Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Picture this: you visit an online personals site. The posts are hit or miss, but you're optimistic. One seems like it might be interesting, but the picture is fuzzy. You click on it, and you find Mistress Hildy's profile:

Hi guys! Do you like amputees? Do you want mommy to put you over her knee and spank you? Did you soil your diapers like a naughty boy?

You close the page as soon as possible and literally five seconds later you get an email saying, "Hi! THIS IS MISTRESS HILDY! DID SOMEBODY POOP THEIR JEANS? DID SOMEBODY POOP THEIR JEANS?"

Oddly, this is how an increasing number of websites work these days. (1) They give you very little information; (2) you click to find out more; (3) as the photos fill in and details appear you're smacked with the horrifying realization that you were duped into looking at crap that isn't remotely close to what you want; and then (4) you get emails for the rest of your life with subject lines like, "HEY, ROMAN! MISTRESS HILDY IS STILL WAITING TO GIVE YOU THE ENEMA YOU DESERVE!"

My bath towels were looking a little threadbare so I used Google to see what my options were. Their top recommendation was Kmart, so I went there to investigate. They had a myriad of choices: polyester with embroidered butterflies, rayon with embroidered mushrooms, and dacron with gingham Holly Hobby silhouettes. I closed the window as quickly as possible but a few hours later I got an email from Kmart saying, "We saw you browsing our online aisles and thought you might be interested in these!"

And below are photographs of cardboard shoes, books about Jesus, and selections from Nicki Minaj's new clothing line for dogs.

It doesn't quite link up in my head. I mean, I didn't buy what I needed at Kmart, so they should probably have realized that I wasn't going to buy random shit. In fact, I was pretty much sitting there thinking, "Christ, what kind of desperate, douche-ass operation tries to flog all this bargain-basement crap?" It confirmed that if indeed there was a Kmart customer, it sure as hell wasn't me.

I got tickets for a talk on Eventbrite so naturally that signed me up for a news blast announcing every future event on the Eastern seaboard. The events weren't artistic. The locations weren't convenient. In fact, even EventBrite realized their suggestions had little in common with the event I chose. "YOU LIKE TO GO OUTSIDE," read the email's subject line. "HERE ARE OTHER EVENTS HAPPENING OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE!"

I don't know what the fuck is up with LivingSocial. I'd heard they were a Groupon-style shopping portal that sent daily notifications about online deals, so I signed up. When their suggested deals weren't exactly my cup of tea, I followed their advice and customized my deal preferences. I spent literally hours filling out their six-hundred item "Personal Interests" checklist telling them things I barely admit to myself. Dogs don't like me, my gums are receding, I have a rather extensive collection of animated GIFs of Jon Hamm from the waist down.

And then every eight minutes for the next year I got email from them headlined, "CHOSEN ESPECIALLY FOR YOU!" that offered discounts at colon therapy and electrolysis salons. I'm not sure if the fault is accidental or intentional: though they ask yea or nay on Portuguese-Alaskan vegan-fusion restaurants, they neglect to inquire if you're unable to poop or are entirely covered in hair. I'm an atheist without a car, yet for some reason they think I'm itching to make a three-hour bus ride to New Brunswick, New Jersey, to see a play called, "Oy! Plotzing with a Yiddish Mama." Click on anything for additional info and they'll never let you forget it: a few hours later you'll see the email, "JUST BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T BUY IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU DON'T NEED A BRAZILIAN WAX!"

Even Change.Org -- the allegedly-altruistic petition site -- is full of shit. You sign one petition to protest bullying at a New Jersey preschool and literally seconds later the deluge begins. Now you get daily emails with headlines like, "Hey, Mr. Bleeding Heart, don't you give a fuck about the Boko Haram?"

I'm not sure what can be done about this irritating new trend. Businesses might pretend that those follow-up emails are a customer service, but when you get a hundred a day it seems more like punishment for visiting their website in the first place.

If you really want to sell me something, then, make a mouse that'll take back my last few clicks. "Excuse me," it'll broadcast to Change.Org, "I apologize for giving a shit." "Oops," it'll say to Kmart, "I'm not looking for fabrics made by DuPont." "Sorry," it'll tell Mistress Hildy, "I thought that was a mustache on your upper lip."

Monday, February 23, 2015

I'll read a book about "having it all" when it's written by an ugly dude.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I like this radio station. Ohmigod, was that a raccoon? I sure hope he didn't have a family. No, wait -- he's got a pouch, so they'd have been in his pouch. So I hope he did have family? No -- I hope he had family but they were on vacation. Though I'm not exactly sure where furry brown pouch-dwellers would be welcome. Maybe ... Greece? No, wait -- it wouldn't be good if they were on vacation. Think of it: you're sitting on a beach and you get a telegram saying your father is dead. Good luck finishing that Peach Mojito. Or would that have been their mother? Shoot, now I'm crying. And it wasn't even a raccoon, either. It was a homeless guy.

I really shouldn't be driving. What was it I took? I didn't think cocaine made people hallucinate. I really feel like some of these buildings could be Transformers and they could turn into robots at any time. Would that be a bad thing? It would if they had laser beams for eyes, but not if they were the "Danger, Will Robinson!" type. Why are robots always either good or evil? Those Transformers movies would be like six minutes long if all the other robots were normal. Like if they said, "Optimus, you know, I've got a lot on my plate today. Can't you enslave mankind by yourself?"

If there were people in a building and it transformed into a giant car, would they all end up in the seats or would they be crushed to death in the folded parts, just like that raccoon? There could be hundreds of people in a building, but only six or seven could fit in this Infiniti, so -- JESUS CHRIST! I guess I should at least look out for cheaper cars because who'd give a damn if they banged up a piece of shit?

These seats are so soft. I can't take my eyes off them. I know I should look at the road, but cement isn't exactly imported from Spain. Look, there's a small imperfection, almost like a zit. OHMIGOD WERE THESE LEATHER SEATS MADE OUT OF MY SKIN? No wait -- it's still there. I'm not sure about my back or my ass, though. Are my back and my ass still there? I think they must be, though I haven't seen them recently. OH HOLY FUCK!!! IT IS OPTIMUS PRIME! You bastard, you'll steal our civilization from my cold, dead hands! TAKE THAT! AND THAT! AMERICA'S NOT GOING DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT!!!

Oops. Wow. Since when did we get mass transit in L.A.?

The Infiniti Q50. The car that pays attention so you don't have to.

[Fifty Shades of Grey] is a movie about submitting to erotic chastisement by a handsome man who plays Chopin on his grand piano and sips chardonnay from long-stemmed glassware. He is extremely rich. Because there’s nothing sexy about spanking if he’s skint.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Lecturer On Cosmology, Particle Physics And Quantum Mechanics Accidentally Links To Zazzle Ladybug Speakers

Or cool personalized speakers with a ladybug pattern!

Madonna Performs "Living For Love" At The 2015 Grammys

While the rest of the world remains blissfully clueless, music insiders are buzzing about what happened to Madonna during her performance at the Grammys last night. Her rehearsal earlier in the evening went perfectly and there was no reason to suspect anything would go wrong other than the fact that she is turning into Mae West as we speak. Analyzing frames from the broadcast performance, however, we can see where her act took such a dreadful turn.

The show starts off well. She sings a bit, then flings aside her cape to reveal her colorful matador costume underneath. This is the first time in forty years she's taken her clothes off by herself, though, and she finds the process has winded her.

She drops to the ground, injuring a knee. She discovers she can't get up.

Her backup dancers start to buzz about what's happening, because this is where she's supposed to mime being trapped in Tupperware to illustrate the crushing need for recycling. Instead she remains on the ground and reaches out for help.

At this point, no one in the audience suspects anything has happened. The pain isn't registering on Madonna's face, but there's probably a reason that might also explain why her eyes are now five feet apart. A dancer, however, realizes that until they answer the phone at MedAlert someone's going to have to help her through the act.

Other dancers catch on and lift her onto the smoking stage, where she is supposed to perch on a glittery rock and rap about how young women need to v-steam in the third world. Instead she seems to be struggling to remember where she is. Lights, glitter, men in lace masks and horns: oh, good -- she's in her bedroom.

More dancers join in and try to form a human walker around Madonna, but that just confuses her and makes her think she's headed to Sav-On. She starts groping around for a scarf and her Coupon Saver.

Smartly, Madonna has cast her dancers from the ranks of the West Hollywood Fire Department, and their training immediately shows. One of them hoists her into the air in a textbook Liza Minnelli Lift. He carries her to the side of the stage. This can't be easy for her, as she perhaps senses that this scene is just an Andrew McCarthy away from being Weekend at Bernie's.

Perhaps he feels his resolve weakening, as he's usually armed with a hose and a gas mask. He hands her off to a colleague. Madonna is really being a trooper here, though her dance rebuke against Boko Haram goes untapped. Anybody else would have left the stage, but instead you can almost hear her exhorting her helpers to never forget the jazz hands.

Finally the Medevac helicopter arrives and hoists her to safety, and the Grammy audience still doesn't suspect a thing. Madonna is said to be resting comfortably this morning. She is surrounded by concerned dancers, basking in their good wishes while reminding them that they really should come up and see her sometime.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Second Greatest Discovery In The History Of Man

I've posted some landmark stuff here before but this is truly the landmarkiest. It's unbelievable, incredible, amazing. My hands are literally shaking as I type. I'm not overselling this, either: when you're done reading I think you'll agree I made one of the most stupendous discoveries in history.

It's been a million years since someone made a discovery as groundbreaking, when a caveman's odd, arbitrary actions changed history. Maybe he rubbed his nose with a rock and nothing happened. He scratched the ground with a stick and nothing happened. But then he smashed two rocks together, producing sparks that just happened to shoot into a bed of sticks. And suddenly there was fire.

He must have thought he was hallucinating. I mean, one minor, arbitrary action discovers a life-changing chemical process. A hither-to unknown substance -- with seemingly no weight or substance -- runs and leaps and sprints across the earth, leaving everything in its path black and burnt. It's like the opposite of air, all orange flames and destruction. It must have seemed like some horrific demon that consumed everything in its path, and when it finally ran out of food it died. Why is it orange? Why does it give off heat? It's all so bizarre and capricious it must have seemed like a dream.

My discovery was also arbitrary. My Maltese, Chutney, waddled up to me and started barking while I was making dinner. She was so cute I just had to pick her up. While I was giving her a hug, though, she bumped into a butternut squash, and then all hell broke loose. Seriously. It was unbelievable: yet another nondescript action somehow initiated an unstoppable, indescribable force.

The closest comparison I can come up with is fire, but instead of orange flames it burbled up in iridescent fuchsia bubbles. It spread really quickly, because like regular bubbles these arbitrarily took flight and landed on nearby surfaces, setting off further chain reactions. Instead of leaving things burnt and filling my apartment with smoke, though, it left a shiny trail, and its smell was reminiscent of popcorn.

I put Chutney down and grabbed a towel and chased it through the room, finally managing to smother every bit. I don't want to scare you too much: it wasn't hot and it didn't burn stuff so I wasn't in any danger. In fact, putting it out was something like shampooing a two-year-old: if it hadn't left me damp and out of breath I'd have said it was kind of fun.

When I regained my bearing I ran to Google. I typed in everything I'd observed -- fuchsia bubbles, popcorn, Maltese, butternut squash -- but for the first time ever it came up blank. And then it hit me.

I'd discovered an incredible new phenomena.

Like I say, I was trembling at this point. I immediately knew it wasn't quite as great as the discovery of fire: I mean, fire has all sorts of applied uses, from heating food to powering cars. I'm not sure what good fuchsia bubbles are, or who wants to smell like popcorn. But singlehandedly I'd opened up a whole new field to investigate, and unwittingly found myself on the forefront.

I grabbed my notebook and wrote down two definitions:

GRONK: [noun, guh-RONK] the fuchsia bubbles that appear when a dog touches squash

SPELCHING: [verb, SPELL-chung] the arbitrary encroachment of gronk throughout an area, turning everything shiny and smelling of popcorn

Now that I'd named my new world, I'd have to define it. What prompts it? What fuels it? What purposes could it serve? And naturally, as someone with nearly a degree from a major university, I'd need to re-enact the experiment in controlled conditions.

UPDATE 1: When neighborhood dogs touch a butternut squash, nothing happens. No gronk and definitely no spelching. Bad news, not to mention the rather insulting posters blaring BEWARE OF THIS MAN!!! that were recently taped up on my street.

UPDATE 2: When Chutney comes into contact with a pumpkin, nothing happens. Similarly acorn and spaghetti squash. I'm a bit embarrassed that what I tell friends will be the Entertainment Event of the Century actually turns into three rather boring side dishes touched by a dog.

UPDATE 3: I decide to start from scratch. I make Chutney touch a butternut squash again. To my horror there are no fuchsia bubbles, and it doesn't smell like popcorn.

UPDATE 4: I take another hit of LSD. Twelve hours later I realize this must have been the catalyst, since my notebook is mostly unintelligible except for the words RUNAWAY SCRELB and PLATCHING.

Anyway, I guess that's it. It appears the whole thing was an illusion. I hope you don't see this as a massive waste of time, because I certainly don't. I believe we made headway in describing how we encounter our world, though I should probably give a shout-out to my neighbor for pointing out that my beloved Maltese Chutney is actually a striped sweatsock.