Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: A Giant Giant

If you listen to the real nutjobs they’ll tell you there is an even bigger giant than these ones. Like, impossibly bigger. She’s so big she’s got no arms or legs anymore. Maybe her belly’s so fat it overlaps them. She mostly sleeps, but when she rises apparently it knocks over all the buildings and whatnot. I don’t understand how it’s supposed to work. All they say is that we’ve got this round giant living around somewhere, supposedly so huge that all the normal giants can stand on her. But I say that’s nonsense. If there was a round giant so big everyone could stand on her, wouldn’t we see her somewhere?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Why is the Nickel Bigger than the Dime?, or, The Feud Between Alexander Hamilton and God

God had been messing with Australia when Alexander Hamilton caught His attention. He was a smart little mortal, having just started his country and going to work on a national mint. He stamped his money with “In God We Trust,” which flattered the Big Guy, even if it was an obvious ploy to get His endorsement.

“You’re not so untrustworthy yourself,” He said, manifesting in the Mint.

“Welcome, Lord,” said Hamilton. “I’m a long-time supporter. Always happy to see another fellow in opposition of Thomas Jefferson.”

“I wish you’d stop using Me for that. I like Jefferson just fine. He’s a deist. They’re like Christians with calculators instead of Bibles.”

Well a conversation that begins like that never ends well. The two had a terrific falling-out. How exactly they got on the matter of new coinage, we really can’t say, but it’s known that God recommended currency bigger than the penny and less than the dime, since making nine cents change is such an ordeal, and back then you got paid nine cents for pretty much everything what with the smaller economy.

“I’ll give you something bigger than a penny,” Hamilton muttered in perverse prayer.

The next day he put out the nickel. Not only bigger than the penny, it dwarfed the dime. It caused massive confusion and a rush on banks for quarters because it sported the only national figure who was born and thus known at the time. George Washington found it flattering. (A century and a half later, a young FDR was baffled to find his face on coinage but took comfort that it probably meant he'd win office.)

God, being able to muck with reality at will, retaliated against Hamilton and made Thomas Jefferson’s face appear on those precious nickels. This threw off Hamilton’s anti-Jeffersonian platform, and the public suddenly thought the Secretary of Treasury had endorsed Jefferson as a candidate.

Hamilton wrote God several flippant letters over that weekend, each more biting than the last, until he got so excited that he knocked over his green ink well and ruined all his paper. This gave him a brilliant idea, and rather than throw the stack out, he invented paper money. Once again George Washington was the masthead, featured on the one dollar bill. The bill was bigger than any coin and came with nifty illustrations. Critics heralded it as a revolution in currency and literature, being as Thomas Paine wrote, "like an epic for those of small attention span." There was a rush on the banks to get the notes. George Washington was not flattered this time, figuring something was up, and left Washington D.C. in disgust with such bipartisan politics.

Hamilton showed up Monday morning to nominate himself for president. He was stunned to see the Creator had once again thrown down the gauntlet: He’d changed the very Constitution such that only natural-born citizens could hold the office. Hamilton, being a bastard from abroad, was thwarted.

The deity and founder never spoke again. God returned to Australia to mess about with the platypus and taxonomists. Hamilton was left destitute and furious. It’s said he got into a fight with Aaron Burr over a possible fifty-cent coin that would be even smaller than a dime, for which he was mortally shot. Burr never confirmed the story, though, and deemed it “contemptible, if true.”

This is the end of True History Week here on the Bathroom Monologues. Every day I've tried a little humorous Historical Fiction. If you liked today's story, please check out the others. They began Monday. All feedback is welcome!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Retropocalypse

The world actually ended a couple of days ago. You didn’t hear about it for the same reason you don’t hear about anything important: a massive media conspiracy. Ever since they pulled off their moon-landing scheme they’ve used subliminal messages to lull viewers into complacency, unconsciously convincing them of crazy stuff like baseball being interesting and the practical joke they call “Wyoming.” Subliminal messages were everywhere, even in cute Youtube videos about cats. They were in every 3D movie, HD broadcast, an extra on every BluRay – the commands that all was normal, to keep seeing what you had seen, to vote in American Idol, and so-on. There were several 99-cent iPhone apps the only purpose of which was to flash subliminal commands to you, and people downloaded them without thinking, you know, because they were only 99 cents. The conspiracy had to pour it on to convince you the world wasn’t ending. An angel with fiery wings riding a comet out of orbit slammed in the Pacific Ocean, creating a tidal wave and atmospheric dispersal that blocked out the sun. Those media bastards were smart, though, with sixty years of subliminal experience. They pounded our brains from so many angles for so long that even though we died two days ago, we don’t know it yet. I keep checking my e-mail even though rationally I know I’m dead and my computer is underwater. I think the media did it to keep us docile and paying right until the end, because all they care about is profit, you know? Wanted to make their bottom line even in the last days. Now we have to deal with the delusion, even if most people I tell go to a disaster movie to get it off their minds.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: The True Story of Teddy Bear

The story about Theodore Roosevelt and the teddy bear? That’s all a lie. Sure, he had plenty of company and Roosevelt had many lackeys, but they were all there to try and calm the former President down. He was a madman!

They didn’t hunt down the bear, club it and tie it up for him. Heavens no! They were desperately trying to untie before Cousin Ted got back. He’d captured one bear, you see, for the after party, and was out slaughtering the rest of its family. That was the kind of man Theodore Roosevelt strove to be. He fought male brown bears by hand, claiming to be a sportsman, only to kick them below the belt when they got the slightest advantage. He only used a gun when two were lined up so he could fell them with a single shot, to tease and appease the ladies. You know how Walt Disney used to get in trucks and drive around to scare lemmings off cliffs for his movie? He got the idea from Cousin Ted, who drove entire families of bears off cliffs for laughs and a cheap lay.

Why would a man do this? Was he a monster? Out for revenge? Perhaps drowning his sorrows in the cheap joys of man-on-animal violence? Wise historian, you’ve already guessed what heartbreak drove this former president to mass bear slaughter, haven’t you?

It was love. Love of the sweetest bear that ever roamed the American wilderness. The bear that stole the breath away from him, which was not such an effort given his asthma, but still a rare feat for a thousand-pound lady of another species. She drew his attention one summer when he held the presidency and their affair quickly became legendary. Oh, the bedding that had to be secretly burned, and you’ll never look at that portrait of George Washington the same way again if I tell you how the scrap at the bottom was torn.

But her family refused their love. They ostracized her, and though Cousin Ted offered to get her a job as a Congressional gofer, she knew she simply wouldn’t fit in. America was not ready for a brown bear as its first lady. She knew he’d run again. She was a wise bear.

She was found in a national park, poisoned. Experts suspected foul play, but Roosevelt diagnosed her with a broken heart. He cut a bloody rampage through the bear population for years afterwards, until Taft got a little too hairy for his liking and required challenging for the presidency. Her prophecy came true.

Roosevelt was so swept up in his bear hating that he never thought one of them was his son. It was the great secret she took to the grave, but somewhere out in the wilderness today there lurks a bespectacled Teddy Bear Roosevelt. His mustache leaves him unmistakable. One simple blood test is all it will take and his political lineage will be proven. Then he’ll run for the seat his father never lost, to empower one of America’s least preserved minorities. Yes, my countrymen: a bear will run for president, and he’ll win, because there’s nothing cuter than a teddy bear.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: First Man on the Moon

There are many stories about why Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, but the truth is elegant.

Michael Collins agreed that if he lost he’d stay in lunar orbit, so he got to call it in the air. He called tails.

Buzz Aldrin thought he was slick and called heads.

They knew something was up when they turned to Neil and found he wasn’t sweating it.

The coin flipped through the air. And flipped. And kept flipping, floating away from them down the shuttle. It Collins and Aldrin an interstellar minute to realize there wasn't enough gravity in space for the coin to land.

Having called nothing, Neil Armstrong got to take the giant leap for mankind, plant the flag and become the icon of space travel.

All three were proud to bring humanity to its moon. Buzz and Collins, though, would never touch anything smaller than a one-dollar bill for the rest of their lives.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Square Before Circle

The wheel is an overrated invention, especially if you speak to the people who were around when it was invented. Of course you probably haven’t since they’ve been dead for millennia and their language is gone, but if you could, they’d tell you the hype around the invention of the wheel was also the invention of overratedness.

The true great invention was the square. Look around nature and you find umpteen circles: circular tree trunks, circular wrists, circular eyes. This one cavemen was trying to be creative when he smashed up a big rock into a cube. The cube, mathematicians will tell you, is an overachieving square.

His wife always wanted to go places but didn’t want to walk. She wanted luxury to be invented, you see. His idea was that she could sit on top of the square while he pushed from the back. The flat bottom would keep it moving along smoothly.

This wife was kind of annoying. She picked on him, suggesting better postures and angles from which he could push her stone square. So the caveman eventually invented the accident, repeatedly accidentally knocking the stone square over and tossing his wife to the ground.

All this knocking over had an effect on the square. Its edges going abraded so often that they wore down. After some time and wifely nitpicking, the square was rounded down into a wheel. She couldn’t even sit on it anymore and berated his crappy geometric invention.

The wheel wound up sitting in the side of their cave with the winter pelts for some seasons until his boy grew old enough to push it. He delighted in pushing it down hills, watching is whiz along. Sometimes it hit an animal and lunch was invented. Road kill came up sooner than the car. It was only eating the non-squished bits of a sabretooth tiger that the caveman thought there could be other applications for his great “invention.”

His wife knew better. She’d have spread the word, too, if he hadn’t built her another square to push her around on whenever she felt like a Sunday out.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

True History Week

This week is True History week. It's dedicated to what really happened in some of the key events in history, including:

-That the invention of the wheel was an accident.

-Why Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon when he didn't even partake in the coin toss.

-That former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt not only loved bears, but impregnated one.

-That the world has already ended and why we don't know it.

-And that the size of a popular U.S. coin was the result of a feud between one of our Founding Fathers and God.

Bathroom Monologue: Uncivilized Dining

"Utter barbarians. They eat the flesh of wild beasts. Sometimes they domesticate them on farms, but always are the beasts slaughtered. They hack them up, taking the tissue from the ribs here, or the gullet, or tongue, or something called "sweet meats." You don't want to know what those are. They like the taste of beasts, and more barbarically, they throw it on fires first! It seems burning these pieces of the dead makes them taste even better. Rip off hunks of animal, char it beyond recognition and then consuming the product. Why they can't just eat their young like a civilized race, I don't know. You should hear them complain about overpopulation as though there isn’t a nutritious option right at the supper table! I say we skip this one and give space travel to the next planet."
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