intellectual equal. My wife thinks Judge Judy is cruel. I disagree. Judge Judy is fair and honest. If she’s talking to an idiot, she tells them they’re an idiot. She has no tolerance for stupidity. Try to come to her courtroom without all your ducks in a row. She’ll wipe the floor with you. She says something like “You think you were coming to the beach today?” and usually the target of her question just stands there with a goofy grin on their face. Poor stupid idiot. I always get a thrill up my leg every time she calls someone a moron. She doesn’t just say it, she shouts it in a very pronounced Manhattan brogue with Yiddish undertones – in their face. “Yer a moron! An idiot! Are you on any drugs that diminishes your mental capacity?” Here the poor schmuck is with about 60 paid extras behind him, three cameras with ten million viewers and Judge Judy directly in front with lights so bright you think you’ve crossed over, usually considered a good thing in any other setting, but not here. He’s just entered his own personal little hell.

It’s absolutely wonderful when she catches someone in a discrepancy, usually a difference between their oral and written statements. Depending on how much coffee and crackers Judge Judy’s had that day, she can either eviscerate them quickly “You’re a phony! Which story is true? How can I know whether you’re telling the truth or lying right now? Your counterclaim is denied. You’re a hustler! Well, who got hustled today, moron?” or she can toy with them like some cats do a mouse, buffeting their incompetence while dangling them by the tail. I saw her use the Force to beguile some moron against his will to make and then use his own noose. Really. Well, kinda…

The real beauty of Judge Judy is her ability to tell a lie from a thousand yards. The short hairs on the back of her head actually stand up. When she asks a question, she wants the person to look at her square in the face when they answer. She’s a human lie detector. I don’t care if the truth will get me locked up for life, you won’t find me fibbing to Judge Judy. If the participant brings a witness she watches them, too. I love it when some loser is standing in front of her, and his girlfriend is sitting behind him. Judge Judy will look at the girl and say something like. “You look like a smart girl. Why are you going around with this fool? Do me a favor and don’t have any children with him.”

I enjoy the show so much that my wife has started calling her “Judge Bootie.” I’d rather be waterboarded eight times a day for the rest of my life than call her that to her face, but in the safety of my own home I’ve said it a few times. I don’t consider her any sort of sex symbol, even though she does look hot in that black robe and frilly collar. She likes to tell people “They don’t keep me here because I’m gorgeous. They keep me here because I’m smart.” You can say that again, Judge Bootie, er Judy. Sometimes a participant will try to outsmart her. She tells them up front “You think you’re smarter than me? I eat people like you for breakfast!” and then proceeds to humiliate them in front of ten million viewers.

Listen, if you ever find yourself on her show, respond to the question she gives you with as short an answer as you can, because she’s usually ready for lunch (and will tell you so while tapping her wristwatch) and doesn’t abide long, drawn out narratives. Don’t tell her how you feel. Don’t give sweeping generalities. Don’t say “Um.” (“Um is not an answer!”) and whatever you do, DON’T try to talk over her. She’ll have Byrd (her super-cool bailiff; Mr. Laid back of 2013) bounce you out on your ear or cut your microphone off. She’ll say “This is MY playpen!” And it is. Oh, I almost forgot. Do not cross your arms under any circumstances. She will disembowel you on the spot.

As much as I love and admire Judge Bootie, if I ever get a summons to appear in her courtroom I might just have a nervous breakdown. I just can’t stand being called an idiot. Moron, yes. Idiot, no. I think I would literally thrown myself at the mercy of the court. That would almost guarantee my case gets aired. If there was anything left of me afterwards, I’d cherish the time I had with her. She can eat crackers in my head all day long.

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When You Know It’s Monday…

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April 14, 2014 · 3:50 pm

In Defense of Boogers

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I think it’s about time we have an honest discussion about one of the most taboo subjects in the history of civilization. I’m talking about boogers. Snot rockets. Nuggets. Roly-Polies. Nose candy. Crusty cake. I promise you, dear reader, that there are a number of folks stabbing their keyboards this very moment trying to get away from this article. That’s fine. That means there’s more information for the rest of us to digest.

‘Booger’ is just a fancy way of referring to dried nasal mucus. Let me tell you how a booger is born. Throughout our day we breathe in copious amounts of tiny dust particles that get trapped by mucus-covered nasal hairs called cilia. A good portion of these dust particles happen to host a wide variety of pollen, bacteria and other such microscopic matter such as dried urine, floating feces and dead skin cells from about every part of both human and animal bodies. There’s no need to freak out and plug your nose. If you breathe through your mouth you actually inhale 1000% more of the particles mentioned above. In this sense, mouth breathers really are stupid. Be healthy and keep your trap shut.

The reason why some boogers are sticky and slimy while others are crusty and slightly salty is quite simple. As we breathe through our nose (I would use the word ‘nasal cavity’, but that sounds creepy and painful), the mucus dries out and begins to petrify the material that at one time was minding its own business, happily floating in the air. If you happen to be prospecting for gold and run across a booger, you’ll be able to tell in an instant what its consistency is. Personally, I prefer dry over wet. They flick farther.

But all this talk about boogers would be incomplete without the controversial discussion on whether they can be consumed. I’m sure you’ve seen a little child sitting in church or in the bleachers during a soccer game or just watching TV, and they bury half of their forefinger up their nose, retrieve a big honker and then casually pop it in their mouth. If boogers were deadly, society would have never made it past the Mesopotamian era. If boogers killed, you wouldn’t be reading this and I wouldn’t have written it. You would like the world to believe boogers have never passed your lips, but we all know different, don’t we? That’s alright. We’ll just call it our dirty little secret, my holy roller friend. Stop gagging. You’re making it difficult to continue reading.

Look, it’s a known fact that ingested boogers can actually boost the immune system and prolong life. You actually can’t help but suck a few loosy-juicies into your stomach. The average human swallows about a quart of mucus a day. In fact, your sinuses produce about 2 liters of mucous a day. Think about that next the time you get a 2 liter bottle of your favorite beverage. It’s completely natural. When your allergies act up or you get a full-fledged cold, you can really become a snot factory. During these times you don’t always have a tissue handy, so you have no choice but to suck it up. No one’s judging you. He who is without mucus may cast the first booger. Wait a minute. Without mucus, he wouldn’t have a booger. Never mind. I say we should embrace our boogers, we should love them for what they do, we should include them in our food like croutons or tofu. If you really love someone, you’ll eat their booger. I know you’ve thought about it late at night when no one else is around. I mean, we share pretty much every other bodily fluid, don’t we? Why not the occasional boogie? Ok. Here’s a test question: Would you eat your best friend’s juicy, drippy booger for one million tax free dollars? Move over; I’m salivating just thinking about the first thing I’d buy with the money: mouthwash.

If you think boogers aren’t very sophisticated, you’d be wrong. The scientific term for enthusiastically picking one’s booger is Rhinotillexomania. If boogers were the trailer trash of body parts, they certainly wouldn’t have a name like that, now would they?  Actually, my dog doesn’t care one whit about names or phobias or taboos. She’ll gobble a goober in a heartbeat and not think twice about it. She’s actually quite handy to have around if I’m too engrossed to get up, retrieve a hankie or tissue and tackle the mucus mountain myself. She thinks they’re treats. The cat is too finicky for such cuisine, though. He doesn’t know what he’s missing.

Ok, even I have my limits. It’s not easy typing while retching. I just had to stand up for those little guys, those poor outcasts of anatomy, those misfits of modern conversation. I don’t think they deserve to be shunned. In fact, I’ve just fired off an impassioned letter to the White House asking the President to designate one day in August as National Booger Day. Why August? It’s the most neglected month of the year when it comes to holidays. What better place to venerate nose nuggets? I mean, it’snot rocket science.

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Getting Blinky

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To the fellow driving a white Explorer on I-59 North just outside of Meridian, I give my deepest apologies. Your quick thinking, lightening fast reflexes and middle finger saved us both from a horrible accident. I should have pulled over about fifty miles back when I became sleepy, but nooo, I had to be all manly and kept driving. Thank goodness you were paying attention when I drifted over to the passing lane. Does a horn that loud come standard in the Ford Explorer? I’m grateful for it. I’m glad you know how to use sign language, too, otherwise I wouldn’t have known you suddenly had the desire to copulate with me. Bless your brake foot.

I’ve been on plenty of long trips, driven across the country from sea to shining sea, from snow to sun and back again. When I was younger it was nothing to hop in my car and log sixteen to twenty hours of driving without the first hint of fatigue. Now I’m lucky if I can make it to the grocery store without taking a nap. The older I become the harder it is for me to travel long distances without getting blinky. Fortunately, I’ve come up with several ways to stay awake on the road. Unfortunately, they don’t always work. Fortunately, I’m still alive. Unfortunately, I don’t know why.

Admit it. You’ve been sleepy while driving. We all have. It seems we all try the same things to stay awake, too. Tune the radio to thrash metal and crank it to ear-bleed level. Roll down the window and pretend you’re a dog. Slap yourself. Sing old TV theme songs (my favorite is a tossup between The Beverly Hillbillies and Gilligan’s Island). Get out and run around the car a few times (technically that’s still pretending to be a dog). Splash cold water on your face. Inject copious amounts of caffeine and/or sugar into your body by any means available (although a coffee enema is out of the question for me). Usually any combination of these things gets the cobwebs out of your noggin and you can continue to move on toward your destination.

That stuff doesn’t work for me. Listen, I’ve tried all that and it just doesn’t wake me up. My brain hears loud music and automatically thinks it’s death metal and tries to comply. I change my position in the chair by scooting my butt halfway up the back of the car seat. That just makes it easier for me to lay my head on the dashboard. I’ve rolled down all my windows and stuck every part of my body out except my accelerator foot and my driving hand to no avail. It looks like I’m trying to escape a killer fart. I’ve slapped myself so hard the picture on my driver’s license cried. Not only have I bellowed the lyrics to every TV show from Howdy Doody to The Walking Dead, I’ve cranked out entire rock operas (Jesus Christ Superstar and The Wall are my favorites) but they all sound like lullabies. I’ve pulled over and chased my invisible friend around the car for half an hour only to find myself napping under the trunk. I’ve dunked my head in ice water and almost drowned had it not been for the sound snoring makes when it bubbles around ice cubes. I’ve ingested so much caffeine people think I’m Juan Valdez. It’s so embarrassing to doze off with a bladder full of Mountain Dew.

No, I have to elevate it a step further to stay awake. I’ve been known to take myself hostage. The threat of being shot keeps me alert. Sometimes when I know I’ll be going on a long trip I’ll deliberately bring along a dozen or so rabid bats. That’s an eye-opener. I tried propping my eyelids open with toothpicks once but accidently gave myself a lobotomy. Another thing that works for me is to not have a bowel movement for the three days prior to my trip, and then the day I leave go through Taco Bell and consume half a dozen chimichangas. That certainly keeps my mind active. One time when I got sleepy I pulled over, put the car in neutral and pushed it the rest of the way. I arrived tired but awake.

Perhaps I should just leave long drives to the younger folks. That’s too bad. I feel like I’m in training to be the first to successfully drive from New York to LA while asleep behind the wheel. I’ll make sure to give everyone plenty of notice, though, in case you want to come along and honk at me from time to time. Egads, all this talk of sleep makes me want to get behind the wheel and head to Florida.

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