Sunday, November 21, 2004

Fuzzy Memories and Drug-Induced Flashbacks - Part II

The year is 1990, and I'm watching Hee Haw with my dad. (This is before he died, otherwise this would be one truly creepy story.)

My dad was a country-western musician and sort of swung in those Pickin' and Grinnin' social circles. He was buddies with Chet Atkins, and was acquainted with many of the beloved Hee Haw characters, such as Grandpa Jones, Minnie Pearl, Goatfuckin' Ned, Six-Toed Bessie, Cletus Q. Cousinhumper, Hillbilly Jesus, and Roy Clark. Personally, I wasn't much of a Hee Haw fan, but I did frequently ask Dad if he could introduce me to those hot girls in the straw hats and cutoffs. Unfortunately, that never seemed to pan out.

But I digress...

It's the summer of 1990, and I'm visiting my Dad in Texarkana. It's about 9:15 at night, and we're sitting in my grandmother's living room, watching Hee Haw. Or rather, he's watching Hee Haw. I'm reading Foucault's Pendulum and doing my best to ignore the hoedown.

Dad's drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon, because he likes his whiskey expensive but his beer dirt cheap. He's been putting them away since before dinner, so he's pretty buzzed when Buck Owens pops up from the corn field to announce the next performer. It's nobody I've ever heard of before, but my dad gets really excited.

"Chrisco!" he calls to me in a slurred voice.

"Yeah, Dad?"

"I want you to put that goddamn book down for a minute and listen to this next song, 'cause it's got some lyrics that will just... oooh.... tear you up!"

So being the dutiful son that I am, I put down the book and I listen. It's a typical twangy sad country song about a man who marries a woman, and the two of them have a daughter named Candy. Then the man and woman get divorced, and the woman eventually winds up engaged to another man, which means Candy is going to have a new father. And as the song reaches its emotional pinnacle, the singer pleads, "Please, don't give Candy to strangers..."

I'm about to make a sarcastic remark, but I bite it back when my father lets out an emotional sigh. "Oooh!" he exclaims, shaking his head. "Oh, man!" And then, he holds up his forearm and points to it, showing me all of the hairs standing on end.

Suddenly, I feel guilty for not being moved by the song, so I shake my head and say in a voice choked with emotion, "Wow, that's powerful."

Dad nods enthusiastically. "I know! I mean, oooh!" And he proudly displays the raised hairs on his arm again.

It's a bonding moment, and Christ knows we've had precious few of those. So I close my book, and spend the rest of the evening watching back-to-back Hee Haw episodes with him. And even though he falls asleep in his recliner before it's over, I watch all the way to the end.

I figure it's the least I can do. Right?

Fun with Jack Chick #5

Okay, I didn't make any changes to this one. All I can say is, "Ewwwww!"

Saturday, November 20, 2004

"How Can 59,054,087 People Be So Dumb?"

I guess I just haven't felt much like blogging since the election. What can I say? Slightly over half of our nation's voters put on their plastic pants and special helmets and boarded the short bus to vote George W. Bush back into office. Now, thanks to their efforts, our president is hard at work, protecting us from terrorists, moderates, and our own gayness.

On November 4th, the British tabloid Daily Mirror asked the very poignant question, "How can 59,054,087 people be so dumb?" It's a good question. Where do stupid people come from, and why are there so many of them around?

You see, back in the 1800s, when this country was young and Barbara Streisand was only in her mid-40s, times were tough for idiots. It was utterly Darwinian! The strongest and smartest managed to survive and procreate, while the morons were killed in blizzards, trampled by herds of carnivorous buffalo, or murdered and eaten by packs of wild, blood-thirsty Indians.

I'm sorry. I mean Native Americans.

Even up through the 1970s, survival required at least the occasional blip on the EEG. But then, in the 1980s, the tide somehow turned. Suddenly, stupid people became a protected species. We began inundating them with warning labels and commerical disclaimers to keep them from driving their cars through walls or heating up some Pop Tarts while they were in the bathtub.

And now, we live in a Moronic Golden Age where parents sue their TVs for telling their children to set themselves on fire. Rather than weed out the idiots, we've created an environment conducive to their survival. And unfortunately, that moron gene appears to be quite dominant, especially in the red states.

So the idiots have spoken and chosen one of their own to lead them. But I hate to come off as pessimistic. Rather than see America as slightly more than half-full of dumbasses, I prefer to see it as nearly half-full of people who aren't gun-totin', NASCAR-watchin', cousin-humpin' retards.

But you know us liberals. We're naïve to a fault!

It's ALMOST Like Being Published...

Some time ago, I got the following e-mail from my friend Kimmy:

By David Letterman ...

10. The cucumber has left the salad.

9. Quasimodo needs to go back in the tower and tend to his bells.

8. You need to bring your tray table to the upright and locked position.

7. Paging Mr. Johnson...Paging Mr. Johnson.

6. Elvis has left the building.

5. The Buick is not all the way in the garage

4. Our next guest is someone who needs no introduction.

3. You've got a security breach at Los Pantalones.

2. Men may be From Mars .. but I can see something that rhymes with

And the #1 Way to tell someone their zipper is unzipped .....

1. You've got your fly set for "Monica" instead of "Hillary"


Okay, but the cool part is that this ISN'T a David Letterman Top 10 List. This is a reworked version of a list from the site, for which I used to be a frequent contributor. And not only did I contribute to this particular list, but the #1 entry on the reworked list ("You've got your fly set for 'Monica' instead of 'Hillary'") was MINE!!!

Check out the original list here. (And scroll down and peep my name in the credits if you think I'm frontin', dawg!)

Just wanted to share. Thanks for listening.

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Narcissistic Superhighway

Every once in a while, I like to Google myself, despite the warnings that I'll go blind.

By far, the majority of hits on my name are sports related. I'm not a jock, you understand. It just turns out that there's some guy (or maybe several guys) named Chris Irby playing football out there. God bless them for taking up the slack.

As far as legitimate links to my name, the majority of those either stem from my online comic, or from my contributions to the Top Five list.

And then, there are some odd ones floating around out there...

  • This guy obviously thought enough of something I said to include me in a list of funny quotes. I have no idea who he is, but I do enjoy basking in the appreciation of anonymous people.
  • Here I am, waxing nerdy on my favorite comic book, Hellblazer.
  • I have no idea what this one is, but I'm pretty sure he's not talking about me.
  • And finally, here's me trolling on the X-Files newsgroup back in 1999. Actually, most everybody else thought it was pretty funny but for some reason, a girl named Jen (is not a potato) got really mad at me. Anyway, it's good to know that this stuff will still be a matter of public record long after I'm dead.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Fuzzy Memories and Drug-Induced Flashbacks - Part I

The year is 1984, and I'm a junior in high school.

My friends are all going through that horrible Duran Duran stage, which means they're dressed in white cotton Banana Republic clothes and Panama hats. Oh, and lots of mascara. I'm the only one in the group who is tragically unhip, in my jeans and button-up shirt. With my hair parted to the side, I'm just a bow tie and a lobotomy away from being Tucker Carlson.

These are the guys I grew up with. We used to dress up in ridiculous costumes and film movies with my friend Sean's Super-8 camera. We'd spend entire weekends playing Dungeons and Dragons (until my dangerously Baptist mom and stepdad found out it was evil and put a stop to that). We'd plan all day excursions to the mall, making sure to hit the arcade and Lone Star Comics on our way to the theater. We were all content in our nerdiness.

But then, somewhere along the way, all of my friends got cool. It wasn't a gradual thing. It was like I missed a meeting, and suddenly they were all putting mousse in their hair and dressing like Simon LeBon. And they still wanted to hang out at the mall, only now they were more interested in shopping for clothes and flirting with girls.

So we're all at the Outlet Mall one Saturday afternoon. I didn't really want to come, but my friends have declared an intervention and are bound and determined to have me dressed in something paisley by the end of the day.

It's early April, and the mall is having a clearance sale on its leather jackets. So the five of us make our way to the back wall to browse. And as we're pawing our way through racks of leather merchandise, we hear an odd sound from the next aisle over.

It sounds like a cow mooing.

We stop talking and just listen. And sure enough, there it is again. Somebody's making cow noises in the leather department. How clever!

We hear it again, and we all start laughing. I make a comment, rather loudly, about how they must be making some more leather jackets up fresh. Another moo, and my friend Cary starts mooing back. Pretty soon, all of us are joining in.

All five of us are mooing rather raucously when we walk past the aisle and see the source of the sound. It's this profoundly retarded boy, about ten years old, in a wheelchair. He isn't mooing. He's simply moaning.

His parents are standing there, red-faced and angry, glaring at us as we walk past. They've been listening to us for the past five minutes, assuming we were making fun of their child. And honestly, there's not a thing any of us can say to make the situation better.

So we simply slink out without a word.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Fun with Jack Chick #3

The Mob Has Spoken

First off, lest I be perceived as a sore loser, I'd like to congratulate the Republicans on finally getting their man Bush elected. Now that he's really the president, I'm sure he'll accomplish magnificent and heroic things.


Okay. That said, I have to admit this was the most fascinating election I've ever experienced. After the homogenous campaigns of 2000, it was refreshing to actually see a difference between the two sides.

(No, I'm not counting Nader. The man received no electoral votes. That's the same number as I got, and I didn't even run.)

Perhaps most interesting were the numerous and diverse reasons that people gave for supporting their candidates. The following poll will give you an idea of why people voted as they did. As always, this is entirely real. I swear. Why would I make up something like this? It would just be a colossal waste of everybody's time.

Voter Poll - Election 2004

I voted for John Kerry because:

  • He's not Bush (29%)
  • Anyone's better than Bush (22%)
  • Bush sucks (9%)
  • I hate Bush (28%)
  • I didn't want Bush to win (11%)
  • After studying the two candidates and carefully weighing their stands on the issues, I realized that Kerry was the better choice (1%)
I voted for George W. Bush because:

  • He really, really hates faggots (13%)
  • Kerry somehow convinced hundreds of soldiers to participate in an elaborate hoax to con the American government out of a Purple Heart (3%)
  • Kerry has aligned himself with anti-God, anti-Christian organizations in order to undermine the morality of America (4%)
  • He's a good Christian man. And he hates faggots (6%)
  • He lives on a farm (5%)
  • His daughters are really hot (8%)
  • Bush, Schmush. I was carried away on a wave of Cheney-risma! (1%)
  • The Grand Imperial Wizard said it was the only way I'd ever see my kids alive again (4%)
  • Jesus told me to (14%)
  • It's easier than thinking (12%)
  • When the rest of the world was distracted by Osama Bin Laden, Bush was determined to focus on the true enemy... Saddam Hussein (17%)
  • He believes that life is sacred, at least until it leaves the womb. Once that little bastard is born, he has to take his chances along with the rest of us (9%)
  • After studying the two candidates and carefully weighing their stands on the issues, I realized that Bush was the better choice. Plus, he really hates faggots (4%)

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Oh, I get it. He was being IRONIC!

"A political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as commander-in-chief."
-George W. Bush

And who says Republicans don't have a sense of humor?

Electile Dysfunction

It's done. I waited in line for an hour and a half, and I cast my vote for Kerry. And judging from the people standing around me in Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirts and flip flops, I'm assuming I was in the minority.

There was a couple of women standing in line behind me, describing their complete and utter disgust with Kerry. Not because he was pro-choice, or because of his position on health care or even his anti-war stance. Because those would have been actual issues, which would have gotten them thrown out of the Republican party.

No, these women were disgusted with Kerry because he wants to ban the Bible. One of the women read it in an e-mail that she received from her friend in South Carolina. And when I heard that, you can imagine just how surprised and shocked I was. Holy shit, I said to myself. She can read?

I swear, I get so embarrassed for my state sometimes. I love Texas, and I love Dallas. But I hate the way so many people here embrace ignorance as if it were some kind of virtue. It continues to amaze me how people can be so politically charged, and yet be so utterly uninformed.

When Darrell Waltrip (former NASCAR driver and media gadfly) went stumping recently, he admitted that he wasn't a big issue guy, but he was an avid supporter of Bush. When pressed for a reason, he said, "John Kerry's got a mansion in Nantucket. George Bush has a farm in Crawford, Texas. That's the difference."

I honestly didn't think it was possible to make NASCAR look any dumber.

Bush has made a political career out of pandering to the retards. They love him because he's not too bright himself, and he doesn't use a lot of big, complicated words. Plus, he's a Christian and he really hates gay people, which always seems to play well in the sticks.

Kerry, on the other hand, bores them by talking about the facts. Facts are particularly troubling to Bush's camp, because they seem to have a decidedly anti-Bush bias. It's almost as if the facts are secretly allied with the Jew-run liberal media and the French Freemasons in their nefarious scheme to undermine Bush! And we all know that political beliefs are fragile and tenuous things that can be easily shattered, which is why it's important that Bush-supporters only listen to those facts that have been "Hannitized" for their protection.

This explains why Bush's rabid fans don't just disagree with Kerry. They despise him as a person. They think he's the embodiment of evil, a vast and powerful evil that can only be combated by the righteous and holy might of George W. Bush, messiah. For these mouth-breathers, this election isn't just an exercise in democracy. It's an apocalyptic battleground where the forces of good and evil are engaged in a final war over our immortal souls.

Christ, just thinking about it makes me tired. People that retarded shouldn't get to vote, or even operate motor vehicles.

But one way or another, it'll all be over soon. America will decide which candidate they want to lead them for the next four years. And then the Supreme Court will disregard that decision and just appoint their guy. Ah, the beauty of democracy in action.

No wonder we had to kill so many Iraqis to get them on board with the idea.