Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Themes

-The difficulty of creation, the ease of destruction, and the callowness of those that go the easy route (“Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I prefer long novels”)
-The importance of a group of individuals that choose each other, like friends, over groups made up of arbitrary boundaries, like countries and races (“The man who chooses to guard my back on his own is better than the three who do it out of family obligation, and if he stabs me, he’ll have a motive that’s at least three times more interesting”)
-The prime motivation of satisfaction (“Money, luxury, sex, love, all try to woo it into submission, but only it is itself”)
-The comforts of the existence of orthodoxy for heretics (“It’s an ugly tree, but something’s got to cast shade”)
-That you can make fun of anything if you do it right (“Some things are sacred, but the holy ones still know how to laugh”)
-Waterslides (“Weeeeeee!”)
-We don’t fucking know, and we don’t trust anyone that says they do (“If there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, then it can illuminate my descent”)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Notice: Not Not Closing Down

I was moving on March 31st and April 1st, and so was too busy and tired to realize it was April Fool's Day. I deeply regret missing the opportunity to pretend this site was closing, that I had become a Televangelist, and/or perhaps that it would begin charging a membership fee (to finance my Evangelism? Hmm?). Out of my deep sorrow for this missed opportunity, I promise that the site will close and/or have a registration fee come April 1st of next year. If things work properly we will charge you for the closure of the site. Visa, Mastercard, Debit, Paypal, Rupees, Gil and items off my wishlist are acceptable forms of payment.

Bathroom Monologue: Cover, Bathroom Monologues Anthology, Vol. 1

Public restroom. Teal tiles, grey doors. Close-up on one stall. Door is wide open. Overweight man in blue jeans and a Hawaiian shirt is blocking the toilet, facing away from us. One hand is clearly taking care of business, while the other is gesturing. He appears to be addressing someone. There is no back wall to this stall. Instead, we see an amphitheatre from the conductor's point of view (toilet as podium?). The amphitheatre is packed with very well dressed couples of distinguished age, looking his way with hushed interest.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: This Monologue Brought to You by: Food Poisoning

Everybody expected Yusef Amin Jr. to quit after a week. Half a month at the most. He was a spoiled teen riding a trust fund. He came from money, slept in money, and didn’t need to go to college or worry for his future. He was destined for luxury. That he wanted to work in a soup kitchen was just a phase. He’d signed up on a moral kick, for the emotional high of feeling good for doing good. He’d be back on X-Box Live as soon as he felt better about himself.

But he lasted a week. Then two. Then an entire month. His co-workers were shocked to see him return after the time a patron stabbed him in the kidney. The patron had waited outside, hearing about Yusef Jr.’s wealth. He carjacked him and left him with a flesh wound for his troubles. Police never found the assailant. Yet Yusef Jr. came back, and he came back to the same kitchen. He came back with a vengeance, doubling his hours at the local shelter (while wearing cheaper clothes to work). He came back maxing out credit cards to keep blankets in the shelter and chicken on the menu.

Yusef Amin Jr. was stabbed three times over his entire career of hands-on philanthropy. The attacks were unrelated to each other, mere hazards of working in bad areas.

Exiting the hospital for the third time, he saw a guy playing his guitar with his case lying suggestively on the sidewalk. Yusef Jr. dropped his pocket change in. Yusef Sr. chastised that giving to the poor only encouraged them to remain as they were.

Jr. responded, “Yeah, dad, I’m sure this ninety cents will totally validate his life’s dream of wearing bags over his feet and not knowing if he’ll have a roof over his head tonight.”

Then Jr. dropped the contents of his wallet into the case.

Sr. cut Jr. off financially. It did not last, not with Mrs. Amin worrying about her son, but it sent a clear message.

So Yusef Jr. went to college, studying politics and social studies, while keeping up social work as an extracurricular. The story of his third attack circulated so much that he inevitably had to explain why he kept coming back to shelters. He said he was born with a deep-seated terror of poverty. He was not afraid that the guy lying on the pavement would mug him, or that the needy veteran on the steps would go crazy if he approached. If anything, Yusef Jr. was terrified of the notion of people being poor. It chilled him; just thinking about it made his hands cold. For him, helping out at a soup kitchen was entirely selfish, just as everyone said, except that the selfishness manifested in needing to feel he did something. That was his moral kick, and he would never stop kicking.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Racing to Enlightenment

“In my search for the divine I didn’t encounter the Creator, but I did encounter an allosaurus. I converted to athleticism – while running.”

Bathroom Monologue: For the sake of brevity

Something serious. A humorous twist on the serious statement. Something absurd. Something more absurd. Something absurd masquerading as something serious. Something that goes over your head. Something that goes over my head. Vaguely funny closer.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Sometimes life is like...

Always the sewer! Always the frickin' sewer! "Lo, there are mutant alligators in the sewer." "Lo, there are werewolves in the sewer. Better take your expensive silver weapons down there." "Lo, there's a Satanic cult plotting to overthrow the government. They're at that country club you like so much. Stop them and you’ll get free lunch." "Really?" "No, sewer." Why do I always have to fight things in the sewer? Why are they all down there? There's nothing there! It's the same thing; they go down there, I go down there, they die, I fall in a vat of unmentionables, and I spend the next week chewing antibacterial soap to get the taste out of my mouth. Well not this time! This time Hung Lo thought ahead! I wired the sewage treatment plant with enough TNT that if anything survives the blast, it deserves to overthrow humanity. It's the devil hunter equivalent of flushing a cherry bomb. It’ll knock out every pipe and support beam under the city. In a half hour, this city will be under water. Brown water. Let's see how you like having to shower in Listerine!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Justice, like lighting!

I've never understood doing what voices tell you. Most of the voices are children. If a live child tells me to go strangle the neighbor's dog, I tell it to get the heck off my lawn. The disembodied child voice isn't even on my lawn. I'll tell it the Easter Bunny isn't real and it'll run away crying.

If it's an adult voice, I'll reason with it.

“No, I won't strangle the neighbor's dog. It's cute and never craps on my part of the sidewalk."

Sometimes these voices claim authority. If it claims to be the voice of God demanding some violent sacrifice, well, that's the easiest case of all. I’ll tell it, “No. You do it.” I mean, it's God, right? “Heck, don't just strangle it. I want a bolt of lightning out of a clear sky to fry that frickin’ mongrel.”

Busted. It was one of those disembodied kid voices with a voice modulator. I taught those punks.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Jane Thoroughs

When Jane Thoroughs reached the level of literary fame that meant she didn’t have to pitch ideas, but just write stories and mail them to an editor, she whipped up “The Banquet of Crow, v.2.” And because she was at a level of literary fame that meant she had any literary fame at all, the editor of the small periodical rushed to make it his cover without asking what “v.2” meant. It was probably one of those many literary flourishes the greats liked so much.

He’d wished he’d asked about that and several other things when some very angry people from Dorothy Parker’s estate wrote to remind him, if he’d ever had it in mind, that the late luminary had written something called “The Banquet of Crow” in 1957. They also wrote to ask if he’d noticed how similar the stories were, paragraph for paragraph. They’d said “word for word,” but Jane pointed out that not all the words were the same.

Glimpsing at them side-by-side, paragraph-to-paragraph made it seem like the stories were the same. But this was only because of careful word selection; the geography of the paragraphs looked identical because Jane had rewritten parts syllable-by-syllable, so that only by reading the actual words would you notice they were different. Read aloud, they even had the same tone.

“The Banquet of Crow” was about a whiny housewife who couldn’t get over the fact that her husband had abandoned their tedious, loveless marriage. “The Banquet of Crow v.2” also about an abandoned housewife who went through the same parties, got hooked up on the same failed date by her friends, and saw the same over-pampering psychologist as the madame of “The Banquet of Crow.”

But “v.2” was more sympathetic to the wife. It didn’t make her a heroine or anything, but it depicted her as the victim of broken habit and real shock rather than Parker’s bitch that all but willingly refused to get over things and face reality. When the scorn poured in Jane answered, “This isn’t plagiarism. It’s editing.”
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