Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: "Is football any better than dogfighting?" -Malcolm Gladwell from Oct. 19 New Yorker

a) The goal of a dogfight is for one dog to hurt the other. The goal of a U.S. football game is for a human to carry the ball over there. A dog might possibly carry the ball over there, but one has yet to make an NFL starting line.

b) Related to a), American Football is played by human beings, who possess a degree of intelligence and sentience such that they can consciously consent to play.

c) Also related to a), more people die installing toasters than die in the NFL and U.S. collegiate leagues. The same cannot be said of the toaster-people-to-dogfighting-dogs ratio.

d) The NFL and U.S. collegiate leagues are stringently governed for the safety of their players and every game has medical staff on hand.

e) If a player appears injured, the game is not stopped by a gunshot so that the player’s owner can drag him to his car and euthanize him. Rather the game pauses, and if the player is indeed injured, he is helped off the field and examined by medical professionals.

f) The dogs in a dogfight do not wear several pounds of state-of-the-art protective gear including helmets that could stop a machete.

g) In American Football, a player that purposefully injures another can be penalized or thrown out of the game. In a curious relation to e), this player is also not dragged to his owner’s car and euthanized.

h) The loser of the first football game of the season still has to play at least fifteen more.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Fuel for Greatness, OR, "How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness" -Joshua Shenk in "Lincoln's Melancholy"

Listen to the audio version or download the MP3 of this week's Bathroom Monologue here.

The gnome was puzzled as soon as he departed the esophagus. His fellow gnomes were shoveling what looked like solid sadness into great ovens that burned around the president's stomach.

A slightly taller than average gnome approached him with a clipboard.

"You one of the new men?"

"Sir, yes, sir." The new gnome straightened his posture. "Reporting for duty in service of my country, sir."

"Good, good," said the superior gnome. "Fetch a shovel and get to burning that depression."

"Sir, is it constitutional to damage the emotions of the commander in chief, sir?"

The superior gnome frowned over his clipboard.

"That's why we're here, private."

"Sir, I read that depression was the cause of his greatness, sir."

"No, no. The fuel." The superior gnome came closer. "It's the fuel of his greatness. And what do you do with fuel?"

The new gnome kept his eyes forward.

"Sir, store it in something safe, sir?"

"You're a cute one. What do you do with gasoline? Burn it. What do you do with coal? Burn it."

"Sir, so what you're saying is..."

"What I'm saying is that if we want this president to get anything done we've got to find all his depression and set it on fire. Now come on. He's got to emancipate the slaves and win the biggest war this country's ever seen! It's going to take a lot of depression."

"And cause it, I'd assume.” And then he remembered to add, “Sir!"

The superior gnome pointed to the nearest oven, which billowed with a smoky melancholy.

"That is not our problem! Now fetch a shovel or start cleaning the stoves. The grease that builds up in there is figuratively and literally bad for morale."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: The Drop Off Signal

Theodore sat near the elevator and bathroom on the third floor for fifteen minutes. For all fifteen he pretended to read from red composition book. “William Tell” was the name on the cover.

Sixteen minutes in, an old man in a brown blazer exited the elevator. He paused for a moment, looking at Theodore’s book, then came over.

“Is this seat taken?” Brown Blazer asked, tapping the seat to William’s right. Every seat in the row was empty.

“Slow day,” replied TheoWilliam.

Brown Blazer sat down next to him.

“That is a nice book. Do they come in blue?”

“The pens do.”

“Okay,” said Brown Blazer. He sat there for two more minutes, looking at his watch. The band was brown.

After the two minutes, he rose, tapped his left hip pocket, and went to the bathroom. A minute later he emerged, tapped his left pocket again, and departed for the elevator.

Theodore pursed his lips. He was tempted to go check the bathroom, but H.Q. had said the contact would wear a tan a blazer. Better to be safe and maintain his cover.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Alternative Arthurian Lore Story Ideas

-Couples counseling for Arthur and Guinevere (Morgana as therapist?).

-Buddy comedy with Sir Dagonet and Sir Pelleas, as the latter tries to prove he really is married to the chick in the lake.

-Merlin pulls the sword from the stone by accident, and tries to glue it back in the same night as a dinner party.

-Random knight (Galahad? Gawain?) enters beheading contest against an immortal.

-Lancelot carves Jesus's name into a cup from the mess hall so his buddy won't invade the Middle East.

-Anna, Arthur’s childhood friend who we swear is totally not a Mary Sue, puts on young Arthur’s helmet and subs for him when the once and future king gets stage fright following pulling the sword from the anvil. She’s headstrong and so much smarter than those dumb old knights.

-The Black Knight sucker punches Arthur and claims the throne; follow his Clint Eastwood-like grizzled and angry reign.

-The Black Knight sucker punches Arthur and claims the throne; follow his liberal B.S. fantasy reign where he’s so much more progressive than Feudalists (Oscar guaranteed with this role!).

-Janitors of the Round Table, a trashy insider tell-all book from the perspective of people who cooked and cleaned in Camelot

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: You didn’t have to elope.

You didn’t have to elope. Okay, your mother never would have given her blessing to you marrying a… one of them. But I would have. You’re my boy. You would have made the decision no matter what I said – that’s obvious because you ran off and got married without asking me! And if you had to do it that weekend, fine. But if you called, I would have come. I would have been on the first plane to be there. I would have gone to your Bachelor Party. I would have paid for dinner after the reception. I will spend the rest of my life wishing I could have been there for this. And I’m not angry at you. You’re a married man now, and you’re going to have a lot more problems than some over the hill guy from the middle class being mad at you. I’m telling you this because I want you to call me. When you buy a house. When she gets pregnant. When my first grandchild is born. I don’t know what I ever did to make you think you couldn’t call me or shouldn’t tell me, but please: call. I will be on that first flight to see my grandson take his first steps or graduate third grade. Just call.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Livetweeting the Second Coming

For the next hour I will be LiveTweeting from the second coming of Christ. #tweetus

He brought doughnuts! #tweetus

Comes out to Queen. “It’s A Miracle.” Naturally. #tweetus

Be good to each other. Help the homeless. Usual stuff. #tweetus

Has a special guest? #tweetus

I think it's Gandhi. Can He bring back a Hindu? #tweetus

Police are here. Jesus is talking to them. #tweetus

We didn't have a permit for public assembly? Oh come on. #tweetus

How can He get a permit when He was dead until 4:00 PM? #tweetus

He asks everybody to leave peacefully. "Leave unto Caesar..." Awesome sense of humor. #tweetus

Says he'll see us all next year. Some of us sooner. He winked at me. That was disconcerting. #tweetus

Everyone seems pretty happy. Not what He used to be, but you knew what you'd get. #tweetus

By LiveTweeting, are you admitting all your other tweets are dead inside? #tweetus
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