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.



If broken legs were contagious

June 10, 2009

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how terrible it would be if broken legs were contagious. You’re walking down the sidewalk with your buddy Micah (if you don’t have a buddy named Micah, stop reading now, you won’t be able to relate to this) and suddenly six thugs appear out of nowhere and start hitting Micah in the legs with metal rods! It doesn’t take long before his legs are completely broken, and he’s screaming out in shock and severe pain, and then you realize that you too are screaming out in shock and severe pain, because your legs are also broken! Not only that, but there are six other people (the thugs) who are screaming out in shock and severe pain, because their legs are broken, too! So there’s eight of you squirming around on the sidewalk with broken legs, screaming out in shock and severe pain! A passer-by comes over to help, but then both her legs break! Another couple passers-by also try to offer a hand, but a few seconds later a hand is the only body part they have that’s not broken! (Additionally, all other body parts excluding both legs are not broken). By this time, other passers-by in the vicinity have realized that if you go near the eleven people squirming around on the sidewalk and screaming out in shock and severe pain, both your legs will break, so nobody else dares inch closer.

Until the paramedics arrive. But not long after their arrival, all of their legs have broken! To make matters worse, in this scenario, broken legs cause a very rapidly-spreading version of leprosy! Soon the broken legs have rotted completely off, and everyone goes about their normal routines once again.

By “everyone” I mean everyone except those whose previously broken legs have rotted off. You just can’t go about your normal routines if your legs have rotted off. That’s not the way the world (and human anatomy) works. If you’re one of the people whose legs have rotted off, chances are the rest of your body will soon rot. Because you have leprosy. And leprosy doesn’t stay exclusively in the legs. So before long, you’re dead.

Sorry. I know it’s grim, but it’s gonna happen.

Ryan Zimmerman: the team

May 13, 2009

Washington National Ryan Zimmerman’s 30-game hit streak came to an end today, but at least he can take solace in the fact that his team won the game. Right?

Wrong. At 11-21, Washington is the worst team in the majors. A hitting streak by its franchise player is just about the only thing it had or will have going.

The only thing the Nationals organization can do to retain any significance and/or dignity, in my eyes, is to release everyone on the team, clone Ryan Zimmerman 23 times, and start an entire roster of Zimmermans. The 25th roster spot would be held by pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, who, although he spells his name slightly differently, is still a Zimmerman at the end of the day. And just to cement it, Jordan should be willing to legally change his name to Zimmerman. There’s not really a need for that extra ‘n’, anyway. It doesn’t add anything. It’s dead weight. Like the previous two sentences.

In this scenario, Ryan Zimmerman would occupy every spot in the lineup except for every fifth game, when Jordan would give it a go. Can you imagine eight, or possibly nine, players in your lineup who are all on 30-game hit streaks? It would be exceptional. It would more than make up for the fact that Ryan Zimmerman would be playing defensive spots like center field and catcher, in addition to pitching, both as a starter and a reliever. So what if he gives up a bunch of runs? They’ll be balanced out by all the hits.

At this point, you can no longer logically call the team the Nationals. You’d have to change the name of the team to the Ryan Zimmermans. And yes, they may play in Washington, but as far as I’m concerned, that town is Ryan Zimmerman’s and we’re all just living in it. (I don’t actually live in that town. In fact, a majority of the people on this planet don’t live in that town. But let’s go with it). So instead of calling it Washington, we’ll call it Ryan Zimmerman.

So we’ve got the Ryan Zimmerman Ryan Zimmermans, consisting of twenty-four Ryan Zimmermans and one Jordan Zimmermann, who now goes by Jordan Zimmerman.

Who should make up the managerial staff? Let’s keep Manny Acta in there, simply because I think “Manny Acta” is a cool name. If you say it really fast, it sounds like it could be a province in Spain. Maniacta. The bench coach would be Ryan Zimmerman, as would be the hitting instructor (obviously). The pitching coach would be Joe Biden. First base coach is Nelly Furtado, and the third base coach is a random guy in a Jon Arbuckle costume. The bullpen coordinator is Ryan Zimmerman.

Sounds like a formula for success!

Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman

The ins and outs of temping

May 12, 2009

In order to make money, because unfortunately being awesome doesn’t yet pay the bills, I’ve entered the magical world of temping. It’s only been two days, but they’ve been an extremely eventful two days. And by extremely eventful, I mean seven straight hours of entering ten-digit reference codes into a database program. While wearing shoes that are just ever so slightly too tight in the back, causing constant discomfort for said seven hours (and very pronounced blisters on my heels from walking ten blocks up and five avenues over to get to the office and back. Why don’t I take a cab, you say? Well, I’m temping for a reason. That reason is, I don’t have much money. If I had the money to be throwing around for cab rides, I’d be hailing cabs all day long, in the hopes that I manage to find the Cash Cab, answer every question correctly, and make even more money so I can continue hailing cabs to again find the Cash Cab.)

The weird thing about temping is not knowing the culture of the office. At this particular office, there are a lot of Hispanic guys joking around loudly in the mail room. I feel like I should be in there joking around with them, but a) I can barely speak Spanish and b) maybe their “joking around” is actually them plotting the assassination of a high-profile politician. Nothing is worse than plotting the assassination of a high-profile politician and some jackass who’s temping in your office comes in and tries to join in on the fun but doesn’t realize the gravity of what you’re doing and thinks you’re just joking around because he can barely speak Spanish and doesn’t understand the difference between someone gravely saying “asesinato” and jokingly saying “biblioteca”.

Another weird thing about temping is sitting at someone else’s desk. At the desk where I’m working, there is a picture a little girl drew for her daddy, presumably the guy to whom the desk belongs. It would be strange if there was a picture drawn by a little girl for her daddy hanging on the cube wall if the guy was not the little girl’s daddy. First of all, if that was the situation, where is the girl’s daddy? Second, how did this guy get his hands on the drawing? I’d have to guess that this guy is a pedophile. Pedophiles are good at two things: having sex with little kids, and finding pictures that said little kids drew for their daddies. Third, why would the pedo put the drawing up on his wall at work? Wouldn’t that make people start asking questions. Like, “Are you a pedophile?” So when I’m sitting at this guy’s desk, looking at the picture his daughter drew for him, I feel like I’m the pedophile. I feel even more like a pedophile when taking into account what the drawing is a depiction of: Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

A final weird thing about this temp job is that they make me work naked.

Temping is like voyeurism. You get a private look at what life is like in some random office that you never knew existed and will never step foot in again once the assignment is complete. You see what people are like in their natural habitat. Kind of like a nature program. A very dull nature program that consists of people doing paperwork instead of flying squirrels flying. Paperwork is one thing you know you’re not going to have to see if you turn on a nature program. Another thing: factories.

If the temp office is a terribly boring environment, which, aside from the Hispanic jokesters, the one I’m at is, you kind of feel bad for the people who work there. After all, you get to leave this place at the end of the week, but they have to come back day after day after day after day after day after day. After day.

Researchless panther post

May 11, 2009

Am I the kind of guy to write on a Friday that on the following Monday I’d like to write about panthers and then on Monday not write about panthers? Yes, I am.

Most of the time.

But not today. I have compiled a list of twelve facts about panthers, which are both felines and sports mascots (that actually brings the panther fact total up to fourteen), and, like previously promised, I have not done a lick of research on the subject. In constructing this list, however, I was quite smugly satisfied to discover that I somehow inherently know at least twelve (at maximum, fourteen) things about panthers. Here they are:

(I will occasionally refer to panthers using the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘him’ and ‘his’).

1. If you give a panther a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk. If you give him a glass of milk, he’s going to claw your face off, because he wanted skim, and you gave him 2%. Seriously? You gave him 2%? Wow. Just wow. Idiot.

2. Panthers like John Coltrane. They really like him. It’s bordering on obsession. More than twice, they have been caught desecrating his grave, hoisting up his corpse, and dancing with it until the wee hours of the morn. At which point the light reflected on the corpse, and the panthers noticed it was actually River Phoenix. Somehow, this happened more than twice.

3. Black panthers were members of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s. Not all of them agreed with the ideology, but they did all agree that it was a pretty badass name for a party.*

A violent black panther

A violent black panther

More violent Black Panthers

More violent Black Panthers

4. If you give a panther skim milk, he will still claw off your face, because he’s lactose intolerant, and he only remembered about that after he drank some of the milk, and he thought maybe you should have been more considerate and reminded him of the intolerance, even though your contention is that how could you possibly have known?

5. Panthers are actually caterpillars butterflies.

6. It is commonly believed that Dante wrote Inferno, but it was actually a panther. His name was Jason Gonzalez-Rodriguez Firth.

7. Panthers live in igloos, just like the Inuits. Unlike the Inuits, panthers eat Inuits.

8. The children’s rhyme “Row, row, row your boat” is actually about panthers. It’s an elaborate euphemism about panthers that attack a boatload of children and eat them one by one. They let the last child live long enough for him to think they’re going to spare him. Then they pretend they are going to eat him. Then they say, “Just kidding,” and let him go. About a mile downstream, they catch up to him and eat him.

9. Panthers are nifty knitters, splendid sewers, and wonderful weavers. Betsy Ross received help from a gaggle** of panthers when she was sewing the first American flag. The panthers tried to take all of the credit for the flag, but Betsy knew a very dark secret*** about them that she threatened to reveal to the public at a town hall meeting, so they agreed to back off. If you’re wondering why they didn’t just eat her, it’s because panthers aren’t savages. They don’t just go around eating people.

10. Until 1874, it was normal for panthers to be members of the fire department in certain counties in the state of Tennessee. This trend was put to an end when six panthers ate every person in the state of Tennessee.

11. Panthers are weirdly into the British sitcom Green Wing.

12. If you give a panther lactaid milk, he will say, “Thanks, buddy!”

A Florida Panther

A Florida Panther

*One thing about actual black panthers that contrasts with the Black Panther Party is that actual black panthers don’t need to carry guns. They do anyway.

**Gaggle of geese? Yes. Gaggle of panthers? I doubt it. But that’s what it should be.

***The dark secret involves acupuncture and mayonnaise.

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.

Manny tested positive for something else, too

May 7, 2009

Los Angeles Dodger Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, but that’s only half the story. The other half of the story is that he also tested positive for heroin, which is decidedly a performance decreasing drug. When you combine the two, they balance each other out, so technically, Manny has been operating at a normal level of play. My contention is that Manny should either be allowed to continue playing baseball or sent to a rehabilitation clinic. But he shouldn’t have been suspended, because he has no advantage whatsoever over other players.

You might think it’s pretty dumb of Manny to have taken performance enhancing drugs. After years of trials and accusations over whether or not players formerly took steroids (in an era when such thing was typical), a player would have to be a real moron to get caught for currently using. And somehow, Manny managed to let that happen. He’s really being a nimwit here. Or maybe he’s just being Manny. I still don’t know what that means. Of course Manny is going to be Manny. Who else is he going to be? Livan Hernandez?

But give Manny a break. Obviously, he wouldn’t have ever taken the PEDs if he wasn’t also addicted to heroin. And while performance enhancing drugs are looked down upon in baseball, Jose Canseco never pointed out people who were hooked on heroin. And if Jose Canseco isn’t trying to make money off it, it probably isn’t very significant.

So who cares if Manny took some steroids? If you were on heroin, could you play baseball without steroids? Fuck, if you were on heroin, could you play baseball even with steroids? Let alone, play baseball as well as Manny Ramirez? Hell no, you couldn’t. I’d be surprised if you could even get up off the couch. Shit, I’d be surprised if you were even on the couch. You’d probably be lying in a corner somewhere, zoning out and thinking how cool it would be if you hadn’t just shot yourself up with heroin, because now you’re probably addicted, but damn, this feeling is sort of worth it. No, it’s totally worth it. There’s a baseball game on the television, but you can’t lift your head up enough to really see it. If only you had some steroids, then maybe you could perform a normal function like slightly lifting your head up in order to see the television.

Manny snorting a line off his bat before a game

Manny snorting a line off his bat before a game

Now imagine you’re Manny Ramirez. Chilled out on dust, trying to react to a 94mph fastball quick enough to hit a home run. Kinda hard, right? Not with steroids! It balances out the china white to the point where you have enough energy to overcome the uber relaxed nature of a heroin high, but not to the point where you’d hit a home run on a pitch you wouldn’t have hit a home run on if you weren’t on heroin in the first place.

So leave Manny alone. When it really comes down to it, he’s not doing anything illegal at all.