Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “Why are you a Democrat in 2008?” –Howard Dean, beginning a youtube challenge

Well, it began with a promise of mechs. I specifically remember Bill Clinton saying I’d get some sort of giant robot armor out of this, during one of the later visits to Camp David. And since they were promising robots of mass destruction, I punched that chad on my registration card. I continue to be one because it carries no requirement to vote for the party, because I can vote in state primaries for the party, and because that means I can throw my vote behind whatever candidate mentions Gundams.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Venn-Shades-of-Grey

“A monologue about Anthony Venn-Brown? Okay, but I don’t know if there’s anything funny I can say about a gay guy who tried so hard to be heterosexual that he wound up with kids. He lived the punch line, and any joke after that is much less funny. But I do admire Mr. Venn-Brown for being such an advocate of alternative lifestyles. The world could use more openly gay evangelists. There’s a missionary position joke there, but I won’t make it, out of my respect to this man. It’s people like him who have made me quit calling myself ‘straight,’ because is a lesbian really crooked? We both bend to get our work done.”

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The ball is in your court, Hemingway

For sale: baby booties. Worn a bunch. Really like ‘em, but don’t fit anymore.

Bathroom Monologue: Chapter Ksvee, OR, Chapter 18

No, it is Rambo 2. It is Final Fantasy 12, not Final Fantasy XII (and really, twelve final things in a series?). I use numbers instead of numerals because when in Rome, do as the Romans do, and I live in New York. I do not write Mao Zedong in Simplified Chinese Characters or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the Arabic alphabet. We already have a written language system with perfectly good letters and numbers. They work very nicely and take half the ink to write “18” instead of “XVIII.” In other cultures, I think something like Vatican II is just fine (even liberal and forward thinking), but here it’s going to be Saw 4.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The Best of Netflix Recommendations (all 100% true)

-Because you enjoyed Stand By Me: Lord of the Flies
-Because you enjoyed The Queen: March of the Penguins
-Because you enjoyed The Network: I, Claudius
-Because you enjoyed My Neighbor Totoro: Jackson Pollock - Love and Death
-Because you enjoyed The Host: Through Deaf Eyes (PBS Home Video)
-Because you enjoyed Godzilla Vs. Gigan: Spongebob for Hire
-Because you enjoyed Hotel Rwanda: Finding Neverland
-Because you enjoyed Gandhi: BBC Presents – The Life of Birds (3-Disc Series)
-Because you enjoyed Young Frankenstein: Legacy: The Origin of Civilizations (3-Disc Series)
-Because you enjoyed Seven Samurai: The Red Balloon
-Because you enjoyed 12 Angry Men: Hamlet – Special Edition
-Because you enjoyed Zatoichi – The Blind Swordsman: Abominable
-Because you enjoyed Rope: The King of Kong

To clarify for those people who don’t watch a lot of crap, the joke is that Netflix is using an algorithm to guess which movies I’d like to watch based on what movies I’ve told it I already like, and its suggestions are wildly inappropriate. For instance, I liked Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman, a quirky Japanese drama about a blind swordsman at the end of the period of the samurai, coming into conflict with a town mob that is alternately grave, such as his encounters with a mercenary who serves the mob only to pay for medicine for his dying lover, and hilarious, such as the closing dance scene. Based on whatever preferences other people had registered for the film, the algorithm decided the movie I’d most like next was Abominable, an American B-horror movie about a guy stuck in a wheelchair who watches in terror through his window as a bunch of bimbos next door get mauled by a guy in the single worst yeti costume I’ve ever seen. Similarly it saw that I liked The Network, a classic indictment of television news and media culture, and decided I would like the I, Claudius miniseries, about a hunchback who watches various ancient Roman politicians get assassinated. It saw that I liked Hotel Rwanda, the largely true story about a hotel runner who hid targeted minorities in his rooms during ethnic cleansing in the hopes of saving their lives, and decided I would like Finding Neverland, the largely embellished story about the guy who wrote Peter Pan falling in love.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Sometimes in the same monologue

“You find the short story unbelievable? Oh, good! I was afraid people would think it actually happened. What, you think unbelievable fiction is bad? I say thinking fiction happened is much worse. I want people to think I made it up. I’m the creator, not the reporter. I don’t write what happened or what could happen – if you want that head over to the Non-Fiction section, which routinely outsells Fiction, so I can’t imagine you’ve never heard of it. No, my fiction is there to let me write what I’d like to happen, or what I very much don’t want to happen. Sometimes at the same time. Sometimes in the same sentence. Why even bother having a creative drive in my head if all I’m just going to report what I think is plausible in made-up stories? That’s why the story opens with a woman knocking over a man and falling in love at first sight as he asks her to get off of him. It’s funny and it leads to a relationship that I’d like to exist, but that can’t if it never enters anybody’s head as acceptable, and an alien idea can’t be acceptable until somebody brings it up. Every story needs its own internal truth, a personal plausibility, but realistic stories are dreadful. I don’t want to write them. I’m not particularly compelled to read them, because I have the cheaper and richer alternative of going outside for all the reality I can eat. I passed Journalism in college, but passed it even more enthusiastically as a career choice. If it’s unbelievable, implausible and downright ludicrous, then let’s have a look at it. It might be funny, terrifying, or both, or neither but having some other quality worth examining, or at least experiencing. Experiencing what we don’t have – there’s a purpose for a creative drive. I don’t believe a prince of Denmark met his deceased father in the dead of night, and I most certainly don’t believe the two talked over the matter in English – but I still like Hamlet.”

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “AIDS in America today is a black disease.” –Phill Wilson, Black AIDS Institute

A “black disease?” Look at how far it’s come. It used to be a gay disease. Maybe in twenty years it will become a hardworking Hispanic disease. And then, with its pension built up, it will retire to a nice house in the upscale neighborhoods and become a good, old-fashioned blue-collar white disease. Then we’ll figure out a treatment for it. Not a cure – no pharmaceutical sense in curing something you can control with twelve shots a month. It will be manageable, respectable, and contribute to the economy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “Eight new wonders of the natural world announced.” –Press release

The backyard of 231 Ashdel Blvd. where the four (yes, four) children of the Brumsfeld family spend hours a day not fighting, not avoiding to sit inside and watch TV, but playing harmoniously, (yes, all four) creating games in which their youngest sister is important and receives attention, and suspending games whenever anyone is hurt to show them proper care, without ever once raising their voices to a pitch that annoys the neighbors (yes, all four). All toys are shared in the fashion of a socialist utopia. This breathtaking view includes a sandbox and a two-seat swing set (the Brumsfelds almost bought a four-seater, but the children said two would do since they enjoyed pushing each other).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “Pat Moran is a writer in Portland. He wishes he still believed in Santa.” –Pat Moran’s bio, Flashshot

“You can’t make someone believe,” the ringleader explained as they lowered the box down the chimney. “People just believe what they believe, you know?”

“I guess,” said the clown. “But what use is this?”

“Well, evidence for Santa Claus is difficult to produce. If the man is alive and active as described, he’s in an undisclosed location somewhere in the Arctic Ocean ice flows, where he chooses not to communicate with humans. If you view it from his perspective, it makes sense he’s struggled for anonymity bordering on question of his existence. The man runs a manufacturing industry without known electrical, phone or internet service, which is capable of producing hundreds of millions of toys in a year, and if he’s kept up with the standards of the market place, these are not merely hobby horses, but high-end PC’s and televisions he's turning out.”

They heard the package hit the bottom of the chimney, at which point the ringleader nodded to the clown. The clown crawled to the edge of the roof and nodded to the trained bear in Mr. Moran's yard, who nudged the first floor window open a crack. It then lifted an elongated hook, slid it through the window and pulled the present from the chimney, across the floor and under the Christmas tree. Then it nodded back up to the clown, while the ringleader continued.

“If the Middle East or Asia caught wind that such a manufacturing powerhouse was up there they would be clambering for him to assist in military projects, not to mention all the commercial industries that would move in once they realized there was a simultaneously magical and tax-free workforce available. The last thing an isolationist like Claus wants is to come home from delivering goods to the few decent children in the world on the 25th, kick up his feet and watch the sun rise over the Nike sweatshop next door. Even if we could discover his whereabouts we would do him a grave disservice by exposing him, even if only to Mr. Moran.”

The clown began descending the ladder. “So why are we delivering presents?”

“Because if he wants to believe then we’ll give him the ammunition. We’ll break into his house one way or another and hide an inexplicable gift every year until he either goes naughty or hires security.”

“And why are we doing this?”

The ringleader shrugged. “He wrote a really funny story once.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Anonymoose

In the Berkshire Mountains there is a mysterious creature that has stalked the roads for about three decades. We can only say “for about three decades” because there is so little information about the creature that there may not be just one and pinpointing its first appearance is impossible. On many occasions it has obstructed traffic, sometimes headbutting motorists who did not see it coming. Based on the damage it has done to various motorcycles it is estimated at least at 1,200 pounds – quite a bulk for a beast no one has ever seen.

Several state troopers have attempted to track the alleged quadruped down, though copious feces and aimless hoof paths have yet to lead to the beast.

One trooper, Ronald Ernstein, swears he encountered it in February of 2005 after it struck his car.

“I swear I was looking straight at the thing. It’s tracks ended right there in the snow. There was nowhere it could have gone. I could feel hot air on my face, like it was breathing on me – I must have been looking it right in the eyeballs, but I couldn’t see it.”

The camera mounted on Ernstein’s dashboard reveals no backwoods monster. It registers a heavy impact rocking the car, and then Ernstein getting out, looking around, and finally staring into a specific location for several minutes with abject wonder. Some video specialists claim the vapor around his face indicates a second set of breaths from an unidentified source.

Ernstein is currently seeing a therapist.

For the interim the New York State Troopers have classified this creature as “unknowable.”

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “…cats and dogs, living together…” –Bill Murray, Ghostbusters

We used to have a cat. Well, no. I had and still have horrible allergies, so really it was my sister that had the cat, Arthur. She also had a Springer Spaniel, Julie, which was five times Arthur’s size, and he liked to fight. He would claw her backside all day and she’d yawn, then go eat the turds from his litter box. Built a thick hide, that one. They were forced to live in the same (admittedly palatial) room for years, and before long they didn’t just cohabitate. They minded each other’s food and sniffed with long expressions when the other was ill. One night my mom had to pry the cat off the dog mid-hump. Julie lay in the corner of the room and sniffed idly around where Arthur used to sleep for weeks after he died. After seeing a dog so dumb it ate cat turds mourn a cat, it’s hard for me to believe two humans can’t get along just because one of them grew up chocolate and the other one’s vanilla.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Thou Shalt

The priest looked up from his suitcase of cash and noticed several members of his flock were in the doorway. He grinned sheepishly, and then tried to explain himself.

“Now children, you will think this is some grave sin, but it is merely a stumble. I am still a righteous man who believes all you do, and but for this indiscretion I have the perfect image. My image inspires. True, this makes me something of a hypocrite, but the hypocrite still does a valuable service to society if he is not exposed, by strongly advising moral behavior and being perceived an example. If he is not exposed, then he can continue to reinforce the lessons for all, even if he has actually transgressed. All you have to do is remain silent and--”

The man at the front of the group shot him between the eyes, and then glanced to the rest of them.

He said, “Don’t kill people.”

Saturday, December 20, 2008

While washing someone else’s dishes Monologue

“Is anyone without guilt? A few people, but they’re all conceited assholes. Most of us do things at least partially to make up for past evils. I think if I wasn’t such a sadistic prick as a 9-year-old I wouldn’t go out of my way to hold doors and carry other people’s dishes now. It’s not 1-to-1 recompense, but that kind of motivation is in everyone. We’ve all done myriad things we feel poorly over for some reasons. All the do-gooders are like that. I mean, I guess Gandhi or Jesus might not be – but Gandhi was making up for his entire country, and Jesus was making up for the entire universe being kind of a bitch. If you’re really so nice that you haven’t done anything wrong you can always outsource your guilt. Volunteer at a blood bank, battered women’s shelter or soup kitchen; they’ve always got a surplus of other people’s evil. Make up for someone else today! And pass the grease cutter.”

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Some jokes are below even me

[GARY sits on a chair at the head of the booth in a purple pinstripe suit; SPIDER sits on one side of the booth in a spandex superhero costume; GRUFF STOVER sits next to SPIDER, wearing desert camouflage; and AJA the GIANT FLOATING EYEBALL floats on the other side of the booth, alone. AJA has pink eye.]

Gary: It all comes down to the same: life sucks, and then you die!
Aja: Are you sure that's all? I'm pretty sure I had a turkey club somewhere in there.
Gary: The turkey club is overshadowed by the mass of disappointments in the rest of your life.
Aja: I don’t think you’ve had this turkey club.
Spider: And sex.
Stover: I like sex.
Gary: I like getting it, but the pursuit takes forever. It’s a lopsided venture: days of romancing and paying for dinner for five minutes in the sack.
Spider: Five minutes?
Stover: I think we’ve figured out why you haven’t been enjoying it.
Gary: I get bored. I walked out on it once to make a sandwich.
Aja: A turkey club?
Gary: Fried egg sandwich, actually. I suddenly really wanted one.
Spider: Well there. Sex and a sandwich in an hour.
Gary: Half hour, actually.
Stover: Neither accounted for in your philosophy of life sucking and dying, Horatio.
Aja: Sucking can count in-
Aja, Gary and Stover: No.

Snow Men at Flashshot

You can see a special Bathroom Monologue today at GW Thomas's site, Flashshot. It's about a revolution of snow men. I think you'll like it.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Finally beat the computer at chess, running to the bathroom, and presto, monologue

A common question about the Chess Emperor series of computer games is why the program refuses to let players make moves that would put their Kings in checkmate. Some players complain it restricts the feeling of movement and realism, though most are grateful that the games don't let them screw themselves. The first edition of Chess Emperor allowed such movements, leading to a remarkable number of monitors being destroyed in frustration by players who had never played chess until they got bored at work. Apparently after a few games witlessly wandering into checkmate drove them over the edge. One firm suspected that sales of new monitors went up 7% based on Chess Emperor-related incidents alone. The leading computer monitor company lobbied to keep the checkmate-option in Chess Emperor games, but the head game designer moodily removed it after the lobbyist made the faux pas of beating him at checkers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “Here lies John Wiswell”

They dug up his grave at 2:00 AM after the groundskeeper finally nodded off. The four worked in shifts of two, two keeping watch while two shoveled dirt. Around 3:00 they unearthed the coffin and pried back the lid, only to find a plastic skeleton. Its right hand was giving them the middle finger. Its left hand clutched a note. Norman snatched it up.

It read: “The tombstone said I lied.”

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Bucking Samurai

“No, it’s not your kimono. I’m just cracking up at all the samurai with deer antlers on their helmets. I guess really crazy pointy things look demonic or intimidating in war, and this custom was established before a lot of natural biology came about, but you do realize antlers are mostly a mate-attraction-thing, right? Meaning that Japan’s greatest warriors have big old deer hooters hanging over their faces?”

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Dead Hedgehog Thread

To start off her artistic photoblog, Maryse uploaded a single photo – a stunning, high-definition image of a hedgehog that had been run over in the middle of a highway, from eyelevel with the dead animal. You could see all the cracks in the pavement, as well as its entrails – the thing had almost been split in two by whoever had run it over. Ahead the viewer could see the clear sky, uncaring over the death below. She titled it “Progress #1.” She left the blog alone for a day before checking the comments.

There were a couple of complaints about the disgustingness of the picture, then a few questioning its authenticity as there were no flies hovering around the carrion. Starting at 1:13 AM, somebody had posted a photoshopped version of Progress #1 in the comments section, adding a swarm of flies along its entrails. The next comment was another image, titled “Progress #3,” kept the flies and added a party hat onto the hedgehog's head.

“What the Hell?” Maryse asked her computer, scrolling down. There were dozens of images.

Progress #4 replaced the animal with Sonic the Hedgehog, reclining on the highway and wagging his finger at her.

Progress #5 pasted a cherry red corvette onto the street and cropped the top half of the hedgehog such that it looked like it was at the wheel, waving one paw in the wind. Its dead eyes looked almost happy in the new juxtaposition.

Progress #9 added a cartoon chicken crossing beside the hedgehog.

Progress #12 cut and pasted the two halves of the hedgehog together, drew in some stitches and added metallic bolts to its neck.

Progress #25 photoshopped a dramatically shrunken child putting a golf ball between the halves of the dead hedgehog while little cartoon animals cheered along the side of the road.

There were 42 Progresses before one textual comment appeared. It read, “I fucking love you guys.”

Progress #43 was the bifurcated hedgehog thinking, “I fucking love you guys” in a thought bubble.

Maryse deleted her account the next day, but the images have circulated for months. Just when people forget them, they pop back up again. Photoshop geeks have tried to create new Progresses, but for some reason nobody finds them as funny as the originals.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: One Line, One Kill

I've written four short stories this month, or at least a good skeleton of four, and I've found each has at least one monologue followed immediately by an ironic one-sentence reply. For instance, this from a piece I'm calling “Physic:”

“The first great war was at Ilion, the fields before Troy. There the Greeks besieged the Trojans. It inspired sundry plays and poems, including the original European epic, The Iliad. Homer, Europe's father of poetry, lavished praise on the warriors of both sides, and began the long tradition of valuing war above all other things. The honor among combatants, the glory of success in battle, the beauty of death in fighting, the riches of victory – these things are sewn throughout all the cultures that speak a European language. Among the Greeks were the faceless Myrmidons, who Homer described as literally bloodthirsty. While other men were lions, the Myrmidons were wolves. They were the fiercest, most effective fighting force of the heroic army. The conquering army. Even when Achilles retired to his ship, they fought on. But if the wolves had retreated, the war would have been an utterly lost cause, and European history would have a far more interesting focal point: what happened to the great warrior wolf pack that left battle? What did they leave it for? What did they do instead of kill? The Myrmidons are dead, but the Last Wolves of Ilion still run. They are we, and we will not answer Agamemnon's call.”

“Who's Agamemnon?”

Stifle your desire to tell me how insipid the monologue is and notice this sort of thing seems to be in everything I'm writing these days. Checking short stories from a few months ago, I see it again and again. The phenomenon occurs multiple times in my novel, and its first draft was composed four years ago.

You could call it a bad habit. I've come to cherish this gag, partly because it can be actually funny, and partly because it's a biographical note. I've been dropping what I considered hefty knowledge and heftier thoughts my whole life only to have idiots ask who Agamemnon was, or asking if the U.S. wasn't a democracy, or worst of all, “Yeah, but…”

I've never met a “Yeah, but…” that I didn't want to shove in front of a moving train. Maybe that's what this habit is about. Not shoving those migraine-inducing questions onto the tracks, but reminding them that we are standing on a platform.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Anthropology of Internet Lingo

Facebook: To strike someone in the nose with a large tome. Considered rude.

Myspace: The radius around a drunk girl through which no one may venture without the risk of being splattered with sudden projectile vomit.

1337 Speak: To say out loud the only whole number existing between 1336 and 1338.

LMAO: Onomatopoeia for the way Americans believe a French cat meows.

STFU: Sound effect for someone falling down a flight of stairs.

IDK: Sound effect for road tacks deploying from the back of a police cruiser.

TTYL: The name of something, such as a book or movie.

Youtube: The male reproductive organ. Polite phrasing.

Google: A word that does not actually mean anything itself but can redirect you to any other word, and yet somehow manages to be more profitable than almost all of the other words. Considered rude. Synonyms: Yahoo, Metacrawler.

Noob: A droopy doorknob.

Filk: To throw up in your friend’s new car.

Metacritic: The five-second bonus time a critic is given for a high score on criticizing something, during which period he or she may make any claim he or she wishes without rebuttal.

Haxor: The god of striking things with an axe. See also: Apollo.

Blog: A secondary log, possibly kept in case Alog is too moist to ignite.

Sry: The death cry of a South African parakeet.

Pr0n: The pointy things on the male end of a cable.

IAKTBTFCA.DYKICMUAT?: Acronym for: “I already knew that but thanks for condescending anyway. Did you know I can make up acronyms too?”

Possible Lack of Updates

I am using the last of my battery back-up to make this post. On Thursday night a heck of a storm ripped through the area, leaving trees coated in ice and over 32,000 people without power just in my area. I am uploading a few monologues and post-dating them for the week, but please excuse if it isn't updated daily for a little while. I swear it isn't due to laziness. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go figure how physics allowed everything to spoil in my freezer when it's so fricking cold in my kitchen.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bathroom Monolouge: Do the trains run on time from southern Mongolia?

[DARKLOSS SOULRIPPER VON ALUCARDIA sits on one side of the booth wearing a three-piece grey suit and a giant, sentient red cape, the ends of which are chewing on the upholstery. ARYANA sits on the opposite side of the booth wearing a chain-mail bikini that can be neither practical nor comfortable. GRUFF STOVER sits to her left in desert camouflage. SAMID sits to his left, wearing a spandex superhero costume that looks identical to SPIDER’s, and thus leaves one with the epistemological question of how we know it is SAMID.]
Darkloss: It’s semantically deceptive. Light has little or no substance and certainly can’t cut, so the blade can’t be made of light. “Sabre” specifically refers to a class of swords with one cutting edge and one dull edge, but the lightsabre’s entire surface cleaves. So you see it’s neither made of light, nor is it a sabre.
Aryana: Why do you hate fun?
Darkloss: I don’t…
Samidider: Why can I tell you spell saber with an “re” just by listening to you?
Stover: And why does that make me want to hit you?
Aryana: Why do bad things happen to good people?
Stover: If all matter is indestructible and uncreatable, merely constant, then where did it come from?
Samidider: Who is your favorite president, what is the worst thing he ever did in office, and how do you reconcile yourself?
Aryana: Why didn’t my father stay?
Samidider: Is “why” a real question, or a mutation of speech habits that survived on such luck that it utterly disproves natural selection even as it proves its mechanisms?
Stover: If a train leaves Beijing at 1:00 A.M. GMT, and a second train traveling at twice the speed of Train A departs from northern Mongolia, how long does a third train departing from southern Sweden…
[DARKLOSS flees from the table screaming]
Aryana: It was about time.
[The remaining three nod and return to eating their strawberry frosted shredded mini-wheats.]
Stover: By the way, Spider. Good questions. You been reading?
Samidider: Only doujinshi.
Aryana: Those have come a long way.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Movie Guide for Men, OR, This Is Unusually Topical and Could be a Dangerous Precedent

Role Models: "I wouldn't see you a month ago, but you're still around and everything that's come out to fill up the theatre since is crap. It's time we deal, Devil."

The Spirit: "Iron Man. Hellboy 2. Dark Knight. Superhero movies have been good to me this year. Even if this blows, I can take one for the team."

The Day the Earth This Title is Too Long: "I could probably get the same stimulation watching things blow up on the Discovery Channel, but it's better than Beverly Hills Chihuahua."

Four Christmases: "My willingness going in is directly proportioned to the likelihood of sex on the other end of viewing."

Australia: "God dammit, we already saw Four Christmases!"

Bolt: "Seriously. I will take up reading if you don't stop."

Rachel Getting Married: "I want to see Rachel Getting Married. I know that probably makes me gay, but, eh. I think I've done all I can with female genitalia anyway."

Twilight: "Not only will it be mind numbing, but it will give my daughters romantic, and thus partially sexualized thoughts. No and no."

The Wrestler: "Like a Swiss army knife when I was a kid: my family says it's okay because it's a utility, but I know why I really want it. Awesome."

Yes Man. “I’ll tell you why you’re seeing this instead of renting something you wanted. It’s because your family feels liberated to talk during a movie if it’s on a TV, but has the social grace to shut up if strangers are around and it’s dark. Remember, watching movies with your family is the way to bond – bonding through spending time with them and not wanting to kill them.”

The Reader/Milk/Doubt/Frost/Nixon: "An intellectually stimulating film? In my theatre? I better buy tickets before they realize what they're showing."

Thought in the Public Domain

Aegis scoffed at the human. "Philosophy is illegal in my homeland. All freethinking does is get in the way of progress. A thousand generations ago they set the rules for inquiry, worship and government, and we have ruled the world for 997 generations since. We know what's right and don't pretend anything else like some other cultures."

"What? My world is full of freethinkers!"

"Lies. The people let you think what they feel like, but there's no such thing as free thought. I'll even give you the test: do you have insane people where you come from?"

"Mad folk? Yes."

“Is insanity a legal term?”

He stammered, “I guess.”

"And what do you do with insane people?"

"We send them to asylums for treatment. We get them help."

"So if someone thinks too differently you lock him up until he thinks like you want him to? Such a society of freethinkers!"

"They're a danger to themselves, and to others..."

"Yes, that is always how it begins."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Bedside Anthropology

We can deduce a lot about this culture from its bedding. Note that the Single Mattress, presumably intended for one person, is 39 inches wide. The Double Mattress, which must have been intended for two people, is 54 inches, which suggests and twins and most married couples must have been grossly malnourished to enable both people to fit on it overnight. And yet the Queen Mattress is 60 inches, suggesting female monarchs must have been morbidly obese, requiring more sleeping space than an entire married couple. Considering the humans evolved on the same planet as bees and bees have enormous queens, it is possible they had a similar gorging impulse as the insects. One would expect male tyrants to exhibit similar gluttony, but the King Mattress is only 76 inches – suggesting that a married king would only have 16 inches of sleeping width to himself if he were to ever sleep with his wife, and considering the importance of queens in the reproductive habits of other species, he must have done so frequently. What a terrible and tiny existence kings must have led after dark, and at the dining table.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Bathroom in the Mall of America

"The mall of America has fifty stores. Ironically, 47 of them just sell teens bitching how they've got to get out of this town. One of the stores is actually a federated archipelago of tables sprawled out across an area that, if it were considered one store, would be as large as the largest of the other stores. This federated archipelago store sells grass skirts."

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: In ___ We ___

In the wake of the campaign to remove “In God We Trust” from the one dollar bill, I have the following list of demands. I figure if an omniscient benevolent entity isn't trustworthy, then all of these are sensible:
-George Washington: off the bill. He owned slaves. What the Hell?
-Pyramid: off the bill. Everyone knows those things were built by slaves. Seriously, what the Hell?
-The eye on the pyramid: get rid of it. It's watching me at night.
-The color green: change it. Shows a bias towards the Green Movement when we all know global warming is just a theory.
-“E Pluribus Unum:” off the bill. This stands for “all for one,” which is a little too Commie-happy for this man's America.
-If you fold currency in several positions it wasn't originally intended to be bent it depicts the Twin Towers attacks: more of this crazy ****, please.
-Eagle on backside of the bill is in lewd position: gross. The shield isn't fooling anyone. Either let it all hang out there or make that bird cross its legs.
-“The United States of America” at the top of either side of the bill: remove it. I know U.S. students have poor scores in geography, but Alaska and Hawaii are clearly not united to the continent.
-The ones in all four corners: off the bill. Ever since elementary school math I've been baffled how something with four ones on it could only be worth one dollar. Either let my ones be worth four dollars or change it. Frankly, if you could just issue me blank slips of paper and let me write how much they are worth for myself I'd be a lot happier.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Places there might be a spy camera, OR, Public Bathroom Stall Monologue

Drain in the floor. Soap dispenser. Maybe inside the faucets, to get close-ups of your fingertips so they can model fake fingerprints and indemnify me later. Smoke detector in the ceiling’s obvious. One could be hidden in the grooves of any of the screws on these doors. At least one is in the coat hook on the door – it’s long and straight, perfect for a camera micro-lens. One could also be in any of the three bolts that hold it to the door, and one could be in the tip of the second little mandible hook under the regular hook – the thing that makes a coat hook look like a claw, and that nobody uses out of a mingled lack of clothing and primal fear of giant lobsters. I’ve foiled that complicated plan by putting my jacket on it. Bet they didn’t see that coming. But if both pieces of the hook have spy cameras, multiple spy organizations may be watching me. What are they after? Is one a force for good? Are they both racing to decode the label on my jacket collar? If I say it’s 40% polyester, have I revealed too much?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Dumb Things Break People Up

[GARY sits in the booth, wearing a pink tuxedo. ??? sits across from him in a black pantsuit. They are both read faced. Neither has touched their drinks.]
???: Why do you always turn everything into a joke?
Gary: I don't. Most things can stay the way they are. But some things, like this? They deserve it. I've been trying to get you to just crack a smile for years and you're still a saggy, frowny bitch. That? That I want to make into a joke.
???: That's not funny!
Gary: And neither are you. My point exactly.
???: You have to take some things seriously. Be an adult.
Gary: I don’t see a lot of eleven-year-old stand-up comics. It seems to me that humor is an adult thing. Crying? Getting pissy? Those are the things a two-year old does.
???: Laughter isn’t going to pay the bills! You can’t just laugh this off.
Gary: You can’t fight this off, either. We’re fighting right now and all I want to do is walk out the door. People who laugh together want to stay together.
???: That’s typical of you.
Gary: And that’s typical of everybody else. Seriousness is the cliché. At least I’m original.
[GARY looks out the window. ??? exits. After a moment, GARY looks around.]
Gary: When is everyone else going to get here?

Friday, December 5, 2008

"the small T. rex arms were often broken during..."

"the small T. rex arms were often broken during life. This fact suggests that they were poorly suited for whatever the dinosaurs were trying to use them for." -Gregory M. Erickson , Scientific American

Sometimes the world makes it too easy for me. I read a very interesting article ( ) this morning and have laughed every hour on the hour thanks to this one quote out of it. It’s triggered a rare event where I have too many Bathroom Monologue response ideas to actually compose one. Can I get away with a Bathroom Monologue that runs over some of the things that go through my mind in making a Bathroom Monologue? Let’s see.

One: My kid is lying in the middle of the road, bleeding. a heap on the ground beneath a tree, and the tree has a broken limb. This fact suggests he fell. Pointing out the explicit logical connection between two things can easily go over the edge and be hilarious. For instance, if I report, “My son is lying in the middle of the road, there’s blood everywhere and tire tracks are stretching out in that direction,” I don’t need to tell you, “He was probably hit by a motorcycle.”

Two: there's an old misuse of evolution that suggested animals developed traits because they wanted them. The giraffe has a long neck because its parents stretched really hard, you see? And while Mr. Erickson is hardly so ignorant as to mean such a phenomena is true, "whatever the dinosaurs were trying to use them for" summons the spectre of this mis-evolution.

Third: My deep love of explorative sciences, especially any that deal with giant, carnivorous lizards, demands I make fun of this. If it was about trilobites I could pass it up, but the t-rex is my hero. He needs to be immortalized not only as a skeleton in museums, but as something hilarious on a website only twenty people will ever read.

Fourth: I, thanking the almighty that no one is watching, return from the bathroom hunched over, with my elbows pulled into my ribs. The only thing that stifles my roar is the sound of a car passing outside. I hate other people. I miss dinosaurs.

Fifth: I am bombarded by a vast array of things the tyrannosaurus rex might have wanted to do with its arms that failed, leaving them broken.
Fifth A: T-Rex on a rock-climbing wall.
Fifth B: T-Rex on a slip n' slide, trying desperately to stop her momentum at the end of the slide with her tiny arms, only for the arms to snap off like twigs, leaving her to rocket into my aunt's petunias.
Fifth C: T-Rex sitting on a bench, curling weights. Keeps picking up heavier ones to impress the girls. Eventually, he reaches for one that is too heavy for his bone structure. Testosterone defeats men yet again.
Fifth D: T-Rexes thumb wrestling with two fingers. While previously not hazardous, the frustration of being thumbless leads them to rip each other's arms off.
Fifth E: T-Rexes, far more technologically advanced than we believe, build giant robotic arms that fit over their existing arms. Alas, the existing arms snap from the weight.
Fifth F: Wii bowling.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Little Beliefs

McClarry waved to the other leprechauns and whispered, “Guys! Come on!”

Waldgrave led them, crawling on his belly. He came up next to McClarry and peered over the hilltop. His eyes went wide. Mochrie gasped, and O’Donnell inhaled for such a shriek that those around him clamped their hands over his mouth to stifle it.

McClarry looked at them, shaking his head in disbelief. Waldgrave looked over the hill again, but they were still there. Two live children, playing on the swings.

“St. Peter. They do exist.”

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Next, #2

“Yes, you are the third smartest man on the planet, while I’m only the thirteenth. But you only have two minutes to figure out the codes and trajectories of those missiles, stop the gas, and get in contact with three team mates in different longitudes of the globe before everyone on your team dies. That includes you. The third smartest man in the world has two minutes to foil a plan the thirteenth smartest put together over five and a half years, Doctor. It doesn’t take genius to know what happens in two minutes: I’ll be #12. Nice being your arch-rival while it lasted.”

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fifth Floor, Housewares and Diplomacy

Jangs didn't actually have a top floor to his house. He lived in a hotel, like hundreds of the Golden Emperor's crucial employees. Living in temporary housing and seeing people check out every time you walked in was supposed to remind you to do a good job, or your room would go to someone else. His Majesty was a brilliant motivational thinker.

Bathroom Monologue: Thinking about videogames, looking out the window

My videogame is going to have four playable characters who meet at a backyard barbecue just when the infernal legions of plague-spewing dinosaurs fall from the sky. Our first male character is the typical handsome lithe guy, used to dual-wielding shortswords. He's at the grill wearing a KISS THE COOK apron when techno-raptors drop onto his deck, leaving him to fight them off dual-wielding tongs and a spatula. See, nobody's got their weapons. The second, strapping young lad is chopping wood, and so gets lucky and fights with his maul. But it's got to get more ridiculous from there. I'm thinking the big guy (there's always a towering hulk in these games) comes down the stairs, sees the zombie brachiosaurus stampeding down the street, and snaps off the safety rail from the stairs to double as a quarterstaff. We'll have a female character just for gender dynamics, and as to thoroughly insult the female audience, she'll be gardening. Normally a whip user, she'll got through the first level with a hose. Nice to mix S&M with flower beds. Yeah, I'm totally making this game.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Word-Based Economy

Everyone bashes holidays. It’s become fashionable in our market place of ideas, which appears to have becoming a complaint-based economy. They bitch that Christmas is depressing and Thanksgiving supports obesity. It’s a symptom of a parasitic pseudo-culture, one that lives by denying and destroying but can barely create anything of its own – except guns and books about how other people are stupid, which I guess is somewhat creative, as enough of the attitudes fostered by the latter support sales of the former.

I’m a different sort. When I’m unpleased with holidays (and I am, especially around February 14), I make one up. I like the notions in general – the notion of the rejuvenating holy day, and the notion of the day off (which is twice as divine). I always doff my cap to the Pilgrims for picking a permanent Thursday of gratitude. It’s great that the oppressive Puritans installed the only four-day weekend in the hemisphere.

Halloween is my favorite. Candy everywhere, awesome or awesomely terrible movies on television, and nobody has to be themselves for a night. You can be Julius Caesar, Axl Rose or Zorro. Halloween comes with snacks, a genre of entertainment and an activity. It’s a model day.

I’m a creative sort, so let the word go forth from this time and spacebar that we’re going to have a Reading Day. This is when you take your favorite short story and read it to people. Novellas do not count, nor do stories written by you or anyone you know – that is cheating and I will not like you submarine my holiday with your kid’s crappy fiction. Pick your favorite author – Gabriel Marquez, Eudora Welty, Haruki Murakami, anybody. Pick your favorite story, grab some people, and read to them. You can even give copies of collections to friends and family for the commercial aspect. It will be a big deal for children to become literate soon enough to join their first Reading Day, even if most of them pick The Giving Tree or Good Night Moon.

Comic books will count, but you’ll have to gather a cast to read the other parts for you. You can only be Batman, not the narrator, the Joker and Alfred, too. The point, in the ears of Batman or the teeth of Edgar Allen Poe’s "Black Cat," is to gather (which, I guess, is more of a "House of Usher" theme). Gathering is essential to festivals.

We’ll put it on December 1st, to piss off the National Novel Writing Month people. I don’t mind the competition with the late-December juggernauts. A little competition between Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Eid-ul-Fitr and New Years turned them all into Happy Holidays. But instead of “On Dasher, on Dancer,” it’s on Kafka, on Kaufman, on King, on O’Connor, on Zelazny, on Barthelme, on Borges, on Hemingway, and of course, on Robert Frost’s On Writing.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Shadow of the Valley of Death

Livington is a wonderful town with a great view of the Purgatory. In the mornings the shadow of the Valley of Death passed right over them, but even this sight doesn’t help Livington’s poor tourism. You see the town council of Livington spent the entire treasury keeping any new towns from cropping up in the locale, zoning out developers who would block the view. They put their last pennies into advertising, but it didn’t catch. The ad was in Psalm 23 of “the Bible,” a very popular circular back in the day. With tourism being nearly non-existent, the town is pinning its budgetary hopes on suing the studio behind Pulp Fiction for cribbing from their ad.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Alternative Publishing

"Never go for the kill immediately. Parry. Avoid. Entice. Tire him out. When he tires, take advantage of his mistakes. If he cannot be tired, then make him bored and hasty. When he is frustrated, take advantage of his mistakes. If he cannot be tired or bored, he probably cannot be killed. Run away and write about it. You'll probably make good money."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regimen of Women” –John Knox

The doors opened with what sounded like a trumpet. John was nearly knocked off his feet by the torrent of women in the lobby. Any of them were half his size, but they were many and he was confused. It was just 30% off!

He waded through screeching teens to the racks of blouses. His daughter only needed one, and she liked pink. He picked one up to examine it – 100% cotton, which was good.

It was “Made in Mexico” – better than Chinese labor practices, he guessed.

It was flying out of his hands – that was unexpected.

He turned to see a teenager carrying his daughter’s blouse and everything that had been on the rack with it up the aisles, screaming like she’d just beheaded the enemy chieftain.

He reached out with his right hand, groping for another the next rack, only to hear a distinctly Jewish scream of disgust. His cheek stung with the slap.

John turned to apologize, thinking he’d accidentally groped someone even though it hadn’t felt like flesh, but found his victim standing in front of a row of halters like they were her children.

It was loud in here, but he thought she was growling.

A store manager found him hours later, in the fetal position behind some naked mannequins. He was half-naked. Later he decided not to press charges, deciding the loss of clothes was his own fault for having tried to hide in a clearly marked 40%-off zone.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Dig In

“I am so tired of that apt criticism. Yes, this Applebee’s is like all of the others. The hamburger is prepared the same way with the same patented and publicly disclosed secret sauce. The calorie content of every platter is the same in Texas and Maine. The employees here wash their hands as often as they do in Alaska – if there is an Applebee’s in Alaska. From Seattle, Washington to Washington, D.C., we’re all mandated to have crazy crap on the walls, so that while each array is unique, they all feel the same. The building feels almost identical to Chili’s, which feels almost identical to Friendly’s. And for some reason you feel the right to condemn us, as though homogeneity was our problem. The problem lies in a society so twisted and uncomforting that when people don’t want to cook for themselves, when they decide they want a night away from their homes and normal lives, they go to a franchise that they’re sure will be just like every other one they’ve ever visited. How mean-spirited, how rude and insensitive, how untrustworthy must the rest of the world be if you look to letting strangers serve you food for familiarity? With all the delicacies and rare cuisines available, dinner is where you come not to be challenged? Then you must come from a sick world. But if my chicken tenders will heal you, then let me lay my hands on your plastic. We take Discover.”

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Other Possible Side Effects for a TiMechanics-brand Time Machine

-Warning: You may develop an erection yesterday.
-Warning: Playing god has some reports of causing eye irritation.
-Warning: Despite its ability to freeze time within its chassis, Time Machine should not be used as a replacement refrigerator. Unexpected evolution may occur on or within any turkey clubs stored within frozen time. Unexpected civilizations within turkey clubs may use Time Machine for evil.
-Warning: The steering wheel is decorative. Any and all wheel-related time warps are placebo effects.
-Warning: Going back in time to steal the plans for Time Machine and create your own empire may negate your Time Machine and strand you with nothing except a set of schematics you’re not smart enough to read.
-Warning: Warranty voided by traveling to the end of time.
-Warning: Warranty not valid where time does not yet exist.
-Warning: The end of time and the non-existence of time are difficult to tell apart. Consult warranty.
-Warning: Objects in the rear view mirror have not happened yet.
-Warning: Becoming your own grandpa is not as fun as it sounds.
-Warning: Perspective on the events of your life from outside the time/space continuum may lead to suicidal depression that other versions of yourself inside the timeline will not appreciate.
-Warning: The author of the warnings may be lying to you in the twisted hopes that you’ll be led into a false sense of security, have an accident and finally tear this ugly quilt that we call the fabric of reality.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Like Magic

True magicians loathe typical “magicians.” A real magician manipulates the elements and spirits, learned through years of clandestine schooling or divine meditations. They keep their magic secret because, for true magicians, surprise and disbelief are helpful conditions. You’re much less likely to burn a necromancer at the stake if you don’t think he’s really a summoner of the dead. Calling a thunderclap from a clear sky is all the more shocking if you didn’t think it was possible until he grabbed his wand. Yet despite the usefulness of having their work viewed as fiction, they’re very catty about the entertainer magicians that have most helped their occupation seem campy and absurd. The elite sorcerers complain that you wouldn’t call someone who wears a cape and plastic fangs an actual vampire. When a real magician snaps and goes public to display his amazing power, his peers always catch him, using tandem enchantments and science to “debunk” his miraculous works. The punishment for breaking the secrecy is very strict, ranging from spontaneous combustion to an immortal career doing children’s parties.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: TiMechanics

Introducing TiMechanics-brand time machines!

Tell your aunt how you feel before the old bat died!

Getting bad grades? Take that Earth Science exam as many times as you like!

Forget an item at the store? Now you can go back with the coupon, and pay attention to catch the clerk looking down your blouse this time!

And the best thing is that TiMechanics brand time machines are up to 67% accurate*, the most reliable on the market.

TiMechanics: where every second is precious.

*TiMechanics brand time machines may result in chronal dislodging, schizophrenia, and/or accidental transportation to the Pleistocene epoch. If you are mauled by a sabre-toothed cat send defective TiMechanics merchandise and proof of purchase to TiMechanics Headquarters at 0 Washington Avenue, New Washington, circa 2801. Consult an estate attorney before using TiMechanics. Warranties voided by paradox.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Bad jokes that I need to get out of my head

-What do a Playboy photographer and a zombie have in common? They both just want a little more skin.
-Why does the phone ever ring at the psychic hotline?
-When asked if the man makes the times or the times makes the man, he replied, “The Times’ editor is actually a woman.”
-Aeneas: I seduced Dido, and all I got was a bad case of harpies.
-Make out with a bird and you get chirpies.
-Weeze the juice at a 7-11 and you get slurpees.
-The F.D.A approved that God didn't exist, but catastrophic side effects warranted a recall.
-Shakespeare died and was surprised to find himself at the gates of Heaven. However as he was about to go in, God stopped him, poked him in the chest and said, "So, 'a tale told by an idiot,' huh?"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Nooks, Crannies and Hobgoblins

“Doesn't everyone have these thoughts? That queer things may lurk in the corners of our round world? There's a lot about the ocean we don't know. There's a lot of uninhabited forest, and there's always another range without cell phone reception. It seems to me that there's always more, somewhere in this world. Recently I've been wondering if some ethereal being might play a trick on the world one day. Everyone blinks, you know. Well what if, in the billions of blinks we make in our lives, everyone's eyes were synchronized in closing, just for a tenth of a second, and this Loki or Anansi flicked the lightswitch, turning out the sun and covering the world in deep darkness. It'd be back on by the time anyone saw it. You might say that it takes light several minutes to get from the sun to the earth, and that such timing would be impossible, and that all the cameras we have running would catch it - but by that point, haven't you already accepted a being so powerful he's built a lightswitch in a star?”

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Tao Jones

The Tao Jones Industrial will be the first stock index to not only inspire understanding of market fluctuations, but also to inspire peace with the economy. No stocks will be admitted that are not the true stocks.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Laws of Ash

Weclij Erengeld was a stateman of the Dwarfish Contingency in Ash Gardens, and a vocal policy maker. From his days in the academy he espoused faith in the government and support Ash Gardens’ stand that philosophy be illegal. To him, as to the ancients, free thought only meant distraction from the engines of progress. He was one of four signers to a law permitting the execution of those who espoused anything but the state lines on morality.

He was executed under the first provision of that bill for giving his son an axe. Written in spiraling text around the handle, underneath the cloth wrapping, was written:

“You should never take without thanking. If you hesitate to thank because bringing attention will make them stop you from taking, you should not take. Gratitude is a virtue that will save families and culture itself.”

It was a lesson he apparently considered vital to his son. In public life he had always been gracious, but never espoused gratitude as a virtue, nor did he challenge that it should be among the Five Chief Virtues, those the only ones recognized in Ash Gardens. We do not know why the dwarf risked his life to express such a lesson. We do know that his son has his seat in Parliament, and is fast working on anti-propaganda laws that would make him forfeit the axe for destruction. Currently the weapon rests on his mantle, its handle firmly wrapped.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: bathroom monoLOgue

“In just five minutes, one hundred thousand orcs will come smashing through this barricade. They will stop at nothing to kill us all and destroy this country. We are the only ones who can stop them. To those of you who stay, you will have my respect, and I will fight to the last drop of my blood at your side. To those who stay, there will be heroism, and the violent knowledge that you have defended a way of life. To those who flee, they will find you if we fail here. To those who leave, if you are not tracked down by orcs then we will have succeeded here, and I'll find you someday, and I'm going to be unbearably annoying. You are so going to owe me.” -Hung Lo

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: I'd really like an answer to this one

Amnesia doesn't happen as often as we see it in movies and sitcoms, but it is real. There have been books and documentaries about it. One question I've had since childhood and never heard answered satisfactorily, though, is how they remember to speak. If you forget everyone and everything, how do you remember words? And why do you remember that “rust" is the oxidation of metals, but not that "Jane McCalsky" is your wife of six years? In semiotics, you remember that the word "rock" corresponds with this image, but not that "dad" corresponds with him. How do you retain the definitions of stock language words, but not specialized words, like names? You learned to speak during your life, yet you've just forgotten your life. How can your forget all your English teachers and all the writers they loved, but not the words they used? Didn't you learn your teacher's name the same year you learned those words? Why is that one word off the record? What does this say about the human mind?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Designer Genes

Muscle is hard to build and easy to lose. Meanwhile fat is easy to build, and while it is supposed to turn into energy, is hard to get rid of. But one pair of Tyrex's designer genes will switch this inefficient paradigm in time for bikini season.

Tired of your appendix rupturing when it's never done anything to help? Tired of testicles being so sensitive that one whack prevents you from being able to flee a threat to your masculinity? Or maybe you've always wanted magenta skin. When you look at all the stupidities of the human body, it's hard to believe in evolution at all, let alone an intelligent designer. Fortunately, Tyrex is here to help.

There is a mild-to-moderate risk of sprouting additional appendixes when using Tyrex. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not use Tyrex (seriously, we're tired of fertile women suing us). Normal side effects include liver failure, morbid obesity, spontaneous belief in backwards reincarnation and magenta skin. Talk to your physician if you have asthma, heart conditions or swelling of the ankles. Otherwise, just get this stuff already. Ask your pediatrician about Tyrex Chewables (patent pending), because let's be honest, trying his best is not enough. You want a winner, and we will give him to you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The Little Ice Age

I know what you're asking yourself.

"Ice Age? He displays superhuman strength and reflexes, heals with amazing speed, patches his mind into computer networks with a thought and can banter better than Robin Williams. Why is he named Ice Age? He has no ice powers."

The reason is to get heroes like you to come after me with flamethrowers and thermal clothing. I'm the Trojan Horse of supervillains. True, when my secret gets out I'll look really lame, but by then I'll have collected enough giant bags with dollar signs on them to retire to a tropical island. Or maybe the North Pole. And that's not meant to be ironic – when Dr. Global Warming gets through with it, it'll be beach-front property...

No, I know there's no sand at the North Pole! Dr. Global Warming is an earth elemental. Listen, we all have duplicitous names. Will you shut up and get on the Needlessly Slow And Easily Escapable Execution Device already?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Good Gloves, OR, A Limit of Comparisons

Which of these two boxers is more dangerous: a one-time gold medalist, or a three-time silver medalist? The gold medalist was the best in the world, at least for one night. The silver-medalist was the second best in the world at least three times as often. Also consider that a medalist tournament isn't just one match; it's five matches. On all three nights across the twelve years, the silver-medalist won his first, second, third and fourth fights. And if you fight him tonight, you'll be his first. Meanwhile, the gold medalist hasn't won anything lately. So who's more dangerous? The answer is obvious: you’re screwed either way.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Same story, different monologue (part Finale)


Mr. Osbourne dug the tip of Gungnir into the earth before the gods.

“I slew a demon, something no mere mortal could do. I even forged its broken spirit into a spear as a trophy. Evidence.”

The gods muttered to each other. No, they hadn’t considered stipulating that several hundred other mere mortals might help the one mere mortal in question. The God of Accounting made a note to fire whichever one was in charge of stipulations. He thought that was Apollo.

Mr. Osbourne stared at the gods.

The gods stared back at him.

“Well? Pay up.”

The gods grumbled. Then they checked their pockets. Each kicked in a twenty. Eventually the plate rounded over to Rufus, who smoothed out the bills, put them in his money clip and stowed them in his jacket.

“Pleasure betting with you, pantheon. But I didn’t go through all that for money. I remember something about Helios’s chariot?”

The gods looked at each other. Sleep toed the sand, chewing on his bottom lip. Death shied away from him.

"Dude. Helios is going to be so mad at us."

Mr. Osbourne raised his voice. "Didn't we have a bet? Or should I take it up with Zeus?"

Sleep muttered, “It's parked next to Mercury. You have it for the weekend. But please don't ding it up!”

The mortal thought for a moment.

"What'll you give me if I don't?"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Same story, different monologue (part I)

The Bloody Blades. The Million Man Army. The Road Hard Men. Frankly, they drank a lot and fought for a living, so they earned many nicknames. None were particularly accurate. They wielded more bludgeons than blades and at their peak their membership was around six hundred and something, nowhere near a million.

They did most any work, and often made up work for themselves when work was thin, to keep the gruesome reputation strong. This sometimes meant razing a village. They killed every man, defiled every woman, and let the children watch.

The children didn’t take kindly to this. Raising an army of vengeance didn’t work well; there were so many of the Bloody Blades, and so few resources with which to pay help. Some tried to hunt down the mercenaries themselves, but they met grim ends.

One, an orphan named Rufus, took an economic root to revenge. He lived well. He started as a merchant’s assistant at twelve and founded his own business as soon as possible. He worked in ports and got things to places faster than others. Expedited delivery made him a small fortune quickly. Investments made him another small fortune. He rubbed the two small fortunes together until they made him a nice big one.

He scouted the countryside for perilous men and perilous tasks, but even when his former townsfolk demanded he raise an army to avenge their parents, he declined.

Instead he found the mercenaries who had wronged him, tracked them to their door and tossed a sack of silver on the stoop. He hired them to kill off the nastiest demon in this trade route – a twenty-five foot storm beast. It sounded challenging but helpful to their reputations, so all six-hundred-and-something of the Million Man Army marched to its mountain lair.

Unfortunately it was not a twenty-five foot storm beast. At fifty-five feet and quite hungry, it was more than they had armed themselves for. It loomed and laughed.

Behind them, Rufus yelled, “Charge!”

Before they could retreat, their prey descended on them.

To their merit they fought the demon to the last man. As wave upon wave of brutal warriors crashed on it, it weakened. Soft spots opened up. Wounds deepened. And soon it was so preoccupied with maiming and digesting the great mercenaries that Rufus was able to walk up its back and drive a stake through its neck.

He took the glory for the kill out of spite, underplaying how many of them there had been. But that was not his revenge. That, according to what he told one fellow orphan, “was hiring them to go kill themselves.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Same story, different monologue (part Alpha)

I know what you're asking yourselves.

“How did that scrawny, six-foot pretty boy subjugate a giant storm demon?”

I’ll tell you how. He hired six hundred and sixty six mercenaries from the darkest holes in the region to charge at it.

Now, it killed them. Boy, did it ever kill them. It killed them and killed them and killed them.

In doing so, it grew tired. Near the end it was too tired to stop the pretty-boy from jumping on its back and driving a stake through its neck.

It was a wise investment, for not only did he subjugate the demon, but he didn't have to pay a single man his wages.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Same story, different monologue (part A)

Gungnir was this great demon who sat atop the mountain with claws like arrows and of lightning. He challenged anyone to duel him in single combat. Many aspiring knights tried and fell. He was ferocious and wielded an element. It also helped that these duels always happened at the top of his mountain and his adversary was generally exhausted from the climb when Gungnir the duel was on.

Rufus Osbourne didn’t take kindly to this demon that often interrupted his cross-mountain caravans of goods. So he hired the biggest, rudest band of mercenaries on the continent and had them climb up the mountain ahead of him.

He ordered his men to charge immediately, and one-by-one Gungnir dueled them to death. As battles passed, the men caught their breath. By evening Gungnir was fighting well-rested barbarians. Still, the demon slew them, but it wore itself to the bone doing so. With the infernal creature so tired its sparking head now barely glowed, Rufus strode up and announced more duel.

And that is why Gungnir is not at the top of the mountain anymore.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Three Bathroom Monologues to Flashshot

Three currently unpublished Bathroom Monologues have been accepted for e-publication by Flashshot and should appear later this year or in early 2009. The stories are "There's No War Like Snow War," about an insurrection of snow men, "Bathroom in the Mall of America," an over-literal reimagining of the Mall of America in Washington D.C., and "Here Lies John Wiswell," about the demise of yours truly.

You can visit Flashshot every day for fresh micro-fiction from one author or another. The URL is:

John Wiswell

Bathroom Monologue: Same story, different monologue (part 1)

Everyone on the battlefield hated Rufus. He was a pretty boy, unscarred, often showing up with no armor. He today he fought in a pinstripe suit, his spear in one hand, the other holding a cell phone to his ear –and he paid more attention to the cell.

That would have been fine if Rufus would have had the decency to die and make a good example of people who took warfare seriously, but instead he was good. Great. Dispiritingly great, in that cinematic way where his would opponents would look around for a camera and wire crew, figuring he couldn’t really be doing this.

He would bound over a man, kick his lord from his horse, skewer his henchmen, then poll-vault off of them and to the next horse – all while texting with one thumb.

He was an acrobat who never exercised, a warrior who never sparred. When he met a challenging opponent they would cross weapons and his spear would spark with lightning, frying the other man.

They said all his gifts of combat came through his weapon, that it was the broken spirit of a demon and that it guided his body in battle. Though how the heck he’d come by it was a mystery to anyone, including his squad. There were rumors he sold his soul for it on eBay.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Hash It Out

This would cast off the misconceptions about marijuana in modern society. They would publish the Great American Novel, fueled by kind bud. It would be printed on hemp paper with adhesive extracts from the herb. And the novel wouldn’t just be about intelligent people on pot – it would be written by one. Tyrese would smoke a bowl for every writing session, every night until the rough draft was done. Every word would come out of the ether of smoke. The editors would likewise mark up the manuscript in altered states.

The obvious ending is that they didn’t write the book. They scribbled on a couple of pages and got the munchies.

But that’s not true. Tyrese kept Doritos in his desk drawer to ensure devotion to the typewriter. The manuscript was finished on time.

Well then conservative publishers denied their work and blocked the book.

Untrue. A California publisher actually gave them a sizable advance, and the editors of High Times promised at least a semi-favorable review sight-unseen.

Were they busted?

No. The cop was selling to them under the counter.

So what did happen?

The book sucked. The writing was of poor quality and the plot didn’t develop. It had pacing issues and the themes didn’t catch.

It happens to tens of thousands of novels without mind-altering substances every year. Did you think pot would change it?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Warning: The Bathroom Monologues Are Not Child-Safe. Nor are they…

-Beaver Safe (humans build dams and until you face the fact that you are obsolete we will terminate you on sight)
-Duck Safe (even though it's rabbit season)
-Rabbit Safe (because Mr. Fudd put a lot of work into this and frankly you had it coming)
-Creationist Safe (because nothing that's fun is)
-Darwinist Safe (based on my calculations that 100% of all Charles Robert Darwins have been dead and remained dead since the opening of this site)
-Kryptonian Safe (see Darwinist Safe)
-Accountant Safe (there is no accounting for my thoughts in the bathroom)
-Whale Safe (the one who tried to read them suffocated when the laptop was lodged in its blow hole)
-Hooker Safe (see Whale Safe)
-Vestigial Male Nipple Safe (they're embarrassing)
-Quadrilateral Safe (shape up and straighten your sides you damned hippie rectangle)
-Triangle Safe (see Quadrilateral Safe – and don't pretend you only have three sides; we both know better)
-Work Safe (this ends the day it feels like work)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: More Important Than Art Itself

Art began as an imitation of Life. A little simplified, a little streamlined, altering things to appeal to Life more than, say, going out and living. Paintings gave the illusion of depth, but remained two-dimensional. Statues gave the illusion of life, but remained static. Television gave the illusion of objectivity, but managed to be more subjective than Life itself.

Life saw merit in Art. It also saw the David’s amazing abs and all the clever, clipped dialogue on sitcoms, and began to lose track of itself. If Art was an imitation, then it was a representation. If it was a representation, then maybe it was accurate, or even ideal.

So then Life started imitating Art, wearing its logos on t-shirts, quoting from books and movies, dressing up as protagonists and the sexier antagonists at Halloween.

Art was scared shitless. Now Life was catching up to its creativity and sexiness. How was it supposed to maintain attention if Life was just as interesting, or worse, if people thought it was better?

So Art got a boob-job and a make-up girl. It got special effects teams and computer animation to make things way cooler than life ever did. It saw how living were scared of dying, and so it rubbed itself in impossible fight scenes that made death seem not just implausible but downright unlikely for whoever Life liked. And soundtracks. My God, the soundtracks.

But Life started carrying around those soundtracks on iPods and turned masterpieces into wallpaper. It was grabbing whatever Art it felt like and lining its birdcages with it. It was actually doing this because it now defined itself by Art and wanted it around all the time, but Art thought this meant it was being devalued. For fear of being tossed away, Art got another boob-job and began market testing its music.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: My Avatar

My avatar will be a black hole. Light years away from any conflict, and if anyone else’s avatar is dumb enough to mess with mine, she’ll be sucked into a magical singularity. In fact, that whole avatar’s planet will be sucked in. I’ll obliterate the entire cultures and geological histories of those who displease me. Now that’s godly.

An infinitely small, infinitely dense sidekick is also very low maintenance. It will eat whatever I leave lying around. By virtue of its appetite and gravitational pull, it will have billions of miles of interspace property to itself – eventually. Since not even light can escape dark matter, I’ll take it to laser shows, then leave halfway through, just to watch the entire show follow us out the door.

What’s your avatar?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: "Porn degrades everyone, Mark." -Douglas Coupland, JPod

It degrades the people depicted in it (in my experience, usually female), and it degrades everyone of their sex. It degrades everyone who looks at it (in my experience, usually male - and in my experience, usually me), and everyone of their sex. It therefore degrades the entire human race (except hermaphrodites - or it insults them twice as much, I'm not sure). However, the human race really needs to be knocked down a peg. Most of them either think the whole universe was invented for them, or it's meaningless so it's fine to do whatever they want to it anyway. They've killed off billions of species of life, billions of each other, punched a hole in their ozone layer and actually watch American Idol. They're incredibly full of themselves for people who are so insecure. They deserve some serious degradation. If wanking to a magazine from the top shelf insults them, then it's worth $3.95. It’s exactly the kind of degradation we have coming.

Non-Fiction: Where I was when Obama won

I took long, slow breaths and smiled at the TV. He walked up the blue runway and I feared the second I saw his back; it was cinematic, preparing for a rifleshot. It made me shiver. But no shot rang, and his concept of a lifetime of a 102 years in which cars became popular, fascism became unthinkable, a man walked on the moon and a black man could hold the most powerful office in the world gave me the chills. Or so I thought. But when President Elect Obama left the stage with his wife, I realized I'd actually left the window open.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: My Liberal Biases

-There should be an independent commission dedicated to finding the engineers responsible for public restroom hand dryers, specifically to find out why they built them so that they never dry your hands on the first push. The second push always dries you off midway, wasting countless megawatts of electricity in gross usage per year. If a connection is found between these engineers and power companies, a second commission will be assembled to beat the offending parties with foam bats and Hulk hands. A third, more pragmatic commission will go around fixing the blow dryers.

-Not only should the internet remain free of government censorship, but the government should install point counters for interesting leaps of e-thought. For instance if you search for “horse porn,” then immediately go look up “Zell Miller's blog,” you get ten points. The more random your searching habits, the higher your score. The highest scores (along with the discordant web searches that earned them) will be posted on a government website, where Psychology Majors at all nationally credited colleges will be allowed to write a two-page essay figuring out what your train of thought must have been. Ten such essays will count as ten hours of community service.

-I’d like the government to pay a group of men to sit around a garage all day waiting for calls that anyone’s house is on fire. Should they receive such a call they will rush to rescue the inhabitants and put out the blaze. If the program is popular, perhaps we can give them their own trucks fitted with hoses.

-I really would like to institutionalize eating children. Jonathan Swift was a sissy. My modest proposal is put all orphans and unwanted children on a conveyor belt and start canning Bachelor Chow. It’ll solve the abortion problem, as once we start buying infants in bulk, we’ll be able to pay expecting mothers minimum wage, and maybe even a signing bonus. No time-and-a-half for twins. That counts as one, just like those conjoined “bonus” pretzels that are stuck together in the bag.

-That everyone doesn’t believe each other’s myths, but recognizes them as neat. Instead of burning witches at the stake we’ll have interesting stories at backyard barbecues.

-Gay marriage should be illegal. So should straight marriage. Marriage is a religious institution, and even at its most secular, it is a relationship between two people. Government has no place in marriage aside from notarizing the prenuptial agreement and keeping her from assaulting and battering you when she finds out you slept with her sister. And really, I’m 50/50 on that last part.

-The people who set speed limits on highways should have to explain themselves, publicly, while driving their five screaming children to school, when they’re already fifteen minutes late. A webcam on the dashboard will do nicely.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Appetite for Destruction

One of the all-time most common traits in heroes (slightly less common than cheating on their wives, slightly more common than dying as a result of getting caught) is the legendary appetite. Heroes are known for nigh-impossible feats

It seems every great war poem is laden with feasts, preparing for battle, celebrating battle, pausing for the night in the middle of a long battle. Is it that heroes of such great feats need the fuel?

The infamous wilderness fiend Keiji was known to eat two entire bulls before any given skirmish. Khetchewanpy, god of minor conflicts that are later embellished by a poet trying to make a name for himself, drank a river dry to restore himself amidst the Battle of Czenthry.

This is not always a helpful trait. Yellow Horn was known for putting ice cream parlors out of business before defending his home city, until the day he ate 480 consecutive banana parfaits and was slain by a sudden and massive cold headache.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Fleets of Fleeting Moments

"The best moment in a teacher's life is being surpassed by her students. This is preceded shortly by the worst moment in her life: realizing they're getting this stuff faster than she did. God willing, she resigns herself to this reality before the best moment in her life gets there."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Four Invisible Feminists Walk Behind a Bar…

There were a lot of things they could have done with this invisibility. They could have worked for the Pentagon. They could have made millions in corporate espionage. The pranks they could have pulled in this small town would have been legendary.

But they got their higher calling from a CNN story out of Afghanistan – a place two of them hadn’t even heard of them before. A place where a raped girl needed four witnesses to prosecute, and if she failed to produce them, she’d wind up in jail for fornication. The four could pass through any border or checkpoint and walk into any back alley, any hut long after dark, any dirt road just out of earshot of town. Or, they could say they did. In a court of law. In many courts. In every court. As many times as it took.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A ‘While Walking Addendum’ to "Do you believe in ghosts?" asked by Carlos in Devil's Backbone

I don't normally publish follow-ups to my own monologues, even though they happen startlingly often. They seem too indulgent. But when you're out in the middle of the woods like I am right now, with a weak flashlight beam like I have, you're likely to get attached to what you feel. The "believe in ghosts" problem is such a neat one because it taps on how many kinds of belief there are. Belief, non-belief and disbelief barely all make it into a reputable dictionary. But how many phases of matter are there?

Most would answer three: solid, liquid and gas.

(Okay, most would answer, "Huh?")

A slightly snarkier demographic would answer four, and add plasma to the list.

But there are more than four. Vapor is the phase state in-between liquid and gas. Fluid is a phase state in-between liquid and solid. There are states in-between the commonly recognized ones. These are much more amorphous states, as while it’s easy enough to call something solid, everything from molasses to the glass in your windows are fluids. And then there are plays on phases of matter, like smoke, a solid so tiny and fine it's lighter than gas. It baffles the pedestrian mind.

So when I look through this narrow flashlight beam in the woods at midnight, I think there may be fluid and vaporous belief. Maybe even smoke belief (or smoked belief – delicious). That agnostic leaning towards thinking there's nothing behind what he sees. And in most cases, I'm willing to bet there's a fluid belief that's agnostic leaning upon suspicion, with traits harder to observe and often denied. That’s how so many people are left thinking glass is a solid.

I invite anyone who reads this to go grab a weak flashlight and trot out half a mile from your car in the woods. Find a flat stretch of ground like I'm on right now, without too many bumps, so it's safe to turn off the light while you’re walking.

Then do it.

See how far you make it without turning it back on, and see what your instincts conjure up. We've hunted wolves and coyotes to the verge of extinction nearly anywhere you can drive a car, so don't pretend there's a rational threat out there. And don't blame it on movies. Yes, Hollywood has suggested some things that could go bump in your night, but making up a far smaller fraction of our storytelling consciousnesses than what the settlers had around campfires. If anything in our age of high skepticism you ought to be the most immune to worrying about werewolves or whatever.

Yet if I turn this thing off for two seconds I'm sure there's some hulking Grendel in front of me with teeth that have outgrown his lips and hair that's outgrown his hide, ready to leer in my face the instant I turn the light back on.

Me, who reads Scientific American and The Economist.

Then again, I do love the Blair Witch Project.

But it's a worthwhile experiment for the skeptical believer, or the believable skeptic. Get away from the labels, from the ideology of epistemology. Come out here at night with no one around and little light, and see what you really feel, not in hypothesis, but in events. Much as you take a man out of his environment and see how he behaves to see his real philosophy rather than what he put together in a term paper or a lecture, you can come out here any time. I know I have, because while I love my scary stories, I've spent a hundred times the hours sitting out here and hiking than I have watching Horror movies.

Right now I don't feel ghosts swirling overhead or Grendels in the bushes. Instead I’m feeling that people are going to say they felt nothing, or felt stupid, or felt like they were wasting their time. I know because I have that reflex, too. I could say that and cover for the other things I felt. Perhaps lying helps quicken you away from the transitional phases and back to the simple, safe big three of gases, liquids and solids.

And a thousand apologies to anyone actually mauled by a wolf in this experiment.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: "Do you believe in ghosts?" -Carlos in Devil's Backbone

“You know, I'm not sure these things break down to belief, disbelief and non-belief. I've never seen a spectre and they haven't been isolated in scientific tests, so I don't believe in them the way I believe in electrical current and heartbeats. But could they be out there? Sure. Could they be on a whole plane of activity and existence that bares no logical resemblance to the motivations and means of ours? It would explain a lot. Fundamentally, though, it transcends traditional belief and disbelief. Those people running in the famous video clearly hadn't believed the World Trade Center would be attacked. They were confused and terrified, their comprehension challenged even as they were fleeing from a life-threatening explosion. I don't know if I would have believed it, and I don't know if I believe in ghosts, but I think if one showed up I'd be pretty casual. I believe enough that if it doesn't materialize swinging a meat cleaver I'll be able to adjust - and I may not have to adjust at all. Won't know until one shows up.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Original Piracy

Wall Street was suddenly and unexpectedly attacked today by internet pirates. A galleon was somehow able to navigate out of the harbor and onto New York's busy streets. Authorities were perturbed but unsurprised to find the unusual ship was designed by Google. A spokesman from that company says it was still supposed to be in Beta Testing, and regrets having left it in open source. The pirates stole two twelve billion shares of miscellaneous stock that had previously not been issued ownership certificates but existed only as records in e-trading databases. Authorities say their lack of physical existence explains why three overweight pirates were able to carry so many of them in one trip.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The Monopoly of the Abyss

Humans and the other animals of earth are much more alike than they are different. No, I don't have fins or wings, but the bones in fins and wings are remarkably similar to those in the human hand. Certainly more similar than a planet or a chunk of ice. If you haven't noticed, that's what makes up most of the other matter in the universe. Comets, moons, asteroids, planets and stars are really dissimilar to a fish or a human. I am indisputably more similar to a carp than I am to a burning sphere of plasma. Furthermore, I'm more similar to a carp than I am similar to nothing. Nothing actually makes up the most of the universe. Emptiness. The void is the overwhelming majority of this universe. The earth is roughly 12,715 kilometers in diameter. That's taller than me, but we are 149,600,000 kilometers away from the sun. We are 41,000,000 kilometers away from the nearest planet, Venus, which is itself only 12,100 kilometers in diameter. Compare 12,100 of something to 41,000,000 of nothing. That's a lot of nothing at all. Nothing and nothing and nothing within a solar system, of all things. In comparison to that infinite emptiness, that simplicity that is too simple to be simple at all, I'm not like it at all. In comparison to a 1.7-meter gorilla, well, I see a lot more resemblance.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “Would you kill your son if God told you to?” –Penn Jillette on youtube

“Kill who…? But I don’t have a kid.”

Josh looked around to see where that voice had come from. Instead all he saw was his sofa and TV.

And a six-year-old boy now sitting on that sofa, playing videogames on that TV.

“What the Hell?!!”

“When’s dinner?” The boy asked without looking away from his game. “I want pizza rolls.”

Josh’s face contorted. Even as he was shocked by the appearance of a child in his living room, he was remembering why he hated children.

Then something else caught his eye. Sitting on the other end on the couch from the boy, his miraculous son, was a hacksaw.

“I’m hungry!” the boy stated like it was a demand.

Josh picked up the hacksaw and looked it over.

“Well he’s not actually mine, and I do hate kids.”

He carried the saw into the kitchen to think this one over. He was bad at theology.

“Bring me a soda!” came from the living room.

“And I would hate for God to be mad at me…”

Josh smirked.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Things to say right before laughing maniacally.

-“Oh, you were right! The button for the airlock isn’t over there. It’s right… here!”
-“A three-fingered gunslinger?”
-“Consider the European Union... annulled.”
-“I’m afraid the director’s cut was straight to the neck!”
-“You are Tyler Durden!”
-“It would be terrible if someone laced her M&M’s with cyanide. Yes… terrible.”
-“We have nothing to fear… but this grenade!”
-“They’ve pinned their last hopes on two hobbits?”

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Hard on Herakles, Hard On Us All

“It’s hard on me too, Cal. I came back from Hades itself to do good in the world and all I get is smeared in the press. The Greek playwrights were far more flattering, and they never photographed me leaving a brothel. The nerve. They question my character, my powers, even my lineage! They say I’m not the son of Jupiter and how am I to say differently? They want a blood test for a transcendental being. Besides the point that if a drop of my blood got in their hands, ten years go by and you know we’ll be fighting clones. Made the mistake of bringing those arrows dipped in the Lernean hydra’s blood back with me. Military contractors tried to steal them while I was… otherwise engaged. What? I’m single now, and Europe has a much better club scene these days.”- Herakles

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The Pirates Sailed Inland

Having heard some hurtful criticisms about their profession on CNN, the pirates sailed inland for more practical ventures. They scouted the homes of the wealthy, and when the occupants went to work, the pirates pillaged. But they just weren’t satisfied with stealing a home theatre or a sweet sound system. It was too small-scale.

First they tried to yank the whole house out of the ground, but the foundation was too strong and the hull was too small.

They tried sawing the floors apart to make them more maneuverable, but when the lumberjacks realized what the pirates were doing with their saws they took them back and broke the first mate’s arm.

Some of the deckhands had the idea to steal shacks and any other structures not attached to the actual houses. The crew had twenty Hummers (and twenty garages) when the captain returned from Starbuck’s. He was most displeased with the operation, but his first question wasn’t why they’d put a sliding electric door on his quarterdeck. His first question was, “How’d you get the ship on land?”

Thursday, October 23, 2008

“What will the pirates do with this ransom money?” –Some anchor on CNN, OR, Leave your TV on and you’ll overhear some weird things in the bathroom

"Beer and whores mostly, Jared. Pirates aren’t a very bright group and lack long-term investment skills. That’s why they rob people on ships. Even a dumb ass would at least rob car-to-car, considering how many cars there are on a road as opposed to ships in an ocean. Decent criminals rob your home while you’re away. Meanwhile if you sail up to a freighter, chances are they’re home. Pirates lack fundamental understanding of how evil capitalism works."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Responding to a Long'n this Time

Psych was the winner of an Independent Investigations Group Annual Award for Excellence in Entertainment for advancing the cause of science and exposing superstition” –Wikipedia,

Other runner-ups include:

-Ghost Hunters, because sometimes they say there isn’t a ghost.

-Battlestar Galactica, for proving that the future won’t be fun. Screw you, Star Trek.

-Ultimate Fighter, for contribution to the debunking of professional wrestling.

-The Office, for debunking that communities of autistic people can’t prosper.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Announcement: 500

The King Means marks 500 bathroom monologues, folks. That's a lot. I'd like to ask what you all think of the site, its content, and if possible, your favorite bathroom monologue.

Also, you can now subscribe to the Bathroom Monologues. It's free, it's just one of those google features I didn't understand well enough to include until a couple of weeks ago.

John Wiswell

Bathroom Monologue: The King Means

When that impudent whelp completed all twelve trials, the King was forced to grant him the Princess's hand. His last trick was announcing, "By all means, marry my daughter."

No one knew it even was a trick until he objected at the ceremony.

"I object to these vows under the pretense that he has not married her by all means," said the King. “They can marry in the cloud castles, in the neighboring ruins and on my tropical islands. The setting is part of the means, and clearly they have not all been had. They can have the wedding she’s always wanted, the wedding I always wanted to see her have, and the wedding her dear departed mother would have wanted. Of course, we cannot know exactly what she would have wanted, so we will rely on the interpretations of all of her sisters, and her flower maidens, and her best friends, and her priest, and myself – individually. Perhaps at the pace of a wedding a day? By all these means, and by every other conceivable means of marriage, they must marry or never see their marital ceremony complete.”

“And we might elope,” muttered the princess, who had waited too damned long for her dashing, strapping young groom as it was.

“Yes, eloping!” Her royal father exclaimed. “And eloping to the countryside, and eloping to the country in the north, and eloping to the chapel just outside Barrenhaven. But don’t get any ideas about consummating that elopation, children, for it won’t be official on just the first try, and the punishment for deflowering an unwed princess is capital.”

His highness’s shameless literalism was beyond reproach to his royal status and his support for capital punishment.

They went through the rigors. He had them wed by means of mailing in paperwork from various districts. He had them wed by reciting various vows, and when they thought they had completed them all, had them wed by means of those same vows in sign language. The groom peevishly asked if they would have to say their vows by smoke signals, and got his foot stomped on by the bride right before the king ordered kindling.

Day after day went by, but their love was annoyingly strong. They continued to wait and go through new means. In turn the king hired writers, philosophers and puzzle-makers to come up with new means. The young couple married on the night of the full moon and on the night of no moon. They married at sea and on every island in the kingdom. They were wed by every priest, lawyer and nutjob the king could persuade out of an alley. The best was an obscure regional ritual of mediation with the Quakers of the countryside, forcing the couple to convince them of their love, which the princess likened to, “the Chinese water torture of marriage.”

Their love remained annoyingly strong as the king descended into brothels to calculate a final desperate means. As usual with his great policies, a concubine inspired him.

And so at the first day of winter they were married in different regions with surrogate partners standing in for the real lover. The princess married a surrogate groom, and the whelp married a surrogate bride – who happened to be a model for those top-shelf magazines, and had a fondness for clever whelps. Apparently the princess and the whelp mixed their signals, for while she immediately hit the road home, he took his surrogate on a two-week surrogate honeymoon.

They decided to see other people while he was prying the princess’s stiletto out of his forehead.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Capitalism at its Finest

“Why do I want a digital TV? I already have a nice big screen.”
“Well the ten channels that get the digital signal come in a little clearer. The audio is cleaner.”
“It’s not really $900 cleaner…”
“That’s fine.”

Two years later
“Why do I want a flat screen TV?”
“You see, there’s less glare on the surface. No so many reflections.”
“I don’t really notice the glare on my current TV, and I definitely wouldn’t enjoy a totally shineless television $1,100 more than my current one.”
“That’s fine.”

Three more years later
“What’s a high def TV?”
“High Definition television.”
“Why do I want that?”
“On the right channels the colors are much richer, especially the blacks. You get a much clearer picture. Here, check out this BluRay disc.”
“What is a BluRay?”
“The next generation of DVD’s. You’ll have to buy them, too. And a new player.”
“Will it at least play my old ones?”
“No, but that’s okay, because they’ll look ugly on the HD set. You want BluRay. See?”
“Oh, you’re kind of right. I can see more of Robert Downey Jr.’s moles and kind of make out where they put the make-up on him. Also the CGI is more obvious. Huh. … This is actually making television less fun. And you say it’s $1600?”
“Only this weekend. It’s a special.”

Two years even later
“Why am I buying this TV, again?”
“Well next year they’re going to start broadcasting only in digital format soon, so if you want to watch TV you’ll need a new one. And the only digitals we really sell now are high def flat screens.”
“I guess I’ll take it,” he said, pulling out his checkbook. “You don’t know if they make special definition checks that make the same money worth twice as much, do you?”
“Not yet.”

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “There are two kinds of people in this world…” –Many annoying people throughout the decades

-Those who are on fire, and those who are laughing
-Those who don’t get It, and those who don’t know It’s a topic
-Those with healthcare, and those who shouldn’t get sick
-Those who are employed, and those lazy bastards who are lucky we let them stay in our country
-Those who are dumb, and those who are dumb with accessories
-Those who have read all the classics, and those with good eyesight
-Those, and these… wait, I’ve mixed them up
-Those who truly believe, and those who believe in something else
-Those who torture alligators, and pussies

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Please, tell me why I think this is funny

She was a woman so polite that she took her shoes off before climbing the guardrail. She was a woman so polite that she saluted the military hummer that passed her. She was a woman so polite that she apologized to God on the way down. She was a woman so polite that she made no mess. They never found the body.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Notes from a 27-Year-Old Political Vigilant

A painful truth has been revealed in this election cycle. Right-wingers have pointed out that we have only recently heard about Barack Obama. The best-informed of us only heard about him four years ago, and I only heard about him two years ago. That is scandalously little time to get to know a candidate. But when we look back on our national history we see a more insidious pattern emerging. I only heard about George W. Bush and Bill Clinton about a year before either man took office. And Ronald Reagan? I only heard about President Reagan three or four years into his term. More concerning, though, is that I only heard about Jimmy Carter after he left office. In fact, I only heard about every candidate for president before Carter after they lost elections or left the White House. I heard about Abraham Lincoln over a hundred years after he died. Maybe if he’d disclosed more about himself sooner he wouldn’t have been shot. George Washington? Andrew Jackson? Theodore Roosevelt? What did these men have to hide that made them remain silent, some for a full bicentennial before I even heard their names? It must have been insidious. That is why I am demanding every president be impeached immediately, until those not cowardly hiding behind the veil of their graves confess their conspiracy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: I don't want to be objectified...

Yes I do! I have spent my whole life wishing just one hot woman would treat me like an object! You think I do cardio four times a week for my health? I hate cardio! The crunches? Push-ups? Bench press? I want to be an object! Being a person is what makes me take the bus home alone and spend all weekend on X-Box Live. I don't want this! I want to be a Porsche, a stallion, or a foot-long hot dog. Objectify me already!


What I'm trying to say is that while your sex is objectified to excess, mine might be saner and happier if they received it a little more often. Things are different from our perspective. Done to you it's sexual harassment. Done to us it's confirmation that we aren't doing something horribly wrong. Don't go all phantom-feminist and deny it, either. I dare you to go smack ten men on the ass this morning and see how many sue.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: OSC2

Shadow of the Giant Puppet Hegemon is an unconventional parody about giant puppets that don't care about the strings of other toys. They maneuver themselves unilaterally, not caring for the will of other game nations given their fast rate of growth. The puppets will continue to grow to the age of twenty-five, at which point they will pop in a bubble of angst and sawdust. One of the smaller puppets is fixed on becoming a real boy, only to hit the fourth wall and be told he will never pull that Pinocchio trick because child prodigies don't act like him in the slightest, and frankly his characterization would be annoying even if he was middle-aged.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: OSC1

Speakers for the Dead is an unconventional parody wherein the protagonist, Beginner, hooks up stereophonic speakers to the graves of various aliens in order to interpret their culture and say lots of things that will sound profound to teenagers that think all Sci Fi is deep shit.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Enchanted Armor

But most of the meteorite metal was used to build a sacred suit of armor for Yas Hathan. It covered every joint, and though thin, no blade or arrow could pierce its breastplate. When he walked into battle it glowed with a pale silver light that tripled his strength. Yas Hathan felt so empowered that he would not remove the armor, even in bed – and there are numerous apocryphal stories suggesting what the armor tripled there. He wore it to court and weddings, to feasts and funerals. When the neighboring Kyle Empire finally relented and signed an armistice, Emperor Kyle demanded he remove the helm and look him in the eye, ‘lest they fight to the last man. Yas Hathan tried, but found the visor stuck to his cheeks. He struggled with his gauntlets, but felt no flesh beneath the metal plates. The city alchemist used a bent light to examine inside the grates of his helm and reported the armor had not only bonded with his body, but replaced his skin whole, and that there was no way of telling how deeply it had gone. Mortified, he wandered his halls aimlessly, scaring away his servants and family. They heard him cry that he felt his blood slowing, and his heart turning to iron. His oldest boy came down to check on him but could not find the old man – at first. That night they recognized the hall had an extra suit of armor, heavier than the rest. The conqueror has served as a great tourist attraction in the region for two hundred seasons since then.
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