Thursday, February 26, 2009

A body that makes grown men reach for their wallets and angry wives reach for their guns. And his girlfriend's not bad either.
Harlan Flueharty is a redneck auto detailer who's spent his entire life keeping other people out of trouble. He gets in over his head, though, when he takes the blame for the sexist catcalls his brother hurls at the buxom Rosie. Rosie's not satisfied with his apology: she wants to teach him a lesson. And what better way to learn how hard it is to be a woman than walk a mile in her . . . well, bra?

Rosie offers Harlan fifty thousand dollars to get traffic-stopping breast implants for thirty days. So what if she doesn't have that kind of cash? She's an angry Latina, not Mother Teresa.

Dirt poor and desperate, Harlan agrees to the deal, soon discovering the surgery is more than just cosmetic. He finds himself the hottest tranny in the city, a sex object even to himself, but with Gomer Pyle's brain and Carmen Electra's cleavage something's got to give. Old-fashioned values like honor and loyalty can't compete with champagne and Tiffany swag.

Harlan's bank account and ego explode as he gleefully exploits his voluptuous new figure, shaking down his fans for every penny he can get. But enemies also pile up left and right until he finally plummets back to earth for writing checks with his mouth that even that hot body can't cash.

Packed with jealousy, sugar daddies and catfights, bOObs is about implants like Moby Dick is about whales. It's an outrageous exploration of sex roles -- Myra Breckinridge for a new generation -- and the perfect summer beach read.

I'll be posting a couple pages every day, Monday through Friday, until I'm back from vacation on March 23. Enjoy.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oh, God. Want to know where my vacation is going to take me? Just follow the plane crashes in the Times.

Long story short? He wants to bang out a litter with Octomom.
The Christian film website MovieGuide has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that America wants to see "movies with very strong Christians and redemptive, biblical or moral worldviews," not "unbiblical, anti-Christian or immoral" crap.

Their evidence? The family-friendly Indiana Jones film grossed far more than Zombie Strippers.

My favorite part of their report is the rating system. Films with some homosexual content are rated Ho; films with moderate homosexual content are HoHo, and really, really homosexual films get a HoHoHo.

Which seems to tie gay sex in with opening presents under the Christmas tree, but Christians have never made sense to me.

Also making their list of HoHoHo films are Kiss the Bride and The Love Guru. Got that? We not only caused Hurricane Katrina and Israeli earthquakes, we're responsible for Tori Spelling and Mike Myers too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A former editor of the New York Times' Op-Ed page has a new book out where she spills some of the newspaper's secrets. She even includes some political artwork the newspaper killed, with the reasons they didn't make print.

This is a drawing of Henry Kissinger, with tattoos illustrating his various war crimes. This drawing was killed because in reality Kissinger's ass is nowhere near that toned.

This drawing is supposed to be about intellectual copyright, but even I see boobie here.

This drawing supposedly looks like a dude ejaculating. Hah! I don't have half that many lines on my dick.

I have nearly a degree in political science, so as a public service I'll decode the meanings of this cartoon. See, the cow represents the U. S., which is standing in a field and mooing. The man, representing American business, sucks all the hard-earned milk out of the teat of Florida.

Why was this killed? I didn't read that far into the article, but I'm thinking maybe because the horns mean this thing is a bull.

(Via Gawker)

Highlight of the Guardian's Interview with British Designer Paul Smith

"Friends sometimes pop in for a sandwich - Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Palin, the Kaiser Chiefs."

In the case of the latter, the sandwich pieces are cut really, really small.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Elaine Davidson of Scotland has over six thousand studs, bars and rings pierced through and protruding from her body.

And she still can't find her keys.

Ursula and Agnetha never really blended into a community until they moved to South Beach.
Illiterate Hoodlums Run Pediatrician Out of Town
Online networking sites like Facebook are stunting the social development of today's youth, according to a British professor.

Lady Greenfield, professor of synaptic pharmacology at Lincoln college, Oxford, and director of the Royal Institution, told the House of Lords that children's experiences on social networking sites "are devoid of cohesive narrative and long-term significance. As a consequence, the mid-21st century mind might almost be infantilised, characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity".

WTF? Part of me is like WAJ! and the other part is like YYSSW.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Like all the world's great problems, it started on a whim. Rite Aid had a promotion where they'd rebate a percentage of the purchases you made during an entire month. Spend $25 and get a $5 gift certificate. Spend $50, get $10, etc. Save the receipts, type in the info online, and presto! A happy surprise in your mailbox.

Now, obviously they wanted people to buy stuff, but that was the last thing on my mind. Half their stock was overpriced toiletries, and the other half useless crap. I had eight bucks to get me through the month, so needless to say I wasn't going to blow it on a stick of Mitchum or a bunny rabbit windsock.

No, my plan was to cash in on other peoples' receipts. New Yorkers never took them: what, like they'll need proof they spent forty bucks on a bottle of Tide? I knew if I looked around the checkout counter there'd be hundreds of discarded receipts just waiting to be claimed.

I threw on a coat and ran to the nearest Rite Aid. Nothing. There wasn't a single scrap of paper on the ground. I pretended I was interested in the candy bars as I watched the people check out. I couldn't believe it. Every single person took their receipt.

Two hours later, with my back aching, my feet swollen and my stomach growling, I conceded defeat. I grabbed a Fast Break bar and the checker rang it up. "That'll be thirty-three cents, please."

Huh? I thought. That's crazy. That's almost a meal, with no dirty dishes. I got eight bucks worth and ran all the way home clutching the receipt in my hand.

I'm typing in all the information when the devious part of my brain fires up. Most people spend more than eight bucks at Rite Aid, it says. And it's not like this promotion requires proof or anything. Who's to say I didn't "accidentally" transpose a couple digits? Why, that'd be awful. I'd cash in, and nobody would ever know.

The next day I get an email from Rite Aid telling me to go to their website and check out the status of my rebate. I'm shaking like a leaf when I log in. CONGRATULATIONS! it says in big red letters. YOU QUALIFIED FOR A ONE-HUNDRED DOLLAR GIFT CERTIFICATE!

Now, an infinitesmally small part of my brain does a happy dance while the rest of me turns white. I click to see details and a list of my purchases comes up. There's adult diapers, duct tape, vienna sausages, and women's pantyhose. There's hair dye, a girdle, and a case of Chef Boyardee ravioli. There's a Clapper and a Chia Pet.

My total is five hundred and twelve bucks.

Holy shit, I think. I am so fuckin' dead.

I mean, if I'd stumbled upon a $25 receipt, I could have assumed the real buyer would have tossed it. One thing I love about New Yorkers is they're nowhere near as bored or cheap as me. But when somebody's got a five hundred dollar receipt, you can be pretty sure they're going to squeeze every freakin' cent out of it, and probably file it away for tax deductions.

Somewhere at Rite Aid Central, somebody's computer is beeping. And it's saying, "Hey, two people submitted a five-hundred-dollar receipt! Get security on this STAT!"

So now I'm sitting here, waiting for that knock on the door. I'm thinking it'll be guys in suits and dark sunglasses. "Mr. Hans," they'll say, their shoulders blocking out all daylight, "we've got a question about some purchases you made."

I'll hem and haw but eventually I'll blurt out the truth: I'm a cross-dresser with a bladder problem, and a yen for bad food and cheap gifts. They'll shake their heads, thinking nobody would stoop that low for a lousy gift certificate.

On their way out I'll offer them each a Fast Break bar, and when they drive off the real celebrating will begin.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Highlights from Fashion Week

Michael Kors found a witty new use for Mattel's Fistfuck Me Elmo.

Children, come in from the rain.

Walter, those are not earmuffs.
The owner of a cafe in Vienna has redecorated to make male customers feel more comfortable.

He's installed toilets around the walls of the dining room.

"The lavatory is one of the last places in the world where men can sit and relax without women or other distractions," says owner Stefan Holz. "We just want our customers to feel at home."

Really, the only awkward part is when you enter and the maitre d' approaches with menus asking, "Will that be number one or number two?"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I don't know how it happened. I saw the ads, I watched the commercials, I heard people say, "Hey, Quiznos ain't as bad as Subway!" and somehow I decided Quiznos must be good. Why am I always the last to know? Well, second to last, in this case, as their photographer is still coming up with shots of attractive food.

One busy afternoon I picked up a Quiznos sandwich and was startled by the vast chasm between reality and my mental picture (and, in fact, the picture in the window). Naturally I emailed to ask what was up. Basically I wanted to know why they hadn't been shut down by the fraud squad because, you know, you can't exactly advertise gorgeous sandwiches and then serve up stuff that looks like dog vomit.

I knew I had to be tactful if I wanted a reply, so I just asked why my sandwich didn't resemble the photo. Here's the reply I got:

Dear Mr. RomanHans,

I'm sorry to see your complaint about the T-B-G. [Ed. note: Turkey Bacon Guacamole.] You know, nobody can guarantee the real thing looks as same [sic] as the picture in advertisement. But I would like to honor you as our customer. I prepared a coupon of a free small toasty combo for you. Next time when you come to this store, you can get it from the cashier.

Sorry for your inconvience [sic] again!


Now, I appreciate the reply. Jasmine seems friendly and sweet and perky, and not at all like the rode-hard-and-put-away-wet chick who makes her food. But this wasn't anywhere close to a logical reply. "[N]obody can guarantee the real thing looks as same [sic] as the picture. . . ."? Really? So, can I advertise sensuous massage with a photo of a busty young blonde but then send a sweaty forty-year-old computer nerd on all my calls?

As for the offer, well, it took half the afternoon to get the tautology straight in my head. Yes, Jasmine is actually offering me free disgusting food to make up for serving me disgusting food.

Wish me luck. Oh, and email if you want a massage.

RomanHans' European Tour 2009 commences next Thursday, with stops in Paris, Barcelona, Prague, Berlin and Amsterdam. (Amsterdam is last? Yeah, that makes sense. Who needs weed to get through the rest of the trip?) Needless to say I've been scouring the literature for travel tips, and while all these countries are very gay-friendly, France goes above and beyond. From the France Guide for the Gay Traveler, published by the French Government Tourist Office:

While in Evian, don't miss the nearby medieval village of Yvoire, noted as one of France's prettiest. If you want a beautiful lake, breathtaking snowcapped peaks, and an active gay community, Annecy is the place to be. The water of Lake Annecy is among Europe's clearest. To test your luck of a different sort, stroll through the Jardins de l'Europe, a popular spot for local gay men who just want to linger for a spell.

What? There's a half-naked hunk hidden over in those bushes? Thanks very much, French government!
Nostradamus? Bah! In the Year of Our Lord Nineteen and Seventy-Four a prophet came forth with two quatrains that predict all of our current financial woes.

Good times, any time you meet a payment.
Good times, any time you need a friend.
Good times, any time you’re out from under.
Not getting hassled, not getting hustled.
Keepin’ your head above water,
Making a wave when you can.

Temporary lay offs -- good times!
Easy credit rip offs -- good times!
Scratchin’ and surviving -- good times!
Hangin in a chow line -- good times!
Ain’t we lucky we got ‘em?
Good times.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

And that's what separates Michael Jackson from your average, ordinary, lawn-mowing dad.

Average dads are happy with corduroy capes.

Art. High-class, museum-quality art.

And, coincidentally, what my dentist looks like when he's getting ready for a night on the town.

Thought of the Day

Women who say men who are strong are called assertive but women who are strong are called bitches always turn out to be bitches.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm in a good mood these days, and I know exactly why. It's not because the weather is good. It's not because I've got a thoughtful new boyfriend. It's not because I have money in the bank.

Nope, the whole entire reason is this: I had an appointment at the dentist, but I called and cancelled it.

When you stop and think about it, it's obvious why this gives me such a high. Life smells sweeter when you're consciously dodging the dentist. I didn't realize this until I was thirty-something, then decided to milk it for all it was worth. Now I've always got a pending dentist appointment, and for months I live with the dread of it approaching. It's going to be awful, I think. He's going to take x-rays. He's going to find something horrible, and he's going to pull out all my teeth.

Mere hours before I'm due in that chair, when cold sweat has become a way of life, I call and cancel. "Would you like to reschedule for next week?" the receptionist asks. Not a chance, chick! I tell her. I'm gonna ride this high 'til it dies.

When my friends see me they realize something is different. Years ago they might have asked, "Roman, what's with the glow? Are you seeing somebody? Are you in love?" But now they know better. They see me floating on air, whistling as I tapdance down New York's sidewalks. They ask, "Cancel another tooth cleaning, dude?"

I just coyly smile and once again toss my beret into the air.

Actually, I'm surprised more people don't do this. We can't all afford weekends at Disney World. I don't know anybody getting promotions, or gorgeous apartments, or hot boyfriends. I don't know the last time I heard good news. Cancelling is cheaper than hillbilly heroin and just as effective.

Make an appointment with a dental professional. It'll just be a dark little blot on the horizon, slowly enlarging as it gets closer, but when you cancel it hits just like smack.

As for my breath, well, that's the best of it. Every time I exhale and see another person wince, I remember the best things in life are free.

Monday, February 16, 2009

When my one-hundredth boyfriend came and went, I realized I might be doing something wrong. Was I too insensitive? I wondered. Was I too controlling? A couple of short-termers had alluded in that direction whenever I'd let them speak.

When Raymond turned up, then, I decided I'd make an effort to be sensitive to his needs. I hated Woody Allen, but when I saw that he had a new movie out I figured I'd ask what Raymond thought. "Do you want to see the new Woody Allen movie?" I asked.

"Oh, absolutely," he replied. Well, no accounting for taste, I thought. Bored to death in the dark theater I congratulated myself on my generosity in between wondering if this was the worst movie ever made.

My sensitivity seemed to work, though, because the next time I called Raymond he jumped at the chance to go out. "Do you like karaoke bars?" I asked, just out of the blue, determined to find out everything about him. This was new territory for me: I had two ex-husbands at this point and didn't even know where they lived.

"Oh, absolutely," Raymond said, so that Friday night we went to one. It was by far the stupidest thing I'd ever sat through: I mean, if I wanted to see untalented people sing old Journey songs, I'd go to a Journey concert, thanks.

When we reached our six-month anniversary, though, I had to concede that maybe I'd been doing something right. Sensitivity! Sharing! Being interested in his interests! I figured we should mark the milestone in some major way, and the newspaper's travel section suggested a destination I'd never have considered in my life. "Do you want to go to the Bahamas?" I asked Raymond, just barely suppressing a shudder.

His eyes lit up. "The Bahamas!" he repeated. "Oh, absolutely!"

And so came three of the worst days I've ever spent on planet Earth. We gummed rubbery conch for dinner, got drunk beneath the mirror balls at hetero discos, and spent our days touring a poverty-stricken country where we tried to pretend the poor black people who catered to our whims weren't exactly like slaves.

Wandering a market full of suitcases woven from palm fronds I caught a bored look on Raymond's face. "Hey, you're the one who wanted to come here," I snapped. "It's pretty much the way I pictured it."

"I wanted to come here?" he repeated. "This is the last place in the world I wanted to come. You're the one who suggested it, and I just agreed to be nice."

And in an instant our entire relationship flashed before my eyes. While I was being polite, was he being politer? While I was asking about things I never wanted to do, was he agreeing just to be nice?

"So, you don't like Woody Allen, or karaoke bars, or the Bahamas?"

"Hate Woody Allen, think karaoke bars are hell, and if I wanted subservient minorities to wait on me, I'd go get my car washed."

I stared at him in disbelief, and then we both started to laugh. We'd spent so many nights trying to be supportive, when just being ourselves would have been the smartest move of all. It was incredible how much we had in common, including the part about feigning civility to get along.

All the barriers came down as Raymond and I reached an honesty I'd never found before. That night as we gummed our last rubber dinner and then headed for Señor Wally's Dancing Clam Shack it was almost like I could read his mind.

And when I asked "Do you want to break up?" I knew exactly what he was going to say.

Friday, February 13, 2009

President Obama's administration today confirmed what many analysts had long suspected. "We're no longer going to arrest or prosecute rich people for crime," spokesman Roger Fielding announced.

"In the last few years, the government suffered too many setbacks, and we paid too high a price. Now with this fiscal crisis, we simply can't afford to fight the high-powered attorneys of the fabulously wealthy and maintain the standard of living we're accustomed to. We spent thirty million dollars trying to put Robert Blake in jail, and now we can't afford to collect trash in East L. A. We spent a hundred-eighty million on O. J. and had to close three senior centers in Wichita. We've only got so much money, and now we have to pick and choose what we can afford. Which would you rather see: P. Diddy jailed for firing a gun in a nightclub, or after-school basketball in Phoenix?"

Mr. Fielding confirmed that this was an egregious double standard. "Unfortunately, we can put a poor man in prison for peanuts these days. Any competent prosecutor can talk circles around a court-appointed defense attorney any day of the week -- and that's assuming the defense attorney shows up. Then, after they're found guilty, we throw them in a cell with eighty other guys and feed them Oscar Meyer bologna three times a day. How expensive is that? Chicken feed. We get a big return for very little cost.

"The rich, though, hire competent attorneys. They drag out their trials for years, if not decades, and burn through what little revenue the government has. Then, on the off chance they're actually found guilty of something, their lawyers demand that we put them in special jails. The costs are exorbitant, and that's assuming we just give them a part-time butler and a golf outing once a week."

When this journalist asked if this meant the rich would get a free ride, Mr. Fielding vehemently disagreed. "We'll still accuse rich people of crime: we just won't back it up with any action. But this, we maintain, is enough. See, when a poor man is arrested, his reputation actually improves. He gains 'street cred' and the approval of his peers. We have to actually, physically punish him to prove to him that breaking the law is a negative thing.

"With a rich man, though, his reputation is destroyed, and that's punishment enough. Because what brain-dead idiot would hire Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, or Alex Rodriguez now? How stupid would you have to be to invest with Bernie Madoff? What kind of suicidal nut would date Phil Spector? We'll accuse them of a crime, sensible people will shun them, and we can all sleep easy knowing we've done the right thing."

Reporting from Washington, this has been special correspondent Rod Blagojevich for Fox News.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I don't believe this. My nephew Shaikin was sent home from school yesterday with this note:

Dear Ms. Hans,

We regret to inform you that your son Shaikin has been permanently expelled from our school.

This morning in Shaikin's first-period history class his teacher, Ms. Markie, noticed that he was intently drawing when he should have been paying attention. Curious, Ms. Markie approached his desk. When Shaikin spotted her he hurriedly tried to hide his work, but Ms. Markey intercepted it and was horrified by what she saw.

The paper contained nothing short of a premeditated plan to assassinate Ms. Markie. It included a detailed drawing of the weapon to be used as well as a graphic depiction of Ms. Markie's lifeless body after this heinous crime had taken place.

Following school district policy, the police were immediately notified and Shaikin was questioned at length. After many hours with police psychologists, he was released. While the police contend that your son is harmless, we vehemently disagree. For this reason your son is no longer welcome at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. In fact, if he comes within one thousand yards of school grounds, the police will be called.

We wish your son well in furthering his education. We state unequivocally, though, that it will not be at our school.

Arthur S. Cleniss

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Muzak Files for Creative Bankruptcy

(Business Insider via The Daily Blague)

Well, in their defense, I'm thinking things have been pretty quiet there since Dracula left.
The makers of Roombas, those adorable little robot vacuums, have received a $7.8 million dollar contract from the federal government to make robots that will help soldiers on the battlefield.

The PackBot 510 will be used in reconnaissance missions, and also to identify roadside bombs, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and other unexploded ordnance.

Then after the robots have done their work, they bump into the walls until they find their way out.

(Great video from The Daily Show here)

Bernie Madoff's victims plotted on a map.

New York is under there somewhere.

Somebody should do a map of bored computer geeks. I'm thinking we wouldn't see ground.
Here's another difference between Republicans and Democrats.

When Bush decided America had to go to war, the Republicans were behind him all the way. "We need to support the president!" they screamed. "We need this war! It'd be treason not to support him!" The Democrats were wary but figured the guy must have known something and decided to go along.

Now, with a Democrat in office, everything's changed. "We need this stimulus package!" Obama says. "It has to be passed immediately or our entire economic system could collapse!"

How'd the vote go? Three Republicans voted for it. "Aw, fuck him," they said en masse.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Somebody sure went to a lot of work just to say to people, "Hey, wanna see my nut sack?"

Reason #276 Why I'm Glad to be Gay

From Soulcast:

Last night, Natalie and I were having a nice romantic conversation together. And at one point, she told me that she was going to quote the movie "Jerry Maguire." She told me, "you had me at hello. . . . " That was really sweet and it made me smile. And since we were on a "Jerry Maguire" theme, I tell her, "show me the money!" She was really disappointed in me. She said that my first thought should have been, "you complete me. . . . "

Oh God, that's demeaning. I'm literally sitting here cringing for this guy. "Let's talk about our love using lines from "Jerry Maguire"!" the woman says. And then he picks the wrong line and suffers the wrath of her disappointment. Yeah, that'll be rough. She won't offer him a forkful of her cranberry chicken salad come dinnertime or call him her Hunky Wunky Cookiepuss in the sack. I think we all know who's gonna be pushing the stroller when little Heather and Henry come along.

And you know, I'm all for Theme Night. If she wants to reenact scenes from "Bad Santa," I'm cool. She wants to swap dialog from "Showgirls," I'll bite. But noooo. Chicks fixate on romantic movies and turn healthy, strapping dudes into wimps.

Reason #287 I'm glad to be gay: Gay men don't get pussy whipped.

You Can Take the Girl Out of the Idiotic Talk Show, But . . . .

Major props to Captain Sully for landing safely after a moron attack.

KATIE COURIE: Did you at any point pray?

CAPTAIN SULLY: I would imagine somebody in back was taking care of that for me while I was flying the airplane.

Meanwhile, I'm personally not offended by the whole "It was God who saved that airplane!" declaration, except it leads us ineluctably to the conclusion that Satan controls geese.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I was almost in love with Dane. He was smart, funny, handsome. You could tell he was an ex-hippie just by looking at him, with the thick beard and friendly demeanor. But I'd never dated anybody who had kids before, and wasn't sure I could handle it. Sure, it gave Dane an air of responsibility and masculinity, but also a kindly-dad attitude that wasn't quite as easy to take.

After five months of dating, he invited me to his house for a Friday night. This was definitely a smart move. I drove from seedy brown North Hollywood to beautiful green Sierra Madre and it was like Dorothy entering Oz. The streets were clean and narrow, and lined with restored old Victorian homes. Dane's was the nicest, all filigree and gingerbread, and as we walked up the cobblestone path he pointed out the chickens roosting high up in the orange trees.

And that, as they say, was that.

That night the four of us had dinner like the family in a 50s sitcom, except with dad cooking vegetarian food. The kids were sweet but had clearly inherited Dad's boring. Thirteen-year-old Darren and ten-year-old Suzi talked about nothing but the environment. The planet was heating! The ice caps were melting! Animals were going to go extinct! Still, I was startled by the ease with which I was being integrated into their lives. Ordinarily when I went home with somebody I'd feel like I was just there for the sex and shouldn't intrude on real life. Here I was pulled in with open arms. There was no "Who is this dude?", no "Does he have to be here?" When the four of us cleaned up after dinner it seemed like the most natural thing in the world.

Since they didn't own a television set, bedtime came early. By ten the kids were in their rooms, and Dane and I were naked atop a wrought-iron bed. For a while we wrestled under the comforter, but pretty quickly decided we didn't need the extra heat. We'd just taken what I assumed would be our final position when I heard Dane say something other than "Oh, yeah!"

"Darren," he said quietly, "do you want something?"

I followed his eyes and saw Darren standing three feet away. "I'm worried about the great white whale," he said.

I froze, unsure what to do. Uncouple? That'd be awkward. Sure, we'd look a little more comfortable, but we'd also expose more flesh. Throw a blanket over us? We were laying on them. Scream? Whistle? I decided to follow Dane's lead, which was pretend that nothing was wrong.

"They'll be okay," Dane said. "A lot of governments are taking steps to protect them. We'll talk about it tomorrow." Then, almost as an afterthought: "And remember, when our door is closed it means we want privacy. Okay?"

Darren murmured his assent and wandered out. Dane and I resumed what we were doing, though it was hard to get back into the mood. I'd never had a kid walk in on me before, but assumed it was a one-shot deal.

The following Friday the same thing happened. This time Darren was upset about the African elephant. Dane told him scientists were saving their DNA so they wouldn't go extinct, then reminded him of the closed-door policy. I figured it wasn't my place to interrupt so I didn't say a word. Besides, my mouth was full.

The third time it happened I knew I had to do something. The kid was destroying our sex life. At the ripe old age of twenty-five I was having problems getting an erection, intricably linking my tumescence with the appearance of a tow-headed thirteen-year-old. "Can't we put a lock on the door?" I asked after Darren had gone off assured by dad that polar bears could swim to safety.

"I don't like having locks in the house," Dane said. "I don't like saying there's somebody I don't trust."

"It's not trust, it's privacy," I replied. "I don't like knowing that a kid can name fourteen positions his dad takes in bed."

"He's a kid," Dane repeated. "He doesn't care what we're doing. He's used to being the center of attention, and now he's upset that he's not."

"He knows exactly what we're doing. In fact, I don't think he gives a damn about the environment: I think he wants to watch."

Dane didn't get mad: he went quiet and the lights went off. The next morning he was cordial at breakfast, then I remembered non-existent things I had to do. We didn't speak again until Thursday, when Dane called and asked if I'd be over on Friday night. Judging from the patriarchal tone in his voice I knew we were skating on thin ice. On the way over, I came up with a plan that'd settle things once and for all.

Usually after dinner we'd tear off our clothes the second the bedroom door closed. This time, I decided, it'd be different. "I'm not especially tired," I told Dane, laying out flat and fully-clothed on the bed. "I think I'll read a magazine." I shuffled through the stack on the night stand: Vegetarian Cooking. Victorian Homes. Mother Jones. I grabbed the latter and flipped through, desperate for anything interesting. "Look at this!" I said, randomly pointing at a picture. And then, in a louder voice: "Wow! That's amazing! Wow! That's FANTASTIC!"

Dane looked at me before looking at the picture. "Composting? You're interested in composting?"

"I've always wanted to do that!" I confirmed at the top of my lungs. "It looks fantastic. C'mon, let's do it! Let's do it!"

"We don't have a garden, so we don't need to."

"But I want to!" I all but screamed. "LET'S DO IT! Yeah, baby! That's what I want! That's what I really, REALLY want!"

"Okay, okay. I'll look into it."

I peeked over toward the door. Nothing. Dane was already eyeing me like I was going to lunge at him with a sharpened zucchini, but I knew this had to work. The kid was probably standing at the door. One more bizarre outburst and he'd come barreling in.

I jabbed a finger at the article. "THAT'S SOOOO GOOD! OOOOH OOOOH! THAT'S REALLY, REALLY GOOD! OMIGOD! Oh. My. GODDDDD!!!"

I looked at the door expectantly, and this time Dane caught my look. "I don't believe this," he said.


"Maybe you should go."

I glanced over at him just to make sure, then grabbed my overnight bag. I said goodbye quieter than anything I'd said in the previous five minutes. Sadly exiting that gorgeous house I passed Darren on the porch with a cigarette in his hand. "Well," I snapped, "you certainly got a good education."

He nodded, exhaling smoke through his nose. "I learned all about faking it from mom."

Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm old enough to remember the Beatles breaking up. The world was quite literally a miserable place for years afterward, with our one shining musical light extinguishing itself. It's the sun itself disappeared, and while we learned to live with it, we never really accepted it. This didn't have to be a permanent thing, right? This didn't have to be the end.

Then John died. We took it like a death in our own families, but it still didn't have to mean the death of our dream. And then George passed away.

Okay, we thought, that's another setback, but it's still not the end. There's still a ghost of a chance that we'll get to recall those magical times before history closes the books forever. And then when I heard that Paul McCartney was going to appear on the Grammys to play Beatles tunes, my heart leapt in my chest.

Could this be it? Could this be the night that all our dreams are finally realized? I sat there in front of the TV, hands clutched in prayer against my chest, and I know I was just one of a hundred million fans thinking the same desperate thought:

Please, please, let Dave Grohl play some part.

Thank God the Grammy producers had the same idea, and our wildest dream is coming true. Paul and Dave, together. I know every Beatles fan in the world is shaking with anticipation as they read this. Paul McCartney: the singer and co-writer of all those Beatles hits. And Dave Grohl: some guy who, I think, used to be in the Foo Fighters. Somebody pinch me already! I mean, ever since the Beatles broke up I've been imagining my own fantasy reunions: Paul with somebody from Bananarama. Paul with either Wilson or Phillips. Not once did I dare imagine Paul playing with like either the drummer or bass player from the Foo Fighters! Man, that's gonna be one for the history books. It's like bringing back the old Mary Tyler Moore Show with Ed Begley as Lou Grant.

So, music lovers, enjoy Sunday night. I know it'll be one of those nights engraved on our memories forever, like Elvis Costello's first performance with the Kronos Quartet, or when David Bowie met Burl Ives. And something tells me, God willing and the clouds part, John and George will be looking down from heaven and saying, "You go, Paul, old mate. You sing those great old tunes with whoever that dude is." In fact, I'll bet that other living Beatle, whatever his name is, will be cheering with us on Sunday night, along with occasionally calling the operator to make sure his phone still works.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I hate people who have children. I mean, there are just so many intelligent people in the world, and to lose them forever to some passing sexual impulse just frustrates the hell out of me.

Honestly, it makes me question our whole system of government. Why is it illegal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet but fucking without a condom is fine? Because personally I'd rather be a dead biker than an ex-hipster with a baby named Douglas. I'd rather my friends remember what a godforsaken hellraiser I was than watch them avert their eyes when they see me pushing a big purple stroller at the mall. "Hey, Roman," they'd say, trying to pretend they're not horrified. "How's it going?"

"Good!" I'd reply. "This morning we read a story about Betsy Badger, and then -- who's gotta take a tinkle? Who's gotta take a tinkle?"

Because really, what is parenthood if not brain death? Even scientists agree on that score. Why do you think they kept Terri Schiavo alive for so long? Even in a coma her brainwaves were barely distinguishable from those of a soccer mom. Before children, people have ambitions, and dreams. They have goals they aim for, and schedules to follow to reach those goals.

Then a snotty little brat shows up and it all goes flying out the window. Now instead of cooking up multicourse Indian dinners, they're pushing boiled carrots through a sieve. Now instead of taking a taxi to DKNY to look at business attire, they're bulk-buying sweats at Now instead of trying to stay interesting to a demanding audience of friends, they're entertaining something that squeals with delight every time you flush the toilet.

And, making it even more ridiculous, they act like their lives have taken such a wonderful turn. They're found meaning! They're fulfilled! Well, duh. I'll bet it's a relief never having to strive for anything again. But me, I'm going to stay strong while my weaker friends fall by the wayside. I'm going to stubbornly cling to my dream, knowing that it'll require a lot of work, and determination, and focus, and when it's finally in my grasp it'll be all that much sweeter with the knowledge that Alec Baldwin rarely lets anybody jerk off on his ass.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

In response to a subpoena from the Connecticut attorney general, MySpace released the names of nearly ninety thousand of their members who are registered sex offenders.

Is that unbelievable? That means there's like a hundred dudes who haven't asked me for naked pictures yet.

Do not cut up the subway advertisements and rearrange them into something cool. We will arrest you.

Just look at them and buy what they say.

Thank you.
The City of New York

(Via Gawker)

Yo baby. You're looking hot. You want some of my vaccine?

(From Joe.My.God)
Ohmigod, the recession is absolutely destroying New York. Every day Eater posts another story about another restaurant's desperate bid to stay afloat, with this sad missive appearing the other day:

Can you believe that? A Manhattan restaurant, barely making ends meet on $60 steaks and $40 plates of pasta, is now forfeiting its right to charge $60 to bring you a corkscrew and two glasses. Now they'll do it for free. Is there no end to this madness? Next busboys will start renting out their vacation homes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Upper East Side. Carrots in the maid's room.

The guy who sold potato peelers at the greenmarket had a nicer apartment than me.

Instead of doing my taxes correctly this year, I'm writing up an explanation for why I made so many mistakes. It seems like that's more important, and that way if Obama ever appoints me to a prominent position in government I'll have something to release to the press. I tell you, it's not easy simultaneously conveying innocence and patriotism with just a soupçon of stupidity, but here's what I've got so far:

President Obama, members of the press, God-fearing Americans:

I am a law-abiding citizen of these great United States. As such, I have always gone out of my way to give our government every cent they deserve. I believe there is no one lower than a tax cheat, for he takes money from government programs that aid the elderly, the infirm, the impoverished. Unfortunately, as I have discovered, even the noblest of intentions can be derailed by the smallest of details.

Now, I'm not seeking to dodge responsibility myself. I will shoulder the blame, if that's where the blame belongs. But in this particular instance, I am quite certain the full and total blame lies with TurboTax Deluxe 8.1 for Windows Vista.

See, I had all the paperwork. I was chomping at the bit to input all the facts. But it seemed like this dangblasted program -- if I weren't a Christian man I'd use stronger language -- intentionally tried to keep our government from getting the money it deserves.

I mean, the program barely asked me anything. How much did I make. Did I have any deductions. And that was pretty much that! It boggles my mind to think that most of this whole nightmare could have been avoided by one simple question: Did you give a business associate a whole pile of money to start up a shadow corporation in the Virgin Islands?

As for the rest, well, I've got two words for you: Windows Vista.

After much thought and prayer, I'm certain reason will prevail, and average Americans will decide that I'm an honest man victimized by a rogue computer program. What other explanation can there be for somebody who checks boxes saying they're a blind senior citizen with forty-two kids and they'd like to donate a dollar to the World Wildlife Fund?

In Jesus' name,

When I get to Barcelona I'm going straight to this place. I just love me some fatty, smoky meat.

Tits, vagina, tits, vagina. Why are women-specific things always so gyno-centric? You don't see Boy Scouts giving out merit badges for First Boner.

(Via Alex Balk)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil poked his head out of his hole this morning and saw his shadow, meaning we can expect eight more babies from that crazy unemployed California woman.

Steve Martin owns $600,000 worth of banjos.

And no, that's not every banjo in the world.

Well, I guess it's an investment. Though if he put that money into, like, rubber chickens or funny hats, at least he could use them to entertain folks.

I'm planning a vacation, and like everything else in my life it's got to be on a budget. In desperation I turned to Priceline.

Priceline has always annoyed me. Obviously there's William Shatner. We're supposed to trust this man? He can't act. His toupee looks like a furry Roomba. He thought the world wanted to hear him sing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Even more questionable is their business model, where you bid X amount of dollars for any X-star hotel in the neighborhood you choose. See, they get to draw up the maps -- and their maps that cover nice neighborhoods also cover quite a bit of slum. Who says the Latin Quarter doesn't extend halfway to Mexico? Where's it written that the Eiffel Tower district doesn't include Romania? And they get to decide which hotels are two-star, three-star, four-star. Who says four-star hotels always have fitness centers, or concierge service, or roofs?

On closer examination, we realize this odd little system sounds familiar. It's like those gumball machines with cool stuff on top and crap on the bottom. It's like those postcards from timeshare companies: YOU'VE WON A MERCEDES BENZ! they shout. Or a BEACHFRONT CONDO IN CANCUN!

Then, down at the bottom: Or a rub-on tattoo of a monkey.

Priceline proudly advertises all the wonderful establishments they offer: YOU COULD GET THE RITZ! OR THE PLAZA! OR THE FOUR SEASONS!

Or the Stansted Airport Travelodge.

And, in fact, you probably will.

Judging from all the online complaints, Priceline makes absolutely no apologies. Whereas Travelocity and Expedia have mottos like, "We won't rest until you're happy," Priceline's is something like, "Hey, we never promised anything." They set the rules, and you roll the dice. You wait for their decision with trembling hands, like your computer's a slot machine.

"Congratulations!" comes the announcement. "You're staying at the New Delhi Dayz Inn!"

So, I'm a gambler. I'm cheap, and I'm desperate. The good news is, yes, I'm going to Paris.

Now if I can just find a rickshaw into town I'll be set.