Saturday, December 24, 2005

Putting the "X" Back In Xmas!!!

It's Christmas Eve, and I just finished the last of my gift shopping. Funny how easy those first gifts are to buy, but as you get nearer and nearer the deadline, you become much less choosy. "Let's see... I think Grandma would love a Lite Brite and a carton of Lucky Strikes..."

Anyway, in approximately 4 hours, my nephew will be performing at church. Apparently he'll be dressed as a camel and doing a rap song, so I only hope I'm not too swept away by the majesty and the pageantry to enjoy myself.

(Actually, I can't wait. It sounds like a whole lot more fun than last year's nativity play, where a fat guy with a bushy black beard tried his best to play a Roman centurion. "Whare's this here baby Jesus we done heard 'bout?")

--------------------

I got kind of an unexpected Christmas gift on Wednesday morning. As those of you who actually read this crap know, my friend Sean and I wrote a play for Pocket Sandwich Theater, a local playhouse here in Dallas. We wrote it on spec, and Joe (the owner of the theater) was supposed to let us know in November whether or not they were interested in performing it.

Well, Sean called me at 8:00 on Wednesday morning to let me know that he'd finally heard from Joe, and PST will be doing our play. It opens on March 31 of next year and will run until May 13. We were paid a pittance (the same pittance he pays his actors, it seems), but I'm still excited. Joe and the rest of the PST crew loved our script and are already bugging us for more!

I'm telling everybody I know, because I want that opening night audience packed with people who love me. So if any of you plan on being in the Dallas area on March 31, and you aren't pissed off at me about anything, then feel free to show up. It'll be fun. You get to throw popcorn and everything. Really.

--------------------

And on that note, I guess I'd like to close with this picture of my nephews and Santa Claus. Christopher is the one on the right, and as you can see, the only one who's really happy to be there. Luke and Campbell look a little overwhelmed, but personally I really dig haunted, hunted Santa with the stone cold killer eyes. "O Little Town of... DEATHLEHEM!!!! BWAHAHAHA!!!"


My nephews. And the scariest fucking Santa EVER!

And so, I'd like to wish everybody reading this a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukah, a Rockin' Ramadan, a Kwazy Kwanzaa, a Slammin' Solstice, or any other way you may choose to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Happy Holidays!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Benny Hill's The Passion of the Christ

As I've mentioned before, I am an agnostic lacking any sort of moral barometer. And even I know this is wrong...

Click, if you dare.
And may God have mercy on your soul.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Nephews a Trois

Since I have no adorable children of my own, here's a holiday picture of my three nephews.



Luke, Christopher, and Campbell. And a teddy
bear whose name, I believe, is "Beary White."

Aren't they adorable? I swear, I just wanna squeeze 'em until they crap kittens!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

In Defense of Tailgating

I live in the suburbs, but I commute downtown to work.

(Technically, that's not true. Thanks to some brilliant Dallas district gerrymandering in the 80s, I actually live in the city of Dallas. I just happen to live in the portion of that city that juts, penislike, into the moist, receptive loins of Carrollton. Did I mention I've been having a lot of sex lately?)

It's about a fifteen mile drive. In light traffic, I can usually make it in around 20 minutes. During rush hour, it takes approximately 17 hours, much of which is spent actually driving backwards. But I don't mind bumper-to-bumper traffic. I've made my peace with it and come to accept it as one of those inevitable hassles of daily life, much like taxes or Chinese people.

But what I hate, what cranks my Road-Rage-o-Meter™ up to 11, is when some jackass decides TODAY is the day he's going to drive in the Grown-Up lane, so he pulls his slow-ass car all the way to the left. And stays there.

So I come zipping up behind him. At first, I try to maintain a respectful distance. Unfortunately, most of these geniuses take that as a sign of my tacit approval of their speed, and so they just stay there, clogging the freeway like a piece of retarded cholesterol.

And so I move up a little closer. And the dumbass decides it's time to teach me a lesson for wanting to drive faster than him, so he slows down. I move closer, and he slows down even more. So before long, there are about three molecules of space between us and we're travelling around 4 MPH. (Which, in metric, is like 7.8 kilograms or something.)

Eventually one of two things happens. Either the dumbshit tires of the game and moves over, or I wind up blasting past him on the right. Fingers are often exchanged. Sometimes gunfire. This IS Texas, after all.

I would like to point out two things, lest you think me a total bastard. One, when somebody going faster comes up behind me, I move over and let him pass. I didn't used to, but that was back in the 80s, when I was a dumb kid. I also voted for the Elder Bush back then.

And two, I only behave like that when I'm alone. If I ever pulled that kind of shit while Stephanie was in the car with me, she'd kick my ass. And not in the good way that involves stiletto heels and a riding crop. Did I mention...

So next time you're in the left lane with a bunch of cars behind you, ask yourself the following questions.

1) Is there anybody in front of me?
2) Am I leading a funeral procession?

If your answer to both of these questions is NO, then FOR THE LOVE OF BABY JESUS, MOVE THE FUCK OVER!!!

Thank you, and good night.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Playing Ketchup Catsup Catch Up!

I know I promised that I would be more diligent about updating back in August. And for three days, I was more regular than a poodle packed with oat bran. But then...

What can I say? It's been a wild and crazy couple of months!

--------------------

Loooove... Exciting and New...
First off, it's pretty much official. Stephanie and I are a couple™ now. We hold hands and gaze adoringly at each other and smooch in public. She's a relatively private person, and the last thing I want to do is start blabbing about all the intimate details of our relationship, so let me simply say that I am getting laid a lot.

Here is a chart of all the sex I've been having since June.



And, interestingly enough, here is a chart of President Bush's approval rating since June.



I'm not implying anything. I'm just saying...

You Gotta Have a J-O-B...
As those of you who occasionally pay me the heed I deserve might recall, I've been on a sabbatical since October 2002, when I left my job as QA Analyst/Urine-Soaked Chew Toy at Brinker International to pursue my dream of laying around all day and watching TV. Oh, and to maybe do some writing.

Well, the stock options, inheritence, and savings finally ran out and I was forced to sink to the level of the gainfully employed and get a goddamn job.

Actually, as far as jobs goes, this gig isn't half bad. I'm doing tech support for Netherland, Sewell and Associates (a petroleum consulting firm). It's a contract gig (they just extended me to the end of December), so I get to set my own hours. I also get an office, with a door and everything!

Way Way Way WAY Off Broadway...
There's a dinner theater here in Dallas called Pocket Sandwich Theater, mainly because their menu features pocket sandwiches. So it's not just a clever name. They are most famous for putting on melodramas, which are comic spoofs where the audience is encouraged to cheer for the hero, boo and hiss at the villain, and sigh wistfully for the damsel in distress. They sell popcorn for 50 cents a basket, not for eating, but for lobbing at the actors while they perform. All in all, it's good clean goddamn family fun.

Anyway, my friend Sean and I wrote a melodrama on spec for Pocket Sandwich Theater. It's called Escape from Stalag 18, and it's making fun of German POW movies. We cribbed our plot from Stalag 17 and The Great Escape, and we borrowed liberally from Casablanca and Patton.

Basically, it's a comedy set in a German labor camp during World War II. So it's sort of like Hogan's Heroes. Only, you know, funny. We submitted it back in October and are still waiting to hear back from TPTB at PST. (That's "The Powers That Be at Pocket Sandwich Theater" for the acronymically challenged.) They're supposed to let us know by the end of November...

I Wanna Be a Paperback Writer...
Steph and I are participating in National Novel Writing Month (abbreviated NAMBLA NaNoWriMo) because we both thought it would be fun to spend some time doing something together. Besides having all that sex, I mean.

The goal is to crank out 50,000 words by the end of November, but I really haven't made a lot of progress. I was working on this really cool story involving the Knights Templar, a lost gospel, a fucked-up televangelist, and a homeless guy who can heal the sick and keeps coming back from the dead. Unfortunately, that one was requiring way too much research and I wasn't getting much writing done, so I put it on the back burner. Now I'm working on another volume in the Verbal Reynard saga, but I've got a lot of catching up to do.

And In Closing, I'd Like To Add...
Bush sucks.

Peace out, dawgs!

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Second Coming of Chris



I'll start posting again starting Saturday.

PROMISE!!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Become Republican

This is the funniest goddamn thing I've seen in a long time.

Click... and free your mind!

The L-Word

Sorry ladies (and eternally optimistic gay men), but the Irbman's heart is officially off the market. I have become, as we say in this industry, 100% smitten.

And here's the totally bitchin' part... SHE DIGS ME TOO!!!

Her name is Stephanie, and we met in June at the Umberto Eco reading here in Dallas. She's dead sexy, fucking hilarious, and incredibly smart. She's also geeky in all the right places. I've never clicked with anyone like this before, and right now I feel totally exhilarated and giddy. Like a school girl. In Jello.

I had no idea women like this even existed. How come nobody told me before now?

Usually at this point, I'd be terrified. I've spent most of my life convinced that happiness is fleeting and something I'm just not intended to experience. I say that not to offer you insight into my dark and wondrous soul, but simply to explain why I tend to enter relationships half-heartedly, just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

But it just feels different this time. I'm not trepidacious, just excited. Excited about the journey as much as the destination, as sappy as that sounds. Thrilled and still somewhat astonished that she finds me as adorable, sexy, funny, and smart as I find her.

Sigh... so anyway, I'd better wrap this post up before I start writing country-western music or cranking out stanzas of that lazy-ass poetry that doesn't rhyme. I'm sure nobody wants to read a bunch of paragraphs about how she's just a big schmoopy muffin basket full of puppies and rainbow kisses.

Besides, she reads this blog sometimes. She'd probably kick my ass if I did that.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

It's Late...

...and I can't really think of anything particularly clever or insightful to say, so I thought I'd just post this picture of Zombie Rodney Dangerfield eating Karl Rove's brain, sent to me by my good chum John, who is (as they say in Japan) bad ass and kicks all the ass.


"Oh shit! There go the piano lessons!"



Also, Bush sucks.

Good night, ladies and gentlemen!

Monday, August 01, 2005

I Am Become Spam...

So a few weeks ago, my dear friend Boidy (who refuses to blog and thus has one of those rare, unlinkable names) sent me this e-mail that she received from a friend of hers.

----------

The following is pretty accurate, and it only takes two minutes. Take this test for yourself and send it to everybody else you know, and something really wonderful will happen to you! Really! I did it, and five minutes later I was in bed with Johnny Depp! Conversely, Johnny deleted this e-mail as soon as he received it and five minutes later was in bed with me!

Just answer the following ten questions as honestly as the limited choices will allow, and then prepare to be judged!

1. When you wake up in the morning, you:

a) cringe at the thought of enduring another day.

b) sob bitterly as your pleasant dream fades, leaving you face to face with your horrible life.

c) pray to God to give you the strength not to drive off a bridge on your way to work.

d) pull the trigger and, if the chamber is empty, reluctantly get out of bed.


2. When you look in the mirror, you immediately think:

a) "God, I'm fat!"

b) "How did I get so fat?"

c) "I'm probably going to die alone because I'm so fat."

d) "I am a decent person with a good heart and a wonderful sense of... oh, who am I kidding? Look how fat I am!"


3. When talking to people, you:

a) stare at the ground and speak in a whisper.

b) bury your face in your hands to avoid making eye contact.

c) suddenly scream and panic as the realization of your low self-worth washes over you.

d) often find yourself paying $2.99 for the first minute, and $1.00 for each additional minute.


4. Which of the following colors do you like most?

a) black

b) obsidian

c) ebony

d) the bleak, somber color of loneliness and despair (black)


5. When you are going to sleep at night, in those last few moments before you drift off, you lie:

a) in a fetal position.

b) with your hands over your ears to stave off those wicked, wicked voices.

c) flat on your back, with your arms crossed over your chest, inviting the cold embrace of sweet, sweet death.

d) under the bed.


6. You often dream that you are:

a) happy.

b) successful.

c) in love.

d) someone else.


7. When faced with difficult choices, you often find that you are unable to distinguish between:

a) immediate gratification and long-term happiness.

b) healthy behavior and self-destructive impulses.

c) good and evil.

d) your ass and a hole in the ground.


8. If you're working hard and somebody interrupts you, you feel:

a) angry.

b) incensed.

c) furious.

d) a white hot rage so severe that you can barely choke back your bile.


9. Do you feel that life is pointless and that we're all spiraling blindly into a chaotic abyss of uncertainty?

a) Yes.

b) Yes, absolutely.

c) I can't argue with that.

d) Wow, do you feel it too?


10. Your relationships end most often when:

a) your partner grows tired of dealing with all of your self-loathing.

b) your partner finds somebody better.

c) your partner steals your TV, VCR and jewelry while you're at work.

d) you dismember your partner and stuff him or her into a tight crawlspace.


POINTS: Give yourself 1 point for every "a" answer, 2 points for every "b" answer, 3 points for every "c" answer, and 4 points for every "d" answer.

Now add up the total number of points.

10 - 20 POINTS: You are insecure and totally lacking in self-confidence. Like THIS is really going to help.

21 - 30 POINTS: You are a horrible person, and everybody knows it. Anybody that pretends otherwise is simply using you for their own nefarious purposes.

31 - 40 POINTS: You are a wretched excuse for a human being with absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. You know it, I know it, and Dr. Phil knows it.

MORE THAN 40 POINTS: You either cheated, which makes you truly pathetic, or you miscounted, which merely makes you incredibly stupid. Either way, it's time to end this shallow charade you call a life. Remember to cut up and down, not across.

----------

Pretty funny stuff, right?

Well those of you who have subjected yourself to my inane blogations since last year may remember this little item that I posted back on April 4, 2004. In fact, it was my second post on this blog.

Yes, that's right. Something I wrote has been slightly altered and is now being circulated as wacky inbox humor! I am a beloved internet star!

I've been checking Snopes on a regular basis to see if it turns up there. The original Dr. Phil test that I was mocking is there, but so far mine hasn't been brought up. But I figure it's only a matter of time. After all, they had people asking if that e-mail about the boy with a bag of leaves for a body was true.

Here's an interesting and somewhat related fact. Did you know that 93% of people with e-mail accounts are clinically retarded and believe every single thing they read? I'm pretty sure it's true. I read it in an e-mail...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Bloggus Interuptus

I figured July was pretty much a lost cause, so I've decided to go ahead and just call it a month-long sabbatical. Tune in Monday, August 1, when I will once again be inflicting you with posts filled with wholesome liberal goodness!!! Plus, I'll probably use the word "retard" five or six times and imply that all Republicans are actually members of the KKK.

I can't help it. I just type it the way God tells it to me.

In the meantime, if you've missed the exhilaration of peeing in the snow, or if you've always wondered what it would be like to do so, here's a fun little toy to keep you busy over the weekend.



Oh, Yellow Snow! On a scale of one to ten, urinate!!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Blog Burnout?

You ever have one of those days where you just aren't feeling creative? Where coming up with even a moderately witty comment seems well beyond your ability? Where all you want to do is lie on the couch all day, eating Hot Pockets and watching SpongeBob? Where you're filled with an inexplicable urge to plunge a dagger into Dr. Phil, remove his flesh, put it on, and be borne unto worlds where his flesh is your key?

Okay, not so much on the last one. But the other ones pretty much describe my last two weeks.

I can't really put my finger on it. I swear, I'm not dismal or morose or anything. I've just had no interests in doing anything creative. Every time I've sat down at my PC to jot off some barbed observation about the bombing in London or Karl "666" Rove's recent embarrassment, I've found myself overcome with a desire to play Freecell or Minesweeper instead.

Blog burnout, maybe? I go through this every few months. Usually, it takes the gentle yet firm nagging of SJ to coax me back into inflicting my opinions on others. But this time, I thought I'd be proactive instead of reactive.

(When I used to work at Brinker International, the VPs and directors were always encouraging us to "think outside the box," and to "be proactive, not reactive." They also told us that we had to "perceive, believe, and achieve," and you know that's some quality workplace advice because it fucking rhymes. But I digress...)

Does anyone else ever have this problem? I swear, most of the bloggers I know are so goddamn prolific. They post day after day and show no sign of ever slowing. Whereas the only post I've been able to manage lately has been this one, about how I can't think of anything to write about.

That's about 900% more ironic than anything you'll find in any Alanis Morissette song about irony.

So hopefully, this meandering piece of stream-of-consciousness will do the trick and unplug the colon of my muse so she can take an enormous, creative dump on my head. (No, I don't have a fetish. I was just belaboring a metaphor, that's all.)

Okay, thanks for listening. You've been very therapeutic. Maybe.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Independence Day!

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed and the United States of America was born. Or were born. Goddamn subject-verb agreement...

Anyway, at a time like this, when our nation (or at least 51% of it) is steadfastly united in the ongoing war against Muslims terrorists, monogomous gays, and stem cells, I feel it is important to remember the profound words spoken by George Washington on that monumental day:

"The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the
republican model of government are justly consid... OW, FUCK! SPLINTERS!!!"
Ah. He truly was the Father of our Country.

---------------------

Here are some funny 4th of July cards, accompanied by snarky, smartass comments. What can I say? They made me giggle like Tom Cruise on Paxil.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dan'l Irby, King of the Wild Frontier

I went camping last weekend.

Anybody who has spent at least five minutes around me knows that camping isn't exactly my raison d'ĂȘtre. In fact, I am what is known in the outdoorsman circles as a "colossal pussy" (or cattus maximus in the Latin).

My stepdad J.R. recognized these wimpy tendencies in me back when I was 10 or 11, and felt it was necessary to step in and protect me from my own potential gayness. He made it his mission to make me a man.

He took me fishing, which I didn't think I would mind so much. My dad had taken me fishing a few times, which usually meant taking the boat out for a few hours and clowning around while drinking beer (him) and cola (me).

Unfortunately, for J.R., fishing meant getting up at some ungodly hour in the morning, usually before everybody else had gone to bed, and driving out to Lake Texoma. Then we'd take the boat out on the water and stay there for 14-15 hours. Talking, moving, or breathing loudly were expressly forbidden as they might frighten away the fish.

He also took me deer hunting, which I utterly loathed. It also involved getting up in the middle of the freaking night, only this time we hiked in the freezing cold and then sat still for hours, just waiting for those bastard deer to provoke us by eating or walking by.

I actually shot a doe when I was 13, which did quite a bit to assure J.R. that I wasn't a lost cause. However, after having to gut it, hang it up, and skin it, I decided right then and there that I would never shoot another deer again.

The next year, J.R. started letting me hunt by myself. So I started smuggling a book out to the deer stand so I'd have something to keep me occupied. Every once in a while, I'd raise my gun and fire a shot into the ground or into a tree, just so anybody listening would think I was paying attention. ("I shot at a buck, but I didn't see a blood trail. I must've missed him completely!")

When I went away to college, it was the end of my great outdoors experience. I swore off hunting, fishing, and anything that involved crapping behind a tree.

Until last weekend, when I went camping.

My brother-in-law Nick organized the trip and invited me to come along. "It'll be fun, Bubba*," he said. "We'll get there around noon or so and set up camp, then we'll hit the river and do some canoeing or tubing. After that we'll grill some steaks, have a few beers, and hit the hay. Next morning, we'll sleep late, have some breakfast, and maybe do a little fishing."

It actually sounded like a lot of fun. Nick extended invitations to his cousins John and Cree, and asked me if I would pass the invitation on to IX and Sean. However, by the time the weekend had rolled around, everybody else had backed out or declined. So it was just me, Nick, and my 7-year-old nephew Christopher.

As far as wilderness excursions go, it wasn't really fraught with hardships. We drove to a campsite and pitched our tent near the bank of the Brazos, next to a grill and a stone picnic table.

Canoeing turned out to be a bit more melodramatic than I'd expected. Christopher was really eager to go, but he lost interest in our journey downriver after approximately .004 seconds and spent the rest of the afternoon whining, pouting, and crying. All I can say is that Nick has 1,000 times more patience than I do when it comes to that kind of stuff. I love my nephew dearly, but as I was rowing, all I could think about was getting home and standing in front of an open microwave until I was sterile...

Apart from the canoeing, the rest of the our wilderness excursion was relatively pleasant. It was hot, around 101 I think (that's Fahrenheit, for any damn foreigners or metric-loving hippies who might be reading this), and there were enough insects crawling around to qualify as a biblical plague, but we were all just so happy to be off the river and in the shade that we didn't care. Plus, there was beer.

We grilled the steaks and baked some potatoes, and afterwards Christopher roasted and ate about 748 marshmallows. It was dark by 9:00, so the three of us crawled into the tent and crashed out on the air mattress. I eventually fell asleep listening to the distant, blaring stereos of other campers and the sound of big ass bugs thudding against the side of the tent.

I woke up once in the middle of the night, when I heard something howling just outside the tent. It was too dark to see, but I'm pretty sure it was a coyote. I should mention I've been deathly afraid of coyotes ever since I saw a documentary about how hard it is to kill them. You can throw a coyote off a cliff, drop an anvil on it, or even strap an explosive rocket to its back, and it just keeps coming back.

I can't remember where I saw this. It was either Animal Planet or Cartoon Network...

Anyway, the next morning we all woke up groggy and sore (air mattresses only help so much, you understand). After we ate breakfast, as we broke camp and packed up, Nick asked what we wanted to do next. He suggested fishing, but said he was wide open. I told him I didn't care. Whatever he and Christopher decided was fine with me.

At first, Christopher was excited about fishing. However, given his attention span on the canoe trip, I had a feeling that wouldn't last. A few seconds later, he was asking if we could skip fishing and go look at some nearby dinosaur footprints, and maybe play on the big, plastic dinosaurs that were set up around there. However, this idea lost a lot of appeal when Nick told him that we wouldn't be visiting the gift shop.

Somehow, the idea of going to a movie was introduced. I can't remember exactly how, but I think Nick threw it out there as a joke. However, Christopher was really excited about it. And to tell you the truth, the idea of sitting in a cold, dark movie theater for a few hours sounded really appealing.

So the three of us--filthy, mudcaked and sunburned--drove back to Dallas to catch an 11:00 showing of Batman Begins. It was, by far, the highlight of the camping trip.

Nick's already planning a trip for next year ("but we'll go later in the year, when it's cooler"), and Christopher has already forgotten how much he hated canoeing and can't wait to go again. I'm still undecided, but I'm thinking I'll probably go. After all, we did have some fun.

And besides, X-Men 3 should be opening about then...

--------------------------------

*As I may have mentioned previously, my family has saddled me with the nickname "Bubba." My sister has called me that since she was a baby, and my nephew Christopher picked up on it because "Uncle Chris" was a little too difficult for him to manage when he started talking. And now, it's pretty much stuck. I don't really mind, although it still seems a tad bait shop...

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Little More Virtual Narcissism

By the time I post this, it may not even be true any more. But for the moment, if you do a Google Search on Chris Irby, I show up at the very top of the list!

Oddly enough, if you put my name in quotes, I show up fifth on the list, behind a sports writer named Chris Irby and a couple of football players named Chris Irby. I had no idea my name was so athletic...

Friday, June 24, 2005

Get Off the Line! I'm Waiting on a Call from MENSA!!!

Your IQ Is 140

Your Logical Intelligence is Genius
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Genius


Thanks to Sylvana and her totally bitchin' blog Syllogism for this link, and for helping me to realize the full potential of my incredible godlike intelligence. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go integrate some logarithms or something. You wouldn't understand...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I Like My Coffee Like I Like My Women...

Tied up in a sack and thrown over the back of a donkey by Juan Valdez.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A Clinically Insane Norman Rockwell Moment...

In honor of Father's Day, here's a story my dad once told me about my grandfather. I don't know if it's true or not, but it still makes me giggle.

Papaw's family came from Louisiana, so he always spoke with this incredible cajun accent. He also stuttered a bit, and whenever he got stuck on a certain word, he'd usually snap out of it by swearing. His curse of choice was "goddamn," but he pronounced it "hoddamn."

On Papaw's 65th birthday, Dad tried to embarrass him by giving him an inflatable woman dressed in a silk teddy. An anatomically correct inflatable woman, I should add. He came into the house with the blow-up doll on his arm and said, "Happy birthday, Pop! I brought you a date!"

Instead of being embarrassed, my grandfather was delighted and let out an exuberent "Oh Lawd!" He then crammed the doll into the passenger seat of his pickup and drove it around Texarkana to show to his friends.

About three weeks later, Dad and his girlfriend Annette were visiting again. They were sitting in the living room with Mamaw and Papaw, watching Walker, Texas Ranger, when Dad asked, "Hey Pop? Whatever happened to that girl I gave you?"

Papaw chuckled. "Oh, your momma made me let the ah-ah-ah-hoddamn air out of her. I got her under the bed now."

Mamaw, of course, was shaking her head and smoking a Pall Mall. "Shit," she muttered. "He had the damn thing sitting on the couch, where company could see it."

So Dad got up and went into the bedroom, and came out with the deflated doll draped over his arm. Annette started giggling, but Mamaw just sighed. "Jamie, don't be dragging that mess out here again."

Ignoring her, Dad plopped back down on the couch and started blowing the doll up. He blew into it for about ten minutes, until he got a headache and passed it off to Papaw. Papaw gave it a try, but quit after another five minutes. By this point, the girl was still far from inflated.

Annette laughed and said, "You two old men'll never get that thing blown up."

Papaw grinned. "I got a ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-hoddamn air compressor out in the shop!" So he and Dad carried the doll out to his workshop and hooked it up to the air compressor.

In a matter of seconds, the doll was fully inflated. But before they could turn off the air compressor, the pocket in between her legs suddenly popped out.

Papaw just stared at it, unable to say anything for several seconds. Finally, he stammered, "Ah-ah-ah-ah-hoddamn, son! She got a goober!"

Friday, June 17, 2005

Beer and Liquor, Never Sicker...

We celebrated my buddy Cree's 28th birthday last night. (Actually, he's my sister's husband's cousin, but that's such a fucking mouthful it's easier to introduce him as "my buddy.") Cree plays guitar and sings every Thursday night at T.R.'s Point on Greenville, so a bunch of us hooked up there to drink, eat cake, and cheer him on.

The drink of choice last night was Red Bull and vodka, a libation that has really gained popularity over the years since rumors started circulating that it could kill you. Back in 2001, there were all these retarded news stories like:

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- The energy drink Red Bull is under
investigation by the Swedish National Food Administration (SNFA) after reports
that a young man in perfect health died after drinking it mixed with
vodka. The young man's hideously mangled remains were discovered plastered
to the grill of a large truck. The exact cause of death is unknown, but an
autopsy revealed trace amouts of Red Bull and vodka in the man's system.
Anyway, I had way too much to drink last night. I didn't die, but I did wake up with a pretty nasty hangover. I've got a splitting headache and my mouth feels like I've been chewing fiberglass, but at least I'm wide awake. Thank you, Red Bull.

Last night was a rarity, because I really don't drink that much anymore. It's not that I get high on life or anything retarded like that. It's just that I've come to realize that there aren't many things more pathetic than a middle-aged drunk (although I realize that there are some who have managed to parlay it into a successful political career).

So as I sit here, bleary-eyed and nauseous, I thought it might be fun to look back at some of the milestones in my rich and fascinating history of overindulgence.

Well, fun for me, anyway.

My First Drink
Dad had a ritual every night of mixing a drink (Dewar's and water) and taking it into the back room where he practiced his guitar. One night (I was about three, I think) I wandered back there to listen to him play and I noticed the drink sitting on top of the amplifier. I reached for it, but Dad told me no. He said it was a grownup drink and that I wouldn't like it. But I whined and pestered him until he finally let me have a sip.

I made a face when I drank it, and he laughed and said, "See? Told you." I don't know if I really liked it or if I was just developing masochistic tendencies at that early age, but as soon as he went back to playing, I grabbed the glass and managed a couple of large gulps before he got it away from me.

After that, things are a bit of a blur. But I woke up the next morning with a Cookie Monster tattoo on my ass and an ugly four-year-old girl in the bed next to me.

My First Buzz
I was a sophomore in high school. One night, after a football game, a bunch of us band geeks drove out to the lake for what was *supposed* to be a keg party. The keg never materialized, but one of the girls (I think her name was Heidi) had managed to procure a bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill.

There were about a dozen of us sitting in a circle around the fire, and we passed the bottle around. I was one of the last people to drink from the bottle, and it was still nearly 3/4 full when it got to me. Still, everybody else was staggering around and shouting in loud, slurred voices about how drunk they were. I took a couple of belts and, feeling a slight buzz, jumped up and joined in the wacky, drunken shenanigans.

I doubt even an anorexic waif who's lost three pints of blood could get that wasted on a sip of cheap-ass wine, so I guess it was an exercise in the power of peer pressure.

My First Blackout
When I was a freshman in college, I truly began to experience the joys of uninhibited binge drinking. My friends (Ix and Sean in particular) were the victims of numerous late night drunken phone calls that basically consisted of me telling them, "I just want you to know, I love you, man!"

But one Friday night, I went well beyond the veil of mere drunkeness. I was hanging out with a guy named Cary and some of his buddies, and we just kept drinking and drinking and drinking... At one point, I vaguely remember people running up to me with full glasses and saying, "Here, Irb! Drink this!" God only knows what I put away that night. Personally, I think I'm happier not knowing...

I have faint recollections of Cary driving me back to my dorm. I stumbled and fell a lot, and I remember a policeman at one time telling Cary, "Get him inside. If I see him again tonight, I'm taking him in."

I woke up in my bed, sicker than I'd ever felt in my entire life. There was vomit all over the bed and the floor, and I'd peed all over myself. I was lucky that was ALL I'd done.

So I showered and put on some clean clothes, and then set to the miserable task of cleaning up the mess. By the time I mopped everything up and did the laundry, I was feeling a lot better. In fact, I was surpringly hungry. It was around 11:30 in the morning, so I decided to go grab something to eat.

I grabbed my keys, but I couldn't find my glasses anywhere. I searched the entire room, but they didn't turn up. The last time I remembered wearing them was at Cary's, so I called him and asked, "Did I leave my glasses at your place last night?"

He paused for a second and said, "Um, no. But you left them here Friday night."

It was Sunday, and I had just experienced my first (and only, so far) lost weekend...

My First Legal Drink
Back in 1986, the legal drinking age in Texas was 19. However, six months after I came of age, it was raised to 21 and I had to spend another 18 months dealing with fake IDs and snarky bartenders.

I've always had this total baby face, and I still get carded occasionally when I buy beer. When it happens now, it totally makes my day. But back when I was 18, I think I looked like I was about 10 or 11 and I had a hell of a time pulling off the fake ID. I was always getting asked about my horoscope sign, and more than one bartender made me sign my (fake) name to compare signatures.

When I turned 19, I assumed all those worries would be over (at least for half a year). Some buddies took me to Bash Riprock's to celebrate. They were carding at the door, and the bouncer ran through the usual gamut of questions with me. He also held my license up to the light and tried to peel away the lamination. In the end, he finally said he wasn't fully convinced, but he was going to let me in.

To add insult to injury, when I ordered a bottle of Corona, the chick behind the bar asked me, "Would you like a nipple on that bottle, little boy?"

My First Legal Drink (Redux)
When I turned 21, my good pal Ix took me to Bowley and Wilson's, a comedy club where the entire act consists of dragging people up on stage and embarrassing the shit out of them. After about five or six Long Island Ice Teas, they pulled me out of the audience and forced me to reenact a scene from Deliverence. And I promise you, it wasn't the nice scene where the retarded kid plays the banjo.

Afterwards, Ix gave me about $20 in singles and took me to a "gentlemen's club." I'd never been to one before (you can take the boy out of the Baptist church, but... well, you know), so Ix just told me to pick the girl on stage I liked best and start tucking dollars into her g-string.

Well, there was a big crowd around one of the stages. I don't know from man-pleasuring dancing, but this girl was obviously quite popular. Another girl danced on the other stage, but there was nobody there to cheer for her and I started feeling sorry for her. (Remember, this was after five or six Long Island Ice Teas.)

She didn't seem particularly happy to be there, but she seemed grateful for any kind of audience. She smiled down at me as she danced, then knelt to let me tuck in some bills. Then, instead of getting back up to dance, she sat down on the edge of the stage and started talking to me.

By this point, I was already composing my letter to the Penthouse Forum. But then she patted me on the head and said, "You're cute. Are you here with your daddy?"

My First Drunken Brawl
Usually, I'm a pretty mellow drunk. But I went through about a two year phase where the booze made me brave. Not in a good way, but in the totally retarded way that caused me to shout "Fuck you!" at cops, or climb up on the roof and try to pee into the pool.

My senior year in college, I was at a Theta Chi party with a bunch of friends when I got into a fight with this enormous redneck fuck named Don.

This guy was huge, like Orca fat, and wearing a black ten-gallon Hoss cowboy hat. Apparently he was standing on the porch near the keg, and he got mad when somebody tried to close the screen. He kicked it open and stormed into the house, bellowing "I said leave it fucking open!" He was shoving past people, knocking them aside. My friend Jim was knocked into a wall and broke his nose.

So I was standing in line at the bathroom waiting to pee (they didn't have a pool or an easily accessible roof) when Jim came running down the hallway holding his nose. There was blood all over his face and shirt.

Another friend, Chuck, told me what had happened. He said Don had been told to leave and, after being threatened with a call to the police, had done so. But it wasn't enough, as far as I was concerned. And being filled with the righteous indignation and sense of invulnerability that comes from losing at Quarters all night long ("DRINK!"), I stormed outside to teach this fucker a lesson.

Chuck and a guy named Jon tried to stop me. And I'd like to say it was a melodramatic scene, with them whispering reverently, "No, Chris! Don't do it! It's not worth it, man!" But the truth is, they were rolling their eyes and saying, "Irb, quit being a retard. You know you can't fight for shit."

Don was standing on the sidewalk with a couple of his friends when we came staggering out onto the porch. He saw us and shouted, "What do you want, faggots?"

"Fuck you, Jabba!" I shouted, as Chuck and Jon tried to physically throw me back into the house. Don started towards me, but Chuck stepped between us. "Look, just give him a break, okay?" he said to Don. "He's really drunk."

Don stopped and glared at me, then shrugged. "Faggot," he muttered. Then he turned and started walking away. I grabbed a half-empty styrofoam cup of beer from the porch railing and hurled it at Don as hard as I could. Unfortunately, my inebriation coupled with my utter lack of athletic ability insured that the cup landed far short and wide of its target.

But Don heard the beer splash, and he whirled around. And I yelled in my best Johnny Cash voice, "Hey, pardner! Sing me a sad, sad song!"

This time Chuck and Jon both stepped up to stop Don, but he just shoved his way past them and beat the living shit out of me. I'd like to say I gave a good accounting of myself, but the truth is all I managed to do was get my blood on his ring when he punched me in the mouth. I don't think I even landed a blow.

I don't really remember how it all ended. I think Chuck ran to call the police, and Jon and Don's friends finally managed to pull him off of me. One of my eyes was swollen shut, my lip was split, and one of my front teeth was chipped. I still have the scar on my chin where Don's ring caught me.

Now that I think about it, that might have been the end of my mean drunk stage...

------------------------

Ah, booze. It gives us so much and it asks for so little in return...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Stand and Be Counted, Minions! Muahahahaha!

I just installed a counter so I can satisfy my morbid curiousity and see just how many slackers and ne'er-do-wells stop by my page when they're not too busy downloading porn and bomb recipes.

It counts unique users instead of page hits, so unfortunately I can't make myself look more popular by sitting here and hitting Refresh. Sigh... if the results are too depressing, I'll change it so it starts counting at 99,307 or something.

Okay, this isn't much of a post. It feels like something is missing...

Bush is retarded. The red states suck. Ann Coulter is a misshapen skank with a diseased mind and a big fucking adam's apple. But I digress. I'm just saying. Thanks for listening. You've been very therapeutic.

There. Now I feel complete.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The King of Vox Pop

Since it's inception, the Internet has been responsible for convincing millions of people that, somehow, their opinions matter. In that spirit, we* at I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, YOU GODDAMN LIAR!!! are proud to present a brand new segment where you, the opinionated dumbass, have a chance to sound off.


--------------------
*That's the royal "we." It's actually just me.

Umberto Does Dallas

I went to see Umberto Eco on Sunday night!

For the benefit of those of you who might be, no offense, utter Philistines, Umberto Eco is the brilliant Italian author who wrote a bunch of books you've probably never heard of, except maybe The Name of the Rose, which was made into a movie with Sean Connery and Christian Slater. And since it was the 80s, probably Molly Ringwald.

I've been a huge fan of the man since I read Foucault's Pendulum, which was my introduction to the whole goofy Knights Templar/Holy Grail conspiracy theory. Unlike Dan Brown (whose The Da Vinci Code is widely regarded as a historical treatise by people who are too retarded to remember that they found it in the fiction section), Eco approached the subject matter with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

(I've been working on my own novel about the Templars for quite some time now. My research has run the gamut from the historical to the dubious to the downright retarded, but it was Eco's novel that got me hooked in the first place.)

So anyway, Umberto Eco was in town on Sunday night for an interview and some selected readings, to be followed by pedantic questions from the audience. I went with my friends Sean and Silver, who are my comrades in all things pretentious.

I've never heard Professor Eco speak before, but the guy is just astonishingly brilliant. As it turns out, he's also very witty and engaging. At one point, he was asked about his love of mysteries and he responsed that all philosophers read mysteries, even if they won't admit it, because mysteries ask the greatest question that all philosophers face with regards to existence, "Whodunnit?"

Eco also remarked that he'd been disappointed by the movie adaptation of The Name of the Rose, and had decided afterwards that he would never allow another movie to be made from his work. He said he was contacted some time later by a producer who wanted to adapt Foucault's Pendulum and get Stanley Kubrick to direct. Eco declined the offer, but said he began to have second thoughts about it. Unfortunately, Kubrick passed away about that time.

Dammit. That would've rocked.

After the interview and a few selected readings from his new novel, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, it was time for the audience Q&A. Since this presentation was being recorded for radio broadcast on KERA 90.1, a lot of people seemed to view this as their opportunity to audition.

One dufus stood up with a notecard and read some rambling question that I'm sure sounded really clever when he was writing it in the bubble bath. "Professore, I won't ask you to tell a lie about the truth, for that would be a sin in the eyes of God, but rather I'm asking you to tell the truth about a lie because a lie is just the truth when the truth lies like a true in lie that the heart makes when true is true true lie true true that true because lie true with the lie that is true or is truth that is a lie..."

Or something like that. I lost track of the question, and apparently Professor Eco did as well. He turned to the moderator, confused, to ask him what the fuck this jackass was babbling about (only in a much more cultured and sophisticated way, I imagine).

So after meandering through this witty treacle for five minutes, the dork finally concluded weakly with, "Um, so what are your thoughts on that?" Eco then had the man dragged outside and beaten by NPR goons.

Afterwards, we all went out to stand in a long-ass line and get our books signed. I was really hoping for an opportunity to talk to the professor, just to let him know what an impact his work had made on me. I know he probably hears that kind of crap all the time, but still...

Unfortunately, we were at the back of the line. By the time we got to the front, Eco was clearly exhausted and not at his most sociable. People from his entourage were simply grabbing books from us and handing them to him, and he was just signing them as quickly as he could. He handed my copy of The Island of the Day Before to me, and I thanked him, but I don't think he even noticed. He was too busy signing the next one.

Sigh... it's probably just as well. I would've just said something stupid. "Did you know that a lie is just the truth about an untruth but the truth about a lie is not the truth? Um, so what are your thoughts on that?"

--------------------------

During the intermission, I got to talking to a woman named Stephanie who was sitting behind us. She's cute, smart, funny, and ever bit as geeky as my friends and I. She is also, it turns out, a slathering fangirl of our man Eco.

She joined us for dinner afterwards at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant. And while we were all eating, Umberto Eco and his entourage came in.

We chattered excitedly amongst ourselves, wondering what we should do. Should we go talk to him? Should we invite him to sit with us? Should we offer to buy him dinner?

(Silver actually proposed that last suggestion, and then dismissed it because "the man looks like he could eat a lot.")

Anyway, apart from the anticlimatic Eco encounter, dinner was a blast. I was probably a tad more manic than usual because I was showing off for Stephanie. I do that sometimes, because I have the social acumen of a five year old.

But we had fun, and I don't think I scared her *too* badly. We wound up exchanging e-mail addresses and website info because, as I may have mentioned, we're both a tad geeky. I also snuck my phone number into the mix because, dammit, I'm smooooooth!

Just ask the ladies that haven't filed restraining orders, baby!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Evil Monogomous Gays Threaten Holy Institution of Marriage!!!

I know there's a huge nature vs. nurture debate with regards to homosexuality, but I've been wondering if it's possible to turn gay simply out of spite. Because if it is, I think I might be just one showtune away...

My grandfather is circulating another e-mail. This one simply reads:

The God-ordained institution of marriage is under attack in courts across the nation, and your help is needed to save it before the one man-one woman definition of marriage is completely and radically redefined. Go to www.nogaymarriage.com and sign the petition supporting the Marriage Protection Amendment.

The petition itself is from the American Family Association (AFA), and it's basically a short-bus rant about how "activist liberal judges are intent on destroying the institution of marriage." Apparently, the ENTIRE NATION wants to ban same-sex marriage, but a small group of Democrats in the Senate managed to thwart the gaybashing will of the masses.

Goddamn, those are some powerful Democrats! And here I've been mourning the decline of the Democratic party like an idiot for the past few years. I had no idea our entire nation was at the mercy of these Überliberals! And you can't shoot them, because these bad boys eat bullets and shit filibusters, my brother!!!

But I digress...

One of the problems is the line between church and state gets really blurry when you're talking about marriage. Of course, most people don't feel that "separation of church and state" really applies if it's THEIR church that's getting shoved down the throats of the population, which is why they have no problem supporting a constitutional amendment to preserve the Judeo-Christian definition of marriage.

We've already made the distinction between marriages and civil unions. The problem is, the government has decided to ignore the one over which they actually have jurisdiction and instead focus on the one that is none of their business. If marriage truly is a "God-ordained institution," then the federal government has no business legislating it. Leave that up to the churches to decide. If you're a gay Southern Baptist and the Grand Imperial Wizard says no to same-sex marriage, then look elsewhere. (Of course, without dancing and drinking, that would be one suck-ass wedding anyway. I'm just saying...)

The fact that this is even an issue just goes to show you how retarded our nation can be. Back in 2000, Gore and Bush both stated that they felt the issue of same-sex marriage should be left up to each state. Not an ideal solution, but certainly preferable to our current federal mandate of gaybashing.

So what happened? Well, during the 2004 campaign, Bush kept saying he wanted to run on his record. But things weren't going all that well in Iraq, and the economy and job market were tanking here on the homefront. So somebody (*cough* Karl Rove *cough*) had the brilliant idea of misdirecting the voters by making up an issue.

Bush made his pronouncement that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Kerry concurred. But Bush went on to say there should be a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Kerry disagreed. In fact, so did Cheney. But it didn't matter. By that time, most of Bush's supporters had conveniently forgotten about the real issues and were already yammering on about how Kerry supports gay marriage and Kerry wants to make gay marriage mandatory and how if Kerry has his way, then the next thing you know people will want to marry goats...

So now, depending on who you believe, our nation is either totally polarized by this non-issue (according to the Jew-run liberal media) or we're all united in this fight against all things faaabulous except for a few damn liberal holdouts (according to the AFA). Either way, the line has been drawn and the battle is underway to ensure the survival of hot, wet man/woman nuptials.

I just don't get it. It's not like there's any overlap in these two areas. It's not like hordes of men who would've otherwise married women are going to suddenly turn gay. Banning same-sex marriage accomplishes nothing. It's about as pointless as banning Peanut M&Ms to preserve the sancity of the plain ones.

Thanks for listening. You've been very therapeutic.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Let Them Sing It For You

Here's a fun little doohickey that'll allow you to recruit the singing talents of our hottest pop stars, and then bend them to your own sick and twisted agenda. Sort of like "We are the World," with two key differences:

  1. Instead of singing a line apiece, each performer gets a single word.

  2. The results of this musical bouillabaisse will have little, if any, effect on world hunger.

Okay, so maybe there's only one key difference. But hey! It's still fun, right?




We are the ones who make a brighter day,
So let's start clicking...


Bonus: Click here to listen to Chris Isaac, Olivia Newton John, and probably REM shilling for my own humble blog. Sing it, you magnificent bastards!!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Zen and the Art of Comics...

If you've spent any time around me, you know I can't go more than seven seconds without mentioning Generika Adventures (the online comic written by me and illustrated by prodigious man-child Errol "Maximus" Pinto).

The way it works is that I send Maximus this:

----------

Strip #78
The Temple of LMNO Evil – Part I


Panel 1:
We see two doorways within the Temple of LMNO Evil (I’m thinking the Ruins tileset would be about right, but you make the call), divided by a barrier of sorts (fence placeable or sawhorses). GILLETTE, MAYNARD, ELIMAE and GROKKO all stand in the doorway to the left. (If you can manage a turnstile in front of them, that would be great. Otherwise, don’t sweat it). They look slightly worn from standing in line for the past two hours. There are several ADVENTURERS making their way out the door on the right. An Exit sign hangs over the right-hand door.

Caption: The Temple of LMNO Evil…

Gillette: Praise Noehtal. We finally made it through that accursed line.

Panel 2:
The party is walking past a fake PHONETICUS, with a ridiculously cartoony head. He is dressed in a cheesy robe with letters all over it, and he holds a staff with a large A on top of it. We see many ADVENTURERS milling around. GILLETTE looks disgusted by the whole scene.

Phoneticus: Howdy, folks! Welcome to the Temple of LMNO Evil, where adventure is yours for the taking! And don’t forget to visit our gift shop on your way out, for a souvenir of your dungeon-delving derring-do.

Gillette: Disgusting.

Panel 3:
The party is walking past the food court. We can see the SIGNS of several restaurants, plus a BANNER hanging overhead. There are also tables and chairs in the area, and lots of ADVENTURERS milling about (as usual). (Work in as many of the signs as you can, but don’t worry if they won’t all fit.)

Banner: FOOD COURT

Sign: Alphabites!
Sign: Renfru’s Authentic Dwarven Kitchen
Sign: The Eatin’ Ettin
Sign: Burger Khan
Sign: Leaping Lizard Shanks

Gillette: This place is a travesty, a blatant mockery of the fine tradition of adventuring.

Panel 4:
The party is walking past a large courtyard littered with rubble and debris. A number of ADVENTURERS are “exploring” the area. In particular, we see two MEN in modest armor excitedly peering into a barrel. A BANNER hangs overhead.

Banner: ADVENTURE CORNER

Man: Woohooo! There’s 3 gold pieces in this barrel!

Gillette: Nothing but a bunch of poseurs and wannabes, who wouldn’t know a *real* adventure if it sank its considerable fangs into their soft, flabby posteriors.

Panel 5:
The party is walking past a stage, where a bunch of ADVENTURERS are gathered. On the stage is GUNTER, a large and burly man. He is juggling three HALFLINGS. GILLETTE is still ranting on, but the rest of the party has been distracted by the show. A BANNER hangs overhead.

Banner: GUNTER THE HOBBIT JUGGLER

Gillette: It’s truly sad. If my former colleagues could see just what has become of their once noble profession, they’d spin in their crypts.

Panel 6:
GILLETTE is walking alone past a stage with a drawn curtain. A SIGN sits on or near the stage, and a BANNER hangs overhead. A few (not many) ADVENTURERS are milling about the area.

Banner: THE FALL OF THE ALPHABET CULT
A Historical Re-enactment with Hand Puppets

Sign: Next Show – 3:15

Gillette: No respect for tradition. That’s the fault inherent in this whole gaudy affair. These people have absolutely no regard for…

Panel 7:
The same scene as panel 6, only GILLETTE is no longer walking. He has just realized that he’s been abandoned.

Gillette: Um, guys?

Panel 8:
We’re back at the halfling juggling show from panel 5. GILLETTE is standing to the side, glaring angrily at the other three. MAYNARD and GROKKO are watching the show excitedly. ELIMAE is looking at GILLETTE with a huge grin on her face.

Elimae: Aww, come on, Gillette! It’s *hobbit* juggling!

----------

And he then turns it into this:



Click. Read. Repeat.



Anyway, I usually manage to stay a day or two ahead of the schedule, and most of the time, I have at least a vague inkling of where I'm going with the story.

But on Sunday, I swear I got into a zone! I sat down around 9:00 in the evening to knock out a couple of strips. The next thing I knew, it was 3:15 in the morning and I'd churned out 16 of the goddamn things!

I don't want to give too much away. So I'll just say that our intrepid adventurers have faced down some pretty tough adversaries in the past: socially-retarded wizards, alphabet cultists, trolls ("U SUK L4M3R5!!!"), and a fungus demon. However, soon they will find themselves face to face with the most insidious evil in the universe... Ann Coulter!!!

I swear, this shit practically wrote itself. I love it when that happens!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Return of the IXes! (Or is that IXii?)

Ego, a.k.a. IX (neither of which is his REAL name, in case you're wondering), and his family got back from their vacation on Friday night. And they were so grateful to me for watching their house and not beating their dog Daisy into a coma with a sockful of oranges that IX's incredibly hot wife agreed to sleep with me.

No, just kidding. But they did take me out to a very nice dinner. And then IX agreed to sleep with me.

Welcome home, guys!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Schrodinger's Scat

Okay, so it's been almost a week since I last posted. I'm happy to report that IX's house is still standing and Daisy is still alive. But only because I'm a loving and forgiving person...

We had a system. Each morning, around 8:00, I'd wake up and feed her. Then, around 8:30 or 9:00, I'd open the back door and she'd run into the back yard. I'd tell her to "Go potty" about three or four times, and she'd trot out onto the grass and do her business.

But apparently we had a tiff on Sunday night. Maybe it's just me. I'm not sensitive to dogs' needs. All I know is, around 3:00 in the morning, she came bounding into the bedroom and jumped into the bed with me. I woke up to that goddamn cold nose jammed in my eye. So I bolted up and shouted, "No! Off!"

It took about ten minutes, but she finally gave up trying to get up on the bed. She went over to her pillow and laid down, but didn't go to sleep. She just sat there, staring at me and whining.

The next morning, she came running when I put her food out, and I assumed everything was back to normal. But when it came time to "Go potty," she simply refused. I'd open the back door, and she'd run into the dining room. I finally coaxed, coerced, and shoved her out back, with her whining the whole time like I was some kind of dog-beating Nazi scum.

But once she was out, she wouldn't go. For about fifteen minutes, I stood there and kept saying "Go potty." And she'd just sit there on the concrete, glaring at me. So I opened the door and she ran back into the house.

I tried four more times over the next three hours to get her to go, but she just refused. In fact, she'd run from me every time I asked her if she needed to go outside. After my last unsuccessful attempt, I just gave up and went to lunch.

I was only gone an hour or so, but when I got back, I could see she'd been busy. There was a huge dog turd in EVERY GODDAMN ROOM OF THE HOUSE! I honestly didn't know you could pack so much shit into one dog! It defied all known physical laws! It was like some kind of quantum poop!

So I opened the door and ordered her out, and she bolted upstairs. I chased her around the house and finally got her out the door, with her yipping and crying like I was coming after her with an axe. And then, I set about the unpleasant task of cleaning up.

Lest you think I'm a dog-hater, or that Daisy's life is in any danger, I should go ahead and tell you that apparently we've made up. Fortunately, dogs have a shorter memory span than most of Bush's supporters and Daisy's back to loving me again.

Of course, that might just be the Snausages talking...

Anyway, words can't possibly convey to you the sheer, god-renouncing, nihlistic horror that I experienced when I got back from lunch on Monday. So I've tried to recapture the moment as best I could through the magic of MS Paint.



Daisy, you bitch!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

"When He Sits Around the House..."

So my buddy Ego (a.k.a. IX) took the wife and kids to Florida, and asked me to do some housesitting while they're gone.

I should mention that, as I rule, I don't housesit because of something very traumatic that happened to me years ago. But I remember it as if it were yesterday... yesterday... yesterday... yesterday...

[INSERT WAVY FLASHBACK EFFECT]

Back in the summer of 1998, my aunt and uncle flew to Jordan and left their car in my care. They were gone for two weeks, and during that time, every goddamn thing that could have possibly gone wrong with their car went wrong.

I accidentally left the lights on one night, which drained the battery. No big deal in and of itself, but merely a portent of things to come. (I was used to my car, which cut off the headlights automatically.)

Anyway, later that day, as I was driving to the store, I noticed the driver's side window was down about an inch. I tried to raise it (stupid power windows) but it wasn't working. It lowered fine, but wouldn't go back up. And while I was distracted by that, I plowed into one of those big orange and white barrels that they put up to block lanes. It bounced into the air and nailed the hood of the car, putting a big-ass crease in it.

Well, I was pretty poverty stricken at the time, but was hoping to scrape together enough cash to get the hood fixed before they returned. I drove the car from place to place over the next week, and they all told me the same thing... they couldn't fix the dent, they'd have to replace the hood.

It was somewhere around this time that the air conditioner stopped working.

In the meantime, I was parking the car in the parking garage at my office, because I was worried about rain with the window halfway down. And given my train of bad luck with the car, I was pretty sure it would happen.

So two days before they were set to arrive home, I went down to check on the car and I saw it had been broken into. Fortunately, there wasn't anything in there worth stealing. The hooligans didn't much care for my aunt and uncle's taste in music, so their CDs were scattered on the concrete outside the car. The trunk had been popped open, but nothing was taken.

Finally, the day arrived. And to tell you the truth, I was feeling horrible about the whole thing because I hadn't been able to get the damage fixed. Plus, it was 103 outside and their air conditioning wasn't working. But, at least their window was rolled down...

My sister and her husband agreed to meet me at the airport and be with me when I explained to my aunt and uncle what a shambles I had made of their car. And fortunately, when we helped them carry their luggage out, the car hadn't burst into flames or rolled backwards over a bunch of babies and puppies.

To their credit, they took it in stride. My uncle found somebody a few weeks later to repair the damage, and I paid for it. It's all good. They still love me, and trust me. Nobody harbors any grudges or hard feelings.

But I'm still scarred by the memories of the goddamn evil voodoo car. And every time somebody asks me to be responsible for something that belongs to them, I get all anxious and worried that I'm somehow going to fuck it up. You should've seen me the first time my sister asked me to babysit...

So anyway, back to IX. His family has a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback named Daisy who can't bear to be alone. (For those of you who don't know doggies, a Rhodesian Ridgeback is basically Marmaduke with a mohawk.) His usual housesitters/dogsitters bailed on him, so he asked me if I could spend my evenings at his place and make sure Daisy would be okay.

Anytime I need a favor, this guy is always there for me. So despite my neurotic misgivings and irrational fear that I would somehow burn down his house and/or dog, I agreed.

So far, my fears have been for nothing. Daisy's been an absolute angel. (She's lying on the floor next to my chair, noisily working over a Milkbone.) No crises, no explosions, no fires, no gas leaks, no rabid animal attacks, no boils, no rivers of blood, no death of the firstborn...

Only nine more nights to go. Keep your fingers crossed.

It's Baaaaaaaaaack!

After about a 6-month hiatus, my comic strip Generika Adventures (illustrated by the lovely and waiflike Errol "Maximus" Pinto) is back in production. Which means I need to get off my sorry ass and start churning out scripts again!

------------------

On a totally unrelated note, here's a little something I threw together. I don't know if it's funny or offensive, since I long ago lost the ability to distinguish between the two.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Orange Alert

Note: I wrote the following short story back in 2003. I haven't managed to sell it yet, so I figured I'd just inflict it on you, my faithful readers. Enjoy!
-------------------------

The clock radio snapped on at 6:15, yanking Ben Griswold into reluctant consciousness. A woman's chipper voice droned on cheerfully about the news of the day. "...of Homeland Security has upgraded the threat level from yellow to orange. This means there is a high risk of terrorist attack..."

Ben slapped the clock silent and climbed out of bed. His stomach knotted as he considered the day ahead. It was Monday, which meant he and Mike were supposed to give their weekly update on the network upgrade. Just the thought of that unctuous, ass-kissing bastard this early in the morning was enough to make him taste bile.

Ben and Mike both reported to David "Dutch" Schulz, an obese man who chain-smoked, drank heavily, and occasionally ate an entire bucket of chicken for lunch. After his last heart attack, Dutch had announced that he would be retiring at the end of the year. He had then called Ben and Mike into his office and told them, "Look sharp, boys. One of you is going to have to take my place when I'm gone."

That had been a month ago, and since then Ben and Mike had struggled to one-up each other at every opportunity. When something went well, they both raced to take the credit. And when the inevitable shit hit the fan, neither could shift the blame fast enough.

Ben wanted that promotion, and had decided he would do whatever it took to get it, which is why he was up so early on a Monday morning. He was going to stop and pick up some Krispy Kremes on the way to work.

Dutch loved donuts.

* * *

"It's banana nut bread," Mike was saying, holding aloft the saran-wrapped plate. "My wife baked it fresh last night."

Dutch sat at the head of the table, or rather propped his considerable ass on the edge of his chair at the head of the table. His belly pressed against the table edge, and his hands were folded atop it. It wasn't eight yet, but his sleeves were already rolled up and his tie was loosened. Poor Dutch could break a sweat waiting for the elevator.

"That's nice, Mike," Dutch said. "Tell Molly I said thanks."

"Will do, Mr. Schulz," Mike said. He set the plate on the table and took his seat.

Dutch looked up at Ben, and his enormous face split into a gluttonous grin. "Ooh, donuts! Set those down right there!"

Ben ignored Mike's dirty look as he handed the box of donuts to his boss. Dutch tore the lid off and shoved an entire donut into his mouth.

Score one for the Griswold boy, Ben thought as he slid into his chair. He met Mike's angry glare and responded with a quick flash of his finger and thumb. "Loser," he mouthed.

"Okay, boys," Dutch said around a mouthful of pastry. "Where do we stand on the upgrade?"

"We're just about finished, sir," Ben said, beating Mike to the punch. "We were having a little trouble configuring the new DHCP settings, but I figured out how to..."

"Actually," Mike interrupted, "I was looking over Ben's settings and I'm a little concerned about the security of the..."

"The security?" Ben interrupted back. "Name one thing wrong with our security! I'm the one that got the firewall up and running, remember?"

"That's what concerns me," Mike said. "I think you're rushing things just so you can meet your deadline..."

"Our deadline! And I'm not rushing things! That firewall will protect our network from any hacker or any virus that..."

"I'd still feel more comfortable if I could check it myself," Mike said. "After all, I think results are far more important than just making deadlines. Right, Mr. Schulz?"

Dutch nodded and licked the glazed sugar from his fingers. "Better to have it right than have it quick."

"But it is right," Ben said desperately, hearing a defensive edge in his voice. He took a deep breath and said, "If you want to check it, Mike, feel free. But I stand by my work."

"Nobody's criticizing your work, Ben," Dutch said. "But better safe than sorry."

"Exactly!" Mike said with a triumphant grin. "Don't worry, Mr. Schulz. I'll make sure everything is running."

Flustered and frustrated, Ben clenched and unclenched his fists. His mind raced desperately for a way to upstage Mike and recapture the lead, but he couldn't think of anything other than his fervent desire to beat that smirk off of Mike's face with a chair. Just as he was about to give up and regroup for the next meeting, he was struck with inspiration.

"That's a good idea, Mike," Ben said amiably. Mike narrowed his eyes, justifiably suspicious. "Why don't we schedule a meeting to go over it together? How about this afternoon?"

Mike sighed. "I'll be out of the office this afternoon. My daughter has a soccer game." He glanced anxiously toward Dutch, who was on his sixth donut and showed no sign of slowing down. "Um, you remember I cleared that with you, Mr. Schulz?"

"Right, soccer game," Dutch said. "I remember now."

"Oh, that's too bad," Ben said. "Still, I guess family's got to come first, right? Much more important than work."

"We can go over it tomorrow," Mike said through gritted teeth.

"Whenever's convenient for you," Ben replied. "Oh, and while you're out, maybe I should double check your server backups. After all, I'd hate for the company to lose critical data while you were off with your family."

"Good idea, Ben," Dutch said. "Better safe than sorry."

For several seconds, the room was silent except for the sound of Dutch chewing noisily on yet another donut. Mike and Ben stared viciously at one another, each trying through sheer force of will to make the other's head explode.

But behind his poker face, Ben was elated. His heart was pounding with excitement and sheer joy at his masterful handling of the situation. No question about it. He had really shown Mike up this morning. Mike and his pathetic banana bread...

* * *

The fluorescent lights flickered and went out, drowning the entire floor in darkness. Blue lights in the ceiling began to flash intermittently, and the fire alarms hiccupped at the sudden loss of power.

The air conditioner was dead, and Ben's ears rang in the abrupt, stuffy silence. A scream came from somewhere down the hall, cut short by the startling burst of gunfire. More screams and angry shouts, and the sound of frantic footsteps echoed down the hallway.

"What the hell is going on?" Ben asked, startled by how loud his voice sounded.

Mike shushed him angrily. "Terrorists," he whispered.

"Terrorists?" Ben shook his head. "That's stupid. Why would terrorists..."

"Didn't you hear the news?" Mike whispered. "We're at Orange Alert."

"Oh crap," Dutch moaned, pressing his hand to his chest. "I'm going to have another heart attack."

"Don't worry, sir," Mike whispered, standing up. "I'll take care of it."

Ben snorted. "Oh, right. And just what are you..."

Mike shushed him again and moved silently to stand beside the door. Ben was about to comment once again on how stupid this whole thing was when he saw a flicker of light in the hallway. The light danced upon the carpet and the wall, bouncing in time with the approaching footsteps.

A bearded man in loose-fitting fatigues stalked down the hall, clutching an enormous rifle. Strapped to the barrel with duct tape was a yellow, underwater flashlight. Ben felt his throat tighten and he had to bite his lip to keep from screaming. Behind him, he could hear Dutch's labored breathing, even over his own pounding heart.

The soldier stopped at the doorway and shined his light into the meeting room. When he caught Dutch in his bright beam, he shouted something in a foreign tongue and took aim.

Mike leaped from the shadows and grabbed the rifle. The man barely had time to shriek in surprise before Mike smashed him in the face with the butt of his gun. The terrorist fell to the floor with a heavy thud. Mike pressed the barrel of the rifle to the man's head and finished him off with one shot.

"Oh crap," Dutch whispered. "Oh crap oh crap oh crap..."

"It's going to be okay, sir," Mike said in a voice brimming with confidence. He slipped his tie from around his neck and tied it like a bandana around his head. Then he slapped a new clip into the rifle, and slid back the bolt with a metallic snick. "I'll teach these bastards they can't mess with the good ol' U.S. of A."

And with that, Mike bolted off into the darkness. A few minutes later, Ben heard machine gun fire and angry, guttural shouts that turned into dying screams. And above it all, he could hear Mike shouting, "Yeah, you like that? You want some? How about you? Take that, you terrorist bastards!"

Ben took shelter with Dutch under the table, waiting for the end of the threat. He crouched on the floor with his panting, sweating boss and imagined Mike, bloodcaked and grimy, unleashing death on wave after wave of terrorists.

And he sighed. Great, he thought. How in the hell am I ever going to top that?

----------------------
Orange Alert © 2005 by Chris Irby

Friday, May 20, 2005

Runnin' with the Devil!

Ever since I received that alarming e-mail about how Madalyn Murray O'Hair had risen from the grave to get Touched By an Angel canceled, I've been a nervous wreck. I knew the hoary master of the netherworld was running amok in the new millenium, but I had no idea of the extent of his nefarious reach...

Until now!



The Sign of Satan, a secret gesture
known only to those who worship the devil
or listen to rock music.


Satan has infiltrated the Republicans:



George W. and Laura Bush
(The W stands for "Wucifer")





Dan Quayle
(He thought he was
selling his soul to Santa)





Tom Ridge
(But only after he took over Home Depot)



The Democrats:



Bill Clinton
(The man has had sex with Monica Lewinsky,
Paula Jones, and [allegedly] Hilary Clinton...
HE NO LONGER FEARS HELL)





John Edwards
(Satan thought he was psychic John Edward...
by the time he realized the mistake,
Crossing Over had already been canceled)



The Rulers of Foreign Lands:



Prince William of Wales
(Seen here using his powers of dark persuasion
to convince his brother Harry to dress like a Nazi)





Yasser Arafat
(Actually, it turns out Arafat was just an avid University of Texas fan)



Upstanding members of the Televangelist Community:



Benny Hinn
(His soul was severely undervalued,
so he also does Satan's lawn on the weekends)




Kenneth Copeland
(Who is not only flashing the devil sign, but is
apparently about to give his congregation the finger)



Our beloved Celebrities:



Randy Jackson
(Originally wanted to call the show American Graven Image)





Liz Taylor
(Perhaps the only one of Satan's minions entitled to a refund)





Amy Grant
("Baby, baby, I'm taken with the notion...
TO FEAST ON YOUR IMMORTAL SOUL!
MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!")



And finally, our Superheroes:


Spiderman
('Nuff said, True Believer!)



And as the tendrils of the nefarious satanic conspiracy continue to make like Bill O'Reilly and reveal themselves, I can't help but wonder if there's anybody left to stand against them. Somebody brave and stalwart enough to kick evil in the nutsack and make it his bitch. Somebody like...




NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Fun with Jack Chick #9



I didn't make any changes to this one. I just thought it was funny that this Jack Chick tract was the story of a man reading a Jack Chick tract. But I guess it's that kind of self-promotion that has helped Mr. Chick build his funnybook ministry into a hate-spewing empire...

(Actually, now that I think about it, this makes about as much sense as believing the Bible is the literal and unerring word of God because "it says so, right there in the Bible!")

"Thank You, Ladies and Gentlemen! I'll Be Here Until 2009!"

As most people know, the White House Correspondents' Dinner is an annual event where the President gathers with the press corps to crack jokes about his ineffectual domestic policies and all the people he's gotten killed overseas.

But this year, for a change of pace, Laura Bush delivered a funny (and oddly risque) monologue which featured, among other things, the escapades of Lynne Cheney at Chippendale's and a joke about George W. jacking off a horse.

Even funnier than the First Lady's schtick was the Daily Show's coverage of the event. I don't know what else to say, except that I've watched this about a dozen times and it still makes me giggle like Rumsfeld at an orphan burning.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Yo, Peep!

My PC is up and running again!

Thanks to the timely intervention and patient help of my dear friend Ego (a.k.a. ix), we were able to bitchslap that misbehaving C: drive into shape.

Ego has listened to me yammer on and on for the past year or so about the amazing therapeutic value of blogging. "I've had this emptiness in my life," I tell him frequently. "I've tried to fill it with family, friends, religion... but those were all just dead ends. But blogging! That's the answer!"

So anyway, Ego finally took the plunge and made himself a blog. Go check it out and say nice things to him. Encourage him to keep on posting. Whisper to him in the darkness. "One of us... one of us... one of us..."

Interesting Ego Facts: Ego's nickname actually comes from his original online alias, AlteredEgo. He and I have been friends since the 5th grade, despite the fact that I got our entire table into trouble by talking without raising my hand. He is an avid online gamer, and is responsible for my shameful addiction to World of Warcraft. And his wife is one of the hottest women I've ever met in real life!

Newsweek Single-Handedly Ruins Peace in the Middle East

On May 9, Newsweek magazine printed a story alleging that American interrogators at Guantanamo Bay put copies of the Quran in the toilet to coerce prisoners to talk. And now, U.S. officials are blaming the Newsweek story as the sole cause of riots and anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and every other nation that ends in -istan.

I guess I can see that. I mean, prior to the story's publication, our nation was beloved in the Middle East. Our policy of invading other countries and making up reasons for it after the fact had totally endeared us to the Muslim world. Everything overseas was sunshine, rainbows, and baskets of kittens. And then, those bastards at Newsweek had to come along and make our nation look bad!


Protesters in Pakistan burn an American flag,
something that NEVER HAPPENED before May 9!


Originally Newsweek admitted that their governmental source had recanted his story, and editor Mark Whitaker apologized in print for any part of the story that was wrong. However, it wasn't until the Bush administration called for a full retraction that Newsweek disavowed the article. And in a totally unrelated story, those mysterious dots of red light that were hovering over Whitaker's daughter's forehead have vanished...

But of course, an event like this just wouldn't be complete without some Republican jackass beating his chest and grandstanding about Newsweek's appalling lack of journalistic integrity. In this case, said jackass was White House spokesman Scott McClellan:

It's puzzling that while Newsweek now acknowledges that they got the facts wrong, they refused to retract the story. I think there's a certain journalistic standard that should be met and in this instance it was not... The report has had serious consequences. People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged.

My friend Boidy suggested that Newsweek respond with:

It's puzzling that while the White House now acknowledges that they haven't found WMDs or a link between Al Queda and Iraq, they have refused to retract their claims. I think there's a certain standard of governing that should be met and in this instance it has not. The claims the administration used to send this nation to war have had serious consequences. People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged.

In a way, the Newsweek article was a lucky break for Bush and his minions. If it hadn't come out when it did, the administration would have been stuck trying to blame violence in the Middle East on stem cells and gay marriage, which would've been an admittedly harder sell.

When is the damn gay Jew-run liberal media going to learn? Filing a news story based on inaccurate or fradulent information is irresponsibility of the greatest magnitude!

But taking a nation to war based on inaccurate or fradulent information? Well, goddammit, that's just good presidentin'!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Fuzzy Memories and Drug-Induced Flashbacks - Part V

In November of 1982, I was a sophomore in high school.

My first period class that semester was Health. Now this was in the crazy days before we learned about dirty, dirty sex in school, so the entire focus of the class had been the Food Pyramid and how to keep your skin clean. So far, it had been a blow off. The final exam was going to count as 25% of my grade, but I had a 98 average in the class and I wasn't all that worried about it.

The teacher was a woman named Ms. Rothfus, who also coached the girls' volleyball team. She liked me because I was a good student. I paid attention, I took good notes, and I always raised my hand when she asked a question. In other words, I was an insufferable prick. But like I said, I had a 98 average in the class...

There was a girl named Sharon who sat in front of me, and she'd been very nice to me for the past six weeks or so. Every morning, I let her copy my homework. And once, during a pop quiz, I had whispered answers to her when Ms. Rothfus wasn't looking.

So the day of the final came, and I was blasting through the multiple choice without breaking a sweat. I had an English final and a World History final later that day, both of which were going to be pretty rough. But at least I'd be able to get through the Health final with no problems.

Then Sharon passed me a note. There was a portion of the exam where we were supposed to list the basic needs of humanity in order, and she couldn't remember what they were. Could I help her?

I looked up and saw Ms. Rothfus looking in our direction. I didn't know if she'd seen Sharon pass the note or not, but I didn't want to take any chances. So I just slipped the note under my exam and ignored it.

Sharon passed me back another note. If she failed this exam, she'd fail the class and her mom would kill her. Please. Just help with this one part. She wouldn't ask me for anything else.

Ms. Rothfus wasn't looking, so I scribbled down the answers and passed them up to Sharon. Sharon was copying them when Ms. Rothfus suddenly stood up and marched over to us. She snatched the cheat sheet from Sharon and beckoned her to the desk up front.

My heart was pounding so hard I thought I was going to faint. I swear, I'd never been this terrified in my entire life. Aside from the occasional detention for tardiness, I'd never gotten in trouble in school before. I kept my head down and kept working on my exam, trying like hell to pretend like whatever was going on didn't concern me.

Ms. Rothfus said to Sharon, "I'm only going to ask you this once. Who gave you these answers?" And Sharon pointed right at me and said, "He did." Ms. Rothfus marched back and snatched up my exam as well. She held the two of us after the bell and informed us that we'd both be receiving a grade of 1 on the final. Not zero, but one.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, I protested my innocence. It was a setup, I proclaimed. I didn't give her any answers. She was only lying to protect the REAL guilty party. But Ms. Rothfus wasn't buying any of it.

Somehow, I made my way through my World History and English final. But all day long, I was just dreading getting home and explaining this whole thing to my mom and stepdad.

I should note at this point that, in 1983, my stepfather J.R. was going through his crazy born-again evangelical Christian phase. He and my mom had been attending Church on the Rock, one of those kinda creepy charismatic churches where people flail their hands in the air and start speaking gibberish. You know, like Jesus commanded.

Anyway, J.R. was on a real demon kick around this time. He was convinced that demons were responsible for EVERY evil in the world, from gayness to headaches.

So I got home and told Mom and J.R. that I'd been accused of cheating, but it was totally false. I was being set up. All Ms. Rothfus had was a piece of paper that sort of looked like it was written in my handwriting, but that didn't prove anything. And it wasn't fair, because she wouldn't even listen to me when I told her I was innocent, blah, blah, blah...

J.R. and Mom didn't get mad, but they didn't believe me. J.R. kept after me, prodding me with questions, until I finally broke down and admitted that I'd cheated. I was in tears by this point, so J.R. hugged me and started praying to Jesus to cast out these demons of lying and cheating that had possessed me.

Once the exorcism was over, J.R. told me to go to Ms. Rothfus the next morning and confess to her. Only then would Jesus truly forgive me my sin.

So I did. I asked her if I could speak to her in the hall outside the classroom, and I worked up my courage and I told her I'd cheated. Ms. Rothfus just snorted and said, "I know you cheated! That's why you got a 1!"

Eventually, the incident blew over. Mom and J.R. were relieved that the my demons had been cast out, and I didn't even get whipped or grounded! I could hardly believe my luck!

Of course, there was the report card to deal with. The final grade was listed there along with the rest of them. Because of the final exam, my 98 average had been dragged down to a 74. And thanks to the no pass/no play rules in Garland I.S.D., I had to endure the scrutiny of a less-than-discreet band director who examined my grades and said in front of the entire South Garland Concert Band, "I don't understand how you ended up with a 74 when... OH MY GOD! YOU GOT A ONE ON YOUR FINAL EXAM?"

But given the severity of the crime, I still feel like I got off relatively lightly. Sharon ended up failing the course. Unfortunately, her mom didn't follow through on her promise to kill her, but she did have to repeat the class.

Sharon dropped out of school the following year, and my buddy Charlie told me that he thought he'd seen her working the drive-thru at Long John Silver's. I don't know if this was true or not, but it would certainly serve her right.

That's what you get for not studying the Food Pyramid, bitch!