Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: How Neat a Future

Because they're all old, you don't think about it. But a president is going to be born this year, or soon. He might have been born this morning. She might have been born this morning! We've already got a black president. Imagine: by the time all the little girls down at the local hospital grow up to be 35 so they can run for president, what barriers will be down? I mean, in thirty-five years? I'll be old. I'll hate the music. I'll think the Shia woman being sworn in is immodest to be naked. It's cold out – put some kind of scarf on! That generation was so weird, but they did their own thing and there's their naked Shia woman president, who probably has three daughters she thinks are wild beyond control. As I take my heart medication I'll wonder what taboos are left. Is modesty the new taboo? Will it be cutting edge to vote in a boring white guy president who is so pretentious that he wears pants to the Senate? Maybe they'll clone JFK and raise him on old-fashioned HD TV and Youtube videos with traditional American values. I don't know. The babies born in the hospital today don't know. But they'll grow up to be it. How crazy. How neat a future.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Evolution of Silverware, OR, “Do you believe forks evolved from spoons?” –Blogspot question

“Well, do you?” asked the knife.

“You know how to kill a mood,” said the spoon. “We’re finally both clean and alone, I just laid down a fresh napkin, and you have to bring up relatives.”

“So you think they are descended from you?”

“We do not have a common ancestor. Do I look anything like a fork to you?”

“No, sweety. You’re elegant.”

“Damn right I am. Ever seen a fork with trim like mine?”

“The forks in our set are very stylistically—”

“Finish that sentence and see if you don’t sleep on the floor tonight.” The spoon huffed. “Or maybe you want to go sleep with the fork. After all, we’re the same to you!”

“That’s not what I was asking!”

“Is the Menu not good enough for you?”

The knife shook. “The Menu is infallible.”

“Darned shiny it is! And it says nothing about us having common lineage. Silverware has always been laid out this way. There’s nothing more to it.”

"See, that’s a problem. I hear that other tables the fork and knife are man and wife, and the spoon stands alone.”

“You have been fantasizing about forks! It’s the slits up the front, isn’t it? Gets you nice and polished? Is this what the other knives talk about when they're alone in the drawer?”

“I’m just wondering if silverware evolved differently over there."

“They’re savages. Probably get you nice and polished, imagining foreign tables with no napkins. Maybe all silverware evolved from the pins they stick in olives! Dirty pins with no modesty. That doing it for you, Knife?”


“Don’t Honeyspoon me! I let it go now and by mid-supper you’ll be moaning about sporks.”

“They’re unexplainable!”

“They’re all plastic! There is no metal spork. It's the missing link in your magical theory that lets you rub up against any old utensil you want.”

The knife sighed.

“I’ll get on the floor…”

“Tell me if you discover any of the plate’s descendents down there, Mr. Paleontologist!”

“Ow!” Robert cried, dropping his knife. It clattered off his lap and to the carpet. He waved his hand, then sucked on his bleeding thumb.

Cheryl tilted her head at him. “Are you okay, honey?”

“Yeah,” Robert said, frowning at his spoon. “No idea what just happened.”

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Salek the Shapeshifter

Salek comes from a race of very mild shapeshifters. He can morph his brow a little, a bit of skintone or ear positioning. It’s not terribly useful on a world with a single dominant species. Think about your neighbors. Messing with his forehead and ears wouldn’t convince you that your nextdoor neighbor was actually his wife. But when humans live with other intelligent species, it’s great at fooling them. That’s because all Danarians look alike. Flaky blue skin, no ears, big chins. Unless they have a hideous scar or a breathing mask on, they all look alike to you. So Salek can change to like any other Danarian, and fool none of his own kind. But to me? With the gill-beard thing, he looked like the owner of the company. I’m just saying that… you know. I didn’t realize it was Salek. I should have figured the president wouldn’t ask me to load up a truck with all the isotopes, but I didn’t want to get fired. I still don’t want to get fired. That’s why I’m explaining that it was probably Salek. I don’t know because… well, they all look alike.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: A Get-Well Voodoo Doll for Gerard

His last visitor was Lionel. Gerard's Mom held him to last so she could claim it was getting late and kick him out whenever it sounded appropriate.

Gerard's Mom stayed in the hall, talking with doctors. Lionel slid right around her, plopping in the visitor's seat beside the bed. His arms folded next to Gerard's leg, which was in a cast so huge it belonged in a cartoon.

"It doesn't look that bad," said Lionel.

"It's exactly as bad as it looks. It'll be at least a year. So much for the Stanford internship." Gerard folded his arms over his chest. "This blows."

Lionel leaned in all conspiratorial-like.

"Listen, I know you're not that into voodoo now that you're a scientist...”

“I was raised in voodoo. It's you who doesn't understand how it works.”

“I made a doll with a strand of your hair.” Lionel motioned with his hands as though playing with an action figure. “Hair’s got your genes on it, so it’s also scientific.”

“And what did you do? Fix its leg?”

“No, better! You know that nuclear test site?”

Gerard went a little pale.

“What did you do to my voodoo doll?”

“I left it at the center of the explosion.”

“You're trying to kill me?”

“No! See, the next day I drove out there in a hazmat suit and left another voodoo doll of you. Except this one was huge and green.”


“The Hulk has a healing factor. He survives bullets and bombs. A broken leg is fixed overnight! Plus, who doesn't want super strength?”

“Lionel, you idiot! That’s not how voodoo or science works!”

“Good!” Lionel rose to his feet, punching his open hand. “Get angry! That’s how it works!”

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: All Alone

I'm in a class of my own, but that's not a good thing. There used to be fourteen thieves in my class. About as good, some even went to the same school. I'm on my own now because most of them got their dumb asses killed. Two retired, married each other. They wound up getting killed a couple years later when one of their marks finally caught up with them. The other twelve happen to have tried to pinch the same Philosopher’s Egg you’re offering me the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at. If I can guess, it’s once-in-a-lifetime for me. For you, maybe thirteen times in a lifetime? Very easy for you to make the offer of 80/20 when it’s only your partners who wind up sliced up by invisible wires or chowed upon by the gryphon hatchlings that nest up there. 80/20? It’s rich, but the only thing I’d to spend it on is my funeral. And I don't even want a coffin. A cremation and a quiet service with a couple dozen up-and-comers, to see who can steal me first. Up on the altar, not some elaborate place. I want them to compete against each other, not these psychotic traps that necessitate so many great thief funerals.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ten Revelations About John Wiswell

Laura Eno of recently granted me the “Sugar Doll” award. I am not one for chain letters and awards posts most of the time, but the condition of this award is to reveal ten things about yourself. To tell a little story in ten revelations was something I kept coming back to in the bathroom.

-In 4th grade, after looking up "wolverine," "gambit," and "nightcrawler" in the dictionary, I was disappointed to find there was no definition for "silver surfer." This began a little streak in my life.

-I fervently avoided looking up "arbitrary" from when I first heard it in middle school (on an episode of Seinfeld). I went ten years before having to learn what it meant because it kept losing me arguments in Philosophy class.

-I first thought "metaphysics" had to do with cubes and three-dimensional shapes. That mistake went uncorrected for about five years.

-I began to ignore Scientology in the middle of the first sentence I heard someone mention it in. I left thinking they worshipped microscopes and genes. That mistake went uncorrected for about seven years.

-From Middle School until I came to my college dining hall, I thought "vegans" were something my brother made up.

-I managed to go the entire Religion unit of a college History & Politics course without learning what "secular" and "non-secular" meant, despite using them frequently and to the apparent nodding approval of my professor and peers.

-I didn't read all of Hamlet until after I graduated from college, despite having a concentration in Literature and a faculty that mandated reading Shakespeare.

-I still don't know what "Hari Krishna" means. Sometimes at meals I'll wet my fingers, make the sign of the cross and say it. I've managed to go twenty years without learning its actual meaning and find more direct pleasure in my ignorance about it than in almost any single piece of knowledge I have.

-I still hear the lyric, “Beelzebub has the devil put aside for” in Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" as "Beelzebub has the devil for a cyborg."

-I believe everyone has things like the above nine items. Some people recognize them, others try not to, and still more others deny. I have an immediate distrust for anyone who appears like they would hide such quirks.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quilted For Your Pleasure: All He Tastes is Burning

A Bathroom Monologue experiment today: I came up with a three-panel cartoon in the bathroom, sent the script to an artist, and let him do whatever he wanted with it. It's still technically a Bathroom Monologue, but illustrated. It's an experiment I like to call "Quilted for Your Pleasure"

The artist is Max Cantor. Max is a good old friend from college who read several of the first Bathroom Monologues by IM. It's encouragement from people like him that made this site happen. The BMs originally ran on one of his websites, for what I assume was an audience of my girlfriend and his mother. His mother commented more often, which is one reason why I'm single.

If the strip gets enough positive response we might make this a regular feature on Sundays. All feedback is welcome.

Anyway, here's our golem:

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