Friday, July 31, 2009
Wow. Here I've been mistaking all these people for men.
A model with Asperger's was on America's Next Top Model last season, so I got to see the syndrome in the flesh. She was gorgeous, smart, and funny, but she had a hard time making sense of all the bimbos around her.
At this point I'm thinking, you know, you might as well give me some of what she's on.
We act differently for the mentally challenged. We're more patient, more understanding, more helpful. We don't make fun of them. We give them their own Olympics, and whereas in the regular Olympics if you run off course chasing a butterfly your career is pretty much toast, with the Special Olympics all that matters is that you try.
Nobody in their right mind would hold a mentally-challenged person to the usual standards. If you or I wore mismatched socks, somebody'd ask us, "Hey, did you get dressed in the dark?" With a mentally handicapped person we'd say, "Did you put those on all by yourself? Hooray!" Smash a window? That's fine, just so long as you didn't hurt yourself. Leave a goldfish out on the kitchen counter? That's okay. There's thousands more at the pet store. Break into the Department of Defense's computer system? Now, you know that's wrong! If you disable the Air Force servers again, you're not getting a cookie!
Oh. Um. Wait.
See, the intelligence and focus of Asperger's makes it ideal for crime. Which, in my humble opinion, changes the rules. Call me heartless, but I'm not going to tell Danny that if he steals another Delta 767 he's going to bed without supper. I'm not telling Darius that if he joyrides another subway train through Manhattan I'm taking his favorite overalls away.
And now Gary McKinnon is in Britain trying to avoid extradition to the U. S. He's been charged with breaking into 97 computers belonging to NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense and several branches of the U.S. military soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Why shouldn't he be returned here to face the music? He's autistic, your honor. It'd frighten him to be sent back here.
Tell you what: put him in a big box and tell him he's not going anywhere.
Sorry, but I'm pleased to hear that Mr. McKinnon is being extradited. I don't want national security compromised by a guy who can't control his hobby. I don't want our intelligence agencies wasting their time on some guy who just can't stop himself.
And, most important of all, when hackers try to break into government computers, I don't want our federal agents to say, Well, you know, it's probably just Gary again.
Thank God times have changed and all that is relegated to the past.
Nowadays you just tell Google they're gay.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Dead Animals Liven up Dull Apartments
Boston Cop Has Nothing But Respect for Blacks, Banana-Eating Jungle Monkeys
Somebody Somewhere Is Going to Have Jude Law's Baby
Fox News Channel commentator Glenn Beck said he believes President Obama is a racist. The controversial news man declared that Obama has demonstrated ''a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.''
President Obama vigorously denied the charge, inviting Beck to the White House to share a glass of Tang and a Twinkie.
A South Carolina man was charged with having sex with a horse after the animal's owner caught the act on videotape, then staked out the stable and caught him at gun point.
But this wasn't the first time Rodell Vereen has been charged with buggery. He pleaded guilty last year to having sex with the same horse after he was found in the same stable.
''Police kept telling me it couldn't be the same guy,'' owner Barbara Kenley said. ''I couldn't believe that there were two guys going around doing this to the same horse.''
In his defense Mr. Vereen said, "Hey, it's not my fault Blossom is so damn hot."
Workers at a Texas call center passed out after a colleague squirted on a strong perfume.
Thirty-four people were taken to local hospitals after they started complaining of dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pains and headaches. As panic spread through the building, the workers feared they were under chemical attack or the victims of a carbon monoxide leak.
Eventually the employees were allowed to return to their desks.
Shortly afterwards, the makers of Charlie announced that in the future they'd make the fragrance slightly less kicky.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Thank God for that. For once I won't have to worry about a dress code.
When you hear about people complaining to the police about gay men indulging in lewd behavior, how do you picture these people? Old? Religious? Heterosexual? Apparently that last assumption, if not all three, is completely wrong.
Even among San Francisco fetish fetes, the Up Your Alley street fair stands alone. The raunchier and more gay-centric cousin of the Folsom Street Fair is a huge event on the leather community calendar, with public floggings, pee and pony play, fellatio, and intercourse all part of the package. It's a "voyeur's paradise," observes Supervisor (and mayoral hopeful) Bevan Dufty, a regular attendee (but not participant, we should note).
But Up Your Alley is being forced to clean up its act after several people complained to police about public indecency laws being violated at last year's event.
Among those complaining is Mike Hughes, a gay man who thinks public sex reflects badly on the gay community. "Public nudity is fine," he says, "but golden showers in the goddamned street?"
Call me crazy, but I couldn't agree more. I too am a fine, upstanding gay man, and I know how much easier it is to run to the police than to look away. Every square inch of public space in America needs to be G-rated every minute of every day. Every theater, every bar, every out-of-the-way alley needs to be family-friendly, just in case some kid with binoculars is peering out of a helicopter overhead.
So, Mike, my hat's off. (Don't worry, the rest of me is hidden and soft.) It's about time this "fetish fair" met community standards of decency, just in case some clueless member of the community wandered past all the police-style barricades and the giant neon-orange signs warning of GAY MEN and SEXUAL BEHAVIOR. And now, I'm happy to say, I know exactly where to go when I'm looking for other men into priss.
Nearly 3,000 competitors from around the world battled it out to win this year's Tough Guy Race. The six-mile assault course at an English farm contained 21 different obstacles, including shoulder high mud, a forty-foot high wall, ponds filled with leeches, and long, claustrophobic tunnels. Entrants even had to sign a death warrant before starting the challenge.
And here's a contestant:
I hope this guy won. He looks tough, he looks fit, and he looks like he aced the Make Your Own Jockstrap competition.
Me, I've got to thank the guy. For years I've had a nagging worry that some rogue psychiatrist is going to corner me at some party and quiz me with those infernal ink blots. He'd coerce me into admitting that I saw bats and moths and spiders, and then I'd be taken away in a straitjacket and locked away in a rubber room for the rest of my life.
The good news? The acceptable responses include bats and moths and spiders.
Carniverous gnomes tearing the flesh off conjoined Barbie dolls? Didn't break the Top Ten.
Yes, the fact that a Salt Lake City hamburger joint has put a cured, peppered meat on top of a burger has forced me to totally reconsider the stereotype I have of city residents.
Oh, wait. Two weeks ago two guys were arrested for kissing on a public plaza in downtown Salt Lake City.
Whoops: looks like they're assholes again!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
First, the weekly food column has been co-opted at least once a month by some idiot with a kid. And you know what idiots with kids are like. Talk about your boyfriend and you hear about little Oscar's crush on Captain Crunch. Mention that you lost your job and learn that little Sarah wants to be a Hanukkah bush when she grows up. Tell them you totalled your 2009 Lexus and discover that little Wally flipped his Big Wheel.
Cooking with Dexter is some forty-two paragraphs about precocious, peanut-allergic Dexter and one paragraph that's actually about food. Here are some memorable quotes from recent works:
Last fall, like a squirrel hiding acorns, he would bring his favorite vegetables to bed with him, or deposit them in his toy chest.
Swiftly and mercilessly, I swooped down and hauled him away, scolding him: ''The stove is not for babies!''
Clearly the Times has its fingers on the pulse of America. We have the finest restaurants in America here, but we don't want to read any culinary news unless someone wearing diapers is involved.
It pisses me off. It's insulting. Their articles about internal medicine don't toss in little stories about how little Roland stuck a cherry Sucrets up his nose. Their pieces on international politics don't include notes like, "Daniel, my ten-year-old, still giggles when Katie Couric calls Cheney 'Dick.'" Their columns on the theater don't casually throw in asides like, "Halfway through the production, my prescient little Heather declared that she was sure Godot wasn't going to show up."
So why are articles about food filtered through the moronic eyes of a four-year-old?
Sadly, one other section of the paper is following Dexter's lead. The Home and Garden section has paved over anything useful and dug up The Puppy Diaries, a weekly column about -- news flash -- raising a puppy. Change the pronouns and this could be about Dexter too:
[O]ne night she began barking like crazy while Henry was eating a bowl of strawberries with whipped cream.
During the vet visit for her second round of shots, everyone commented on her big paws.
In case these columns prove too deep for you, they spell out exactly why you'd want to read any of this:
And now, desperate to move up to the 21st century, the Times is begging readers to get involved. They're going Interactive! they chirp. What can you do? They're the "Newspaper of Record" with "All the News That's Fit to Print." Do they want stories about your neighborhood, or your thoughts on local politicians?
Nope. Send them pictures of your dog.
Just to stave off future requests, might as well tell them about your favorite Thomas Kinkade painting, and how those Love Is. . . cartoons changed your life.
Monday, July 27, 2009
As a world-class sociologist who's almost got a degree from a major university, I can unequivocally state that the scene pictured here will soon dissolve into a lusty, sweaty three-way, and not just because I know this is a scene from a porno movie. The clues are everywhere.
First, the bleached blonde clearly likes showing off her body. Her skirt is short. Her blouse is transparent. Knowing that eventually everyone has to run around their apartment totally naked -- whether finding a spider in the shower, or being awoken by an earthquake -- she opts for curtains that will protect innocent bystanders from her face.
Second, she's definitely not intending to work hard. On a day when sofas and refrigerators need to be lifted, she's put on earrings, a gypsy bracelet, and a puka shell choker. Her bra may be hoisting thirty pounds but she isn't planning to.
Third, the men are obviously just there to have sex. We know they aren't professional movers, because they're not wearing gloves or weight belts, and they're actually lifting furniture rather than asking for a beer or telling the woman that it's going to cost eight times more than their estimate. While the man in front appears to have the stocky muscularity of a moving man, they generally don't start every morning by shaving off all their arm hair. Also, just judging from his muscles, I'd say the man in back hasn't lifted anything heavier than a MacBook and a latté in the last twenty-six years.
Even if they truly are moving men, sex is still in the cards. Like cable installers and UPS delivery men, movers are always players, ready-equipped with lines like, "Well, ma'am, we specialize in packing a whole lotta stuff into little tiny boxes," and what woman can resist a good pun?
Friday, July 24, 2009
Which, you know, was obviously wrong. Foie gras of similar size wouldn't have rung up for two bucks. "$1.99 a pound?" I asked.
"$2.99," she replied.
I pointed to the sign. She shook her head almost angrily and recalculated, coming up nearly a buck less. "That's not how much it's supposed to be," she said.
I left feeling a bit shocked. That's some kind of attitude, I thought, for a woman who peels garlic for a hobby. The signs at her fruit stand are mere suggestions of prices that yield to some overriding "supposed to be" price at the register? That wasn't the way we did things in L. A.
I returned a few days later for bananas, an important source of potassium in my diet. I grabbed a bag of six, noting the sign that said $.79 cents a pound, and once again the woman's hands flew across the scale in a flash before she punched $3.68 into the cash register.
Okay, I thought. That's a little steep. Another "supposed to be" price?
I didn't say a word, since I wasn't convinced she was wrong, but when I got home I weighed and I calculated. Two pounds fifteen ounces. At $.79 a pound, they'd be $2.32.
Apparently her "supposed to be" price was $1.25 a pound.
My face started to redden. My blood pressure shot up. Ohmigod, I thought excitedly, I'm being ripped off by a New York crook!
I couldn't believe my good fortune. I mean, like everybody else in America, I'd heard all the New York fables. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, they bragged -- and then I found a city that was about as edgy as a Whole Foods store. Over the years I'd come to the sad conclusion that those golden days were long gone, and the city had somehow turned into an East Coast Kansas City. Could it all still be true? Could that old New York attitude still be intact?
I went back the next day just to confirm my good luck. Once again I picked up six bananas, double-checking the $.79 sign. I shook with anticipation as she rang me up. My hopes would be dashed if she only charged me a couple bucks. Three dollars or, fingers crossed, even four would really make my day.
Her fingers danced across the scale and then she punched a number into the register. $3.38.
HOORAY! I nearly screamed. YOU'RE A TOTAL CROOK!
Now curious for details, I asked, "Wait; how much do those weigh?" And instantly she flung them back onto the scale, this time coming up with $2.02. Not a word of apology or explanation, not the slightest twinge of guilt. "I couldn't give a fuck," her blank expression said, "because what are you gonna do?"
I literally skipped all the way home as flowers blossomed and birds sang. I'd been here nearly ten years, and I'd just about given up hope. I'd thought the city had changed -- but it hadn't. The faces had changed, but the dream was still alive and well. After all of New York's boom years, when the Caucasian crooks rocketed upscale from blue-collar crime to real estate fraud and hedge-fund embezzlement, the city's immigrants took up the slack.
Yes, I thought proudly, clutching my rip-off bananas to my chest, this is still the fabled land where a hard-working Asian can come with virtually nothing and soon steal her way into Gucci clogs.
New York, New York; it's my kind of town. I know that cashier would join me in saying, that's how it's supposed to be.
Rosemary Farm, 338 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (718) 599-7385
Thursday, July 23, 2009
In this photo it's easy to see that the man is interested in coitus. Clearly he's heterosexual, since he has zero decorating skills, plus funeral directors don't usually have futons in their viewing rooms.
One might assume these women would rebuff the man's advances, based solely on outward appearances. However, for women there's always a fine line between sex and sorrow, particularly if they're dating me. Note the homemade hats, the fake satin blouses, the tops of pantyhose peeking out from beneath miniskirts more suitable for discoteques than funerals. These are obvious hints that these two don't work at, say, a post office, or a bank, unless it's got a coat-check room. When a woman attends a funeral dressed like a Russian stripper, one begins to suspect that the stiff in the box isn't what she's interested in.
Confirming the observant sociologist's suspicion is the fact that the casket is closed. This tells us that though the women might like to see the deceased one last time, far more important is having a clean, elevated place to lie down.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Okay, I'm a killjoy. I laughed for a split second before deciding it was absolutely sick.
I mean, look at those poor pitiful souls, without a thought in their heads.
I've got to give them one thing, though. I'll never look that good in a halter top.
According to a press release from Cyclone Power Technologies, the robot -- dubbed EATR, or Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot -- is completely eco-friendly, creating usable green power from plentiful, renewable organic matter.
When reached for comment, the robot's inventors said, "Well, it's really quite a simple -- wait! No! Stop! AIEEEE!"
When the dog barks, the Bowlingual Voice picks up the sound with its built-in microphone, deciphers it, and then uses a speech synthesizer to tell the owner what the dog is trying to say.
I got an early version of this amazing little gadget and, well, I've got mixed feelings about it. Here's a list of everything my dog said yesterday:
It's pale, it's skinny, it's furry. Why wouldn't I mistake your leg for a Pekinese?
Would you please stop telling the neighbors that I'm the one who keeps peeing on their plants?
Yeah, my dad's name is Mach Wysiwyg Triple Trougle Re XF. Yours is Wally. What's your point?
I swear to God, you turn that back to Animal Planet or you're gonna find a big brown present in your wingtips tomorrow.
Well, yeah, usually I offer unconditional love, but dude, I never met anyone who could eat a whole wheel of cheese.
Gimme a kiss. Gimme a kiss. Seriously, I've gotta get the taste of ass off my tongue.
And one day Binky says to me, you know what, Chester? I swear to God, I'm gonna bite the nose off the next motherfucker who taps on that glass.
C'mon, ask me why I lick my balls. Ask me.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
We here at World Class Stupid have connections with powerful insiders, though, so we don't have to keep our readers waiting quite that long. In a worldwide blog exclusive, here's a sneak peek at the book's opening paragraphs.
by Carrie Prejean
So one day these two people thought well, you know what? Why don't we have a child? Both of them knew that in this great country a woman carries a baby for nine months, in fact all women carry babies for nine months, unless the babies are born prematurely which means they're small and red when they pop out and they look like dolls, or Chinese. But I live inside my mother for nine months and then I pop out and my mom home-schools me and seriously like the third time I leave the house that fat gay Perez Hilton asks me the most jackassinine question I've ever heard in my life.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I've slowly but consistently lowered my standards over these last ten years. I realize they were pretty unrealistic to start with -- I mean, I'm not sure there are any gay princes anywhere, let alone Jason Statham lookalikes -- but they're not really such a hurdle any more. Now I'll accept a fixable man: employable, with most major limbs, mild b.o. or bad breath okay.
No matter how I looked at it, though, R. J. just couldn't make the cut. On the surface he seemed terrific: he was handsome, wealthy, in terrific shape. Confident businessman, swaggered rather than walked. But there was just one small detail that trumped all these positive qualities.
He reminded me of O. J. Simpson.
R. J. had been a professional athlete, then dabbled in acting. He had two kids and an ex-wife. He loved golf and expensive watches.
And, of course, there's the name. R. J.
Even Oprah believes in intuition, and my intuition said STAY FAR AWAY.
R. J. came into the club where I worked probably once or twice a month, and he always brought me a gift. Flowers, candy, CDs, DVDs. We'd chat if the place wasn't too crowded, and safely behind the bar I'd flirt with him. The man was a catch, there was no doubt about it. He easily surpassed my standards, and under other circumstances I'd have jumped at the chance to date him. But every time he asked, I just had to say no.
My friend Steve wasn't exactly a fountain of empathy. "See, that's one of the things sane people look for in boyfriends," he declared. "Consistency. The man's been after you for over a year. He's not looking for a one-night stand. He wants you for the long haul."
Reluctantly I explained the whole O. J. thing and Steve just laughed. "Roman, don't be ridiculous. Okay, there are tiny similarities. But that doesn't mean it's, like, predestined or anything. The universe isn't going to force this relationship into that exact same path."
I sighed. Okay, maybe I was being stupid. Maybe I was rejecting the man because of a ridiculous assumption rather than real intuition. But, you know, I don't think most people would date a doctor named Yeckyl. I don't think they'd accept dinner invitations from a pale, black-caped guy named Nosferaboo. I'm sorry, but ex-athletes named R. J. Plimpton would make most sensible people think twice.
"Fine," Steve said. "Die single. When there's a rich, handsome man who's interested in you."
I let Steve's words simmer for a while, and as always I eventually changed my mind. The next time R. J. asked me out I agreed. Naturally a man with his confidence had already made plans: he'd pick me at eight on Friday night, then we'd go to his house where he'd cook me dinner. This wasn't exactly my idea of a perfect date, but I felt so guilty about putting him off for so long I didn't protest.
"What a nice car!" I said as he walked me to his white Bronco. "Hey, you've got all the accessories!" I said as he struggled to pull on his driving gloves. "I guess we're headed for the nice part of town!" I all but screamed as we drove up San Vincente Boulevard and turned toward Brentwood.
R. J. deftly maneuvered the car through meandering twists and turns before we pulled into a driveway. He clicked open the wrought-iron gate and we zipped past a brightly-lit guest house to the driveway's end. He got out to open the garage door as my cellphone rang.
It was Steve.
"I can't talk," I whispered. "I'm with R. J., and we just got to his place."
And in the voice from that horror story where a psycho ax murderer keeps calling some woman and the telephone operator says, "The calls are coming from inside the house," Steve said, "Roman, I take it back. Get out of that car and run. A present or two a month, for over a year? Dude, that's a slow-speed chase."
Friday, July 17, 2009
Willow, her ten-pound English terrier, can read and obey simple written commands. She plays dead when she sees the word "bang," stretches a paw in the air when she sees "wave" and gets up on her back feet to beg when she sees the words "sit up."
Two pages into The Da Vinci Code, she threw up a little in her mouth.
One quick glance at this photograph is all the social scientist needs: judging from the setting, the body language, and the social demographic evidence, in approximately three minutes this couple will be slapping the camel with a one-eyed carrot. How do we know? Here are a few of the clues.
When a male gets injured while on a date with a female, this inevitably means they're going to have sex. This is because the male's pain and helplessness arouse maternal feelings in the female, resulting in the offer of a Band-Aid, a warm beverage, and a soothing breast headed straight for stubbled face.
Frequently when I'm with someone that I'm physically attracted to, I'll feign an injury just to be sure that clothes will eventually come off. When my partner sees me in my Dockers and Le Tigre polo, it's all too easy to say, "Sorry, dude: geeky and unsuccessful aren't exactly my thing." When I'm naked, though, and he's looping an Ace bandage around my swollen thigh, it's inevitable that thoughts will occasionally swerve towards "Oh, what the hell." I mean, he's already got the gauze out, so the only difference is where he'll tie my legs to the bed.
Supporting evidence here includes the fact that while the woman is absolutely gorgeous, with a shapely body, pretty face, and expensive blonde highlights, the man has an oversized nose, 80s coif, and Minnie Mouse sweatshirt. If he wasn't filthy rich she wouldn't be out with him in the first place, so it is my expert opinion that they'll start humping in the ambulance.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The new packaging is being hailed as an incredible breakthrough by guys who are too drunk to lift their hands.
The men were holding a late-night meeting when the police arrived and dragged the men off to face charges of sorcery. One Freemason said the whole experience was "wretched," and he sharply criticized the "dopey village people" for their superstitious ways.
The charges were eventually dropped and the men left town after the police returned their magic wands and ceremonial skull.
A five-year-old can understand heterosexual news stories. "Chilean Bus Plunges Off Cliff." "Storms Hit Miami Coastline." "Lindsay Lohan Has a Firecrotch." Nothing convoluted about any of these. They make their point simply and concisely. Don't need to concentrate or massage your temples to get what they're saying. As opposed to, say, your typical homosexual news story:
"Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to Meet with Republican Leadership to Plot Course for Overturning Ruling Striking Down Constitutional Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage."
Got that? It's a little tougher. In fact, it's less a sentence than a glossary from the Congressional Report. Somewhere between the first word and the last, your attention wanders: isn't there something tasty in the fridge? Isn't there laundry to be done? This could explain why so few gays are politically active: obviously somebody here is an asswipe, but it's impossible to figure out who.
This could explain why heteros think gays are vapid. If we had a gay man and a straight man sitting side by side reading the newspaper, the difference would be painfully obvious. The happy hetero would be scanning the headlines, saying stuff like, "Whoa, ain't that the truth!" or "Gosh, isn't that interesting?" while the gay guy is holding his well-coiffed head and screaming "WHAAA?"
The problem with all these gay news stories is the double negatives. Frankly, I'm surprised we let newspapers get away with it. My parents used to yell at me if I said something like, "I don't want no damn chicken." This headline has like fifteen negatives in it, and without graph paper and a Sharpy I don't see any way of figuring out who did what. It's totally unfair. You don't see them in hetero stories. Baba Wawa doesn't dispute Meredith's theory that Star's husband isn't gay. Katie doesn't disagree with dissenting opinions to press reports that Tom didn't use a stunt double to consummate their marriage. Paula doesn't uphold Randy's denial of Ryan's contention that Simon has perky man-boobs.
Meanwhile, this is just the tip of the iceberg. What happens as the Georgia case gathers steam? You'll be laying on the beach sipping a Frappuccino and trying to get through this: "The Supreme Court today quashed an appeal of a lower court decision upholding the overturning of a ruling striking down a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage."
At this point even Stephen J. Hawking is flipping to the comics. It makes Sudoku look like a receipt from The Dollar Store. But recently a friend told me about this trick to make sense of difficult headlines: start at the end and replace the clauses that you understand with either of the words "GOOD" or "BAD."
On the first pass, this line becomes "The Supreme Court today quashed an appeal of a lower court decision upholding the overturning of a ruling striking down BAD." "A ruling striking down BAD" is obviously GOOD, and overturning GOOD is BAD. After twenty or thirty minutes, a readable sentence emerges: "The Supreme Court today was BAD."
See -- works like a charm! Sure, you won't exactly be able to share the details at parties, but you got the gist. Besides, it's kind of fun . . . and it's suspenseful. You won't know till you reach the end exactly how the government feels about you. Sound familiar? It's like that old "He loves me, he loves me not" flower thing, except it's about you and Clarence Thomas.
If you want to stick with holding your head and screaming "WHAAA?," I think we'll understand.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Many in the audience questioned Senator Coburn's comment, which they say was demeaning to the woman who would become the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.
On further questioning by reporters, Senator Coburn emphatically stated that he wasn't biased against Hispanics, insisting that at hearings for previous nominees he said, "Scalia, you're-a one-a spicy meat-a-ball!" and "Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Clarence?"
[Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor] suggested that the ''wise Latina'' reference has been blown out of proportion, saying they have been cited outside the broader context of her talk, which was to encourage young people to aspire to hire accomplishments.
What? Damn this woman! Back in my day, we had to do all the work ourselves.
I'm well aware how the simplest plans can turn into debacles, so I doublechecked with the driver. "Can you tell me when we get to Museum Island?" I asked. Just like that, with the English words. I was spending four days in Berlin, so I didn't think I required the entire German language. I knew the lyrics to Cabaret and 99 Luftballons and figured those would cover most of the situations I'd get in.
The bus driver, sadly, had been hired for something other than charm. He repeated "Eh?" several times while I repeated "Museum Island," each of us steadily ramping up in volume, and after four or five minutes he just started yelling German words at me which I was pretty sure translated to, "Just shut the FUCK up and MOVE TO THE BACK OF THE BUS."
Which I did, you know, since my mental picture of the German police doesn't include them approaching me slowly and saying, "Welcome to our lovely nation! May we be of assistance?" And in about ten minutes I saw a small island overloaded with museum-sized buildings slide by on the left side of the bus.
Naturally I headed back to the driver. "Is that Museum Island?" I asked. He resumed his furious ignorance and started screaming at me as though he'd never stopped. He waved me away like I was disturbing his driving and then, as he pulled over to the next bus stop, he acted out the stupidest little sham I've ever seen, and I've been to several Adam Sandler movies. A faux lightbulb went off over his head. "Oh!" he said, like suddenly he got it. "MuseumsINSEL."
Let's make this crystal clear: at eight o'clock at night in an unfamiliar city I'm left half a mile from my destination because a bus driver didn't connect "Museum Island" with "Museumsinsel," one of the major stops on his route.
I spent the rest of my time in Berlin with a boiling teakettle for a head, but gradually the anger faded and left admiration. I mean, it takes some kind of guts to either proudly punish tourists who don't bother to learn German, or take responsibility for ferrying tourists around while being physically unable to make basic connections in the brain. The sheer chutzpah is breathtaking. I mean, it's all about power, and what better way to demonstrate power than by misusing it?
Sometimes now when the weather is nice I sit outside and daydream that I've followed in this man's shoes. I pretend that I'm a cabdriver, and I too hold fate in my fingers. I patiently listen to my passengers' requests, pretend to ponder them for a second, and then take my cue from that bus driver's playbook. "Broomingdale's? Buddy, I been here for thirty-somethin' years, and there ain't never been no store by that name."
How I Became A Famous Novelist
How I Became A Millionaire Bushman
How I Became A Super Hero
How I Became A Fisherman Named Pete
How I Became The World's Greatest Lover
How I Became Hettie Jones
How I Became A Pirate
How I Became Grandmaster at Age 14
How I Became Champion of the Universe
How I Became A Disciple of Babaji
How I Became A Bond Chick
How I became A Fashion Model
How I Became A Success Selling Herbs
How I Became A Nun
How I Became A Super Villain
How I Became A Girl Reporter
How I Became Hollywood's Favorite Party Girl
How I Became A Crack Shot
How I Became A Black Man and Other Metamorphoses
How I Became A Fearless Woman
How I Became A Big Brother
How I Became An American
How I Became An Australian
How I Became Father To 1000 Children
How I Became A Freak
How I Became Mr. Insurance in My Community
How I Became Stupid
How I Became A Psychic Artist
How I Became The Cat Lady
How I Became Whatever It Is I Am
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
1964-1967: Records ten hit singles with the Supremes
1972: Receives Best Actress Academy Award nomination for Lady Sings the Blues
1976: Named "Female Entertainer of the Century" by Billboard magazine
1993: Named the most successful female music artist in history by the Guinness Book Of World Records
2007: Receives a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Honors Award
2009: Reacting to the news that she's Michael Jackson's second choice to get custody of his children, she screams, "He never told me! I don't know anything about this! This is the first I've heard!"
Ten minutes later: "What, everybody loves him now? Okay, gimme them kids!"
Yes, blue cheese dressing is exactly the same thing as blue cheese.
And in the spirit of goodwill from a guy who recently dined there, I'd like to offer you exclusive use of my fabulous ranch for only $500 a month.
Heck, I'll even toss in free access to my 1000 island if you send me that money today.
Luckily I know somebody who's got a good blog.
I'll admit straightaway that these parties definitely buy me off. They won't make me lie and say a lousy TV show is good -- it takes tropical vacations or cars to do that -- but they'll definitely make me think twice about posting something negative.
So, last night I went to a party for Michael and Michael Have Issues, a new Comedy Central show debuting tomorrow night. I'd never heard of Michael Ian Black or Michael Showalter, but now I'm a fan. The show is 30 Rockish, about two guys who write and star in a TV show, with some of Seinfeld's nothingness and random humorous interludes. The debut episode has definite gay interest with a clueless teen playing cub to a tank-topped bear, but there's more than enough fully-clothed entertainment to make my list of must-sees.
And really, you know, you can believe me.
I'm the guy who didn't tell you about Kröd Mändoon.
Monday, July 13, 2009
As for living next door to a psychic, it's far more boring than you'd think. I always dreamed of running into her in the hall and getting unsolicited insight: "Roman! How are you? (Pause.) Are you cooking Chicken Paprikash right now? I see you cringing from too much tarragon." Or "I'm getting a flash from the great beyond. (Pause.) Avoid the Gap today. God, those pants make your ass look huge."
Over the years "Clarissa" and I became friends but she never shared any of her psychic power. I tried to rationalize away my irritation: generally, one doesn't intrude on their neighbor's occupation. Sure, if you had a plumber living next door and your toilet turned into a fountain, maybe you'd knock on his door. If there was a doctor nearby and you started choking on an jalapeño, maybe you'd drop by.
As for psychics, though, there aren't any emergencies. I couldn't exactly knock on her door and ask what my dead granddad thought of my new Celica.
In fact, over the nine years we were neighbors, I only saw her in action only once. I switched on Montel Williams one afternoon and found her doing psychic readings. "I see the letter R," Clarissa announced to an audience member. "Is there someone close to you who's passed whose name starts with R?"
The woman thought for a second. "No," she finally said.
"Hmm," mused Clarissa. "How about L, N, T, or S?"
I watched the rest of the show in horror, startled by how lame it was. These weren't messages from the Great Beyond: they were guesses on Wheel of Fortune. Still, everybody has bad days, I thought. Clarissa wouldn't be pulling down $400 an hour if she was incompetent.
I finally got a small personalized reading when Raoul and I told her we were moving to New York. "I see a fantastic future there for both of you," she said. "You're going to have a fabulous time."
Which, you know, wasn't exactly like finding my lost car keys, but for a freebie it wasn't too bad.
A year later we're settled in Brooklyn and I'm reading the paper when I see she's coming to Manhattan to promote her new book. Naturally I'm ecstatic. I can't wait to go. I picture seeing her again after all this time, and I imagine what she'll say: "Roman, you look great! Of course, I knew you'd do terrific! I see you getting drunk with Kathy Griffin tonight!"
Even Raoul is excited, though he can't make it to the bookstore. "Give her my business card and tell her to call me," he says. I join the audience and I'm literally shaking when Clarissa appears. About five minutes in, she glances up and spots me.
I'm beaming. She scrunches up her face. "Do I know you?" she asks.
It's not exactly what I imagined. "I used to live next door to you," I say.
"Oh." She continues talking about intuition and how to develop it and then swings back to me. "Oh, in Hollywood!" she says, and I nod.
I don't actually hear the rest of her lecture. In terms of what I've been expecting, this is pretty much the worst case scenario. I sit there hoping the ground will open up and swallow me but at the end of the lecture I still go up to say hi. She hugs me and acts excited to see me and I hand her Raoul's card. "Raoul!" she says. "I always had trouble remembering your name."
I wish her well and say it's great seeing her and then I hit the road. Despite all the evidence, I'm still giving her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she has a lousy memory. That doesn't mean you can't talk with the dead. Nobody could be that nice for that long but be a fraud behind closed doors.
And sure, she's never had a message for me from any of my dead relatives, but maybe this explains that.
Maybe my granddad's been talking to her for years, saying, "No, I'm looking for Roman, you idiot."
Friday, July 10, 2009
One last question: Did you know this is Brüno?
The gay community has been divided for years over how we're portayed in the media. One side says our "embarrassing" members -- assless-chapped leather daddies, drag queens, Tina'ed twinks in metallic hotpants -- should stay away from our Pride Parades so they don't end up front and center on the Kansas evening news. The other side says, hey, fuck 'em. If hetero America won't accept everybody in our community, they're not getting any of us.
Sasha Baron Cohen probably doesn't give a damn about any of this. Instead, he's created the most ridiculous fringe figure the gay community has ever seen, and set him as the sympathetic star of a film.
Take that, Bruce LaBruce.
Brüno sets out to push the envelope in outrageousness. You cringe in your seat, sure the next stunt is going to get Sascha Baron Cohen killed. He has the balls to confront terrorists, to antagonize angry crowds, to hit on a septuagenarian Ron Paul. In the end, though, you realize he's pulled off something far more subversive.
He's made an audience fall in love with an "embarrassing" gay man.
Some critics are complaining that a few scenes seem set up, that some of the victims must be in on the joke. Who cares? Call this a scripted comedy that occasionally ventures into real life. Some say Brüno reinforces stereotypes. Frankly, nobody with a double-digit IQ will believe for a second that this is anything other than a character played by a comedian. And, I'll repeat, a sympathetic character. There was no reason to complain about Borat, and there's no reason to foam at the mouth over Brüno either. Making the message crystal clear, the film's homophobes are equally challenged with both brains and teeth.
Brüno is a landmark gay film. For the first -- and probably last -- time in history, an audience roots for a flamboyant gay man to shuck off his conversion therapy and go chase that boyfriend, a sentiment that seems positively anarchic considering an hour earlier he was getting reamed by a bicycle-powered dildo.
Let me be the first to ask Mr. Cohen: next year, could Brüno lead our Pride Parade?
See Brüno proudly, and laugh your chapped ass off. This is a terrific film. In the immortal words of Snoop Dogg, "He gay. He gay. Okay."
Thursday, July 9, 2009
It's an interesting question. See, in the modern landscape of a crowded bar, booming disco, or dark nightclub, 99% of all communication is nonverbal, and it's all too easy to misinterpret the signs. Sometimes you spot a stranger who looks like they're interested, who looks like they want to hook up. They smile. They play with their hair. They lick their lips. Your body responds immediately, and then your brain kicks into gear. You approach. "Yo, mama," you say, in a low but still possibly believable voice, "how's about you and me get buzzusy?" And then you discover she's with her body-builder hubby and just got something in her eye.
In my vast years of experience, though, I've learned there are certain easily-identifiable clues that categorically state that one is going to get laid. Take this photo below:
To the untrained eye, it's an ordinary scene of a helpful plumber who's come to the aid of two co-eds. To the experienced swordsman, though, the underlying message is clear: as Stephen J. Hawking once said to his fiancée, we're eight seconds away from intercourse.
First, note that plumbing is involved. Plumbing is special. Plumbing is the Long Island Iced Tea of the home improvement world. For some unfathomable reason, its mere existence will prompt fine, upstanding young women to suddenly spout lines like, "I'd sure like to inspect your pipe."
Second, the women are wearing clothing that identifies them as hippie chicks. While ordinary women have requirements for potential partners in terms of age or income or appearance, hippie chicks will sleep with you just because they have six minutes to kill before their hemp brownies are done.
Third, in an attempt to mirror the women, the plumber has taken off his shoes. This is a bold move on his part. Initially it may strike the homeowner as presumptuous or bizarre before winning them over with its brash display of confidence and oversized hammer toes.
And last, reading between the lines one can sense unresolved tensions at play. These two women have spent the day without running water. They haven't been able to wash their tie-dyed halter tops. They haven't been able to make their herbal teas. Their domestic urges have been bottled up and impossible to release. When the handyman resolves these frustrations, their feminine brains conjecture that maybe their hero might be able to release their other frustrations as well.
Plus, you know, they don't call it a Tramp Stamp for nothing.
Authorities say Hoff entered Optimus Dental's office Monday with nothing on. A startled female receptionist screamed, and he ran away.
As he sits in his cell and replays it in his mind, though, she always says, "Hey, stud, you wanna get that thing pulled?"
Readers of Patti LaBelle’s cookbook, “LaBelle Cuisine,” may remember one of that book’s more fraught passages: “It’s not rational I know, but I have a serious thing about my plastic containers. I will give you the food off my stove and shirt off my back, but not my Tupperware! That I want back!” And she went on: “People think I’m kidding when I tell them they have to return it within a week, but I’m not. Just ask my niece Stayce. A month after I’d sent her home with several containers of food, she still hadn’t brought them back. I called her up and had a hissy fit. I must have fussed at Stayce a good 10 minutes before I realized she was crying.”
(By the great Henry Alford in the New York Times)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Some in the industry would prefer their sex with a little more character development.
[Porn star Savanna] Samson, for example, said she took her acting seriously and used to prepare studiously for her roles, like the character she played in the 2006 movie “Flasher.”
Because God knows you don't want the audience staring at your naked body and thinking, "But why is she showing her tits to her Tai Chi instructor?"
And here's what it's like for the other ten percent -- the ten percent who ride the bus. You slap the snooze button on your alarm clock a few hundred times, and when you finally get up you're late. You take a ten-second shower, zip a comb across your head, jam a piece of toast in your gob and then run to the bus stop.
Where you stand for half an hour, wandering into the road at five-minute intervals, wondering if maybe this is a holiday that nobody ever heard of. Finally a bus approaches at something like three miles an hour. The driver slides the door open and greets every new passenger individually. "Hey, girl!" he calls to an old woman with a cane. "How you doin'?" To a shopper: "Can I help you with those packages?" To a guy with a bagel: "Hey, can I have a bite of that?"
You find a clean place to stand and eventually the driver pulls back into traffic. "Ain't this a nice day?" he says to nobody in particular. "My rheumatism's acting up a bit, though. Oops: the light's green, but better safe than sorry. They don't stay green forever, you know!"
You check your watch. Eight minutes per block, three minutes per stop. Your ETA at the office: nine p.m. Sunday night.
When by some miracle you finally get to work, everybody's gone to lunch. In fact, right now they're chugging their second margarita, wondering whether it's drugs or sexual addiction that's responsible for your chronic tardiness.
Nope, it's mass transportation, and it's like this on every bus, in every nation, all across the globe. Why? Because there's one fatal flaw that transforms buses from vital tools of mass transportation to waiting rooms of mass frustration: Everybody on a bus is in a hurry to get somewhere.
EXCEPT FOR THE DUDE AT THE WHEEL.
See, the driver isn't in a hurry. He's already at work. He's DRIVING. He could care less when or if he gets anywhere. He's getting paid for sitting there. In fact, he'd much rather just sit there at the bus stop than move forward, since stationary vehicles are substantially less likely to flatten a wayward senior citizen and put a blot on his permanent record.
Which is why buses are far more suitable for, say, killing an afternoon, or providing inexpensive air conditioning, than actually taking you somewhere you have to go.
After a bit of thought, though, I realized there's a simple solution that could transform buses back into modes of transportation. When the very first passenger gets on a bus, the driver relinquishes his seat and moves to the back of the bus. The passenger pilots the thing to all the various stops while the driver waves to the guys in the barber shop, complains about his sleep apnea, and asks Miss Linda how she likes the new pastor at their church.
And for once, a bus will actually make it through a green light that's eight feet away. For once, the passengers will smile instead of feel their blood pressures skyrocket. For once, when another bus passes from the other direction, instead of yelling "Hey, how ya doin'?" or "Hot enough for ya?" the drivers will call to each other and for the first times in their lives say something like, "Whoa! I didn't even know this thing had a second gear!"
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Now if they’d asked questions I could relate to, I’d be Stephen J. Hawking today. I came up with some examples: see if you’re better at solving these than the junk they gave you in school.
1. Carl’s nipples are two feet from his penis, and twenty-four inches apart. A leather loop passes through the rings in each piercing. What’s the minimum length of this loop?
(a) seventy-two inches
(b) Sir Isaac Newton
(c) Is Carl spherical or what?
2. Twelve men are in a bar. Three are wearing shoes, five are wearing socks, and two are wearing both. How many men are in bare feet?
(a) God, and I thought “Pajama Night” was annoying.
(c) This is why they don’t sell alcohol in Utah.
3. Al likes two hours of foreplay. Ted likes intercourse for forty-five minutes. If they have sex together how long will it last?
(a) The important thing here is that Al and Ted seek some form of counseling.
(b) two hours forty-five minutes
(c) Are you sure these guys aren’t lesbians?
4. If Sam has four inches soft and twelve inches hard, what percentage does he grow?
(c) If that’s the Sam I used to date, he thought watermelons were eight feet across.
5. Pat and Chris leave the Manhole at 2:15 a.m. Ignoring lights, they cross Melrose, then Vermont, then Hyperion. What will the policeman give them?
(a) If the Manhole is a straight bar, a friendly wave.
(b) If it’s a lesbian bar, a stern warning and a long, google-eyed look at their breasts.
(c) If it’s a gay bar and this is the LAPD, twelve jaywalking tickets and six shots of mace.
6. Arnie says “All three of us are bottoms.” Wayne says, “You’re the only bottom.” Fred says, “Wayne and I are both bottoms.” If each of them always lies or always tells the truth, how many are lying?
(b) the Japanese art of paper-folding
(c) Sigh. They’re all bottoms, aren’t they?
7. There are thirty guys in line at the Pit at 1:30. Eight are more attractive than Wayne. The doorman lets one guy enter every three minutes. Every five minutes four more guys arrive, and two are more attractive than Wayne. When will Wayne get inside?
(a) Ugly dudes ought to stay home. That’s why God invented TV.
(c) When Pat Boone stars in “Naked Boys Singing!”
8. At 8:04 on Christmas morning Pete unwraps a G. I. Joe. If it takes ten minutes to take his helmet off, eight minutes to take his shirt off, six minutes to take his boots off, and seven minutes to take his pants off, when will Joe be naked?
(b) Christmas is a time for joy and happiness. Pete should just yank Joe’s pants down right away.
(c) Don’t remind me. That was the day I discovered disappointment.
9. A troll spends three-fifths of his money on a stud. He spends half of what’s left on another stud. In all he spends eight dollars. How much money did he start with?
(a) I know why the studs keep leaving.
(b) ten dollars
(c) I wouldn’t wave at an ugly guy for less than twenty.
10. Brad is a 10, and usually sleeps with other 10’s. After every beer, though, he’ll settle for one number lower. If he gets to the bar at seven and has one drink each half-hour, when will he approach Ernest Borgnine?
(a) Ernest Borgnine? What, is Jim Varney dead?
(c) When his liver swells up like a loofah.
11. Al has two cats. He moves in with Ted, who has eight cats. If each cat eats a can of Sheba every day, how many cans will feed all the cats for a week?
(a) I could never buy cat food with a tiara on it.
(c) If these are the same guys with the two-hour foreplay, they are positively definitely lesbians
12. If a man and a half have sex with a man and a half in a day and a half, how many men will have sex in six days?
(b) Just out of curiosity, are we talking top half or bottom half?
(c) Jeez, and I thought my boyfriend was a whore.
13. A man’s penis is twice as long as his big toe, and half as long as his feet. If the three measurements total forty-two inches long, how long is his big toe?
(a) Ohmigosh, I’m shaking like Katherine Hepburn in a massage chair.
(b) six inches
(c) This guy’s going to cause fistfights at “Barefoot Night.”
14. Black paint is $50, used toilets are $10, and a crummy sound system is $100. How much will it cost Luigi to convert his garage into a gay bar?
(a) You forgot to include how much three bad techno CDs cost.
(d) Garages are dark, cramped and disgusting. He’ll make a fortune.
15. Two gay people are sitting in the park. The little one is the big one’s son, but the big one isn’t the little one’s father. Explain.
(a) Didn’t I hear about this on “Dateline”?
(b) I don’t think these guys are really related at all.
(c) Everything’s so crazy these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if the big one had a uterus.
HOW TO SCORE:
Dress nicely. Avoid open-toed shoes. Thank anyone who says you've got a hot ass, but run when they pull out thermometers.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Kenny lowered his lips to my shoulder while conflicting feelings swirled inside my head. As a poor college student I was socially awkward and bitter, so the first had to be "Hey, asshole, you just ruined my goddamn shirt!" Being young and horny, though, the second was, "Holy Jesus, dude -- take me here, take me now!"
I decided to deal with my feelings in the order they'd arrived. Kenny just scoffed at my complaint. "You liked that shirt?" he asked in disbelief. "It was old and out of style, plus it already had a tear in it." All of which was true, but that didn't stop me from wearing it. "Besides, I just couldn't wait to ravage you."
I forgave him pretty quickly, and we had some of the hottest sex I'd ever had in my life. I've always had a problem losing myself in sex, but when your clothes are in tatters around you it's like a Harlequin romance come to life. At three A. M., grinning from ear to ear, I floated all the way home with my jacket zipped.
Our third date took us to another fancy restaurant, and then back to his place. Once again he backed me up against the bed and tore my shirt open. The same feelings reappeared -- faster this time, since the neural trails had already been blazed. "Pit stains," Kenny said, reading my thoughts. I was only mildly miffed. This shirt-tearing was the hottest thing I'd ever run into, boosting what would otherwise been an ordinary sexual encounter into something previously experienced only by overheated Bronte characters on wind-whipped moors. Again I wandered home with an ear to ear grin and a jacket over bare chest.
By the time our fourth date rolled around, though, I'd sobered up from the hormone high. I decided my wardrobe had taken enough of a hit, so I slapped on a t-shirt. Naturally, Kenny wasn't having it. He liked taking me to fine restaurants, he said with parental disapproval, and he couldn't if I couldn't dress appropriately. I replied that he'd popped the buttons from all of my appropriate shirts, and in three days I'd be meeting him in a dickie. Kenny promised that he'd watch himself, but on our next date I said adios to a vintage Versace.
I stomped all the way home that morning, and I made up my mind once and for all. I wanted this relationship. I wanted the hot sex. But I also wanted my wardrobe. I'd spent quite a bit of effort picking it out, and didn't like watching it bite the dust in a flurry of hairy hands. I resolved in the frigid moonlight that even if it meant confining our dates to Red Lobster and Olive Garden, I'd never dress nicely around Kenny again.
And so when he called and asked if he could whisk me away for the weekend, I knew what I had to do. I ran to the Dollar Store and grabbed t-shirts at random. One advertised Budweiser. Another had a picture of a rocky coastline and the word "Viecques!" scrawled across it. I congratulated myself as I packed my luggage. I wouldn't be sorry to see these things go, I thought as I threw on a R. E. O. Speedwagon tee.
Unfortunately, our destination was the 32-room Tudor mansion in Connecticut where Kenny's parents lived. Craggy and patrician, the couple tried to appear interested in me, but their occasional glances at my clothing said they just weren't up to the task. At dinner Kenny's father gamely asked me about R. E. O. Speedwagon only to discover that I knew even less about them than he. I was immediately demoted from being poor and ill-mannered to being a total mess.
That night Kenny stayed on his side of the bed, and my shirt stayed on my body. I felt like an idiot. Clothes made all the difference, I realized. Rhett wouldn't have pursued Scarlet if she'd worn an "Official Bikini Inspector" t-shirt. Heathcliff wouldn't have chased Cathy if her blouse advertised moustache wax. Sadly, this revelation came too late. After Kenny dropped me off on Monday, I never heard from him again.
Once again I've got a closet full of clothes, but also more than my share of regret. To this day when I walk home late at night, I keep an eye out for guys wearing jackets without shirts and goofy grins. I resolve to offer them the voice of experience, to them that I was once in their shoes, and that belatedly I learned my lesson.
I'm thinking maybe the rocky path to eternal love could be paved by, like, Velcro.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Governor Sanford says he's looking forward to seeing the fireworks, meeting the costumed characters, and riding the Carousel of Prostitutes.
I'm thinking I'll probably enter the longest legs contest, mine being twice as long as a Tennessee summer, and I may check out the mullet contest for some fashion tips. I see they're gonna be serving up my favorite food: anything on a stick.
Also, I'm kinda tempted to enter their cornholing contest. I been cornholing so long I figure it's about time I turned pro. Guess I'd better do my research, though: I didn't know I was supposed to be doing it on a court.
You don't hear much about cornholing here in Bag O' Pretzels, Wyoming, but I guess in the big cities it's making all the headlines.
Anyway, wish me luck. I'm gonna start practicing right away, so's I got a chance of taking a trophy. Heck, I'm already thinking about where I'm gonna put it, but it'll probably end up over the fireplace.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
(Via some artsy photography website.)
Witnesses said they thought it was strange to hear shouts of "GET ON THE GROUND! GET ON THE GROUND!" coming from the back seat of a police car.
(Don't bother clicking through: one of the two is a chick.)
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
"Honey," I told him, "why don't we play a little game? Every day you pretend you're somebody else."
He protested, but I held firm and he caved. After that life was wonderful again. One day he pretended he was a pirate, and it was the funniest thing I ever saw. One day he pretended he was Willie Wonka, and I nearly laughed myself sick.
Then one day he pretended he was John Dillinger. "Bang bang!" he'd yell. "Take that, coppers! Your pathetic little jails can't hold me!"
I watched for about five minutes before my eyes began to droop. "Sweetie," I said with a yawn, "why don't you hold these scissors for a year or two?"
There are exactly two interesting things about John Dillinger. One, every time he heard music or watched a movie, it made some kind of comment about his life. He danced with a gorgeous stranger and the lyrics described the woman. He listened to the radio and the song described his mood. At the movies he was confronted with scenes that uncannily presaged his downfall.
And two, everybody thought he had a giant dick.
The first phenomenon, I'm guessing, is an invention of Public Enemies, Michael Mann's latest gangster film. A coda to the film says it's "fictionalized," which means the truth is so boring they had to make stuff up, but this little fiction sticks out like a sore thumb in a supposed biography. If this same phenomena afflicted me, in fact, I'd have listened to the Velvet Underground's I Can't Stand It Any More during most of the screening last night.
The second phenomenon is supposedly also a legend, sparked by this morgue photo of Dillinger:
The photo made the newspapers, gossip spread, and pretty soon everybody believed that Dillinger had such a whopper the Smithsonian chopped it off and kept it in a long, skinny jar full of formadehyde. Laugh if you want, but I know eight thousand people who'd go see that exhibit over a painting of an Italian chick with a mysterious smile.
Me, I'm leaning towards believing the story, if only because I don't see any other explanation for the photo. Dillinger wasn't fat. Arms don't hang that low. Men aren't usually buried with zucchinis in their pants. Plus it gives me the happy ending I like to see. Because though Mr. Dillinger's life was short and violent, it sure does look like he died happy. And he left us a picture that's far more interesting than Public Enemies, a picture that will spark conversation long after the movie is gone.
Is it possible? Could it be?
And who put The Look of Love on my iPod?