Piranhas

January 28, 2010

Okay, so I really, really, really, and let me reiterate, really, blew it with this blog. This was going to be the one that continued on to great heights without ever collapsing into that familiar territory of unupdatia. And this time, I swear I have a valid excuse.

That excuse? Piranhas.

From last July 16 until September 11, and then from September 13 until today, my life has been infested with piranhas. Piranhas of all shapes and sizes. Mainly, though, piranha-sized and piranha-shaped.

You know what stinks about piranhas? They’re not afraid to just latch on. Somebody posted on Wikipedia that they have a “voracious” appetite. There are only two scenarios where it’s appropriate to use the word “voracious” to describe an appetite. One is encountering a piranha. There other is encountering my Uncle Ted.

I’m kidding. I don’t have an Uncle Ted. But if I did, I imagine that he’d be really obese, because he’d always be voraciously eating, every single time you saw him. Picture this: you’re in the bathroom, shitting and reading Kirby Puckett’s autobiography, when all of a sudden you realize that the shower faucet is on, and the reason is because there’s somebody in there taking a shower, and how you didn’t previously notice that somebody was taking a shower while you were in the bathroom plopping waste is a whole other matter, but you pull back the curtain (Why, you ask, would you pull back the curtain to see who is in there? For all you know it could be fat Uncle Ted in there. Read on:)

Piranhas are fans of Kirby Puckett

on the off chance that Brooklyn Decker had a fight with Andy Roddick and broke into your house to use your shower on the off chance that you might be shitting and upon hearing the shower running would pull back the curtain and fuck her, but said off chance was indeed an off chance and it is Uncle Ted in there, and he’s eating his second of three full racks of spare ribs, and the sauce has smeared all over his boobs, which incidentally are bigger, albeit manlier and nastier, than Brooklyn Decker’s.

So since Uncle Ted doesn’t actually exist, the piranha really is the only critter whose appetite could be considered voracious. And since my point in bringing up piranhas was to imply that they’re somehow the reason I took a shameful six month sabbatical from writing in this blog, I guess my only option as far as where to take this post is to now say that they voraciously ate my body.

Except my hands, which are currently typing this.

And my brain, which is signaling these thoughts to my hands.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m now just two hands and a brain, detached from a piranha-ingested body and miraculously still functioning.


The guy who can barely throw a football

July 7, 2009

The scene: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, mid-afternoon.

The characters: College Guy 1 (well built), College Guy 2 (skinny, fragile)

The plot: College Guy 2 sucks at throwing a football. He sucks so bad that I’m laughing at him from halfway across the lawn. I’m laughing so hard that people are starting to turn and wonder what I’m laughing so hard about. Included in these people is College Guy 2. For years, he has secretly been extremely self-critical about how bad he sucks at throwing a football, and now his worst fears have been realized. A stoned guy in a Pink Floyd T-shirt is laughing at him from a distance. He has been dreading this day, positively dreading the inevitable moment when someone, instead of politely keeping it inside, actually laughs out loud at his horribly unathletic posture and hilarious motions and strange little grunts and hiccups and sighs. If one person laughs, he fears, it could open a floodgate. And now it does. I’m not the only one laughing at this pathetic display of uncoordination. Everyone is. My buddy Sean. A couple of dudes who are playing catch with a shoe because they forgot to bring their frisbee. A pregnant mother and her five young children. College Guy 1. A goat. Why is there a goat in the park? That’s a whole different issue. I can’t address the goat in the park issue while still tackling College Guy 2’s hysterical hijinx. For the sake of argument, let’s just pretend there wasn’t even a goat at all. Let’s just pretend it’s something I made up for the purpose of this post. It’s not– because of course there was a goat in the park, a whole herd of them, in fact, I’m talking at least 35 goats, maybe 40– but let’s just use our imagination. College Guy 2 is mightily embarrassed as everyone in the whole park (not just the lawn we’re currently on, but the entire park, as even people who have been by the lake half a mile away and in no way could have seen the lackluster football skills or heard the incessant laughter emerge from their respective sections to berate the boy) emerges from their respective sections to berate the boy. And berate them they do.

The berating, heckling and rioting eventually gets to the point that I’m just feeling sorry for the kid. I mean, it’s kind of hard to, because he really sucks, but things have escalated too quickly. I don’t want to compare the situation to post-election Iran, because that would be irresponsible of me, but what I will do is compare the situation to post-election Iran if that particular situation had been considerably calmer. Either way, I’m glad I learned how to properly throw a football when I was eight years old, like I thought every other male in America had done.


The tortoise and the idiot

June 13, 2009

Seriously, why did the hare have to be so cocky? The race was his to win. He’s a speedster, and the tortoise is slower than a slug, but that cockiness was the end of him. How can anyone possibly be so cocky to think that a nap wouldn’t be some sort of hindrance to winning an event which requires you to always be moving forward? You don’t nap during a competition just because you’re way, waaaay ahead. That’s being a sore winner.

Poor hare has no idea what's in store for him

Poor hare has no idea what's in store for him

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare, but the version we’ve all heard generally ends with the hare realizing he’s lost the race. What is usually neglected is the fact that the tortoise, after beating the hare in the race, became an even bigger sore winner than the hare had been in the first place.

When the hare reached the finish line, the tortoise was already drunk, having consumed nine glasses of champagne and currently in the midst of downing an Irish car bomb. The rest of the animal community had at first been proud of him, and had even joined in for some boozing, but the tortoise had, over the course of about ten minutes, become so obnoxious that the rest of the animals had been turned off, and they gradually abandoned him to let him drink on his own. (They all went to the local tavern to play darts). When the tortoise noticed that his opponent, the hare, had arrived at the finish line, he was sloppily slurring his speech and yelling hurtful, racist remarks.

The hare’s feelings were genuinely hurt, and he felt remorseful for having been so cocky (which he, for the rest of his days, never made the mistake of being again). He congratulated the tortoise, who spit in his face. The hare sighed, then went home to work on his thesis paper (“How NestlĂ© Raisinets® and The Italian War of 1535 Contributed to Chapman’s Decision to Shoot Lennon”). During the course of his studies, which were surprisingly not going so well, the tortoise repeatedly called him on his home phone and left insulting messages, such as “You literally smell like I would smell if I had lost the race instead of won it, but I don’t smell like that because I’m a winner and you do smell like it because you’re a pathetic, pathetic loser, and a gay,” and “You’re not good.” Once, he left eighteen messages in the span of seventeen seconds.

The hare was extremely upset. He wanted the obscene phone calls to end. He wrote a letter to the tortoise, pleading for peace. In response, the tortoise sent a gift basket. In the gift basket was the body of a dead hare. It belonged to the hare’s wife.

The hare moved to Seattle to escape the tortoise (who, due to being a tortoise, was not imprisoned for murder), but the tortoise cloned himself and sent the clone to Seattle. The clone was even more evil than the tortoise. Cloney (as he was called, not because he was a clone but because that is as close as you are legally allowed to be named to George Clooney, of whom the tortoise was an enormous fan, especially in “The Thin Red Line”) was not above torture. After hearing so much about Chinese water torture, he decided to give it a try on the hare, but then quickly changed his method to hanging, drawing, and quartering, which was once the ordained penalty in England for the crime of high treason. It is also a method that quickly leads to death. Cloney was victorious. The hare was dead.

But the tortoise didn’t stop there. He wrote a novel entitled “Why I’m Ashamed I Engaged in a Series of Acts That Led to the Violent Death of My Friend the Hare.” It was a bestseller. The novel allowed the tortoise to quit his day job (he had been an investment banker) and focus on writing full time. He was adored for his brave and emotional prose. He would later write “Shellshocked” and “1,053 More Things I’d Rather Eat Than That.”

But “Why I’m Ashamed I Engaged in a Series of Acts That Led to the Violent Death of My Friend the Hare” is a satire. It is blatantly obvious throughout the whole 950 pages that the tortoise, ever so sarcastic, was not at all ashamed and in fact elated at the torturous and murderous events that killed off the hare. There was a two-word epilogue. It read, “Goodnight, hare.”

The hare was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He had been a decorated World War II veteran.

iwo


Jobless job, gadillydillion, and pumas

May 8, 2009

Tomorrow, after six months of living back home in South Florida, I’m moving back to New York City. I have pretty mixed feelings about this, as: a) I still don’t have a job, and I like living near my family, and b) Coral Springs (my hometown) sucks and New York doesn’t.

Things would be much better if I can get a job quickly. I want a job as a guy who doesn’t have a job. People would be like, “What do you do for a living?” And I’d be like, “Nothing.” And they’d be like, “Oh, you don’t have a job?” And I’d be like, “No, I do.” And they’d be like, “I don’t understand what you mean.” And I’d be like, “Can we talk about this later? I’m working here.”

That would be pretty damn sweet. But not as sweet as what comes next: a paycheck. For a gadillydillion dollars. Yeah, I made up the word gadillydillion. But I didn’t make up its assigned value: it’s a one followed by 9,302,475,006 zeroes. I know, that’s a very large, very specific amount of zeroes. But gadillydillion is serious business.

Next post from New York. I would like to find a way to write about panthers, but I currently know very little about panthers, and I’m against doing research about a subject that is both a feline and a sports mascot. So this means bobcats, wildcats, tigers, lions, pumas etc are all off limits. Is there a team with a puma for a mascot? I know there is a shoe company called Puma. But a shoe company is different than a sports team. Unless you’re talking about a sports team made up of shoe companies. But I don’t see how that could possibly make sense. So that’s probably not what you’re talking about. Unless you’re not talking about that but I just said you were talking about it anyway. Which I didn’t do. In fact, I already admitted the possibility that you weren’t even talking about it. I have no idea what I’m talking about. I’ve just been typing without actually thinking. For all I know, I’ve been typing about shoe companies and sports teams. I just read back this paragraph, and I’ll be damned! That’s exactly what I was talking about. But not necessarily what you were talking about. That was my whole point. Or at least, that was the point I started making about halfway through. It started out about my next post being from New York. And incidentally, that’s also how it’s ending.


Falling in bottomless pits: not ideal

May 6, 2009

When you think about people falling into bottomless pits, you always think about that moment when they first fall in. You see a guy trip and fall into a large, dark hole and think, “Holy shit! That guy just fell into a bottomless pit!” You run up and look down and you can hear him screaming and screaming and screaming and screaming, but what can you do about it? You’d like to save him, but you can’t jump in after him, or else you, too, would be falling in a bottomless pit. And there’s no reason for both of you to be plunging endlessly into the darkness. So you shrug your shoulders, chock the tragic misfortune up to one of another of God’s mysteries, and get on with your life. You go home, cook dinner, watch Lost, have sex, go to sleep, wake up, go to work, go to the gym, nap, watch a baseball game. You just live. Two weeks later, you’ve forgotten all about that poor guy.

But two weeks later, that poor guy is still falling in a bottomless pit. Life doesn’t change much when you’re falling in a bottomless pit. Which is why, over time, the dude’s initial terror has gradually transformed into extreme boredom. I mean, falling in a bottomless pit can only be scary for so long. Eventually, it becomes routine. And if you’re falling in a bottomless pit, you just kinda accept that your life is now reduced to falling in a bottomless pit. There’s gotta be a moment where that transition occurs. From: Agghghhhhhhhhhhhh!, to: This fucking sucks.

Your future

Your future

The only thing that does change over time when you’re falling in a bottomless pit is your level of hunger. It gets exponentially worse. It starts off marginally but is guaranteed to reach full-blown starvation. There aren’t any bystanders hanging onto rocky cliff walls and passing out bananas and water like during the New York City Marathon. There aren’t any rest stops like there are along major highways featuring a Burger King or maybe a Sbarro where you can pay for an overpriced slice of flimsy pizza and be hungry again twenty miles down the road. There’s just you and the silence. And the bats.

Yes, bats. In many bottomless pits, there might not be bats. But in my imaginary bottomless pit example, there are. I don’t mean the animal. I mean baseball bats. Aluminum baseball bats. Frozen in physical space. And as you fall, every so often you will crash into one of these bats, and you will get very bruised. Very, very bruised, and hurt. It will be very painful. In fact, starvation is not what will ultimately end up killing you.

Your future, a little bit later

Your future, a little bit later

What will kill you is a blow to the temple by an aluminum baseball bat.


The next step for Twitter

May 1, 2009

Now that the White House (@whitehouse) is on Twitter, I think it’s safe to say that literally every living human being on the planet tweets. Congratulations, Twitter. Well done. But you’ve still got work to do.

What is the next step? All social networking sites at some point have to make the leap to get to the next level. Facebook started out by exclusively catering to college students, then let high school students join in on the fun, and now, five years later, even my mom has an account. That’s a progression I couldn’t have imagined in 2004 (but to be fair, in 2004 I also couldn’t imagine I would eventually know how to speak Swahili*, so in general, 2004 was a year of little insight). So the burning question remains: what will Twitter’s revolutionary upgrade be?

Will it be the ability to sense users’ thoughts and thus post tweets directly from the brain, without the use of some sort of fancy electronic? No. Come on. Are you even taking this seriously? Let’s be realistic.

Will it be the transformation of Twitter from a social website into an edible meal that resembles flautas and is served worldwide at Mexican restaurants? Of course not. Nobody wants to eat Twitter. But if they did, I’m totally digging the Mexican idea. Everyone loves Mexican food. Even Mexicans! Plus, margaritas. Mmmm.

In actuality, Twitter’s next big idea is to attract an animal tweetbase. That’s right, animals on twitter. And why not? Animals’ thoughts and daily activities are no less mundane than the average person’s. Some animals lead fascinating lives. Especially pets. For example:

@cat: Just pooped in a box.

@goldfish: Played with my owner. Got my belly rubbed. Fetched the newspaper. I’m such a worthwhile pet!

@dog: Sniffed Rover’s ass a little while ago. It smells particularly orangey today.

Fine, pets lead pretty mundane lives. As you navigate away from the domesticated animals and into the territory of wild beasts, however, things get a little less predictable on Twitter.

@hyena: Heard the funniest joke this morning, still laughing about it.

@lion: Waltzing down a road peculiarly paved of yellow bricks, searching for my courage. /emo

@grizzly**:

@sheep: Anyone doing anything fun tonight? Maybe I’ll tag along.

@velociraptor: This is my first tweet! Still new to this whole thing, but I’m liking it so far! Today I finally beat @tyrannosaurus at backgammon! Awesome! On top of that, I had a great day of tearing other dinosaurs to shreds with my razor sharp teeth! Man, I was by the water hole today and there was this iguanadon, and as soon as it saw me it was like, “Oh, shit,” and started running, but literally half a second later I had already eaten his entire body, including the bones! I don’t normally eat bones, but I figured what the hell! It was soooo bloody! Water hole? More like blood hole! Then I ate six hadrosaurs and a pterodactyl! Sweet! I know this tweet is way too long, but what the hell is Twitter going to do about it? I’m a fucking RAPTOR!***

*To clarify, I don’t currently know how to speak Swahili. But while in 2004 I couldn’t imagine I would eventually know how to speak it, in 2009 I can imagine I will eventually know how to speak it. Is it likely I will ever know Swahili? Absolutely not. I will never know Swahili. That is a guarantee. But I certainly can imagine it.

**The grizzly is in hibernation, so he was unable to update his Twitter status.

***Sadly, shortly after @velociraptor posted his first tweet, animals were banned from Twitter. The raptor, who in addition to being a vicious carnivore is also a wanted Internet criminal, ruined Twitter for all animal kind when he hacked into the database and eliminated the character limit for tweets. Regardless of whether you are or are not a raptor, you still have to play by Twitter’s rules. The animal experiment was short-lived, but you can’t say it wasn’t glorious.


Taco Night’s superiority

April 28, 2009

Why, when people are making tacos for dinner, do they declare it to be “Taco Night”? What is it about making tacos that gets people so excited that they dedicate the entire night to that meal? This is rarely done with other entrees. You don’t hear much brouhaha about meat loaf or chicken. With those items it’s always “We’re having meat loaf tonight” or “We’re having chicken for dinner,” but never “It’s Chicken Night!”

Seriously, if you Google “Taco Night” you get pages and pages and pages of websites with webmasters who are excited about eating tacos. If you Google “Chicken Night” the first three hits are:

1. Chicken Night (2001); the IMDb page for a 13 minute film with the intriguing plot of: “A little girl narrates her experience with cooking with her single and very pregnant mother during a typical afternoon.”

2. Amazon.com: The Click List: Best in Short Film: Season 2, Episode 4 “Promtroversy / Chicken Night”: Video On Demand; a page which allows you to purchase for download a combination of two short films, one of which is very cleverly called “Promtroversy” and is about: “It’s prom season again in Sherman Valley, Ohio, prelude to the biggest night on the town’s social calendar. But this year, something’s different.” The other film is the aforementioned “Chicken Night.”

3. Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead; the official website for a film with this name, including scores of fellating reviews, one of which exclaims: “It is just about as perfect as a film predicated on the joys of projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea can be!”

So to recap: Googling “Taco Night” will result in interesting taco recipes, information about restaurants that specialize in tacos, and people’s personal anecdotes about the success of Taco Night in their homes. Googling “Chicken Night,” on the other hand, results exclusively in plugs for chicken-centric films (some involving genuine human emotion and drama, others involving projectile vomit and explosive diarrhea).

Strange.