This is a snapshot of the 243 Ralph Kramdens who took to the nation's capitol last Saturday. After convening on the steps for this photo, the Kramdens commandeered a Washington D.C. city bus and drove around the capitol offering free memberships in the Raccoon Lodge and asking if anyone had seen Norton. Unfortunately, none of them were really bus drivers and so the accident that followed - the fireball, the deaths, the pain and suffering - didn't really come as a surprise, leastways not to the NTSB who concluded that all of the carnage could have been avoided if only they had been Nortoning instead of Kramdening.
October 2, 2013
This guy was walking around town on his tiptoes. His heels never touched the ground. And he wasn't in any hurry either as he casually went up one block and down the other on the balls of his feet. He looked normal enough, so I asked him what he was doing. "I'm practicing," he said. For what? "You don't want to know," he replied. Oh.
October 3, 2013
Read a story about a waitress being tipped $5,000 on a $30.00 meal. A week later that same person eats at the restaurant again but is served by a different waitress, who by now has expectations. After another $30.00 meal, the person leaves a six dollar tip. The waitress couldn't contain herself and confronts the diner about why she too was not getting a $5,000 tip. The patron says, My daughter was killed one year ago by a drunk driver. It's not the anniversary of her death, as it was last week, I haven't just received the insurance payout, as I had last week, and you don't look anything like my daughter, which last week's waitress did, and finally, the fact that you felt it was ok to ask me what you did makes me cringe and you unworthy. He never ate there again.
Everybody said time travel would be great. But it was always us visiting them. Nobody ever talked about them visiting us.
October 5, 2013
Went to a hockey game last night and just missed getting hit by a puck off a tipped pass. As the hard rubber disk went sailing past my head, I leaned out of the way and it caught the man sitting behind me square in the neck. He refused any treatment and continued to watch the game. By the third period, his neck was a mean red and swollen. He looked like he had a goiter. When his seatmate said that maybe he ought to get some help, the guy refused and said that tomorrow he was going to pretend the accident happened at work so he could get some time off and collect workers' comp. Then he added, It'll be cool as long as I don't die overnight. Indeed.
October 6, 2013
Standing in line behind two women.
-- Frank has been planning the bachelor party all week.
-- I can't believe she is letting him have it at a strip club.
-- She can hardly say no now can she.
-- What do you mean?
-- I mean she is the entertainment.
-- What? His fiancé?
-- Yup. She's going to strip and give lap dances to Frank and his friends.
-- Well isn't that kinky.
-- Weird's more like it.
They were both silent.
-- So basically he's marrying a whore?
October 7, 2013
Roses are red
Violets are blue
If you happen to be colorblind
Nevermind. (But that does explain the horrid outfits.)
October 8, 2013
So this guy keeps referring to Elvis as The King. I asked him just what Elvis was king of. He says, Music. Elvis was The King of Music. I said, But Michael Jackson was a self-proclaimed King of Pop. That makes two kings. How can you have two kings? I don't know! he yelled. I don't have a Ph.D in history! Reluctant to stop having fun, I said, Ok then, now that both kings are dead, who's the new king? I don't know! he screamed. Well, I mused, what about say, Barry Manilow? He was apoplectic. Miley Cyrus? His face was so red I thought it would burst. Look, he sputtered, Elvis is The King, was The King, and will forever be The King, even if he's dead, which I'm sure he's not, so let's just leave it at that. This was too easy. So The King is in exile? Yes, he returned. Where could Elvis be living where he wouldn't be recognized? Plastic surgery, he hissed. He had plastic surgery. He could be anywhere! Like say, as a figment of your imagination? He looked at me with murderous intent. He balled up his fists. Two seconds shy of crazy, I knew it was game over.
October 9, 2013
Computer is running amok. It downloaded 35 Microsoft updates, choked in the process, is stuck in some loop that rebooting doesn't fix. The virtual machine inside has also managed to lock itself into an endless search for updates that never download and never finish the search. I thought computers were supposed to be mature by now and no longer acting like teenagers who just found the key to the liquor cabinet. Sheesh.
So why are these primal elements such a built-in attraction for us?
October 11, 2013
This morning, found myself fact to face with a raccoon. It was so cute! A great way to start my day.
October 12, 2013
What if we met up with a far superior, technologically advanced, peaceful, ancient alien civilization - and they had no god. Or religion.
October 13, 2013
On these ghost hunter type shows they always ask the spirits the same stupid questions - can you make a noise, move an object, do some parlour trick so I can go Wow! Then, if it actually does make noise, they ask the ghost to do it again. They're like a bunch of four years olds with metal detectors - Ooh, make it beep! Make it beep! Hey ghost hunters, I want to know what it's like where they are, how do they see things, are they free to go elsewhere, are they aware of time, is there a god, is there reincarnation, do they know they're dead? That so hard?
October 15, 2013
Met someone who had no sense of smell. Ammonia? No. Warm, just baked cookies? No. A flower? Perfume? Gasoline? No, no and no.
-- Is it weird?
-- You don't miss what you never had.
-- Are your other senses sharpened to compensate?
-- I don't think so.
-- If given the opportunity, would you like to have the sense of smell?
-- Sure, of course, why not?
-- Many handicaps are obvious, but this one's invisible.
-- It is.
-- So people don't know you have it. Do you ever fake smelling something because you don't want to go into the whole explanation with everybody?
-- I do.
-- Fake smelling, the next Internet meme?
-- So what's your handicap?
-- Me? I don't have one.
-- Everybody is handicapped in one way or another. What's yours?
-- Um, I guess it's my humbleness. Sure, it holds me back. It's more of a curse than a handicap, but there, I said it.
-- I smell a rat.
-- Hey, I thought you couldn't smell!
October 16, 2013
I'm watching a show about an industrial manufacturing process and this one guy's job was to insert a small piece of metal onto a die in between the rhythmic slamming of a 500 ton punch press. Put a piece in. Slam. Pull the piece out. Slam. Put a piece in. Slam. He did this by hand. As far as I could tell, he still had all his fingers, his focus and rhythm was extraordinary, but his brain must have been zeroed out to sit and do this mind numbing job all day. Other people's lives.
October 17, 2013
If you have some wild dream about what you might accomplish, or invent, or create, or do, or become, yet you are doing nothing toward actualizing it, then it's likely you don't really believe you can. Otherwise you'd be doing it, right? That's the common wisdom. But I met this 12 year old kid who was just biding his time. He said he was going to be Prime Minister of Canada, but there was precious little he could do about it as a 12 year old. "It's a waiting game for me," he said flatly. "But my eye is on the prize." Huh, so much for common wisdom.
October 18, 2013
Perception and judgement go hand in hand.
To some, this is just a rusty old nasty piece of scratched up faded out rust bucket truck.
To others, it possesses a pleasing weathered patina that took decades to acquire and is absolutely perfect the way it is.
October 19, 2013
A friend and his wife went to Vegas on a long weekend and she ended up winning $25,000 off a slot machine. When they went to cash out, they were given $12,500 and told that since they were Canadian, the rest was being held back for US taxes. This bummed them out because they are pacifists who feared their tax money was just going to fund more bombs for the never ending American wars. Then, when they went back across the border, they had to declare that they had over $10,000 in foreign currency, got grilled by border guards and had to fill out extensive paperwork where their money was converted to Canadian and the couple had to pay even more tax on it. When I finally saw them, I asked how Vegas was. She said, "I won $25,000 and it sucked." Oh.
October 20, 2013
Last year I got a call from a company who wanted some original content for their website. I did a nice piece, sent it off, got paid, and they never posted it to their site. Recently, I got a call from the same company requesting another piece. It would have been totally appropriate to ask them why they never published the first one, but I didn't really care. That was their decision. But this time, I had to ask myself if I wanted to put in the time and creative effort to do it again, with potentially the same result. And you know what? I didn't.
October 21, 2013
She loved the New Age. Her mantra was, Be True To Yourself, Sally. It represented the opposite of her natural inclination which was to sacrifice herself for others. Whenever Sally found herself being sucked into someone else's drama she would say, Be True To Yourself, Sally. It never seemed to work and she never stopped saying it, never realizing that she was being true to herself (sacrificing for others) and reinforcing it through her mantra. Later on in life Sally admitted to her mantra's shortcomings. "Yeah, I shoulda changed it to No More Loser Friends. Bastards sucked me dry." And, so much for enlightenment.
October 22, 2013
Another writer once asked me what the size of my audience was. I told him one.
-- One? That's all you have? One fan?
-- It's me. I'm my biggest fan.
-- I only have to please myself. If I do that, then what follows doesn't matter.
-- But how many people read you?
-- Don't know. After me, it doesn't matter.
-- What about praise and rejection?
-- Like I said. if I am pleased with what I wrote, then everything after that can't diminish the fact that I am pleased at what I did. So what others say of my work is of no relevance to my main criteria and stated goal, now for the 3rd time, that I only need to please myself.
-- But aren't you curious what others have to say?
-- I'm not.
-- So you don't care about your fans?
-- I may not have any fans.
-- I'm assuming you write to be read, yes? So your readers should be your highest priority. But apparently they aren't for you. Apparently you are the only one who matters. Your infuriating narcissistic laisser-faire attitude is all wrong. You shouldn't be a writer, you should be a...a plumber where you can fix pipes all day. Or something.
-- Man, you should be ashamed of what just came out of your mouth.
-- I know. That was an awful analogy. Like I said, you infuriate me. I can't believe we're in the same profession. I'm so much better than you.
-- And it has been my pleasure to bother you. Beer?
Had a dream last night about a bank heist. Got up this morning and read about a bank heist that happened last night (in another city) with an eerily similar description to my dream. Naturally, I looked around my house for a boatload of pilfered cash in case my dream world and reality had mixed in some supernatural alchemical way, but found no moola. Hmm, so what's going on here?
October 25, 2013
I passed a 250 pound woman wearing a T-shirt with a drawing of an eagle wrapped in a US flag and underneath it said, 'America - we take what we want. You got a problem with that?' The back of her shirt had a picture of the globe with a set of tank tracks across it and the words, 'Get out of America's way or get run over'. I wonder, did she know she was in a foreign country?
October 26, 2013
Read the news this morning and got so frustrated and pissed off at all the stupidity in the world that I can't think of anything good to say.
-- Everything was going great until he says to me, Al, you are boula.
-- What's a boula?
-- That's what I wanted to know!
-- Well, what did he say?
-- He said...Fogash!
-- Fo what?
-- Fogash! But with an exclamation point, like he was serious.
-- What the hell's that?
-- Beats me. It was crazy.
-- Well, what did you say then?
-- I couldn't say anything. I was so stunned at not knowing what he was saying. That's when I called you. I just had to talk to someone I could understand.
-- You think Marty was dissing you?
-- I do.
-- Listen, I'll talk to Marty, he and I have a common jimack. Don't worry about it.
-- What did you say? Jimack? Are you pulling my leg?
-- Al, you are boula. Relax. Hey, where you going? Al? Al?
October 28, 2013
A couple are having sex in a clothing store changing room. Everyone can hear them. All the customers are commenting on the moans and howls. The store manager is implored to do something. He knocks on the dressing room door and asks the couple to come out. Two sheepish men emerge. Many of the store's customers applaud. The guys wave and exit. Could that have happened in any other era and gotten the same response?
October 29, 2013
Queuing at a checkout, I watched a teenager two lanes over steal a half a dozen candy bars from a counter display while his mother was checking out. He just grabbed a handful and shoved them in his pocket. He followed his mother through the till and started to walk out of the store when a security guard stopped them, grabbed the boy's arm and pulled the candy bars out of his pocket. The youth started flailing at the security guard and the mother started yelling and a rip roaring commotion commenced. I finished checking out and as I'm leaving I hear the mother vigorously defending her saint of a son and screaming to anyone who will listen that the security guard planted the candy bars on her boy and she was going to sue this store and they didn't know who they were messing with and other such bombast. I, knowing the boy was guilty, just sighed.
October 30, 2013
A phone company in Finland is no longer taking phone calls. If you would like to contact the company you may do so via e-mail, instant chat, fax or snail mail, but please, no more calls. To a phone company. Irony, Finnish style.
October 31, 2013
I received a pretty cool business card from a graphic artist. I asked him if I could post it here for everyone to see and he said no. I said it was great advertising for his business and a way to display his creativity, but he said no again. Then I thought, what if he doesn't want it widely seen because he stole it from some other graphic artist who used it as their business card? Of course! So maybe my posting it here will alert the real designer/clever person to the rip off. And then something big will happen. Hah! Did I just say that out loud?