Sunday, June 27, 2004

Travelling Through the Neo-wilderness

(written April 25th, 2002)

From the earliest Neolithic cross-continent pilgrimages to the extended frontier travels of Lewis & Clark man has developed this finely tuned, instinctive, and irrepressible nature to roam. Whether it be part of a desperate midnight flight from marauding bloodthirsty enemy barbarians at the border, a soul-searching, spirit-enhancing caravan through the nations cultural heartland, or a mere trip down the road to the village General Store in search of smoked jerky and a 6-pack, we will always have this desire to pack up our shit, or portions of it, and lug it for great distances across land or sea or foam, all for the sake of this desirable notion of the “Journey”.

Man is no more meant to gravitate to the couch with packages of Ding-Dong’s to stare mindlessly at Julia Roberts movie marathons in a ‘Clockwork Orange-style’ socio-experiment on the weekend, than he was meant to ever receive total “Customer Satisfaction” at Walmart. It’s inevitable that sooner or later you are bound to sink into that usual dull grind of routine, and experience that yearning for the freedoms of the road, like the satisfaction of counting the added miles on your odometer, the insistent craving for roadside burgers and greasy onion rings, and the absolute thirst for the flavor of stale Hazelnut coffee in Styrofoam containers. It’s the perfect opportunity to shed your daily responsibilities and your ordinary perceptions of the norm, and hurl yourself headfirst into the realm of blurred passing country-sides and over-priced salted snacks. The Journey offers one a sense of random chance and endless possibilities, as well as a brief glance into the heart of organized chaos. It also serves to allow you to blow off much needed steam and anxiety, as well as quell that burning desire to get drunk in a strange land and make a complete ass out of yourself in front of complete strangers. And, we all know how important that is!

Once again, I have been fortunate enough to embark on another of these journeys into the unknown ‘Neo-Wilderness’. However, unlike similar trips in the past, this journey enabled me to more comfortably sit back and observe the whole experience, unburdened this time by such minor trivialities as steering and navigating. It was decided by fate that the first initial leg of my journey would be by rail to Vermont, and then I would be left at the mercy of my host’s very capable driving abilities. And I tell you now, there is NOTHING as exhilarating as taking tight moonlit mountain corners after a bowl of local swag at 70mph, like some form of futuristic Mad Max Bobsled on wheels. I was half expecting to see customized tanks and other fortified machines of destruction, all with the local yokels in hockey masks and fur loincloths leaning out the windows while wielding chains and crossbows to appear behind us and attempt to force off the road. But alas, it was meant to be and I would survive to tell the tale. At the very least, the whole experience of the journey, outside the actual train ride itself, was rather akin to tearing through the ‘It’s A Small World’ attraction at Walt Disney on an outboard Skidoo. Except, there is no hour line-up in the blistering 90 degree heat, and you can preset your journey soundtrack to the tune of Buddy Guy rather than that monotonous repetitive sucky-sweet singsong that eats away at your brain like a lingering tumor..."it's a small world afterall, it's a small world afterall..."

But, first things first ~ the train ride. I was rather excited to begin my journey off with this mode of transportation, as I had always anticipated traveling through the American landscape away from the paved blacktops and the hypnotizing ‘Symphony of Tail-lights’ ahead of you. I had previously envisioned an enlightening glimpse into the rugged hub of the country’s great cross-culture. I had been hoping to witness cowboys on horseback jumping aboard in a daring train robbery attempt, take potshots at grazing Buffalo herds from the window, or hear the whoops from an Indian war party as they rode down on us from the above hilltops. At the very least, I had hoped to participate in a lively poker game with shifty characters dressed in ruffled lace cuffs and visors, and with such first names as ‘Dallas’, ‘Spats’ or ‘Vegas Vinnie’.

In actuality, it was nothing more than the whooshing through the backyards of middle class America, to a blurred landscape of rusted oil drums, discarded shopping carts, and weathered nudie magazines that have fanned out like some exotic bird of porn, nesting in the scrub growth by the side of the tracks. There were however, brief moments of exhilaration when I had thought I had spotted my long lost ‘Big Wheel’ tricycle with the racing stripes and ‘Wipeout Whammy-Bar’ that was mysteriously swiped from my school’s bike rack in Grade 2. Also, there was not the collection of rugged adventurers aboard that I had initially imagined. Instead, I was seated among the rather gregarious juvenile participants of this year’s FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), who would feel the necessity to explain in great detail for the rest of the journey, about their prize winning ‘Raid5’ (whatever the fuck that is) web design for a future flower shop. I was particularly pleased not so much in the entrepreneurial efforts of my young traveling companions, but for their obvious gay-zeal and outright concern for the rough and tumble business future for flower shop owners everywhere.

Likewise, even the old stereotype of the jolly uniformed train porter who welcomes you aboard, checks your ticket, lights you a cigar, and makes sure you are as comfortable in your seat as possible is a myth. Apart from the grumpy attendant who tries to pathetically weasel tips for merely heating up your elaborately priced, pre-packaged roast beef sandwich in the nuker in the onboard closet of a dining car, there is NOTHING on this earth as humourless as an Amtrak employee on the morning commuter train. But, providing you are mindful of your P&Q’s, and DO NOT make direct eye contact with the porter while inquiring about your destination arrival time (which will be about as correct as genocide), you should be able to successfully avoid the wrath as your porter swipes your ticket, sneers, and scrawls illegible symbols above your head, as if you were being marked for extermination. All in all, the best part of the train journey is the disembarking part. Well that, and the Oatmeal Raison cookie for $2.75, that will later serve to flush out all the other cellophaned toxins in your system that you may have absorbed on the journey thus far.

Now, I don’t mean to indicate that these experiences should suggest that the journey itself was a loss, or a disappointment. In fact, these realizations and observations made the journey more enjoyable, more eventful, and even more meaningful. It would be naïve to believe that the world is without error and that the trip will always be smooth and direct. The truth is, that they very seldom are. But aren’t these the very events and instances that provide you the complete and utter alienation from the routine you so strongly wished to escape from in the first place? If the journey was to go as perfectly as originally planned, would you have stumbled across the amazing cuisine at the ‘Skunk Hollow Tavern’, end up singing late night bonfire guitar ditties entitled “Silly Bitch” to the tune of “Earth Angel”, or found yourself pleasantly lost on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the remote crossroad intersection of ‘Possum Drive’ and ‘Potato Road’? Almost certainly not, but these memories will be the ones that will last with you forever, and be the ones that you will later relate to your buddies around the office cubicle at lunchtime. Perhaps it is not the destination at all, but the actual journey in itself that is the REAL mental stimulus behind mans instinctive roaming tendencies. And during these ‘Trials of Miles’, it is in the getting lost and the loss of the initial preconceived notions of the journey in itself that serves as the real lessons in life, and that provide the greatest release of pent-up stress from sedentary living. And wasn’t that exactly what the doctor ordered in the first place? Oh, and about that bit about getting drunk in a strange land in front of complete strangers...well, mission accomplished there too!

Surfing Into the Great Unknown

It’s no secret by now that I am obsessed with the television...but then again, arn't we all? Maybe it’s the warm comfortable glow from the Idiot Box late at night, or maybe it’s a weird fascination with feminine hygiene commercials. I mean, anything that makes remote mention of mysterious ‘wings’, or has ‘four-wall protection’ is bound to get my attention. Never mind the philosophical conundrum of the ’Thin Maxi’ alone (what the Hell DOES that mean anyways?!) Quite possibly, it’s the odd chance that I have actually unconsciously absorbed and stored this plethora of useless information, and my brain has swelled to the size of a ripe honeydew melon.

Yes, you could say I have recently developed a rare strong emotional bond with my sweet ‘Tele-Tubie’. Lately it teaches, it preaches, it takes me away to sandy beaches. I can watch teams of middle-aged men in colored jumpsuits build B-52’s out of a bathtub, coat hangers and spit, on The Learning Channel. I can watch little kids and their fathers maneuver killer robots like ‘Killertron’, ‘Spikeasaurus’ and ‘Kronic the Wedgehog’ in a fierce mechanical Kumite battle to the finish inside an arena hazarded with explosives, circular saws, pick-axes, and other larger killer robots, on the Discovery channel. Or, I can watch grown men in sparkly tights and roller-skates, as the ‘Bay City Bombers’ take on the ‘L.A.T-Birds’ in an ‘Alligator Death Match’ as part of ‘Roller Jam’ on the Nashville Network. Once you take away those evil ‘Infomercials’, you’re not left with much educational or entertaining material with which to plan your evenings viewing pleasures, are you? I’d just as rather turn off the T.V. and surf for vintage ‘Norwegian Penguin Porn’ on the web instead.

The trends of popular television culture are constantly and forever changing, but they have always managed to maintain a certain familiarity with its viewing audience. In this way, television can be used to accurately gauge and depict the average interests and intelligence levels of the ordinary tuned in couch potato, like myself ~ ‘Cheetos Slobicus Maximus’. I have seen the future indeed, and it is not bright and you can leave your sunglasses at home. In fact, you can pluck out your eyes now, learn to read brail, and save yourself the whole miserable experience altogether. I used to know what Willis was "talkin’ bout", but now I can barely figure out why people love Raymond when he’s obviously such a doofus? It's true, not EVERYBODY loves Raymond. In fact, 'Terry HATES Raymond' would be a much more suited sitcom.

It’s a completely new generation of lowbrow masochistic viewers out there, and I for one, haven’t got a freakin’ clue anymore. No longer will the mere mention of teenage masturbation on the previous evening’s episode of ‘Married With Children’ be the focus of many fervent discussions around the vending machine at lunch break in school. And who can forget the many pleasurable evenings spent indoors getting pissed playing drinking games to ‘The Cosby Show’ (one shot for every time ‘ol Bill moans, groans, goo-goo ga-ga’s, or makes any other undistinguishable utterances, and a double every time he goes all bug-eyed and says: “WHAT?!” ).

Then came University, and the regular magical tripping of the light fandango into the early morning hours in front of such classic reruns as ‘Hammy Hamster’, ‘Baywatch’, and ‘Speed Racer’. Real think-tanks of popular culture to be sure! And of course, who can forget the shockingly perverse addiction America experienced with Jerry Springer and his loyal legions of loonies, wack-jobs, and fat lesbian midget hookers...and those were just the audience members! They were the ‘Wonder Years’ indeed!

It is my theory, that recent events in our past have changed the viewing attitudes and interests of today’s ordinary television viewer. Post September 11th viewing audiences seem more inclined to tune in only to merely veg out mindlessly and stare complacently at the ‘Boob-Tube’. Where once the mighty television was used to expand minds and provide quality and educational programming for the viewing masses, it is now used to lure oneself into a hypnotic state of comatose to escape from the drudgery in our own lives ~ most recently, by turning our attentions to the drudgery of other peoples lives. How else can you explain the unpredictable twist in programming trends towards “Reality-style” television and away from the successful mainstream family orientated formula? Not that being turned loose on a desert island paradise with a dozen single bikini-clad beauties, and an open license to boink, bop, jump, hump, and rut freely with anything that walks, crawls, or skinny-dips, like a three-peckered billy goat at the State Fair isn’t interesting, but what does it have to offer intellectually?

Is it possible that the general viewing audiences have become tired of the continuous fire and brimstone apocalyptic landscapes that have become all too regular on today’s mainstream television broadcasts? I know I personally, would rather play naked Marco Polo with Michael Jackson and Bubbles then be subjected to another ‘War on Terrorism’ campaign ad. Even if you tried to limit your television experience to the educational channels, they too are now more geared towards existing in this new untamed environment. ‘Secrets of Forensic Sciences’, ‘On the Trail of Nuclear Meltdown’, and ‘Inside Jenna ~ A Day In the Life of a Teen Porn Queen’ do little to comfort me to the fact that it’s a Brave New World, and that the entire human race, as well as the Nielson ratings, are poised ready at the nozzle end of a huge shit-sucking vacuum, ready to swan dive in with all guns a blazin’ and a mighty “Carpe-Fuckin’-Diem!” At least on computer message-boards, the whole diplomacy of ‘good vs. evil’ is eventually reduced to whoever can “jam the phattest”.

I am constantly amazed with the current trend of educational reality television like 'Orange County Choppers' which documents the designing and constructing of customized motorcycles in a family garage. Now, I don't know an exhaust pipe from my asshole, but somehow watching a team of specialized grease-monkeys work over an engine sparks that dominant male gene inside me that needs to be nurtured beyond the regular impulses to scratch my scrotum with a salad fork, belch out the alphabet and air guitar to Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven'...windmilling so viciously that the cat goes into hiding. I feel like a testicular giant! I wouldn't get this same dose of male machismo had I been watching an educational broadcast of ordinary low-skilled schlups working in a Hostess bakery making Twinkies or Ding-Dong's, would I? We NEED this particular kind of broadcast programming so that we can live vicariously through other more noble and rewarding professions other than the ones that we are normally slaving at.

What has our society evolved into when we have to watch television programs about people doing completely different jobs in order to achieve the same work satisfaction that we are currently lacking at our own places of employ? But this kind of broadcast irony has become commonplace in today's society. We watch the 'Iron Chef' whip up 'Pigs Testicles au Gratin' in lieu of the prepared Kraft Macaroni and weiners we have made for dinner each night for the past month. We watch dating games with midgets on 'The Littlest Bachelor' to compensate for the fact that we can't find ourselves a date on most Friday nights and stay home instead to wack off to porno. We watch gay men giving complete personal style makeovers to make up for the fact that we haven't changed out of the same pair of skidmarked boxers we've been wearing for the past two weeks and currently have a leaning tower of Pisa worth of dirty dishes in the sink. We watch home renovation programs to counter the fact that we live in squalor in an old cardboard refridgerator down at the railyard. We watch gardening programs to validate the hydroponic marijuana plantation we have growing in our closets since University. We watch personal fitness and exorcize programs while we make ourselves crapulent and allow our bodies to go all 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape?' It's cultural mayhem!

Luckily, with this developing trend in television broadcasting realism we will never have to actually own up to being a valuable functioning responsible member of our communities. We can just continue to live vicariously through our television sets like hothouse flowers on a window sill never having to actually interact directly with our surrounding environment.

Perhaps, today’s popular television is reflecting this lost faith in broadcasting excellence. You have to wonder about the state of the universe when the only alternative on T.V. to the Closing Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics is the ‘Gutton Bowl: The World’s Greatest Eating Championship’. I am embarrassed to admit that I was not only lured into, but was sickly enthralled with this grotesque spectacle. NEVER should a mentally and emotionally stable person EVER be subjected to watching teams of grossly overweight slobs sweat and slurp their way through bowls of mayonnaise and plates of pickled quail eggs! Not only was I shocked and appalled, I was perversely mesmerized...kinda like staring at Richard Speck’s man-breasts! I sat there on the edge of my seat as they dumped shit loads of the mystery consumable in front of the porky participants from the ceiling of the arena, for no other purpose other than to show their obvious disrespect for the waste of good ‘ol wholesome cholesterol. But there I sat ~ entranced.

So maybe I’m not a good example. But, if this is TRUELY the case and we as an artistic and cultural society have in fact regressed back to this form of Neanderthal entertainment, why stop here? Shit, let’s go all out! I suggest that in retaliation to the recent immergence of the numerous televised award ceremonies like the ‘Trumpet Awards’, the ‘Spirit Awards’, and the ‘FOX Teen Choice Awards’, lets have a broadcast that exemplifies this world of realism that we have embraced. Let’s host the ‘Ivory Awards’ to honor the outstanding personalities in the successful white elitist communities worldwide (which could be held at the beautiful Sun City Resort in south Africa), or the ‘Hook Awards’ for the often forgotten disabled but deadly members of Hollywood (which could be hosted by Edward Scissorhands).

Let’s create even more worthless viewing for even greater reaches of our society by airing the ‘Bed Pan Lawn Bowling Championships’ on the ‘Seniors Life’ Channel, cock fighting on the SPIC Channel, vintage 70’s porno on the WOP channel, and 24 Hour ‘Musical Marathons’ on the HOMO Network.

Of course, there is always the train of thought that suggests that it is not necessary to subscribe to these television formulas for lifestyle at all. That one only merely needs to condition oneself to actually turn off the television and to tune into the world around them instead to live a better and richer life. This not only will this teach you to rely on your instincts and trust in your intuitions and intelligence, but better serve to culture yourself through the absorbing of unbiased and enlightened literature and by developing a healthy
interest in the arts. This is all well and good, but what am I supposed to do about my Pamela Anderson fetish in the meantime? It’s not like she’s gonna leap off the set of ‘Baywatch’ and travel from the T.V. realm to bring those sweet bikini-clad cans to me, now is she? No, I DON’T think so.

Infomerical Hell

Remember way back, when great lengths were taken to discretely censor and protect adult related material from young impressionable eyes? C’mon, I’m sure everybody remembers as a child, straining up on their tippy-toes to sneak a peek at the mysteries of forbidden flesh with those black XXX stickers slapped on the cellophane wrappers that would be fanned out on the forbidden top-shelf of the magazine stand at 'Habib's Grocery & Malt Liquor' corner store like a bright tapestry of gravity defying perversions ~ a virtual adults ‘Peacock’s Plumage of Porno’ if you will. I’m surprised that most of us didn’t go cross-eyed after hours of straining our eyes secretly upwards while pretending to browse the latest 'Archie' comic. Now, you can just as easily pick up the latest edition of ‘Swedish Ass Bandits’, as you can the newest weekly 'T.V. Guide'.

Legitimate and credible publications such as 'Time', 'National Geographic' and 'News World' now share the same shelf space as other informative periodicals such as ‘Swinging Seniors’ and ‘One Bitch, Two Bitch, Red Bitch, Blue Bitch’. As a matter of fact, these once regarded taboos of society are more or less promoted and flaunted openly and without discretion nowadays, and we are not as quick these days to censor these issues and images from the innocence of youth as we once were. Minors today can turn on the 'E' Channel’s ‘Wild On’ series of travel getaway adventures with adult film stars, and follow along to get bikini waxed before taking a tour of the beaches of French Polynesia with a scantily clad Jenna Jamison. Hell, if you cross your eyes and stare long enough at the static on the scrambled cable channels you may just be able to make out some naked man whap out the drum solo to Phil Collin's 'In the Air Tonight' on the face and double D-cup breasts of some fawning female with his erect penis. Time changes everything, and as the very wise voyeur Chuck Berry once said: “C’est la vie, say the old folks. It goes to show you never can tell”.

So, what exactly is worth protecting from juveniles today? I believe that there is another rising plague of advertising that is already infiltrating our social mores and is threatening to corrupt today’s youth, way more than ‘Readers Wives’ ever did in our pre-teenage years. It’s a phenomenon that is turning minds against ethical behaviour, common sense, and decent living. It’s rotting the very fabric of human decency and rational thought, and it deserves to be regarded as the new Public Enemy #1, and treated accordingly. Also, it’s about as arousing as watching old people eat. I, of course, am speaking about Infomercials.

Infomercials have been society's scourge for years, sucking in the innocents and converting them into dribbling idiots who firmly believe salvation lies with a machine that can make jerky out of clam meat. These propagated media phenomenon lures impressionable minds to believe that there is an easy solution to all aspects of their ordinary lives that they are not completely satisfied with. How can someone doubt that something named the 'Helsinki Formula' or the 'Omexian System' could deliver anything less than total consumer satisfaction? Shit, it sounds like it was devised by specialized teams of doctors and physicians from the World Health Council! And more importantly, for no extra effort whatsoever, and 4 monthly instalments of $29.99 on their new credit cards, these Snakeoil salesmen are willing to peddle you the miracle answer you’ve been praying for. Why work constructively towards anything when you can have it mailed to you providing you can still make out the numeral impressions on your Mastercard or Visa.

There are ingenious devices that for a price will make even the easiest of non-effort chores easier and even less of an effort, like the ‘Amazing Quick Chop’, the ‘Perfect Pancake Maker’, the ‘Ab-Tronic’, the ‘Auto-Hammer’, and even a ‘Bread & Bagel Slicer’ for the terminally lazy! Personally, the day I can't slice my own bagel is the day I hope one of my friends will take me out for a hike deep in the woods and stab me to death with my handcrafted Ginsu Knife. Whatever your mental or physical deficiency happens to be, you can bet there is a 1-800 number and an easy payment instalment program for you!

This is not all to suggest that I am completely against gadgetry and progress. I’d be lying if I’d said I didn’t still cherish my Peter North authenticated ‘Penis Pump’ and the complete video volumes of the ‘Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roasts’ ~ but really, this all HAS to end somewhere! Should we really be taking dietary tips from someone who’s pigmentation makes Colonel Saunders look like Johnny Cash? Should we be seeking personal grooming tips from someone who sprays on their hair? Think of the injustice this will breed in our future generations and youth resources. Heaven’s forbid you should ever have to toss your own salad, or search out the actual light switch on the wall without clapping like a windup mechanical monkey. And I rue the day that I miss a single episode of ‘Batttlebots’ on the Discovery channel because I was working off my beer gut at the gym. Now, living healthy will never compromise my favourite sloth-like indulgences thanks to the amazingly easy ‘Ab-Flex Energizer’. And with my credit card and cell phone, I will be able to keep healthy and fit and never have to leave the couch apart from firing up the ‘George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine’.

Even more so than adult related smut, these Infomercials need to be censored and protected from the innocent and the weak-minded, or else abolished all together. In an age where the peddling of easy answers is commonplace, I say we are slowly regressing back to our primeval tendencies and taking the more frequently travelled path of least resistance, instead preferring to believe in miracle cures, three-step programs, and ‘eye of newt’ style remedies. The overall resulting predicament of mankind will be both socially devastating and demoralizing, as well as leaving us completely open and vulnerable as an easy target for all universal super races of marauding alien beings. And just think what this Interplanetary Armageddon will be like if these alien invaders have been introduced to the ‘Tony Robbins Personal Power’ program as well? Man, there will be hell to pay, let me tell you!! And the only thing capable of saving us will be Suzanne Summers, armed with those amazing walnut-cracking thighs.

Monday, June 21, 2004

May the Farce Be With You!

Recently, I had the misfortune of suffering through the Lord of the Rings trilogy which endlessly played on for what seemed like a billion hours. Nobody forced me, it was a complete sadomasochistic act on my part in some bizarre subconscious effort to inflict due penitence on my psyche for some unknown sins that I’ve undoubtedly commited. I knew from the onstart that I wasn’t going to enjoy it, much less be able to stay awake, and yet I rented it anyway. I believe that I fell victim to the mighty media hype and vast advertising juggernaught that accompanied it’s release as easily as an 8 year old child being brainwashed into bugging their parents into buying another bag of “Double Stuff” Oreo cookie’s after seeing the television advert about a zillion times in succession while watching Sesame Street.

In a nutshell ~ it sucked. It was more confusing than the Matrix trilogy and more boring than the Jim J. Bullock Biography. I’d rather have spent the time more productively by giving my grandmother a cist bath. My poor brain almost collapsed in on itself like a neutron star after trying to simply keep up with the stories plotline and keep track of all the different kingdoms and characters which was ultimately like trying to memorize the Croatian telephone book. But I have fallen for and suffered through this very kind of predicament before. And it is my oppinion that the only kind of person that could possibly enjoy these kinds of fantastical voyage style movies would be the kind of uber-geek that would spend any significant amount of time debating whether Captain Picard could ever manage to defeat Captain Kirk in a wrestling match pitted inside a ring filled with creamed corn and wacking off to centerfold pictures of Seven-of-Nine. Inevitably, someone who doesn't get laid much.

I have been living life through rose tinted glasses and have been turning a blind eye to these latest impending commercial phenomenons that seem to be always poised over us, ready to strike with all the explosive fury and unpleasantness of a gargantuan 3 billion year old Brontosaurus pussy fart. I can’t deny their existence any further, and I have since begun to brace myself for any inevitable unwelcomefuture intrusions into my ordinarily quiet and humble life. As a matter of fact, any further resistance at this juncture in time against the latest Sci-fi cinema release would be pointless and futile, as it is the intention of the mighty Peter Jackson, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and co. to have it permanently ingrained into the very DNA makeup of each and every one of us, so that it becomes our civic duty as members of the human race and as occupiers of the planet Earth, to automatocally view whatever latest cinematic installment of sci-fi or fantasy series they next release, no fewer than 3 dozen times! Thereby regaining the mass influx of capital to pay back for the equally expensive brainwashing marketing campaign it took to generate this amount of foolish expenditure in the first place. “’Do’, or ‘Do Not’. There is no ‘Try’”, my ass!

It should have became all too clear one afternoon last year while strolling through the mall, when I was by chance humored to witness the poor helpless lady councilors at the booth for the “Women’s Crisis Center” being pinned down like Lt. Col. Custer’s troops at the Battle of Little Big Horn, surrounded by the crazed tribes of ‘Super Geeks’, all decked out in their full Star Wars official battle regalia at the “Young Jedi’s of Niagara” booth next to them in celebration of the latest “Phantom Menace” release. You have not lived until you have seen a host of ‘wookies’, ‘droids’ and ‘storm troopers’, all excitedly buzzing about the benefits and superior craftsmanship of one plastic lightsaber over another type of plastic lightsaber. Even more surreal than the fact that the young Jedi’s were obviously quite proud of their decoratively braided Jedi mullets (and you can call it whatever you like, but it’s STILL a mullet!), was the spooky realization that I haven’t seen so many pairs of desert boots in the same place since the great Hall & Oates ‘Man-Eater Tour’ of 1983!

Now don’t get me wrong, when the original Star Wars epic hit the cinemas back in 1977, I too was caught up in the incredible mass media hoopla that accompanied this latest Hollywood summer blockbuster. Hell, I was too young to understand “Roots” back then, and I hadn’t known any other Elvis but “Fat Elvis”. Nor was I a particular fan of Debbie Boone’s Billboard classic ‘You Light Up My Life”. So yeah, compared to what else was prevalent in that day and age, Star Wars had the full impact of a gaseous Bantha burp after an evening’s feast of ‘Spicy Jawa’. From then on, that year was dedicated to the collecting of every Star Wars collectable imaginable; from the actual scaled ‘Millennium Falcon’, ‘X-Wing’ and ‘Tye Fighter’ spaceships, to every ‘Swivel Arm Battle Grip’ action figurine that came down the pipe. Which to my parent’s dismay, never seemed to end with the constant and steady influx of available characters, critters, and “Some Assembly Required” playsets, that would require the equivalent of a Masters degree in Engineering to piece together correctly. You could even say I was even a wee bit fanatical; much in the same sense that I am fanatical about my vintage 70’s stag films now. But then, as happened with most kids my age, I turned 6 years of age and outgrew my Star Wars fascination with fantasy; albeit, my fascination for combat toys didn’t end there, it just gravitated from a galaxy far far away to a little closer to home, in the form of G.I. Joe. What can I say?

And fortunately, that’s where my fascination with the whole initial Star Wars Trilogy and its massive assortment of aliens and interplanetary warriors ended. Now, the whole Star Wars phenomenon simply amazes, amuses, and disturbs me much like the recent Lord of the Rings phenomenon. I think it was my inability as an aging child to sufficiently suspend my disbelief in watching Ewoks that closer resembled pairs of fuzzy novelty slippers, or the fact that Han Solo could really understand what the hell Chewie was barking and groaning about all the time. In fact, now that I think about it, the whole cast of characters from the Star Wars episodes would read like an evenings roll call at a Bangkok brothel. And for the Lord of the Rings, how concentrated can you be over hobbits when to my mind the only creditable theatrical rolls suited for “little people” would be to dress up in ridiculous clown outfits and dance and sing for the sake of comic relief. Everytime a scene played out on the screen in front of my eyes involving Frodo, I found myself hoping for him to strip down into a striped jumpsuit and begin singing Oompa-Loompa ditties.

For some, the Star Wars series offered an escape from earth as we know it, and a chance to loose themselves to the possibility of an all-powerful and governing “Force” in nature (or at least something that would be best served today in any big city with bright lights in the desert), or of course, in the burned image of Carrie Fisher in skimpy dancing girl threads while chained to her master and captor (a vision that most boys of my generation will have etched somewhere in their deepest and most depraved of primal fantasies). Or as in the Lord of the Rings, to excitedly cheer on the forces of good against the forces of evil as represented by the legions of Orc soldiers that are on par in ugliness as any String Cheese Incident audience that I have ever witnessed at one of their concerts. But for me, it was just a movie that happened to spark my interest at the time, and unfortunately I grew up and developed other interests in cowboys, gangsters, and low budget underground snuff films.

Now, that’s not to suggest that I don’t understand the reiterated interest with the newest released epic ‘Star Wars: Episode II ~ Attack of the Clones’, but I’m just not sure I understand the devoted fanaticism of it’s fans. Even “Parrotheads” laugh at their own absurdity when they go to Jimmy Buffet concerts, but have you ever seen how worked up a Sci-fi Nerd will get if you were to actually challenge his drug-addled crackpot theories on the evolutional development of the Hoth ‘Taun-Taun’ for domestic purpose? He is liable to beat you within an inch of your life with his authenticated to scale, plastic Tuskan Raider ‘Gaffe Stick’. I don’t think I understand what would make a grown adult suddenly forget the good and wholesome mores that he was brought up on, and suddenly adopt and dedicate his life to the philosophical preaching’s of a pint-sized green puppet in burlap that kinda resembled Mahatma Ghandi, had he stayed out in the desert any longer. It’s FICTION, you dumbass! I mean I dig the groovy hi-tech graphics and complete surround sound as much as the next guy; but lets face it, it’s still fucking muppets being played out over a computer generated backdrop! It’s not Shakespeare, for Christ sakes!

For all the expectations and rumoring buzz that was been bestowed upon the latest episode in the on-going Star Wars story, as with the Lord of the Rings, I would expect to see more than just the usual scanty storyline of ‘boy meets master, master teaches boy, boy carves up master with futuristic weapon of destruction’. I will need to see more than that to sustain and validate my interest, and make me not regret spending the equivalent of a week’s grocery bill on a movie ticket in the endI want to see THEATRE! You can use the puppets still if you like, but lets have them performing show tunes in a chorus line for our amusement, rather than plotting interplanetary conquests. Lets give them credible storylines, and have them act out Vaudeville-style performances with REAL merit and artistic sustenance! Think of the possibilities!! Jar Jar Binks and Queen Amidala portray forbidden lovers in the romantic and heart-warming ‘Gungan Fever’, or how about Salacious B. Crumb as the tough veteran cop and R2-D2 as the maverick renegade, as they team together to bring down the world of crime on Tatooine in the explosive new thriller, ‘Lethal Props’! Maybe Jabba the Hut, Yoda, and Greedo unite and star together in the futuristic remake of the old classic Marx Bros film “Animal Crackers”? How about ‘Troopers’, a weekly reality based television show devoted to following around Imperial Storm Troopers on their assigned Imperial duties and planetary rounds, busting drunken cantina toss outs for disturbing the peace, and arresting teenage Jawa hookers and strung out Wookie junkies in the alleyways of Mos Eisley?

And just think of the possibilities in regards to Princess Leia and that dancing slave girl slave outfit now that you’re old enough to REALLY flex those kinky fantasy thoughts!!

Sunday, June 20, 2004

In Praise of my Old Man

In honor of Fathers Day, I thought I’d use this post to quickly unveil a few of my fathers more curious tendencies. He may have many fooled as to his genuine sincerity and kindness, but there’s more lurking behind the closed curtains than you may all realize. My father is a man of unique style and overwhelming culture, a real man of wealth and taste.

First of all, it has become very obvious to my siblings and myself that our father suffers from a tragic life-altering psychosis that we rarely speak of in public. Apparently, as a young adult, a little older than myself, my father was at some time exposed to one popular television celebrity that left a lasting impression on his life: “Hey Mag, I SOAKED in it!” At the time, it must have really struck a deep cord within him because he’s been doing just THAT as much as possible, and as often as possible… ever since! You see, sadly, my father suffers from a rare obsessive/compulsive disorder that continually leaves him with the inexplicable urge to do the dishes, no matter what time of day or night. I have named this peculiar psychological condition, based on the extensive scientific studies that I have conducted on my father over the past few years, by purposely leaving all the used plates and utensils in the kitchen sink, as “DISH-LEXIA”. To note; my father has soaked his pinkies in so much soapy dishwater suds, that he can now proudly proclaim from the rooftops, “Hey Mag, Soak on these, Bitch!” In all honesty, if you were able to recycle and reuse all the soapy dishwater my father has soaked in; you would have found your solution to the Ohio water shortage crisis after the recent Blackout. If I was financially smart, I’d invest in plenty of shareholder stocks in Palmolive Dishsoap. In a few years time, I’ll have made enough in return shared profits to be able to retire to that big fancy mansion house in the countryside I have dreamed about.

My father is also an enthusiastic lover of all things Italian in origin. I have this dubbed this behavioral fascination as being a “WOP-O-PHILE”. All this of course, without speaking or understanding a single word of the language beyond Pizza, Lasagna, or Andrea Bocecelli. It’s his favorite food, his favorite music, and his favorite thing on the television to fall asleep to. Then, there’s that REALLY satisfying baked-on grease that you can only find in good authentic home cooked Italian pasta dishes. Now that really gets those addictive dishlexic impulses firing! Oh yes, let’s not forget my father’s favorite actor: Al “Hoo Ha” Pacino. My father will endlessly surf the vast array of television channels for hours. He’ll flip past racy game shows, educational documentaries, Loony Tune cartoons, comedy sitcoms, global news broadcasts, war coverage, election results, the Ms. Nude Oil Wrestling Championships’ on ESPN, and even poor “Al Bundy” re-runs. All if it means that he can find that one Italian sub-titled, black & white art movie on the ‘Foreign Film Channel’ hidden deep in the recesses of the cable network channels…where he promptly falls asleep, snoring, after about 3 nano-seconds of conscious focused attention. I think my father is attempting to learn the language through osmosis. And at the rate he’s going, we’ll have a regular, fluent speaking, Casanova “Italian Job” of our very own, by the end of the next millenium.

This of course, brings me to my next noteworthy point about my father’s strange and unique character. My father is an “in-the-closet” supporter of the ‘Cinematic Arts’? That’s right, you can see his profoundly rooted interest in the cinema, in the various deep-probing questions he asks about the artistic cinematography, the character representations and the dramatic plot-line twists during the movies screening. Such deep probing questions as: “Hey, what’s he doing?”, “Who’s that?”, “Who’s she?”, “What’s happening again?”, and the one question that still continues to inspire me to this day: “What’s this called again, Ter?” Did you know that my father, single-handedly, holds the Guinness Record for “The Single Most Viewing of ‘Hoosiers’ (with Gene Hackman) by an Adult Male?” My dear old father, you see, has managed during his lifetime, to stay awake and watch this particular movie about high school basketball in Indiana, an amazing total of 6 zillion, 3 hundred and fifty kabillion, 4 hundred and ninety two million billion times. And that’s second only to the movie ‘Witness’ (with Harrison Ford) by only a mere margin of 60 zillion viewings. I remember being woken up in the middle of the night by my father unknowingly shouting out, “I’ll make it coach!” in his sleep. All other movies seem to pale in comparison. But not to be undaunted, my fathers utilized his severe lacking in the ability to stay awake past the first 5 minutes of a movie, and has finished writing and is set poised to publish his life’s work: “The Narcoleptic’s Guide to the Greatest Opening Credit’s in Movie History”. I can’t tell you enough what a smash success this is bound to be in the chic Hollywood World. I will buy a diamond studded cumerbund to accessorize with my new fancy tuxedo that I will able to buy with the millions from my Palmolive Dishsoap stock shares, for when I get to glamorously strut down the red carpet at the first celebrity Book Signing. “HOO-HA!”

But in all honesty, all these wonderful qualities and charming eccentricities that I’ve enlightened you with, there’s still one character point about my father that I’m certain most everybody around him already has come to recognize; and that’s his complete and undivided devotion and dedication to hard work. There will be a group of beavers sitting around on couches drinking ice cold beers while watching ‘Tool Time’ on the television, saying ‘Pffft! Leave it till tomorrow, Bear!” before my father will throw in the towel on the average workday. Not as long as long as there’s day old boxer shorts in the hamper, Amazonian weeds growing unattended in the garden, a speck of pigeon crap the size of a Tic-Tac on the windshield, a single knife smeared with peanut butter and jelly in the kitchen sink, or an eldest son who needs to move his furniture last-minute across the city, will my father EVER be able to truly allow himself to rest comfortably! I also think that it is through this same Zen-like dedication to hard work that my father has achieved the very things most dear in his life.

So raise your glasses high…to my old man. May his life continue to be filedl with happiness and laughter, and may my stocks in Palmolive Dishsoap skyrocket through the roof.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

On the Road to Total Recovery...

Like everybody else on this germ-ridden planet this year, I have been suffering from this never-ending flu bug that has been hanging around my apartment like a lingering beer fart. This is the same bug it would seem, that has all but decimated the North American public lately to legions of dripping, aching zombies. You could pave a four lane superhighway across Canada with all the accumalated mucus that is currently being expunged from my system as a result.

Just keeping track of all the new developing bacteria cocktails in the news lately like the Avian Flu, Monkey Pox, and Mad Cow Disease is like reading the Daily Specials on Hell’s own cafeteria menu board. It seems like everyone these days is suffering from either the sniffles, the shakes, the shivers, the aches, the fever, or just plain feeling rotten. I know myself, I feel as if I have been on the receiving end of a Hershey Kiss wet fart from the ‘Stay Puft’ Marshmallow Man and makes me want to adapt to a Howard Hughes-type existence and begin collecting my nail clippings in specimen jars and dressing in hospital gowns while wearing Kleenex boxes on my feet.

The situation has even gotten so bad that in an effort to ebb the flow of germs that stalk the workfloor like wild beats of prey, my superiors in their infinite wisdom have even taken to posting Memo’s in the bathrooms instructing us how to properlly blow our noses, wipe our asses, and rinse our hands after we take a piss. What are we, some ignorant, uncleanly, rural rubes timewarped here from our hovel in 1330 Europe, just prior to the outbreak of the Black Plague? Surely they jest? Gone are the days when you could squeak out a harmless fart for the amusement of fellow co-workers without being forced into quarantine immediately afterwards. Instead, now when you so much as sneeze, about half the workplace drops to the floor and rolls for cover under their desks, for fear of contracting the deadly SARS virus!

And as far as the colorful artsy-fartsy signs in the bathroom with detailed point-by-point instructions on how to "precisely" to wash my hands after I do my bid'ness: I am NOT little 15 year old basic life-skills student Johnny Boogermuncher at McDonalds, who needs to be constantly reminded to clean the fecal matter from under his fingernails before returning to work to make double cheeseburgers for the throngs of unknowing healthzoids who, if they were truly concerned about their health in the first place, wouldn't be eating at McDonalds.

Our poor immune systems are simply too discombobulated (Thank you ‘WORD Of THE DAY’ calender!) with their required bodily duties by being kept continually off guard with the changing temperature, all we’re all sick. You can just picture your bad-ass white blood cells in little ‘Rebel With A Cause’ black leather jackets, puffing away a cigarettes while leaning casually up against your liver, coolly replying to the classic question “what are you rebelling against?”, with a cocky and residual “what ‘ave ya got?!”.

Those of you with partners and loved ones, will already have a support unit in tact to cater to your every drip, sneeze, or wheeze everytime you get sick. Someone to coo over you and soothe your weakened spirit with liquids and reassurance that you will get better. What else is a boyfriend or girlfriend for, if not to draw bathes, make tea, apply mustard plasters, hold your hair back when you barf, rub your belly, flip over the Leonard Cohen record for you, and sit on your chest and force-pour cherry-flavoured Robatusin down your throat when you’re not well? It is a ‘for better, or for worse’ arrangement, is it not? And a gallon bucket of snot would certainly classify in the ‘Worse’ category.

As a little kid, it meant getting the day off to stay home, ogle ‘Barker’s Beauties, build forts out of the chesterfield cushions, and genuinely annoy the hell out of your mother. But now, for us wretched working single yobs, being sick is an extremely taxing and lonely ordeal of Biblical proportions. We are left alone to our own devices like marked hermits in the desert confronting their inner demons, abandoned by all others until we have successfully expelled all the cursed spirits from our worn and broken bodies. So, during our ordeal, who mops our sweaty brows? Who prepares our bowls of Chicken Soup, huh? NO one, THAT’S who! Not that I could keep anything of subsidence down for very long these days anyways, but the sentiment would be nice. In fact, I haven’t been able to so much as roll myself off the couch for anything other to puke, hack, heave and expunge other bodily material for the past three days thanks to this evil plague bug. I believe that by now, not only have I run the gauntlet of the suggested ointments, sprays, lozenges, capsules, and rubs as well as some other home remedies that would make the Christian Church more than a little weary... "the power of Christ compels you!!THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!!!"...but by the time I am healthy once again, I will have purchased the equivalency of the majority of stock shares at the Kleenex Corporation, in tissues alone.

So, what else have I done besides moan and whine to combat this illness of mine, and to make myself healthy again? Well, apart from keeping myself adequately dosed on whatever high-grade nasal and sinus medication I can get my hands on, not much. Besides, what else is there you can you do when you’ve been free-basing Dristan, and mainlining Sinutab in the efforts that it will eventually plug all your orifices, reduce the swelling of your glands, unblock your cavities, and otherwise carry you away to ‘Lymphatic La-La Land’ until the sickness has passed, and you are merely waiting until the illness has run its course and still trying to enjoy the buzz in the meantime? It is these hours of doped up states of altered consciousness that serve as the only form of entertainment that you are really able to indulge in while you are on the road to recovery. How convenient that the very thing that treats you and saves you from the total bring of germ apocalypse, is the only thing that is remotely enjoyable during the whole unpleasurable experience . Once on the pharmaceutical of your choice, you are set to really enjoy being sick.

Oh, how I love rising to a morning ‘wake n shake’ Mimosa concoction of orange juice and Buckley’s cough syrup, and then lounging around on the couch with my box of tissues in a stupor, and taking in Regis, Oprah, Montel, and an assortment of French-speaking ‘claymation’ puppets on the boob-tube. There is nothing more confusing and perplexing to the human mind as Daytime Television when you are half looped on flu medication. The extended bombardment of soap operas, game shows, domestic talk shows, and PBS infomercials, all begin to play out before you in one mad non-stop montage of soufflés and cheating husbands like some bad Salvadore Dali painting on three hits of the brown acid.

I would rather attend an ‘All-U-Can-Eat’ pork Luau hosted by Jeffery Dahmer, than suffer through this plight of parasites again. But if I ever do encounter this particular microscopic airborne germ Harpie again, who’s to say that next time he won’t bring his Germ buddies? Maybe my little vacationing virus will quit his big job in the public pool at the YMCA, and decides that he likes the relaxed lifestyle of the rural wilderness of my throat and chest cavities, and where he can still easily venture down across the equator to visit his eccentric STD buddies in the dry-heat Southern Tropics of my underpants; and in particular loves the courtesy Happy Hour ‘Contact C Cocktails’ and complimentary ‘Vitamin B Buffets’ at ‘Chez TigerRabbit’ every afternoon and evening. To germs, my body must seem like a neverending Andy Warhol party ~ and they get to be Jim Morrison. Maybe, these germs will move in permanently and I can look forward to constant bacteria Bar-B-Q’s, games of shuffleboard between opposing cultures, and visits from the Germ In-laws over the holidays. Perhaps, I could just rent out my body now as a huge ‘Studio 54’ Retirement Centre for all retired and dormant germs, parasites, bugs, bacteria, and other contaminates, and become the first ever human germ ‘Slum Lord’. I’ve always aspired to be a ‘Slum Lord’, and who better to cut off the gas and electricity on, eh? “Paralyse me, will ya?! Well, lets see who gets the cold flashes now, Germ Demon!!” Maaaaaan, that would be sweet!

Friday, June 11, 2004

Reaganfest 2004!!

I’ve just got home from work this evening and I have begun to catch up on the big State Funeral service siness for the deceased ex-president Ronald Reagan. What better way to unwind from a crappy stressful day at work of arguing with Billie Jo Dimpletits on the phone over, to come home and flop on the couch and channel surf through the various NBC, CBS, ABC, TNN, and CNN news coverage broadcasts of the dead ex-president’s funeral? Whoo-ha! Now, considering I’m already grumpy; I must say, ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ funeral proceedings on television are about as stale as month old Melba toast. I’d rather stick sharp Republican campaign buttons in my eyes than suffer through the detailed news accounts of public tributes, testimonies, dedications, addresses, and scientific updates on the current rate of rigor mortis on the deceased ex-presdient’s body. Where does it end? After a very short viewing time, the droning of balding sombre color commentators and the graphic collages of funeral imagery begin to pass before my eyes like quick snapshots of the backstage area at the most recent Simon & Garfunkle Reunion concert.

Considering todays Age of schmultzy broadcasting and the phenomenal popularity of Reality Television, I was hoping and expecting to find a more upbeat and pro-active coverage of the State Funeral Service. I was more looking for the “Carnivale of Corpses” on the ‘Star Channel’ with girls built like Father Time’s own personal hour glass, busting out of leopard print bikini tops that wouldn’t even conceal your sisters ‘Carribean Vacation’ Barbie doll, deliver live bubbley accounts of the days funeral procession beginning in the Capitol buildings in Washington and then moving cross country on tour to California where such noted celebrities in attendance included current California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger, Tom Selleck, Bo Dereck, Wayne Gretzky, Charlton Heston, Kirk Douglas, and Johnny Mathis. Shit, now that’s what I call “going out in style”! Meanwhile in Beverley Hills; Quincy Jones, Neil Sedaka, and Hall & Oates sit around sullenly in dark sunglasses and share a bottle of Pepsi…

Why is everybody expressing such shock over the tragic event of Ronal Reagan’s death? Sure, it’s sad and upsetting of course…but SHOCKING?! The man was 93 years old for fuck sakes and had spent the last 10 years of his life suffering from Althzeimer’s Disease and weekly speech therapy classes with the Pope and Mohammad Ali. There are layers of sedementary rock in the Earth that are not as old as Reagan. Everyone has to go sometime, but in this case I’d say that ‘ol Ronnie had booked his esteemed seat at the Head Table in Presidential Heaven a long time ago and God was getting a little tired of waiting for him to bring the rolls so that they could begin eating. And you know how much God hates to be kept waiting to eat! At least by now, Ronnie would be all bloated after gorging himself at dinner with his feet kicked back on the table and slicked back halo, squeaking out farts and still trying to convince God how fuckin’ messy those trees really are!

Now, as the mourners were concerned, people literally travelled thousands of miles creoss-country, and in some cases across entire continents, in order to spend up to 12 hours waiting in line to briefly ogle a pine box draped in an American flag as they are hurried past it! Holy shit, It’s not like they were camping early out for Bruce Springsteen tickets or anything. But just to stare at a concealed wood box. That's ludicrous! If I was going to trip across the countryside and then spend a dozen hours on my feet in a crowd line up, I’m at least going to want to see some tits and hear ‘Glory Days’. What were they hoping to see exactly? Was he suddenly going to sit straight upright like Bela Lugosi rising from his coffin in search of virgin necks? Can’t you just hear the thick Transylvanian accent echoing through the Capitol Rotunda: “...blood....blood...I MUST HAVE DEMOCRAT BLUUUUUUD!!"

To top it all off, I understand that the casket was not even visible to the viewing public who had dutifully qued up since dawn for their brief chance to pay their last respects and say their personal goodbyes! Why didn’t they save their vested time and energy and just drap the picnic tables in their backyards with flags they bought at last years Wal-mart “July 4th Blowout Sale” and blast Elton John’s heartfelt rendition of ‘Hail to the Chief’ with the London Royal Philharmonic on their Boom boxes?

Then again, everybody loves a parade, right? The televised coverages of Ronald Reagan’s funeral procession through the city streets showcased a very bizarre glimpse into the American public psyche indeed. It was more like witnessing a day at the County Fair, with people clammoring over top of one another in order to catch a quick digital snapshot of a passing hearse, or to desperately wave their oversized novelty “RONNIE 3:16” foam fingers in order to catch the eye of the sales vendor to refill their plastic “Beer Helmets”. All that was missing from the scene was the actual hearse being specially mounted on gigantic monster truck wheels and rolling over the other limos in the procession in order to get to the big Pie Eating Competition between the current Presidential Candidates and the visiting governmental dignitaries.

I'm quite confident now that after writing this, 'ol Ronnie will be waiting for me up in Heaven with his bowl of jelly beans, along with James Dean, Jim Morrison and Bruce Lee...all waiting to kick my funny ass!

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Remembrance Day Conspiracy

I suspect a covert conspiracy being waged on the unsuspecting innocents of today. I accuse the Legionnaires, and various Associated Veteren's Organizations of the heinous crime of unethical marketing practises. Those damn wiley war vets!

Think about it: do you really think it's merely a co-incidence that the plastic pre-fab poppies you purchase from the venomous veterens promptly disappear from your lapel only mere moments after your pocket change has disappeared down into their donation box? I THINK NOT!

I believe it's wholey by design that these poppies are in fact, NOT intended to be on a regular safety pin* that would easily and simply afix your Remembrance Poppy to your jacket or sweater permanently and steadfastly, with no fear of loss whatsoever. If the Veterans Association really cared, they would not be using the out-dated and flawed straight pin variety that only enables your poppy to fall off and be lost each time you either bend over or so much as even flex your butt cheeks, and thereby immediately create the necessity to fork over yet another 25 cents to replace the vanished poppy with another that will no doubt be missing again within the next few minutes. Thereby, there is a continuous cycle of "feeding the beast" over the Remembrance Day holiday and generating some fast cash to tide over their delinquent bar tabs until the next year.

I find it hard to believe that elite trained servicemen (young and old) skilled in the deadly art of warfare and hand-to-hand combat, able to rebuild an armored vehicle with a coat hanger, a Swiss army knife, and spit, cannot manage to design anything better than a plastic poppy that will slip off as easily as Robert Downey Jr. slipping off his latest parole assigned Probationary Rehab Program.

We weren't saving the world from Nazi oppression so much as we were giving birth to the new evil corporate marketing juggernaught of the next future era: The Royal Canadian Legion & Veterans Association!!

Don't let the walkers, wheelchairs, and metal-plated heads fool you. Those Vets are out for world domination through their defective poppy sales outside local public libraries and shopping malls everywhere come November, just as surely as they are after another cheap draft light beer and a long dragged out game of snooker on a saturday afternoon between medication time and Judge Judy on the television.

* Safety Pins have only been popularized in the last two centuries.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The greastest gift you can give someone is not necessarily the gift of love, life, or even laughter as various noted charitable organizations and greeting card manufacturers would have you believe. The truest, most purest gift that you can bestow on a loved one is the most basic, thoughtful everyday function known to mankind, an expression of pure compassion and respect for your fellow man in itelf. The greatest gift you can give someone is: the "Courtesy Toilet Flush".

How disgusting and disturbing is it to innocently wander into a disaster area in your office bathroom, the likes of which would make most hardened military coroners puke. In many worse case scenarios, something akin to a large semi-melted Tootsie Roll standing upright in a shot glass. It's enough to make chimpanzee's take up medical docorates in disgust.

These sick individuals who don't automatically take your personal mental well-being into automatic consideration and grant you this basic social courtesy, and thereby preventing you from having the sudden urge to gouge out your own eyes with a soup spoon, should be issued with a pair of goggles and snorkel and forced to dive into their own foul bathroom abominations and wade around bobbing for deuces.

How hard is it to notice that after their first flush that the toilet water is still resembling a Chernoble-style meltdown at the Jello Pudding Factory, and still neglect to pull that toilet lever a second time? These are the same people that still piss in public pools and who wouldn't think twice about using your rare Tropical Rainforest potted fern to wipe their ass just to satisfy their own sick personal amusement. That may be acceptable conduct in the public bathhouses of Delhi but not here in our enlightened sterile Western society!

So please, consider the poor innocent son of a bitch who is inevitably going to enter into that bathroom after you have finished using the same facilities. Give them what they truely deserve as a fellow civilized upright citizen of planet Earth. Give them the greatest gift of all ~ the 'Courtesy Toilet Flush'!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Lions and Tigers and Computer Techs, Oh My!

My eyes have been opened today regarding the latest abomination that is alive and well, and currently employed at my officeplace ~ the “Computer Support Technician”. These individuals are among the most annoying and contemptuous “Holier-than-thou” persons for whom I must interact with on a regular daily basis. I would more sooner interact with a pack of rabid wolverines than have to interrupt the all important “Burn Cycle” or the latest quest through Castle Wolfenstein that is currently being waged in the Computer Tech’s office.

I guess because they possess knowledge on an area of complicated expertise that the rest of us common office bumblefucks are not as competant with as per our own unique job descriptions, that they believe they have been touched by the Hand of God himself and blessed with this special gift of technical wizardry, and that the rest of us rubes should all just bow down in tribute to their supreme computer magnificence and reward them with free tokens of appreciation in the form of coffee and donuts in an outward sign of respect in order to carry favor for their technical assistance in the future. Yeah, right!

Let’s face it, the only reason they have that job as a ‘Computer Technician’ in the first place is because they spent their university years poised steadfastly over their personal computers * playing Sim City or surfing Internet porn in their dorm rooms on a Friday night with the rest of the Geek Squad instead of out carousing at the Campus Pub with the other cool students doing tequila body shots and dry-humping in the Campus Common like horny jack rabbits. If this is their gift from God, I’m proud to be an aetheist. And a drunken unskilled aetheist at that!

Perhaps this is what gives them this ill-founded notion that they are more worthy of special admiration for their job performance? It’s a cry of attention for the purpose of generating a little respect from those of us who spent our formidable years playing “Hide Eugene’s Pants” in the locker room after gym class and stealing lunch money from the helpless geek members of the ‘AV Club’.

Over my dead body am I going to bring little gifts of appreciation to work for the whiney ‘Computer Support Staff’ unless the cup of scalding hot Hazel Nut Coffee in question is large enough that I can dunk them in it. ‘Computer Technicians’ are being paid to keep my work computer functioning properly just as I am being paid to keep unknowingly fucking it up. And so the Cycle of Life continues at the work place. Cue the Elton John soundtrack…..

Here’s a tip for those ‘Computer Technicians’ who seem to be overly exasperated with us regular computer illiterate Joes: SPEAK FUCKING ENGLISH! It does not help us anti-computer types to communicate with you in order to help you identify and fix the problem for us when you are speaking in a language that to us sounds more like you’re ordering off the Take-Out menu at a Klingon Restaurant. I don’t know a C:Drive from my asshole buddy, so how do you expect me to communicate the exact nature of the “Run-time Error” that just crashed my Idiot Box? And nevermind just telling me to “Reboot” my computer unless you mean for me to punt this friggin’ Devil’s Vibrator into the next millenium!

Personally, I think all regular office workers should be equipped with large leather straps in order to bid our snarky repressed ‘Computer Technicians’ into completing their task of fixing our computers ~ post haste! If further technical difficulties** persist after the first incident, then the responsible errant ‘Computer Technician’ should be subject to be gang-wedgied in the middle of the work floor by his entire staff of regular office peers! This should solve any ongoing technical problems between regular office staff and the technicians.

* which no doubt had been purchased by their mommies and daddies after they struck out for the zillionth time at Little League baseball in order to provide their adorable dorkus son or daughter with something by which to both excel at, and to occupy their time between episodes of Star Tek: The Next Generation.

** Why is is that when I make a mistake at work, it is called a “Job Error” and I am subject for immediate corrective action, yet when my computer spits out incomprehensable computer babble that resembles the formula for the Cadbury Secret at me instead of the simple spreadsheet application I asked for it is merely called a “Technical Difficulty”? The only technical difficulty is that you hired somebody as a 'Computer Technician' because he managed the high score at Pac-Man down at the local Donut Diner and can repeat, word for word, the dialog for the entire Matrix trilogy.

Monday, June 07, 2004

The Sweet Life of Bacteria

The province of British Columbia has been contemplating installing their water pipes with high energy florescent lights, aptly called "Sun-tanning Beds". These installed lights are being considered in an attempt to counter the necessary high levels of chlorine needed to keep the public's drinking water from dangerous levels of contamination as the majority of British Columbia's drinking water supply is from above ground sources making it extremely subject to high levels of parasites and germ infestations. Basically, a glass of ordinary BC drinking water would have the same taste and health value as the water taken from the local YMCA swimming pool.

The difference with the florescent lights over the old method of chlorine sterilization, is that the florescent light DOES NOT kill the various parasites in the passing water through the pipes like chlorine, but ONLY sterilizes them so that they can no longer reproduce and generate in your body, making them virtually harmless once consumed into your body. Pardon?

So, I can have a whole magnitude of drinking water parasites entering my body and participating in a full blown germ orgy, but I will remain healthy because they are not populating due to their created sterility? Well, I guess that's cheaper than providing them with little teeny condums (not to mention the Safe Sex awareness and educational programs necessary to promote their useage) and sending them on a Club Med vacation to the Bahama's.
Life is suddenly very good to be a parasite. Leave it to the easy-going liberal West Coasters to come up with an action plan to make life as cushy as possible for germs and bacteria so that they will all probably end up migrating West quicker than disillusioned university graduates. Can you imagine an entire summer camp of hired tree planters that would be able to completely fit on a single petri dish?

"Oh, dude! I, like, planted three hundred trees today, and like, managed to infect an entire towns water supply. Isn't that "sick", yo?!"

And why the hell not? Sterilize me, give me free reign to fuck with reckless abandon and offer me a complimentary membership to a sun-tanning studio and I would be heading out on the next cheap standby flight to Vancouver as well!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The Muppets Take Vatican City

I feel very sorry today for the Pope after seeing the CNN television news updates on his recent world travels spreading God's word through any assortment of snores, snorts, or drawn out uncommital moans. Geez, it seems that even when the Pope merely farts the entire Catholic world interprets it as the next Commandment of God!

Each time I see the Pope on television I expect to see strings attached to his limbs and imagine that Jim Henson is up above the platform somewhere feverishly pulling the strings to conduct the Pope's actions as he throws out Holy Blessings and Hail Mary's to the adoring crowd of worshippers. Then I keep expecting to see Ms. Piggy emerge from the crowd in flowing white robes and a pointy hat and proceed to karate chop the Pope back into the Dark Ages with a mighty "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-YAH!"

You'd think that with all the accumalated wealth of the Catholic Church over the ages through the sale of personal indulgences, pieces of the original Arc and Cross, the annual release of the Vatican City Bishops Bikini Calender, and the St. Peter's Bake Sale in the Spring, that the Church would be able to afford to buy poor frail Pope John Paul II some sort of state-of-the-art electronic translation and communication gizmo with which to deliver his sermons and gospels to the faithful masses a little more effectively and clearly. Perhaps a special keyboard that could simply be plopped under his face so that he can type out the word of God with his nose: "G-O-D-S-A-Y-S-K-I-L-L-M-E..."

I wonder if God is getting pissed off that his holy vasal is no longer fit or able to deliver his devine proclamations and is up there looking down and fuming like a Buffalo Bills fan on Super Bowl Sunday; "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon....say IT, mutherfucker! SAY IT ALREADY!!"

I wonder if God ever gets so pissed off over being misquoted through the Pope’s inaudible mumblings, and that he can no longer communicate with his chosen people through this mute lifeless muppet and instead takes out his pentup frustration by creating a new plague of Biblical proportions in the jungles of Zaire, and makes frogs rain from the sky at little Schlomo Dickowitz's backyard family barmitzva.

As it is now, the Church has had to employ a Holy Interpreter to the Pope to clearly translate his vague grunts into the proper Catholic ideology ~ in essence: an "Interpreter to the Interpreter of God's Word". Now, THAT'S the job I want!! I bet that position would get me laid at parties, huh?

Pope: "mumblegrumblegrooooooangrumblemumble..."
Interpreter: "...and God says: 'the Hawaiian Islands shall be given unto me and harems of holy virgins will bring me tribute each day at noon'"


Interpreter: "...and God says: 'The Sacrements of Holy Communion from this day forward will now be Rootbeer and Chicken Nuggets'"

All the while, the Pope sits there almost comatose in his Holy motorized wheelchair, mutely gesturing effortlessly like Steven Hawking trying to order a glazed donut off the wall menu at Krispy Kreme.

Living Large in the Great Outdoors

Man has instincts imbedded in his DNA makeup that are as unexplainable and alien to him as the current reading material available in the latest Oprah Winfrey ‘Monthly Book Club’. From somewhere deep down in his dark inner recesses, there is an indescribable urge to occasionally shed all his leisurely and comforting possessions, and take refuge in the forbidding remoteness of the wilderness and be at one with the trees, the bugs, and his Swiss Army knife.

It is a means to test his spirit, hone his basic survival instincts, and to rediscover his fondness for fine alcoholic beverages under the stars. From the toughened Roman Centurion staked out along the remote borders protecting the Empire from the marauding barbarians, to the rugged lonely cowboy on a long distance cattle drive across the dusty prairies, man has been partaking in this “Camping” phenomenon for as long as he has been building elaborately designed shelters to protect himself from the very same conditions and elements that he chooses to partake in on these woolly wilderness weekend getaways.

Camping has been a pastime for almost every generation of man through the ages, and has served as the regular means by which to connect with the ‘Natural State of Being’ in all of us. It takes a special kind of person that can spend an entire night in a small damp canvass tent in the middle of ‘Butt-Fuck Nowhere’, only to awake at the crack of dawn to the sound of distant bear farts and the chorus of a zillion birds all crying, cawing, and screeching mockingly like high-strung carnival barkers on Maximum speed. Mother Nature is a cruel mistress and one must be prepared to deal with all her harrowing surprises, as one must be forced to deal with the inevitable Shelley Long movie.

At first glance however, it is unknown why exactly this out door experience is so popular with today’s spoiled society of convenience. Despite all the spiritual and practical connotations, camping is still basically sleeping on the ground in the dirt with the bugs and snakes. And after all we have accomplished and learned in this new ‘Age of Technology and Information’, it is unclear to me why we would ever want to leave the warm, safe, and sterile confines of our urban sanctuaries in the first place. I worked hard to be able to sleep in the extreme warm comforts of my goose down duvet and feather-quilted Qualifill pillows, as well as to be able to pre-program the settings on my ‘Mr. Coffee’ to begin percolating bright and early at 9:00AM every morning, SHARP! And let’s not forget my climate controlled fuzzy ‘Toilet Seat Cozy’, the microwave able “Quick-fix’ Tupperware dinners, my bottles of Multi and Extra-Multi Vitamins, and the ‘Ultra-Massage’ setting on my hi-tech shower facet. We live for ultimate convenience in this day and age, and to be able to bask in all the rights and privileges that our ancient ancestors no doubt could only imagine in their wildest dreams (back when “The Clapper” was someone you avoided). Why then, would we ever want to give up on all this superbly gratifying luxury, only to return to the rural squalor normally enjoyed best on the Outdoor Life Network from the familiar security of your livingroom La-Z-Boy lounger whose cushioned seat has been specially designed by ex-NASA engineers to perfectly mould itself to the contours of your own ass cheeks?

There must be something more immediately impacted in the actual camping experience itself. Something rooted on a deeper level that keeps drawing us back to Mother Nature in an attempt to master her harsh charms and make her our newly domesticated bitch. We have never been the type of species that is content with our natural order of being, and we are always trying to simplify the most basic of domestic routines and principles these days. And why should the institution of camping be any different? In fact, it would be in keeping directly with our constantly developing mass consumerism values, as well as our profound interest in labor-saving devices, groovy gizmo’s and space age gadgetry that would make Batman cream in his body armor. For all intensive purposes, camping could easily serve as the go-getter ‘World Expo of Rural Fashion and Design’.

As well as providing the obvious excuse to act “all natural” and eat granola, tasteless roots, and bitter berries ~ camping is a “pretty” pastime as your average trendy camper nowadays is probably likely to include the packing of five gay men for their big camping trip into the great outdoors in order to fashionably remodel their tent and reorganize the cooler. As every serious camper knows, it is important to look like someone who is REALLY enthusiastic about eating dew worms and tree roots for breakfast, wiping their poor chafed ass with plucked maple leaves, and has been wearing Ziploc Baggie’s on their feet for days so that you could slice up the foot funk with a buck knife to serve with your Triscuits. And besides satisfying our other unexplainable obsession with canvass, camping is the ultimate playground for the fashionably spoiled modern New Millennium Man.

Before the actual long trip into the remote outback, it is suggested that one must first prepare for every contingency that could possibly crop up in the great unpredictable outdoors. Everything from poisonous snakebites to tsunami-style wetness to surviving in the extreme Bering Strait kinda cold, must be considered before adequate preparation of equipment and supplies can be initiated. Gone are the ancient days of wandering off into the woods alone with nothing more than a loincloth, a walking spear, and an extra goatskin blanket for warmth. Now, we can pack an entire ‘Gap’ Saipan Sweatshop full of consumer friendly and useless doodads, gizmos and whatchamacallits into nylon stuff sacks and carry bags with more hidden zippers, pockets, nooks, crannies, and velour cozies than the Marquis De Sade’s traveling overnight bag. Where, oh where, would Wal-Mart be without the wonderful outdoors enthusiast?

Personally, I still subscribe to the most basic of camping equipment: a sleeping bag, a tent, a suitcase full of Immodium tablets and beer (the very basic essentials that Inuit’s have used for generations). But to get a gander at some of the NASA designed camping equipment and accessories being used today by the more avid of campers, is more like viewing furnished studio apartments in Boulder, Colorado. But hey, I’m not there to look all pretty at my campsite that more resembles the Ground Zero of an Ikea Superstore explosion.

My basic daily concerns do not often go beyond what flavour of tinned beverage I will begin my day with, and what the fuck exactly was that thing that kept clawing at the tent screendoor all night? For others like myself, who are more into the sick masochistic nature of camping and who appreciate the whole miserable experience as a form of self-cleansing personal penitence, I have devised a be-all and end-all master guide for the rudimentary camper. BRING BEER!

Camping without beer is like a day without sunshine to me. Beer is the perfect accessory for every camping excursion and will act as a quick remedy in almost any situation ~ no matter how drastic or unnecessary. With enough beer, the usual assortment of camping tools and fancy technical wizardry is not necessary beyond a manual can opener and a Bic lighter (of course, this saves more room for beer in your packs, sacks, and duffel bags). It’s true; ever notice how cold it is at night or how hot it is in the daytime after you’ve consumed enough tinned bevies to pass out a healthy hippo? NO! Or have you ever worried about getting “the chills” while getting completely drenched in torrential downpours when you're drunker than Kelsey Grammer at a brewery tour? NO! Have you ever noticed that you could count the layers of fur on your teeth when you’ve been sucking back the canned Exports by the cooler full? NO! Everything is warm, chipper, and much more tolerable when you’re blissfully pissed drunk. After awhile, you don’t even mind so much that the indigenous wild animals have been circling the campsite all night in search of tender beer-marinated human morsels.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Employee Depreciation

Oh happy day!

My two years of flawless indentured servitude at my place of employment has finally paid off as I was chosen today from the "Weekly Employee Draw" for the first time and was the lucky recipient of a whole half day off with pay. Great, but does that mean I still have to thieve used "spill-proof" drink containers from the employees 'Lost and Found'?

A half day off with pay; four hours, worth approximately $35.00 in taxable income. Whoopee-shit! That's the best I get for two years of dutiful employment? Geez, for $35 why don't they just hire a toothless prostitute to give me a quickie in the alley behind the building on my next lunch break? At least then I may feel somewhat "appreciated". I was hoping for a bronze statue to be erected in the lobby in my likeness, dancing girls forming naked human pyramids while I am carried around the workfloor on an ornamental pedastal by virgins in fig leaves over a strewn bed of rose petals...something more worthy of my superior workplace magnificence. But I digress.

Of course, I wasn't actually there to receive my token of appreciation (I was currently too busy performing my daily duties at the time arguing with some bumpkin who couldn't grasp the basic concept of "past due balance") for my dutiful service and I am only hearing about it secondhand from my work peers. I would like to maintain the faith that there was much rejoicing at the time on my behalf, fire-juggling, naked nymph cheerleaders spelling out my name on cafeteria tables, and the singing of heroic ballads written in my honor by my Operations Managers, but sadly it probably only amounted to a brief mumbled announcement and a split-second of unenthusiastic token applause from the other disgruntled losers in attendance.

What exactly is this thing known as "Employee Appreciation"? After the last "Employee Apreciation Day" at work, I still wake up with the cold sweats from nightmares of funky sausage that would take down an army of mutant goats quicker than a plague virus sweeping through the Geriatric Ward at a public hospital in Calcutta India. I remember vividly the indigestion pains that had me at the time considering enlisting a Catholic priest to excorcize the evil sausage demons from my belly. "The horror, the horror..." Least of all, did I feel "appreciated". I would have felt more "appreciated" if they had just hired a bunch of skinheads to kick the shit out of me in the company parkinglot.

If they REALLY wanted to go over the top to prove their true appreciation for us, instead of giving us rancid meat and half days off with pay, why not grant us control of an Appache Attack Helicopter and allow us to call in an air strike on any one dimfuck customer of our choice? "Please hold tight, Ms. Schwanger. Your technical assistance has been dispatched and will be with you momnetarily."

At the very least, they could allow me to indulge in a small harmless workplace fantasy that I've entertained for years. They would grant me the opportunity to take a steaming dump in the female workers bathroom.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Triple Cocked Rabbits

I just heard the last bit of a science discovery program on the television that was mentioning how some bumblefuck father and son team of hobby-geneticist's have managed to breed a rabbit that sports not ONE, not TWO...but THREE fully functionable penises! WTF?!!

Apparently, this is the third generation of rabbit breeders within this bizarre Frankenstein family of freak geneticists, and so far to date they have only managed to breed rabbits with only a mere two penises. Clearly, not good enough at all. All those original bunnies with only the two penises were all eventually instinctually killed off by the mother rabbit (whom must have been hoping for bunnies with three penises herself) after birth.

Now, my brain is spinning with the multiple scenario's and obvious questions here. Hmmmm, what to address first? Oh yeah, how about: WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU WANT A RABBIT WITH THREE DICKS IN THE FIRST PLACE?!

I mean, what possible advantage could be had from breeding a mutant rabbit with three penises? Unless of course, you are some sort of a gourmet afficienado of rabbit penis in the kitchen and you are REALLY looking forward to increasing the volume of rabbit penis in your regular daily diet...I wouldn't expect there to be any immediate advantages beyond bragging rights with the neighbors. "Hey, BARNEY...get a load of this! A rabbit with THREE DICKS!! Eh, how many dicks 'as your rabbit got then?" The peer respect from the neighboring families must have surely skyrocketed out of the hemisphere that day.

With any luck, the successfully bred three-dicked rabbits will be ready to be introduced straight into the mainstream family home, and with Christmas merely seven months away, it couldn't have come a better time. These miraculous three-dicked rabbits are poised to be the next fad, replacing Furby and Buzz Lightyear as this years leading 2004 Holiday Season Christmas craze. Kids will be screaming bloody murder all December for these incredible three-dicked rabbit's. Can you imagine the sense of disappointment come Christmas morning for those excited and hopeful children whose parents were only able to afford or get their hands on a mere two-dicked rabbit? Or heaven's forbid, a plain 'ol single membered rabbit.


How cool would you feel during 'Show-and-Tell' on the first day back to school after the Christmas holiday season when all the rest of your friends got one of the miraculous Christmas three-dicked rabbits, and all you got was a lousy two-dicked rabbit? Pretty crappy, eh? What a total gyp that would be!

Now, the downside of these little unique three-dicked wonders of nature besides being the envy of all the other kids on the block, is that these super potent, thrice-cocked rabbits would probably reproduce at the unbelievable accellerated rate equivalent to a devoutly Catholic swinger on a free singles cruise in the Mediterranean. A single three-dicked rabbit would probably explode in 'Tribble-esque' fashion and the rabbit numbers would populate faster than a case of Herpes Symplex B through the Gen-Pop at a Turkish prison.

Cry of the Great-Peckered Horndog

Well, for those of you who haven’t already used your 2004 Farmer’s Almanac to line your bird cage, it is now officially and undeniably Summer ~ at long last.

Despite the fact that ‘Mother “Boom Boom” Nature’ is about as predicable these days as Courtney Love on a 3-day weekend pass to the Jack Daniels distillery, it is time to once again think about shedding those extra pounds so that you’re sure to be able to wedge yourself into your flower-print short-short’s and tight cut-off product ad booby shirts in the coming nice weather. It is this time of the year, when the in-the-closet members of the ‘Penny Candy Cartel’ attempt to conceal the fact that they have gained a few extra pounds over the winter, and hastily throw themselves into an ill-planned and even more poorly executed health regiment, in the effort to shape their abs, slim their waistlines, and mould an ass that they could crack walnuts on. The flames of this ‘Spring Slim-Fast Instinct’ are only fanned higher by the steady influx of Weight-loss Adverts on our televisions and radios, which would have us all believe that we all had flabby deformed bodies that could potentially rival the love child from the ungodly union between Ron Jeremy and Rosie O’Donnell.

Now, understanding that nobody would really enjoy the all-natural grit and flavor of ‘U-Brew Yogurt’, why else would you suddenly get the urge to change your lifestyle and better your health, as opposed to the rest of the year? It’s not “to feel good about yourself” like the Ester Lauder fashion models will have you believe in the commercials. You think Ester Lauder gives a flying ‘To-furkey’ fuck about what you look like, just as long as you buy their new line of ‘Brazilian Bumblebee Shit’ Cosmetics ~ collected and handcrafted in the Brazilian Rainforest, by the skilled local artisans at ‘Our Lady of Slave Labor Elementary School’? If we lived to feel good about ourselves, we’d all be at home, “on hiatus”, writing sappy songs about unrequited love in our underwear while Survivor played on our large screen T.V.'s, and surviving on a strict diet of pudding. But no, we put ourselves through the agony of slimming down and buffing up this time of year, because like all other forms of species on this planet come springtime ~ you’re HORNY, that’s why! As soon as the clock strikes 12:01 AM on the morning of March 21st, the Spring Equinox, every living creature alive develops that indescribable urge to max out their credit cards in membership fees at the local gym, dust off their video copies of ‘Sweatin’ to the Oldies; Vol.1004’, and tap dance in a public fountain while singing ‘Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah’ at the tops of their lungs. And why? So that they can slip into their micro-mini skirts and low-cut halter tops, and openly and heartlessly taunt the repressed and frustrated members of the opposite sex hanging around under the neon sign in the parking lot of ‘Lenny’s Chewing Tobacco Emporium’. At least, that’s the way I see it at the moment. But of course, I am a little biased.

You’ll have to excuse my biting sarcasm, as it’s not my intention to come off as completely bitter and slighted towards couples in love during this summer season ~ but, I am again SINGLE and therefore CYNICAL at the moment. In fact, I have to repress the urge to prevent myself from clubbing teenagers dry-humping at public malls like mating wildebeast with big sticks. It’s just that damn season again where us poor single schleps feel that ridiculous necessity to put on the ‘Dance of Many Bulges’ in the streets and in the clubs, in the pathetic attempt to lure back a prospective mate to share lonely one-bedroom apartments with, and to help make a nest out of pizza boxes and dust bunnies ~ at the very least, for a drunken hand-job in the alley behind the local Motel-6. At times, it seems to me that everyone within a mile radius, is either locking loins, slobbering over one another at the bus stop, dry-humping outside the Mini-Marts, or spread-eagling themselves on the hoods of expensive Italian sports cars.

Luckily, this is the new ‘Age of Technology’ and there is no need to go to bed unsatisfied, even if you struck out. Gone are the days where you’d pass out with your memories of sneaked peaks of the forbidden delights on the Head Cheerleader as she slipped from the ‘Female Tower of Flesh’ during the half-time routine at ‘The Frito Bowl’ in High School. Now with the marvel of technology, you can simply go home and superimpose the Head Cheerleader’s face on a illicitly posed photograph of your favorite porn star pulled fresh off the Internet, and repeatedly wack-off as if you were expunging the equivalent of a deep-fried Mars Bar in pure calories with each deliciously battered orgasm.

But honestly, I am a romantic at heart. The mere idea of shutting myself in on a Friday night to pleasure myself while reviewing the cinematic achievements of ‘The Butcher, The Baker, and The Double-Headed Dildo Maker’ from my local ‘Porn-R-Us’ adult video store chain, is about as enticing as having to resuscitate Hannibal Lecter after he collapses from gas pains while guest appearing on an episode of the ‘Iron Chef’. I would be lying however, if I said that the whole phenomenon of the Adult Industry (or the incredible Triple-A Cup chest-size of ‘Juicy Lucy’ in the endearing and much anticipated sequel to ‘Edward Penis-Hands’) doesn’t fascinate me. I mean, what EXACTLY do you DO with a ‘Crystal-Ribbed Jelly Dong’ abyways? The riddle itself is as perplexing as the formula for cold-water fusion! Unfortunately, I don’t have much faith in my chances at lucking into delivering a pizza to 3 sex-starved buxom blond Co-ed’s in the middle of their lingerie laundry cycle anytime soon ~ so, what now? With half the public contorting themselves into passion pretzels on park blankets and benches, and the other half at home beating off like it could save world hunger from behind their half-drawn window shades; where has the singles seen gone all of a sudden?

Lately I feel as about as secure as I did when I first made the mistake of naively asking my Pharmacist when he was expecting his next shipment of size ‘Small’ condoms. I’ve used all the old tried and true methods of wooing the babes like cruising the downtown in the afternoon with the windows down, or that old favorite pick-up standard: the “Oops, Did My Frisbee Just Land In Your Guacamole?” routine. But for some reason, the chicks just don’t seem to dig me cruising around in my turd-colored, war-torn Chevrolet Tornado battleship with ‘Gordon Lightfoot: Live from Moosejaw’ blasting through the rolled-down newspaper windows like they used to. Perhaps my entire game plan needs to be revamped to ensure maximum chemistry with today’s modern honey (‘chemistry’ ~ like simple household chloroform compounds that is).

But honestly, supposing I do manage to somehow snare my perfect randy philly, fresh from the frontline fighting in the trenches of the ‘Kailua Fields’ ~ what THEN? Does the fact that I am not up and well versed in the ancient arts of the ‘Portland Piledriver’, the ‘Oriental Lotus Leaf’, or the ‘Tibetan Double-Donkey’ positions from the latest Vivid Video releases mean that I am an inferior lover, and therefore ill-equipped to handle even the most unceremonious and liquored up of the desperate bar-stool nympho’s? Hopefully NOT! I will be the first to agree, I am no ‘Lord Hugh Mungous’, and my bedroom tactics may not exactly set the drapes on fire ~ but damn it, I have needs too! I have not abandoned the search for ‘Ms Right’ altogether, but I can’t help it that ‘Ms Right Now’ is presently obstructing my view by performing a greased pole dance in a red vinyl fuck-me dress, now can I?! See what I mean?

I maintain the faith that someday my celibacy and my chivalry will not go unrewarded. And until that time when I do find my immortal beloved ‘Partner In Passion Sweat’, I am going to stay well clear of the rutting hordes of love gone wild, rent as many volumes of Snoop Dogg's 'Girls Gone Wild' videos as I can find, and pray for winter.