Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
The Soviet-made Scud is too large to accommodate most women. Then again, most women don’t sleep with the entire starting lineup for the New England Patriots when you step outside to get the mail. (Photo courtesy of http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafspadeadam/images/scud2.jpg)
By my estimation, I’ve watched enough fictional murder investigations to qualify for the equivalent of fifteen law degrees. Between my extensive cable-based knowledge of the criminal justice system and my natural talent for hiding body-sized objects in unlikely places, I’m confident that I could get away with murder and maybe even a few of the pettier forms of vandalism. The trick is to have a solid alibi when the police ask where you were when that dead hooker turned up at a local kindergarten. The best approach is saying, “Sure, I was at the murder scene, but I was committing a different murder.” That should pretty much absolve you of all suspicion. Then all you have to do is explain why the murder victim happened to be covered in a gallon and a half of your semen; in fact, drowning in said semen appears to be the murder victim’s official cause of death. The best defense is to argue that your sperm could have traveled there on its own without your knowledge thanks to the virility of your stock and the increasing ease of use of the public transportation system. In that case, the worst you can be charged with is buying a bus pass for reproductive cells, a misdemeanor in most states.
Sperm are one of the most basic cornerstones of life. Yours light up like laser beams and know how to hail a cab. That’s why I’m not going to prom with you. (Photo courtesy of http://www.emergentchaos.com/images/05-nov/sperm-framed.jpg)These tactics might not work on TV, but they definitely work in real life, an arena in which crime scene investigators are considerably less impressive than their fictional counterparts. On TV, if the perpetrator wore gloves, then the investigators will discover that those gloves were made at a special glove factory in Switzerland and only two pairs of them exist in the continental United States, one of which happens to belong to a suspect who appeared earlier in the episode. In real life, if the perpetrator wore gloves, the investigators would give up on finding the real killer and frame some black guy instead. Also, TV murders tend to be much less mundane than their real life counterparts. Only on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit can detectives discover the victim was raped by a Jewish yeti. That explains the abundance of hair and lack of pork at the murder scene, but it also fails to have any basis in reality, where all yetis are actually Hindus.
All right, we’ve made the chalk outline. Now let’s find a body to fill it. (Photo courtesy of http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~sfsbboy/beca670_interactive_fiction/images/chalk_outline_old.gif)
Ultimately, murder investigations are pointless. If they lead to convictions, then the murderers will just go to jail, where they’ll learn to be better murderers by sitting around all day watching
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I can’t be exactly sure of my fiancée’s goals when we walked into the restaurant, but I suspect they looked something like this: 1) engage in polite dinner conversation 2) try new menu options 3) serve as a beacon of class and civility in an unpleasant world. I went in with a checklist of my own: 1) eat exorbitant amounts of food 2) try not to throw up in my fiancée’s hair. I’m happy to report that I achieved half of my goals. Lola was close to achieving all three of hers before she was knocked out of her chair by a stream of projectile vomit. One would think a steak that costs as much as three month’s rent for studio apartment would taste at least marginally tolerable, but the outside of it tasted like it had been lovingly prepared by a precision napalm strike while the inside tasted like one of the frozen beef popsicles of which I am so fond. Lola’s food was a bit better, but she couldn’t taste any of it after she suffered a concussion. Projectile vomit is even more deadly when it’s spearheaded by a frozen 23 oz. steak.Besides being both burned and undercooked, the steak’s presentation left something to be desired. (Photo courtesy of http://www.vegetarianismo.com.br/pqv/Images/DownedCowWithCalf-E.jpg)
The only thing more dangerous than the flying steak was the complicated array of utensils I was given to eat it. I understand that there’s some methodology to using certain pieces of silverware at specific times, but I don’t eat salad, which gives me one spare fork right from the beginning. This comes in handy if I happen to blow a fork later in the meal. In the meantime, I usually use the spare utensil to defend my table from other restaurant patrons and marauding wolves. It must have worked because nobody tried to sit at our table and only one of my legs was gnawed off by carnivorous wildlife. Since I didn’t have any utensils left to dispose of my salad when it arrived, I stayed within the bounds of etiquette by discretely dumping it on the floor. This created no additional burden for the restaurant since the lettuce I dumped would invariably be eaten by rabbits, which in turn would be devoured by wolves, which would then be stabbed to death by my salad fork. And thus the restaurant circle of life would be complete.A salad fork is slightly shorter than a regular fork to better facilitate lettuce penetration and prolonged fights with members of the canine family. (Photo courtesy of http://davigan.com/020225/FP_Salad_Fork_01.jpg)
The rest of the meal proceeded uneventfully, with many lessons being learned by all. For example, I discovered that appropriate utensils for eating the main course include a standard fork and steak knife. Inappropriate utensils include a salad fork, a garden trowel, and your penis.
Friday, November 17, 2006
When I was a kid,
Let’s start with the basics. According to contemporary accounts, Columbus was somewhere between five and 42 feet tall. He hoped to find a faster route to India so he could satisfy his insatiable hunger for human brains, a commodity that was oddly hard to find on the open market. Isabella and Ferdinand agreed to finance Columbus’s expedition under the conditions that he couldn’t sue them when he fell off the edge of the earth and that he had to follow their three-part agenda: 1) accidentally discover a new continent 2) commit genocide on said continent 3) bring back cookies.
The explorer commissioned three ships for the expedition: the Niña, Pinta, and Rape and Pillage Express – his beloved flagship – and set sail almost immediately. Thanks to his poor navigational skills and distrust of his GPS system, Columbus got lost and ended up in the Bahamas, which were something of a tourist trap even in the 1400s. He stayed there until he blew all his money on overpriced souvenirs and pot, at which point he was forced to return to Spain and make up a story about “discovering” the New World. He called the people who lived there “Indians,” mostly because of their legendary love for Indiana Jones.
During his stay in the Bahamas, Columbus didn’t give the natives smallpox; he traded it to them for six beads and a glow-in-the-dark slinky. For an additional three beads, the Indians could have upgraded to large pox and a biggie drink, but the indigenous people had a poor sense of cost-benefit analysis. To make matters worse, medical technology at the time was not exactly advanced. Insanity was thought to be the result of bad humors and toe fungus killed approximately a billion Europeans every four hours. There was no vaccine for smallpox when Columbus landed. He probably had no idea that he was even carrying the germs for the disease. But rest assured, if he would have had the vaccine, he would have refused to give it to the Indians because he was a jerk.
The explorer also found other ways to offend his contemporaries. There were no women on the voyage because Columbus knew there was not enough time in the day to both sail the ocean blue and beat his wife. Although the wind-powered sails he used were considered to be environmentally friendly at the time, Columbus installed a massive smoke-spewing furnace on his flag ship that was powered entirely by burning puppies. The furnace provided no warmth or propulsion for the ship, but it did supply the sailors with endless hours of entertainment. Finally, Columbus had the bad habit of swearing too much and using his radioactive heat vision to vaporize entire native populations. This proved detrimental to the spread of Christianity in the New World until someone pointed out that Jesus often used his ultra powerful death rays as a means of gentle persuasion for reluctant converts.
In America, the legacy of Christopher Columbus is mixed at best. A few cities are named after the explorer, the most notable of which are Columbus, Ohio, and Antichrist, Vermont. Otherwise, the sailor is largely forgotten in America today. Rather than being exceptional, Columbus is just another example of the way all famous people will eventually be vilified by historians. Someday, Louis Pasteur will probably be maligned for his genocidal campaign against the native rabies population, and the bones of Thomas Edison will be put on trial for the heresy of creating the light bulb. The modern world may be ungrateful to Columbus, but he undisputedly made one positive contribution to society today: a holiday selfishly created in his honor. Classes should definitely be canceled for Columbus Day. If we can’t have the day off in honor of his positive contributions to mankind, we should at least have the day off in memory of his unprecedented evil.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Sometime last year, Muslims around the world rioted because of some cartoons in a Danish newspaper. I wrote an article about it for the Observer. That article was banned, an accomplishment of which I was quite proud. I then wrote this article to replace the banned one:
There are a lot of rumors floating around right now about banned articles and freeze-dried orphans from
The single greatest argument for censorship in the media is people like me. Without someone limiting what I can say, I’d probably make comments like “catching gay butterflies should be considered a hate crime” and “there is no wrong way to hurt the Amish.” Thankfully, such statements could never make it into print because there are regulations in place allowing censors to issue a harsh reprimand for my first offense and to kill my entire family for the second. Not every lapse in journalistic integrity will lead to gangland-style slayings, but the vast majority will. As far as guidelines on the matter are concerned, it is generally okay to insult women since they’re not actually people, but religions must be approached with a bit more caution. While attacking a particular gender could potentially offend half the population of the earth, going after any one faith will never affect much more than a paltry billion people. Out of those billion people, however, at least one or two can be expected to confront you about your work, so it is best to buy a Kevlar vest or at least some thick mosquito netting. Of course, the members of some religions will react more strongly than others. While Christians might shrug off a remark about Jesus’s well-documented love for fast cars and pirated music, Hindus will kick you in the groin if you even think about eating a cheeseburger. This can be attributed to the fact that censorship in religious matters must be used arbitrarily to override the freewill of one group with the faith-based beliefs of another. In some parts of the world right now, for example, people following an unnamed religion of sunshine and happy thoughts are making other people do the opposite of stay alive because something somewhere somehow made their rainbows and perky smiles go away. Divulging any more details than that could make these cheerful chums even more enthusiastic about making things be the opposite of not on fire, so the dictum of arbitrary censorship demands that we refrain from offending this particular religion. As for Catholics, they should be content with statues of the Virgin Mary made from elephant dung and egocentric rappers posing as Jesus Christ. These offensive forms of expression are okay first because Catholics are massive pushovers and second because recent studies indicate that the Virgin Mary was in fact made from the fecal matter of a large land mammal and that Jesus actually did know how to lay down some hip beats. It’s hard to argue with science, especially when it suggests that the mother of God originated in the large intestine of an elephant.For all we know, maybe Jesus really was a black rapper born in 1977. The Bible doesn’t really clarify things one way or the other. (Photo courtesy of http://newsbusters.org/media/Jesus%20is%20that%20you2.jpg)
The logical reaction to the situation might be to wonder why a picture of Kanye West as Jesus was really necessary on the cover of Rolling Stone, but that’s why logic is for hippies and some of the larger chimpanzees. There is a simple reason why religions must be offended, rivers must be forded, and tight leather pants must be worn. It turns out that humanity is based on the principle that people must do stupid things simply because they can. Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to
In the meantime, it appears that mankind will have to rely on censorship to keep it safe. Of course, people could go without censorship and instead rely on self-control to prevent mayhem, but I have a hard time putting faith in such an unreliable method. For example, one time I read an opinion piece in the New York Times I disagreed with, so I stole a lawnmower and ran over a cat. Another time I saw an episode of Trading Spaces where one of the rooms turned out really ugly, so I killed six people. Both of these instances are examples of free speech, which generally works best when it only applies to bland comments that everyone can agree with like “the holocaust never happened” and “running over cats with lawnmowers is a constitutional right.” In order to be able to truly say whatever I want to while still preventing others from criticizing me in any way, however, I’ve decided that the only solution is to form my own incredibly repressive religion, which basically means believing everything I do now but with the added bonus of tax-exempt status.
This website in strongly condemns the harming of cats. That doesn’t mean I don’t hurt cats. It just means I can’t admit it if I want to keep the permit for my lawn care/feline removal business. (Photo courtesy of http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000CSW2QU.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg)
My religion is sort of like Christianity, except that all the boring parts are replaced with explosive car wrecks and partial nudity. This new religion revolves around a single god so powerful that he makes the regular Christian God look like diet God or perhaps just God light. My god’s name is Dan, and he likes to get drunk and run over people with his moped. That’s kind of like my religion’s version of the grim reaper, except that instead of going to any sort of afterlife, we just get back up and walk it off because we’re that tough. We also have our own creation story, which happens to be very similar to the Christian creation story. Fortunately, there is no such thing as plagiarism in religion, because if there was the guy who copyrighted monotheism would be richer than Dan. Dan’s creation story goes something like this: on the first day, Dan stole cable. It wasn’t easy since the universe wasn’t even created yet, but all things are possible with Dan. Then Dan spilled beer on his pants. It took him a full minute to realize that he hadn’t created beer or pants yet, so he was suddenly very mad, sober, and cold. He was not pleased, so he took five days off. On the seventh day, Dan created the rest of the universe, which he later regretted since it was quickly filled with jerks and whiners. Dan learned many things from the universe he created, such as the fact that animals with claws are not good at giving mammograms. He then decided that the only way to set things right was to slowly destroy the universe one minor incident at time. Today, whenever someone knocks over a fat man on motorized scooter and steals his Twinkies, that’s just my god slowly brining about the apocalypse.
Given the importance of these revelations, I suppose it really doesn’t matter that I wasted sixteen hours of my life on a nonexistent article since I gained the chance to found a blasphemous religion instead. Dan works in mysterious ways.
Friday, November 10, 2006
|A recent survey found that “Tobias Wolff” is the second manliest name in |
|The House on Mango Street is one of the most useful books I’ve ever read. I still use it to prop up the corner of my keyboard. (Photo courtesy of http://www.irvingisd.net/academylibrary/images/books/the%20house%20on%20mango%20street.jpg)|
|Welfare might help fight poverty, but so would drowning all poor people in a river. (Photo courtesy of http://www.eisenhowerfoundation.org/images/nad2.jpg)|
|I was born about fifteen miles away from the town in which Postville is set. That’s why I’m featured on the cover. I look good in black. (Photo courtesy of http://www.uiowa.edu/jmc/faculty/bloom/postville.jpg)|
Monday, November 6, 2006
Contrary to popular belief, residents of the 13 colonies didn’t just wake up one day to find democracy sitting on their doorstep like some kind of lost puppy. In those days, all lost puppies were instantly drowned upon discovery, and that doesn’t seem to be what happened to our beloved system of government. Instead, democracy in
Karl Marx wrote manifesto after manifesto to compensate for his lack of athletic ability. Most historians now agree that his many accomplishments in governmental theory were overshadowed by the fact that he ran like a girl. (Photo courtesy of http://www.leksikon.org/images/marx_karl.jpg)
The decision to give people the right to vote wasn’t an easy one. When George Washington helped found this great nation, he briefly pondered establishing a theocracy in accordance with his own religious beliefs. He decided against that particular form of government, however, when he realized the American people might be somewhat unenthusiastic about following the divine will of Satan. Plus Martha would never be able to clean that much goat blood out of the carpet.
Considering the fact that hundreds of poor people are viciously mauled to death each year in school board elections alone, casting a ballot in the midterm election almost seems like civic duty. Precedent suggests otherwise.
A ballot is kind of like a standardized test in which every possible answer is wrong. The only way to pass is to vote for the write-in candidate “Hairy Ball Sac” and hope he finally brings some dignity back to the White House. (Photo courtesy of http://josephhall.org/nqb2/media/OH_president_ballot.jpg)
These parties are most easily recognized by the majestic animals used to represent them: the hooker and the anorexic kangaroo, the sworn enemies of the Australian plains. This natural struggle spills over into the halls of Congress, where educated men argue day and night as to whether prostitutes or gaunt marsupials are the cause of all the problems in the world. It might seem as though a well-placed vote in the midterm election could sway this perpetual struggle one way or the other, but nothing could be further from the truth. Gaining and losing power has little to do with tallied votes and everything to do with the strategic use of inappropriate conjugal visits with anyone other than your spouse or licensed concubine.
According to the constitution, once every few years members of both parties are required to count the number of congressmen on their side who’ve been caught having sex with something they’re not supposed to, like a male page or a toaster. The resulting negative news coverage and painful burn marks will sometimes cause the hookers and anorexic kangaroos to rotate into or out of control of various branches of government, but the popular votes that accompany the process are really nothing more than a meaningless formality. The only way to play a direct role in deciding who leads the country is to become a male page or a toaster, which is why it’s impossible to attain either position without a doctorate in political science and incredibly low self-esteem.
While male pages and toasters have led to many ruined political careers, both are allowed to remain in congressional offices because neither has ever caused a life-threatening injury. Waffle irons, on the other hand, are permanently banned from Capital Hill. (Photo courtesy of http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i128/moving_sale/toaster.jpg)
It’s a barbaric system at best, but it’s far better than the alternative of encouraging women to participate in government. Female politicians are able to avoid most career-ending sexual mishaps, but they ultimately cause more damage then their male counterparts because they spend their time making laws rather than committing statutory rape. This allows them to illegally avoid the risk of having an embarrassing sexual encounter exposed, the most crucial element of the checks and balances system. There is nothing more unconstitutional than a politician who practices fidelity.
If there is one scapegoat to blame for our current vulnerability to women, it’s the American citizen. Male voters first allowed women to participate in government for the same reason that people teach sign language to chimpanzees: because feeding the poor to caged wolves gets old after a while. After the initial entertainment value wore off, however, the country found itself in the unenviable position of having an entire class of voters that lacked the favored reproductive organ of democracy. It is a scientific fact that men excel at certain government-specific functions, like starting fights and solving riddles that can only be answered through the careful use of a penis. No woman can be expected to conquer the Rubik’s Cube: Phallus Edition. Furthermore, ever since female suffrage was enacted, the
The danger posed by female politicians is just one more reason to stay home on Election Day. Not voting absolves you from all culpability when things go wrong. Now when non-male politicians sell the
Friday, November 3, 2006
Jimmy was Dying
Jimmy was dying. His auburn hair was on fire, and his crumpled body was riddled with shrapnel. Behind him, an exposed pipe hissed, releasing its noxious, superheated gases into the room. The pipe – which had just exploded with unusual violence – was part of the school’s ancient, explosion-prone heating system whose epicenter was the single most deadly boiler in
“Open a window,” Mr. Mahoy said. Sarah got up from her seat and walked to the window, taking extra care to step over Jimmy’s body. The flames had now spread to cover the rest of the fallen boy’s form. There would be no point in summoning the nurse. Mr. Mahoy pressed the call button on the intercom.
“Mrs. Yolan,” Mr. Mahoy said, “we need a clean-up crew and a fire extinguisher. This fire is getting rather large. You should probably hurry.”
“Sure thing, Mr. M,” Mrs. Yolan replied.Many schools systems can afford boilers that don’t regularly explode. Catholic schools are seldom among them. (Photo courtesy of http://www.terrenum.net/cleancoal/boiler%20room.jpg)
Satisfied, Mr. Mahoy turned away from the intercom to face his class. “Now if you will open your books to page seventy-four you will see that… What is it, Greg?” Mr. Mahoy asked.
“Um, sir, part of Jimmy’s brain is on my book,” Greg said.
“Greg, show some maturity,” Mr. Mahoy responded. “You all heard Mrs. Yolan. The clean-up crew will be here in a few moments. Sarah, how’s the fire doing?”
“Not too bad,” Sarah replied, “But the smoke is making it kind of hard to breath. Shouldn’t we go outside this time?”
“No,” Mr. Mahoy said. “You all know the rule. We only go outside if a pipe explosion kills six or more students. This explosion only killed one. At least I assume that it only killed one. Is anyone else out there dead?” Mr. Mahoy asked.
“No, Mr. M,” the class replied mechanically. He asked that question every time. He was required to by law. The flames were now climbing the walls, and Jimmy was little more than a pile of ashes. That eliminated the need for a burial. The school cemetery was already overcrowded, and even one less body to bury was a tremendous relief to the overstressed staff. Tuesday was Mr. Allen’s day to dig the graves. He would be pleased at the news of the free cremation. It only takes a few seconds to flush ashes down the toilet.Thanks to the rapid spread of attention deficit disorder, few students can concentrate on school work while also being on fire. (Photo courtesy of http://www.wildlandfire.com/pics/fire10/tempfire.jpg)
“Mrs. Yolan, where is the clean-up crew?” Mr. Mahoy asked, his finger again firmly pressing down on the intercom’s call button. “The smoke is completely obscuring the back of my room. How am I supposed to teach these students if I can’t even see them?”
“I’m sorry, Mr. M,” Mrs. Yolan replied. “The boiler isn’t doing very well today. We’ve just had four more pipe explosions. A few of the blasts cleared the six-student mark, so you’ll just have to wait. You know perfectly well that the clean-up crew attends to classrooms in order of descending casualties.”
“Well, what am I supposed to do?” Mr. Mahoy asked. “I’m giving a test tomorrow, and unless we can get this fire under control, these kids won’t know the material. A few students have already passed out from the smoke, and I think that Suzy just caught on fire. Suzy, are you on fire?” Mr. Mahoy asked.
“Yes, Mr. M,” Suzy replied mechanically.
“See,” Mr. Mahoy said, “I have needs, too. I’m tired of getting the lowest priority.” A huge explosion rocked the entire school on its foundation. Mrs. Yolan didn’t reply. It was obvious that the clean-up crew would not arrive any time soon, so Mr. Mahoy released the call button. A new string of boiler-related explosions ripped through the school, but no one noticed inside Mr. Mahoy’s room. The roar of the fire was far too loud. The support beams were beginning to fall, and most of the students had collapsed from smoke inhalation. Visibility was too poor to tell if any of them had been incinerated.
“Suzy, have you been incinerated yet?” Mr. Mahoy asked. There was no response. “Okay, that makes two deaths for sure. If any of you who are still conscious can confirm that at least four more of your classmates are dead, we can go outside.”
“Stephen, Rick, and George are definitely dead, and I think that Sam is, too,” a muffled voice called out from somewhere within the smoke.
“How sure are you that Sam’s dead?” Mr. Mahoy asked.
The voice hesitated for a moment before replying, “Very.”
Once the school heating system is turned on, it will remain on for the rest of the season. Please dress accordingly. (Photo courtesy of http://wvls.lib.wi.us/ClarkCounty/thorp/schools/images/WhiteEagleFire.jpg)
“Alright, we’ve met the minimum requirement. Everybody out,” Mr. Mahoy bellowed so as to be heard the inferno that now engulfed the entire room. Four students ran out the door. Apparently the six-death minimum had more than been exceeded. “Darn it,” Mr. Mahoy said to himself. “I should have had first priority after all. Now these students will never be ready for their test.” Mr. Mahoy carefully collected his papers as a flaming support beam fell, crushing his desk. Tomorrow, Mr. Mahoy thought to himself, he would remember to bring a fire extinguisher.