Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Seriously, I appreciate this -- but could I just have some peanuts?
Tea Party Members: "You can't restrict my rights with any of those crazy rules that I agreed to when I moved here!"

Years ago, if a straight actor wanted to play gay, it was easy. He'd loosen his wrists, wear silly expressions and campy clothes, and mince back and forth across the stage. Thank God times have changed. We've learned that gay people don't fit the stereotype, and now actors have to look to subtler nuances to convey the essence of their character.

Nobody does this better than Eric Stonestreet, who just won an Emmy for his portrayal of Cam in Modern Family. He threw away the tired old convention of gay=effeminate, and as a result I'll bet you can't tell which of these photos are Cam and which are the hetero actor out of character.







Answers: OMG, I can't tell either! Congrats to the brilliant Mr. Stonestreet on his Emmy win, and for finally demolishing those tired stereotypes once and for all.
I'm insanely protective of my privacy. I'm a product of the generation that thought the government was compiling vast databases to eventually enslave us, rather than the newer generation that posts every five minutes on Facebook saying, "Look! I'm over here!"

So when stores started offering "membership cards" to customers, I wanted nothing to do with it. You had to give these stores your personal information, and then they could track what you bought.

Which, you know, is pretty much the definition of invasion of privacy.

Still, I'm a man of principle only until it affects my pocketebook. I couldn't resist the ads: Shampoo for a dollar! Candy bars for a quarter! Toothpaste for fifty cents! And all you have to do is swipe your card.

I eyed the application form. It was straightforward stuff: my name, address, phone number, birth date, and email address. You could get all that by Googling me, I thought. I ignored my paranoia and filled out the application, and I got all those really sweet deals.

I'd completely forgotten about my misgivings when I heard an old woman arguing with a clerk. She wanted the discount on something she'd bought but, like me, was suspicious of the cards. "Here," I said, handing her my card, "you can use mine."

She hesitated for a second, then grabbed it. "Thank you," she said brightly as the clerk scanned it in.

And two weeks later my mailman handed me a postcard from Rite Aid. "JUST FOR YOU!" blared the big red print. "A COUPON FOR TWELVE CENTS OFF ADULT DIAPERS!"

That was it. My head morphed into a whistling teakettle. Adios privacy, hello FBI database. Yes, Rite Aid was tracking my purchases, and they were using that information to sell me more crap. I didn't appreciate it. Hell, I did one measly favor for some old lady, and now Googling "RomanHans AND incontinence" probably got a thousand hits.

I tossed my membership card in the trash, and the next time I went to Rite Aid I filled out an application form for a new card. This time around, though, I just wrote random profanity in every field. The clerk gave me a new card and I congratulated myself on solving the problem once and for all.

I shopped happily, without concern, filling up my basket with special offers. At the register, the clerk swiped my new card, and a special offer printed out. Wait, I thought, wasn't I supposed to get two?

I figured I must have made a mistake, so I went home and double-checked the ad. No, I should definitely have gotten a five-dollar gift certificate with the purchase of those razor blades. I called Rite Aid customer service. "We've gotten some other calls about that," the clerk said. "I'll put the gift certificate in the mail for you, okay?"

I murmured my assent as vague feelings of doom filled my brain. I knew it: another chicken was coming home to roost. "You should get that within three weeks," she said, "at 666 Fuck You In The Ass Lane."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Five days later, the Muslim-cabbie stabber is still in prison. Was that dude crazy or what? I mean, if he'd said the driver tried to kiss him, he'd be a free man right now.

An incident at Glenn Beck's Tea Party rally further reinforced his claim to Martin Luther King's coattails. Because wasn't it King who said he longed for the day when a man wasn't judged by the color of his skin, but by the content of his muffaletta?

Though the rally was a mostly peaceful gathering, two rally attendees got into a heated argument with an employee at the GW Deli over the D.C. bag tax, which ultimately resulted in the tea party member throwing a sandwich in the deli employee's face.

After that, the daily special? GW's Fresh-Baked Floorwich.

This week on The Brady Bunch: Britney Spears guest-stars as a social worker who intervenes when Peter gets addicted to crack.
The shocking Last Exorcism twist? There was another exorcism right after it.

Thank you, TV, for the painstakingly accurate depiction of gay life. The first time we see the Modern Family couple in bed, they're having a three-way.

I knew it. I predicted it months ago. You know that William Shatner sitcom that's coming up next season, "S#*! My Dad Says"? Well, apparently that racy little title has set a precedent, and now all the other networks are racing to catch up. Starting next fall, the airwaves will be graced with no less than six shows that have censored titles:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Everybody's freaking out in Mississippi because some middle school has placed odd restrictions on its class elections.

At Nettleton Middle School, administrators issued a memo detailing requirements about running for office. In the sixth grade, the president, vice president, and secretary/treasurer have to be white. The "reporter" -- I don't know, but I'm picturing a tiny Walter Winchell here -- has to be black.

In seventh grade, from top down, it's white, white, black, white.

By the time you get to eighth grade, we're alternating. White, black, white, black.

Like I say, everybody's freaking out, but I totally get this. You start with whites in the top spots, then slowly move the black people up. It's fair, right? I mean, you don't want to scare the whites by integrating too fast. You have to give them time to adjust. At least a couple years.

Or is the excuse behind Don't Ask, Don't Tell total bullshit?

Can a Fisher-Price phone never ring?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Primetime: What Would You Do is what Candid Camera would have been like if it had been created by Sting. "Yes, the talking mailbox is a comedy classic," he'd opine. "But what if this steadfast metal box told you something you weren't ready to hear?"

The show stages confrontational public scenes where they believe bystanders should intervene, and then quizzes people about their values when they don't.

Now, I've always found the show irritating, maybe because I'm a New Yorker. Here we give strangers the benefit of the doubt. When they bother us, we assume it wasn't intentional. And when they look like they're dead, we assume they're asleep. We're busy people: we can't hold a mirror under the nose of every immobile body we pass.

Still, last Thursday's episode was a disaster, raising more questions about the show than its unwitting participants. While he was blithely sliming Joe Blow, John Quiñones, the show's Emmy-winning host, accidentally hit some larger targets.

In one stunt, they locked a dog in a car on a hot day, so they could whine about everybody who walked by and didn't intervene. They cranked the sunroof slightly open, but quoted an expert as saying on a hot day they were useless. Since they didn't actually want to kill the dog, they installed a hidden air conditioner.

As people strolled past the barking critter, Mr. Quiñones criticized them. How dare they! Why, this dog would be roasted within twelve seconds! And then a bunch of firemen walked past. That's right, walked past. Mr. Quiñones stopped them. "Why didn't you do anything?" he so much as asked.

"Well, because the sunroof was cracked open, and the dog looked perfectly okay," one basically replied.

"Oh," was the gist of Mr. Quiñones response. We waited for an explanatory voiceover: were the firemen wrong, or was he? None came.

Our conclusion? Regular people wrong, firemen okay.

In another segment, the show went to a public plaza where displays of affection were common. The show had previously staged stunts provoking homophobia, and they sashayed that way here too. They had a gay couple make out, assuring us that it wasn't against the law.

We gays knew what was going to happen: somebody called the cops. The operator said she didn't know if it was illegal, but she'd send out an officer nonetheless. The policeman angrily approached the two men, saying there'd been a complaint. Judging by his body language it looked like he was bracing for a fight. Fortunately a phone call intervened. It was the policeman's superior telling him this was a stunt for TV.

Without another word the officer headed back to his patrol car. Mr. Quiñones tried to interview him, but he refused to talk.

And then they went back to haranguing regular people.

Needless to say, anybody with a brain was left staring in disbelief. Hidden cameras caught a policeman about to harass two gay men for doing something legal, and they don't pursue the story? Isn't enforced bigotry a bigger scoop than a soccer mom ignoring a warm dog?

They didn't go to the police station. They didn't ask why the cop was dispatched in the first place. Was he going to stop the couple? Was he going to dissuade them from doing something hetero couples do? Or was he just going to confirm that everything was cool and he was down with doing it Oscar Wilde-style?

No, it's not journalism P:WWYD is after. They're big game hunters with a BB gun, plinking at squirrels and running for cover when they accidentally hit bear.

As scientists have examined the animal kingdom more closely, they've discovered that animals are smarter than we think. Sea otters, for instance, use stones to crack open abalone shells. Octopi use coconut shells as portable armor to protect themselves from attack. Monkeys have been known to pull hair out of the heads of humans and use it as dental floss.

In fact, after years of extensive research, scientists have discovered that there is exactly one small family in the animal kingdom that doesn't use any tools.

The Hans family.

It all started thousands of years ago. Back in the caves with the other Neanderthals, one of our ancestors chipped a rock into a point, tied it to a stick, and threw it at a deer. It hit the deer sideways and bounced off, and the deer got pissed off and ran away.

My distant relative said to himself, "Well, that was a fuckin' useless, eh?" and that was it. Word passed down from generation to generation. Ever since then, we've scoffed at all the new inventions that made everybody else's lives easier and stuck to the tried-and-true.

An early ancestor tried something, and didn't like it. It's the same reason we don't eat liver.

I learned about this family tradition when I was a teenager. I wanted to hang up a picture in my bedroom. Naturally, I went looking for a hammer. "Hammer?" my mom said. "What, did you lose all your shoes?"

Mom always convinced me that tools didn't make sense. I think the underlying motivation was that we were poor and they were expensive, but she offered a variety of excuses. "How many times will we need to do this?" she announced as I mixed cement with a broom. "You could hurt yourself with a power sander," she said as I stripped the paint off a door with a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a brick. "By the time you got to the hardware store and bought a shovel we'll be done," she said as I dug a hole for our new lemon tree with a wooden spoon.

Still, as our family grew, we actually added new rooms onto our house. Every year there'd be another bathroom, another closet, a patio. That's hard work for hunky dudes with circular saws and nail guns, let alone skinny white people with a Hello Kitty stapler. The jobs that should have taken five minute took us five days, and frequently suffered because we used a plank and a water balloon as a level.

I explained all this to Raoul at my place over dinner on our second date. I wanted to share, and it explained a lot about me. "So, I'm assuming you don't have any sex toys?" he asked.

"Nope," I said. "Not a one."

He smiled and shrugged and the topic changed. After dinner we kissed a bit and then fell into bed. I smiled as I went unconscious. I was actually pretty surprised the story didn't scare him off, not so shocked that he didn't touch his carrots.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm having some problems with the Ground Zero mosque controversy. First, the folks who are against building a Muslim cultural center so close to the 9/11 site says it shouldn't be allowed because it's insensitive.


Yeah, that's what drives New York development. In fact, the only reason we let Donald Trump build here is because he cried during "Old Yeller."

Then Rudy Giuliani figured he should chime in. Evidently he was bored because everybody he knows is in jail.

He agreed that it's insensitive. He said people who'd build something like that weren't "healers." You know, like he is. Call him today at (212) 555-1872 for some focused visualization and a coconut-milk massage. No, those people are "warriors." Then he hailed a cab-driving warrior for an eight-dollar ride to his twenty-million-dollar home.

And today a man in a New York City cab asked his driver if he was Muslim. When the driver replied yes, the passenger stabbed him in the face.

Needless to say, now I'm waiting for Mr. Giuliani to reappear. I'm hoping he notices maybe he's a teensy bit responsible for this attack, and he says something about it. Like maybe he instructs all his faithful Christian followers not to stab cabdrivers in the face.

And, if he wants to be really sensitive, he could send a healer to the hospital to help a warrior out.

Things I Don't Understand

In 1953, Sean Connery competed in the Mr. Universe pageant. Four years later, he starred in a movie with a woman who had bigger arms than him.

Don't tell me, let me guess: does this divorce official have giant white boobs?
Yesterday at 11:30 am, while I was happily surfing the internet, somebody disconnected my cable. I spotted a Time Warner Cable repair truck in front of my apartment building, so I asked the repairman what was up. The cable would be fixed in ten minutes, he said.

Two hours later my cable was still down and the truck was gone.

In the 18 hours since, I've abandoned the idea that Time Warner Cable customer service reps use anything other than tea leaves and pigeon entrails to determine the status of their hardware. Which means I've let go, let God, and now I'm in the laundromat across the street typing this on a keyboard covered with short, kinky hairs. The good news is, I have three new entries to my brand new series, Time Warner Cable Believe It Or Not!

Time Warner Cable Believe It Or Not!

In his fourteen years on the job, Customer Service representative Steven has never once told the truth to a customer. He told me that the repairmen were still working on the line (they weren't), that the cable would be back up shortly (still isn't), and that his supervisor was busy but she'd call me back within half an hour (no word yet).

Time Warner Cable Believe It Or Not!

After my cable had been disconnected for four hours and I'd spent two hours arguing on the phone with clueless idiots, supervisor Alicia actually told me to go online and file a complaint.

Time Warner Cable Believe It Or Not!

Five hours after my cable went out, an anonymous employee -- I'd taken down eight names by now, and didn't need any more evidence that these folks were idiots -- reassured me that TWC would make it up to me. If I called their billing department after my service was restored, they'd reimburse me for the down time.

Total credit? $1.33.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The bad news: ​In an effort to address Los Angeles' $200-million budget deficit, the City Council is thinking about laying off 616 police officers.

The good news: their giant people-burning laser is nearly done

From Today's New York Times

There's nothing more frustrating than having your cake fall partly out, leaving the pretty top bit clinging to the pan.

You heard me, folks undergoing artificial insemination.

We judgmental people are always on the horns of a dilemma. When, exactly, are our judgments justified? Is that person standing behind us in line at Trader Joe's a complete idiot if they hit us twice with their cart? People who text in the middle of the sidewalk, are they complete idiots? And fat people -- are they victims of biology, or complete idiots?

Pushing me off the fence and into the latter camp was a first-person piece in yesterday's New York Times. Brian Stelter writes of losing weight and making friends tweeting about his diet.

Monday, started w/McD's, cinnamon melts and hash brown, 600 cals/44% of day's fat -- awful, and made me feel ill. -- 6:11 p.m., April 28.

Until last month, I sometimes ordered 2 melts, 2 hash browns -- 88% of day's fat, 100% of saturated fat -- for breakfast. Disturbing. -- 6:12 p.m., April 28.

"You're ruining pastries for me with this Twitter feed, Bri," @andrearosen wrote to me in May, after I regretted a highly caloric Starbucks order.

These posts were not always easy to write. I started counting calories rigorously and yearned to share even more. The fast food industry had stacked the deck against ordinary consumers, and I thought that talking about this in public was a corrective, if a slight one.

I read all of the above to my friend Steve. "This guy is definitely a complete idiot," I told him. "'News flash: fast food is bad.' Did he sleep through every Oprah episode?""

"C'mon, Roman. Do you really think this guy is dumb?"

"Well, . . . isn't he?"

"Wow. Maybe people are right about what your blog name refers to. Dude, the $500 the Times pays for an article wouldn't keep your average New Yorker in bug spray. The only reason anybody writes for a newspaper is to get a book deal."

"No way. Nobody would read a book about -- wait. People really think 'World Class Stupid' describes me?"

"You honestly think in the year 2010 a college-educated journalist would suddenly realize that eating four breakfast items at McDonalds isn't smart? And two months after he starts counting calories 'rigorously,' he suddenly realizes Starbucks frappuccinos ain't carrot sticks?"

"That's why I said he was dumb."

"Dumb, yeah. Dumb like a fox. Roman, he's writing about the number-one problem facing America today: fat. He's using the top trend: Twitter. He's even got an alliterative title: 'Tall Tales, Truth and My Twitter Diet.' He sounds dumb? Well, the best way to make friends is to show people they're smarter than you are. You want to win over the fat crowd? Write about how every time you pass a Dunkin Donuts without stopping you die a little inside."

"I wouldn't touch that crap. Even their muffins are just donuts with bran sprinkles."

"And that's why Brian's got thousands of readers while you've got me and four dudes who Googled 'jamie foxx's dick.' His routine is solid gold. Color him startled -- startled! -- when he discovers that deep-fried Twinkies aren't fluffy spinach. And watch another complete idiot hit the best seller list."

That night I thought long and hard about it. Starting next Monday, I'll be tweeting about my attempts to become a better dresser. I'm calling it: An Average Joe Tweets His Way From Sartorially-Stunted to STUNNING!

I've already written the first week's tweets. Let me know what you think. Okay, maybe I'm totally ripping off Brian, but my tweets will be about clothes while his were about food, so he doesn't have a leg to stand on in court.

Monday, August 30. People have told me for years that I dress badly. Well, today I finally got it. I walked by a Salvation Army and a mannequin in the window was wearing the exact same outfit as me. In my defense, it didn't look half bad, considering it was nearly four dollars' worth of clothes.

Tuesday, August 31. Made it a point to look at what other New Yorkers are wearing. Time to face a cold, hard truth: orange corduroy isn't coming back.

Wednesday, September 1. I got some rude stares on the subway today, so I went home and checked myself out in the mirror. What's wrong with a denim shirt and denim pants? They look fine when Jay Leno wears them. Maybe the denim cuff was too much. Hey, we all just learned something, right?

Thursday, September 2. Took a close look at those polyester pants that I bought from a Readers Digest ad. Even though they never wrinkle, they don't look very appealing. The colors are muddy, and the fabric has the sheen of a Radio Shack beach ball. What a waste of ten bucks. Well, at least I don't have to worry about getting napalm burns on my leg again when somebody jabs them with a cigarette.

Friday, September 3. I hate to admit this, but I went to a Kmart just for old times' sake. As I leafed through the rack of oversized t-shirts with pictures of WWE wrestlers on them paired with phrases like "I got your WMDs!", I realized something vitally important:

All these clothes were crap.

I literally ran out of the store in embarrassment, and scurried all the way home. These were ensembles I'd been wearing for twenty years!

I comforted myself later realizing my experience had a silver lining: I can alert all you readers! Write this down: KMART DOESN'T HAVE STYLISH OR HIGH-QUALITY CLOTHES. Sigh; I feel better now that I've turned lemons into lemonade. Take that, faceless multinational corporation!

On the edge of your seat yet? Totally entranced? Pick up my book in just a month or two and follow along. But if you just flip to my photo on the back cover to see how it ends, well, you know what you are.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Don't bother clicking through. I was hoping for pictures of swollen feet but instead it's just people's opinions.

GIRL: Okay, then would you trade for my bologna sandwich and a Silly Band of two people doing the Irritated Monkey?

Really? Oscar Wilde was shoved out of the closet by a spot of hot water? Thanks, Gay History Mug!
Right now in America there are over 2 million couples secretly struggling with homosexuality in their marriages. Are you one of them?

If you're even slightly suspicious, ChristWire.org ("Conservative Values for an Unsaved World"), gives you some questions to ask yourself.

Are you having intimacy issues?
When you're out in public, does he spend too much time looking at other men?
Does it ever seem as if he's just using church as an excuse to spend time around young men?
Does your man tweeze his eyebrows, trim his pubic hairs or use face moisturizers?
Is he picky about brand name shampoos?
Does he spend more time getting ready for a night out than you do?
Does he return from the gym too exhausted to talk or have sex?
Does he look at his buttocks in the mirror?
Does he wear skinny jeans, or small-sized t-shirts?
Does he perk up at the sight of the men in porn videos?
Does he surround himself with younger men?
Do they touch each other or embrace in long hugs?
Do they exchange expensive, personal gifts like scarves or cologne?
Is he sassy, sarcastic and ironic around his friends?
Does he like romantic and feminine TV shows more than science fiction?
Does he like gossip websites, Glee, or The Golden Girls?
Does he wear a speedo at the beach?
Does he get visibly upset when someone doesn't return a compliment about his physical appearance?
Does he disappear for long hours and then turn up with a strange odor about him, some
strange mix of cigarettes and gel?
Is there ever really a good excuse for a husband to visit San Francisco without his wife?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Last night I went out with this guy who was, like, crazy old. I'll bet the first time he flew on an airplane they showed silent films.

I went to the doctor and he told me I was paranoid and delusional.

Okay, I didn't really go to the doctor.

Repeat Thursday

My friend Jon has cancer that luckily is being controlled by drugs. Occasionally I go to the doctor with him to provide moral support. The doctor -- thirtyish, in good shape, attractive even without the six-figure income -- tells Jon the drugs are still working fine, but Jon reports a side effect.

"I used to have some chest hair," he says, "but after I started taking these pills it completely disappeared."

"Maybe I should take some," the doctor jokes. "I've got more chest hair than I need."

"I had some hair on my back, too," Jon continues, "and even that's gone now. I'm, like, smooth as a baby's bottom above the waist."

"My back is pretty well covered," the doctor admits. "It doesn't bother me, but it drives my wife absolutely nuts."

I'm annoyed, I'm horny, I'm depressed. "Tell us about your ass," I say.
I'm in line at Trader Joe's. In contrast to my tall dark cragginess is the cute short blonde behind me. He gestures toward my blue Lacoste shirt.

BLONDE: I have that exact same shirt.

ME: Everybody has this exact same shirt.

BLONDE: So much for what we have in common.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

From a leaked Paramount memo:

And if you think that's scary, just wait for Spin the Bottle, where the bottle contains dangerous amounts of BPA.

Alaska is a mess. They hate Obama. They harp about smaller government. Their idea of a great politician is Sarah Palin.

Yet they get more federal aid per capita than any other state. For every $1 they pay in taxes, they get back $5.76. Federal money supports a third of all Alaskan jobs.

Assholes. Constantly whining about the system that pays their bills. Alaska is the Elizabeth Hasselbeck of states.
I think I need to work out more. It's Wednesday, and the hottest invitation I've gotten all week came from a baked potato.

You see hot, fine. I see three "vampires" screaming, "NOT ON THE HAIR! NOT ON THE HAIR!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Who knows how many of these stories were thought up and written while Salinger sat on this throne!

In fact, rumor has it that's where he came up with Branny & Gluey.
I decided to use Lunesta for exactly one reason: they're adept with metaphor.

Yeah, I kind of have trouble sleeping. Maybe I'd like to get a deeper sleep. But when they showed that Giant Yellow Butterfly of Slumber alighting on that troubled woman's forehead, I thought, "Hey, I have gotta get me some of that shit."

Before I had a chance to buy it, though, I noticed the fine print at the bottom of the TV screen. It said, "The exact way Lunesta works is unknown."

You know, this is a little troubling. Nobody'd even think of admitting this in another industry. You wouldn't go to the Chevy dealership and hear a salesman saying, "This baby'll do eighty in four seconds. We think it's got something to do with the engine, but frankly we're still scratching our heads."

When you see a commercial for blenders, they don't say, "It turns solids into liquids! It's unbelievable! Somehow we've stumbled upon a vortex of dematerialization that still puzzles specialists!"

You'd never buy something where the manufacturer can't explain how it works. Yet this is a pill, that works on your brain, and you're taking it because you trust them.

And apparently all they can say is, "Maybe it's got something to do with the tides?"

It makes me wonder how they developed this stuff. I mean, if they don't know how it works, they couldn't have set out to make it, right? Say you're making windchimes. You know that hard things hitting against each other make pretty noise, so you find hard things that sound pretty and string them together. You take it outside, it sounds pretty, and you go, "Wow, that's neat."

You aren't just randomly stringing stuff together, unsure if you'll end up with a bookcase, a guitar, or a chicken, and then when the wind comes up and it tinkles you scream, "What the FUCK is THAT?"

That smal print makes me picture a scientist making a pill out of some chemicals he had lying around, swallowing it with a glass of water, and eight hours later waking up and going, "Hey, cool!" Maybe you see this as a breakthrough, but I'm understanding exactly why it comes with eight pages of disclaimer.

So, sorry, Lunesta. I'm not buying. The elusive Hairy Ochre Wolverine of Reason has perched upon my forehead. Give me a call when you've discovered a pill for that.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I've written previously about how sometimes the teabaggers don't seem all that crazy to me, and I just found somewhere else where we agree.

I don't think Muslims should be allowed to build a mosque near the site of the World Trade Center.

Now, this is absolutely not religious bigotry. I'd feel the same way about any religion that preaches bizarre beliefs. But the sad fact is, some religions exist solely to preach hate, and their focus seems to be fighting and killing rather than truly achieving any kind of spirituality.

Basically, like Pat Robertson said, Muhammad was a terrorist. He was a violent man, a man of war. You'd never see Jesus being called a man of war. Jesus was --

What? Exodus 15:3? Well, I'll bet Jesus waged a different kind of war. A peaceful, loving war. A war of flowers and, like, hugs or something. The Muslims, though, claim Islam is a peaceful religion, and it isn't. As the Koran makes it clear, "if you see an infidel, you kill him." You won't see Jesus saying --

What? Luke 19:22-27? Jesus orders his followers to kill anybody who refuses to be ruled by him? Well, look -- he was our savior. He was trying to be helpful. He wanted to protect people from fake religions that teach crazy things, like saying women who commit adultery should be stoned, and homosexuals should be --

Oh, shut up. There's no way. Stoned? In the Bible? Oh, you are fuckin' kidding me. I mean, for Christ's sake!

Hmm? The Bible tells you to slaughter anybody who takes the Lord's name in vain?

Well, okay. If you got to, you got to.

I guess it's some consolation that at least I won't be killed by a nut.

Actor-director Mel Gibson was uninjured Monday after crashing his Maserati sports car into a hillside on Malibu Canyon Road.

And, in unrelated news, a steering wheel, a tree and a rock have all been called stinking whores.

Dear New York Post:

One doesn't "discover" that one is gay. One realizes it.

See, to discover means to encounter something that existed previously. For instance, Columbus sailed for many years across vast oceans. When his ship finally landed, he walked down the gangplank and discovered America. He didn't similarly find that he was a Boston Red Sox fan, or that he was an Amish watchmaker with fourteen wives.

When Pizarro came around the Cape of Good Hope and discovered South America, he didn't simultaneously discover that he was an avid fly-fisherman and inveterate stamp collector.

When Marie Curie discovered radium, she didn't also find an amazing flair for the chacha.

Similarly, one doesn't "discover" that they're gay. When one is unsure of their sexuality, they don't have a tiny Alan Cumming living in their head, unrecognized. They don't come home early one day and find themselves masturbating to a photo of Justin Bieber. They don't accidentally stumble upon salacious emails they've sent to Alec Baldwin.

No, one realizes it. It's a slow process. It's like churning butter: you start with something undefined and fluid, and before you know it everybody wants you to make sandwiches.

Hope this helps,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Well, the other shoe has finally dropped. The other day I wrote about the "Eat" part of "Eat Pray Love" being cheesy wish fulfillment, but apparently the "Love" part is too.

MOST husbands call their wives to ask what cut of steak to bring home from the grocery store. Elizabeth Gilbert's husband rang her from Vietnam and asked, "Do I have permission to buy a 7,000-pound marble Buddha?"

Her answer: "You don't need permission, ever."

That eight-foot-high Buddha now beams down beatifically outside the entrance to Two Buttons, a store jam-packed with curios from Southeast Asia. Ms. Gilbert, 41, the author of the 2006 memoir "Eat, Pray, Love," owns the shop in Frenchtown, N.J., with her husband, José Nunes.

The Brazilian-born Mr. Nunes, 58, a gemstone dealer who wooed Ms. Gilbert when both were living in Bali, is better known, at least to readers of "Eat, Pray, Love," by the pseudonym Felipe.

Got that? She's 41, he's 58. Well, no freakin' wonder he "wooed her . . . in Bali." He was just surprised to find a girl who liked him who was his daughter's age.

Friends told me they liked this book, so I wanted to believe it. It's hard, though, now that it's been turned into a woman's movie where absolutely nothing is true. They want us to believe our dreams are attainable, but in the background Liz is cuddling with some dude in AARP.

So, my friends, crow about the movie's spirituality all you want, but I'll be stuck on the part where, if they'd portrayed the relationship correctly, Julia Roberts would be chased around Indonesia by Wilford Brimley.

Sigh; I guess it's nostalgia day here on WCS. How I long for the good old days when you could invite a work buddy home and end up grappling in translucent underwear. I even jotted down a little seduction script, thinking my powers of persuasion could swerve somebody into innocent fun. I start off with "Hey, how ya doin'?", casually say "I'm an active kind of man's man," before throwing in the closer "Whaddaya say we strip down to our skivvies and wrestle?"

Hope springs eternal, but I haven't gotten a bite. Before I get four lines into my script, the guys leap up suddenly and hit the road, without even touching their sherry.
I've decided on my grandpa reminiscence. You know, that boring old line that old people trot out to remind us how long they've been around. I never walked twelve miles through the snow to get to school, I never went to the movies when they were a nickel, and I didn't play stickball in the road, but I think know how those oldsters feel when I see this picture.

When I was a kid, pubic hair started about four inches north.
Okay, looks like it's happened. Gawker seems to have actual footage of a UFO.

Now that we're convinced of their existence, one question remains: why don't they land and talk to us?

My guess? They were just passing by, and they're wearing their sweats.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Email From FringeNYC

There are 200+ different performances you can see during FringeNYC, which we know can be overwhelming -- take a deep breath. However, since they all started arriving this week, we have been making some friends. Here are some shows opening this weekend you should check out:

* Strange Love in Outer Space * Namely, Muscles * Picking Palin * 3boys * Baristas * My Name is Ruth * Omarys Concepcion Lopez Perez Goes To Israel (to speak to God at the Wailing Wall)

We recommend you just click on the most interesting titles. It is our usual strategy for navigating the wealth of performance at FringeNYC.

Okay. See you later, Ruth!
From the New York Times advice columnist Dear Flo Fab:

Q. I love to dine out and am lucky to have become friendly with bartenders and waiters at some of my favorite restaurants. It is not uncommon for them to pour me an extra couple of glasses of wine for free or to send over a complimentary appetizer or two (once a delightful suckling pig!)

The writer blabs on and on, wallowing in his sad plight of being gifted with free stuff. His question? He wants to know how to tip his waiter. Should he stick to the usual 15% when he gets a whole big pile of free?

This scenario sounds like Greek to me, but then again the only time I went to a restaurant twice was when I was collecting plastic Shrek cups. Flo Fab advises this person to estimate the free food's value and calculate the tip from that. Oddly, she misses the real question floating in my head:

What is a waiter trying to tell you when, unprompted, he brings you a roasted baby pig?

I mean, imagine you work in the kitchen of a fancy restaurant. You're surrounded by caviar and truffles and all sorts of pricey, exotic food. But here's your thought process:

WAITER: That Roman is such a cool guy, I think I'll surprise him with something. Antipasto? Too colorful. Dom Perignon? Too sparkly. There must be something dead and brown laying around somewhere.

I've gotten some lousy presents before -- thanks for the crepemaker, George! -- but somebody would truly break new ground by presenting me with a leathery critter that's got fruit wedged between its teeth. Everybody else in the ritzy dining room is picking at their designer entrees while I look like somebody who won a fight on Lost. Surely this writer realizes the waiter is trying to tell him something: he looks like the kind of guy who can eat an entire animal all at once.

I think this would be my reaction: dude, thanks but no thanks. Next time you want to surprise me, make it alcohol. Bring me a creme brulee when you aren't wearing pants. Don't deliver something that until recently was attached by a cord to its mom.

And meanwhile, writer, let's reserve the word "delightful" for things other than newly-departed animals. "Delightful" describes a story a five-year-old tells about leprechauns. "Delightful" is a European carnival ride where you sit in a big wicker chair.

A suckling pig isn't delightful unless, lying there on its platter, it rolls over and tries to kiss you.

For that I might spring for eighteen percent, and even more if somebody brings me a mint.

Terri Hatcher is very, very cool. First she goes on Seinfeld and proves her boobs are real. Then she posts pictures of herself on Facebook furrowing her brow to prove she doesn't Botox.

Five years from now I'll bet she eats an apple on Leno to prove she's still got some real teeth.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just finished writing a fan letter to Steve Slater. Question: Should I send a photo of me looking hot, or a recent one?

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor

On September 6 at B. B. King's Supper Club, enjoy the music of the Gipsy Kings as performed by Los Cintron. This tribute will be a Mediterranean mélange of world, Latin, and flamenco music. Please, be aware there will be no actual Gipsy Kings in attendance, so don't leap up out of your seat halfway through and yell, "Wait! That's not Nicholas, Chico, Paul, Diego, Patchai, Paco, and Canut!"

Then on September 13, join us for the music of the Blondie performed by a bunch of guys named Mike.

I don't go to the theater as often as I should. I'd go more often, but my long-term memory works fine. Two or three months, I find, is just long enough to forget how much I hate spending a couple of hours in an uncomfortable seat rubbing my arms and legs against a stranger.

Last night's stranger was at a performance of "Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party." It's very funny but serious too, an odd amalgam of silly comedy and Gay History 101. It's what the Carol Burnett show would have been like if its writers were in ACT UP.

Before the show starts, a randomly-chosen audience member selects the ordering of the three acts. It's engaging but a bit self-defeating, I think. Imagine Madame Bovary shooting herself during Act One and you can guess the problem.

Still, the writing is first-rate, and the cast is incredibly talented. The time flies by, even when your neighbor reeks of alcohol, nose-whistles when he breathes, and keeps his legs together about as well as your average Palin.

Today's email lists a myriad of fashionable new ways to spend my hard-earned cash. Should I head to the Pop Tart store and get toaster pastry sushi, or should I hire an artisanal pencil sharpener to refresh all my dull old #2s?

On reflection, I think I'll just burn the cash, thanks.

Martin Scorcese has decided to jump on the bandwagon. Following the success of films like Avatar, Toy Story 3, and How to Train Your Dragon, The Godfather director's next film will be released in 3-D.

Tentative wording on the poster is, "What's that coming out at you? It's PARMESAN!"

Tres Leche Cake

For people who tried the Dos Leche Cake and thought, "Hey, there's still some phlegm in my body that hasn't worked its way up into my throat."