An Award-Winning Disclaimer

A charming little Magpie whispered this disclaimer into my ear, and I'm happy to regurgitate it into your sweet little mouth:

"Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for those of you who start to laugh and piss your pants a little. Although this blogger understands the role he has played (in that, if you had not been laughing you may not have pissed yourself), he assumes no liability for damages caused and will not pay your dry cleaning bill.

These views represent the thoughts and opinions of a blogger clearly superior to yourself in every way. If you're in any way offended by any of the content on this blog, it is clearly not the blog for you. Kindly exit the page by clicking on the small 'x' you see at the top right of the screen, and go fuck yourself."

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Kid Behind the Wheel

I know some of you get turned off when I get serious, but tough shit.

So, I'm sure by now you've all heard about the police pursuit that involved a 7-year-old boy who stole his parent's white Dodge Intrepid because he didn't want to go to church. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's the fucking You Tube clip.

As I type right now, the kid is having an "exclusive interview" on the Today Show and Ann Curry and Meredith Vieira having been yucking it up all morning about how adorable the kid is and playing up the story for its novelty and humor value, making stupid, annoying puns and generally being cloying and irritating. In the original clip that aired on the local news stations, you can hear the anchors chuckling about the incident.

Now, I hate taking a dump on everybody's fun-time happy-hour, but this child could have killed not only himself but a bunch of other people on the road-- pedestrians, other motorists, a mailman. However, if you look at the vast majority of the comments on You Tube, they are of the "hahaha so cool kid!" and "rofl from video screen!" and, the crown jewel of them all: "Run, Forest! Run!"

I'm positively in stitches.

We're a "Kids Say (and Do) the Darndest Things" world, and we always have been. Look at how the world was obsessed with a 5-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, playing concerti for the Archbishop of Salzburg. The only thing kids do that adults do that we don't like is have sex-- other than that, dress a kid up in a suit and have him say a four-syllable-word and we're howling with laughter. Put him behind the wheel of the family car, and we put him on television and give serve up his fifteen minutes with a side of tater-tots. And, of course, the kid's an angelic, blond-haired boy, which makes it all the more appealing. Perhaps if he wasn't quite camera-ready, with a snaggle-tooth and a dent in his forehead, the story might not be so readily exploited-- but, with that punim, how can we resist?

I guess if this story had a less benign ending, which it easily could have had, the media outlook and societal reaction would be a tad different. On September 1st, 2000, Cincinnati Police Officer Kevin Crayon was at a convenience store, making a purchase. Upon exiting the store, he noticed that the driver of a vehicle in the parking lot looked far too young to be operating a motor vehicle. In fact, it was a child of 12 years old. Officer Crayon approached the vehicle and ordered the child out. The kid threw the car in reverse and Crayon, thinking only of the child's safety, lunged into the car to try and grab the keys, but it was not to be. The child floored the accelerator and Officer Crayon was dragged, either caught on an object inside the car, or still holding on for dear life. He screamed for the child to stop, but the child would not obey. Crayon, a father of three, was dragged for over 800 feet. In a desperate attempt to save his own life and the lives of other people on the road, Officer Crayon unholstered his revolver and shot the boy in the chest. The car made a violent swerve, and Crayon fell to the street, his head slamming against the pavement where he died. The young boy, mortally wounded, managed to drive the car to his parents home, where he collapsed and died as well.

I don't doubt that few people outside of Kevin Crayon's friends and family members, and this boy's friends and family members remember this incident. It had a very short shelf-life, one dead cop, one dead kid-- both black, in a poor, urban area of Cincinnati. A violent, tragic, unhappy end to two probably uncameraworthy lives. The story, too, of a seven-year-old boy who stole his parents car because he didn't want to go to church will have a short shelf-life, too, but the jovial attention focused right now on the child at the center of the tale is unfortunate and irritating, and shameful in light of the destruction he could have caused.

When the media reports on a story, they dictate how we ought to react. If they think something's sad and serious, they report on it in a way that communicates to us that we are supposed to treat the material in the same regard. Not only does the way in which the media report tell us how to react, but what they choose to report is of paramount importance. A local arrest of a scholar, a local police chase of a seven-year-old boy, a local storm, a local murder-- theses things somehow get plucked to make it onto the national stage, and then we are presented with the dilemma of how to react-- do we accept the demeanor of the news anchors and roll with it, or do we stop and think further about the stories and develop our own opinions after careful deliberation and scrutiny?

Meredith and Ann might be giggling with this kid on national television, but I'm sorry-- it just isn't funny.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Autopsy Turvy

Tonight, Mrs. Apron and I slumped inertly on the couch and mechanically ate our dinner while watching a re-run of a "Jeopardy!" Teen Tournament. Our living room was stifling, the heat and humidity weighed down on us like a leatherpress, what else could we do? It was way too hot to initiate baby-making procedures in front of old Alex, so we just munched and zoned.

I remembered this episode in particular. During the usually painful interview section of the program, the slut on the right expressed her aspiration to be a doctor. She said that she had already witnessed lung surgery. "And I've held a brain!" she added with some enthusiasm.

Hmpf, I recalled, so have I.

In 2005, as I was nearing the end of my schooling, if you can call it that, to certify me as an emergency medical technician, there were three brief field stints I had to perform. First, logically, I had to complete one eight hour tour-of-duty on an ambulance. I did this at a Philadelphia hospital-based ambulance service, whose name I will neglect to mention so that I don't get sued for libel. I was positively giddy with excitement about my first real shift on an ambulance. Like most things I get positively giddy about in expectation, my shift on the ambulance didn't pan out exactly the way I had hoped.

It was a frigid day in February or thereabouts, and a layer of snow and slush covered the streets of Philadelphia. I arrived for my shift my customary twenty-five minutes early. I would have been even earlier, but I couldn't find the base. A security guard at the hospital directed me to the basement. Just so you know, if you're ever looking for a hospital-based ambulance company-- it's in the basement. There was a big conference table, but no one was sitting at it. There were four or five EMTs and paramedics all huddled around a smaller table atop which sat a fax machine. I soon gathered that they were all faxing their resumes to other ambulance companies.

The obese supervisor stepped in front of them and glowered at me, with my bright white EMT student polo shirt and my fresh-out-of-the-bag navy blue uniform pants and my stethoscope hanging around my neck. He hated me from the word "fag."

"Hi," I said nervously, "I'm, um, an EMT student."

He looked at me like he wanted to shit on his fist and hit me with it.

"Well, obviously," he replied, staring at my shirt.


He shoved a thick hand into his hip pocket and dug around. I assumed he had ringworm or something. He pulled his hand out and thrust a greasy key out in my face. "Move unit A-12," he commanded. "It's in the fucking way."

I took the key and navigated the complex stairs and halls of the hospital, getting lost three times on my way out to the alley where the ambulances were haphazardly parked as if they had been jumbled about by a tornado. In the fucking way of what? I wondered. They're all in the fucking way of... each other. Between the snow and the ridiculous way these things were parked, I didn't see how a single one of them could move anywhere. I arrived at unit A-12. A sorry excuse for an ambulance, it looked as if it had been gang-raped by a trio of 18-wheelers. When I opened the driver's side door, it almost fell off-- the hinges were rusted clean through. I hoisted myself into the vinyl driver's seat, which was carved up like a Christmas goose and I peered at the odometer.


Well, I thought, at that rate, unit 12-A wouldn't be in the fucking way for much longer.

The second field placement I had to do was a tour-of-duty in the Emergency Room at the same hospital. EMTs often find gainful employment in emergency rooms across the country, where they go by the title "Critical Care Technician." Basically, they take vital signs on patients and do everything that nurses feel entitled to delegate to someone who makes considerably less money than they do, like lift up incredibly fat people and/or clean out bedpans and vomit basins. Fortunately, I didn't have to do any of that during my emergency room rotation, because I was completely and utterly ignored by the nurses. My presence was only marginally acknowledged upon my arrival (initial my time-sheet here) and upon my departure (initial my time-sheet here). I did finally manage to make my mark on the evening when a transsexual psych-patient locked herself in the bathroom and was refusing orders to come out. A nurse had gathered that not only was she probably doing drugs in there, but that she was armed with a knife. I was told to go get security but, just as I was passing the bathroom, she burst the door open and she bolted out of the exit of the hospital. Not thinking at all, I tore off in chase, racing down a dimly-lit Center City street after her.

"Stop right there!" I screamed at her, my brand-new boots pounding against the pavement.

"Jesus Christ! Stop!" I didn't realize that the security guard who yelled that out was yelling at me until I got within around four or five feet of her and he yelled, "Kid! Stop! Jesus, stop!"

So I stopped and doubled over, panting. I looked behind me and there was an elderly security guard, extremely overweight, about thirty feet back, his hands on his thighs, a nurse behind him, holding my stethoscope, which had flown off during the chase. The tranny turned down an alleyway whilst hooting and laughing and extending her middle finger in my direction.

"Kid," the huffing and puffing whale-of-a-guard said once he'd caught up to me, "once they're off the hospital property-- fuck 'em. She's the cops' problem now. God! You're fucking crazy-- she could have killed you. It's not worth it."

Last up on the field rotation: the autopsy. The rationale behind EMTs attending autopsies is that they ought to have empathy and compassion for the human condition, and attending an autopsy is also a good way to get seeing your first dead body up close and personal out of the way fast. It's kind of ironic that, in seventeen months on the street as an EMT, I never saw a dead body, except one in the ICU of a local hospital that was slumped half out of bed and half on the floor. The curtain hadn't been pulled shut yet and "The Golden Girls" was still playing on the patient's TV. But, yeah, if I had ever encountered a dead person, the autopsy would have been a good primer for that occurrence. Plus, it's a really awesome way to learn anatomy. Most EMTs-in-training, being dickheads in their early 20s, just think it's cool/sick/fucked up. The subject of the autopsy I attended was an elderly woman who had perished while in the hospital. I made sure to stare at her wrist bracelet, mostly so I wouldn't have to stare at any other part of her, but also because I wanted to remember how old she was.

Of course, that was four years ago, and I've forgotten now. She was either 78 or 87. Damned dyscalculia and Alzheimers.

Anyway, I don't know what other people remember about their first autopsy, but I remember the stench that infiltrated my nostrils upon the opening of the woman's bowels. That's a smell no amount of mental Snuggle can ever ameliorate. It was horrid, putrid and fetid. Basically, any adjective that ends with "id" would be accurate. I also remember the smell that emanated from the saw as it buzzed through the woman's skull. It was slightly burnt, slightly sulphuric, slightly nauseating. Once the attending coroner had cut her domepiece entirely off, he used a pair of long, thin scissors to cut through the glistening, gelatinous membrane covering her brain. He told me to cup my hands below what was formerly her head and I thought to myself, "Oh my God, in about six seconds, I'm going to be holding this woman's fucking brain, aren't I?" Then he made two final clips by her occipital lobe and *glorp!* I was holding this woman's fucking brain.

Can I go on "Jeopardy!" now?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ladies & Gentlemen, Make Way for Robo-Medic

I first became worried that the robots were going to take over for you and me when they began installing self-check out lanes at the grocery store. Even though they still need a supervisor to be on-hand to scope out the scene for thieves and imbeciles, it's pretty much just you and the scanny-thingy. Although my interactions with grocery store clerks are often rote, formulaic and exasperating, we're still fostering the bonds of human interpersonal communication. Even the clerk who tried to talk to me about baseball was doing a yeoman's job of forging ahead with the luminous and lofty goal of human contact.

And good for him.

It's easy to forget, though, that robots have been around for a while. They've been pretty much building our cars for a while now. That cute little Roomba bastard is soon going to replace Consuela, the green-card coveting house-wench who has to take the bus to your 4br, 2ba brick colonial from her rickety rowhome en el barrio. And I'm quite sure that the Japanese are, right at this moment, working out the schematics for a life-sized, self-lubricating companion.

And good for them.

But if the preponderance of ATMs, automated car-washes, and cyber-waiters isn't enough to convince you that the era of human dominance is at an end, I present you with the Lucas 2.

Yes, ladies & gents: it's an automated CPR machine, and not only is it better than you, it's better than the Lucas 1.

Because I am an emergency medical technician living in the heady daze of street-retirement, I still sometimes get emails from a website called, which is the official website of the Journal of Emergency Medical Services. They have interesting, engaging articles about medics who get into roadside brawls with state troopers, news about continuing education and re-certification, the latest advances in treating Diabetty and Heart Attack Jack and, yes, product announcements. Products like the coolest new blue whacker light-bar for you to put on top of your Dodge Caravan, or cool perforated leather gloves you can wear so your grip doesn't slip while you're lifting a stretcher containing 520-pound Bertha McSupersize. Products like the Lucas 2.

Folks, the era of automated, robotic CPR has arrived.

So, here's the deal. You're eating dinner at Windsor Palace. Sir Cerebral Strokesalot goes down while consuming his leg of mutton that is embossed with the likeness of Elizabeth II. The fire brigade is summoned but you, with your quick-thinking and cunning skills, notice a box on the wall that is marked "LUCAS 2: Break Glass Only In Emergency." You run over to it. Being British, you are consumed with guilt at smashing an object and causing a disturbance, so you gently tap on the glass with your shrimp fork until it shatters. You remove the Lucas 2, which looks very much like a pogo stick for midgets, and you race over to Sir Strokesalot. You plop the thing on top of his sternum and press the button that says "Press Here to Wake the Dead," and the Lucas 2 goes into action. Up and down that thing goes like a sonofabitch. There are horrified gasps from the crowd. Ladies swoon, and so do the men, because they're all English and gay and shit. The fire brigade finally comes and they're all like, "Oy! What's all this then!?" And you'll be all like, "Look! Me and Lucas 2 revived this twiggy motherfucker!" And then you'll be hanged for using language like that in front of the Queen, you bloody vulgarian.

Yeah. So, seriously-- there's a CPR machine.

Be afraid.

I don't know how I feel about it. Part of me is looking at it from the point of view of a collapsing civilian which, as an incurable hypochondriac, I'm always afraid of becoming, and the other part of me is looking at it from the perspective of a pre-hospital provider, which I was and, though inactively still am, and may one day be again. Who knows? The potentially collapsing civilian in me is very skeptical of this thing because, if a normal person doing chest compressions is liable to break a few of my brittle, ginger ribs, a fucking machine is probably going to break all of them.

The pre-hospital provider in me is skeptical of this machine because it seems like a very expensive way to do the same thing that human beings can do anyway. Yes, the machine doesn't get tired after thirty minutes of chest compressions like humans would but, realistically, if you're doing CPR on someone for thirty minutes either by yourself or with a machine-- stop and face facts: he's fucking dead, so what's the difference if the machine can go on and on for an hour and not get "tired?" Any pre-hospital provider who has a shred of honesty or intelligence will tell you that that CPR without the assistance of an Automated External Defibrillator has an extremely low/poor success rate-- so, why spend the money when you can just as easily send two EMTs to the scene making $11.00/hr to bang on somebody's chest? It's just one more thing that has to be inspected every year, can break and requires man hours to train people how to use.

I mean, forget the automatic chest-compression device. What would really be great would be an air compressor attached to a pair of robot lips so that you wouldn't have to put your mouth on some Herpes-scabbed homeless motherfucker. Now that's a CPR machine I'd support.

Of course, you know perverts would just buy it for their own sordid purposes.

And good for them.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Quality Assortment

* Aer Lingus sounds like a sex act performed with an imaginary partner.

* I like it when news reporters use the same adjective to describe Sarah Palin's speeches as they do to describe letters from Ted Kaczynski: "rambling."

* Gum-chewers bother the hell out of me. I guess I just don't get it.

* I like to talk a lot about how I don't care what people think, but, today, in the 90+ degree heat, I power-washed the porch and its furniture because someone said to me last week, "You actually sit on these?" and I cut the grass comb-over that was growing over the curb (it took me about an hour) that looked like Cousin It because I heard a snippet of conversation a neighbor was having with her husband that went "it used to look so meticulous" and I just assumed she was talking about our house. Apparently, the asshole who used to live here measured the hedge height with a yardstick. Didn't pay his mortgage, though.

* Why is it that, whenever you see running water, you have to pee, but you don't have to immediately pinch a loaf everytime you sit down to eat chocolate mousse?

* If I were a eunuch, I'd like to think I'd be the kind of eunuch who would draw something funny down there in Sharpie.

* Once, just once, I want to hear somebody who's just had some piece of furniture valued at $250,000 on "Antiques Roadshow" look at the appraiser and scream, "Haha! It's a fake, you fucking faggot!"

* Speaking of "Roadshow," do you believe that there was actually a time when people hand-wrote letters to each other?

* There are a lot of people in this world that I pass on the street and want to hit, but never is there such a high concentration of them than there is in New York City. I think it's all the 100-pound girls with frosted, stringy hair, oversized Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses and skinny jeans. Wha-POW!

* I can't believe that our brand new Ikea chair already has a stain on it. I've only masturbated in it once. Those Health teachers were right-- once is all it takes.

* Why did God make dogs possess the perfect body temperature for cold-weather cuddling, and give them such noxious assholes?

* If we had a big, big yard sale, would you come buy our shit?

* I know that, no matter how long I blog and no matter how big my readership gets, nobody will ever ask me to sign their tit.

* Have you ever wanted to accelerate and slam into the back of some random person's car that has the "What if the Hokey-Pokey Really IS What It's All About?" bumper-sticker?

* "The Danza Slap." You want to know what that is? Well, I'll tell you anyway. Come on, you know you're reading this blog for educational purposes. Apparently, while a girl's going down on you, you remove your penis, slap her in the face with it and go, "Mona!" in a deep, Danza-esque voice. If I were a girl and some guy did that to me while I was hobbing on his knob, I'd jam my fingernails into his scrote, tear those suckers out, shove them in his eye sockets and go, "What you talkin' bout, Willis?"

* Why was getting people together to watch slideshows of your vacation so gay, but posting pictures of your vacation on Facebook is so cool? At least, at the slideshow get-togethers, there was probably, like, chips and dip or whatever.

* Of course he didn't like green eggs and ham. They're fucking moldy. Jesus.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


So, most of you know that we recently acquired cable television in this house, for the first time in a looooooong time, as a result of the government's and HD-TV's wretched and incestuous comingling with the cable companies.


Much to my relief, this hasn't really altered our lifestyles all that much. We're still pretty hardcore about "The Today Show" in spite of my unalterable dislike of Meredith Vieira. Our palate/schedule still accomodates almost nightly viewings of "Jeopardy!" and semi-weekly installments of "COPS" (don't judge me!) and sometimes we'll even watch ABC World News Tonight to hear Charlie Gibson end his broadcasts with, "and I hope you had a good day,", sounding rather like Mr. Rogers. Of course, I can't imagine Mr. Rogers talking about Afghanistan wearing a $900 suit, but there we are.

I will admit that our viewing of "Sponge Bob Square Pants" has increased dynamically, and I am now intimately familiar with the episode where Mr. Crabs loses his special pre-historic dime and the one where Squidward gets his own TV show on Bikini Bottom Public Access. And I think my IQ just imploded.

Though it has not yet consumed our lives, I'm reasonably certain that having cable is going to make us stupid. I mean, sure, last night we went to the opera, and right now my wife is in bed reading a book without pictures, but this simply cannot last. I mean, Sponge Bob is fucking calling to me, people. Sooner or later, I will answer.

And quit my job.

After we did our regular six-month cleaning of our bedroom today in the sweltering heat and dog's mouth humidity, my wife, flopping on the couch to veg, found another program that will serve to destroy the few remaining synapses in our brains-- it's a show on MTV about women who are dissatisfied with their big breasts. Yes, you heard me right. Some of you deadasses out there might even already know what I'm talking about. Of course you do, you get your news not from Charlie Gibson, but from "The Daily Show" and from blogs.

Don't worry, soon I will be amongst you.

So, back to the titties, on MTV's discussion board, Kelso19 writes:

"Why doesn't MTV do a True Life - big boobs???? I personally struggle with extremely large breasts for my body.... It is probably the most frustrating thing that I have ever dealt with...No one makes anything for women who are thin with large breasts and it sucks...I would love to wear the things that my friends can wear, but I can't...I can't wear a strapless bra (They dont make them big enough), I can't wear a swim suit, if I want to wear a dress I always have to get a larger dress to fit my boobs and then get it altered to fit the rest of me.... I can't wear tank tops w/o looking HUGE...Oh and halter tops are out of the question... Everyone else loves me boobs but I have spent so much time crying b/c I can't wear 1/2 the clothes that I would like to....I really want to get my boobs reduced, but I don't have the money for it and my mom isn't always supportive of me getting a reduction...Anyway, I feel that it would be a good thing to shed light on people who are thin with breasts to big for their body....Just thought... P.S....There are more issues but I figured that I would just give a tid bit...."

Well, Dipshit19, I guess they finally heard you because, today, my wife and I were definitely flat-out on the couch watching three vapid, useless girls with with laundry bags for breasts moaning and crying about their tits for half-an-hour. Aaaand, after that was done, guess what aired next? MTV True Life: "My Boobs Are Too Small" where we got to see a Go-Go dancer from Philadelphia (yeah, way to represent da hood, Skeeter Bites!) crying about how she has to wear three push-up bras at the same time to create the illusion of cleavage for the obliteratedly drunk male clientele at her place of employment.

I know a girl who has a stump for a right hand. Can MTV do a show about her so these stupid twats can watch a show about people with real problems and then maybe they can all shut the fuck up? Seriously-- that's your big problem in life? You don't know whether to spend $15,000 on breast reduction surgery (that your insurance company won't cover because, actually, your breasts aren't really that big in the first place) or $12,000 on daily visits to a personal trainer and custom-fitted bras and tops for a year? Wow.

I don't know who's guiltier-- the dumb people on the shows, the dumb people who come up with the idea, the dumb people who produce, direct, write and edit the shows, or the dumb people who watch them.

One thing is for sure: the Kingdom of Dumbdom is at hand, and I've got a front-row seat. Just get your big tits out of the way so I can see.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Let's Celebrate Friday With a Little DEAR APRON!


I'm a 38-year-old man with no children. For some reason I tend to attract the attention of children wherever I go. Even though I make no attempt to speak to them, they often approach me. I know when children talk to strangers it makes their parents uncomfortable, but I don't want to be rude to the kids.

I was recently eating at an outdoor restaurant when a friendly little girl walked up, sat herself down at my table, and began asking me questions. I was terse but polite. She was soon joined by several other kids, all of whom seated themselves at my table.

Their parents, who had obviously not been paying attention, shouted at them to "get away from that man!" It created an embarrassing scene with the parents telling me I had no business talking to their kids. The other diners looked at me as though I was some kind of pervert.

I don't want to be rude to children, but what can I do to prevent things like this from happening again?


Dear Uncle,

What a problem you have! Why, you're like a little Pied Piper of Hamlin, aren't you? Those cute little children, with their knobby knees and cherubic smiles just seem to follow you everywhere, don't they?

My, that is a problem, isn't it?

Here's what I suggest: cut off your hands and genitals. I know it may sound extreme, but, hear me out on this: cute, young children dining with their parents at outdoor restaurants may indeed have a tendency to wander around, especially because their asshole parents are too busy texting their lovers on their iPhones while they sit in resolute silence at the table, so I get that. They may even approach someone like you, but I'd be willing to bet that your average five-year-old wouldn't be so super-duper keen on approaching a you with no hands. Instead of prostheses, get a pair of hooks or, better yet, just leave the stumps visible by rolling up your shirtsleeves so those little munchkins can get a peek before they run back screaming bloody murder to Mommy & Daddykins.

Of course, some kids might not be sufficiently grossed out by your hooks or stumps and they may approach you anyway, asking you to draw funny faces on your stumps with Sharpies. That's okay, enjoy the moment, and, when the parents storm over to you and demand that you cease attempting to molest their children, proudly stand up and remove your pants, showing your eunuch status.

You'll be home-free to enjoy the company of little children all you want!


My 35-year-old daughter, "Rhonda," is intelligent and creative, but her house is a disaster. There are clothes, books, magazines, etc. piled on every surface. Dishes are stacked on her bed; socks and paper litter the floor.

How can she feel good living like this? The place is becoming a health hazard. Rhonda is caring and attractive, but she rarely dates. Could her mess be a symptom of something more serious?

Apron, I'm worried about my daughter's chances for future happiness, but I have no idea how to help her. Or should I?


Dear Worried Mom,

You're worried about her "chances for future happiness?" Wait a minute-- wasn't this a letter about some chick's messy room, like, two sentences ago? Face it-- Rhonda's a dyke. She gives biker girls mustache rides on that filthy bed of hers, and the dirty dishes only add to the excitement.


My wife and I have been involved in an ongoing debate about how to place the pillows on our king-size bed. Should the opening of the pillowcase face the outside of the bed or the inside?

I place my pillows with the opening facing the middle of the bed so the pillow won't show, while my wife does it the other way, and the edge of the pillow can be seen through the opening. Can you please settle this?


Dear Pillow Talk:

You're kidding, right?

This is your problem?

Here's my suggestion re: pillow placement: tonight, place the pillow over your wife's face, for approximately eight minutes. Remember, once she starts struggling, apply firm pressure. Then, once the struggling stops, repeatedly bash yourself about your head with the alarm-clock until you black out. Do us all a solid.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Black and Blue

There's been a lot of ink spilt, both very recently, and in the short history of this country about the relationship between African-Americans and law enforcement. Two very recent incidents stick out like sore thumbs as concerns the ever-flowing controversy that surrounds the black and the blue: the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in his own home in Cambridge, Mass, and the whirlwind that has erupted here in Philadelphia surrounding the unofficial online meeting place for Philadelphia police officers,

For those of you who are unfamiliar with both or neither, here's a quick sum:

1.) A few days ago, Cambridge Police were summoned to a home by a passerby who observed two African-American males trying to force entry into said home. When the police arrived, there was a verbal altercation between officers and one of the males who was identified eventually as Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a Harvard professor and the person who lived at that home (he was having difficulty opening his front door, and so he had forced his way into his own home). According to the arresting officer, Gates became "agitated" and disruptive, and he was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct. The charges were dropped after a maelstrom of protest from the Cambridge community, Gates' lawyer, and Al Sharpton. Last night, during his press conference about healthcare, President Barack Obama addressed the incident, stating that the did "not have all the facts" but that the "Cambridge Police acted stupidly."

2.) Also a few days ago, the Guardian Civic League, Philadelphia's local chapter of the National Black Police Association, filed an injunction to attempt to ban on-duty officers from logging in and posting articles or commentaries on the website Domelights was created and is maintained by a Philadelphia Police Department sergeant and is, according to its own text, a "forum for interaction, information exchange and friendly debate among police officers and law enforcement agents, as well as their friends and supporters." The Guardian Civic League claimed that hostile and/or racist comments are frequently posted on the site about black police officers, creating a hostile and racially charged work environment. The League wants the site shut down, but the courts have requested that all parties involved preserve all relevant comments on the site and settle the matter out of court.

I have no idea what to say about the first incident. Is breaking into your own house a crime? No. Did the police initially know the man they approached was breaking into his own house? No. Was Professor Gates being verbally abusive? I don't know. Did the arresting officer "follow the letter of the law" in arresting Gates? I don't know. What exactly happened inside that house, blow-by-blow? I don't know. So I really don't feel it's fair to comment on the case, and I really don't think it was fair for President Obama to do so, either. People are talking about how this was a case of "racial profiling." That may be true, but the police aren't to blame-- blame the white passerby who summoned the police to the scene. She's the one who observed the two black men trying to gain entry to an upscale home in suburban Mass, after all. All the police did was respond.

There is a problem with profiling in this country, that's for sure. African-American males are assumed to be miscreants and felons, and that's a tragedy-- just ask the family of New York City patrolman Omar Edwards. He was off-duty and out of uniform, just leaving his precinct house after a tour-of-duty when he saw a man breaking into his car. Edwards drew his gun and chased the thief, only to be gunned down by several officers who mistook him for a criminal. Edwards was black. This tragic incident is just one of many like it, and it proves that we have a long way to go in this country before race relations are normalized. So many stereotypes still exist about African-Americans, and in spite of successful recruiting programs to hire more and more black officers in metropolitan and suburban police departments across the country, that divide is most keenly felt when black and blue come together on the streets of America.

The debacle is living proof of that.

The Philadelphia Police Department hired its first black police officer in 1881, and, today, the Commissioner of the department is African-American, as are many of its officers, but don't let that fool you into thinking that Philadelphia's police department, or any other police department for that matter, is a cross-racial utopia, with black and white police officers singing "Kumbaya" while holding hands at roll call. I've been a posting member of since January of 2008, when I found an editorial that I had written for the Philadelphia Daily News reposted on domelights without my knowledge. I tried my best to post comments that fit within domelights specified message: to foster interaction and friendly debate. I quickly realized that my way of doing things was not appreciated, understood or welcomed at domelights. When I complained to a friend of mine in the EMS industry about the hostility I encountered on the site, he laughed and said, "What do you expect at dumblights? Those guys are all assholes."

Go see for yourself-- the blatantly offensive and racist material that gets posted on this site, by men and women who still patrol the streets of Philadelphia, will make you cringe at best. I have no doubt that, if I were African-American and a police officer and I went on domelights and spent even just one hour on there, pointing and clicking, I would be afraid to return to the station house the next morning. Furthermore, if I were a black citizen of Philadelphia and I went on that site, I would be outraged and appalled that people who are openly expressing these views and using that kind of language are charged with protecting me and my family. It's disgusting and disgraceful. The behavior exhibited on that website is not just an affront to African-American police officers, it is a violent slap in the face to the citizens of Philadelphia, who deserve better knights errant.

Yes, I know that there will always be racist police officers, just as there are racist lawyers and doctors and teachers. I know that policing is better off than it was in the 1950s, when officers could openly and proudly serve as both police officers and members of the Klu Klux Klan and fear no repercussions. I know that black police officers can find meaningful, important employment in police departments across the nation, and that's great, but we're still really, really, really far away from where we need to be as a society.

Police officers, like anybody else, should be able to express themselves openly and candidly, however, the need to remember that they are public servants first and foremost, and that their conduct must be above reproach twenty-four/seven, for they are representatives of law and order, integrity, equality under the law, and fairness.

The motto of the Philadelphia Police Department is Honor, Integrity, Service. You can't hide behind a screenname and call African-Americans "monkeys" while claiming to uphold those ideals.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vacation Poem

Vacations are delectable and pleasant little treats,
I'm planning one right now for the little wife and I.
We'll drive up to Bar Harbour, feeling numbness in our seats,
And ferry off to Yarmouth, surrounded by the sea & by the sky.

We'll spend some time in Shelburne after our passports are checked,
I'll dine on lobster happ'ly while my wife just sips some water.
We'll putter off to Halifax and hope the car does not get wrecked,
As I learn all of the new street signs, I'll try no fowl to slaughter.

I hope that on this trip of ours we stay in hotels quaint,
Or mayhaps a B&B for me and she will fit the bill.
'Cause sometimes a motel cheap is nice but oftentimes it ain't,
And lichen floating in my coffee surely makes me ill.

Taken with my cameraphone at the Rodeway Inn, Brunswick, Maine.
June, 2008.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Do in America

The whole gay marriage debate really gets on my nerves.

I'm not particularly affected by one part of it or another, being already married and decidedly un-gay in spite of my affection for Gilbert & Sullivan operettas and sharing my emotions, but the fact that there is a debate at all annoys the hell out of me.


What is it about our society that makes the masses believe that politicians or bishops should have anything to say about whether or not two people who love each other can get married? Why do we allow these people to speak? Why do we give them microphones and airtime and soundbytes? What's wrong with us?

Why do we still insist on authorizing and permitting bigotry?

That's all it is, really. The suits and the cleric collars can say whatever they want about how they're protecting the sanctity of the institution of marriage, but really it's just about bashing faggots.

Really. It is.

Don't believe me? This is a society where "that's gay" has finally become the universal replacement for "that's retarded." Well, at least they're running neck-and-neck in some areas. We don't like homosexuals. We don't understand it. We think it's, well, gay. We do not like them in our workplace, or in our subway car. We do not like them in our neighborhoods or in our time-shares.

We do not like them here, or there, or anywhere.

Though the days of homosexual panic are a kind-of-distant memory, we're still afraid they're gonna, like, hump us at the copier or something.

Like it or not, though, gay marriage is coming. It's just going to take some time, because there's a lot of foreplay to get through first, which is appalling, but it's true. Look at the end of slavery. Look at giving African-Americans the right to vote. Look at suffrage. Look at the Civil Rights movement. Look at India achieving its independence from England, for Christ's sake. These things all happen, but they take time. Lots and lots of time. But, it's going to happen. I just wish it didn't have to take so long, and I wish we didn't have to live in a country that accepts, allows and cloaks bigotry, prejudice and hatred of certain groups for a self-serving "higher purpose."

Protecting the sanctity of marriage? Please-- which one of the white-haired, buttoned-up conservative politicians beating that drum hasn't drilled his 31-year-old secretary from behind over his desk while his wife was out shaking hands on his behalf on the campaign trail? Go protect the sanctity of your own marriage, motherfucker.

100 years from now, or fewer, people will look back on our society and snicker and sneer at what a joke we were, what a hypocritical, thoroughly unfunny joke we were. Electing a black man president, and disallowing homosexuals to marry each other in every state of the union. Well, it's allowed here, but your marriage is invalid here. Well, you can have partner benefits, but you can't call it marriage. Well, civil union this, well, maybe in Vermont, well...

Well? Fuck that.

Anytime the rights of a few are suppressed, we are all diminished as a people. We in this country have a long history of speaking from both sides of our mouth. We were born bellowing liberty justice for all, but really that of course only mean white, Protestant landowning men. Today, we strut arrogantly like peacocks proclaiming to be one of the most enlightened, progressive, modern societies in the world, but we're still doing the same old tapdance over other peoples' rights as human beings.

Shame on us.

Monday, July 20, 2009


My mother had her identity stolen a couple weeks ago. Why anyone would want to be my mother, I have no idea. I guess solely for the money and not for the amusement value of pretending to be married to my father-- which might seem fun at first, but I'm sure gets old pretty quickly. Just ask my mom.

A few weeks ago, she was at the bank depositing her paycheck, as old ladies do. The teller asked my mother if she had a debit card.

"No," my mother replied.

"Well, do you want one?" the teller inquired.


"Well, you should really get one-- debit cards are going to be the bank's primary source of identification in the very near future."

"But I don't want one."

"Well, I'm telling you, it's really best that you get one."

Feeling pressured, because she was, my mother hastily agreed and the bank said that they'd "send her something in the mail." What they ended up sending her wasn't "something," it was a debit card with a temporary PIN number, only, it never got to her house. Or, it did, and somebody got it before she did, and was happily racking up charges on it at stores around the area to the tune of several thousand dollars.

Of course, since all my mother buys is parrot food (they don't own a parrot) and the occasional sweater at Kohls, the bank immediately recognized something was amiss and notified my parents. An investigation was begun and the money was refunded to their account, but the damage to my mother's fragile psyche had been done. She was never one to stand up tall under pressure.

"When I was a girl and my parents would leave me at home to babysit my younger brother, I would just sit on the step and cry all night until they came home," she told me last night.

"Why? What the hell was wrong with you?" I asked, somewhat bewildered. Somewhat not.

"I don't know," she said. "I guess I just didn't like being home alone."

My mother is a true enigma. Married and pregnant at seventeen, she moved far away from home to start a life on her own. Unfortunately, it was with the wrong guy and, very soon after, she was right back at her parents home, to deal with her emotionally cold father and her dying mother. She held a job as a very young woman, stringing tennis rackets at the local pro shop, while my sister, then a baby, played happily under the store counter. They eventually got rid of her because having the baby around probably turned off some of the tennis jackasses who came in looking for more than some green, fuzzy balls. This was the 70's, after all. When I was eight years old, she went back to work at the local library. She cut off most of her hair at right around that time, too, and that was roughly the moment we could all pinpoint that "Mommy became a bitch." Really, she was just becoming independent again, but, to kids who wanted their mommy home all the time, independence and bitchiness are the same thing. To us, that yellowed piece of paper with elegant, cursive handwriting all over it might just as well have been called "The Declaration of Bitchiness."

But for all of her bit-- sorry, independence, my mother is still very much a backwards, time-trapped individual. For instance, she didn't learn to drive until she was in her late twenties. She didn't go to college. And, at 58, she doesn't have a debit card. Last night at our semi-traditional Sunday dinner, she asked me if I had one.

"Yes, since I was seventeen. You and Daddy insisted that I get one before going to college so I could buy beer and condoms."

"Can I see it?" she asked.

"Can you see what?"

"Your debit card. I've never seen one before, I want to see what one looks like."

"Are you serious?"

"Yes, I'm serious. I want to see it. Show it to me."

I dug into my wallet and I pulled out my much-exercised debit card. My mother thinned her lips as she peered at the front, and then the back. She turned it over a couple times, actually. Remember, in "Airplane!" where Ted and Elaine are missionaries visiting "the Molombos," a fictional African tribe? Well, remember the scene where Elaine tries to introduce the Molombos women to Tupperware, and they're all sitting around in the dirt cautiously examining the Tupperware containers? That's kind of how my mom was behaving while looking at my debit card. I don't know what she was looking for, or what she thought she might find on it. Some sort of hidden secret, maybe. Her link to the future. I didn't know.

"Looks an awful lot like a credit card, doesn't it?" I asked her.

"Mmm-hmm," she replied absently, squinting her eyes at my signature on the back before handing it over to me.

We didn't get touch-tone phones in my parents house until the mid-nineties. I can still remember those rotary relics-- a white wall-mounted phone in the kitchen with a cord that could stretch to Brazil, and a forest green wall phone in the basement-- a telephone that would have looked quite at home in Bea Arthur's hand on the set of "Maude." My mother still refuses to buy a microwave, because she's afraid-- of everything really, and mircowaves are included. You can't imagine what we went through to convince her to get a fucking DVD player. But it's just who she is.

I suppose, in a way, my mother not having a debit card is very much the same as me resisting getting cable television until three weeks ago-- it's part of our identity. And, for better or for worse, that identity never really gets stolen until we capitulate, until we call Comcast or Wachovia and give in.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

STUMP! A Broadway Hit Sensation.

Many years ago, when I was but a child with dark circles under his eyes from never sleeping and a lustruous, brown bowl-cut, I woke up and lazily got out of bed to see a strange sight.

The front door to our house was open, and I could see my father, on his knees out front. He was tearing out the hedges that had graced the perimeter of my ancestral home since it was constructed in 1955.

"Fuck this!" he screamed, the sun beating down on his burgeoning hint-of-a bald spot. He had grown weary of the yardwork he once prided himself on. When he emigrated to this country from Israel in 1972, perhaps the idea of owning a home and doing his own yardwork appealed to his lust for accomplishment. After all, there isn't any yardwork to do on your house in B'Nai Brach. What are you going to do there-- mow the dirt? Any shrub that would dare to grow there will eventually be obliterated by a ketusha rocket anyway.

But the thrill of hedge pruning wore off eventually for my poor father and, one morning, the man just cracked. The primal instincts of the desert beast that had been carefully kept at bay under his faux American veneer tore through him like the Incredible Hulk busting through his button-down Oxford shirt. At eight years old, I could do little but watch him in utter bewilderment. And bring him 7-Up whenever he appeared on the verge of collapse.

I prayed hard that I would not end up like him. I was relying heavily on my mother's genes to mellow out, distill and dilute the hot-blooded Israeli insanity that threatened to one day compel me to do battle with Arabs and/or shrubbery.

Alas, it was not to be.

When my wife and I purchased this house in February, we noticed that the former owners had left eleven stumps of rather appreciable size and girth in the flower beds of our house for us to deal with. They were unsightly, twisted, ugly things. They accounted in large part for our house looking like a set piece for a Tim Burton film. Not only were they pretty fucking ugly, but the termite inspector who checked out the house prior to settlement left us with an ominous warning,

"Those stumps are a haven for termites. If you don't get those suckers out, you're going to have big problems. Count on it."

In our typical way, we ignored the warning as we were quickly overwhelmed with other problems: a perpetually clogged bathroom sink, leaking gas pipes, a psychotic oven with a mind of its own, and a significant dearth of closet space which resulted in us calling in our carpenter friend and only now, after his construction of a 7 foot closet can we take most of our clothes out of the boxes and suitcases in which they've lived since February.

One night a month or so ago, we were walking the dog around the neighborhood and we walked past one home in particular where we saw an unusual sight-- twisted and torn tree stumps, freshly uprooted and lying on the side of the road. The victorious gentleman who did all that work was filling in the holes with soil as we past. He noticed my wife and I, who had stopped dead in our tracks to admire his handywork.

"Hello," he said, rather jovially.

"You did all that?" I asked, with a touch of idolotry in my voice.

"Yeah, it was tough," he replied.

My wife told him about our particular dilemma and elucidated her view that we were incapable of removing them ourselves.

"Oh, no," he said, "you can do that."

The guy had obviously got us pegged wrong, rather like the supermarket clerk yesterday who tried very courageously to talk to me about baseball.

As we had done with the termite inspector, we ignored this guy. Until this morning. We were doing some light gardening and, during a Diet Coke break as we were sitting on our porch and I was staring at the stumps I said,

"God, I sure would like to tear those fuckers out today."

Uh-oh.... was I turning Israeli? Was it, after twenty-nine years of keeping the beast at bay, finally happening?

"Are you serious?" my wife asked, probably trembling a little.


"Well, let's get the tools from the garage."

The "tools" by the way, were tools that the previous owners had left in the garage, and were probably created by friends of Jesus Christ. They're all wood-handled and very, very old.

As we attacked Stump #1 without mercy or logic, we suffered a minor setback:

Not to be downhearted or defeated, we hopped into the car and went to the local hardware store where we had a philosophical dilemma. My wife was aghast at the prices for fiberglass-handled shovels and pitchforks. Between $30.00-$40.00, as opposed to the wooden-handled ones which were about half the cost.

"I'm not paying $30.00 for a fiberglass shovel," she declared.

"Right, but the wooden one broke, so why are we going to buy another wooden one that's just going to break, too?"

"It's too expensive."

"You know what I would have done if you weren't here?" I asked her rhetorically, "I would have bought the fiberglass one, thrown out the receipt and the price sticker in the trashcan at the store, brought it home and lied to you about the price."

"That's nice to know, dear."

We ended up buying the $30.00 fiberglass one.

In the end, it's good that we bought that one because these stumps were big motherfuckers held in place by some unbelievably thick roots. We also stopped at my parents house and liberated/borrowed/stole their pruners to clip some of the roots once we had dug down far enough. Miraculously, the former owner's elderly, wooden pitchfork held up and my brand-new toy performed excellently.

However, neither tool could stop me from getting hurt. A long forgotten shard of glass was imbedded deep into the dirt and, as I was digging around down there looking for root ends, while wearing heavy-duty gardening gloves, mind you, I felt a slicey-slice.

Cut straight through. And it left our front porch looking like a scene from CSI.

After some first aid provided by EMT-in-Training Mrs. Apron, and some covering of a silver dollar-sized blister on my palm, we were back at work, Mrs. Apron twisting through the dirt and roots with the pitchfork, and me macheting my way through the roots with my fiberglass shovel, spearing them like, um, a fucking crazed half-Israeli psycho.

In the end, the sidewalk was littered with the stumpy carcasses, our prey, our kill. Yeah! Fuck all's y'alls, stumpy-assed motherfuckers! As we Israelis say, "May a trolley car grow in your stomach!"

Aren't they positively awful-looking? And to think, that was the first thing our guests saw upon walking up our walkway. Well, if we had guests, I mean. Here's a close-up of these bitches:

Was it worth the bloodshed and the copious amounts of sweat? In a word: fuck yes. Something very positive was done today, and it wasn't just the beautification of our little patch of the world. Today's hard work proved to my wife that we are, on occasion, capable of achievements that may seem daunting, if not next to impossible. For three solid hours we hacked away at those sonsofbitches, and we did it. Sure, we only got out eight and there are three humongous ones, beyond our capacity to remove ourselves, but those will be dealt with at a later date. For now, it's time to enjoy the fruits of our labor and be proud of what we can do with our own mettle.
And fiberglass.

Sure, it's a little hard to type right now, but I feel great.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Saturday Night Demons

My wife and I have a dirty little secret.

No, no-- don't get too excited. It doesn't involve water-based lubricants, unmarked DVDs, or mysteriously-stained tea-towels wedged in between our bed and the wall.

We watch COPS.

We don't do it every Saturday night, though. I mean, we're pretty cultured folks. We go to the opera and the theatre and folk music concerts-- sometimes we go out for dinner or take walks, but, when we happen to be at home on a Saturday night, say, after a fucking exhausting day of assembling eight foot tall bookshelves and schlepping forty-some-odd boxes of books downstairs to then fill the fucking bookshelves which have been sitting in a state of disassemblage for the past six months, well, sometimes you just want to flop down on the couch with some mango lemonade and watch some motherfuckers get tased.

Just like my wife didn't come into our relationship knowing anything about Herbie the Love Bug or Gilbert & Sullivan, she wasn't a COPS watcher before she met me. That's okay, I didn't know anything about baking or before I met her either, and look at what a happy convert I've become.

I can't say why particularly my wife enjoys watching COPS. I know she gets excited and scared, she gets very adrenalized when there are high speed pursuits and dangerous take-downs of people who are obviously on hopped up on drugs. There is always a little bit of weirdness in the atmosphere when we watch COPS because, in 2003, I went to the police academy with every intention of becoming a police officer. I trained hard to get in shape for the rigorous physical tests, I ran at a local track every morning and I even visited with a physical trainer who gave me advice on how to "cheat" the bench press that I would eventually fail, resulting in my voluntarily leaving the academy.

Prior to that, though, I took written examinations for several police departments, and scored in the 99th percentile for one of the departments. I also, fearing the ridicule I knew I would face at the academy when the question "Has anybody in here never handled or fired a gun?" was asked and my gangly, scrawny arm would have to reach for the ceiling, took a private class where I learned all about gun safety. I got to disassemble and reassemble a 9mm Glock. I even took a fill-in-the-blank test on gun safety and the names of all the different pieces of the gun.

"True or False: Showering with your gun is a good way to keep it clean."

Just kidding, but it was kind of like that.

I always have very mixed emotions when I sit down to watch COPS. It's a bit like confronting my demons from the past. At 29, I know it is something I will never be. I made my decision, and that was that. I was close, but never that close. I went to an interview with a local sheriff's office wearing a gray three-piece suit, for Christ's sake. The sheriff, a female, didn't know exactly what to make of me. It didn't matter, they wouldn't hire anybody who hadn't been through the academy. What did I know? Some departments hire you first and then send you to the academy, some want you ready to hit the streets. None of them, I think, want you in a three-piece suit.

But I often think of what might have been. Like any job, of course, there would have been good days and bad days. One of the officers on COPS tonight, during the trite, 20 second soundbytes they run of them pontificating for the benefit of the cameraman and sound guy stuffed into the back of the patrol car said, "We use a team approach on our shift. It's the same guys all the time, and each of us has their own particular strengths." I wonder what they would have said about me. What would my particular strength be? Expecting and preparing for the worst? Maybe. More likely it would have been talking to people.

It's funny, because I really hate to talk to people. But, when I do it, when I have to solve a problem or resolve a conflict, I can cut through bullshit and be very direct, while still maintaining compassion and preserving someone else's dignity, even if I think they're full of shit. A suspect in a domestic dispute tonight on the show freaked out at his girlfriend because his one-year-old kid's shirt had a crease on it.

"I was in the navy, you know, so appearance, you know, how you look is really important to me," said the d-bag, who, by the way, had a lip-piercing.

The cop who dealt with him was huge, with a neck the size of an oak tree, and he spoke in a very short, clipped way, a gruff way, a mechanical, bored way. I was disappointed. I wanted to yell, "Put me in, Sarge! I want to talk to this guy."

Really. I wanted to really talk to him. I wanted to talk to him about his girlfriend, about his son, about life. About what really matters in life. I wanted to ask him what he does when his one-year-old son throws up on himself, or shits himself-- what does he do-- have sixteen new outfits for the kid to wear each day? Does he have a fucking fit every time Junior drools on himself? Life's too short, friend.

So much of law enforcement is about talking, and I think people forget that. All they see is takedowns and writing tickets, but it's mostly about talking. And that's what I wanted to do-- put on a uniform, get out there in a big, comfy car and talk to people. I wanted to do the thing I hate doing most, because I might not like it, but I am good at it.

But I have this blog instead.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, July 17, 2009

An Open Letter to Ikea

Dear Ikea,

Where the fuck is our fourth allen screw?

Come on, don't pretend you don't know what I'm talkinga about. The fat-assed potato people on the instruction card claim that there are supposed to be 4x. But, in the cold, harsh realities of life as I know it, there are only 3x.

Where is our other x?

How could you betray me, after I singlehandedly convinced my wife that we needed to replace the aging black office chair in our house for your new, attractive mesh-back Karsten? I mean, the foam was wearing thin, and the cushion has suffered the indignities of staining from my mastubatory activities, but, did we really need a brand new office chair? No. But I made my poor, sweet wife believe we did, and I convinced her that we needed the Karsten.

And this is how you treat me? By giving us a packet of two arm-rests that are supposed to be affixed to said chair with 4 allen screws, and only three allen screws followed us home? That, gentle store of blue and yellow, is, in a word, fucking gay.

You lure us into your store time and time again. Mrs. Apron and I get totally schmoopie when we are ensconsed within your flakeboard and your veneer. I have no idea why-- we know 93% of your merchandise is constructed with wood glue and Kleenex, but there is something magical and endearing about you. Maybe it's all the pregnant women milling about.

Seriously, what's up with that?

My wife and I play "Count the Bellies" every time we go to visit you. One time, I got 6 bulging baby-filled bellies in one visit. 6! I think that's the largest compendium of pregnant women permitted by federal law in one space that isn't a lamaze class or Harpo Studios. I don't understand why pregnant women are drawn to you. It isn't like your cribs and shit are all that.

I'm sure they're all missing fucking allen screws, too.

I really don't want to make you the target of my snarkety bloggy snark. Really, I don't. But, remember when we purchased not one, but two Hemnes dressers in March and you sold us one with an already-mounted upside-down drawer track? You think that's funny, you Swedish motherfucker? Do you think Volvo would get away with selling its pleated trouser-wearing, Episcopalian customers S-40s with upside-down cup-holders?


The Norse gods are angry with you, my friend.

Now I am typing this blog entry in a chair with no arms. My biceps are feeling fatigued because my elbows have nothing to rest on, even after I paid $79.00 for the chair and $20.00 for the armrests that now sit on the floor of our office, because we are missing an allen screw. Sure, we could have put one of the armrests on, but that'd be stupid. Our chair would look like a circus freak.

Why do you do this to people? To people who come back to you time and time again? You are like an abusive boyfriend, parading around your Winnebago with no shirt, pornographic pec tattoos holding a half-consumed bottle of Old English Malt at 11:30am.

Stop beating on me, Mick. I love you.

And I want my fucking allen screw, you abusive bastard.

Words from a Fleeting Youngster

The way we speak, the language we choose to use speaks volumes about how we are perceived in the world.

N'yah mean?

People in our society chase youth with a fervent passion, a reckless abandon, we are obsessed with looking younger and feeling younger, we look to charlatan assholes like Dr. Oz to help us keep wrinkles and laugh lines at bay for as long as possible. It's a wonder, then, that we don't ever really focus on speaking younger. If we are to maintain our youth, we must understand that the words we use in everyday communication send out signals to the rest of the world, and, as such, I have endeavored to elucidate some words that identify us instantly as droppy-assed old codgers.

For example, when I hear someone use the word "youngster," I say to myself, "Hmpf, that guy is fucking old."

There are people out there who use the word "youngster" to describe anyone from toddler to anyone aged thirty-two. Charles Gibson used the word "youngster" last night on on the news to describe the 17-year-old who circumnavigated the globe all alone on a boat. Charlie-- you're officially fucking old. Ditto for folks who use the word "tyke" to describe anyone is engaged in compulsory education.

"Fangled" is another good one to stay away from.

You're old if you use the word "supper," and even older if you use the abbreviated form of said word as a verb, as in, "I'm heading over to the Bradford-Bryants to sup. Afterwards, we shall sip cognac by the fire while being attended to by their Negro."

Oh, that reminds me, you're also pretty old if you use the word "Negro."

You're also pretty fucking old if you...

* refer to your bathrobe as a "dressing gown."

* refer to your car as a "Buick Park Avenue."

* refer to your wife as "the little woman" or, far worse, "Mother."

* refer to your socks as "stockings."

* refer to your doctor as "Bob."

* refer to the internet as "a lot of damned nonsense and tomfoolery."

* refer to your urogenital system as your "waterworks."

Similarly, you can definitely be said to have reached the point of elderhood when people refer to you as "cantankerous," "crotchety," "sour," or "bitter." Of course, anybody who would use any of those adjectives is also old, so don't worry about it. A real young person would just refer to you as an asshole.

Growing old is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, however, it is preferable to avoid the words of the aged for as long as possible. There is no reason fit, virile gentlemen should be using terms like "cronie" and "pleurisy" before their time.

This has been a Public Service Announcement from the Department of the Anti-Aging Vernacular Association of America.

(Oh, yeah-- and don't use the word "vernacular.")

Thursday, July 16, 2009

An Open Letter to the IRS

Dear Internal Revenue Service,

Where the fuck's my money at, bitches?

Seriously. I want my 1st Time Homebuyer Tax Credit check, please.

We bought a home, and it was our first time. Seriously, our cherries got popped all over the place at the Weichert Closing Office. They got money, we got keys, a clogged bathroom sink, and a house where the previous owners fixed everything with tape. Hilarious, right? Yeah. Now give us our fucking money.

Our accountant advised us that we could either wait until we filed our income tax return in April of this year, or file for it to be retroactively applied to last year's tax return. Pretty nifty, right? You people didn't make a lot of noise about that, did you? Didn't want too many people out there knowing they could do that, did you?

Well, motherfuckers, that's what accountants, and bloggers, are for.

I check the mailbox obsessively and excessively. Sometimes three or four times a day.

And that's a pretty significant feat for someone who is at work for most of the day.

Seriously, where the fuck's my check?

My wife wants her new car already, fuckheads. She's tired of tooling around in like a tool in my black Ford Focus.

She wants her Honda Fit.

She's been going on and on about it since the damn things came to this country. That was, like, almost four years ago, man.

We're not getting this car until we get that check. Everytime I see that Focus, I want to throw up. I can't believe I've been making payments on that piece of shit since April 9, 2005. I mean, come on already.

Look, enough bullshit....

I know a guy. Eddie. Drools when he talks. Retarded. Plays viola da gamba. Impotent. Lives in Jersey. His mother's a trashcan. Eddie likes to wack guys on their knees with lead pipes. He also likes to fart into styrofoam cups and smell it. Please, don't make me have Eddie come down there and pay you guys a visit.

Just give us our check already. You don't want to meet Eddie. You should hear him play, though. Move you to fucking tears.

Mr. Apron

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This is Why I'm Cool

So, in my recent, weary travels 'round this wicked globe of ours, (well, around my small corner of it anyway), I've recently run into some pretty cool people. They weren't necessarily people of note, they weren't people you'd instantly recognize as people worth recognizing, and they certainly aren't people about whom you'd read in "People," but nevertheless, I feel that they're people who are worth immortalizing on this here blog.

Because, let's face it: they're cool.

I've put them into categories, as best as I am able. I hope that you will be able to appreciate their inherent coolness and, in some small way, aspire to become more like them, because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and these are people who have earned the right to be both imitated and flattered due to their unending coolness.

'Kay? Here we go:

I'm Cool ...Because of the Way I Dress.

That's right, bitches. Check me the fuck out! I stroll through the aisles of Home Depot on a Tuesday night wearing a white tank-top with no bra! Think that's hot? Well, I'm approaching 60! That's right, horndogglettes! The last time I looked good in a tank-top with no bra, they were burning those underwire babies on the quad at Vassar!

Think THAT'S hot? Well, check ME out! I buy cigarettes at the Sunoco station wearing a black midriff top that my big ol' belly hangs out from beneath. My Daisy Dukes stink of shit 'cuz they're so far up my asshole I can feel them on the back of my tonsils, and the celluloid jiggling back and forth on my legs could feed all the impoverished, African babies playing in Madonna's backyard for a decade.

Well, that's gettin' me all hot-and-bothered, but hey-- look at ME! It's early December, but I'm in the Best Buy parking lot wearing a pink button-down Izod shirt completely open with a pale blue t-shirt underneath, madras shorts, flip-flops, and Ray-Ban sunglasses. My hair's slicked all the way back, I've probably got a dozen or so condoms in each of my pockets, and, just so you can be sure that I'm a total 100% certified asshole, I've got a toothpick in my mouth! Just line up for my phone number, ladies! You in the black midriff-- you've got dibs, babe.

I'm Cool... Because of Where I Hang Out.

Yo! Whaddup, MILF?! You comin' into the 7-Eleven for some Ding-Dongs? I got yo Ding-Dong right here! Don't sweat it, bitch, I'll save some for yo daughter, too! Wha? They in middle school? Yo, I don' care! 'Cuz so am I! Fuck, yeah, I hang out in front of convenience stores, because I'm fuckin' badass, yo! I wear black and have studs coming outta my Converse and shit. Don't come near me, 'cuz my hoodie's all big and shit, and I might have to get Diesel on his skateboard to fuck your day up, narc twat! Whatcha gonna do? Call the cops? Fuckin' Five-O? Um... so is this technically loitering?

Hmmm... yeah. Like, that's cool and all, but I, um, like, hang out at the tanning salon! Like, OMG! Like, come check me out! I did my 10 minute tan, like, but I've been here for, like, two hours! Why? Um, like, I'm just kinda hangin' out with my rock-hard tits displayed on the counter like they're merchandise. Actually, I guess they're, like, advertising or whatever. Product placement. Like, um, like, what does that even mean? Like, whatevs, peeps. I'm blonde, so, um, like, fuck you.

Um... uh.... yeah. Tanning salons are cool. But I'm the creepy guy in the wife-beater you see hanging out at the corner pizzeria drinking a Sprite. I, uh, um... I don't actually work there. But, um, you see me there. I know you do, 'cuz I see you there. With your family. Uh... I have a thin mustache and probably some peach fuzz on my chin, too. My hair's cut real close. They guy up the road does it for 6 bucks. I don't tip him, 'cuz you don't make too much money when you're the creepy guy in the wife-beater you see hanging out at the corner pizzeria drinking a Sprite.

Uh... it's really malt liquor.

I'm Cool... Because I'm Smart.

Wanna know how smart I am? I fuckin' outsmarted my ultra-high-tech modern car! Yeah! That's right! You know how it makes that annoying chime every two minutes if the seatbelt isn't buckled? Well, I just fasten the seatbelt BEHIND me! Yup! And then I get to sit in the seat with the seat belt buckled behind me and the stupid fucking car thinks that I'M buckled in! What a retarded car! That ultra-high-tech modern car ain't so cool now, is it? I'm cool!

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we're cool.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Best Wishes and Love

Like a lot of twentysomethings, I struggle with God. And I don't mean that we arm-wrestle.

It's always been a tenuous alliance, ever since I asked, "Daddy, are we Jewish?" on a family car ride at age 6. My father answered by reaching behind his driver's seat with his clumsy, bear paw of a hand in a vain attempt to control the car whilst simultaneously trying to pull my right leg off.

Of course I knew we were Jewish. In those days, we walked to synagogue, for Christ's sake. What the fuck did I think we were doing-- cardio? I was just trying to stir up the pot, to push my father to the point of explosion. To goad God.

My wife and I had a little picnic dinner out on one of the local college campuses, the one with the duck and turtle pond, and, as we sat there on our blanket, feeling all collegiate again, our post-dinner conversation drifted seamlessly proto-philosophical dimension to another. Just like college conversations do, except without the pot or frisbee-golf.

"Do you think some extremely religious people are crazy, or were they crazy before they got hyper-religious?" I asked, her head resting against my sternum.

"Well, I think there's something in the rituals that appeals to a certain type of person who is obsessive," she replied.

"Right," I said, "like wacko Orthodox Jews. Because the people who convert to Orthodox Judaism have a shitload of rituals and rules, not only that govern prayer, but that run their entire lives-- and you can really get obsessed with that bullshit."

Seriously, the laws dictating what you can and can't do (mostly can't) on Shabbat could fill up a goddamn bookcase. And it's very easy to get so bogged down in whether you can dunk your tea bag on Shabbat or whether or not you can eat bagels that were prepared on Shabbat (well, only if they were prepared by the black non-Jew in the kosher kitchen, and, was the water boiled on Shabbat? etc, etc, etc) such that you can totally ignore or at least forget the meaning behind all of these things.

And, of course, what is devout and pious to one person can really be regarded as totally clinical to another person. Of course, it's the sum total of a person's beliefs and behaviors, attitudes and lifestyle that determine if you're religious or crazy. I mean, it's great that you're in synagogue a lot and that you study the good book and that you pray all the time, but, if you do all that and you live in a one room shack covered in filth, don't pay any bills, count your eyebrows and eat hamster food, then I think we might have a problem.

I've always been skeptical of hyper-religiosity, because I worried that it was a veil covering something unpleasant, that it is sometimes used as a mask or a venetian blind. It's sometimes the case, sometimes not. Child molestation, mental illness, birth defects, social ignorance, racism or other prejudice, sometimes hyper-religiosity is just an innocuous-looking cloak to be worn over these most regrettable negatives. "Ah, but he is such a learned man-- studies the Torah night and day!" "Oh, but he goes to mass and confession every week!"


At 29, I wish that I had a better handle on my views on religion or God. The pragmatist in me knows that the whole thing is made up, that every people on this planet has their own spin on it, their stories and their legends and their books-- their guides to morality and behavior. And I don't resent or make fun of any entity that desires to prescribe morality for human beings, because, really, we need it. We're a scandalous lot, we are. But I know that religion is always going to be manipulated, either from the top or the bottom, by people who want to use it for their own nefarious reasons, and that depresses and upsets me. As a generally pessimistic person, I tend to focus on this darker aspect of religion, and that, I suppose, is my own failing. Fallen from grace.

On Sunday afternoon, my friend Bob, who is 64, came to our house to put the finishing touches of trim around the master closet that he built for me and my wife. We met Bob through my various Gilbert & Sullivan activities. He's a wonderful man, a music educator and a conductor and, thankfully for us, a pretty skilled carpenter. He popped in some nails in some thin pieces of trim with his pneumatic nail gun and, as he was getting into his truck, we shook hands warmly.

"You know," he said to me, "you gave me too much money."

"Maybe you didn't charge enough," I said. I felt guilty. He said he was giving us "The Thespian Rate," and originally quoted us a price of $500-$600. He eventually finished the job, after multiple trips out here, and he said he wanted $500. I gave him more.

"Well," he said, "you're very kind. Oh, and Winnie sends her best." Winnie's Bob's wife, who accompanied him to our house last weekend with bagels and cream cheese for brunch.

"Well, send her our best wishes right back."

"Oh," Bob said, "and I'm heading to Julie's tomorrow to supervise some guys who are putting in $10,000 worth of fencing at her house, and I spoke to her on the phone and told her I was seeing you guys today and she was so excited. She said to please send you her love and all her best."

Julie's another Gilbert & Sullivan friend of ours. My wife and I love that woman to bits.

"Oh, send her our love, too."

"I will," Bob promised.

"Jeez, all these best wishes and love-- it's like God's singin' in our ears today," I remarked.

"Well," Bob smiled and said, "that's what God is, you know." He waved out the window of his truck and drove off.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Well, Cup My Balls & Call Me Bertha; It's DEAR APRON Time!

Do any of you still think these letters are written to me? Well, they're not. They're Dear Abby letters that I faithfully and diligently rip to shreds on my own dime.

Maybe one day, though, someone will write to me at mymasonicapron {at} g-to-the-mail and ask me for advice on their own accord. Until then, I'm left with this basket of dickheads.


A co-worker, "Marilyn," recently returned from time off with a noticeably different face. She said nothing about it, so we didn't either for a while. Finally, one woman remarked to her that she appeared to have had "some work done." Abby, Marilyn denied it!

What's considered proper here? Should we have said something initially about her radically changed appearance? We were afraid if we ignored it she'd be disappointed. Having spent that much money and gone through that much pain, wouldn't she have been crushed if we hadn't?



I'm intrigued.

When you say "noticeably different face," are we talkin' about, like, she has wolf's ears now, or they replaced her eyes with Susan B. Anthony dollars? Is her nose now upside-down and situated on her forehead? I wish you had been more specific, because my imagination is certainly getting a work-out here.

Your co-worker had every right to ask Marilyn about her face. People who go to Dr. Nose and pay thousands and thousands of dollars to get excavation work done on their cheek-bones are only doing it for the attention anyway, so you shouldn't feel bad about cornering her at lunch and asking, in a very loud voice, mind you, all sorts of potentially rude and embarrassing questions about her face.

"Whoa-- did they charge you extra to fix your sagging gizzard neck?" for example, is totally appropriate.

You have to understand the mindset of people who get plastic surgery-- they're dying for you to notice. So, standing up on your cubicle desk and screeching, "OH, MY GOD, LOOK AT FUCKING MARILYN'S FUCKING FACE!" is just the clarion call that she's hoping for. Next year, when Marilyn comes to work with a new set of titties, I fully expect you to run up to her and honk those hooters like they're the horn on an antique Ford Model A. You might even want to scream, "Aaaah-OOOOO-GAAAH!" when you squeeze those babies, just for good measure.

Holding a cigarette lighter under Marylin's nose for an extended period of time to see if her new nose melts is also acceptable behavior. So is pushing her face down and rubbing it on the Sunday comics page to see if it shows up on her cheek.


My husband and I have always been active. We're avid campers and certified scuba divers; we water-ski and enjoy taking leisurely rides along country roads on our motorcycle.

I recently had an accident and had to have an X-ray of my spine. Afterward, my doctor informed me that the vertebrae in my neck are positioned in such a way that if I'm ever in another accident, I would probably become a paraplegic.

My husband now wants to sell our motorcycle and do everything possible to "protect" me. How do I tell this wonderful man that I don't want to change our lifestyle? We do not do anything dangerous, but he insists that we now have to watch out for "the fools out there."



Aw, look at you. You're such an empowered woman. You don't want to listen to your loving "wonderful" husband or your empathic, logical physician. You just want to go rock-climbing, crotch-rocketing and bear-wrestling, even though it's most likely going to turn you into Chairy McWheelsaround.

Well, I say, "go for it!" Yeah, that's right. I said it. Rock on with your bad self, sister. You go, girl! I don't think it's utterly stupid and selfish of you to want to throw yourself from ravines and race your motorcycle all around the hills and valleys of Albany, Georgia. I mean, hey, what the hell else is there to do there besides drink moonshine, right? In fact, before you saddle up your motorcycle, why not drink a gallon of that there firewater first? Hell, take a bottle to go. That way, you'll end up a paraplegic much faster-- maybe you'll even be a quadraplegic, and really prove that doctor of yours wrong! That way, your "wonderful" husband will be labored for the rest of your life with feeding you, washing you, clothing you, wiping drool from your chin, and changing your fucking diapers like the baby that you are!

Maybe you should just let the man wrap your entire body in bubble-wrap. Hopefully he'll cover your big mouth with it, too.


I live in a small town in Alaska. A relationship with a woman I loved more than I have ever loved anyone has ended. I'm left with only pain, misery and suffering.

I keep trying to move on, but everything I do makes me think of her. I have asked friends for advice; they all tell me to "man up and get over it!"

It's frustrating to be told to "get over her" and accept what is. I know brooding isn't helpful, but it's a natural byproduct of pain. What I need to ask you is this: Is it worth putting your heart and soul on the line with the likely possibility of having them crushed? I hope so, because without hope, then what is there to live for? That thought scares me more than anything I have ever experienced.



Oh my God, is this.... is this...... Mr. Palin?

Holy fucking shit! I can't believe Mr. Fucking Palin is writing to me! I just can't believe......

I can't believe.....

I can't believe she DUMPED you, man!

Dude, you fucked up!

Seriously, Todd, that chick may be fucking crazy, but she is one hot piece of ass! I mean, what is she, like, forty? Damn, yo! I'll bet she's manic in the sack, too. Aw, damn! I feel for you, bro, really, I do.

But, hey, look on the bright side-- um..... you're no longer married to a nutjob who shoots wolves from a fucking helicopter. So, um, you know-- there's that.

Seriously, though, Todd, there's lots of good fish in the ice in Wasilla, you know? I'll bet, down at the biker/moose bar, you could strike up a pleasant conversation with any number of husky leviathans who'd be interested in your stories about meeting Matt Lauer for the first time and all that shit.

I'll bet some of them even believe in birth control.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What Would You Ask?

When I have writer's block, I often turn to for blogdeas.

I used to turn to but I stopped viewing that particular "news and information website" because I couldn't stand the insipidity anymore. If I saw one more headline about Nadya Suleman, I was going to take an encyclopedia to my own genitals.

Anyway, today, a New York Times headline struck me. "What Would You Ask Judge Sotomayor?"

Apparently, "the Caucus is interested in what readers would like to know about Judge Sotomayor." Now, I don't actually believe that, but I'm prepared to go along with it, just for fun, really.

Here's a list of questions I'd like to ask Judge Sotomayor:

1.) What the fuck is wrong with you?

Seriously, honey: WTFIWWY? Do you have some kind of personality disorder or emotional defecit? I'm guessing you must, because, otherwise, why would you want to sit on the Supreme Court, and have your every word, movement, gesture and, especially, opinion questioned, second-guessed, analyzed, scrutinized, villified and objectified? Do you think that will be some kind of high ol' time? I mean, look at what's happened to you since Obama picked your name out of the sombrero-- are we having fun yet? Honestly, I have no doubt that breaking your ankle was the most enjoyable part of your last couple months.

2.) Boxers or briefs?

I mean, everyone wants to know, they're just too afraid to ask. Do you think that African American male firefighters should be required to wear boxers shorts or Y-fronts while on duty and, if it's boxers, do you think that they should be permitted to object to a racially-skewed promotion test that would enable them to become lieutenants and, therefore, go to work commando-style?

3.) Are you a racist?

Think carefully before you answer-- this is a big one.

4.) Who won the English football cup in 1949?

Come on, Judge-- if you've ever seen Monty Python's Flying Circus "Communist Quiz" sketch, you've at least got a fair chance.

5.) If the asbestos siding on my house is in relatively good condition, would you suggest removing it and replacing it with aluminum siding or shingles, or just leaving it be?

I realize you're probably not an expert on this particular topic, but the home inspector said to leave it and I'm just dying for a second opinion, you know?

6.) Do you believe in the Catholic doctrine that states that sexual congress should only be initiated for the purpose of procreation and, if so, do you believe that doctrine should apply across the board to heretics like the Jews?

I have kind of a personal reason for asking.

7.) If two gay men with mustaches kiss really hard, will their mustaches fall off?

This is a question I asked my mother at age 9 and never received a satisfactory answer, so I was wondering if you would field that one for me.

8.) If someone throws up into someone else's mouth, will the person with throw-up in their mouth have a heart attack?


9.) Why is it that picking your nose in public is disgusting and all kinds of taboo, but it's perfectly acceptable to dig into your occular region to clean out your eye boogers?

I realize we're getting kind of philosophical here, but I think you can handle it.

10.) Are any of my moles cancerous?

I'm really dying to know, being a hypochondriac and an alarmist. I'm also a pretty big coward with shitty health insurance, and I'd love to avoid an expensive visit to the dermatologist and a painful biopsy, so do you think we could arrange a time where I could stand before you, buck-ass nekkid and show you all of my skin anomalies and you could just kinda, you know, tell me what's what in the mole department? That'd be sweet. Thanks, doll.

Hey, thanks New York Times! That was fun. What would YOU ask Judge Sotomayor?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Boil the Bitch

Today, I had the opportunity to overhear the culmination of a dispute between two siblings, one aged 14ish, the other aged 12ish. The fight ended extremely abruptly, and I only heard the final utterance, courtesy of the 14ish-year-old, which was shouted at a volume to ensure maximum bystander discomfort and chagrin. It followed an exasperated, enraged huff and it went just like this:


And I thought to myself, "What an artful turn-of-phrase from such a young, inexperienced one. Such a novice in the world of angered profanation. Such a greenhorn. A mere rookie vulgarian. And yet, I was impressed. She could just as easily have said, "I'm going to kill the bitch," but that is just so common, isn't it? There's no panache, no flair, there's just no goddamn joie de vivre about that exclamation. A 14-year-old girl, a hopelessly awkward-looking one at that, who screams out "I'M GOING TO BOIL THE BITCH!" in a public place is, to me, someone who is really sinking her teeth into the balls of life and, goshdernit, ain't lettin' go either. I wanted to go up to her and shake her hand and tell her, "Hey-- you're going to be tempted to commit suicide in high school-- but, don't. Just go goth your sophomore year and do lots of drugs, because, honey, the real world needs you. If this is the creative venom you're spewing at 14-- you've got to become at best an attorney. At worst, you'll be one fucking funny blogger."

Just how do you go about boiling your sister, I wondered. I'll bet she knows.

This little incident today got me thinking about the host of inappropriate things I said as a child. Some of them I even said to my sister. I can remember one time we were fighting outside of our house, just after dusk in the summertime. Neighbors were outside, sitting on their porches, walking their poodles (people didn't have labradoodles or goldendoodles or cockadoodles in those days) and watching the fireflies light up the Pennsylvania night as I screeched the following gem,


We must have just had Chinese food. I was ten.

At age 12, I made the mistake of singing some the lyrics to "Doo Doo Brown" by 2 Hyped Brothers & A Dog at the top of my lungs in the house when I didn't know my mother was at home. That earned me a strong talking to. By the way, if you'd like to lodge a complaint on my behalf regarding the insidious corruption of minors, apparently you can reach Mr. Brown via telephone at 1-900-976-DOO DOO.

At age 6, I casually announced at dinner that I hoped my mother's pregnant friend's baby would die. Said friend was a guest at this particular meal. Though no duck sauce was present, I was wearing a three-piece suit and clip-on bowtie at the time. I suppose my parents were crossing their fingers that my aberrant behavior would confine itself to my wardrobe preferences, but, sadly, it was not to be. My mouth could not be controlled from a very early age and, obviously, it has only gotten worse as I've learned my vocabulary. In the ultimate twist of fate, I was named the child's honorary godfather.

On the subject of pregnancy, another friend of my mother's was having difficulty conceiving a child. Also eating dinner (fortunately, the this other friend was far away from our house, definitely out of hearing range) when I, busily shoveling food into my mouth asked curtly, "What is she, blocked?" Age 8.

It's a pity, isn't it, that I couldn't, as a child, perpetually shovel food in my mouth. Would have solved a lot of problems, and maybe I wouldn't still be forty pounds underweight for my height.

While I'm not particularly proud of my the behavior and total lack of consideration I showed for others during my youth, my complete absence of any kind of couth, I at least know that I was the kind of kid people who lived in a home where people probably wanted to be a fly on the wall. I want to be a fly on the wall at Boil Bitch's house. I think that would be fun. I mean, if you have to be a fly, you might as well eek out your petty little existence where you're going to hear some real gems.

Duck sauce. Jesus Christ. Kids say the darndest things.