evious Notes

A bowl of corn, motherfuckers.



Is that an erection I smell?



I'm loaded with tumors darling, and I don't even know it.



Friends of TheWVSR
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   The State of My Fat Ass
                                      January 2003
January 30, 2003

Fa-la-la-la La-la-la Fa-la-la-la Fa-la-fucking-la-la La-la-motherfucking-la-la-la... Oh. Sorry, I didn't see you there. Pardon me. Ahem. Let's get started, shall we?

-- I have great news. I won't be writing about the President's State of the Union address today. Yes, that's correct, not a word. In fact, I don't plan to touch on politics at all. Oh, I have some feelings on the subject, but I'm going to keep them to myself. I hope you'll remember this around the holidays next year, and on my birthday in November. I always put you people first...

-- I sent Johnny Bench an email yesterday, inviting him over to the house for some pizza pie and to watch Grease. Isn't the Internet great? I haven't heard back from him yet. Probably out of town.

-- A tip for young comedy writers: a good way to make the word "pizza" funnier is to call it "pizza pie." It's a simple yet effective technique. Try it!

-- I haven't been getting enough sleep lately. I stay up too late, and get up way too early. My eyes are sunk so far back in my skull I could use the cavernous sockets for storage. I look like I've been mummified, except I still have this seven-pound Gabe Kaplan hair. It's extremely frightening; people at work probably think I'm riding the white horse. Last night I was barely able to function, but just couldn't stomach the idea of hitting the sack before eleven. So, around nine I put on a movie (Welcome to Collinwood), and covered up with a big yellow blanket. Needless to say I was out before the Warner Bros. logo came on the screen. Yet another missed opportunity. I've mentioned it before, but I have a big problem with sleep. It's creepy and insect-like, for one thing. Plus, it takes up a third of our lives. If I'm lucky enough to make it to ninety, I will have spent about thirty years of my time on Earth lying on elevated sleep platforms, in rooms specially designed for the assumption of dormant states. It's disturbing.

-- A reader sent me this picture yesterday. He thought I'd like it because it was titled "West Virginia Toilet Paper." Pretty funny, but it reminds me more of the staff meetings at my job. Yes, I've watched this scene play out thousands of times over the years, by people who are now my superiors, and drive BMW convertibles.

-- I stopped by Wal-Mart on my way home from work on Tuesday. I had to get some contact lens solution and a big barrel of their kick-ass Blue Bunny ice cream (mmm...). I remembered I also needed a picture frame, so I was in that aisle checking things out, when a couple of black guys walked up. They were young, early twenties I'd guess, and were sporting the latest in hip-hop fashions. Everything was big and blousy and gold and sweat-suity. Both looked at me menacingly, and I just went back to my frame shopping. I was experiencing a slight case of cultural discomfort. After a period of nobody talking, one of them finally said to the other: "Yo man, what do you think of this candle? Think it would look good on the mantlepiece?"

-- Earlier in the week I decided to flip through the radio stations while I was driving. I usually listen to CDs in my truck, or the AM news channel. I was curious what I might find on the mysterious FM band. After hearing a few things that sounded like crap Nancy would listen to, a wall of percussion and people yelping like they're shitting a string of Christmas lights, I stopped at a rock station. I couldn't believe my ears. They're still playing the same songs! They have the same playlist as they did when I was careening drunkenly down country roads in 1980. It was old as fuck back then. They're still playing "Money" by Pink Floyd, and Bob Seger, the goddamn Marshall Tucker Band(?!), The Doors, Led Zeppelin, etc. etc. It's sick. Some of that stuff is thirty-five years old, and has been in heavy-rotation since LBJ. I can sorta understand sticking with things you're familiar with, I'm a little guilty of that too, but this is taking things a little too far. Is there really any need, at this point in our history, to hear "Life's Been Good" one more time? Unbelievable. It's all so familiar I can't even hear it anymore; it doesn't get any traction in my brain. Being a program director at one of those stations must be the easiest stress-free jobs in the world: "OK folks, I've put a lot of thought into it, and I've decided we're going to emphasize the studio version of "Free Bird" this month over the live version. Other than that, just keep playing the same forty songs. I'm going to lunch. Fuck it."

-- Here's proof that Soupy Sales is far cooler than J.D. Salinger. I hope this finally puts an end to that debate.

-- I heard a guy on the radio (AM!) tell this joke the other day: "OK, three Irishmen walk out of a bar." I thought that was pretty good.

-- Finally, here's an article about a new author who seems pretty interesting. Seems like my kinda guy.

Have a great weekend folks. I'm going to spend all day Sunday using these directions to make myself a pair of "Class of '81, Second to None!" lo-rise briefs.

See ya.


January 27, 2003

I had a weird dream last night. I found myself neck-deep in some ridiculous, embarrassing Internet journal-type project, and I had an update due, but nothing of interest to write about. For some unknown reason this all seemed very, very important to me (aren't dreams bizarre?), and I was all stressed out about it. It was a classic anxiety dream, like the ones where you're onstage and can't remember your lines, but eventually I drifted off to sleep and went whitewater rafting with the Kool-Aid man again.

-- I heard a guy on the radio say that if, starting on your wedding day, you put one kidney bean in a jar every time you have sex, then, on your first anniversary, you start taking one bean out of the jar every time you have sex, the jar will NEVER BE EMPTIED. Humor cannot be successful unless there's some truth in it, and I found this to be highly amusing.

-- He also had this to say about the French, and I laughed and laughed and laughed.

-- Every weekend I take my truck to the car wash near our house and try to blast away the thick white crust of road salt that's built up during the previous week. I'm worried about rust. I bought the vehicle in Valencia, California; it probably has no undercoating whatsoever. In a land without moisture you don't need to bother with such indulgences. So I go there every Sunday with my $1.75 in quarters and get in line behind other like-minded crust-carriers, and wait for the next available wand.

The past few weeks it's been so goddamn cold here the inside of the bays are covered with a six-inch thick layer of ice. You feel like you're inside an Alaskan cave -- with your dirty car. Signs are visible on the walls through the build-up, but you can't make out what they say. Coins have to be deposited through an ice-slot. And as soon as the water hits my truck it freezes there. I've never seen anything like it. How could water just freeze like that? Doesn't it generally take a little time? It's pretty awesome.

Yesterday I went there and apparently my tires were covered in an ice shell after I finished. When I pulled out of the stall I instantly felt like a puck on an air hockey table. I was just drifting aimlessly. There didn't seem to be any relation between the position of the steering wheel and the direction my truck was going; I may as well have been holding a dinner plate in my hands. As soon as I gave it a little gas my shit nearly did a 360 and I almost took out the industrial vacuum cleaner stand. Inside it was like a movie, I was whipping my hands round and round, back and forth, and I was probably sporting Buddy Holly's final expression.

There's an adventure around every corner.

-- I was in Borders on Saturday and I saw the new issue of Crimewave USA on their shelves. Maybe I'm just a hillbilly, but that still amazes me. Mark and Linette type up a bunch of articles at their house, get some of their friends to type up a few more, tie it all together and make it look nice -- and it's right there at the Scranton Borders store, alongside Newsweek and Rolling Stone. It's really exciting, if you stop and think about it. It's born of the same DIY attitude that made The Ramones possible in a world populated by ELOs and ELPs. Of course, it requires a special attitude to pull it off. It helps if you have the audacity to, say, write your autobiography at 26, and call it something along the lines of It Takes Balls To Be Mark Maynard. A willingness to gamble with your dignity never hurts in any situation.

-- On a semi-related note, check out this new zine review site, maintained by Marc Parker, aka Azmacourt. Marc is an underground veteran, a black belt Internet troublemaker, highly talented writer, and a longtime Friend of TheWVSR. Support the dude.

-- I didn't watch more than five minutes of the Super Bowl (or am I legally required to call it The Big Game?) last night. I have no interest or knowledge. I'm too busy with awards shows and interior decorating programs to keep up with sports these days.

...There's really no reason for my Dad to know about any of this.

-- Toney bought our dog Andy a rawhide bone the other day and he's been tending to that thing almost 'round the clock. It's now unraveled and slick with dog spit. Last night he walked up and laid the horrifying length of grossness on my forearm. I wasn't paying attention and for a second I thought I had a section of human intestines on me. I felt it, then saw it, and almost passed out. I think I may have actually shrieked.

-- I was eating a salad yesterday for lunch (apparently I'm a gay man and don't realize it), when my nose started dripping. It's been alarmingly cold for an extended period, and watery snot has a tendency to just dribble out of me with no warning these days. Without thinking I grabbed a napkin and blew my nose, and immediately knew something was wrong. It felt like my right sinus was damaged. I opened the napkin and, to my utter amazement, saw a big leaf of iceberg lettuce there, nestled amongst the goodness. How could that happen?! How could a tossed salad work its way through your sinuses and out your nose? It still had French dressing on it.

-- I heard John Lennon's "Imagine" playing over the loudspeakers at work last week, and suddenly realized that nearly every line of that song is questionable. John Lennon is one of my heroes, I sincerely believe he was a genius, but "Imagine" has never been among my favorites. It's a little too pie-in-the-sky hippy-dippy for my tastes. Here's my rebuttal. 

Remember what I said earlier about audacity?

-- Toney said she saw a bumper sticker over the weekend that read, "Plants and animals die to make room for your fat ass." Boy, these ultra-liberals are a happy bunch, aren't they? I'd love to just go on a goddamn hayride with a bunch of them, ya know? They can even cast a gloom over a walk through a Target parking lot. Jesus J. McChrist. I remember not too long ago it was the far-right Christian conservatives who seemed to want to control our lives, and now the pendulum has swung back in the opposite direction. Today it's the loonies on the left who walk around perpetually pissed off, wringing their hands, and convinced we're all going to hell in a hand basket. They want to tell us what we can think, say, drive, eat, where our kids have to go to school and what they can learn there, what doctors we can visit, and on and on and on. I hate that shit, regardless of the direction it's coming from. There's no difference, in my eyes, between the bumper sticker Toney saw, and a crazy-ass anti-abortion message. Fanatics on both ends of the spectrum should be bitch-slapped. Or simply laughed at.

And that'll do it for this edition. Have a great week, folks. Today's high is supposed to be ten degrees here, if you can believe it. Ten. And there's about three inches of new snow on the ground. Did I cause this too, by being a member of the consumerist pack? Probably. But tough shit-balls. 

Hey, if you're interested, I took the liberty of adding my collection of Rocky Stories to The Best of TheWVSR. Check it out

And one more thing... Take a look at this coolness as well. At one site you can now see the front pages of hundreds of worldwide newspapers on the day they're published. How incredible is that? Not as great as the Rocky Stories, admittedly, but pretty damn good.

See ya on Thursday.


January 23, 2003

-- I was practically strip-searched at work yesterday, and the same thing will undoubtedly happen again today.

A few months ago they installed turnstiles, a network of steel railings, and intimidating airport-grade metal detectors at the door where I enter every morning. There are always guards there as well, checking your ID and generally giving you attitude for a living. But now they've taken it a step further, towards their utopian dream of guarding a full-blown fortified fortress. It's now like the J. Edgar Hoover Building, and the security staff couldn't be happier.

Since they installed the overkill machines I've set the alarm off every day, because it's so incredibly sensitive the aluminum foil on a roll of Life Savers will do the trick. And I carry a bag full of notebooks and floppy discs and a tape recorder and a cell phone and on and on and on. So it goes off every day, and I just keep walking. They'd been working the bugs out of the system, so nobody gave two shits about all the alarms and whistles I kept triggering. Until yesterday.

Apparently the guards had a little meeting on Tuesday, and we are now "live." Whatever in the honeysuckle fuck that means.

After the ear-splitting beeps yesterday I kept on truckin' like I do every day, but one of the guards leaped out of his chair and came running towards me with a panicked look on his face. "Sir! Step down, sir! Step down!!" The hell? Step down? I wasn't standing on anything. Is that security guard shop-talk or something? And what's this sir shit? I go through there every morning, and they all know me. Does this going live business erase all memory of the past?

The guy was a real bastard: humorless and accusatory and military-like. He made me empty my bag on a table, and pawed through all my stuff. "What's this, sir?" "Um, a pager?" "What's in here?" "Change for the vending machines?" "Why do you need all these notebooks?" "To plan the extermination of Scranton factory-worker infidels and the men who guard them?" I didn't actually say that, of course, but it would've been interesting to see how fast he could've got the stun-gun to my neck if I had.

And it'll all happen again today. They'll rip through my crap, like they've never seen it before, and treat me like I'm trying to pull a fast one. I'm thinking about going to the Playmate Palace over the weekend and doing a little shopping. On Monday I'd like to have my bag loaded down with big black dildos, vibrating butt plugs, and perhaps one of these. That should give them something to talk about for a while.

Or maybe I'll save my money and just turn to them, after the alarm sounds, and say, "Would a cock ring set this thing off?"

-- I just hope they never ask to see my driver's license. The picture would almost certainly earn me a beat-down. Holy crap, it's only a matter of time.

-- Toney's been giving me a lot of grief about the amount of potato chips I've been ingesting lately. She says I eat a family-sized sack per day, and that's simply not true; she's exaggerating for effect. It's more like every two days. I told you about the "buy one, get two free" deal they're running at a local grocery store, right? Yeah, and it's for the good Lay's kind too, including those kick-ass Wisconsin Cheddar chips which are just about the best snack food ever invented. Anyway, I told her I was going to get three more bags and she practically threw her body in front of the door to prevent me from leaving the house. We got into a low-grade argument about it and I told her I enjoy potato chips. What the hell's wrong with that? And she said, "Well, you can't just sit around enjoying yourself all the time." I think that's an exact quote, and it pretty much sums up the state of things at this point in my life. You can't just sit around enjoying yourself all the time. Maybe I should have a goddamn throw pillow embroidered with that phrase? Fuck.

-- We got a new vacuum cleaner sometime around Christmas and I finally used it for the first time last night. (ahem...) It didn't go very well. It seems to have a strange center of gravity, and I had a little trouble keeping it under control. I very nearly shattered the base board in our living room, by repeatedly ramming the runaway sweeper into the wall. And Toney screamed, "What are you doing?!" after she walked into the room and caught me almost knocking the leg off our dining room table. Downstairs in the family room I managed to suck a third of a blanket into the thing, and smoke was rolling. I guess I should've taken the vacuum over to the school parking lot and got the hang of it before I "went live."

-- I'm reading Live From New York, a new book about the history of Saturday Night Live. The "authors" conducted interviews with most of the people involved with the show, and wove together a mountain of quotes to tell the story in the first person. It's really interesting, fun, and good. Last night I was reading it in bed and got to the part where they were talking about the disastrous week when Milton Berle hosted. Apparently Berle kept wanting to ham it up and act ridiculous, and they couldn't get him to tone it down. He was from a different comedy era; two worlds collided, and it wasn't pretty.

Anyway, one of the writers told a story about being in Uncle Miltie's dressing room, and the subject of his mythically oversized penis somehow came up, as was bound to happen.

Here's what transpired:

He says to me, "You mean you never saw it?" I said, "Uh no, I don't believe I ever did." Then he said, "Well, would you like to?" And before I had a chance to say, "Not really" or "Can I think about it?" or whatever, he parts his bathrobe and he just takes out this -- this anaconda. He lays it on the table and I'm looking into this thing, right? I'm looking into the head of Milton Berle's dick. It was enormous. It was like a pepperoni. And he goes, "What do you think of the boy?" And I'm looking right at it and I go, "Oh, it's really, really nice."

I laughed so hard I shook the bed and woke Toney up. You should get this book, it's excellent.

-- I received the first response from the little celebrity autograph project I mentioned a week or so ago. The experiment is getting off to a great start! This is from J.D. Salinger.

-- A reader sent me this eBay link earlier in the week, and I only wish she'd sent it before the auction was over. Can you imagine anything greater?! This is the pinnacle, ladies and gentlemen, and I was a day late as usual.

-- Supposedly at this site you can download an old porn film starring Marilyn Monroe, or something to that effect. It somehow involves the FBI. I'm just not clear on it.

-- And here's a cool new site where people scan ticket stubs to concerts they've attended, and write a brief story about the evening. It's one of those concepts that's so simple and perfect you feel stupid for not thinking of it first.

I'm all outta time again, so I'll have to end it right there. Have a great weekend, folks.


January 20, 2003

-- It's unbelievably dry here. There's no moisture in the air at all. If you go to the food court at the mall and sit perfectly still, you can actually hear lips chapping; it sounds like somebody trying to get a cracker out of the package. Indeed, the entire population appears to have just polished off a half-dozen Krispy Kremes. I was at Wendy's the other day and watched in horror at the burger-maker, who had a dangling toenail-sized flake of dead lip skin spinning and quivering on a string, and threatening to fall into my lunch. I've never experienced anything like this in my life.

And, of course, I'm not immune to the Pluto-like weather either...

My whole body itches and I've been tempted to rip off my clothes and scoot around on the carpet -- which, I think, would also make a perfect opening segment for the unfinished film that Mark and I shot a couple of years ago. I could sand a goddamn coffee table with my fingertips; I feel like I'm about to shed my skin. Who knows? Later in the day I might wriggle out of this old stretched-out husk and end up looking like a Junior High School student again. Maybe it'll all have a happy ending?

I don't know, but I do know I'm not going to use any of the fancy lotions that Toney keeps waving in my face. I'm a man. From West Virginia. We don't use lotions. That's for Yankee faggots and those fancy ass-powderers out west.

-- Speaking of California, a guy from my company's home office in Burbank was here for a few days last week. He came out to help me audit the annual physical inventory, which ranks just above word-search puzzles on the list of Exciting Things To Do. While we were doing all this hardcore "auditing" he kept lobbying me to get a DSL line and an X-Box at my house, so we could battle each other from opposite sides of the continent. It seemed to be very important to him that I do this, straight away. He told me it could even be set up so we could wear headsets and trash-talk one another during the contests. This made me laugh the most. He's a nice guy but he obviously doesn't know me very well. I considered explaining to him that I don't play video games, I don't sport headsets for amusement, and the day will simply never arrive when I sit in my living room and scream "You're going down, sucka!!" into a Garth Brooks mic. I'd rather go with Toney to the Bath & Body Works and purchase an Apricot Thigh Mask. But I told him I'd look into it. I don't want to come across as elitist or anything.

-- This Burbank guy was just promoted recently, to director. He now outranks me, and he's younger. I'm still just a lowly manager, which didn't seem all that low until he rolled into town. He told me about the BMW convertible he's going to buy, which I certainly appreciated. And I also enjoyed the stories about the problems he's having finding a good housekeeper. Yes, we had a lot to talk about during his stay. It was a very enjoyable visit. Two months ago he was just like me, now he's interviewing people to come to his house and scrub the fudge stripes out of his toilet. At least I learned that I still have the capacity to cry. It had been a very long time.

-- On Sunday Toney and I did the only thing there is to do around here in the winter: we spent the afternoon going from store to store. I bought a car charger for my new cell phone, and ten pairs of underwear, at Target. Toney picked up a digital answering machine at Best Buy. (While my colleagues shop for BMWs we're canceling our voicemail service, as part of a cost-cutting effort.) And we each had an Emasculation Dog at the Sam's Club snack bar, while cowering beneath the giant trampoline chained to the ceiling. It was another extravagant Scranton day.

As usual, I saw a few things that boggled my mind...

At Best Buy they have a television that costs $11,000! I swear to God it's true. My first three cars combined didn't cost that much. How in love with sitting on your ass and wasting your life away must you be to drop that kind of cash on a flickering novelty box? I like TV, but I don't see the need to purchase an inter-dimensional portal that would allow me to actually hang with Al Bundy. I think it might be taking things a bit too far -- at least until I can afford one for myself. Until I can buy one, it's strictly for douchebags.

At Sam's they have an HP Pavilion desktop computer with an 80 gig hard drive, a Pentium 4 processor, flat-screen monitor, CD burner, etc. etc. -- for less than six hundred bucks! I almost whipped it out. This three year-old Compaq I'm using right now cost twice that much and I think it has a 7.5 hard drive, and a monitor roughly the size of a loveseat. When you turn on the power all the lights in the house dim, and you can hear a low humming noise inside the walls. Let's see, if we put all that voicemail money we're saving into a shoebox every month, we'll have enough to get that bitch... in the summer of 2012! Wonder if they have layaway?

We stopped at Petsmart to get our dog Andy a big sack of shit-making pellets, before we headed home. As usual it was an absolute madhouse in there, with dogs walking around, barking and spraying urine everywhere, and birds swooping down from the ceiling and shit. That place blows my mind; the volume is just incredible. They had a huge display of dog clothing in the middle aisle, and I thought about buying Andy a fashionable pea coat, until I noticed the price of fifteen bucks. Fuck dat. They also had a sweater with the Star of David on it, which seemed a bit odd. I don't think Andy has any strong religious convictions, he just likes to lick his genitals and eat spaghetti. I think he picked up most of that from me.

At Target we saw a man in the parking lot with metal hooks for hands, and he was smoking. He had a lit cigarette clinched between his stainless steel pinchers, and was holding it to his mouth. I admired his precision, and can-do attitude.

On the way home I told Toney I wanted to stop for some chips. Since we were gonna watch the Golden Globes I needed a large sack of something fried and high in sodium. A new grocery store opened in our town on Saturday, so we decided to stop and check it out. The place was positively packed. People were double-parking, giant inflatable animals were everywhere you turned, and it was almost impossible to walk through the store. It was an absolute cluster-fuck. We injected ourselves into the flow of bodies, did a quick shuffle around the perimeter, then got the hell out of there. I'd just get my chips at the regular store, thank you very much. I felt like an asshole for even being there.

Because of the new store invading their turf, the old store was cutting some incredible deals. Toney waited in the car, and when I came out I had three gigantic bags of chips. She looked at me like I'd lost my mind, but they were buy one, get two free! How cool is that? I might go back today. And in a couple of years I'll appear on Jerry Springer with the words "Claims Grocery Store Price-Wars Made His Ass Fat" underneath the image my tiny Duke head.

On the way home I told Toney that Andy was going to enjoy the chips. She gets mad at me for feeding him junk all the time, but he's man's best friend. Right? She then told me that one of her best friends said you shouldn't feed chips to dogs with long bodies.  I nearly wreck the car. Apparently short dogs can eat all the chips they want, but if they have elongated bodies you''re just asking for trouble. It supposedly has to do with the distance the chips have to travel inside the dog, or something. I don't know why I think that's so funny, but I do.

-- Sunday night we watched the big awards show, which was pretty damn boring. They had no host, just award presenter after award presenter. What were they thinking?! At those type of events you need a smart-ass like Steve Martin to make fun of everyone, and cause discomfort. That's half the fun. Anyway, here are the highlights, as I saw it:

Early in the show I realized, again, how old I am. They flashed a shot of Michael Douglas and I said something like, "I can't stand that old pervert," and Toney asked me who I was talking about. I said, "Oh, you know, that Streets of San Francisco guy?" What is that, a thirty year-old reference? I am slowly becoming my Dad.

Jennifer Aniston won something and she was all the way at the back of the hall, and had to walk a half-mile with a cane. It took her fifteen minutes to get to the stage. I think they went to a commercial, came back, and she was just hobbling up the stairs. I don't know what the cane's all about, but I think they should've let her sit a little closer, or provided her with a Segway scooter or something. Shit.

Curb Your Enthusiasm won best comedy, which was cool. Larry David's acceptance speech provided some of the only laughs of the evening. He said his parents taught him that if he ever has the opportunity to annoy people, he should take it. Then he added that they had no idea he would someday be able to do it on such a massive scale.

They showed a clip of Tony Soprano walking the red carpet at the beginning, clean-shaven, then he was in the audience with a full beard. I don't understand. Was he in disguise or something? Did he take Chuck Barriss's place in the CIA? Can he only eat dinner through a fake beard for some reason? What's the deal?

They had some really strange categories. I'm not sure of the details but I think the people nominated for one award were Michael Cain, Christopher from The Sopranos, the dad from Malcolm In The Middle, one of the swishketeers from Will and Grace, Mikhail Gorbachev, and possibly Charley Pride. I don't get it.

Richard Gere won some dull award and got up there and rambled on and on like he was a black woman breaking through another barrier, or something. It just kept going on and on and on (sorta like this update). I was screaming for the big Bugs Bunny cartoon hook to inch into the picture, but they let him ramble for an eternity. It went so long Jennifer Aniston was already back to her table, and had burned one with her husband (who, by the way, now looks like Marlo Thomas circa 1969).

U2 won best-song and Bono got up there and said, "This is fucking brilliant!" I don't generally like that pompous prick, but I thought he made a pretty good speech.

Who is that bald-ass Peter Chicklets guy? He wins everything, and I have no idea who he is. They showed a clip of his show (The Badge, or some shit?) and it looked like it was shot with a camcorder. The Streets of San Francisco didn't look like that crap, bucko. Back then they used film. You can tell in the detail of Karl Malden's nose holes.

Has Jeff Goldblum finally gone insane? He acted crazier than a retard with a toothache. Did he recently suffer a severe electrical shock or something?

Toney didn't approve of my fatty chips, so she made some popcorn for herself. Here's Andy checking out that action.

Jack Nicholson won best actor and he said he'd taken a Valium earlier in the evening, then proceeded to refer to Kathy Bates as "The Bates Motel." What does that mean? Was he saying she's as big as a motor lodge? Even I think that's a bit over the line. Cold, cold shit.

And, finally, on a positive note, I didn't hear a single person make a political statement. Not even Bono. They wisely didn't allow Susan Sarandon or Alec Baldwin anywhere near a microphone, and that's a policy that I believe should stand. Same goes for Martin Sheen, but I don't think he was even there last night. He was probably in Washington changing the world by waving around large sheets of cardboard, and urging everyone to trust brutal dictators and distrust the President of the United States. Nobody wants to buy three bags of chips, get all covered up in a blanket, and listen to radical anti-American rants by humorless fucks. That's a little something I've learned over the years.

And I think that'll do it for this installment of Long-Winded Theater. See ya on Thursday, folks.


January 17, 2003

A few things:

-- How much would it cost to have LoJack installed in my underwear? How big is the transmitter box, and does it get hot during use? There's no antennae involved is there? How about the effects of radio waves being pumped directly into a set of male genitals? I need to find out these things because I'm still a little shaken by recent events. It's a difficult thing to come to terms with, underwear theft. It's something that now colors every facet of my life. Sleep is being lost. I'm not usually a proponent of such things, but I really wish a support group were available to me. It would be nice to get together once or twice a month with other men and talk about how we're coping, following the loss of our most intimate apparel. And I'd really love to track my current undergarments with satellite positioning technology. Is that taking things too far? I'd like to have a radar screen right here in the bunker where I could monitor each and every pair at all times. The ping, ping, ping would bring me comfort, just like the lost shorts themselves -- before they were so viciously ripped from their natural habitat by a perverted large-nostriled underwear poacher. It would be a tribute to their service. If anyone knows about the feasibility of such a set-up, please drop me a line.

-- A recent development: Toney told her mother about my missing "items" and she busted out laughing. She said that Mumbles had told her the previous evening that he couldn't find three or four of his undershirts. I'm not making this up. He looked all around, and they're gone. Sunshine & Mumbles are staying with Nancy & Banana Nostrils at the moment. Do I need to connect the dots on this freak show? Unbelievable. Nostrils probably has a secret jack-off parlor beneath his house, full of mannequins and crude papier mache dummies, modeling the giant collection of stolen ball-huggers he's amassed over the years.

...Let's move on. I'm starting to get lightheaded.

-- A few nights ago I was flipping through the channels and stopped on something that appeared to be a "reality" program. You know, one of those deals where a group of people are locked together in a house until something horrible happens? Only this one seemed to use semi-recognizable people like Vince Neil, MC Hammer, one of those black midgets from the '80s, Mikhail Gorbachev, and possibly Charley Pride. I might be fuzzy on the details, but I think that's pretty close. I only caught the tail-end of it, but I saw Hammer warning the former lead singer of Motley Crue that he'd better stop "cussing" him, and a blonde woman shouting that she's "tired of all of Corey Feldman's bull(beeeep)." Can this possibly be true? Did I really see this, or was it just a bizarre dream? I don't think it was a dream because the Kool-Aid man wasn't there, but I'm just not sure. Any help on this one would be appreciated as well.

-- I heard a commercial on the radio for Radio Shack, and they're bragging about the fact that they no longer ask for your name and address when you go there to buy a three-hole plug or whatever. I find this amusing. They create an unnecessary irritation, then act like they're parting the Red Sea when they remove it. It's like taking a kid's bicycle away from him on December 1, and giving it back to him for Christmas. Wow, thanks pricks.

-- And I saw a commercial on TV for a new Ragu spaghetti sauce that supposedly includes a half-pound of "meat." Isn't that a bit vague? Meat. It seems like a word designed to give the Ragu people some leeway; a lot could fall under an umbrella phrase like that one. Ya know? Nobody walks into a Denny's, peruses the menu, scratches his chin, and finally proclaims, "Yeah, I think I'll go with the meat." Could they at least assure us they're using only cows and pigs? Or is that just too restrictive?

Why am I suddenly writing like a 1980's stand-up comedian?

-- Here's the movies I've seen during the past few weeks: Signs, Shallow Hal, My Favorite Year, The Filth and the Fury, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Minority Report, Citizen Cohn, The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleading Mom, City by the Sea, and Blood Work. A few of them were pretty good.

-- I've been listening to The Church all evening. Heyday is currently making the bunker a better place to be. That's some stellar Australian jangle pop, buckeroo. The band is one of my favorites, but I'll never forget the night in Atlanta when a club full of drunken hipsters nearly pulled their effeminate guitarist off a stage and introduced him to an ol' fashioned 360-degree Southern ass-whuppin'. Marty Willson-Piper is his name and he was playing a solo gig at a small bar there called The Point. He'd put out a couple of disappointing solo records that didn't rock in the least, but I thought his show might be something interesting to see. It was.

He came out acting all pompous and superior, wearing an expression like he'd just entered The Hall of Turds. I think he was wearing a goddamn blouse, not unlike Seinfeld's puffy shirt -- at least that's the way I remember it. And keep in mind, this was Atlanta... Atlanta, Georgia, on a Saturday night. Whenever he'd play one of his delicate little wafer-like songs he'd expect and demand complete silence. He'd hold up his ladylike hand and attempt to hush the hall. And when people just laughed at him and went on talking, shotgunning Bud Lites, and putting cigarettes out on each other, he began saying things like, "In more sophisticated parts of the world people can actually be bothered to listen to the music."

By the end of the "show" he was leaning back in a folding chair, absently tuning his guitar and looking at his watch. The audience was yelling obscenities and hurling plastic cups on the stage. He finally turned to someone offstage and said in a haughty accent, "How much more of this horrid contractual obligation will I be forced to endure?" That's when people tried to rush the stage and administer a little organic justice on his poofter ass. But, of course, the no-necks stepped in and it was all over before it started. It was great fun though. I wonder how he explained to the rest of the band why they could never play Atlanta again?

-- I hate to keep writing about these people, but how can I not? A few days ago Sunshine told Toney that everyone was out for a few hours, and when they returned to Nancy's house they found that the dog had been in the trash. She said used condoms and sanitary napkins were strewn all over the place. Any questions? A few jumped to my mind, right off. But what's the point in pursuing it anymore? Really?

-- Mark sent me a review he'd found of the latest issue of his magazine Crimewave USA, and the guy said my piece "smacks of amateurism." Here's something I probably shouldn't admit: it kinda bothers me. The article is not the greatest thing I've ever written, but I put some effort into it; I tried to make it presentable. I've been self-publishing since the '80's, so my stuff has been reviewed hundreds of times. I'm routinely called unfunny, sophomoric, vulgar, stupid, and a host of other things that roll right off my back. But when they take potshots at my writing, the way I string the shit jokes together -- the frickin' fundamentals -- it stings a bit. So if you're wanting to injure me, now you know the route to take. Years ago a woman, a fellow zinester whom I admire, sent a note informing me that my zine was "poorly written and not very funny." I'm not bragging, but I probably received a dozen long-forgotten notes that week telling me how hilarious I am, but I'll remember her exact quote forever. Poorly written... Words that confirm things I suspect are true, but try to pretend aren't. Hey, everybody has their areas of vulnerability, right? Hello? I think I wrote her back and called her a whore. What else was there to do, under the circumstances? Well, I may have had a few social drinks as well.

-- On a more upbeat note, nothing on my entire body is currently hurting. Whenever I'm in pain, suffering some uncomfortable rash or feeling something inside me rot away, I always curse myself for not appreciating the times when nothing is wrong. So, I'm happy to say, all is well at the present moment, and I'm appreciating it. I'm sitting here listening to The Church and appreciating a painless day on Earth.

-- And I'm getting a new cell phone tonight! Is there anything more exciting than electronic gadgetry? I submit that there is not. Now I can spend all weekend programming it, setting up my phone list, recording my voicemail message... I'm tingly all over just thinking about it. My old Nokia cock phone -- I read an article a few years ago that said the average size of the American erection is exactly the same as the phone I press to the side of my face every day!? -- has served me well, but it's time for it to go. I'm getting one of those sleek new Japanese erection models, and I couldn't be more excited.

See ya on Monday.

January 13, 2003

-- I don't want to seem paranoid, but I think some of my underwear is missing. Ever since Nancy and Nostrils left town I've barely been able to make it from Sunday to Sunday, our laundry day. In the past I've had an ample back-up supply, in case of emergency, but now I find myself just scraping by (so to speak). I haven't done a physical inventory, but I think I only have seven or eight pairs in rotation at the moment, when I recently had upwards of fifteen or twenty. What the hell?! What could've happened to them?? Obviously, I don't like living so close to the undergarment edge -- a man needs a safety net. Where the hell did they go?!

I was talking to Toney about this and she reminded me of something I'd forgotten. Years ago Nancy & Nostrils were visiting Sunshine & Mumbles in Reno, and Toney's mother caught Nostrils loading a stack of Mumbles' boxer shorts into his suitcase(?!!). When he was confronted with this, he acted like it was all just a big mistake; he thought they were his underwear. This didn't really hold water though, since anyone who's spent more than an hour with the freak has witnessed the stomach-churning spectacle of him strutting around in his tighty-whities. It's well-documented that Nostrils doesn't wear boxers -- they wouldn't be nearly dramatic enough. Plus there was the inconvenient fact that the load of britches had been taken from inside Mumbles' dresser.

So, what am I to believe here, that the man stole my draws?! I mean, what the fuck?? What in God's name would he do with them? Do I even want to know?! I can appreciate strange perversions as much as the next guy, but this is beyond the pale. I'm not exactly River Phoenix here, ya know? And Mumbles is like seventy years old! The whole thing conjures up so many questions and disturbing images, I'd rather just put it out of my mind; it's making me a little squeamish.

There's nothing left to do but to try to forget about it. I'll just go to Target later in the week and buy a dozen more ball-socks, and maybe a good fire safe to store them in. ...Dear God, how did I get to this point?

-- Speaking of perverts, it looks like Pete Townshend is in a bit of hot water. Apparently he's been downloading kiddie porn for, you know, research purposes. Interesting hobby. All those Who guys give me the creeps a little. With the possible exception of John Entwistle, they seem like people I'd steer clear of in real life. I appreciate Townshend's talent and everything, but he's a freak. And I don't mean that in a positive Lou Reed way either. He seems more like the Michael Keaton character in Pacific Heights to me. Have you read an interview with the man from the past twenty years or so? Fuh-reak. Here's an article about his little PR problem, and note that he says, in apparent defense of himself, "I've always been into pornography and I have used it all my life." Excellent.

-- Back to Nostrils for a second... Yesterday, after our emergency underwear meeting, Toney started making a verbal list of all the things she's noticed missing since he left town: Andy's Christmas ball with Santa heads on it, the little plastic scoop we use in our laundry detergent, a can of Pledge, and my raggedy old shorts... Now that's a pervert, folks. He and Pete should hang out, look at some pictures of Lily, and scoop each other to completion. Wait a minute, didn't Townshend have an album called Scoop?! Shit, it's all coming together!!

Am I jumping to too many conclusions here today?

-- An old Atlanta drinking buddy sent me an email late on Friday and asked if I could meet him in Philadelphia the next day for "something spontaneous and crazy." That sounded interesting, but when I began telling Toney about it she cut me off and yelled, "NO!" There have been ugly episodes involving me, this guy, and alcoholic beverages in the past, and I believe that's the source of her objection. Actually, I'm sure of it.

One night in particular stands out in the fog of those years. We were boozing it up in a bar called The Vortex and one thing led to another until finally we were inviting funky-ass drifters off the street to come in and play Monopoly with us, and drink on our tab. (I bet Saint Jimmy Carter has never done that!) For some reason the place had loads of board games available for use, and we eventually had one hell of a contest going with a pungent menagerie of urban outdoorsmen... and our girlfriends.

Boy, if looks could kill...

And to bring a perfect end to a perfect evening I puked on the way home, with my head hanging out the window of our moving car. Of course Toney was driving, and the wind blew my stomach contents all down the side of our Mazda, and almost certainly onto the windshields of other vehicles. When we got home I had a dried vomit shell on one half of my face; I looked like a low-rent Phantom of the Opera, and was out cold. The next morning I felt like a hatchet had been buried into the back of my skull, and I couldn't get my shit together for days. It was probably at least twelve hours before I could do basic math again.

So, in all fairness to Toney, it's not hard to understand why she exercised her veto power on Saturday. It's a lot safer watching Trading Spaces and eating sour cream 'n' onion chips, than "something spontaneous and crazy" in Philadelphia with a madman. "I'm sorry Jeff, did you say B&O Railroad? I think I smell a winner..." Ah, those were the days.

-- I recently sent out twenty identical letters (and self-addressed stamped envelopes) to people I admire and asked them to sign something -- anything -- as part of a "web-based social experiment." I explained that I'd be happy with a simple 8x10, but I'd like it even more if they signed some random scrap of paper from their real life. I'm thinking 3 Musketeers wrappers and pages from cable bills. Ya know? So, we'll see what kind of response I get. It could turn out to be really interesting, or go nowhere. Who knows? Here's who I bothered: Chuck Barris, Harry Crews, Larry David, Chris Elliott, Donald Fagen, Crispin Glover, Phil Hendrie, John Hughes, Mike Judge, Don Knotts, Mark Mothersbaugh, Randy Newman, Charles Portis, Lou Reed, Richard Russo, Soupy Sales, J.D. Salinger (wonder what he'll send?!), Hunter S. Thompson, John Waters, and Paul Westerberg. Stay tuned.

-- I watched the first hour or so of The People's Choice Awards last night, and then threw in the towel. The Joan Rivers pre-show abomination was entertaining as usual. Is she drunk all the time, or simply insane? She kept asking people how much money they make. I'm no expert on decorum, but isn't that generally frowned upon? Why do people even stop to talk to her? There's at least a 50/50 chance she's going to say something that makes everyone within ten yards want to dig a hole and crawl in. She's fuckin' great! The show itself started out on a promising note, with Tony Danza rapping and tap-dancing. Yes, that's correct, Tony Danza, rapping and tap-dancing. He came out as a character called Italian Ice and launched into five or ten minutes of the kind of jaw-dropping bizarreness that warms the cynical heart. Toney and I sat there silently watching the screen and I finally said, "Do you see what's happening before us? Is this sinking in?" Unfortunately, the show went into the shitter from there. It was one of the dullest things I've encountered since I stopped having to spend time in laundromats. Pitiful. I went upstairs and finished off another Jim Thompson book (The Getaway), and let loose a whispered string of obscenities in tribute to the weekend being over so soon.

And that's it. See ya on Thursday.

January 10, 2003

Damn, now that everyone's gone I don't have anything to write about... The material has been served up to me on a silver platter for so long I’m afraid I grew accustomed to it. As much as it pains me to admit it, I've become fat and comedically complacent. Like the spoiled kid of a pie maker I've started taking the pie for granted. I wonder if I can ever get back to the way it was? God, we were all so much younger then! I wonder if I have enough heart left to work for pie anymore? Friends, I'm standing at the crossroads...

-- Yeah right. It's great to have the house back to ourselves, after nearly a month of unfathomable aggravation.

A month! What sane person drops in for a month-long visit? I feel terrible if a stranger has to wait for me to get finished using the ATM; I can't imagine subjecting people I supposedly like to thirty days of me just hanging around their house. When my parents come to town they sit in our living room for a day and a half, all fidgety and uncomfortable, then tear ass out of here like Starsky and Hutch. I think they've actually left skidmarks on our driveway a few times. But Toney's family is the exact opposite. When they arrive you know it's something you're just going to have endure, like puberty.

So it was nice to slip into my gigantic Old Navy "sleeping pants" Wednesday night, prepare a big bowl of Rice Krispies and nanners, and watch Ed in peace. We didn't have to hear: "Those people are supposed to be in high school?! Please!" and "Look at that skinny bitch! She probably makes herself puke day and night!" It was quiet and calm around the Compound, and all was right with the world again; we were free to watch idiotic network television in solitude, just the way God intended.

-- A couple of months ago the index finger on my left hand started twitching, and it lasted a couple of days. I could lay my hand on a table and watch the rebellious digit jump around all by itself. It concerned me a little, but not that much. My body does all kinds of freaky stuff. I generally just sit back and enjoy the show. But now the twitch has returned. I'm sure it's nothing, but isn't this the way it started for Michael J. Fox? Could it be the first signs of Parkinson's or something?! Shit. Remember Muhammad Ali nearly setting himself afire at the Olympics, whipping that torch around like he was bringing in a DC10?? Man. I really need to bite the bullet, and go in for a physical soon.

I haven't seen a doctor since I contracted a horrible life-sapping disease -- bronchitis -- in California, and he gave me a hard time about the wax in my ears. I was on my deathbed, could barely remain upright on the examining table, and he wanted to talk at length about the cleanliness of my inner ears! Doctors scare me, on many levels...

And now that I'm forty I've probably entered the rectum-probing years, right? Is that forty or fifty? I don't know, but the thought of having something plunged into my ass is a significant deterrent. Call me crazy, but the idea of picking up a telephone and asking a person on the other side of town to please set aside a little time in their busy schedule saving lives so that I can drive over there and allow a member of their staff to put a finger into my butthole seems a tad foreign.

Plus, who knows what might happen? When you suddenly change a street that's been one-way forever, to two-way, tragic results are likely to occur. “Nurse, quick! The pan! Get the pan!!” And wouldn’t it be ironic if I visited a doctor about my index finger, and ended up becoming intimately acquainted with his index finger? Now that's irony, Alanis! Then he’d probably pull it out, causing a sound like the opening of a champagne bottle, and tell me I have too much wax in my ears…

Anyway (focus Jeff, focus!), did I mention that my finger’s twitching?

-- On a related note, there is NO good news for me in this article. None. Usually there's some tiny thread to cling to, but I came up completely empty this time.

-- Out of sheer boredom I perused the list of this year's Grammy nominees at work the other day, and I have no idea who eighty percent of them are. This scares the salt water out of me. When the Grammys get too hip for ya, brother, you’ve got problems. Ashanti? Michelle Branch? Norah Jones? Who are these people? It’s like scanning the roster of the 1954 graduating class of Little Rock High School, or something. The names mean nothing to me. (I am quickly becoming my father - without the tools and integrity.) Like, who is this Nickleback? Is it a person? A band? It sounds like an affliction that might appear on the Wal-Mart Game: “Timmy, don’t stare at that poor woman! She can’t help that she was born with a nickleback.” I know Springsteen and Elvis Costello, and I’ve seen pictures of Eminem, but that’s about where my knowledge ends. Whatever happened to real music, like Hall & Oates and Jefferson Starship? Isn't Kenny Loggins making records anymore?! 

-- Hey, I remember this stuff from when I was a kid! Wonder why they don’t sell it anymore? It’s dietary, after all.

-- When are they going to start releasing the Green Acres episodes on DVD? That's one of the best shows ever, and it's never on anywhere. Can somebody make a few phone calls on that, please?

-- I recently saw a person drinking steaming hot coffee at Taco Bell. Can you imagine, coffee and pseudo-Mexican food? Nasty. It’s almost as bad as Toney’s brother, who drinks a goddamn tumbler of milk with every meal. Milk and spaghetti, milk and burritos, milk and frickin' oysters… There oughta be a law.

-- The guy beside me at work has recently started listening to ESPN radio through his piss-ant laptop speakers, all day every day, and at a shockingly inappropriate volume. The tinny buzzing sound reminds me of the gnats that fly into my ears during the summer (probably the wax), and there’s nothing worse than sports talk radio, in this world or the last. It’s just non-stop loud and boisterous assholes with New Jersey accents hollering over each other about bullshit that doesn’t matter. …Yeah, I think that pretty much sums it up. I believe I’d rather listen to the whisperin’ pussies over at NPR, with their string quartets and compassion, than the guys who used to terrorize me in school, all growed up. As far as I’m concerned it’s a lethal dose of the devil’s cocktail, that shit coming through those speakers, so near my head. And I think he may very well be doing it on purpose! Truthfully, I haven’t been very nice to him.

-- I was passing through the cafeteria at work today and there was a woman sitting at a table alone, eating the fuck out of some corn on the cob. She was gnawing on one ear, and three or four more were on-deck in front of her. I thought that was a bit odd. What did she do, boil a peck of crops before work, and load up her backpack? Bizarre.

But, of course, I think I've mentioned the time we were at Disneyland and Toney’s mother was lugging around a backpack full of fried chicken. Yep, she wore a large leather satchel of KFC on her back all day in the Magic Kingdom, determined not to line the pockets of "the Jews"(?!) by buying park food.

By the time she’d lugged around her bag of disease in the heat all day, and had taken it 20,000 leagues under the sea and shit, the skin was sliding off our proposed lunch, and it was beginning to develop a rainbow sheen. She offered me some, but there was no way. I've never had a problem with the Jews... and their pepperoni pizza.

-- Somebody sent me this yesterday. I have absolutely no idea what it’s about, but I find it pleasingly creepy.

-- Finally, I linked to this before, but it’s worth another look. This a forum for nurses and they’re discussing the things that gross them out the most. It’s one of the greatest things ever, and there are loads of new entries to enjoy. So, enjoy.

And thus ends another broadcasting day. Have a great weekend folks. On Monday I may tell you about a new long-term project I'm cooking up for the site. I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, so I'm a little hesitant to write about it, but I think it'll generate at least a little fun. Until then... this is Jeff Kay reporting from Scranton. Back to you, Bryant.

January 7, 2003

I think today's the day. I don't want to get myself all worked up, but I believe that by the time I get home from work tonight we'll have our house back. The last of our winter holiday (ACLU-approved terminology) visitors are supposed to leave today, weather permitting. I sprinted to my computer this morning and typed the letters into my browser with shaking hands, and it looks all clear! Thank you God. I don't see anything that could stop Sunshine & Mumbles from packing up their Caravan of Bitterness and heading south. Well, nothing weather-related, anyway. There's always a significant chance that Sunshine will decide she just doesn't feel like traveling today. All it would take is for her to spill a little coffee on her shirt, or to sneeze a couple of times, and everything could be scrapped. It's a very fragile process, like the launching of the space shuttle. Any number of things can go wrong, and we'll all be walking on egg shells (is that phrase still acceptable?) until lift off.

I don't have much time to write today. I hit the snooze button somewhere in the neighborhood of 42 times this morning. I have it down to a science by now. I whip my right arm over my body, while tilting slightly to the left, and somehow know the exact vectors and degrees to attribute to the trajectory of my swinging extremity, so that my index finger lands directly on the button that will put an end to the incessant grinding noise. I never miss; it's physics in action. No more than two seconds of grinding is ever allowed to escape before I end it. It's a thing of beauty. I should have Toney film it sometime.

Anyway, there hasn't been much sleep the past couple of nights, because everyone is coughing. It sounds like a tuberculosis sanitarium around here. Toney's coughing, I'm coughing, we're all coughing. It's like trying to catch a nap in the seal house at the San Diego Zoo. They're gonna have to wheel in a fleet of iron lungs if things don't get better soon. It sucks. I think we're all in the early stages of pneumonia, and it just might have something to do with the fact that it's always like two degrees in our house. I practically have to keep an ice scraper by the bathroom sink, to clear off the mirror before I shave every morning. Toney's obsessed with keeping the heating bill down, and Sunshine is always having hot flashes and throwing open windows and shit. Sometimes she flings open the door and practically hurls herself into a snow bank. This is my life.

So now that I've used half the update to tell you why the update will be brief, let's get started...

-- There are some classic commercials running on TV now, and I wish I had a way to record them to DVD.

Have you seen the one for a new Paul McCartney live album where a guy with a gray beard is shown sobbing during "Hey Jude"? I love it. He has his eyes clinched shut and his chin is quivering, as everyone around him sways back and forth with torches or something. The guy probably had a few too many adult beverages that night, and got all caught up in things -- to the point where he's fucking crying! -- and now it's being shown dozens of times per day on worldwide television. I like the thought of that, that the man is now mortified like when George Castanza ate the ice cream sundae at a tennis match and was shown on live TV with it all over his face, but you know ol' Gray Beard had to sign off on it. I don't think they could use his image without his consent, right? Which, of course, means he approves of it, and that's even more amazing! I bet he's proud of himself, that he blubbered like a schoolgirl in public. I bet he thinks he's showing everyone that he feels a little more deeply than the rest of us. I feel that he's a jackass. Before Oprah this would've never happened. At least not until "Ebony and Ivory." That one gets me every time.

And I also like the commercials, because the acting is so bad. I think they just use people from their offices to play all the parts. I could do a better job. My favorite is the one where the couple is on their honeymoon and the bride rushes into their room (still wearing her wedding dress!) and calls her mother(!?!), as the groom (sporting a full set of chipped teeth) brags to the bellhop how little he really paid for everything. Already he's lying to the chick! And maybe it's just my imagination, but it looks to me that there are sparks flying between the groom and the bellhop. I get the feeling he'd like to introduce him into the proceedings later that night. "Hello Mom? Me again. Can you have Dad come and get me?! Oh Mom, Craig is blowing the hotel staff!"

-- I've been told, by several readers, that this site is now being blocked by computers at their jobs. I don't like that. Somebody also told me that an outfit called websense is probably the culprit. Apparently they're the most popular filtering program used by corporations, or something. Here's a note I sent them last night:

Hello, I maintain a personal website called The West Virginia Surf Report (, and some of my readers have told me that you're blocking me at their jobs. Why?! What is the criteria? If a person can't sit at their desk and read serious literature, then what's this world coming to? Seriously, I don't think Thomas Jefferson would approve of what you're doing. According to Mr. J we're all created equal: me, Matt Drudge, those wife-swappers over at eBay, and the people who show you how to diaper a monkey. Are you blocking ALL of these websites? And if not, could you explain to me why? I mean, who are you to judge?! This really upsets me, especially since there's no reason for it. You're fucking me! C'mon. You like fun just as much as the next guy, right? I get the feeling you're a cool guy, and don't mind sticking it to The Man every once in a while. Maybe you could go in, after business hours, and lift that nasty little moratorium? What do you say? Nobody will know, and I might even be able to slide you a free hat or something. Please let me know your decision, as soon as possible. This situation has me all balled up inside. Thanks man, Jeff

That should rectify the situation.

-- Last year I got a sack of freebie promo shit from my job, as a half-assed Christmas gift. It was keychains, frisbees, t-shirts (sized Medium!?), ice scrapers, etc. etc. This year they gave me a portable DVD player!! I don't know what to think about it, but I suspect they're getting ready to fire me. I have no evidence of this, and business is great, but there has to be an ulterior motive. Ya know? Anyway, when I got the thing I thought it was cool, but I wondered when I'd ever use it. I don't travel much, and I have a player at home already. When would I feel the need to watch a movie on a five-inch screen? But I'm telling ya, that thing has been a life saver during the past month or so. I can slip on the headphones and escape the craziness; I can watch a movie in the shitter or inside a closet. It's awesome! I've watched more movies over the past few weeks than Ebert and Roeper combined. It was the greatest Christmas gift I've ever received. I'm sorry, I'm getting a little emotional...

-- I ripped through the Chuck Barris autobiography, and I highly recommend it. It was originally published in 1982, and has just been reissued to coincide with the release of the movie. I remember seeing the hardcover at the bookstore where I worked in Atlanta, and thinking, "Who in the harelipped hell would ever want to read that? The autobiography of Chuck Barris?! Hahahahaha!!!" Now here I am in 2003 mildly obsessed with the guy, and savoring every word of his book as if it were the Dead Sea Scrolls. That guy has led a hell of a life, and is still fucking with people to this day. He continues to maintain that he was an undercover CIA hit man while hosting The Gong Show. A few people believe him, and a whole lot more have nagging doubts in the back of their minds. He's been added to my long list of heroes, and I'm sorry I ever doubted him.

That's all for today. See ya later.

January 3, 2003

-- Fourteen to twenty inches of additional snow is supposedly on the way. They've closed all the schools, so I guess they're pretty sure of it. I like snow and everything, but a little breather between storms would be nice. About six inches from Christmas day is still on the ground, and it's turned all dirty and gray. We haven't seen the sun for days, and Toney's starting to bitch about it. This worries me the most, because when that train starts a-rolling it's nearly impossible to stop.

The first winter we were here, fresh out of southern California, I seriously didn't know what was going to happen. Toney was so unhappy I felt like she was capable of anything. I thought she might pack her bags and leave, fling herself in front of a bus, or maybe even start watching Oprah. It was scary. And I can see her edging in that direction again this year.

I'm to the point where predictions of snow are frightening, not for the danger and aggravation it could bring, but for the reaction it might touch off in my wife's brain. I obsess about stuff, but she's the Elvis of obsession. Eventually I expect her to erect a tacky mansion on the edge of town, in monument to her obsessions, and begin sporting the Sparkly Cape of Fixation.

And it doesn't help that her mother's here. She's a bitter, mean-spirited woman who can cast a gloom over everything in her path, and influences Toney's opinions. But I try not to mention this to Toney. She always gets pissed and begins yelling: "You think I'm not capable of forming my own opinions?! Do you think I'm so weak-minded I can't think on my own?!!"

I'm very scared of the snow.

-- Speaking of snow, Toney and I actually did a little sledding a few days ago. We saw all the kids doing it and got caught up in the excitement. It went OK until I completely blew the crotch out of my jeans. I guess I moved in just the right way and my pants exploded off my ass. I'm not talking about a little rip. Here's a picture. Luckily I was wearing a long coat, so the kids couldn't see the wall of underwear that had suddenly erupted in their midst. I walked home with my knees clinched together, and could still feel the wind whistling off my shaft. Of course, Toney was buckled over in laughter. Life is so much easier when you just sit around on couches all the time.

-- I was eating Kellogg's Frosted Flakes the other night (I only have cereal at night) and noticed something on the box that made me laugh. In big letters it says FROSTED FLAKES, then in tiny type it says "of corn." I guess they needed to make it clear that it wasn't frosted flakes of mucus or asbestos or something. I bet it was added by the legal department at Kellogg's, because they know people will believe anything. Remember the rumors about KFC? They supposedly had to stop using the word "chicken" in their name because the government didn't recognize the mutated beakless, featherless chicken-like globs they raise on their ranches as actual farm animals? I know people who actually believe that story. Indeed, I know people who want to believe those types of stories, and seek them out. I can hear them now: "You know that cereal Frosted Flakes? Ever notice how they never tell you what they're made of? Flakes of what?! That's because it's Kellogg's trash! Yeah, they don't want to pay for trash removal at their offices, so they chop it all up, bake it, cover it in sugar, and sell it to kids! It's true, man. I have an uncle that used to work there, and he said that if you look at the flakes close enough, you can sometimes tell that it's just a piece of a Frito's bag." You think I'm exaggerating?

-- Toney's mother went on a tirade last night about Banana Nostrils and how he's supposedly an expert on The Rolling Stones. Sunshine doesn't like people claiming to know about things from the sixties, because that was her time. She was there, man, at the peace marches and the love-ins, and it irritates her when younger people have knowledge of the era. Don't even think about describing someone as a hippie in her presence. She'll go off. She was one of the original hippies, and these people today are just pathetic imitators. Anyway, she was yelling about how Nostrils was four years old when the Stones first came to America, therefore he couldn't know anything about them(?!?). Then she added that she remembered seeing them on their first television appearance, and how freaky Mick Jagger and Keith Richardson seemed to her, and her friends. That's what she kept saying: Keith Richardson. I just nodded and agreed with her.

-- I kept seeing on the news how disappointing retail sales were this holiday season: doom and gloom everywhere, boo fuckin' hoo. But if you listened close enough you'd learn that revenues were actually up! Wal-Mart, for instance, had predicted a three to five percent increase in sales this year, as compared to last. But they were only up something like two percent. That's an increase!! The news media reports it as disappointing, off by three percent. Why spin the story into something negative? I don't get it. I'm no financial expert, but I don't think things are quite as bad as some people apparently want us to believe. And another thing... they keep saying that sales were down because of possible war in Iraq. Give me a break. I was born at night, but not last night, baby. I can't imagine anyone saying, "I'd really like to buy Aunt Erma a George Foreman Grill-On-A-Slant, but there's just so much uncertainty in the mid-east." That shit never happened. Not once. There's obviously some other agenda in place here. Christ, I sound like the Frito's bag guy now...

-- I updated the list of search engine phrases people have used to find this site, if you're interested. As I was perusing the massive list of fucked-upness yesterday it occurred to me that if you have a website, and want more traffic, all you have to do is mention the Olsen Twins every once in a while. I only included a few of them on my list, because I don't want to repeat myself, but every day in my stats I see phrases like "olsen twins panties," "olsen twins nude," "olsen twins strap-on," and "olsen twins shaving each other down." It goes on and on, and the perverted creativity boggles my mind. We're very near the end of civilization.

-- I watched The Royal Tenenbaums the other night, and it was brilliant. After it was over I was excited for a few minutes, then realized that the two guys who made it are younger than me. Then I came crashing down, again. Earlier in the week I was at Borders and saw new books by aging zinesters Jim Goad and Aaron Cometbus. I'm an aging zinester, but I don't have any books on the shelves of the Scranton Borders store. I'm not even close. I just turned forty, I'm so fat pants will no longer function on my ass in the manner in which they were designed, and I sit around and pick apart CNN news reports and cereal boxes as a hobby. I've become an American trainspotter, or something. So, one of my new year's resolutions is to work harder. Truthfully, I feel like I work pretty damn hard as it is, but my to-do list still haunts me in my sleep. And by the looks of all the Burger King bags behind the driver's seat in my truck, I better institute a few more resolutions as well. Goddamn.

Have a great weekend folks. I probably won't update again until Tuesday, but I'll be here taking notes.

See ya soon.

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