Friday, November 30, 2007

Bracelet Found in Chicken After 25 Years

FAIRMONT, Minn. (AP) —More than two decades after Aaron Giles lost his identity bracelet, it was discovered inside a chicken 45 miles from his childhood home.

Meanwhile, somewhere in New York City David Blaine just went "Ta-DAH!"

Bracelet Found in Chicken After 25 Years

Thai Candidate Passes Out Viagra

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) —Sayan Nopcha, a campaigner for the People's Power Party in Thailand, said a rival politican was distributing Viagra to elderly male voters in an attempt to buy their votes.

He's trying to get people to remember his campaign slogan: he pledges to be hard on crime.

Thai Candidate Passes Out Viagra

I Got A Letter From Santa!

Personalized Letters from Santa

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Britney Tops Santa's Naughty List

NEW YORK (Reuters) - When Britney Spears opens her stockings on Christmas Day, she shouldn't be surprised to find a lump of coal. A poll of American children released on Wednesday found that Britney topped Santa's naughty list.

Following close behind was Darth Vader.

"I don't think somebody should find out who their real dad is during a fight," one boy said, explaining why he put Britney at number one.

Britney Tops Santa's Naughty List

Double Talk

A few years ago, I wasn't very smart. The list of things I didn't know was endless. I didn't know how to cook a chicken, how to buy a suit, how to shift a Renault into reverse. Nowadays I can do at least two of these, provided I have enough foil.

I also didn't know that when you break up with somebody you should carefully choose your time and place. You shouldn't dump someone, for instance, when you're in some faraway town and they have your plane ticket home.

George was my second husband. He'd been problematic from the beginning, being just slightly more domineering than Castro, and decorated by a wispier beard. But he'd had his good points: a mansion, a car collection, an overwhelming fondness for me. There were definite reasons to stick with him and not quite enough motivation to break up.

One of George's best attributes was that he wanted to show me the world. We'd fly to Miami, sail to the Bahamas, or just cruise up the coast in his Lamborghini. These all balanced out with the unfortunate negative that George was forty pounds overweight but wore Speedos all day long. While swimming, while relaxing, even while driving cross-country. Sitting in the passenger side of that quarter-million dollar sportcar, it was easy to convince myself I was in heaven -- but then George would jump out of the car, to get snacks or gas or go to the bathroom, and I'd plummet straight to hell. If he could have translated his waddle into forward momentum, we wouldn't have needed the turbocharger to hit a hundred and twenty miles per hour.

Every day I'd teeter back and forth on the fence. Every look, every word, every gesture tipped me toward one side or the other.

Now, George didn't make all his money being stupid. He knew exactly what was going on. Somehow he'd sense when I was ready to topple, and he'd be there with a present to keep me upright. One day there'd be a Helmut Lang coat, the next Cutler & Gross sunglasses. One day he surprised me with tickets to Washington D. C. Which wouldn't have been my first choice for a vacation, but I never look a gift Greek in the mouth.

The White House is the perfect symbol for Washington D. C.: a bunch of rich white people hidden away behind an iron fence. The city is totally segregated, and you can wander for hours without see any white residents at all. They live behind gates, drive cars with tinted glass, and eat in restaurants guarded from the hoi polloi by tuxedoed maitre d's. On the streets it's just tourists wearing pastels and poor blacks. You expect to see a sign hanging from the Capitol dome: "America: Talking Equality Since 1776!"

The minute we arrive I'm horrified, and the look never leaves my face. George, of course, loves the place. He lives to network with rich white guys, and here they're corralled in just a few easily-accessible sites. We go to a fancy-ass restaurant followed by an fancy-ass bar, and the natives are drawn to him, scotches in hand, sensing cash on his breath. I suck down my White Russian and fume. He chats and laughs and in another few hours will probably be Ambassador to Somalia.

When I finally drag George away, the difference of opinion continues: he waves for a taxi and I head for the subway. "C'mon, let's mingle with the common people," I goad.

Our train has only gone a couple stops before a black man wearing rags gets on. He reeks of eight or nine bodily functions, and repeats a well-rehearsed speech for money. "I don't want to sleep outside," he declares. "Or on the streets."

George guffaws. He's a veteran of EST and Mindspring, which means aside from being an asshole he's also loud. "'Outside or on the streets'?" he asks. "What, are the streets indoors?"

A couple tourists chuckle, amused by the observation. The beggar shrugs it off and passes a hat. Somebody drops in a quarter, and he bows. "Have a good holiday," he declares, "and a good Thanksgiving!"

George breaks up again. "What, like they're different?" he declares. "Like there's a holiday coming up that isn't Thanksgiving?"

A few more tourists laugh along this time, but I just turn brighter red. "Leave him alone," I say, but George just glares at me. A woman with a couple children gives the beggar some change, prompting more repetitious talk.

"Thank you very much," the beggar says. "Take good care of your little ones, and take good care of your children."

This time George can hardly get the words out. "Her little ones and her children?" he repeats. "Like aside from the kids she's got midgets at home?"

Half the car is laughing when the homeless man skulks off. I'm the rain cloud at this picnic. "You're an asshole," I tell George, "and a bully."

The second the words leave my mouth I realize I've made a horrible mistake. George does too, doubling over in laughter. "Now you're doing it!" he crows. "Stop! It's painful! And it hurts!"

"Here's painful," I say, getting to my feet. "We're over, and we're through. Find a boyfriend who doesn't think you're mean and a jerk."

"Yeah?" he snaps, finally done with laughing. "Okay by me. See if you can find somebody who's got what you want: lots of money and piles of cash."

"You're fucked," I reply. The train is slowing, so I head toward the door. "And you're . . . you're . . . . "

The first word I can think of is "buttfucked," which is problematic. I mean, it's got "fuck" in it, which I already used . . . plus with a guy aren't they essentially the same thing?

I wrack my brain but come up empty. Surely there are other options. I think back to what I've done in the past, but I just get depressed. You're occasionally masturbated by strangers to fruition? You're touching yourself while you watch "Walker Texas Ranger"? Aside from being long-winded, they say more about the insulter than the insultee.

The silence hangs in the air as I realize I've backed myself into a corner. "Fuck," apparently, is like "orange" -- a word with no known relatives. Which means I've got absolutely nothing else to say.

Gradually George's expression alters again. The accusatory glare that's been waiting for the other shoe to drop turns amused. We've broken up, at least in theory, so now he's laughing at me instead of the beggar. The train comes to a stop and I get off, with no clue where we are. George's look moves from surprise to concern. We watch as the doors slide closed between us. He stands as the train starts to pull out, but now there's just resignation on his face. He shrugs his shoulders and waves goodbye.

I look around at the unfamiliar station, all chrome and tile and trash. Shit, I think. Stuck in a city I hate with no hotel room, no plane ticket, and no luggage.

I am so totally screwed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hot Britney Gossip!

New Britney gossip from Star magazine:

-- She's got an X-rated fantasy room equipped with whips and fur-trimmed handcuffs
-- She's pregnant

In fact, I heard that every time the baby kicks, Britney screams "Harder!"

Yes! Yes! Oh, Baby!

Sex and Vacuuming

The Mayo Institute recently came out with a study that said sex can be good for heart patients. They said in terms of exertion it's on a par with vacuuming.

C'mon -- isn't this a little farfetched?

You plug the thing in, slide around on the rug, and stop when the old bag is full. Sex isn't difficult at all.

Raoul Complains If I Do It While He's Watching TV

The Two Sides of Mr. Shuler Hensley

Shuler Hensley, who starred in "Tarzan" on Broadway, at home:

And here he is at work:

WIFE: Honey, you know I love you with all my heart, but could you please put the costume on again?

Maybe I Should Draw Muscles On With Eyebrow Pencil

Need a Kiss? This Can't Miss!

If anybody's got one of these, let me know: will the suction cup stick to scrotum?

Need a kiss? This can't miss!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gatorade Creator Dies

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Dr. Robert Cade, who invented the sports drink Gatorade and launched a multibillion-dollar industry, died Tuesday of kidney failure. He was 80.

Per his request, his body will be cremated and the ashes dumped on Mike Ditka.

Gatorade Creator Dies

Male Terrorism Suspects Pretend to be Bride and Groom

Iraqi soldiers caught two terrorism suspects Sunday when they tried to pass through a security checkpoint.

Soldiers discovered that the two men -- one posing as a groom, and one dressed as a bride in a white wedding dress and veil with his face demurely obscured by a bouquet of yellow flowers -- were on a watch list of wanted terrorists.

"NOOOO!!!" the faux bride wailed. "Does that mean all the blenders have to go back?"

Iraqi Soldiers Thwart World's Hottest Honeymoon

The Rainbow Factory

"Damn!" Miss Finster says. "R & D came up with all these new colors for toilet seats, and now I've got to think of names for them all. I'm exhausted! If I have to open that thesaurus once more I'll die!"

"You know what I'd do?" Miss Parker says as she drags a file along her nails. "Find something that comes in lots of colors, then just copy all the names."

"I couldn't do that," Miss Finster replies. "That would be wrong. Besides, nothing comes in that many colors, except for rainbows and jelly beans." Her eyes light up. "Well, I won't copy them, but maybe I can use them as inspiration."

Miss Finster's idea got her promoted to VP in charge of Color Development and Pastel Synchronicity. But now see if you can tell which of the following are Jelly Belly flavors, and which are the colors of Kohler toilet seats.

    a) Chocolate Pudding
    b) Merlot
    c) Sizzling Cinnamon
    d) Avocado
    e) Caramel Corn
    f) Swiss Chocolate
    g) Café Latte
    h) Espresso
    i) Strawberry Jam
    j) Jersey Cream
    k) Pink Champagne
    l) Crushed Pineapple
    m) Raspberry Puree
    n) Jalapeño

b, d, f, h, j, k and m are Kohler toilet seat colors. a, c, e, g, i, l and n are Jelly Belly flavors.


There are milestones in your life when you realize you've stopped heading uphill and have, in fact, started that long slide down. That first grey hair. The first time you replace a forgotten noun with "thingamajig." The first time you watch an awards program on TV and have no idea who any of the participants are.

The first time you need help to get a jar open.

That's one of Raoul's best attributes, which shows you where we stand. He can open any jar with no effort at all. Olive jars, apple sauce jars, even the tightest relish jar is putty in his hands.

I haven't gotten to the point yet where I have to ask for his help. Instead I just flail around until he intervenes. I roll around the floor, trying to get a grip, run it under hot water, thwack it against the ground like Barry Bonds hitting a fastball, but it's no use. Raoul swaggers up confidently and grabs the jar out of my hand. He grips the lid firmly and three seconds later I've got a pickle in my mouth.

Obviously since this is age-related it's only going to get worse. Eventually I'm going to be that old person who sits in the doctor's waiting room and spends fifteen minutes trying to move my magazine to the perfect distance away from my face, who needs a ramp or a Jamaican nursemaid to get me on a bus.

But for now I'm the wimp who can't get stuff out of jars. I'm tempted to get one of those adjustable jar-openers, but it'd just replace one humiliation with another. And prompt another aging milestone: the day I get on Lillian Vernon's mailing list.

Even though I'm dreading this, the start of the slow decline to oblivion, I appreciate the irony.

I spent the first half of my life trying to put something in something else, and I'm going to spend the second half trying to get something out.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Know What Killed Off the Honeybee.

Tom Cruise's Sexuality Settled Once and For All

He's been married three times and has also been romantically linked with some of Hollywood's most desirable women. Yet for nearly his entire career, Tom Cruise has been subject to pervasive rumors that he's gay. [Ed. note: Noooo!] Though Tom's camp has repeatedly denied the talk, it has persisted over the years, with two men even claiming to have had affairs with him -- tales which Tom was willing to challenge in a court of law. Now, after conducting an extensive investigation of the gay rumors, porn star-turned-private investigator Paul Barresi is speaking to In Touch about his findings. "Everything I've found and everything I know points to Tom being heterosexual," Paul tells In Touch.

Tom Cruise's Sexuality Settled Once and For All

Um, wait a second. Did I read that right? Paul Barresi? Did you say PAUL BARRESI?

Here are a few facts In Touch somehow neglected to mention.

Paul Barresi has been called "the most unreliable source in the history of hack journalism."1 After starting as a porn star he became something like a "private investigator" and/or "bodyguard" for a few celebrities whose heterosexually has been questioned. These are fields that deal with things like extortion and hush money, and following the money we can see who's got a secret to hide.

In 1979 Mr. Barresi starred in the gay porn classic "L. A. Tool and Die." The next year, he was touring with Paul Lynde in summer stock.2 And two years later he found Mr. Lynde dead in his Beverly Hills home.3

That same year John Travolta allegedly introduced himself to Mr. Barresi while the latter was showering at his gym.4 Three years later, Mr. Barresi had a small part in "Perfect," a John Travolta film.

In 1990, Mr. Barresi sold the story of a two-year love affair with Mr. Travolta to the National Enquirer for $100,000. Then he retracted the story . . . apparently dodging a lawsuit and keeping the $100,000.2 Two weeks after the Enquirer story appeared, Mr. Travolta announced his engagement to Kelly Preston, who had just broken up with Charlie Sheen and was said to be pregnant.5

Mr. Barresi's retraction states that "I regretted that initial call to the Enquirer"2. Later, though, he declared that "I regretted the retraction a lot more than I regretted that initial call to the Enquirer."4

In 1994 a woman he'd dated turned up unexpectedly at his door. She'd worked at Neverland Ranch until 1992, when she was fired, and claimed in widely varying stories to have witnessed Mr. Jackson touching Macauley Culkin inappropriately. The pair sold the story to the media, and Mr. Barresi made $30,000 from the deal.2

In 1997 Mr. Barresi was allegedly hired for damage control by Eddie Murphy after he'd been arrested for picking up a tranvestite prostitute. "In less than 10 days," Barresi said, "I got them all to sign sworn, videotaped depositions, stating it wasn't Murphy himself, but rather a look-alike, who they'd encountered. . . . ." The transvestites were reportedly well paid to recant and only one refused. Atisone Seiuli wouldn't relent and then died in a fall from her roof.6, 7

In 2001, Mr. Barresi was producing a porn film when one of his stars declared he'd had sex with Tom Cruise. Again Mr. Barresi signed on to sell the story. Somehow -- oddly -- it was kept out of the press, though Mr. Barresi claims to have made a paltry five thousand dollars on the deal.8

Last year Mr. Barresi started writing a book in which he declared that he helped "private eye to the stars"/convicted felon Anthony Pellicano protect celebs from negative news stories.9 Oddly, the book hasn't yet hit print, and Mr. Barresi recently said that he's still working on the final draft.10

And now Mr. Barresi, who will apparently do some very strange things for money, comes out of nowhere to declare that Tom Cruise is straight.

Which tells me two things. One, that Mr. Barresi's bank account is probably healthier than Paul Lynde. And two, that In Touch has finally settled the matter of Mr. Cruise's sexuality once and for all.

10. tom_cruise_not_gay_-_from_same_guy_who_said_he_was_last_year/

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

This Week in the Tabloids

Beyonce's Deodorant Girl is sooo fired.

Version 1, Version 2

Version 1, Sky News:

Lap dancers who are at the peak of their fertility earn more in tips than their colleagues, a new study has shown. The study provides more evidence that women send out "secret signals" to men at times when they are ready to conceive.

Experts suspect that pheromones - subtle scent signals that in animals play a key role in sexual attractiveness - may be involved. In other words, fertile women smell more appealing to men.

The evidence was the first to show that oestrus has a "real effect on women's earnings," Dr. Geoffrey Miller told New Scientist magazine.

Oestrus and Its Affect on Women's Income

Version 2, Liz Smith:

If you think things are crazy, consider this. The University of New Mexico recently did research on lap dancers and their menstrual cycles.

Man, Them Scientists Are Just Nuts These Days

Foreign Policy

If there really were a God, he'd have done a better job with our brains. Intelligent design would have given us a brand new file folder for each foreign language added to our heads.

You take a Spanish class in grade school, another folder is added to that big file chest upstairs. And every time you learn a new word or phrase, there's another entry made. Hi. Bye. Thanks. Where's the library? You take French in High school, and another file is created. Hi. Bye. Where's the pen of my aunt?

But no, that's not the way it works. Instead there's just one measly folder labeled "FOREIGN LANGUAGE." That's where everything is tossed in: your Spanish, your French, the few Japanese words you taught yourself last week so you wouldn't be completely clueless on vacation.

And so, you go to a pottery store in Japan and you buy the most perfect ceramic bowl. It's like a religious ritual packaging the piece for you: wrapping it in crisp white paper, lowering it into its box, tying coarse brown rope around the package.

The woman who serves you is so refined, so beautiful, so gracious, you really have to say something. You figure "Thank you" is about all you can manage, so your brain opens up the Foreign Language folder. The pointer slides down the left column and stops at the first matching entry it finds.

And you say to the little Japanese woman, "Gracias."

She smiles like the Mona Lisa; she's heard it before. She bows her head and offers you your perfectly-wrapped package with both hands. "Adios," she replies.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Upset Over Beer, Wisconsin Man Shoots Goat

WAUPACA, Wis -- A Wisconsin man who was upset with his wife for not buying beer took vengeance by shooting one of the family's pet goats, prosecutors say.

Peter W. Mischler, 48, was charged this week with mistreatment of animals, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and disorderly conduct with a dangerous weapon.

According to reports, Mischler came home from hunting and told his wife to buy beer. She refused and he shot one of the goats.

He was arrested later that day at a local bar.

I Am The NRA.

David Hasselhoff on Board New "Rider"

LOS ANGELES - David Hasselhoff is in talks to appear in a remake of the 1980s TV series "Knight Rider," reprising his role as a man with a talking car.

The remake takes a thoughtful turn as Michael Knight, now in his sixties, discovers unexpected similarities with his aging car: they're both getting rusty, they're both hard to start in the morning, and they both leak in the driveway.

"K.I.T.T., howzabout gettin' me another burger?"

"Hairspray" Director Gets Snitty With Non-Fans

"Hairspray" director Adam Shankman has sharp words for moviegoers who avoided his film because they didn't want to deal with a cross-dressing, fat-suit clad John Travolta in one of the lead roles.

"It's a shame because they were missing out on something that was going to give them a shot in their day," Shankman told Reuters. "It was an awfully grumpy and surly attitude."

Au contraire: those of us who missed the movie weren't being grumpy or surly. We just don't care to see the smug Mr. Travolta playing hetero with "Hairspray" after he did so much stretching with "Grease."

"Hairspray" Director Gets Snitty With Non-Fans

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Big Pussy to Appear On "The Apprentice"

The Sopranos' Big Pussy has signed on as a contestant for next season's "The Apprentice."

Because it gets lonely when there isn't an Enormous Asshole nearby.

Big Pussy To Appear On "The Apprentice"

"Sweet Caroline" Was Caroline Kennedy

LOS ANGELES -- Neil Diamond has finally revealed that President Kennedy's young daughter was the inspiration for his hit song "Sweet Caroline."

He was a struggling songwriter when he saw a photo of the president's daughter in a news magazine, he recalled. "It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony. It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there."

Let's refresh our memories, shall we?

Look at the night
and it don't seem so lonely.
We fill it up with only two.
And when I hurt,
hurtin' runs off my shoulders
how can I hurt when holdin' you?

touchin' warm
reachin' out
touchin' me
touchin' you.

O . . . kay. This is all about a "little girl."

I don't think I want to know what the inspiration for "Cherry, Cherry" was.

She's Got the Way to Move Me, Cherry

Craft Day

Call me sentimental, but I like to use the holiday season to reconnect with everybody that I've lost touch with during the year. Oddly, though, the majority of these people seem to be guys I had crazy, wall-rattling sex with while we were both totally smashed.

Maybe I'm overly picky, but I don't feel right sending these guys cards with the baby Jesus or angels or even Santa on them. After scouring eight Hallmark stores for the appropriate card, I decided to leap into the lurch myself. Using just Google images and Photoshop, I've made a festive, non-secular card that will bring a smile to the face of even the roughest trick.

Print the first image on the right side of an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet, then flip it over and print the second image on the right side of the reverse. Fold it down the middle and presto! A holiday greeting for all your long-lost drunken-sex pals.

Highlights from Rosie O'Donnell's "Celebrity Detox"

I am not a public pooper.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Homeland Security Adviser Resigns

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fran Townsend, the White House terrorism adviser who gave public updates on purported threats to U.S. security, is stepping down after 4 1/2 years.

President Bush said Monday morning that Townsend, 45, ''has played an integral role in the formation of the key strategies and policies my administration has used to combat terror and protect Americans.''

Ms. Townsend says she's looking forward to spending more time with her family in a small plastic-coated, duct-taped room.

Homeland Security Adviser Resigns

The Young and the Clueless

So-called "intelligent" people love to look down on soap opera fans. Those shows are so awful, so preposterous, they say, there's no way anybody with a brain could watch. How could a reasonable, thinking adult get caught up in the petty little dramas of people who bear absolutely no relation to themselves?

Ask a sports fan. They're waaay stupider than soap fans, and I'll happily enumerate the ways.

  • Soap fans don't spend half their work day creating imaginary shows populated with their favorite characters, and then guess which one would be better.

  • Anthony Geary was ridiculously popular, but you didn't see guys wandering around New York wearing a replica of one of his shirts.

  • There's nothing Helen Wagner can do to make a soap fan buy an six-dollar hot dog.

  • Eight soap fans won't go to a taping of their favorite show with the word "PASSIONS" painted across their bare chests.

  • Not one of Eric Braeden's fans knows how many errors he made in 1962.

  • "General Hospital" watchers don't need a guy running around dressed as a chicken to hold their interest during the slow parts.

  • Soap fans won't pay $1200 for tickets to a taping of "All My Children," then call radio programs complaining that Susan Lucci is overpaid.

  • "One Life to Live" fans don't scream at their TVs, thinking it'll affect the outcome of the show.

  • Soap fans aren't going to pay two hundred bucks for a pair of Air Alfonsos.

  • Even the dumbest soap opera lover wouldn't go to a movie where Mark Consuelos helps the Looney Toons fight a group of marauding aliens.

  • "Days of Our Lives" fans don't put on their "lucky underwear" thinking it'll magically transform Deirdre Hall into a competent actress.

  • If Soap Opera Illustrated sent out an issue containing nothing but pictures of nearly-naked women, their readers would think something was wrong.

  • At a soap convention, you won't see a fan with "ATWT" shaved into the hair on their back.

Friday, November 16, 2007

News from the Associated Press

    9:15 AM ET (Updated every 10 minutes)
    AP Politics

    • Dinosaur Found With Vacuum-Cleaner Mouth 57 minutes ago

Yes, and he's currently the Republican front-runner. Leave Rudy alone!

Cause for Alarm

At some point over the last twenty years, I’ve come to the realization I’m going to die single. Aside from my problems with looks and personality, I have the world’s worst luck. I meet a potential soulmate when I have burger stuck in my teeth. When I really click with another guy, we’re in the waiting room of a VD clinic.

Saturday was the day when I imagined I’d find my man. I’d shave and shower and put on clean clothes, then wander the city with a carefree smile on my face. Just to have some kind of excuse for going out, I’d scour the stores in search of sales, and stock up on whatever was marked down. Going home alone wasn’t quite as painful when I had a bag of bargain Haagen-Dazs in tow.

Last Saturday I found a great value at the very first Rite Aid I went to, which seemed like an omen. After all, when Beano gets marked down to half price it doesn’t exactly sit on the shelves. When I tried to leave, though, the store’s security alarm screeched, jerking me back to cold reality. I braced myself, waiting for security to tackle me, but nobody came. The guard was engrossed in “O” magazine, and the clerk was admiring her fingernails. So I left. If the thought of theft didn’t bother them, it sure as hell didn’t bother me.

Except, of course, it did.

For the next few hours I blasted the alarms at fifty different stores. Bystanders jumped and dogs barked but the store employees, leafing through magazines or chatting among themselves, waved me through with disinterest. I’d just about reached my daily limit of irritation at the Walgreens on Union Square when I ran into Frank, a guy who lived upstairs in my building.

Frank was handsome and well-built, with the carefree insouciance of somebody who either had a trust fund or substantially more downstairs than me. He was the neighborhood fitness nut, and I even went jogging a couple times in hopes of running into him. I saw him, but he didn’t notice me: the charms of tall men dissipate when they’re wearing shorts.

“Hey,” he said. “How are you?” Didn’t know my name. Couldn’t remember where he knew me from. I’d had ex-husbands who’d done worse.

“Great,” I replied. “I’m Roman -- I live downstairs in your building.”

“Oh, yeah. I think I saw you jogging once. Doing some shopping?”

“Yeah, kinda. I got bored, and spending money is an easy cure.”

He chuckled, showing dimples that could hide Jimmy Hoffa. “Tell me about it,” he said, holding up a bag from Jeffrey’s. “Stop me before I spend again.” Our eyes locked, and something in his said I passed inspection. “Hey, since you’re bored and I’m bored, why don’t we get together tonight?”

I figured I must have misunderstood this, because he couldn’t have said what I thought he said. Just to be on the safe side, I repeated what I’d heard. “Get together tonight? You and me?”

“Yeah. Maybe we could rent a couple DVDs and call out for Chinese food.”

My eyes lit up, and a few other parts sprang to life as well. Those words meant “Let’s get naked and screw!” almost as much as “Let’s get naked and screw!” did. “Sounds like a plan,” I declared as my heart square-danced in my chest.

We bought our stuff and started out the door when, of course, the security alarm squealed. I shrugged a carefree shrug but naturally this was the place where Joe Friday worked. Before we could take another step he flung himself in our path like the Hulk in green polyester, smacking a meaty thigh with his Maglite and virtually begging us to fight back.

“Could you empty your bag, sir?” he growled. My eyes furtively darted toward freedom but I knew I’d never make it. If I could outrun animals I wouldn’t have a horrible fear of petting zoos.

I set my bags on the ground and pulled out the last thing I bought. Shaving cream. He buzzed it with his little wand but it didn’t beep, so I pulled out more. A box of condoms, Nair for Men. Nothing. A roll of duct tape and a salami.

Frank watched curiously as more items were added to the pile. Clothespins, a fly swatter, thirty-two ounces of rice pudding. “You sure bought some weird stuff,” he remarked.

“Well, I thought I’d be spending the night alone,” I said, handing the guard a tub of Vaseline and a Baby Ruth. “A guy’s got to keep himself entertained.”

Now, I didn’t think any of these items were particularly strange. I figured anybody looking would guess that I was (a) well-groomed, (b) handy around the house, and (c) fond of snacks. What was odd, though, was how everything was mixed up. After a wrestling magazine came baby oil and a ping-pong paddle. Next was forty feet of rope, a tube of Ben Gay and a foot-long Slim Jim.

By now Frank was tottering on his heels like a seasick Weeble. “I just remembered!” he declared after the jockstrap came out. “My cousin is flying in tonight and I’m supposed to meet her at the airport. We’ll have to get together some other time.”

He darted past the guard then sprinted out the door. Oh, c’mon, I thought, watching his hunky form retreat. Everybody buys weird stuff, but it doesn’t mean they’re doing anything weird.

The guard came at me with the wand again and this time it dawned on me. The Beano. I pulled it out of my pocket, and the wand lit up like a sparkler. I showed the guard the receipt and he nodded, galumphing off to leave me knee-deep in a pile of crap.

I stumbled outside into the harsh sunlight, humiliation burning my eyes. Another day of sexual frustration; one less eligible man in the world. At home I unpacked it all again and tried to make the connections Frank made. I stretched the jockstrap, sniffed the Slim Jim, felt the Ben Gay burn. Maybe I'd already been alone too long, I thought. Because where he saw weirdness, I definitely saw . . . hot.

I closed the curtains and slid out of my pants. If I'm going to do the time, I thought, I'd might as well do the crime.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Putting Moby Back in "Moby Dick"

The New York Times recently introduced a helpful new feature: they started highlighting certain words and phrases in their online articles so you can click on them and get more information. Today's review of "Southland Tales," for example, has eighteen clickable phrases, from "Republican Party" to "Janeane Garofalo." How they decide what should be clickable is beyond me: Sarah Michelle Gellar and an obscure movie based on a T. S. Elliot poem make the cut, but Bud Light and the Rock don't.

"Southland Tales" review

In their desperate search for meaning, though, they've name-checked "Moby Dick" twice this week . . . and both times had a click-through on the Moby part. Yes, to the bald vegetarian tune-generator.

Putting Moby Back in "Moby Dick" 1

Putting Moby Back in "Moby Dick" 2

Somebody needs to tell the Times that these creatures are very different: one is considered an aphrodisiac in Japan, and the other lives under the sea.

New York Street Scene

It’s winter in New York. The trees have finally lost their leaves and a chilly wind whistles down Fifth Avenue, prompting shoppers to pull up the collars of their sleek designer coats. Christmas lights sparkle in the windows of Lord & Taylor. Three girls huddle together, waiting for a bus.

GIRL 1: My grandma told me if I don’t get a job or start going to school she’s going to throw me out on the street.

GIRL 2: Shit. That’s McStupid.

GIRL 3: That is some baby-back bullshit.

The Perils of Chinese Toys

I was absolutely horrified to hear about Aqua Dots, the new children's toy that, when swallowed, releases a date-rape drug in the stomach.

I read the story over and over, hardly able to believe my eyes. How can this kind of thing happen? I wondered. How come kids get all the cool drugs? I mean, it's not like they've got discos to go to, or strung-out boyfriends to entertain. Times have certainly changed. When I was a kid, I swallowed everything from Legos to sand and never got anything more than bloat.

I immediately ran to the local toy store and grabbed a package of Dots before they were yanked from the shelves. That night I popped them like Skittles. When I woke up, I was wearing chaps and a kerchief, and there were flowers on the piano from Liza Minnelli.

Anyway, if you've got some of these things in the house, throw them out immediately. They may look like fun, but they're poison -- and the package doesn't print a recommended dose. They totally messed up my short-term memory. In fact, I'd have forgotten the whole incident but this morning I pooed a unicorn.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Crispin Glover is Crazy

He buys all his clothes on eBay. He owns an old wax model of diseased eyes. He was thrown off the Letterman show after aiming a karate kick at Dave's head. His first movie showed live snails being sliced with razors, and his second features the sexual fantasies of a wheelchair-bound man with cerebral palsy.

Mr. Glover is 43, and his girlfriend, Mara LaFontaine, is 21.

Because being crazy is one thing, but a celeb dating someone their own age? Well, that would just be nuts.

Crispin Glover Shows You Crazy.

I'm Not Sleeping When I'm Dead

There's a saying I really hate: "I'll sleep when I'm dead." This isn't even remotely true, and it reminds me how these sayings are repeated when they're not true, like "Feed a cold, starve a fever," "Soup is good food," and "There are WMDs in Iraq."

You don't sleep when you're dead: you're dead. Being dead is nowhere near as good as being asleep. Why, I can think of five big differences just off the top of my head.

1. When you're dead, you don't wake up occasionally to hear the wind whipping around outside and think, Gosh, it sure is swell being inside and dead.

2. When you're dead, you don't blissfully dream about chasing a chicken around Manhattan in a big foil car.

3. After you've been dead a reasonable time, you don't wake up and head to Starbucks for a cup of coffee and a muffin.

4. When you're dead, there isn't a snooze alarm that lets you be dead for nine minutes more.

5. When you're dead, your boyfriend won't jump on top of you and shake you until you move, and then make you --

Well, okay -- there are four big differences. I'd think of another, but I am getting sooo little sleep.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Get Gas and Quash the Militant Homosexual Agenda

We New Yorkers are busy. We're always doing that multitasking: eating while walking, taking a dump while reading the Post. In fact, rare is the day we have time to put dinner on the table and grind our boots into the back of a militant homosexual. It's usually one or the other, and who suffers? Either our kids, who have to eat Slim Jims for supper again, or the crumbling Christian institutions of a nation that God's gonna burn like Sodom.

Luckily, the enterprising folks at Chipotle came up with a way we can do both. I just got an email advertising a fundraising dinner for the Boy Scouts!

See, the Scouts are in trouble. They're weeding out all the suspected homosexuals from their ranks, which makes the liberals angry. They say that since Scouting is only open to some Americans, it shouldn't be funded by them all.

Me, I don't think the Scouts need to go that far. I say make a merit badge for Outing, and let the gay kids choose if they wanna stay in or not. My boy Ryan is a master at picking out pansies, and I'd hate to think he's been doing it just for fun. Since the gays rarely bring up their sexual preference, Ryan has developed a couple different strategies to get them to confess.

First, there's the hot-chick test. He points off into the distance and yells, "Look at that hot naked chick!" It's simple but effective, because every time he does it he gets the names of a couple more kids who don't turn.

Second, there's name-calling. Ryan says you only have to call a kid "faggot" ten or fifteen times before they lose the will to fight back.

Anyway, the liberals convinced the government to stop giving us tax dollars, which is why we really appreciate Chipotle doing fundraising for us. It helps us keep going without the kids we don't want, and it sends a message to all the left-wing activists that even if they can get the government to stop supporting a discriminatory organization, there are overpriced burrito-vendors who will.

So come one, come all! Show those militant lefties that we don't need them, and support your local Boy Scouts. Who knows, maybe if this is a popular event, Chipotle will fund other struggling organizations. Look for next week's announcement about the Barstow branch's benefit for Americans Against Illegal Immigration!

Just don't forward that email to any of Chipotle's kitchen staff.

Squirrels in Lithuania

Okay, audience interaction needed here. I check Sitemeter every morning, and I usually discover that five or ten new visitors have been directed here after typing an odd phrase into Google. This morning's report, though, takes the cake.

And so, I've got a couple questions for a recent visitor.

1. Why were you Googling the phrase "squirrels in Lithuania"? Are you in Lithuanian with a problem, or is it just a theoretical question?

2. How did you feel when you realized there were very little squirrel coverage here?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hello Lovely Ladies!

Hello lovely ladies!

Here I am, the answer to your dreams. Sure, your dreams might not have included the little gold signet ring, but I already took off my ID bracelet and my Italian horn pendant and I just don't feel hot without some bling.

Do my broad, manly shoulders excite you? Are you turned on by my come-hither look? Do you like the fact I have more hair around my belly button than I have on my chest? Sorry about that, but the razor went dull before I even finished my balls.

Because, my love, this is how I will greet you when you come home from work: totally naked, with the excitement in my penis nearly matched by the ardor in my eyes. I'll ply you with champagne -- well, okay, I'm just finishing the last of it, but we don't need alcohol, do we darling? -- and then make sweet love to you. Since I'm already nude, it won't require any irritating pauses to remove my thong or Hammer pants. Sure, my hair is a tenuous construction perched atop my head, and I can't work up a sweat or it'll collapse like cotton candy, but I won't complain or pause to check it in the mirror as long as we keep the exertion level down.

Maybe my windswept locks are the male equivalent of Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and maybe my moustache makes you think of various Yankees circa 1972. Maybe the hand perched on the hip says "Hey, girlfriend!" and maybe I'm holding my glass the way most men hold their penises when they're pleasuring themselves. But my muscular, glistening body speaks of nothing but sex sex sex, and I long to share that conversation with you.

Because, darling, I want you . . . almost as much as you want me. After a few hours of being caressed in my arms, all your worries will be history. You'll forget about that dreary, dead-end job you endure so you can afford outcall hunks like me. You'll forget about meeting a real man instead of a Playgirl fantasy figure who calls his boyfriend the second you fall asleep.

And maybe you'll even forget that I used up all the baby oil, unless we forget to set out rubber sheets everywhere I sit down.

Friday, November 9, 2007

An Introduction to Japanese Pottery

The Japanese are truly the world's masters when it comes to pottery, and with good reason: they've been at it for over eight thousand years. From the impressionistic stylings of Raku to the restrained, understated beauty of Tanba, Japanese pottery is a universe unto itself.

With such distinctive, often quirky pieces, the value of the work can be difficult to ascertain. Even the cogniscenti of Asian earthenware struggle to agree on the value of works. Is the piece the exuberant expression of a trained master, or the uncompeted work of a talentless hack? Even to the trained eye, it's difficult to tell.

Take this 16th-century Garatsu jar. Its low-key appearance exudes a quiet confidence that reflects its proud heritage. The vessel itself is a classic, perfectly proportioned form, and the application of the thick, milky glazes is quick, balanced, and confident. This is clearly the work of a master at the height of his career.

Next, consider these tiny figures of cats playing musical instruments.

I discovered these works when my tour bus stopped at an underrated artisan's arcade in Kyoto. They obviously required much more work on the part of the potter than some silly brown jug: I mean, anybody can make something that holds water, but it takes sculptural skill and knowledge of feline anatomy to make paws that believably hold a cello.

In my excitement, though, I showed the pieces to an "expert" friend, and without a second's hesitation he pronounced them something less than master work. He claimed that while their little feline features have been articulated competently, they don't quite come alive. Their eyes look like nothing more than tiny balls of white clay. They stand stiffly, as though the instruments have been thrust into their arms. They don't seem to want to play: they're simply holding the instruments for no reason other than the potter wanted them to. If, indeed, these cats came to life, my "friend" declared, their tune would be a rote, mechanical one, rather than the exuberant cantata the best Japanese pottery would inspire.

To be tactful, let's just say my friend and I agreed to disagree, rather than dismiss the "expert" view entirely. I mean, it's folks like these who declared that Raoul couldn't have gotten chlamydia from a taco. One wonders what rarefied atmosphere these "experts" reside in where a brown-and-white jug is better than a posse of frisky felines.

Anyway, I hope this quick little introduction to the controversial world of Japanese pottery inspires you to look further into the field. Remember: as in all art, no one can say what's good and what's bad, not even you! And even if my cats aren't exactly the unrecognized treasures I suspected they were, I still enjoy them, and nobody "ripped me off." Because if I paid a penny for every smile they gave me, I'd have forked over way more than that three thousand dollars they cost.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Out of the Picture

It's the usual cliche: somebody does something irritating, and you stand there at a loss for words. You search your brain for the right response, but it doesn't show up until they're gone. Fully formed in the back of your head.

Here are the words that showed up in mine, in that placid little garden in Kyoto.

I wholeheartedly apologize, Mr. Shit for Brains, for intruding on your Precious Snapshot. Call me irresponsible for coming to one of the most gorgeous spots in all of Japan and actually pausing for a minute to enjoy it. Pardon me for wallowing in the idyllic scenery -- the stunning thousand-year-old temple, the gnarled old cypress trees, the verdant moss in eighty shades of green that don't exist anywhere else on earth -- and not just racing up, snapping a quick picture, and then racing out, like all you brain-dead tourists do.

No, I'm totally thoughtless. I didn't stop to think that a moron with a camera and a tight schedule would appear, and would need everything with a brain to clear out before he could capture this beauty on film. But see, maybe this is news, but when you bought that camera -- if in fact that is a camera, and not the tiny metal box your minuscule dick came in -- you didn't buy yourself special rights. You didn't suddenly become Master Of The Universe because you had thirty bucks to blow at the Bakersfield Best Buy. If you took that thing to the Super Bowl, you wouldn't suddenly become coach of one of the teams. If you took it to the Vatican, you wouldn't suddenly gain control of the Catholic Church. And here at this peaceful little garden, you didn't win the right to direct traffic. You just stayed an idiot with a cheap camera, an ugly haircut, and a monstrously big fuckin' mouth.

So, buddy, even though I don't have an all-powerful camera, I've got a suggestion for you. Why don't you shut your freakin' mouth and wait until I'm gone to take your precious little snapshot? Because God knows it's important: I mean, otherwise how would you prove to your little idiot friends that you actually went somewhere, and didn't just stay home and jerk off like they all thought you would?

Because, Mr. Buttmunch, NOBODY orders me around. NOBODY tells me to shove over ten feet to the left because I'm ruining their shot. In fact, why don't you give me the camera and I'll take the picture, since you're obviously incapable of moving to another spot? Meanwhile, Mr. Instamatic Nazi, you can build a wall between the irritating sides of your ass, you wienerschnitzel-eating, Lowenbrau-swilling douchebag, and then Chicken Dance your way back to HELL.

But no. Instead I just said, "Of course, sweetheart," and I let Raoul take this shot:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Here's a Photo of Me in Tokyo

I don't believe the stupidity of some people. While I was on vacation I read about some "boy lover" in Thailand who posted photographs of himself online. He figured he was safe because he used Photoshop to turn his face into a giant swirl. He didn't realize that a lot of folks would get pissed off about his little proclivity, and an FBI team would undo the swirl. Now he's all over the newspapers and seconds away from being caught.

Me, I'm nowhere near that stupid. Here's a picture of me boosting some cd's from a Tokyo record store, but I've turned my face into one of those Magic Eye things.

I'm Back

I highly recommend Japan to anybody who's ever felt short. There weren't four people in the whole country who reached shoulder-level height on me.

I also recommend Japan to New Yorkers. After spending a few nights in their cramped hotel rooms, your apartment looks positively enormous in comparison.

While you're there, I suggest visiting an onsen -- a traditional Japanese bath -- but that's on a totally different train of thought.