Friday, October 30, 2015

I've never understood religious people. Not just the whole "believing in something that doesn't exist" part, but the "reaction to atheism" part.

See, whenever I tell people I'm an atheist, they always ask one of three very predictable questions:

"If you don't believe in God, why do you go on living?"

Well, for a few reasons:

  • It doesn't leave as many stains on the sheets.

  • I'm actually enjoying my life. It makes me wonder what's going on in the brains of religious people. When they're driving to Montauk in a convertible, or having a drunken dinner with good friends, or riding a roller coaster at Six Flags Over A Culturally-Starved Dustbowl do they think, "Well, this is enjoyable, but what's really great is knowing I have eternal life in Jesus"?

  • If I killed myself, my parents wouldn't exactly be thrilled.

    MOM: OH NO! IT CAN'T BE! Roman's landlord called from New York and said Roman is DEAD!

    DAD: WHAT? NOOooo -- Wait. He didn't believe in God so why was he alive anyway?

    MOM: Yes, I guess you're right. Hey, are there any more bear claws?

"If you don't believe in God, what's to stop you from buying a submachine gun and shooting everybody?"

This question kind of freaks me out. I mean, is God the only thing from keeping people from mass murder? I'm picturing a rather odd interior monologue:

"I'm gonna blast the hell out of this godforsaken town! I'm blowing it all to kingdom come! I'm wiping this shithole off the face of -- Wait. I can't. I would, like, seriously go to hell."

It may surprise religious people to learn I've never actually thought about killing anybody. But then again, I don't spend Sundays listening to a sanctimonious dude tell me how a sentient being created this whole shitshow and left us all totally fucked.

There are a few reasons why I'm not a mass murderer. One, I actually like the people around me, and our mutual enjoyment might be undermined by the fact that their internal organs are no longer satisfactorily contained by skin. Two, I enjoy my freedom. I'd like to decide on a case-by-case basis whether I want to blow gang members for cigarettes. And three, while spending $800 on a submachine gun might sound tempting to you, I'd rather buy a bucket full of enchiladas and Garnier Fructis For The Challenged Scalp.

It seems like religious people are saying they'd act differently if somebody all-powerful wasn't watching them. But I'm a law-abiding citizen because I'm a nice guy, not because I'm afraid of getting caught. If we lived in a world without police, the only thing I'd do differently is stop jacking off while thinking about policemen.

Which, strangely enough, makes me empathize with religious folk. In this case, the existence of a dominant, protective figure makes me act very differently. God knows what I'd invent to protect my sexual fantasies from undergoing this sad little paradigm shift:


POLICEMAN: You know you were doing fifty miles an hour in a school zone, right?

ME: I'm really sorry, officer.

POLICEMAN: Get out of the car. I've got to search you for weapons and drugs. [PAUSE] It appears you have something in your crotch area. What's this? Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah.


TSA GUARD: Are you giving me permission to search your luggage?

ME: Well, I'd rather not, because my flight leaves in twelve minutes. But if you have to.

TSA GUARD: I have to. [PAUSE] Hey, is that three ounces of toothpaste in your pants?

"If you don't believe in God, what's to stop you from slathering peanut butter on your taint and hanging around dog parks?"

Nothing. See you next week!

Monday, October 26, 2015

There are parties in New York for just about every holiday. On New Year's Eve we head to Times Square for live music and champagne. For Easter we put on crazy hats and parade down Fifth Avenue. And for Halloween we dress up our dogs and gather in Tompkins Square Park.

This is a gingerbread dog. Look, you can snap off a piece and -- oh shut up, Mrs. Wiggins.

This little pooch is dressed as the wad of hair you always find at the bottom of your Belgian fries.

This is that guy at the Guggenheim who always stares at your ass instead of the paintings.

Nice try but that fence was like 5,000 volts tops. The little "dinosaurs" eventually broke out and ran around aimlessly so it was pretty much like Jurassic Park 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8.

Surprisingly cute, right? If this mutt had three bucks and a cardboard box it'd be married to Melania Trump right now.

This dog is dressed as Princess Leia. It could barely hold up its head and waddle at the same time so it was pretty much a dead ringer for the real thing.

They say you start to resemble your dog after living with it for a few years, but I've been wearing my collar since I met my second husband in Myrtle Beach.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Non-experts say, "Whaaa? How can that be? Rich people can give some money to the government but still keep some money for themselves? My poor feeble mind cannot even begin to fathom what kind of witchcraft this is! 'Tax the rich' -- okay, got that. 'Raise revenue' -- fine so far. 'Wealthy take home majority of income' NO WAIT HOW CAN THAT BE?!?! Oh, bother, I am perplext! Well, all I can say is, it's certainly a wonderful world we live in where pie-in-the-sky schemes like this, way beyond the grasp of us average-brained people, can be dreamt up by those brainiacs at the New York Times! Kudos to them, and now I'll go back to trying to understand how my can opener works."

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ask RomanHans

Dear RomanHans,

My grandparents recently came to live with us, and I noticed something odd. Roman, they don't seem to sleep. When I went to bed they were playing Scrabble, and when I woke up Granddad was mowing the lawn and Grandma was making meatballs. Why don't old people sleep?

Anissa Brown
Age eight

Dear Anissa,

Sleep performs an integral function for humans: it gives the body time to repair. During the day, your muscles break down, your brain overheats, your blood vessels swell. At night, then, all that damage has to be undone. All unnecessary movement is halted so the body can repair itself.

Think of it as your own personal NASCAR pit crew. The minute you fall asleep, dozens of guys are dispatched to perform specific functions integral to successful completion of your next lap. Some restock the shelves of the reproductive systems: if you're a girl, you might have lost an egg, and if you're a boy, there's the stress caused by thirty-eight hardons. Some rush needed nutrients to the hair follicles so hair will keep coming out in attractive colors. Some manufacture new brain cells so your reasoning and storage systems can continue to function. While your body isn't quite up to NASCAR speed, some eight hours later all the work will be finished, and you'll wake up refreshed while your pit crew settles down for a nap.

Once you get old, though, your body isn't quite so anxious to fix itself. Imagine if you had a shiny new Corvette: if a bird pooped on it, you'd clean it off, right? Well, now pretend you've got a Buick. You could drive through a tar pit and you still wouldn't wash it. You'd be like, "Yeah, well, it was already a piece of shit." You don't need to look at Grandma under a microscope to know that that's what her body is telling her.

Now when the lights turn off and the pit crew comes out, they took a quick look around and halt in their steps. They see the wrinkled skin, the straw-like mop of hair, the saggy sack of fat over the pubis. They recognize the futility. Even if they could temporarily shoot some brown into her hair, they couldn't force grandma to stop cutting it with pinking shears. Even if they could fine-tune her motor reflexes, she still couldn't remember where she put the car. Even if they could manufacture more collagen for her face, she'd still use a colored Sharpie instead of rouge.

"You know," they say to themselves, "this looks like a little bit of work. Maybe we'll hire a few more guys and give it a shot tomorrow." And they turn all systems back on and two minutes after she went to bed Grandma is up and making marinara sauce.

Will Grandma's body ever hire more workers? Will they ever buckle down and get the job done? Yes! Absolutely! And you have a magical goldfish that can change in size and color every few months. In the meantime, enjoy the spaghetti.

Considered an expert in some Southern states, your friend