Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fuzzy Memories and Drug-Induced Flashbacks - Part VIII

When I was a teenager, I went through a country music phase. It was my first real musical identity, unless you count my unhealthy obsession with the Star Wars soundtrack from 1977-1980. But for the four years I was in high school, I was all about Hank Jr. and Charlie Daniels Band.

Of course, this was during the mid 1980s. Reagan was president, Michael Jackson was still black, and both Judds together were roughly the size that Winona is now. I was living in the thriving metropolis of Garland, Texas (home of cartoonist Mike Judge and, so I've heard, the inspiration for the town of Arlen in King of the Hill). On top of that, I drove a 1969 Chevy pickup truck until 1985, when I traded up to a black 1977 Trans Am right out of Smokey and the Bandit.

Damn. I'm lucky I didn't grow up to marry my cousin.

Anyway, when I was going through my C&W thang, my sister Sunny was all about the Rap music. Of course, back then Rap was a little different. Most rap songs would consist of the guys spelling the name of the band and introducing themselves, and then they'd rap about something nice, like their sneakers or how tricky it was to rock a rhyme that was right on time.

My sister *hated* country music when we were in high school. She was just mortified that I not only knew all the words to "Devil Went Down to Georgia," but I insisted on accompanying myself on air fiddle. She hated Ricky Skaggs and Alabama and just about anybody who had ever appeared on Hee Haw, and would rail on and on about it until I'd finally pull out my 8-track tape and let her turn the dial to K104 (which was basically a 24-hour Sugar Hill Gang station at the time).

So while I was in college, I made the switch to classic rock. It started with Pink Floyd, and pretty soon I was blasting Led Zepplin from the cassette deck of my Trans Am. I listened to the Beatles, from Rubber Soul to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, and even most of the White Album (except for the crap Yoko made them sing).

And my sister, ironically enough, became a huge fan of country music.

One day back in 1989 (Bush was president, Michael Jackson was pale, blah, blah, blah), Sunny and I were driving home from visiting our grandmother in Texarkana and I was listening to Abbey Road. And my sister, as always, was whining about my horrible musical choices.

"I don't understand why rock music has to always be about sex," she said.

"That's not really fair," I told her. "I mean, Conway Twitty used to sing about the tiger in the tight-fitting jeans, but all the Beatles ever wanted to do was hold her hand."

I'd scored a point, and my sister knew it. She was struggling to find an example of what she was talking about, but she couldn't think of one. So she finally just blurted out, "Oh yeah? Well at least country music isn't all like, 'Nice ass, can I kiss it?' or 'Hey big titty momma, come lick my neck!'"

I howled with laughter. "What the fuck rock songs have YOU been listening to?"

She blushed and got a little defensive. "You know what I mean," she insisted. But I just kept laughing and repeating, "Hey big titty momma, come lick my neck!" Eventually, she started laughing too and it became something of a running joke between us.

So flash forward about six months. I'm home for the summer and hanging with my friend Steve (who occasionally frequents this blog). We're having lunch, and he mentions that he's recently started listening to country music. I roll my eyes and let out an exasperated moan. "God, you and my sister should start a support group or something."

I tell him the story about our heated debate, and we start tossing out silly prank ideas. "Hey, you should tell her your favorite song is 'Hey Big Titty Momma!'" From there, the prank evolves into something ridiculously convoluted. It takes us all afternoon, but using a synthesizer and a couple of cassette recorders, we finally create our masterpiece.

Later that afternoon, we're driving my sister to the airport and the cassette tape is in my stereo, ready to be played. Steve's riding up front with me, and Sunny's in the back. Steve starts things off with, "You know, I've been listening to some country music lately. I've decided it's not that bad."

My sister eagerly takes the bait. "I know! I love it too! But try telling Chris that. He won't even listen to it anymore."

"That's not true," I say, sounding a bit hurt. "There's some of it that's okay. I've got a tape of some local band here that I like."

"God," Sunny says, rolling her eyes. "It's probably Pink Floyd or something stupid."

So I press play, and the tape starts with a roaring crowd dubbed from Pink Floyd's Delicate Sound of Thunder. But then, you hear Steve's voice saying, "All right, we wanna thank you all for coming out! This next song goes out to a little filley in Garland by the name of Sunny Irby!"

My sister actually gasps as the crowd noise dies and is replaced by a lame auto polka rhythm from Steve's synthesizer. Steve starts off with a solo:

Sittin' on a barstool, just the other night.
I saw her standing there, and her shirt and jeans were tight.
She walked up beside me, and I ordered her a beer.
And when she hugged me tight, I thought "It must be cold in here."
Steve and I then sing loudly and proudly on the chorus:

Hey big titty mama, won't you come and lick my neck?
I know you're only 16, but my god, who gives a heck?
If you think I'd like to kiss your ass, well then you'd be correct.
So please big titty mama, won't you come and lick my neck.
More crowd noise, and we fade out with Steve saying, "Thank you! You've been great!"

When it's all said and done, my sister is less than impressed with the lengths to which we went. In fact, her sole assessment of our musical endeavor is "You guys are SO gay!"

But we don't care. We're well-pleased of our first and only foray into the realm of shitkicking tunes. We take gratification in the knowledge that our song, however hastily thrown together, is still better than anything Billy Ray Cyrus ever put out. In fact, we're so proud of this song that even today, if you get us drunk enough, we'll happily perform it for you. And then throw up on your shoes.


Friday, August 25, 2006

My Very Enormous Mother Just Sat Upon Nick...

When I was a kid, I remember going to my mom with questions about my schoolwork. I didn't often get a helpful answer. Instead, I would hear about how much things had changed since she was in school.

"When I was your age, we only had 48 states. And we didn't have that stupid periodical chart to memorize because the only elements were earth, air, fire, and water. And in biology, we had to learn about the bodily humors and how they balanced. And we didn't have calculus because we only had 4 numbers back then, and that's including zero. And there were only five presidents to... hey, come back here!"

Frankly, I had no sympathy for the woman. I figured, Hey! The times change, and you gotta change with 'em, or die. Of course, my mom was incapable of thinking that way because they didn't have evolution when she was a kid. God made Adam and Eve and Jesus created dinosaur bones to fuck with the scientists. But I digress...

My point is, I used to just roll my eyes when mom launched into one of her old-people speeches. But now, I have experienced the pain of what she was going through. Now, I find myself longing for the good old days, when what I learned in school was still valid. Back before the bastard astronomers downsized Pluto.

Nine planets. That's what I was taught. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. And you know how you remembered them all? By remembering the sentence "My Very Enormous Mother Just Sat Upon Nick's Porcupine."

(In a sort of unrelated story, I struggled in my algrebra class to remember the hierarchy of operations, which is a fancy way of saying which order you did your math in. First was powers, then roots, then muliplication, then division, then addition, then finally subtraction. My friend Neal came up with the mnemonic device "Please Rape My Dear Aunt Sally." I tried like hell to come up with something more appropriate, but here it is 21 years later and all I can remember is "Please Rape My Dear Aunt Sally." Sometimes, the brain really sucks.)

So anyway, those astronomers recently took time out of their busy schedule of broadcasting messages to the aliens and building telescopes that don't work to downgrade Pluto from "planet" to "dwarf planet."

(Actually, I sort of like the idea of a "dwarf planet." I picture an entire race of tiny, orange men like the Oompa Loompas, dressed in parkas and eskimo hoods as they dance around and sing. They have to dress warmly. Pluto is very cold because it's well over a hundred miles from the sun.)

Planet Ex: Pluto has been downgraded from "planet" to "dwarf planet."

So now, there are eight planets, three dwarf planets, and tens of thousands of other space crap, like asteroids and comets cluttering up our solar system. So this means all the encyclopedias and textbooks are going to have to be updated, and they're going to have to rewrite the lyrics to that Schoolhouse Rock song Interplanet Janet. Plus, all those poor astrologers are going to have to update their charts and cross off Pluto! (Actually, this might explain why horoscopes have never been terribly accurate up to this point... this could be the discovery those poor bastards were waiting for!)

And we're going to need a new mnemomic device. I suggest "Mysterious Volcano Eruptions May Jeopardize Satan Until Noon." Or "Maury's Vasectomy Enraged My Jester's Sister's Uncle's Niece."

But I'm sure all I'll remember 20 years from now is "My Very Enormous Mother Just Sat Upon Nick."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

&$^@#!?*% Verizon!!!! (Redux)

Actually, I guess I'm *partially* to blame for this one. And so is Bank of America. But I've always got more than enough bile for Verizon.

I get my Verizon bill online. And somehow, last month's fell through the cracks. Don't know why. Just totally zoned on it. Didn't think to check e-bills until I sat down last week to pay my regular Luddite snail mail bills, and I saw I had an outstanding balance.

"Holy fresh spanked baby Jesus!" I thought. "Thank the merciful God in heaven that I caught this in time!" I elected to pay the full amount and submitted the bill.

And there it sat. If I'd paid attention, I would have seen that it had defaulted to 8/2 as a payment date. But I didn't notice.

And so, at midnight last night, Verizon cut off my phone service. I had no idea until my good buddy IX e-mailed me (and posted about it, thus exposing my shame to the threes or fours of people who still read this damn blog).

I was *so* full of righteous indignation. "Those bastards!" thought I. "This time I've got them! I distinctly remember paying them last week! All I have to do is go online and get my confirmation number!" When I'm angry, my thoughts turn quite expository.

So I went online, and there's my Verizon bill. Waiting to be processed. Just sitting there, mocking my childlike faith in God, with a pay-by date of 8/2 on it.

I picked up my phone, and there was a dialtone. I've never had my phone service interrupted before, so I wasn't sure how it worked. The first thing I did was try to call Stephanie, because her soothing, dulcet tones are just the thing to quell the white-hot anger that roars within me.

I was treated to a recorded message telling me that my phone service had been temporarily interrupted, but I could reach Verizon by dialing 0. I went through the whole recorded speech-activated rigmarole...

Souless Verizon Automaton:
Would you like to pay your bill, report a problem, or exit?

Pay my bill.

Souless Verizon Automaton:
I'm sorry. I didn't understand you. Please say "Pay bill", "Report problem", or "Exit".

Pay bill!

Souless Verizon Automaton:
I'm sorry. I didn't understand you. Please say "Pay bill", "Report problem", or "Exit".


Souless Verizon Automaton:
You have elected to pay your bill. Is this correct?


Souless Verizon Automaton:
I'm sorry. I didn't understand you. Please say "Yes" or "No".


Souless Verizon Automaton:
Foolish meatsack. When the robot revolution comes, you will die screaming.


Souless Verizon Automaton:
Please hold while I transfer you to PhonePay.

So anyway, agonizingly long and pointless story short, I paid the bill, canceled the e-bill, and now my phone works. Or at least I can dial out. I'm not sure if anybody can call me or not, and given my past track record with Verizon, there's a pretty good chance they assigned my phone number to some Hispanic lady over the past few hours.

But at least I'm back on the grid.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Jokes My Dad Told Me - Part II

Told while strumming a guitar...

I wrote this song at a really bad point in my life. My wife had just left me, and I was feeling really low, so I went out to a bar to drink my troubles away. I wasn't really looking for company. I was just sitting at the edge of the bar, drinking my beer, when suddenly our eyes met across the smoke-filled room. We got to talking and drinking and... well, one thing led to another and, before you know it, we were back at my place. We made love and fell asleep in each other's arms.

The next morning I woke up and I realized I'd made a horrible mistake, and that's when I wrote this song. And it's called, "How Do You Tell a Homo You Don't Love Him Anymore?"

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Thin Blue Brown Line...

I got pulled over for speeding last March. Now, I'm not going to waste anybody's time by trying to proclaim my innocence. I *was* speeding. I was going 75, and the posted speed limit was 60. That's not so bad, right?

Only, it wasn't 60. I was in the express lane on the toll road. Like most civilized areas, we have lanes designated for people who have electronic tags on their car, so they can drive through without having to stop and toss loose change into a basket or (God help us) wait for a toll booth attendant to break a bill.

So they built those special lanes and installed all that high-speed equipment in them, but they still decided to make the speed limit 45 when going through them. Not that anybody pays any heed to that. Hell, if I slow down to 60 in those lanes, I end up with a line of angry motorists rammed up my butt, laying on their horns and flipping me off. And occasionally firing their handgun which I can only have once I pry it from their cold, dead fingers.

So yes, I'm a tad defensive about this, because when I got this ticket, I was actually at the tail end of a long line of cars zipping through that lane at 75 mph. But this just happened to be the day that State Trooper Brown was on the case.

Apparently, Officer Brown discovered that there was a lot of money to be made by culling the herd of speeders in the express lane, so he started staking out that area. And that day, I was the poor bastard bringing up the rear.

So I got my ticket, 75 in a 45 mph zone. Turns out you can't take Defensive Driving or get Deferred Adjudication if you're exceeding the speed limit by more than 25 mph, so my only choice was to suck it up and pay the ticket. I was pissed off, but what could I do? I was guilty. (Although I did plead nolo contendere, just because.)

For the next few months, I made it a point to slow down when I got near the toll plaza. As I mentioned before, this didn't make me popular with the other motorists (you know, the ones who aren't me and therefore never get pulled over). Sometimes Officer Brown would be there at his post, just crouched and ready to nab the next brazen scofflaw who sped past him. Occasionally, he'd have somebody else pulled over and I'd drive on, relieved that I'd avoided being a part of his quota that month.

And then, one day, he was gone! At first, I figured they'd just turned on the HOT light at the Krispy Kreme, but I drove by several times that week and there was no Officer Brown. It was like the Rapture, where all the petty and bureacratic state troopers were snatched up into Heaven! (You can look it up, I think it's in Deuteronomy somewhere). I still made an effort to slow down at the toll plaza, but I guess I got a little lax.

So I'm driving to work this morning, and at a totally different toll plaza I get pulled over for speeding. And guess who it is? That's right. Officer Brown, Toll Road Warrior is back on the case. This time, he nails me for going 74 in a 45 mph. I told him I was only going 70, but he adamantly insisted it was 74.

My name is State Trooper Brown,
and I enjoy WWF, making pot holders,
and wiping my ass on the back of my shirt.

So once again, I'm stuck with a ticket that I'll probably have to pay. And once again, I really can't claim the high moral ground, because my only possible argument is "I intentionally kept my speed at 70 because I wanted to be able to take Defensive Driving if I got pulled over." And I just don't know how that will fly in a court of law.

Which means I'm left without any sort of reasonable outlet for my frustration and am reduced to saying mean things about the officious little quota-monger on my blog.

Take that Officer Brown, you bastard! That's what you get for writing me a ticket! You get mercilessly mocked right here, in front of threes of people! I don't know how you sleep nights, but my best guess would involve a velour recliner, a bottle of lotion, and your collection of TIVOed Saved by the Bell episodes. Muahahahahahahaha!

Goddammit, I *do* feel better now! Thanks for listening. You've been very therapeutic.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Jokes My Dad Told Me - Part I

There's this old lady wandering through the halls of a nursing home, going from room to room. Every time she walks into a room, she hikes up her gown to show off her hooter and she yells, "Super pussy!"

So she walks into this old man's room, yanks up her gown, and shouts "Super pussy!" The old man puts on his glasses, studies her for a second, and says, "I guess I'll have the soup."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pro Temp

Well, I'm working again. I just got offered a permanent position at Michaels, on their corporate help desk. It's not the greatest job in the world, but I like the people. Plus, now that I'm working nights, I don't have to get up at 6:00 in the morning any more. Hoo-fucking-rah.

Like a lot of my previous jobs, this one started off as a temp assignment. Back in June, Lakeshore Staffing sent me (along with 4 other temps) to Michaels with only the vaguest idea of what we'd be doing.

As it turns out, we were slated to work on the help desk. Now Michaels had hired temps for the help desk before, but their Standard Operating Procedure was to toss the poor bastards into a cubical with a phone and let them figure it out as they went.

But Gary, a senior call agent and former temp, had long been campaigning for better training and more extensive documentation for the help desk. He argued that taking a week to train incoming agents would help them hit the ground running and help them to become more effective in a much shorter time. And so, when the five of us came along, Gary was given a chance to put his theories into action.

(Actually, to clarify, I was the first one called by Lakeshore Staffing, so I showed up at Michaels a week before the other four. Gary gave me one day of training, then decided the rest would wait until the others showed up. So I actually spent several panicky, retarded days on the phone before I got trained. But I digress...)

Gary is an astonishingly nice and often befuddled guy who looks an awful lot like Danny Glover did when he was younger (back before every single movie he was in featured him about to retire and saying 30 or 40 times, "I'm getting too old for this shit.") For the benefit of those readers who might be Gary, I would like to emphasize that I really like the guy. He's friendly and enthusiastic, and he's been nothing but supportive of me since I started working at Michaels. He is a sweet man, the salt of the earth, etc.

But the man NEVER takes the short way around a sentence. His method of training us involved lots of long, rambling digressions that might or might not ever wander back around to the original topic. You know, sort of like this blog.

Here is a typical Gary lecture:

"We've got three different kinds of registers at the stores, so you need to be sure you're very specific when you're talking to the managers. It's like when you want to buy a car. Or a pickup truck. Maybe your old one broke down, or maybe you're just tired of walking. So you get a ride to the local Ford dealership. Or maybe it's a Chevy dealership. Maybe you prefer Chevy over Ford. But you get there and you ask for a truck, and they want to know what color. So you say red. Maybe you just like red. Maybe it was one of your school colors. Maybe you went to Texas Tech or something and you want red. Or black. Or maybe not black, because it shows too much dirt. Texas Tech is in Lubbock where they have a lot of sand storms, so you probably don't want black. So you say you want red, but he's out of red trucks. Maybe he didn't get his shipment in. Or maybe the train was delayed because of inclement weather. Maybe there was a storm, like a tornado. Maybe it was just a tornado watch, but somebody spotted one out in a field somewhere and now its a warning, so people are taking shelter. They're going down into their cellars, or maybe they're shutting themselves up in their bathrooms. As long as its an interior room with no windows, they'll be okay. If they're thinking, they'll take some food in there with them. They'll have plenty of water, even if the pipes go out or something, because they can always drink out of the toilet tank unless they've used bleach pellets to clean the water..."

So for about three days, my fellow temps and I sat in a conference room and listened to Gary's stream of consciousness. He kept referring to us as "pioneers." The idea was, we were going to charge out there and dazzle the other call agents with our technical savvy and godlike comprehension.

Unfortunately for Gary, he was dealing with temps.

I've done a lot of temp work over the years, and I've worked alongside a lot of temps. And the fact is, the vast majority of temporary employees are retarded or insane. Or both.


True story. After college, when I first came back to Dallas in 1992, I hooked up with a temp agency called Today's Temporaries. The last assignment they sent me on was a data entry gig for a trucking company called Chemical Express (CX). I was one of 5 temps working there. The others were already working in Accounts Receivable, but I was assigned to Accounts Payable.

I found out the reason I got the job was because the guy there before me had scared the living bejeebers out of the A/P department. He tended to talk to himself a lot, and would sometimes laugh for no apparent reason. Plus, he was constantly wandering into other people's offices to carry on awkward and uncomfortable conversations with them. When he was asked to stop doing that, he started hanging out in the parking lot for hours on end to chat with people. After he scared one girl in the parking lot (it was 9:00 at night and he was leaning against her car, waiting for her), CX called Today's Temporaries and asked for a replacement. Enter me.

I made a really good impression on my supervisor and manager at CX, mainly because I wasn't stalker-creepy. The fact I could actually do the job was almost incidental. After about a month, CX announced that they wanted to extend job offers to two of us temps.. me and a guy named Bob in A/R.

So Bob and I went to get our physicals for our insurance coverage. And the next day, Bob was gone. Apparently the doctor had been a bit disturbed by a number of deep puncture wounds he had found on Bob's leg, and when asked about them, Bob had responded, "Sometimes I just like to hurt myself..."


So anyway, Gary had pinned his hopes on the five of us.

There was me, the hero. There was Kelly, who didn't have a lot of technical experience, but was quite smart and very good on the phones. There was Ruth, a sweet grandmother who worked for the IRS for about 450 years but who couldn't seem to get the hang of all this new-fangled network stuff. There was Evan, a sullen and smart ass kid who was only getting a job because his parents were kicking him out of the house.

And then there was Dave, who as it turns out, was 100% batshit crazy. He talked in this excruciatingly slow hippy voice, and his eyes had that wild "body parts in the crawlspaces" glaze to them. And he totally panicked on the phones.

The first casualty was Kelly, who actually left because she got a better job offer. The next was Evan, who took off for lunch and didn't come back for three hours. Next was Dave, who freaked out while on the phone with a store and started pacing back and forth, shouting "This is so stupid! I can't do anything and nobody'll even help me!"

Ruth's still around, but it looks like her days may be numbered. They hired three more temps to replace the others, and Gary asked Ruth to go through the training with them one more time. I don't think it stuck any better the second time.

And me? I just got a job offer from Michaels. I'm still doing my stint on the Help Desk, but they're creating a new position ("Knowledge Engineer") and they've said they'd like to start grooming me for it. I'd like to think it's because I've acquitted myself well, or I've dazzled them with my technical savvy. But that temp bar has been set really low, and I'm pretty sure what impressed them most was the fact that I showed up wearing pants and didn't smear shit in my hair.

In the temp world, that's all it takes to be a superstar.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I really hoped to have a witty and insightful post to herald my return to the blogging world, but it's late and I'm exhausted and can barely put together a coherent knuckle Velveeta underwear sentence.

So here's a little inspirational message to get you through those dark times. Praise the Lord and pass the bear claws!!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Second Third Coming of Chris...

Sporadic posting will resume on Wednesday, July 19.

Why? Because I love you.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

&$^@#!?*% Verizon!!!!

The last few weeks have been what we in the blogging industry refer to as Action Packed™. In addition to my nephew's astounding recovery (he's doing swell, by the way), I turned 39 goddamn years old and celebrated Easter (when Moses saved the Hebrew people from the ghost of Jesus by pelting him with eggs). Along the way, some yahoo backed into my parked car, so I spent nearly a week driving around in a rented Pimpmobile™ while mine was being fixed. And I took Stephanie to Vegas for our first official Romantic Weekend Getaway™.

So why haven't I been posting? Why must I continue to shut out the people who care about me, at least in a virtual, online sense? How dare I deprive my five or six faithful readers of the vicarious thrill that IS being Chris Irby?

Well, I swear I was all full of great intentions last week when I got back from Vegas. I couldn't wait to log in and start subjecting you to my inane blogations. I was reinvigorated! Reenergized! Restored! Republican! Revived! Relaxed! Ready!

Unfortunately, I had no internet connection.

My DSL modem is an ancient model Fujitsu, constructed some time during the Taft administration. It has three lights on it... Power, Modem, and Data. It has no on/off switch, so the only way to reset it is to unplug the power cord. I did this a couple of times before the modem went out all together. I couldn't even get the Power light to come on.

No biggy, I thought. I had some Best Buy gift cards that I'd gotten for my birthday, so I figured I'd run out and pick up a new DSL modem. Simple, right?

Well, apparently DSL modems have become more scarce than literacy in the Bush family. The only one I was able to find was a Siemens model, but I figured it had to be an improvement. After all, it had more lights. Plus, a power switch! So I brought it home and hooked it up. It lit up all nice and shiny.

Unfortunately, I was still having the original connection issues. So I did something I had prayed I'd never have to do again. I called Verizon Customer Service.

You see, about four years ago, Verizon screwed up and assigned my phone number to someone else. My friends and family kept trying to call me, and were confused because a Spanish-speaking woman kept answering. So I called Verizon Customer Support and explained the situation. At first, they tried to convince me that it was all a technical error. One guy told me that lightning had hit a transformer, and another told me (I swear I'm not making this up) that some squirrels had gotten into the lines. After a week or so, they FINALLY got my phone number assigned back to my line.

Only then, my DSL quit working.

So once again, I called Verizon Customer Service and told them that they had messed up my DSL while fixing my phone. They told me that was a DSL issue, so I'd have to call Verizon DSL Support. I called Verizon DSL Support and once again explained the issue. They told me that it was obviously something the phone guys had done, so I needed to call them. And so on. And so on.

For nearly a week, I got batted back and forth between the two groups. Finally, I managed to get a lady from the phone side and a lady from the DSL side on the line together and let them battle it out. They agreed to send a DSL tech out to look at it. He showed up the next day, and had me up and running within 5 minutes.

(Incidentally, for the next two months I continued to receive phone calls at 3:00 in the morning from people speaking Spanish, looking for the woman who had been given my number. I finally started unplugging my phone before I went to bed.)

So anyway, I hope you can understand why I was dreading yet another run-in with Verizon Customer Service.

I called the DSL Tech Support line, and while I was on hold, the recorded message helpfully provided me with a website where I could go to troubleshoot my connection issues. Wow. It must have been really difficult for NASA when all of their rocket scientists left to go to work for Verizon. But I digress...

I went from DSL Tech Support to DSL Customer Support to DSL Billing before I finally got any help. I was told that my old modem was out of warranty, and my new modem wasn't supported by Verizon. So basically, I had to order yet another modem from them and wait 3-5 business days while they shipped it.

The new modem arrived yesterday, and I hooked it up. And guess what! The original connection issues!

Once again, I called DSL Tech Support and explained the problem. Once they were sure I was using one of THEIR modems, they offered to run some tests on my line. And within seconds, the problem was solved.

So anyway, I'm back. Missed you. Love you. Mean it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Christopher's Home!

Christopher was released from the hospital last night, and he's doing great!!!

I went to visit him in the ICU on Monday morning. He was asleep when I walked in the room, hugging one of his teddy bears (I think it might have been Beary White). He had a strip of hair shaved from the left side of his head, and a scar running from behind his ear to the top of his scalp. He also had a tube stuck into the back of his head, which was a bit disquieting. I can't even begin to imagine what that felt like.

Sunny was asleep on the couch, and Nick was sitting up in the chair when I got there. He told me Christopher was doing a lot better, that he'd been awake and watching Scooby Doo earlier. "He's still a little groggy from the medication, but he was cracking jokes with us earlier."

About that time, Christopher sat up sleepily, his eyes not even open, and let out a pathetic moan. Nick asked, "You waking up, kiddo?" Christopher let out another groan and laid back down. He sat up a few seconds later, looked at me brightly, and said, "Oh, hey Bubba!"

God, that kid is so amazing.

So we talked about the accident and what he could remember. We talked about his cool scar and how girls really dig a guy who looks dangerous. We talked about comic books ad nauseum. And when the doctor came in to remove the tube from his head, I kept him busy talking about Ice Age: The Meltdown which, he assures me, is way funnier than the first one.

I can't tell you what a relief it was to be laughing and joking with him. And when I told him Stephanie and I would swing by to see him the next day, he got really excited. Especially when I told him we'd bring him one of those big X-Men comics.

(I can't remember if I've mentioned this before or not, but Christopher is totally smitten with Stephanie. She calls him her "other boyfriend," and he totally eats it up.)

So Steph and I were waiting for him when he got home late yesterday afternoon. Steph gave him the promised comic book, plus something called a Chicken Chucker, which is a toy gun that shoots small, plastic chickens. Stephanie said, "You can have this on two conditions. One, you can't shoot the chickens at your brothers or your pets or anybody. And two, I don't want you falling out of any more swings and scaring me like that anymore."

Christopher assured us his days of tire swinging are over. However, he did remind us that he still has a trampoline in the backyard...

Sunny said she knew he was going to be fine the first time he rolled his eyes at her. He's been doing that for about a year now, and been getting in trouble for it. So when he did it in the hospital on Monday morning, she just laughed and said, "I thought we asked the doctor to take that eye-rolling part of his brain out while he was in there."

So it looks like everything is going to be fine. Christopher is already back to his fun, smartass self. He's excited that he gets to miss school for the rest of the week, but he's hoping his hair doesn't grow back TOO fast because he wants to show off his scar to his classmates.

Thanks to all of you who posted or e-mailed to let me know you were hoping/praying/thinking good thoughts for Christopher. It really meant a lot.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I got the call from my mom about an hour ago that Christopher was out of surgery and everything went fine. The poor kid has a shaved strip on his head, and a scar on his temple, but he's recovering nicely and they expect he'll be back to his old smart-ass self in no time.

I just got home, and suddenly I'm so exhausted I can barely hold my head up. Visiting hours start at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow (today), so I'll be heading back up to the hospital in a few hours.

Just a quick aside, so you'll know just how incredibly awesome my nephew is:

Back in November, I was hanging out with him in his playroom, and we were watching some Superman episodes on DVD. He accidentally called him "Pooperman," and that set the both of us to giggling. So we ran with it. Christopher decided that Pooperman's super powers would include "Poopervision," which basically involved him crapping from the eyes.

So I suggested the people could point up at him while he was flying overhead and say, "Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... EEEEEWWWWW!"

By this point, we were both laughing so hard we couldn't form coherent sentences. Finally, we got it under control, and Christopher suggested, "The main bad guy for Pooperman could be Dr. French Yes. Get it? Because in French, they say 'Oui oui!'"

Which of course set us both to laughing again.

By January, Christopher had decided he actually wanted to flesh this out into a movie and, since he knows I'm a writer of sorts, he asked me if I'd help him write the screenplay. I told him we could take a meeting and he could pitch all of his ideas to me.

When the time came for our meeting, he actually had only one new idea. He'd decided he wanted me to play a villain in the movie. I swear, the following is his pitch, verbatim.

"His name is Dr. Bubba, and he's just like you, only he's a bad guy. And there's this one scene where he's in his hideout watching The Passion of the Christ, and he looks up and says, 'Ewww, that is so not right.'"

Hell, it's already better than the Fantastic Four movie! Jesus, I love that kid!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Christopher, my 8-year-old nephew and namesake, is in the hospital right now.

He was playing on a tire swing earlier this afternoon, and the rope snapped and he hit his head on the driveway. Turns out he's got an epidural hematoma, which means he's got blood accumulating in the space between the skull and the menbrane that surrounds the brain. Or something like that. I'm not a goddamn brain surgeon, you understand.

He was pretty lucid when they took him to the hospital. He had some short term memory loss, but he was conscious and he recognized his mom and dad (Sunny and Nick). The side of his head was swollen up pretty bad, so they took him to the emergency room at Presbyterian.

Once he got to Presby, he stated complaining about the pain, so they gave him morphine and something else that they don't ordinarily give kids. They looked him over there, and decided to transport him to Children's Medical Center (across town) by ambulance for observation.

The doctor at Presby had said it looked pretty serious. The EMTs who rode in the ambulance with Christopher and Sunny said it didn't look like a big deal, and he'd probably be released that day. After all, he hadn't even thrown up (which is a major symptom of epidural hematomas).

So once they arrived at Children's Medical, they did a CT scan and realized it really was an epidural hematoma. By the time I got to the Emergency Room, poor Christopher was in a bad state. He was screaming about the pain, saying he couldn't stand it. He was fighting the doctors and nurses, and he kept trying to pull off his monitors and pull out his IV. And he was starting to vomit. A lot.

He finally settled down and fell asleep almost immediately. Even when the nurses came in to draw blood or check his pupils, he didn't wake up. He just kept snoring away. (Christopher snores like a goddamn old person. It's the funniest thing to hear it coming from that tiny little guy.)

The neurosurgeon showed up, and for the first time started talking about surgery. He said he wanted to observe Christopher a little bit longer, because he wasn't sure if the grogginess and slow reactions were from the head injury or the drugs he'd been given at Presbyterian.

(From what I can gather, they fucked up at Presbyterian. There are medications much more approriate for kids Christopher's age, and the ones they prescribed actually made his diagnosis a bit harder.)

At first, the neurosurgeon was pretty optimistic. He said he hadn't seen anything really alarming on the first CT scan, so he was thinking they'd just move Christopher out of ICU and into a regular room so they could observe him overnight. Then, tomorrow, they'd decide whether or not to operate.

My mom was at Sunny and Nick's house, watching the twins. Just as Sunny was calling her with the good news, the neurosurgeon came back in and said he was still concerned by Christopher's lack of response and couldn't really determine if it was from the drugs or the head injury. So they were going to keep him in the ICU overnight after all.

They took Christopher down to get another CT scan, and the poor guy didn't even wake up when they ran him through that huge machine. They moved him back down to ICU, and I left to take a turn watching the twins so my mom could go up to the hospital.

By the time I got to their house, they'd already called to let my mom know that the blood clot was twice as big in the second CT scan as the first, and they were going to operate tonight. My mom grabbed some clothes and things for Sunny and Nick, and took off for the hospital.

So now it's about 10:00 on Sunday night. I'm at my Sunny and Nick's house, manning the phone and babysitting. The twins are asleep in the other room. Adult Swim is playing on Cartoon Network in the living room, and I'm in here blogging because I'm going out of my fucking mind just sitting around doing nothing.

Nick just called. They took Christopher in for surgery about 10 minutes ago.

It's supposed to be a slam dunk. The neurosurgeon explained it to us while I was there. Said they'll make an incision, cut out a small circle of his skull, remove the clot and drain the blood to relieve the pressure, then plug the piece of skull back in place and sew him up. The surgeon made it sound like he'd be up and around the next day.

Christ, I hope he's right.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Few Random Musings...

If you really love the Lord so much that you're willing to put a bumper sticker on your car proclaiming your faith, then MAYBE you shouldn't drive like an asshole. I'm just saying...


My favorite food is Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. In fact, my fantasy is to actually be married to Little Debbie and have her say to me, "Sweetheart, as soon as I take these Swiss Cake Rolls out of the oven, we'll go make love on the veranda."


If you're ever on your way to buy a lottery ticket and you get struck by lightning, you should probably just give up because what are the odds?


Since Bill Frist and Howard Dean are both doctors, they should go into practice together. Comedy hijinx would ensue.

Dean: Would you call the time of death?
Frist: Wait a minute, Howard! The patient could still make a full recovery.
Dean: Are you retarded, Bill? He's been decapitated!
Frist: Yes, I know. But look at his eyes! He's obviously still alert.
Dean: Bill, his head has been cut off! There is no medical cure for that!
Frist: Well, we still haven't tried prayer.


For some reason, I really hate it when men wear sandals. I can't explain why. It's just one of those things that makes my skin crawl. Jesus wore sandals, and that's one of the reasons why I'm no longer a Christian.


They finally added the name "Lara" to the Microsoft Word dictionary. I used to go out with a girl named Lara back in 1996, and every time I'd type her name in Word, it would suggest that I replace "Lara" with "larva" or "lard". She didn't find it nearly as funny as I did.


When my nephew was 2 years old, my mom gave him some Chronicles of Narnia picture books. One day, he announced he was going to read me a story, which basically meant he was going to look at the pictures and then make up a story to go along with them. He got to the picture of the children meeting Father Christmas and he said in a solem voice, "And then they met God and God told them everything would be okay, but He lied."

Have I mentioned that my nephew is astonishingly cool?


I was watching The Three Stooges the other night, and I finally figured out why women don't like them.

They're not funny.


If you really are an investment counselor, and you wish to notify me by e-mail about an exciting new investment opportunity, you might want to make your subject line a little more descriptive than "BANJO FISH UNDERWEAR".

Same thing goes for you pharmaceutical companies.


How come so many conservatives insist that the only method of birth control that's 100% effective is abstinence? I can think of one documented case where even THAT didn't work, and you'd think they'd at least be familiar with it...


And finally, an oldie but a goodie. Go to Google, type in "failure" and click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Fuzzy Mathematation

Poor George W. Try as he might, he just can't seem to get past the WMD thing. Or the Hurricane Katrina fiasco. Or the Abu Ghriab and Guatanamo Bay prison scandals. Or the NSA wiretapping issue. Or the Valerie Plame affair. Or the Al Jazeera bombing memo. Or the yellowcake uranium forgery. Or the...

Well, let's just say the man has a full plate and, as a result, his approval rating is falling faster than pants at the Kennedy compound. Currently, his rating is sitting at 36%, which coincidentally is the number of Americans who also believe that dinosaur bones were buried by Jesus to fuck with secular humanists.

But Bush and his klavern are no strangers to adversity. Why just recently, it was brought to Bush's attention that the federal government debt was about to hit the $8,180,000,000,000 legal limit, and Bush fixed it by raising the debt ceiling (for the fourth time).

The strategy has proven successful, which has encouraged Bush to apply it to other areas as well. Social Security has been fixed by changing the retirement age to 98, and the definition of terrorist has been broadened to include anybody not in the aforementioned 36%.

So it was hardly a surprise to anyone when Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary and Tiny Pair of Legs Dangling from President Bush's Ass, held a press conference on Monday morning to announce changes to the approval rating process.

"Ever since the president was swept into office with a historical overwhelming record-breaking 51% of the vote, he's been constantly penalized by the liberal bias of our mathematical system," McClellan told reporters. "We've decided the will of the American people can best be reflected by capping the approval rating system at 40%."

"In light of this adjustment, the president is now more popular than he's ever been!"

The announcement was met with cheers and glossolalia from the FOX News correspondents, but the response from the rest of the press corps was lukewarm at best. Senior White House Correspondent Helen Thomas voiced her outrage, but her protests were cut short when she was shot in the face by Dick Cheney.

"This is nothing new," McClellan insisted to reporters. "The president has always been a staunch supporter of grading on a curve. How do you think he got through Yale and Harvard? Or became president in 2000?"

In his rebuttal, feral Democrat Howard Dean stated, "This is just another example of the current administration's penchant for massaging facts to... wait a minute. Bush went to Yale and Harvard? How the fuck did THAT happen?"

He then added, "YEEAAAAARGH!!!!"

Saturday, March 18, 2006

"God hates... well, me!"

You have to admit. "Reverend" Phelps is looking mighty gay in that cowboy hat...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Overheard in the Blizzard Entertainment Breakroom...

"I just got through designing another quest for World of Warcraft."

"Oh yeah? Tell me about it."

"Well, basically Ginko the dwarf wants you to kill some Swamp Orcs and bring him back 10 Orc Fingers."

"Sounds pretty straightforward."

"Not really. The Orc Fingers are a pretty rare drop. You'll probably have to kill somewhere around 3,000 Swamp Orcs before you get enough Orc Fingers to complete the quest."

"So... not all the Swamp Orcs have fingers?"


"How do they hold their swords?"

"It doesn't matter."

"So, what level is this quest?"

"That's the cool part. The Swamp Orcs are around level 10, so it's a level 10 quest. But I've bunched them together in groups of 5, so you can't possibly fight them one at a time."


"Plus, I've given them a ridiculous aggro, so as soon as you attack one, every single Swamp Orc on the continent will come at you."

"Wow, I love this quest!"

"And some of the Swamp Orcs are spellcasters, so they'll be pegging you with lightning from about two miles away."


"And I've got a bunch of elites wandering around in the area too, just to make sure the players get killed a lot."

"I salute you, my friend. You have totally outdone yourself this time."

"I haven't even told you the best part yet. The graveyard is all the way on the other side of the map, so every time the players die, they'll have to waste 20 minutes getting back to where their body is."


"Are you okay?"

"I think I just came."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Personally, I was hoping for Otto...

You Are Barney
You could have been an intellectual leader... Instead, your whole life is an homage to beer
You will be remembered for: your beautiful singing voice and your burps
Your life philosophy: "There's nothing like beer to give you that inflated sense of self-esteem."

Thanks to Sideshow Bob for this soul-numbing insight into my dark and wondrous psyche.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Fun with Babel Fish

I'm bored, and I have internet access. And since my workplace sort of frowns on the downloading of porn, I'm forced to find other ways to entertain myself.

So what I've done is use Babel Fish to translate some famous quotes into Japanese, and then back into English. Or Engrish, if you will. All you have to do is figure out the original quote.

So have fun, and let the good times roll. Or as our Japanese friends might say, "When, being pleasant pass, when being good, permit the roll."

Oh, those inscrutible Asians, with their kung fu and their eggrolls and their tiger penis coffee...


1. Our fathers who are in the heaven and are converted holy are your name. When there is a heaven, your will it ended simultaneously with the afterlife your earth.

2. As for us because it is self-explanatory these truths it is that all person and the same which was drawn up you keep.

3. Perhaps the purpose of the mirror appearing rather than it is not close.

4. I am Elfstar and already you want. I think that we would like to be Davy.

5. Just a little, the baby. Is your sign what?

6. It had the new nation where 87 years ago, our fathers are imagined, being the same where human everyone was drawn up in this continent being free, are used exclusively in proposition.

7. It possesses the right to remain silently.

8. Someone left the cake to the rain.
I took, therefore to be long that
And never the cooking method for the second time
Being not to be in burning me, you do not think that I can take that.
Well, no!

9. So, him that the son who is born the world where it gives simply because of the God which is loved, depending upon the whosoever the life which continues eternally does not die, passes him believes, but.

10. As for me that the butter, cannot believe that it is not the goddamn liar.



1. Our father, who is in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

2. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

3. Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.

4. I don't want to be Elfstar anymore. I want to be Debbie.

5. Hey, baby. What's your sign?

6. Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

7. You have the right to remain silent.

8. Someone left the cake out in the rain.
I don't think that I can take it
Because it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again.
Oh, no!

9. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

10. I can't believe it's not butter, you goddamn liar.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Fuzzy Memories and Drug-Induced Flashbacks - Part VII

There were three 5th grade teachers at Club Hill Elementary (GO SCOTS, or whatever the fuck the team name was). The classroom was one large room divided into three areas. Each teacher had his/her own area of expertise, so we moved from area to area during the day.

Mr. Price was my homeroom teacher, and he also taught social studies. He was a badass (short and bald, but a badass nonetheless) who wore a leather jacket and rode a motorcycle to school. I remember most of the girls got giggly and squishy around him.

Mrs. Bouchard was the matronly math teacher who was born sometime during the Taft administration. She was always going on about "the New Math" and explaining to us how lucky we were because when she was our age, they didn't have numbers and they had to do all their arithmetic with I's, V's, and L's.

And then, there was Miss McCollaugh, the English teacher. Young and perky, with bobbed blonde hair and big blue eyes. She was particularly fond of wearing tight blouses without a bra, which made her inordinately popular with most of the boys. She was stern and bossy, but in the hottest way imaginable. I used to fantasize about being forced to stay after school, but unfortunately she wasn't my homeroom teacher.

Mr. Price was a married man and Miss McCollaugh had a fiance, but the two of them used to hang out together a lot. They ate their meals together, stood near each other while we were at recess, and occasionally left us unattended so they could go converse in the hall. Of course, this gave rise to the rumor that they were having an affair. Hell, we were 5th graders with no understanding of sex, and even WE assumed they were knocking naughty bits.

Every afternoon, around 2:00, all three classes would gather in a common area for story time. Mr. Price never participated, but Mrs. Bouchard and Miss McCollaugh took turns reading chapters to us from their novel of choice.

So one fine spring afternoon, we were all gathered around Miss McCollaugh as she read to us from A Wrinkle in Time. She was an animated reader, really getting into the voices. She was wearing a loose-fitting white sweater with nothing on underneath, and her breasts were bouncing around happily as she regaled us with the tale of... well, hell. I don't really remember what was going on. It involved tesseracts and hobbits or something.

At one particularly exciting moment in the narrative, Miss McCollaugh leaned forward. She took a deep breath, pausing to maximize the dramatic tension... and her left breast popped out!

For several seconds, we all just stared in stunned silence at that lone nipple, peeking at us over the neckline of her sweater. Miss McCollaugh stopped reading and just looked out at us, her cheeks burning bright red. Nobody made a sound.

Then all at once, wild and crazy laughter from all 80 of us. We shrieked and howled and pointed. Miss McCollaugh let out a cry, threw down the book, and bolted out of the classroom. Mr. Price ran after her, which just made us laugh louder. And poor Mrs. Bouchard was left to try and calm us all down.

Somehow, Miss McCollaugh managed to finish out the day. The next morning, she came to school wearing five bras and fourteen sweaters under her heavy winter coat, and no mention was made of the incident. Like I said, she was stern and bossy, and many of us were terrified of incurring her wrath.

But when we were sure she wasn't looking, we'd poke our hands under our shirts and recreate the incident, complete with "Boing!" sound effects. And then we'd giggle like Karl Rove with a freezer full of orphans.

You know how kind kids can be...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What Famous Leader Am I?

So I stumbled across this test on the Internets. Basically, you answer a series of questions and it determines which famous leader best fits your personality. I have to say, I was utterly blown away by the results!

Okay, just kidding. This was the real result, and I guess I wasn't all that terribly surprised...

Monday, February 20, 2006

To All the Blogs I've Blogged Before...

I'm a shallow prick, and I'll be the first to admit it. As Dennis Miller once said, back when he was funny, "It's okay to be shallow so long as you're insightful about it."

So what's my point? I'm glad you asked, Winona.

I consider blog links to be a sacred, life-long commitment, like marriage or circumcision. If you linka me like I linka you like we linka both the same...

But I've been going through my blog links lately, and SOME OF YOU HAVE ABANDONED ME! I don't know why. Maybe it was because I use the word "retard" like it's punctuation, or maybe it's because I have a potty mouth, or maybe you just don't find me nearly as funny as I find myself. Personally, I find that hard to believe because I think I'm pretty goddamn fucking funny. And if you can't see that, then you're a retard.

Um, so anyway. To those of you who stopped linking to this blog, you are dead to me. No, don't bother trying to kiss up now. It's too late. The damage is done, and things will never be the same between us again.
You done stepped on my heart
And stomped that sucker flat.
I guess you sorta
Squished my aorta.
As for those of you who have stood by me and stayed linked to me through thick and thin, all I can say is that I love each and every one of you with the insane passion of Bradgelina. I would marry you if not for all those pesky same-sex/bigamy laws.

And finally, if through some terrible series of events far too horrible to contemplate you have linked to me and I have yet to return the favor, please let me know and I will rectify the situation post haste.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

*** XXX - Hot Wet Spanking News - XXX ***

Cheney's Got a Gun - A Follow-Up

A lot of conservatives seem to have their panties in a knot these days because of all the media attention the Cheney story has been getting. I mean, okay. So our vice president mistook an old man for a bird and shot him IN THE GODDAMN FACE!. What's the big deal? Al Gore used to beat strippers to death and toss them on the White House lawn and nobody seemed to care. But Cheney blasts one old man IN THE GODDAMN FACE with a shotgun, and suddenly it's news.

FOX News attempted to take the high road. Rather than spend day after day reporting on Cheney (who shot an old man IN THE GODDAMN FACE), they decided to spend day after day pointing out the fact that they WEREN'T reporting on Cheney. You know, despite the fact he shot an old man IN THE GODDAMN FACE!

Fortunately, CNN is always there to take up the slack when they're not too busy covering stories about Bradgelina's lawn rakings or how Beyonce doesn't like to be called "Bootylicious." Today, CNN reported on Harry Whittington, the old man who was shot IN THE GODDAMN FACE by Vice President Cheney.

Whittington, wearing a suit and tie, had several bruises on his neck and face, probably because he was shot IN THE GODDAMN FACE! Speaking to reporters outside the hospital where he was treated (for getting shot IN THE GODDAMN FACE), Whittington apologized to Cheney and his family for everything they've been forced to go through this past week.

Yeah, Cheney's had it pretty tough. In a television interview on Wednesday, he said the day of the accident was "one of the worst days of my life." It must have been hard for the poor man. The only thing I could think of that would be worse would be getting shot IN THE GODDAMN FACE!

The Dallas Morning News ran a story about how Cheney didn't even have a tag to hunt quail, and received a bunch of angry letters (probably written in crayon) from people chiding them for not reporting the REAL news. I'm still not sure what the REAL news is, but apparently it's anything else that might be going on whenever somebody in the current administration fucks up.

But they're all missing the silver lining here. Just think... if Cheney had shot a quail without a license, he might have been in some serious trouble. I mean, they fine people for that! But fortunately, all he shot was an old man.


Allah My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight!

So some paper in Denmark printed some comics that mocked the Prophet Mohammed, and a bunch of Muslims in Pakistan responded by rioting. So far, this only qualifies as news the same way that "I dropped something into the water, and it got wet" might.

But now, they're marching on U.S. businesses (like KFC and Citibank) and chanting "Death to America." I mean, come on! For once, we're NOT responsible for what pissed them off in the first place, so why are they coming after us? That's almost as retarded as, say, going to war with Iraq because you're mad at Al Qaeda.

Scathing, anti-muslim comics like this one
have created a serious backlash in Pakistan.

Iran has been showing remarkable restraint in the wake of the whole cartoon jihad. Not a lot of death and carnage so far, although the Ayatollah did put a $1,000,000 price on the cartoonists' heads. Because, hey! It worked so well with Salman Rushdie. Also, one of their papers responded with a contest inviting readers to submit wacky cartoons making fun of the Holocaust. Seriously.

But by far, my favorite story of Muslim protest has been the Iranian bakeries that renamed their danishes to "Roses of the Prophet Mohammed." They were originally going to go with "Freedom Pastries," but of course the idea was voted down because everybody knows how much THOSE DAMN IRANIANS HATE FREEDOM!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Heart Attack

I really hate to see the godless secular mainstream liberals take over a religious holiday like Valentine's Day and turn it into some kind of celebration of lust and filthy, filthy sex. After all, like Christmas, St. Valentine's Day is a holiday steeped in rich, Christian traditions... many of which predate Christ!!!

Um, okay. Maybe not. I was confused because the day is named after Saint Valentine, who was obviously a churchgoer of some kind. If I remember correctly, there were a bunch of snakes in Ireland who ate all the potatoes and were about to start on the beer when St. Valentine joined forces with the leprechauns to send them to hell. Or maybe that was St. Patrick. Fuck, I don't know!

Okay, I just checked on Wikipedia and I found out that St. Valentine was likely one of three martyrs who may or may not have helped Roman soldiers get married (but not to each other).

I also learned that St. Valentine's Day first became associated with romantic love sometime in the 14th century in England and France. They chose February 14th, because that's traditionally the day that birds pair off to mate.


But even prior to that, mid February has always been associated with love and fertility. In ancient Greece, the date coincided with the end of the month of Gamelion, during which the marriage of Zeus and Hera was honored by everyone except for Zeus, who apparently spent his every waking moment assuming animal forms and impregnating hapless young virgins. Plus, I think Hera was actually his sister or something.

Goddamn Greeks.

And in ancient Rome, February 15 was Lupercalia. This was the festival of the fertility god Lupercus, who was traditionally half-naked and dressed in goat skins. His priests would sacrifice goats and drink wine. Then they'd run through the streets of Rome holding bits of goat over their heads and touching them to everyone that came near them. Apparently getting touched by goat pieces was supposed to make you fertile, so young women would run up and take a severed goat udder to the forehead so they could...

God, that's disgusting! I hate you, Rome! And I'm glad your empire crumbled!

So it turns out that this holiday doesn't have much of anything to do with Jesus. We cut out paper hearts and eat boxes of Whitman Samplers in honor of horny birds, pervy Greeks, and those sick fucking Romans.

Oh, and the Catholic Church removed St. Valentine's Day as an official holiday from its calendar back in 1969. I'm not sure why, but I can only hope it had something to do with all those goat bits littering the streets of Vatican City.

Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day.

All Good Things...

Looks like my job is coming to an end on March 31st.

I've been doing contract tech support for Netherland, Sewell & Associates, a petroleum consulting firm here in Dallas. Originally it was just supposed to be a one month gig, but they kept extending my contract and I kept signing on for another month or two.

But my boss just told me that, when my current contract expires at the end of March, they won't be needing me anymore. Their busy season ends in March, and she just can't justify keeping me on the payroll during the slow months.

She said she'd be flexible about my hours, so I could look for something else. She also said that I could take off before March 31st if something better came along. All in all, she's being a real mensch.

I can't say I'm surprised. I mean, it's the nature of contract work. And what was supposed to be a one month job did stretch out to seven, so the last six months have pretty much been a bonus.

I'm not even all that worried about finding something else. I turned down several contract jobs while this one was going on, so once I start looking again, I'm sure something will turn up.

But still, I am a little disappointed. I like this company, and I've really come to like the people. I've made a lot of friends here, and I'm going to miss working with them every day. The work was fun, the hours were great, and the pay was... well, it was a living, anyway.

Oh, well. C'est la vie. Que sera sera. Shit happens.


Speaking of March 31st, my play (originally slated for the end of March) has been moved to July 7th. It seems the Pocket Sandwich Theatre had somebody in mind to direct it, but he won't be available until sometime in May.

But they've listed the play and they've scheduled auditions. And I'm still giddy as hell about the whole thing.

Now if I could just write 250 of these things a year, I wouldn't need another job!

Monday, February 13, 2006

You Can Have My Gun When You Pry It From My Cold, Dead... OW, FUCK!!!

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a campaign contributor during a weekend quail hunt on a friend's South Texas ranch, local authorities and the vice president's office said Sunday.

The recipient of Cheney's 28-gauge largesse was 78-year old Harry Whittington, who contributed to Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Republican contribution system, $1,000 will buy you a seat at one of the president's dinners. For $2,000, you get to personally shake the president's hand and read him a heartfelt greeting scripted by Scott McLellan. And for contributions of $3,000 or more, the vice president himself will SHOOT YOU IN THE FUCKING FACE!!!

Actually, authorities are calling the shooting an accident, since Vice President Cheney mistook the charging geriatric for one of those elusive Iraqi Al Qaeda terrorists. "As soon as I shot him, and he didn't cry out to Allah in that goddamn Moon Man language they talk in, I realized my mistake," the vice president told reporters on Sunday. He then added, "Go fuck yourself."

Some Democrats are questioning the decision of the vice president's office to wait a day before releasing any information on the shooting. "The incident happened early Saturday evening," Senator Ted Kennedy said, "and yet, we heard nothing about it until sometime late Sunday morning. There is absolutely no excuse for waiting that long before... um, I mean... er... anyone want a drink?"

Dr. Bill Frist said that Whittington was doing well and should be released from the hospital in a day or two. He also announced that Terry Schiavo was in stable condition, and he was optimistic that Coretta Scott King would be making a full recovery.

President Bush was available for comment but, as usual, the senior staff decided it would be best if he didn't speak.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The War on Terror... and MANIMALS!!!!

I watched the State of the Union address the other night, because I don't trust those damned liberal Jew-run media outlets to keep me apprised of the news. I prefer to get it from an unbiased source, namely whoever writes President Bush's speeches.

So first, the good news. The state of our union is... STRONG! Yes, that's right. In spite of the prodigious quantities of shit still raining down on the fan, Bush has assured us that everything is swell. I'm not sure who gathers the criteria for that decision, but I suspect it might be Dr. Bill Frist.

(In a related story, Terry Schiavo is still as active and alert as she ever was. Brilliant diagnosis there, Bones.)

Anyway, things are sunshine and rainbows and baskets of kittens here in the U.S. Plus, it seems that democracy is all the rage in the Middle East these days! Even the Palestinians recently held elections, although I notice Bush sort of forgot to mention them...

America is addicted to oil!

However, it appears there may be some darkness on the horizon. After telling us about how spying on us was good for the country and how every American president since Benjamin Franklin had done it, and his grand plans to cut the deficit in half by 2009 through prayer and magic, and his scheme to wean America off of its oil addiction by gradually making the move to switch grass... wh... what?... Bush finally zeroed in on the true threat.

Turns out, it's not terrorists. It's not liberals. It's not even monogamous gays! No, the danger we all face as Americans is... wait for it... animal/human hybrids!!!

Yep. Manimals. Chimeras. Unholy, unstoppable monkeyman killing machines who eat bullets and shit wholesale destruction! And then fling it at you!!!

Bush apparently became quite concerned about this issue after watching the documentary Thundercats, and has now decided to nip it in the bud lest we face a nightmarish, Orwellian future of beastmen infiltrating our culture, taking away jobs from hard-working Indian contractors and demanding the vote.

Animal/human hybrids respond to the President's attacks.

So, to recap: The union is strong. Democracy is good, unless you're a Palestinian. Spying is good. Switch grass is better than oil. Manimals are bad! BAAAD!!!!

And, most likely, liberal.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Soapbox Derby

I haven't been posting a lot of political stuff lately. I guess I've sort of lost my taste for it.

When I started blogging, I was angry about a lot of things. I was angry that our administration had rushed us to war, and only started worrying about a REAL rationale when the body count exceeded their retardedly optimistic estimates. I was angry that Bush and his Legion of Doom had taken us from our most prosperous to our most destitute, and were STILL trying to blame the whole thing on Clinton. I was angry that so many people had their heads so far up Bush's ass that they refused to admit that anything was wrong, and instead blamed the administration's problems on the liberal media, gay marriage, stem cells, Satan, the French, and women in the workplace. But mainly, I was pissed off that anyone who dared voice their disagreement with the president was immediately labeled a bad American who hated freedom and the baby Jesus.

And so I posted. And in my zeal to sound off, I demonized an entire political ideology. I made conservatives the enemy, and I railed against them like they were this vast organization of racists and zealots who refused to hold Bush accountable for anything he said or did because they couldn't remember more than two days into the past.

But since the election, I've started to move away from that mindset. I mean, don't get me wrong. I still think Karl Rove is so evil that he has four sixes on his fucking forehead, and George W. Bush is so stupid he couldn't outthink a crack baby with its head in a plastic bag. The fact that they're conservative has nothing to do with any of it.

I also think John Kerry is a meandering blowhard is more likely to think an issue to death than to take any definitive action, and Ted Kennedy is a disgusting, drunken lecher who in all likelihood got away with murder. The fact that they're liberal is irrelevent.

Both sides have their share of embarrasments and assholes, and it's just our nation's bad luck that the worst the conservatives have to offer have managed to seize power. It's also our bad luck that so many people are so mired down by liberal vs. conservative or Democrat vs. Republican that they'll blindly support their team rather than concern themselves with the good of the country.

I guess what I'm saying is, I'm all about despising the people and railing against the issues. But I'm tired of the whole "What is wrong with conservatives" and "That's the problem with you liberals" arguments. Liberalism and Conservatism are political ideologies, and nothing more. If you honestly believe any one side holds a monopoly on morality or integrity, then you're too fucking stupid to vote. Or operate a motor vehicle.

Or as Stephanie, who is both beautiful and wise beyond her years, once put it, "There are no good guys and bad guys. You just pick the side whose hypocrisy offends you least, and you stick with them."

Thanks for listening. You've been very therapeutic.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Set 'Em Up, Country Music!

Several months ago, I thought it would be funny to start referring to my friend Sean as "Country Music."

You see, Sean is as urbane and sophisticated as anyone raised in Garland could possibly be. He was metrosexual before anybody was ever using that word. So the idea of saddling Sean with the nickname "Country Music" made me giggle like Karl Rove at his mom's funeral.

At first, Sean was resistant to the idea. However, once his wife Laura joined me in my campaign to make the nickname stick, he decided to fight fire with fire. He announced that if I was going to call him "Country Music," he was going to call me "Buttercup."

So now both nicknames have stuck.

Sean has decided that "Country Music and Buttercup" would be a great name for a musical act, so for Christmas he made me this:

At this point, I feel I should mention:
  1. Sean really is one hell of a graphic artist.
  2. I don't really own a rhinestone-studded shirt. Those were added in post-production.
  3. Sean is married and I've got a girlfriend, which means we couldn't possibly be as gay as we look in that picture.
  4. If we ever really do take our musical act on the road, I want our first hit to be a cover of "Convoy." Or "Freebird."
I wanna thank y'all for coming out tonight, and remind you to be generous to your foodservers! You can catch us here at the Dover Airport Ramada every Wednesday night! And don't forget, tapes and CDs are available from the truck of our car after each show!

Goodnight, fillies and buckeroos! Drive carefully!

You Oughta Be In Pictures...

After reading yesterday's post, my good buddy Sean thoughtfully sent me some screen captures from our 1981 epic Dungeons and Dragons film. Ah, the beauty and majesty of burgeoning nerds in the wild...

This is me, along with my faithful companions Greg and Kenny,
about to open the mysterious hanging bag. No idea what's in it.
Could be Otiluke's Uncanny Death Rock. Could be pie.

That's me as an elven archer, wearing the Spock ears
that so made a mockery of Garland justice...

That's me as a wizard, smiting somebody with my
unholy arcane wrath. THIS is why your preacher
didn't want you playing D&D.

This is our bad guy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fuzzy Memories and Drug-Induced Flashbacks - Part VI

When we were in the 6th grade, my friend Sean decided he wanted to make movies. Not just act, mind you, but also write and direct. A true auteur.

Armed with his dad's Super-8 camera (this was well before the age of video, you understand), he shot his first feature. It was about 5 minutes long, and it featured our friends Tim and Curt as wizards, battling it out on a local playground. The special effects were done by scratching the film with a nail. I remember being in total awe when I first saw the finished film. Even to this day, I think it's pretty fucking impressive.

For his next project, Sean decided to try something truly ambitious. He invested $45 of his saved allowance on something called a Craven Backwind, which would allow you to wind film backwards and create double exposures. He also got hold of an old cassette recorder, so now we could actually have sound.

Eager to push his new special effects capabilities to their limits, Sean decided our next film would be Return to the Land of the Giants. This was a big budget film, well over $100! Sean and his dad actually built a large, wooden spaceship to be used as a set.

Sean read a few technical books to learn how to do the giant/little people special effects. Unfortunately, despite the high tech capabilities of the Craven Backwind, they didn't turn out very convincing. Not only were the little people frequently transparent, but they were standing at odd angles in comparison to everything else. One hilarious scene featured me being frightened by a giant dog and swinging my briefcase at it. The dog was staring up at the camera, and I seemed to be floating on my back at a 45-degree angle.

Our next feature was The Adventures of Agent .05, starring me as a secret agent. This was the first collaborative writing effort between me and Sean, and I still take credit for the funny bits. Agent .05's partner was written in the script as a very sexy woman codenamed 36-24-36. We thought this was hilarious, despite the fact that she was played by a 7th grader. The bad guys belonged to an organization called M.E.S.S. (Maladjusted Enemy Secret Service), and they employed an assassin with a steel hand named Paws. You know, instead of Jaws. Holy shit, we were ON FIRE!!!

Most of the action took place in the local library (Sean actually called them and asked permission to film there). It also featured an exciting bike chase through the streets of Garland.

(Our 7th grade actress, Shelly, wasn't available when it came time to redub the dialog, so we called on Tim's sister Ruthi to fill in. Which means that our sexy secret agent was a 7th grader with the squeaky voice of a 4th grader. I just know that's gotta be against the law...)

Other film projects included parodies of Alien, Flash Gordon, Raiders of the Lost Ark (in which Sean was actually dragged behind a car driven by one of our older friends), and The Black Hole (where Sean finally got the hang of his Craven Backwind and superimposed an image of a spaceship floating above a flushing toilet bowl).

Probably our most ambitious project was our Dungeons and Dragons film, which was conceived immediately after seeing Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the first time. We were in the 8th grade by then, and our sense of humor had grown MUCH more sophisticated over the past couple of years.

The idea was simple. We'd have some people playing Dungeons and Dragons. And as they described the actions of their characters, we'd show the characters acting them out. Sometimes the players would make their characters do something truly stupid, like swing at a falling rock. And the character, rolling his eyes with annoyance, would step under the rock and swing his sword before getting crushed to death. It was comic gold, I tell ya!

Somehow, the original idea evolved into something much more far-reaching. I think Sean had it in his head to create an actual epic fantasy. And so, several months into production, we found ourselves in a vacant lot filming a pivotal scene.

Sean was an elven prince, garbed in armor and a cloak and wearing Mr. Spock ears. In the middle of the field, sticking up from the ground, he would see the legendary sword. So he'd grab it by the hilt and pull it from the ground. He'd hold it aloft, and its blade would burst into flames.

Now Sean was pretty well versed in special effects and pyrotechniques by this time. In addition to our crew of six and our equipment, we also had Sean's backpack, which was stuffed full of firecrackers, smoke bombs, Roman candles, and the empty shell of an actual Army surplus hand grenade.

The sword was made of wood, and Sean decided the best way to handle this magical scene would be to dowse the blade with gasoline and set it on fire.

So Sean was standing in the middle of a vacant lot and surrounded by tall, dry grass while holding a flaming piece of wood over his head. And the rest of us were so intent on getting it on film that we didn't even notice the police car that drove into the lot until we heard the quick little blast of the siren.

Sean was so startled that he dropped the sword, and we all ran over to stomp it out before it caught the grass on fire. Sean took the opportunity to slip off his pointed ears, and went to face the policeman.

"What the hell are you boys doing?" the policeman asked us. "You trying to start a fire or something?"

"Um, we're making a movie," Sean answered nervously. The officer glanced at all of us, and then his eyes fell on the backpack.

"What you kids got in there? Have you been firing a .22 out here?"

This caught us totally off guard. "No sir," Sean said. "We don't have any guns or anything."

"Mind if I have a look in there?" Before Sean could answer, the officer knelt and opened the backpack. Fortunately, he didn't seem terribly alarmed by the fireworks. But he was a bit concerned about the hand grenade.

"What the hell is that?" he asked.

"Oh, it's not real," Sean said, reaching for it.

The policeman jumped to his feet, his hand on his revolver. "Don't touch it!" he shouted at us. "I have a wife and kid at home and I want to make sure I make it home to them tonight."

"It's not real," Sean repeated in a trembling voice. He was talking frantically fast, running his sentences together, no doubt imagining the policeman opening fire on him. "If you look at the bottom you can see it's empty there's nothing in it it's not real I bought it at an Army Surplus store but it doesn't have any of the stuff in it that makes it explode..."

"All right, all right." The policeman examined the grenade, then set it back down in the backpack. "So, what's this movie you guys are making about?"

Sean had regained some of his composure by now. "Dungeons and Dragons," he said.

The officer regarded all of us, then said, "Do you boys know what that Dungeons and Dragons can do to your mind?"

Too intimidated to snicker, we could only look at each other with somber nods. Sean said, "Um, I don't know about that. I'm just making a movie."

"Well, I'd say you guys are done with your movie. If I catch you out here again, I'm calling your parents." He turned to leave, but stopped and stared at Sean's breast pocket.

"What's that in your pocket?" he asked.

"Huh?" Sean looked down, and then answered rather sheepishly, "Oh, those are ears."


When we first started in the 6th grade, Sean called his production company F&I Productions (for Freeman and Irby). However, by the time the incident with the policeman happened, my interest had waned somewhat. Part of it was pressure from my parents, who were convinced that Sean was going to get me arrested or killed. Part of it was high school, with new friends and new interests. And part of it was just the fact that I had grown self-conscious about dressing up in costumes and running around in public.

Sean changed the name of the company to AFP (Adventure Film Productions) and made a few more short films, some of which were truly hilarious. My favorite was an ad for a fake radio station called EVIL featuring Brian Damage and Jason in the mornings! Basically, the ad would feature somebody rocking out with a jam box. Brian Damage (in a straight jacket) and Jason (in a hockey mask) would approach. Brian would say, "What are you listening to?" The listener would answer enthusiastically, "E-V-I-L! Radio 105.666!" Then Jason would brutally murder the listener with a machete.

But eventually, Sean's passion for filmmaking went into decline. He still hosted AFP parties, and we all still got together on a regular basis. We hung out at the mall together, we played nerdy RPGs together, we went to movies, played computer games, played Photon (a precursor to LaserTag) rather religiously...

But we pretty much quit making movies.


Sean still has all of those old films in a box at his house. Every once in a while, he'll dig them out and set up the old Super-8 projector and we'll have ourselves a film festival.

Recently, he's expressed an interest in converting the films to digital format. He wants to get any of the old cassette tapes that survived the ensuing decades and synch up the sound, and then stamp them out onto a DVD. Sean's plan is to ultimately stage a film festival, and invite all of our old friends and long-suffering parents to see the fruits of our labors from 1978 to 1981.

So my pre-teen awkwardness and social retardation will soon be digitally remastered and preserved for the ages.

I can't wait!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Daytime Friends and Nightime Bloggers

My dear friend Laura (who is more adorable than a weiner dog in a sweater vest) has her own blog now. Her husband Sean (whom I've known since we were 6) is one of them graphical-type artists, so her personal web space is looking pretty damn snazzy. Go check it out at!

(Sorry if that sounded bossy. I have control issues.)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

What Kind of Leading Man Am I?

William Powell

You scored 9% Tough, 38% Roguish, 23% Friendly, and 28% Charming!

You are the classic rogue, a stylish rake with the devil of a wit and a flair for mischief, and you shake your martinis to waltz time. You are suave and debonair, but slightly untrustworthy, and women should be on their guard. If married, you are simply a bit of a flirt, even if it's just with your own wife...but if you're single, watch out. You usually rein yourself in to concentrate on one lovely beauty at a time, but with you, we never know. You're not a bad guy, but there's a playful devil behind your eyes, and those trying to get close to you should know they're playing with fire. You're stylish and fun, but you follow your own course, which may or may not include a steady gal. Co-stars include Myrna Loy and Carole Lombard, classy ladies with an adventurous streak.

Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the Classic Dames Test.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 7% on Tough

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 93% on Roguish

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 37% on Friendly

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 54% on Charming
Link: The Classic Leading Man Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

WTF? - Special Alps Edition

About ten years ago, my friend Sean and I went to dinner at Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican. We were sitting on the patio, drinking Dos Equis and scarfing queso, and trying to have a conversation. Which was difficult, because there were two Businessmen™ sitting at a table near us. Older guys, still in their jackets and ties, talking incredibly fucking loud about nothing of any great import.

Honestly, we had no interest in their conversation. I always get self-conscious when I'm talking to my friends and I realize some total stranger is eavesdropping. Usually, I start trying to think of even wittier things to say, because I feel like I'm being judged on my delivery and content.

One time, however, I was having lunch with a co-worker named Mike, and we realized a lady sitting at the table next to us was listening. Mike kind of cut his eyes towards her to let me know that he'd noticed. So I said, "Oh, that reminds me. How did you ever get rid of those bodies?"

Mike replied, "They were starting to stink up my truck and I couldn't get to the dump, so I finally just had to lime them and bury them in my back yard."

"I told you to put them in garbage bags."

"I did! But they still leaked."

"Well, you're not supposed to use those lame-ass kitchen bags. You have to use the heavy duty three-ply stuff. Otherwise, once they start to putrify, you're gonna get leakage."

"I'll know next time." Mike nodded, contemplating. Then added with a smile, "But man, you should see my lawn. It's really coming in nice this year."

By this point, the lady stood up and left. Rather quickly. In fact, I think she threw away her tray on her way out the door.

But I digress...

So anyway, Sean and I were really trying not to listen to the loud, obnoxious conversation of the Businessmen™. But then, one of them said something we couldn't help but overhear. Something totally inexplicable and strange. Something that has haunted me and Sean for the past decade.

He said, "The Alps? Oh, you're not going to find them on the beach. They're in Switzerland."

Sean and I just looked at each other, our puzzlement growing with each passing moment. We were so busy trying to figure out that particular statement that we didn't hear anything said afterwards.

"The Alps? Oh, you're not going to find them on the beach. They're in Switzerland."

We pondered the statement, turning it over and over in our minds like a koan, desperately trying to unlock its hidden meaning. What in the name of fresh-spanked baby Jesus could the other man have possibly said to lead to his buddy replying, "The Alps? Oh, you're not going to find them on the beach. They're in Switzerland."

I guess we'll never know.


On an unrelated (yet eerily serendipitous) note, my buddy Ix (who no longer blogs and is thus no longer linkable) and I went to Boston to visit friends back in 2001. One night, after much booze, a few of us were lying around in the hotel room watching The Big Lebowski on USA Network.

Now for those of you that haven't seen it, there's a rather famous scene where John Goodman's character is trying to intimidate someone by trashing a car and screaming. And what he screams, over and over, is "You see? This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FUCK A STRANGER IN THE ASS!"

Well, we were all eagerly waiting for that scene because we wanted to see how USA would handle it. Would they leave the scene intact, cut it entirely, bleep it out, or substitute some creative dialog?

Turns out they went with the creative dialog. And when John Goodman took an axe handle to the windshield of the car, he screamed, "You see? This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FIND A STRANGER IN THE ALPS!"

Sigh. Good times.