Friday, April 20, 2018

Black Panther... Sorry, African-American Panther

Today's Movie Minute is another saga from the WWE universe, wherein men in tights make catty remarks and scowl meaningfully at each others' tender vittles before engaging in kung fu.

This would be an excellent spot for a Bauhaus joke.
(Wait, did I write that out loud?)

Between spells of unconsciousness I managed to piece together that the movie is about a kingdom in Africa called Wakawoozle which possesses an abundant supply of  "Starwarsium"--a magical substance that adds plenty of ham and wood to the acting and makes everyone's costumes queer.

"The kingdom is out of table cloth, but it was worth it!"

Atop this technologically-advanced society is an absolute monarch who rules with a calico fist. He sits on his throne and listens to people explain what the movie is about.

"Guards! Seize him! And, er, change my litter..."

When he feels frisky, the king gets in his gimp suit and goes a-peepin'.

"Pay me no heed, ladies! Carry on with your bubble bath.

Once he's rescued by the local fire department, he goes on the prowl looking for adventure. It turns out the king is just as bored as the viewers, but much sexier.

"Mmmgg... can't breathe... seriously... help... meeow?"

Because Starwarsium has infinite merchandising potential, lots of sneering bad guys want it. The leader of the bad guys goes to the gym a lot. Which, now that I think about it, makes him a bad guy--and me a really, really good guy?

"I have the entirety of Nicholas Sparks'
The Notebook etched in Braille on my torso. Ladies?"

This triggers more parliamentary procedure and tribal councils wherein it's agreed that a tariff on Hello Kitty! thongs will be imposed.

"I'd join in the conversation but, you know...
(Damnit, where'd I put my tremendo-vat of Carmex??)"

Meanwhile the king sees a red laser spot and gives it chase in a thrilling scene of suspense. Got it-- almost! Got it-- almost! Got it-- AW FUCK There it goes!!...

"Seriously, I can't breathe... Some Afrin,
at least?... Guys?... Losing consciousness..."

The king dies, but then in a shocking twist doesn't. He's kept in snow, thereby making the world's first soul snow cone. (Really wish I could've found the image for that five-star joke.)

In the end, the two main hunks go at each other in a display of homoerotic voguing but without Halle Berry vamping in the background. (Note to Hollywood: let me write a movie!)

"I've run out of cat-themed jokes! HELP ME!!"

At least a new genre has been created: blackpanthersploitation!

Friday, April 13, 2018

I Am Not A Human Being

I was called into the medical lady's office. She had my device for me.

"Gregory," she said. "Are you Russian?"

"Ah, no."

"That's a Russian name, you know."

"Gregor is also that guy's name who turns into an insect."



She started to show me how my CPAP thing would work. Since I had not been sleeping well, I kept yawning and struggling to follow what she was saying. Did she say xhorasho kneeshna?

"Now you try it. Disassemble, and put it back together."

"Da," I said.

She handed me the heap of plastic parts. I clicked the tube into the thingy. No? That's not where that goes. Oh, uh. I locked into place the humidifier, but then I couldn't get it out again. She watched me, a Soviet smile traced on her lips. Wait, I've got it. The elbow tube popped off. The humidifier fell out. The mask fell apart. I clicked, snapped, wrapped tubes, pulled through straps... She finally took it from me.

"Heh heh. I'm on my way."

I got home and settled in for a beautiful night's sleep.

"Mmph. I think the setting is too tight."

It was hard to get adjusted to it.

"Who wants to go for a ride?!?"

Several times in the night I had to get up and check myself out in the mirror.

Come and get me, ladies!!

I finally got some semblance of sleep. And when I woke up I wasn't a giant cockroach, mostly.

"Oh God, I just dreamt I was in a movie called...
shudder... Attack of the Clones!"

Turns out having air when you sleep is important. Huh! So while I may not be as yawning as angrily as before, I still reserve the right to be bored. Very bored.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Yippy Skippy

I was skipping around the library. My movements were graceful, effortless--until I crashed into a table.


I had been demonstrating to R. how to competently skip. We were on the topic because Karen was out for the day, and when R. learned the joyous news she jumped into the air and attempted to click her heels. That led to me putting on a skipping demonstration.


Jonah stood over me, fingering his Troyskite beardling. "Do you need to call the 'Ouch Line'?" he said, voice drained of all emotion or compassion for his fellow humans.

"The 'Owwie Line' would be more accurate, but no," I said, massaging my loins. "There's no hope for me. But now I need to take another nap."

"Okay, grandpa."

I had just been to the dentist and learned that my uvula was too big--and possibly affecting how much oxygen I was getting at night, hence my sleep apnea. I had no idea my uvula was so big. (Looks like I have a new pick-up line, eh, ladies??) They might need to surgically remove it along with my tonsils, my taint, and my dual carburetor. The dentist said that while the evidence was "anecdotal," there were indications that uvular surgery was sexy. She said she had discussed all this at her dental club.

"Dental club, huh," Jonah said, intrigued. "How do you get invited to one of those? Is that what they were doing in Eyes Wide Shut?"

"Lisa needs braces!"

Nearby in a segue, R. was practicing her skipping and heel-clicking. The entire staff of Ruby Creek was going to have a skip meeting, and it was important that we get ready. R. was still steamed about her fight with Karen the day before. They had been arguing about schedules when R., tired of fighting, finally agreed to whatever blither-blather Karen was aiming at her. Karen wasn't satisfied with the fact of mere agreement. She pointed at R. and asked imperiously, "What is that face?" R. shot back, "You are not the police of my face!"

Many of the staff had their own complaints. Todd had his iPad loaded full of Karen's crimes. He came into the workroom while I was showing off my uvula to Jonah.

"First your phone, and now this. I'm calling HR!"

"You know you like it," I said, with a complaisant sneer and a slap on Jonah's ass.

Todd stopped to marvel at my giant tongue. "It's frickin' huge," he said. He stopped Donovan. "Hey, check out Greg's tongue. It's insane."

"Yeah, it's eight inches," I said, rubbing lube on it and somehow still talking.

Donovan was flummoxed. "You should be on the cover on a magazine. Like Puff Daddy!"

"Mmm, mustache droppings..."

"Your tongue is worse than his."

"It's gross. Really gross."

"Um, could we get back on the topic of my monstrous uvula?"

Before Donovan returned to working (something weird he did), I wanted him to taste test a "greenie," something my mom had bought on QVC. It was a green tablet you dissolved in cold water that was the equivalent of two hundred million fields of kale (give or take). And tasted like toilet water. Donovan was skeptical but interested. We all stood around watching as he put his lips to the glass, a halo of green fizz enveloping his scared face--

"HEY," R. said/shouted. "COME ON. LET'S GO."

It was time for the skip meeting. We all marched solemnly to the conference room. And there we let Karen have it with out different styles of interpretive skipping. It was brutal...

Friday, March 30, 2018

What's Latin For Batshit

Pat stopped our Latin lesson in order to show me the rifle he was going to shoot a dog with. He took the rifle out of his bedroom closet, unzipped the camo case, and modeled it for me.

"It's lightweight and has good sighting," he said, aiming the barrel at the window.

"But," I said, not knowing where to begin exactly. "You'll... uh... do this at night?" An image flashed of Pat in night-vision goggles, face daubed in black paint, crouching in a bush with his rifle and waiting for the neighbor's dog to appear.

"No. I can do it in the day. I'm fully within my rights as a property owner. That dog is depreciating the value of my property. It's a vicious animal. And this is the best way to get rid of it. I have a shotgun, too." He unzipped his shotgun and showed it to me. "This will work well, too. What do you think? Should I use the rifle or the shotgun?"


The week before Pat had heard a lady scream in the alley. He ran out to find a large Rottweiler chewing down on a small dog--with the owner of the small dog standing by in shock, screaming for help. Pat leaped in, using his judo skills to put a naked arm bar hold on the Rottweiler. The little dog finally dropped out of the Rottweiler's mouth, already not moving and covered in blood, and now the Rottweiler was jerking around to bite at Pat. The two of them rolled around like two alligators in a swamp filled with gladiator entrails. Pat complained he couldn't get a good hold on the Rottweiler since its neck was huge, it had no collar and the skin was so loose. He had to use all of his blue belt skills to get the dog immobilized. The owner ran out finally and got the Rottweiler back inside its fence. The little dog was dead.

"It's why I can't bring Reuben here anymore."

Normally when I visit Pat at his house, Reuben jumps all over me. A hyper Australian shepherd, the dog makes doing declensions a challenge.

"You see that fence? The boards are coming loose down below. That fucking dog just prowls back and forth all day, waiting to get out. If Reuben was here, that dog would surely get loose and come for him. It's not safe for Rube."

"Did you complain to the owner?"

"These are the people who sprayed something through my screen window and killed my bird. Remember? So, nah, I can't talk to them. I'm going to have to take care of this myself." He made a shotgun cocking noise with his mouth.

We went back to the kitchen where our Latin books were open.

"I can't have people renting this house with a vicious dog next door ready to attack at any moment."

"Unless you get Beowulf," I said.

"I have these six MMA fighters who want to stay here while they train for a tournament. I'm going to rent out the house to them while I go to California and surf. But there are some things that have to get finished in here. Let me show you something..."

We got up again and Pat showed me the hall closet.

"This is where they can masturbate, if they need to."

"Mas... tur... bate?"

"Yeah. Do you think it's big enough in here? Because these are young guys. They're going to need a place to beat off in."

"Yes, that could be a selling point. I wouldn't put it in the ad, though."

We went back to our Latin books. Pat stared at the lesson for a moment, and then said,

"Do women really ejaculate? I mean, spray out all this stuff?"


"I mean, I've been watching some porn and it's so terrible. Do people really do that stuff, Gregory?"

"Well, a lot of porn is fairly extreme. It's to get attention. But anyway..."

"When I get my penis I wonder if I'll spray cum like a nozzle on a hose."


"Because if a woman can ejaculate like that, then imagine when they put a penis on me. It should be really amazing. But do people do that, is it normal? I don't think I can ejaculate like that. I don't have fallopian tubes anyway. Is it prostatic juice that comes out? What is it?"

"Um, it's not prostate juice, no. But..."

"I didn't get my dog ears taken out, by the way. You see?" He took off his shirt. "The fat tissue is still around my armpits here. If I go to Japan for this tournament and my gi falls open they'll see I still have some breasts and they'll rape me. I also can't tell anyone that Sam was my jiu-jitsu teacher since he has a reputation for having sex with women in the bathroom, so as soon as anyone finds out in California that I was a student of Sam's they'll expect me to suck their cock."

A dog was barking.

"Shit! That's the Rottweiler!"

Pat ran to his bedroom and came out with his rifle. The screen door banged. I remained at the kitchen table, trying very hard to focus on semi-deponent verbs. A few minutes later Pat came back, out of breath.

"False alarm," he said.

"So let's look at this passage here. And..."

"Oh, it's late. Sorry I was talking this whole time!"

"That's okay," I said.

Pat put away his rifle, and I put away my books. We promised to do it again next week. What "it" was was not clear, however.

(This post was dedicated to Andy. ENJOY!!!)

Friday, March 23, 2018

Dicking Around

It was another glorious day at the library. I inhaled deep lungfuls of hantavirus-laden air, slapping my chest.

"Mmm!" I said. "I love the smell of router in the morning!"

"That's actually Libby's broccoli cooking in the microwave," Jonah said.

"Oh God. Where do we keep the hazmat suits...?"

"GREG," Karen tonelessly shrilled. "GREG."


"Have you watched the sexual harassment video yet? It's on your transcript!"

"Oh, right. I'll tap that right away."


But first I had to check in the new holds. One of them was a movie called BANDIT HOUND.

"Oh yes oh yes," I said, moistening. "Lou Ferrigno? Verne Troyer?? JUDD NELSON?!?!? I must have it!!"

"What the hell is your problem," Jonah said in his heavy-lidded Anton LaVey style.

*sigh* What a dick...

"Just thinking of taking home a little treat for myself. I mean, look. This dog bursts into people's chests to steal their hearts and eat them, presumably. Then it takes your wallet, too!"

"Mm. I'm sick of this place. Karen is giving me bad dreams, and not in the good Lynchian dwarves-dancing sense."

"Yeah. I love Lynchian dwarf dancing. But in real life."

A lady came to the desk. She needed help with various issues. I could feel her hot stare as I dicked around with her account.

"You have really pretty blue eyes," she said.

"Ah... er... thanks!"

She smiled at me as I handed her her receipt. She kept smiling at me as she went out.

"I think that old lady is into you," Jonah said.

"She's probably attracted to my sweaty sexuality. I should bathe more, but... ehn."

Jonah still seemed blue despite my attempts at humorous banter. I talked about my latest painting where I depict myself beheaded, for laughs.

Head Games

But I struggled to operate my phone machine. The pictures on it weren't properly sliding to the next one. As I got more and more frustrated, Jonah offered to help the clueless old guy with his technodipshit problem.

"Ah, there we go."

The pictures were working again. However, some started coming that maybe-probably should have stayed in the vault. Mainly the one of my throbbing erect penis. Jonah jerked back as if shot with a .45 Luger.

"Ugghhaahhh! My eyes! The goggles do nothing!"

"Uh... Uhh..." I quickly swiped away from the picture of my flaming flute, my face filling with blood instead. "Sorry. Pretend you didn't see that."

I tried to explain that my girlfriends sometimes made requests to see the most interesting part of my body and I had forgotten to delete my bulging beef whistle.

"Sorry, again."

"Now I have your swollen john burger burned on my retinas forever."

"What's going on here?" Karen said.

"Nothing! Nothing!" I flung my phone in the trash.

"Have you done the sexual harassment training yet?!?"

"I'm on it. I mean, I'm in it. I mean..."

I dialed up the training video. Up came the city attorney to talk about appropriate behavior and pictures in the workplace.

"Man, she's pretty hot," I said.

I looked around. Jonah was putting on his jacket.

"Where are you going?"

"I quit. You can find someone else to retinally rape."

"Okay," I said cheerfully.

Who wants to work at the library? It's a place that will stimulate your mind... and your body. Heh heh heh.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Darting, Not The Good Kind

"Ech, not another library post," Jonah said. "I thought you were going to blog about Pat. Pat!"

"Sorry," I said. I stood over Jonah as he read this post. "There's been a lot of drama around here, so I thought another post was warranted."

"Wait. This just said what I just said."

"Sorry," I said. I stood over Jonah as he read this post. "There's been a lot of..."

"Wait, shut up. It says There's been a lot of drama around here, Jonah said. I didn't say that? Did I?"

"No, the blog did."

"'Ech, not another library post Jonah said not another library post Jonah said,'"' Greg said,'"'"" Pat said.'"

"Look," I said Greg said, "don't worry about it. Just go back and read LIBRARY The Novel. Go to the scene where you're reading about yourself about yourself reading about this blog post that you're reading."


We both turned around... slowly.

Karen called me into the office. She had no patience for pomo trickery, and besides it was time for us to have another fight. Because what's a library without fightin'??

We sat across from each other. The door was shut, the oscillating fan was on to ineffectually block the sound of our shrill voices, and WORLD'S BEST BOSS coffee mug was on the desk.

"So, ah, how are you?" I said.

"I'm fine," she said, clipped, terse.


"I'm fine."

Then she admitted she was having some stress about her recent car accident and that she had to drive a "shitty" rental around, the kind of car that cast dubious light on the driver.

"She's a native! GET HER"

Otherwise everything was super. I hesitantly brought up that perhaps she was overdoing it with the, ah, micro... managing?

"What! Who's saying that? Who! Give me names!"

"Well... me?"


I listed the lady's micro-crimes. Many of them revolved around "darting." We were doing a reference survey and Karen had rented a plane to drop thousands of fliers all over the library and surrounding county. The messages wanted us to remember to "dart" and to surrender. She also emailed the staff about darting, and called a meeting about darting, and taped signs to my locker about darting, and reminded me about darting as she darted past me in traffic and threw darts at me about darting. I assured her I was darting to the max, but apparently the quantity of my darting wasn't sufficient for her taste. (Please ignore the urban dictionary definition.) I was feeling defeated. Could my own Treaty of Versailles be far off?

(Maybe I should audition for an E.D. commercial?)

Karen confessed that maybe she was overdoing it. Then we turned our attention to R. and the thorny question of interpretation, especially when it came to race and


Voice hoarse from shouting, I left the office and came back to the desk. I was about to tell Jonah what had happened, but he held up his hand.

"No need," he said. "I'm reading LIBRARY."

I turned around... slowly.

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Discomfort Inn

Mom has told me that bad things always happen in threes. Like her sons, for instance. (*distorted rimshot*) Her wisdom came to fruition at the library when I was subjected to some uncomfortable conversations. Three of them! And bad!

The first was with Karen and Jonah. I was called into the office to participate in... something. Jonah looked apathetic and angry, slumped in his chair, while Karen looked manic and buzzy, leaning forward in hers.

"I told you at the start I didn't want to fight," Jonah said.

"I don't want to fight either, of course I don't!"

"Then why are you fighting with me about not fighting?"

"You are the one fighting about my non-fighting. I'm not fighting you about the fighting of this fight."

"Fhffh," Jonah said, with a world-weary weltanschauung-y Hegelian sigh.

"What do you mean by that?!"

The not fight was about schedules, something that's de rigueur these days, and Jonah was merely pointing out that he was making concessions while others were not. But he didn't want to fight.

"And I'm not fighting you on that."

"So what are we fighting about?"

"Who says we're fighting?"

"Uh," I said finally. "I think we should all agree not to say the word fight."

"SHUT UP, GREG," Karen and Jonah said.


The second was with Karen and Todd. I was getting confused as to what schedule was being changed and why and who the what, now. Which meant that I had Todd on the schedule as coming in at noon when in fact Todd had the idea he was coming in at ten. Is anyone still awake? ANYWAY-- Todd blew in on his bitchin' board, his hair askew and akimbo, his bod looking cut in his fishnet tanktop. Karen greeted him with a warm smile and a screech.


"Thanks? I love feeling welcome at work!"

I was called into the office to officiate their fi-- er, donnybrook. Todd looked wild and angry, like a desert prophet, while Karen looked ashen and wobbly, like a ballerina with shark teeth.

"You have to stop doing this, Karen," Todd said with beardly fury. A vein twitched in his cheek. "You need to stop being so manic! I don't want to fight with you, but you make it really hard."

"I don't want to fight either! I--"

"Let me stop you there," I said. "We aren't fighting. Okay? No one is fighting. Indeed, let's just try to find a compromise and maybe a better shirt for me to wear."

Things settled a smidge. Todd apologized for getting all Old Testament on Karen, while Karen laughed wheezily. She waved at her office wall festooned with children's drawings and craft projects.

"You see all this crazy crap? [My boss] would never have her office like this! I'm just a nut, aren't I?"

"There's an alligator wearing sunglasses," I said. "Now I've seen everything!"

It was only ten thirty and already I had been made to feel uncomfortable TWICE. What happened to the library being a place of quiet contemplation etc etc? But, wait, there was more!

The third was with Dennis and Jonah. Who be Dennis, you don't ask? He's some fellow Karen brought in for our Coffee n Conversation program that afternoon. Dennis was a Duluth tour guide and with his ponytail and soul patch was prepared to have a debate about all the development going on in the Ruby Creek area. But no one from the public came by. So he was left with Karen, Jonah, me and the donuts.

"I like the glazed, but chocolate can fill that yawning abyss inside myself," I said. "Heh heh."

I was ignored as Dennis and Jonah proceeded to argue about gentrification.

"You're using the modal verb when you say that," Dennis said, the bristles on his soul patch gyrating. "If you take out the adverb in your sentence it would make more sense. I'm an English teacher."

"And I'm an English student," Jonah said. "You can't attack me on semantics when you won't define the idea. And I find you repugnant."

"You keep answering my questions with another question!" Dennis cried. "This is just like when I argue with my husband--he always answers a question with another question."

"You are a hack, sir."

"Heh heh, let's not fight?" I said, the clammy spots under my arms remoistening yet again. "Remember that Simpsons when they addressed gentrification with the healing medicine of laughter?"

(Just be careful how you open that slot...)

"I can see there's no point in debating with you," Dennis said, huffing his patch huffily.

"You said you wanted a debate!" Jonah said.

"I'm sorry I failed to articulate what I mean."

"I accept your failure."

"Heh heh. That was the Hank Scorpio episode. Does anyone want a donut? I can't eat them all... Heh heh... Er... Donuts?"

To end my perfect day, I was walking to Chipotle to roll some burritos when a guy in a giant Chevy Tahoe made a U-turn in an intersection and nearly ran me over.

"Just doing some gentrifyin'!" he yelled from his open window.

"Sorry!" I said.

And that is my message to you, reader: Sorry.