Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Don't Smile

"Quite often now I hear that people who smile too much are hiding something. They are likely stupid or unable to handle reality, and are thus untrustworthy. I wonder on this, because it strikes me that folk who frown too much aren’t hiding enough. Your marriage sucks? Your job sucks? Man, if you can’t handle that, then you aren’t trustworthy. A reasonable person can suppress mundane struggles and go around smiling to strangers. It’s that facial whiner who frowns because his train is ten minutes late that I won’t trust with an account. I expect every employee hates some aspect of his or her life. Smiling despite it is a sign you can handle your load."

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Too Big To Swim

“So they train their whole lives just so they can train for three years just so they can swim for two minutes, and the majority of the people who get to swim for two minutes will be deemed failures? This, my dear, is where depression comes from.”

“Wait, Alison Schmidt is six-foot-one?”

“I see we’re taking different revelations from the Olympics.”


“It’s fine, Lita. I’m sure you could take her in judo.”

“I’m six-foot-one!”

“Sure, but you have more practice at judo.”

“That’s too tall to swim.”

“According to whom? Not the Olympic committee.”

“According to my swim coach who said you had to be slim and elegant!”

“You should take him at judo.”

“Wait, what did the guy say? Missy Franklin’s wingspan is wider than she is tall?”

“Is that rare?”

“Yes. Measure my arms.”

“Can’t I measure something else?”

“You’re never touching anything else if you don’t measure them right now.”

“What the lady wants, the lady gets. You hold this end of the measure, though. We’re not all giants like you… swimmers.”

“I can’t believe this! All I wanted to do when I was a kid was swim. You couldn’t get me out of the water.”

“Certainly your pipsqueak dad couldn’t.”

“Dad. All he wanted me to do was bake.”

“You’re an awesome cook! It’s why I’m wider than I am tall. But not so much wingspan.”

“So? How wide is it?”

“I don’t want to say.”

“Say it.”

“This feels too much like when Jack Nicholson asks the surgeon for the mirror.”

“God damn it!”

“Seventy-four-ish. That’s, you know. That’s close to your height.”

“I could have been an Olympian!”

“What if they made an Olympic event for cakes? You could get the Gold Medal for flour. Well, I guess that’s already a thing, but—”

“Dad paid off that coach. I know it.”

“Maybe they were just dumb back then. I’m pretty sure when you were eleven, they still thought egg yellows were good for you.”

“If he was alive, I’d set his toupee on fire.”

“You could try out now.”

“I can’t try out now! These girls are, like, sixteen. That’s half… half my…”

“Please don’t give me that look like I’m supposed to finish your sentence. If I do, you’ll hurt me.”

“I had so much fun swimming. I wanted to do it more than anything, it was like flying in warm air. Do you even know how much I loved it?”

“No, because every time I go near water it’s for hydrotherapy. My leg makes the dream of the 200-meter backstroke a little harder to fathom.”

“I… hey, I didn’t… I just didn’t realize how much I missed it.”

“There’s a pool at the center. I think it’s ten bucks to mess around until closing time, if you want to do more than miss it.”

“You think?”

“I think ten dollars less sweets for me would do us both some good.”

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Alternative Abstinence Argument, Redux

"Hey kids. You don’t know me because I’m not famous. I’m overweight, my fashion sense is dreadful and my beard is unkempt. I bring this all up because I fuck. Almost everyone I know fucks, and I don’t know many cool people. Fucking isn’t cool. It never has been and it never will be. It’s jamming an extra finger of meat inside a pink hole. Ignore premature ejaculation, rape, syphilis, chlamydia, HIV and the anxiety over whether your period is late for the next month – fucking is downright uncool because of who does it. Your mom fucks. She fucked to have you. Think about that the next time you’re swapping smut stories. Think about your mom moaning your dad’s name. Yeah. Fucking. Fun, but uncool."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: To No One Real

"I’m going to write a pro-monarchy story. If the Rolling Stones can do 'Sympathy for the Devil,' surely I can find some redeeming things about a king. You all are against everything. You quote Winston Churchill saying democracy is the worst except for all the others and pretend he didn’t think it was a vital tool in bettering the world. I’ll be radical. The thing I’ll be against is you, and in doing so I’ll be for everything else. I’ll support the Catholic Church, try to understand the Bush Administration, and when I’m done I’m going to eat a big amoral steak. I’m not going to call 9/11 conspiracy theorists and Global Warming skeptics 'idiots' just so I can comfortably disregard them. I’m going to talk to them. How can you enjoy Hannibal Lecter and then argue against the merits of the Dalai Llama? That is what you seem to like in your make-believe – intellectual murderers, morally vapid assholes packing heat and drugs. You’re so disingenuous that you need fictional bad people to cheer while you slander the real inaccurately. I see this stand is hypocritical, to admit nothing good in you when scouring for the good in everyone else. When I’ve written of tyrants and gang bangers, when I understand the NRA and the Black Panthers, I’ll come for you. I’ll know you by the end, in your depths and all your shallows, and I’ll bring you to life with this pen. I have to, because you’re the last thing that’s killing us all."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Steak the Vampires, Redux

“Here’s the deal,” Coach said as he heaped even more steak on Tim’s plate. It was pink, barely rare. The blood congealed with the juice of the spinach and lentils on the other side of the plate.

Tim looked at Josh. Josh just shrugged, took his plate and reached for the pepper grinder.

“You know how you’ve been saying the new janitor acts weird? How Susan and some other girls seem all drained and you thought it was vampires, and I told you to quit that shit?”

“Yeah,” Tim replied. He really didn’t want to get yelled at about that again, and couldn’t figure out what this had to do with a steak dinner.

“You know all that stuff about vampires? Bite you on the neck? Turn into bats? Crazy made-up shit?


“Well they’re real. They’re real and they’ll be coming tonight.” Coach rubbed his greasy hands together, then slopped the remainder of the steak onto his own plate. He cut it up as he spoke. “They’re coming in mass and they’re coming for you. Every kid on the team is going to be screwed. You’re the healthiest blood bags walking the streets.”

He gestured at Tim’s plate with the carving knife.

“Eat. You got to. It’s the plan I’ve got.”

Tim had a dozen objections, and none cared to voice themselves when his gym teacher was pointing a carving knife at him. He took a bite of his steak and grimaced.

“We’re going to steak them.”

“Stake them?” Josh asked from around a mouthful of meat. He didn’t seem to care. His parents never let him eat like this.

“Steak. E-A-K,” Coach enunciated slowly. “Vampires are magic, right? Well magic is weak as shit against iron. You read any old book and you see: iron stops witches’ spells and cages demons. So when they come, if they get you, they’re going to get a mouthful of iron-rich blood. Beef’s full of iron. So are those veggies. Shame I couldn’t get you some liver, but regardless, you’ll knock them right on their asses.”

Coach shrugged and contorted his face apologetically, then shoveled steak into his mouth.

Tim licked his lips, looking at Coach. He wondered if, in case vampires were actually coming, a History or Chemistry teacher would have come up with the same plan.

Josh handed him the pepper grinder.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Real News

“No news anchor has ever been off television for three years and returned. If you terminate me, you’re right that the three-year non-compete clause will kill my television career. You’re wrong that I won’t be able to hit back, though.

“I get paid enough to have lawyers who have parsed this clause, and there is nothing preventing me from going to Youtube and ripping you apart. More people watch a funny cat video than your leading sitcom. Now, this won’t hit with the internet-illiterate part of our audience, but it will poison the 18-25 demo your advertisers are terrified about. If you think I can’t get an audience, you’ve never seen a famous person go inflammatory online before.

“I can take my claims to the NY Times Op-Ed and The Huffington Post, and my exit will be the top story on every other network, but that’ll be a blip in a promotional tour. The book I write about you will sell more copies for every move you try to make to discredit it, and it will go digital-first, with links and social networks that will draw anyone with a Kindle or iPad to new media. Don’t be surprised if Facebook signs me as their first anchor for their first exclusive on-site programming, where I will get to cover any story I want. If that comes to pass, I sincerely hope that I get to cover your resignation from this network.”

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: The Severe Lady, Mahut-Ky

"She was one of the precious few examples of uniqueness I’ve ever encountered, and she was young, even if her expression was always quite old. She was frightfully tall and her stature suggested some voluptuousness to her character, but she wore clothing of such constraint you could not see even the inference of her figure. Even her hair was pinned as tightly her scalp as the scowl was to her lips. She wore a severity unmatched amongst her peers. Her manner was reserved, motions and words quick, eyes constantly across the scene for the most expedient conclusion that would render what she required. She had no patience for an overwritten book or solemn execution. Customs and politeness were, to her, barriers to a lifelong goal of destroying this wretched world we shared.

"If I never imagined such a person would end the world, it was only because I never imagined any single person could engineer such a thing. But if there were such a person, she was fine for the task. She was equipped to accomplish much in little time, and she had the audacity of youth, that inexperience that allows people to do what anyone with experience thinks cannot. One afternoon I sat in a parlor and listened to her proselytize how ours was a broken planet in dire need of the cleansing of life and renewal through nature’s bare machinations. It is perhaps the greatest testament to character I’ve ever witnessed, in that never during her bouts of venom or illogic did I resent her arguing that we all ought to take up arms, essentially against ourselves. I found in my breast only a longing that, should her impossible design come to fruition, I would have supported it.

"I did not join the cause, for I am a fellow of limited character, and she requires pliability. I do sell her everything at half-cost, though. She makes that much of me a follower in the faith."
Counter est. March 2, 2008