Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: I swear, no more sidewalk sermons from Ashenti

“Friends. Friends, friends and countrymen. We need nothing more than friendship, though a lover and southerly tug will help the day go by. We need to make our neighbors friends, and our enemies friends. We need to make everyone who might draw a knife do so only to cut the bread and spread the cheese. They must laugh at our table. They must think we're funny, and smart in our own ways, and enviable in other ways, and helpful above all, and below nothing. They must have this slight sense of liking us, this little amiability that will shame them should they ever think of pulling the knife for anything else. I've heard a prayer going around, about everyone falling in love with their rivals. I say rising into friendship is better than falling into love for the sake of peace and harmony, for there's more politics in love. Friendship removes the contract from a handshake and the target from a joke. It disarms even as it defines and fulfills – defines you, fulfills the terms that define you, creating a big, black outline around what you ought to be and think you are. Friends, friends and countrymen, make your countrymen friends, and make friends of your friends. Take stock of those you eat with and remind yourself of why they are at the lunch table, and strengthen this fraternal adoration. Keep them close even as you strive to make more of them. And make many more of them, friends. Make nationality irrelevant. Share bread, share butter, share their bizarre delicacies until they’re no longer bizarre. Make the aliens friends. Be the stranger upon whose kindness all can rely and only two things can result: either all the good people will be abused, die out and the world will get what it deserves; or we'll give the world what we think it deserves. Justice will be done, by just us.”

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The Changesaw

Made from the spare quarters of Barack Obama’s sofa, it will slice through anything. Trees instantly metamorphose into paper. Fossil fuels harden into dinosaur bones. Which way will things change? Just made sure the entropy-bit ™ is set the right way. But buyer beware: if this saw cuts you, you will never be the same.

Well, unless the entropy-bit ™ is in the rear position, in which case you’ll instantly go back to what you were like before you were cut.

But we hear that causes some nausea.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Pejoratives and Profane Exclamations

My language is too vulgar. Too much television and fatigue has worn my vocabulary to a nub, and a particularly tiny nub when I'm angry. I say "fuck" way too often. There are "fuck" situations, but hitting the wrong button on the remote, stubbing my toe and forgetting where I parked in a six-row lot just don't qualify. Further, "fuck" is bland even when it's appropriate. Anybody can yell it in any situation, and these days they do. It's played out. So's "fucker" and "motherfucker." They're lame insults, especially the last, which could technically synonymous with "dad." Imagine screaming "Dad! You dad! You God damned dad!" at someone for cutting you off in traffic. It's poor semantics.

If an undead serial killer comes through my campsite, I don't want to be the lame villain that exclaims, "Fuck!" before he's beheaded. No. I want to look up into his hockey mask, and in total terror of his machete, bellow, "What in the blue blazes?"

That would be class. I'm bringing back the blue blazes. I used it this afternoon when the delivery men didn't show up until 2:00. It was satisfying. If I ever back into the garage door, I'm totally using it again.

The next one I'm looking to work into my routine is, "Good God and His all-girl orchestra!" Admittedly more syllables than, "Holy shit," but more worthwhile, don't you think? Somebody's grandma falls skating, breaks a hip, and out comes "Good God and His all-girl orchestra!"

Personal pejoratives, like the dad-synonym, will also get packed up in favor of new stock. The next guy who cuts me off in traffic is getting the middle finger and a resounding, "Buffoon! Sunday driver!" Sunday driver, even if it's not Sunday. In fact, especially if it's not Sunday.

"Galoot," "hooligan," and "tinkerbell" will follow "buffoon" in rotation. I'm working on a particularly condescending "tinkerbell" that should cut those hooligans to the quick.

"Crap fire and save matches!" is also coming back, if I can just find the right opportunity.

It doesn't have to be original. It has to be fresh. I need to feel like I'm exercising a little know-how and intellect in my cussing. There's an aesthetic to it, don't you think? If you sat down to breakfast and a car blew up across the street, you'd be very shaken. But if you sat down to that same breakfast, heard the same car blow up, and had your buddy jump up from the table screaming, "Jesus Crispies and the Sugar-Frosted Apostles!" it might just be the highlight of your day.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: One of Ashenti’s sermons

“The point is to make fun of everything. Not just pop culture, not just those who disagree with you – especially not just those who disagree with you. That inclination leads to self-righteousness and brittle personalities. You need to be able to laugh at everything you love. Your homosexuality, your mess-ups in the lab, your politics – if joking about any of it makes you uncomfortable, then something is wrong and needs fixing. Just because it’s sacred to you doesn’t mean it can’t be funny or shouldn’t be taken with levity for a moment. That’s like pretending nobody’s ever farted in church. I know they have. That’s why I lecture out here in the open.”

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: 10 points if you know what Price, Heston and Smith have in common

There was nothing peculiar about the staff. It wasn’t specially balanced, magnetic or mechanical. If you asked Ashenti to stand atop another, he would. The only special thing about the staff was its owner, who could stand atop staves. He could balance them anywhere, including soft or oily surfaces, and occasionally on top of puddles. Mostly he balanced them on sidewalks.

He stood with one foot on the upright end, and the other leg bent across his knee. It gave him more visible attraction than most of the acts in the corner of preachers. Sometimes he would perform other minor miracles, like curing your hiccups and making c-section scars disappear. But he was not here for miracles.

He was here to spread the word. The word often went, “Vincent Price, Charlton Heston and Will Smith walk into a bar…”

He was an unorthodox preacher, and his primary message was not finding God or enlightenment, but friendship. Friendship, Ashenti preached, was the universal solvent in the universe of emotion. A philosopher could make a good argument, but it would always produce conflict so long as he was a philosopher. "Hearing the opinion of a friend always goes down smoother."

So, too, would any good novel be great in your eyes if it were the work of a friend, rather than the product of an important stranger.

“We would be more forgiving if the man who backed over our cat was a friend,” he said from atop his staff. “So we should make everyone our friend. Then the staves will balance on their own.”

Monday, September 29, 2008

World of Peacecraft

World of Peacecraft was a failed followup MMO. You leveled up by not fighting each other. Everyone hit the level cap in about three days. You discovered awesome powers like splitting open the earth and setting the sky on fire, but couldn't use them. It was then that everyone realized why Gandalf only visited the Shire rather than moving in.

Bathroom Monologue: Thirteen Danger Zones - Instructions to be Posted in Dormitory Showers

Begin at the scalp…

1. Wash your hair. Dreadlocks are not an excuse to smell like your scalp farted.
2. Beard (optional). Just because you washed you put your face under the nozzle doesn’t mean your beard is okay. Chances are there is lint, food crumbs, and possibly an entire nest of insects somewhere in there. To make things easier, both soap and shampoo are acceptable cleansers, so you can hit this spot while in either the hair-washing or body-washing phases.
3. Behind your ears. This is a common trouble spot for pubescent and post-pubescent men, collecting much of the sweat and grime that trickles out of your hair. Be sure to scrub this independently of your hair unless you wear really nice aftershave.

Moving away from the head, we reach…

4. Left armpit.
5. Right armpit. We list these as two separate danger zones for a reason. You may be busy. Maybe you’re thinking about quadratic theorems, or maybe you’re thinking about the recently single freshman at the end of the hall. We don’t care. Remember the golden rule: wash one, wash the other, and do a sniff check. In case of confusion, follow the silver rule: when in doubt, wash both again.
6. Navel. This is not a public service, but will prevent mood-ruining odor and/or taste during possible tongue foreplay. Remember boys: God gave men a belly button so they’d know what a yeast infection was like.
7. Your general plumbing. Doubtless you’ve already been introduced. Be thorough, especially if you’re uncircumcised.
8. Left crotch pocket. Much bigger trouble area on overweight shower-goers, the bit of flesh territory between the pelvis and thigh is a notorious stench-zone and requires as much attention as your general plumbing.
9. Right crotch pocket. Gold and silver rules, people. Especially during Spring “shorts weather.”
10. Grundle. If you are uncertain on what a grundle is, go ask other dorm room members. It’ll be fun.
11. Butt crack. Often overlooked, over looked over, but if ignored can become the most hazardous of “scorched earth” zones.

Many attentive shower-goers will end service here. Don’t be like them. Head further south for the final zones.

12. Spaces in-between the toes of your left foot.
13. Spaces in-between the toes of your right foot. Perhaps the sweatiest zone of the body, and according to unscientific surveys, the least washed. Nothing short of a nuclear holocaust is worse than some asshole in Berkenstocks kicking his fungus-infested feet up on the desk during a lecture. Have some human decency, bend over for thirty seconds and do something down there. We recommend at least two back-and-forth motions of soapy fingers in each crevice.

This concludes the thirteen emergency zones. Any face, neck, torso or leg washing is generally extracurricular but appreciated. Similarly, acne treatments and make-up are optional. Post-shower deodorant, however, is not optional.

ATTENTION: Invisible utahraptors have been stationed outside the bathroom in case you miss any of the above spots. They have been bred and conditioned to feast solely on unwashed flesh, so if you don’t want your ass chewed off by a dinosaur, wash it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Do You?, OR, I’m accepting proposals

"The advantage of a wife is not in tax breaks. It's not in someone else cooking dinner or doing the laundry. It's not in the sex (that rose loses it's bloom disconcertingly fast). The real advantage of a wife is knowing for certain that someone far better than you, far too good for you, far above you in every way that matters, would still say, 'I do.'"
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