Friday, October 12, 2007

I'm Off

Well, folks, this is sayonara. I have eight hundred things on my To Do list and just seventy-two hours to do them.

Bright and early Monday, I'm off on a three-week tour of Japan. My vocabulary will consist solely of the words "hello," "goodbye," "eat," and "thanks."

If I could learn how to say "I never ever do this, but for you I'll make an exception," I'd have all the bases covered.

Please, browse through the archives for stories you might have missed. And check back for news after November 7. Will I be set upon by Yakuza thugs? Will I be molested by Harujuku girls? Will a wealthy Asian businessman fall in love with my feet?

Does Al Gore shit in the woods?

Drew Carey is Engaged

NEW YORK -- Drew Carey, sitcom star and game show host, recently got engaged to cooking school graduate Nicole Jaracz, announced his spokeswoman.

The squat, beefy Mr. Carey seems an odd companion for the gorgeous, shapely Ms. Jaracz. "But I love him on The Power of Ten," she gushes. "And The Price is Right."

Drew Carey is Engaged

Thursday, October 11, 2007

No Gays in Iran?

Last month Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals," receiving laughter from an American audience. Yesterday an aide said that Mr. Ahmadinejad had been misunderstood.

"The president actually meant there aren't many gays in Iran," the aide clarified. "But the ones we have are so highly valued they're often hung up for everybody to see."

No Gays in Iran?

"Mormons Exposed"

"Mormons Exposed" is one of the weirder websites around. They're ostensibly trying to boost Mormonism, yet they don't seem to have a clue what the religion is about.

They claim their calendar featuring shirtless male models represents "a different side of the Mormon male" . . . though these guys aren't allowed in public without a tie for two years of their lives. They claim they're trying to encourage tolerance . . . of a religion that tries to "fix" gays.

The models themselves aren't exactly rocket scientists. "Matthew says if modeling doesn't work out, he looks forward to finding another career." Good backup plan, Matthew! Way to narrow that down. "James wants to live the American dream and have a nice house filled with pets and a beautiful, loving family." That's the American dream? What happened to the part about meeting Oprah? "Shane fondly recalls giving a blessing to a woman who was bound to a wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis. He says that after being blessed, she felt she had the strength to try to walk again, and was able to do so." Well! Let's see Miss America fuckin' do that.

Still, it's hard to criticize kids who spent two years of their lives as missionaries in impoverished parts of the world. Though maybe this explains why Blues Traveller tops the music charts in Kenya, and why the majority of children in Namibia have twelve moms named "Tina Ann."

Mormons Exposed

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Go for the (Heterosexual) Gold

Was the U. S. Olympic Committee discriminating against gays when they stopped them from using the term "Gay Olympics"? Of course not. They just didn't want every Tom, Dick and Harry starting their own Olympics, because that would diminish the sanctity of the name. It's odd, though, that there are now literally millions of non-Olympic sites that bear the Olympic name, from the Poetry Olympics to the Pigeon Olympics to the Peanut Olympics. If you're curious what groups apparently aren't being sued by the U. S. Olympic Committee -- evidently meeting their lofty standards for quality -- here's a small cross-section of what I found on the Web.

OlympicsSearch ResultsEvents/Highlights
"Senior Olympics" Google lists 176,000 URLs with this phrase. At the St. Louis Senior Olympics, highlights include horseshoes, bingo, and bagels. (
"Barnyard Olympics" 876 different URLs At one fair, events include " . . . cow mooing, corn husking, . . . hog calling & other farm fun activities . . . . " (
"Velcro Olympics" 863 URLs Put on velcro clothes and try to complete an obstable course. (
"Messy Olympics" 547 URLs Face-painting, water-slides, mud. Whee.
"Olympics of Performing Arts" 15 URLs Judging from the photos, it looks Hobby Horse Racing and Punky Brewster Lookalike Contest are two main events. And you'll be happy to know there is a solo opera category for ages 7 and under.
"Donut Olympics" 350 URLs Events include Munchkin Toss, Donut Pass, and Donut-Nose Roll. Also included is a discussion of the Gargle Olympics, so this whole thing could be a weird joke. (
"Culinary Olympics" 32,900 URLs Beats me -- the main website is in German. Because, you know, they're world-renowned for their cuisine.
"Kiddie Olympics" 295 URLs Carry an egg, jump through a hoop, run without dropping something. That was life with my second husband. (
"Frog Olympics" 522 URLs Needless to say, there's a long jump. Me, I'd make kids catch bugs with their tongues. (
"Library Olympics" (also "Reading Olympics") 565 URLs In Kansas City, events include a book cart race, a spelling bee, and a Dewey Decimal System trivia quiz. Kill me now. (
"Nudist Olympics" 147 URLs They stick with "Best Bum" and "Best Chest." Frankly, I'm just thrilled there's no Sack Dash or Three-Legged Race. (,20867,21170422-2702,00.html)
"Carnal Olympics" 2,330 URLs By the people who brought you "I Can't Believe I Did the Whole Team." There are three events: lesbianism, having sex on a pool table, and seducing a policeman. Like you've really got to practice to do one of those. (
"Sex Olympics" 34,900 URLs Don't even think about clicking on this website. Believe me: it's triple-X rated and waaay filthy. Five seconds there and I guarantee you'll wish every Olympics was gay. (

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Crown Me

I've spent the last six months making plans for my trip to Japan. I made reservations at one hotel's website, but never got a confirmation. I emailed three times and never got a reply.

Finally I decided to call. An old man answered the phone -- in Japanese, of course. "Do you speak English?" I asked.

"I don't know," he answered in a sad voice, like I was his mom and I'd asked if he was going to finish his carrots.

"Is there somebody there who speaks English?" I asked.

"I don't know."

"I made a reservation online. Can you see if you got it?"

"I don't know."

I hung up, deciding I can be frustrated for much less than ten bucks a minute. Over the next week I called back five times, and every time he answered the phone. He still didn't know.

A couple hours later, a parade came by my apartment house. There were probably a hundred people in funny costumes and big red noses walking on stilts, riding unicycles, and just generally raising heck. I asked one of them, a twentyish woman wearing mismatched tights and a hat made out of balloons, what was up. "Crown!" she cried happily.

"Crown?" I repeated.

"Crown!" she confirmed.

About eight hours later it hit me: CLOWN. It was a clown parade, advertising a clown festival at a performance space nearby.

I leave next Monday, for three weeks. Will I have hotel reservations? Will I fit into the subway? Will I understand anything anybody says? Will my bladder explode because I can't find a bathroom? Will I accidentally eat a $900 meal?

I think I know how the old dude feels.

Clown Festival

Monday, October 8, 2007

Small Wonder

Tall guys have to be careful who they go out with. Wander around with another tall guy and the world will cower at your feet. Hang out with an average-sized guy and you'll still get admiring glances. Venture into public with somebody short, though, and you may as well glue a "Kick me!" sign to your ass.

I'm not talking about all the problems due to the height difference. Sure, the short guy will amble along just slightly slower than a disabled dachshund, while snails and Frankenstein scamper past. Then there's the impossibility of having a conversation: his mouth is roughly ten feet from your ear, which means you'd hear more audible words out of a seashell. Either you pretend to understand what he's saying and just randomly nod your head, or you actually make the effort and say "What?" every time he speaks. You're going to end up a frustrated hunchback, and he'll burn out his throat yelling like Grandpa. Both of you will be spitting nails, but it'll get worse when he gives you an ear trumpet for Christmas.

Now, all this is irritating -- I mean, I'd prefer a sweater -- but the real horror is how everybody else treats the two of you like a Ripley's exhibit sprung to life. The rudest folks whip out cameras to get proof to show their friends. You're not just interesting: you're one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and they'll snap away like you're the Virgin Mary floating over the Topeka Wal-Mart. They won't just stand across the street and worship from afar: they'll want to twist the pair of you into all sorts of insulting poses. "We wanna play up the height difference," drawls Wilbur from Bag ‘o Pretzels, Idaho, like a redneck Orson Welles. "Whyncha pretend yer stuffin' Tiny in yer pocket?"

"No, no, no," his wife Durlene protests. "Have Tiny sit on Lurch's lap, like he's a ventriloquist's dummy."

I hate taking part in these scenarios, though I can talk without moving my lips. I leave the house feeling like an average guy, and then these folks go and spoil it. I want to run screaming for a land where people are compassionate and considerate, but somebody's got to pry Tiny out of that teacup.

Worse than hanging out with somebody short is hanging out with someone heavy. Here's a weird phenomenon: Now the pair of you won't just look strange-- you'll transform into a number. The number 10.

Oddly, this is the only time I've heard of people turning alphanumeric. If Pamela Anderson kicked a skier nobody'd see RL. If Marlon Brando screwed Wally Cox nobody'd see Qr. When a pregnant lady frisks a midget, nobody sees BY.

Nope, the number 10 is it. When two tall guys stand side-by-side, nobody says you look like 11. Hang out with a hunchback and nobody thinks you look like 12. Loiter near a snowman and nobody sees 18. But pause for a second near an overweight guy and suddenly everyone's an accountant.

Most embarrassing by far, though, is hanging out with a short female, because now everyone will assume you're having sex. And now they won't just casually glance at the pair of you, or stare as you walk by. They'll chase you down the street, screaming in disbelief. They'll follow you home, pluck out their eyes, and roll them under your door to get a better look. And then the inquisition begins, always with the same idiotic question:

"Gawrsh, you're like ten dang feet tall, and she's eentsy as a mouse. How in the name of Our Good Lord Jesus do the two of you manage to have SAYYY-ex?"

Now, I get so confused by this I wonder if I'm doing something wrong. Height doesn't have anything to do with any of my bedroom activities, yet these folks give me the feeling I shouldn't let anyone under five foot eight take a ride. I mean, it's not like my partner and I aren't flexible. It's not like furniture doesn't exist. C'mon -- half the stepstools you see are like twelve inches high. They're not made for changing lightbulbs.

I thought about this long and hard, and I narrowed it down to two possibilities. One, they're concerned that while our genitals are busy, our faces are too far apart to express affection. Sure, I'm not thrilled that my mouth is closer to the Australian outback than my current companion, but as long as our middles meet I'm fine. It's like eating cookies on a roller coaster: I'm getting enough stimulation already, thanks -- let's save the Oreos until later.

The other possibility is, they're worried that our genitals don't match up when we're standing. Yup, it's true: I have to bend my knees to do it doggy style, and sometimes I end up yowling like a chilly chihuahua. Apparently it's good exercise: my arms may look like sticks, but my thighs rub together when I walk.

Still, I refuse to dignify this stupidity with an intelligent response. Usually I ignore it, but sometimes I get mad. I wonder why I have to put up with this. I wonder why these idiots think it's a question you can ask a stranger. "I do it the same way you do it," I announce. "Except I don't have any relatives in the room."

Friday, October 5, 2007

Recipe for Disaster

Sometimes I think I'm too stupid to cook. I mean, recipes are supposedly easy, step-by-step directions on how to cook, but for some reason they never make sense to me. Check over these instructions I ran into in various recipes and see if you have any idea what they mean.

Season to taste. Give me a hint: what taste are we going for?
Boil until a hard ball forms. So something hasn't gone horribly wrong if I end up making sporting equipment?
Grill over medium coals. The folks at Williams-Sonoma tried to convince me there was only one size of coal.
Simmer, stirring occasionally. Like "every few minutes" occasionally or "whenever I remember I'm cooking" occasionally?
a pound of shrimp, crab or lobster If it doesn't make any difference, can I save eighteen bucks and use canned tuna?
Knead until elastic. Take my word for it: this stuff is never going to hold up anybody's underwear.
Let rise in warm place. If I'm stuck spending the winter in Brooklyn, then my dinner is too.
Top with buttered breadcrumbs. I've got breadcrumbs. I've got butter. This can't possibly be right.
Cook in slow oven. I have looked high and low and I'm nearly positive my oven doesn't have a speedometer.
until desired doneness Buddy, I desired to be done six hours ago.
turning only once If I turn it too soon and it looks disgusting can I PLEASE turn it back?
Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sure. Was the knife clean to start with?
Turn into serving dish. Poof! I'm a serving dish.
Smother with onions. Is covering with onions good enough, or do I actually have to hold them over its mouth?
Chill. I'd love to. But who'll finish cooking?

"Montana" Too Hot for Some Parents

NEW YORK - Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced an investigation into online ticket sales for pop idol Hannah Montana's upcoming U.S. tour. Tickets to the Disney Channel star's tour sold out within minutes, and are now being scalped at stratospheric prices.

A spokesman for the ticket agency StubHub said the most expensive ticket sold so far was $2,500 for a second row seat.

"I think it's worth every penny," said the purchaser, Palm Springs housewife Daisy McCrazy.

"Montana" Too Hot for Some Parents

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Larry Craig Can’t Withdraw Guilty Sex Plea

WASHINGTON — A Minnesota judge today refused to allow Sen. Larry Craig to withdraw his guilty plea from a gay sex sting bust, declaring that his guilty plea was made freely and without coercion.

Meanwhile, every guy who ever had sex with Craig is wishing that he had pulled out too.

Larry Craig Can’t Withdraw Guilty Sex Plea

Naked Man Breaks Into Nicolas Cage's House

LOS ANGELES - A naked intruder broke into Nicolas Cage's Newport Beach residence yesterday. Cage, who was at home with his wife and child, escorted the man outside and called a security guard.

Police are uncertain whether the man intended to rob the house or rub his bow on Captain Corelli's mandolin.

Naked Man Breaks Into Nicolas Cage's House

Question of the Day

"IS there any pain quite as sweet as the one caused by a steaming drip of cheese oozing from between slices of just-grilled bread and onto your lower lip?"

Thus answering the question, what do masochists do when they get tired of being spanked?

The New York Times Is Unashamed of Its Feelings About Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

To Serve Mankind

It took a couple days for me to piece it all together.

The first part of the puzzle showed up at breakfast. At nine o'clock on the dot, somebody knocked on the bedroom door, then without waiting for an answer blithely barged in. It was a grizzled, grey-haired woman in a maid's uniform, bearing a tray full of food.

"Thanks, Peaches," Clive yawned without looking, sitting up and arranging a mountain of pillows behind his back.

Totally naked and barely covered with the corner of a sheet, I was more than a little embarrassed. Peaches, though, couldn't have cared less about her boss's bedmate, wondering only where to leave the coffee and croissants.

In that same bed the next morning came the second puzzle piece. I woke up even earlier to a strange sensation below the waist. Dampness. Pressure. Heavy breathing. Pretty much adding up to foreplay in my book. "Clive," I muttered, "it's a little early for -- "

I opened my eyes and saw him scanning the newspaper over on his side of the bed. "Something is sucking on my toes," I announced.

"It's Peaches," he declared. "She likes you. Take it as a compliment: she doesn't like a lot of guys."

Needless to say I sprang out of bed. I mean, it's nice when maids appreciate you, but I'd rather their feelings be expressed by ironed shirts or freshly-dusted furniture than tongues exploring obscure erogenous zones. I've been woken up by thousands of things over the years, from alarm clocks to angry boyfriends to annoyed street sweepers who just had to clean the spot I was laying on. But a stern-looking woman in orthopedic shoes set a new record in maneuvering me upright.

I leapt out of bed like it was electrified, then glanced over to see a very startled dog. "Hey!" Clive snapped. "You scared Peaches!"

"Wait," I said, before resuming my position in the mattress dent. "I'm confused. I thought Peaches was the maid."

Clive sipped from his mug of French Roast and shrugged. "She's another Peaches," he said nonchalantly. "But I don't think she likes you that way."

I grabbed a section of the paper and selected a raspberry danish from the tray. I ate until I got it sufficiently pieced together in my head. "Your maid and your dog have the same name? Who got named after who?"

"It's just a coincidence. First the maid showed up, then the dog. They both already had names when I got them."

I didn't want to argue so early into our relationship, having met the previous Thursday at driving school. He'd probably already pegged me as a loose cannon after hearing I'd followed a school bus for eight miles. But nobody, I repeat nobody, flips me off, even if they're wearing braces and a Hello Kitty smock. Still, I couldn't help myself. "Then change the dog's name!" I insisted. "It's not fair to the maid to have another Peaches around."

"You should never change a dog's name," he said, emanating seriousness. "It can turn them schizophrenic."

"They already spend half their lives licking their genitals," I announced, "so how much worse can it get? C'mon, it's freakin' rude. What happens when you yell 'Peaches'? They both come running?"

Clive took on an embarrassed look. "Maybe," he said. "What's wrong with that?"

"What's wrong with bringing the maid running when you want the dog? Nothing a Human Rights Tribunal couldn't straighten out."

We didn't speak again for a few hours and eventually I stormed off home. That night Clive called and announced that he'd given in. "You're right," he admitted. "It just isn't fair. From here on in, Peaches will be known as 'Socrates.'"

"Really?" I asked.

"I was already planning on doing something about it. When I can't find her, I hate wandering the neighborhood yelling 'PEACHES!' at the top of my lungs."

I hung up the phone with a contented smile on my face. I'd righted a wrong in the world. I'd fixed an injustice, made somebody's life a little better, just by getting Clive to rename --


That night I tossed and turned in my bed. He must have meant the dog, right? I mean, nobody in their right mind would think about renaming a woman who had enough wrinkles for four. But rich people live by different rules, as demonstrated by Leona Helmsley and Donald Trump. It's a fact of life that huge piles of money buy huge piles of crazy, so it could easily have gone the other way. Right now, in Manhattan, there could be a maid named "Socrates."

I thought about calling Clive back, but I couldn't figure out what to say. I mean, I couldn't exactly ask which Peaches he was talking about. The only reasonable scenario was that he changed the dog's name, and anybody with a brain in their head would be insulted if I asked them if they'd renamed a maid.

I'd learned my lesson more than once: I made a small misstep that unleashed years of bottled-up pique. "You don't know me at all!" Walter snapped when I gave him an autographed photo of Katie Couric for his birthday. "Who do you think I am?" Steve screamed when I asked if he'd put Men Without Hats on my iPod. "Have you met me?" Butch yelled when I politely inquired whether he'd borrowed my purple thong.

So I let the whole thing drop.

The next time I woke up, a different tongue was lapping at my foot. This one was practiced: it went from forceful to playful to passionate all in the course of one lick. I slowly pried my eyes open and gazed over at Clive. He was in his usual position: propped up on pillows, reading the Times and spreading an almond croissant with orange marmalade. "Is it Socrates?" I asked warily. He nodded.

I couldn't look. Elderly maid? Schizophrenic dog? And in the great scheme of things, did it make any difference? "I saw her rubbing her ass on the carpet yesterday," I offered, but Clive just said "Mm" and passed me a brioche.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

John Galliano Appears Pants-less in Fashion Show

As the climax of a Dior fashion show, John Galliano, the 47-year-old creative leader of the fashion house, appeared in a dinner jacket but wearing no trousers.

Ten confused buyers in the audience immediately put in orders for the long fuzzy bag.

John Galliano Appears Pants-less in Fashion Show

The World's Most Boring TV Show

TV broadcasters and manufacturers have edited together random video clips to create a standard for measuring how much energy television sets use.

The New York Times calls the clips -- a jumble of soap operas, nature programs and sports that emulates regular programming -- "the world's most boring TV show."

Obviously they haven't seen "Gossip Girl."

The World's Most Boring TV Show

Monday, October 1, 2007

Early Monday Morning, My BlackBerry Beeps.

You have a new message from CLOCK in BEDROOM. Read now? Y/N. Y

Good morning ROMAN HANS! The time that you pre-programmed has arrived. Wake up and have a fantastic day! Thank you for buying WESTCLOX, America's choice for scheduling matters.

You have a new message from SHOWER in BATHROOM. Read now? Y/N. Y

Hello ROMAN. The water temperature has now reached ONE HUNDRED TWELVE degrees. You may enter without threat of bodily harm. Thank you for choosing PFIZER and have a low pressure day!

You have a new message from SOAP in SHOWER. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from SHOWER in BATHROOM. Read now? Y/N. Y

I am sorry to have to inform you but we currently experiencing unforeseen temperature fluctuations due to SOMEBODY FLUSHED THE TOILET. We are confident this situation will soon pass and you can go back to enjoying your PFIZER shower.

You have a new message from TOWEL in BATHROOM. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from SOCK DRAWER in BEDROOM. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from SONY MICROWAVE OVEN in KITCHEN. Read now? Y/N. Y

Good day ROMAN! Your TRADER JOE'S FAJITA BURRITO is ready. Thank you for buying SONY, the company America trusts with their meals!

You have a new message from TOYOTA TACOMA in PARKING GARAGE. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from GATE in PARKING GARAGE. Read now? Y/N. Y

Good morning ROMAN! Please wait until I'm completely open before proceeding through. Thanks, and have a safe day!

You have a new message from GATE in PARKING GARAGE. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from TOYOTA TACOMA in STREET. Read now? Y/N. Y

Hello ROMAN. Our sensors detect a pothole FIFTEEN FEET ahead. Even the smallest pothole can cause possible wheel misalignment, so take care to steer clear. Have a great day, and enjoy the drive!

You have a new message from TOYOTA TACOMA in STREET. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from TOYOTA TACOMA in STREET. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from TRADER JOE'S in MANHATTAN. Read now? Y/N. Y

We regret to inform you that the FROZEN FAJITA BURRITO you ordered has been discontinued and will not be restocked. We wish to express our apologies, and hope you continue shopping at Trader Joe's.

You have a new message from TOYOTA TACOMA in STREET. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from TOYOTA TACOMA in STREET. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from TRAFFIC SIGNAL in STREET. Read now? Y/N. Y

Hello. You are fast approaching a traffic signal. In an estimated four seconds, you will be very close to it. But in THREE SECONDS it will turn yellow, then red. Take care! And thank you for using GANSEVOORT STREET.

You have a new message from TOYOTA TACOMA in STREET. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from VISA CARD in NEW YORK CITY. Read now? Y/N. Y

Hello. This is your Visa Card. CARLITO'S COMICS just posted a FOUR DOLLAR debit against your account. If you have not authorized this transaction, contact us. Have a great day, and thank you for using Visa!

You have a new message from TOYOTA TACOMA in STREET. Read now? Y/N. Y

Hello. I am running out of gas. I've messaged you SIX times but you refused to respond. Please stop for fuel at your earliest possible convenience. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

You have a new message from TRADER JOE'S in MANHATTAN. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from SONY TELEVISION SET in BEDROOM. Read now? Y/N. Y

At ten o'clock this morning, another classic episode of CAGNEY AND LACEY will air on TBS. Cagney is drawn into the seedy world of dog racing when Mary Beth's cousin is kidnapped. Will they find the kidnappers, or will our heroes let a killer slip through their fingers? Find out!

You have a new message from TOYOTA TACOMA in STREET. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from SOCK DRAWER in BEDROOM. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from TRADER JOE'S in MANHATTAN. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from SONY TELEVISION SET in BEDROOM. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from TOYOTA TACOMA in STREET. Read now? Y/N. Y


You have a new message from SOAP in SHOWER. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from BROOKLYN BRIDGE in NEW YORK CITY. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from FICUS in LIVING ROOM. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from TOYOTA TACOMA in STREET. Read now? Y/N. N

You have a new message from BLACKBERRY in HUDSON RIVER. Read now? Y/N. jwFJ912784

Good day ROMAN. I detect the presence of water. Please ensure that I remain completely dry so I can continue sending you mesJS71189$0-1KxdM