Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: This Place is Flat

Welcome to the flats. The citizens don’t know about the rest of the world, but they’ve taken topography and bought enough carpenter’s levels to know that every mile of this place is flat. They’re not near the ocean, but when a carriage disappears, it does not sink over the horizon. None even come back, unless they fall upwards. Things fall up more often than you’d think, but you get used to it, and even appreciate it when you knock your drink over and don’t have to clean the carpet. Yes, it’s flat, things can fall up, and winged foot racing is the local pastime. How fast can you run to the sun? You can do it, right? Your country better, because they’ll host the Olympics sooner or later, and they know the game they’ll add.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Have you seen my R.A.Q.? 2009 Edition

Shelly asks, "What made hats for men go out of style? Everyone used to wear hats all the time. What happened?"

-Sports happened. Baseball caps were cheaper, lighter and provided direct shade for the eyes, as well as allowing one to associate with any sort of team or brand. Soon they were further accessorized until they were the head covering of choice for their generation, and that generation grew up to set the standard. Unfortunately humanity soon realized baseball caps look exceedily lame on anyone besides a pitcher or a mechanic, and thus many abandoned hat-wearing entirely.

Max asks, "Is Hellboy Ron Perlman wearing a Hellboy suit? Or is Ron Perlman Hellboy, wearing a Ron Perlman suit?"

-If you've seen Perlman without make-up, you know he's Hellboy wearing a human suit.

Samari asks, "Who put the bop in "The Bop she bop" and why would they do that?"

-To enable that woman to live her dreams of performing a verb on a noun of the same name.

KingAC asks, “If you could be any contest from a VH1 Reality show, who would you be and why?”

-I would be the contest where nobody did anything annoying for half an hour (minus commercials). Though I suspect such a contest has never happened on a reality show, given the opportunity, I would will this into existence and then be it, for the good of my fellow man.

Cassie asks, “What happened to the vest? Is it due for a comeback?”

-The vest is part of a time when men cared about their appearance. Between the Woodstock anti-capitalist period and the Gangster lazy millionaire periods of American society, spending ridiculous amounts of money to look like you didn’t care how you looked took over. The vest was drugged by nudists, stabbed several times by apparel with logos on it, and ultimately thrown in a sack and tossed in the river by ironic t-shirts. Vests could make a comeback. So could Grigorii Rasputin.

Laurita asks, “What is your favourite use for socks?”

-I have a terrible allergy to cats. They drive up my asthma and touching their fur causes woeful hives. Prolonged exposure could be fatal. My favorite use for socks is to cover my hands so I can pet them, pick them up, and throw them outside.

Roscoe asks, "What were the Egyptians up to during the middle ages? From Cleopatra to the British Empire it's like they didn't exist."

-Mostly, Europe happened to them. After Queen Cleopatra the 7th played with some snakes, Octavian annexed Egypt as a Roman province. The Romans taxed the heck out of the native Egyptians, and both parties were pretty big dicks to the Jews. Christianity popped up, like it does. Then Islam popped up, in the form of people with weapons running into the country. They were repelled for a while, but eventually the European Byzantine Empire got distracted and the Muslims pretty much got the place by default (and by default, I mean a lot more bloodshed). Various Islamic powers passed Egypt around like a hot potato until the Turks buttered it and added it to the Ottoman Empire. Europeans came back a while later to find they didn't like the furniture and declared a whole bunch of crusades. Some crusades were Christian, many were financial, and one came in the form of Napolean saying he really liked Muhammad and his book. None lasted and eventually the British took over to set up the highly anticipated World War Trilogy, which as we all know, fell apart halfway through.

That's it for this year's RAQ. I'm off to celebrate my birthday (or sleep through most of it). The Comments section is active below and there's a Wishlist link on the right side of the site. Here's to another year of seeing if I can keep this daily thing up.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

60 Second Writing Challenge: What wouldn’t you let servants do for you?

No Grace, you cannot eat my food for me! You! Let go of the remote! Listen, choosing the channels I watch is not a servant's job. Go vacuum. Go do the laundry. It’s almost spring. Mow the lawn! Why the Hell are you sitting on my furniture instead of moving it upstairs? There are some things a guy insists he do himself, and then there are some things he insists other people not do – like wearing my clothes! Come on, that’s creepy.

( Inspired by )

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

R.A.Q. 2 Rising

This is the last day to add questions for the R.A.Q. If you've come up with any more, drop them in the Comments of this post, or the original. I'll see you all on my birthday, with Rarely Given Answers.

Bathroom Monologue: Zoroastrian Dodgeball

Ahura Mazda, the Uncreated Creator, stood on one side of the gym. Ahriman, bastion of chaos and destruction, stood on the other. The surveyed the line-up of potential players.

As always, destruction won the coin toss.

“I call Apollo,” said Ahriman. “He’s god of almost everything and knows a thing or two about sports.”

“Dodgeball will be in the Olympics next year,” Apollo said, trotting over to the evil side.

Ahura Mazda shook his head. “Narrow-minded. I call God.”

“I’m not playing,” said a transcendent voice. Instead a diminutive North African with a nice beard and a blue robe showed up. He looked hopeful. “It gets boring and Apollo always winds up crying. You can have My only begotten son.”

“We don’t want Jesus! He’s a wuss!”

“He’s not a wuss. He’s a pacifist.”

“Pacifists suck at sports.”

“Pacifists can excel at the cerebral, respectable sports. But if you intend to play this like brutal idiots, yes, you and My son are screwed.”

“Lend a hand," cried Ahura. "I’m pretty much You!”

“That analog trick doesn’t work on Me. I’m in all things.”

The guy in the blue robe trotted over to the side of good. Ahriman sneered.

“I call over… the God of War.”

Half a googolplex of gods went over to the left, some in Greek armor, some in Chinese plate, and millions in grass skirts and wielding pointy sticks.

“That is cheating!” proclaimed Ahura. “You can’t just call what they stand for and take all of them!”

“That’s a fair rule and I second its use henceforth. But you can’t apply rules retroactively, so the gods of war stay on my side.”

Ahura Mazda glowered at his nemesis.

“Fine. I call Gaia.”

The entire planet earth got up from under the gym and moved to Ahura Mazda’s side of the line.

“Shouldn’t be that hard to hit her,” said Angra.

“Should be pretty hard to hit anything hiding behind her,” said Ahura. “Plus, being a spheroid, she might even count as a ball that could hit everyone on your side in one throw.”

Angra Mainyu nodded in hateful respect. “You’ve gotten good at this game.”

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mother of Mercy

"Actually beginning in 1996 they stopped using lethal injections. The electric chair went out long before that. Those stories are just perpetuated to put fear into the public. I’m surprised the government doesn’t pretend you’re guillotined or torn apart by horny badgers. It’s the final meal that kills you. They drug it. They cook whatever you want, make you all happy and relaxed, and before you know it your Georgia potato salad puts you to sleep. They consider it a merciful capital punishment."

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: I was the oldest child and the last to learn to tie my shoes

I kneel before my son. He is chubby cheeked and almost cherubic, except for the evil Transformers on his little tee. He kicks up a foot and I take it in one hand.

“You’re my boy,” I tell him, “and I want you to understand how there is harmony in the universe. All life is patterns.”

“Okay, dad,” he says, unfazed thanks to years of comic books about cosmic struggles.

“You’ve got this shoe here,” I say, wiggling his foot. He nods with polite interest.

“And see how the other one looks the same, but flipped over to fit the other foot?”

He nods again, a little less polite. “No shit, dad,” he could say if he knew how to swear. “Shoes match.”

“They do. And you lace them up the same, then tie a knot.”

His lips pull down. He’s been struggling with tying his shoes.

“Look,” I say, squeezing his sneaker. He looks and I narrate, taking one lace by the neb, “I make one loop with this lace, and then what do I do with the other?”

“Make another loop?”

“That’s right! The two sides imitate each other. Then you cross them, like so.”

I pinch and loop the laces. One makes a circle, and the other goes through it.

“Did you see how they did different things there, but swapped sides? One is still one each of your shoe. Pull them tight like that, and you make one whole knot that’s actually a pattern of two laces doing the same stuff.”

He frowns down at Megatron on his shirt. “I don’t get it.”

I release his left foot and pick up the right one.

“You will, with repetition.”

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Of Car Culture

The two most important things in the county are cars and children. They are signs of fortune. The custom with new cars is for a neighbor, normally your best friend, to come over and take a look. He will do some damage to the vehicle; perhaps crush a bug on the windshield, or make a scrape on the hood. The damage is seldom inside the vehicle, usually around the front so the new owner will see it every time he walks around. If it’s a stain, he is not to wash it off. And if it a permanent knick, he does not complain. The point is to relieve anxiety, for every new car is worn down and produces problems that unharassed owners obsess over. The car that has been marked by a neighbor reminds its owner every day that little imperfections will accrue, and they do not matter.

The same sort of friendly is not done to newborn children when they are brought home, as within hours a baby shits itself. Babies require less disillusionment than cars, and strangely, the men come over less to see them.
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