Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Red, White and Blue Sushi

“Well fine, I don't want no chichimangas anyway. Stupid Mexican food is trying to steal American jobs from American food. Food invented right here in America, like hamburger and low mein. Pizza Hut will be our Alamo. It's what George Washington would have wanted.”

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The Efishany

Down in Pine Creek there is a fish that holds a peculiar world record: it’s been thrown back more times than any other in documented history. At least 235 people have caught the Sheldon Gould Bass, and few of them did it out of hunger. The first man to catch it, coincidentally named “Sheldon Gould,” looked into its left eye and immediately realized how to solve all the problems he'd been having with his wife - problems that had him out of their bed at 3:00 AM, and fishing in 30-degree weather. He was so relieved that he didn't even realize he'd thrown the big bass back into the water. It wasn't until the fourth fisherwoman, Rachel Weiss, caught it and looked into its right eye and immediately figured out three habits that would ensure she kick her nicotine addiction, that the public realized there was something up with that fish. All 235 of the successful fishermen and fisherwomen who agreed to be interviewed have confirmed that if you look into one of the fish's eyes, you'll see something in your own mind that you've been looking for. There is only one notable exception, Phillip Barlowe, who saw a medium rare steak. He was very unsatisfied, but he came from a troubled family, and he did go on to open up a very successful chain of bar and grills. We've done our best to discover the source of the Sheldon Gould Bass' power, but everyone who's gone to catch and dissect it had an epiphany and stopped returning our calls.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Have you ever made a pun of which you were way too proud?

"Can you get that lid for me?"
"Of what lineage was Napolean?"
"Of Corsican."

Bathroom Monologue: C Your Way Out

Today's lesson is the A-B argument. It's very popular in places where its being popular would be dangerous. What's an A-B argument? Are videogames dangerous or not? Either A) videogames are dangerous, or B) they are not dangerous. This frame of argument does not allow for Grand Theft Auto 4 to be a potential negative influence on developing children, while Mario Paint and Spore may encourage creativity. There are no third answers. No fifth answers. No ninetieth.

The A-B argument is very handy if you're sure you're right, or if you can benefit from being right. You simply make "A" your belief, and find one other belief to be "B." Now either all Hispanics are lazy and just want to leech Welfare, or you're a racist bastard.

Once A and B are accepted by people who weren't paying attention, all you have to do is discredit, slander and defame "B" in order to be right. There's no mucking around in the murky grey area. There are only two dimensions of argument left in your three dimensional world.

The A-B argument has been popularized worldwide as being part of straight talk; if someone asks "Is Islam the religion of terror?" and you say, "Well, I've met some very nice Muslims, but obviously some terrorists founded their beliefs on the Qur'an," you're a double-talking bastard who cannot be trusted and must be silenced as rudely as possible. Otherwise, you'll be detrimental to the monochrome rainbow that is life in ignorance. It's got to be Conservatives or Liberals. TV or movies. Prose or poetry. Freedom or fascism. And it doesn't have to be kept this way to prevent people from thinking; it's got to be this way so the people making money off of A and B stay rich. Oops. Was that an A-B argument? Yes or no?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The Amicable Haunting

The Dunsly House was not haunted. That would mean a soul, or a ghost, or a poltergeist, or a demon, or a boogeyman, or some other human affair had infested the floorboards. No, it wasn’t haunted. Psychic residue had merely seeped into the architecture, giving the place a personality.

It tried to express itself, but it wasn’t a person, so its manners were different. Too different for its owners to ever realizing it was trying to talk. Still, its actions were considerate it. It insulated much better in the winter than it should have, so long as kids were in the house. It prevented the power from going out during some very bad storms. When somebody forgot that they’d left a cup of water in the microwave for coffee, it sometimes opened the door and removed the cup to put it in view. But some nitwit turned around, upset the unexpected cup and burned herself, and well, from there on it was “haunted.”

But it wasn’t haunted. No one had died there. Two people who had lived there had died, but not in the house. The house didn’t even know those people were dead and hoped, much as pet dogs hope, that they would come home some day. It would be a happy day.

The house hated paranormal investigators and skeptics, and kept quiet around them. The kids who resided in it watched enough science programming for it to learn what humans did to new forms of life they hadn’t studied before. Damned if the Dunsly House was going to be the first house to be dissected rather than demolished. Its only expression to a “ghost hunter” was an incidental close of a door on one of their heels. They debunked it, and the floorboards groaned in laughter. Aside from being insulted that its sentience was mistaken for a lowly ghost, it didn’t want to be discovered. It wanted to be lived in.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Call of the Child

I was 22 the last time I felt the urge. I looked out my dorm window, at the empty soccer field, and immediately checked around my room for a makeshift sword. A cardboard tube or a stick would do. I'd just edited a hundred pages of my thesis in a four-hour marathon session, so my lucidity was certainly suspect. I caught myself as I checked behind my desk for a cable that might double as a whip, and realized how absurd I was being. It was a familiar urge, but one I hadn't felt in years. Probably not since I'd graduated highschool had I heard the call of the child, the strong desire to go outside and play. This urge to stomp around near the woods and slay imaginary dragons was at least as strong as any urge to get laid that I'd ever experienced. It was just different, associated with a far lower level of maturity in my brain - an embarrassing level of immaturity that today I'm willing to say also should be associated with all urges to get laid. The call of the child was something I'd heard and answered almost every day in my childhood, up until my friends and classmates hit the plane of amateur cynicism that made them try to act older than they were at the expense of everything they actually enjoyed. From that age on, I barely ever patrolled my backyard for monsters or supervillains. Like others, I sublimated the urge with sports, videogames, movies and books, which might have been supposed to wean me from the desire, but mostly starved it. Softball isn't an adequate replacement for high fantasy in the county woods, no more than the keyboard I used at 22 was a replacement for a marble composition spellbook. I think I heard the call again today. A shame it was cold outside.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Who's her baby's daddy?

Mother Nature frowned. She looked at the hole in the ozone layer. Swearing under her breath, she checked the thermostat again.

“Global warming…”

She checked the rain forests and the whale populations. Her nervous twitch was back by the time She got to the stripmines.

She popped a couple of pills, sighed and called her secretary.

"Yes, Harry. Call the dinosaurs. Let them know they can have another shot at it."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: This Monologue in No Way Endorses the Idea that Celebrities and Other Assorted Beautiful People have Actual Personalities

Beauty isn't always skin deep. Sometimes it's only a layer of cosmetics deep. So Candy Delilah could have told you, if you recognized her. While Ms. Delilah was a famous pageant queen, she was also the product of hours in salons and make-up chairs. Whenever she went out without make-up she was never recognized, and the few people who did look at her whispered to each other, "Oh my gosh, that that sow is totally ripping off Candy Delilah's style." "She can't pull that off." "The nerve." She was okay with the whispers. Delilah the fashion icon was a character for her, and she enjoyed nothing more than breaking character. It kept the autograph hounds away. It kept the drunks from hitting on her. And when the odd man did offer to buy her a drink, it meant a little more. The actual dates she got were more rewarding, for her and for the guy, who unknowingly discovered that the bubbly idiot supermodel Candy Delilah was actually an interesting person, under her skin.
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