Friday, December 14, 2018

Interregnum Stulte Magnissime Poopy

With Karen out for obscure medical reasons, and sweet anarchy descending upon Ruby Creek, I found myself thrust into greatness. I declared I was in charge now. Tremble before thy Ozymandias!

I was busy thrusting out my chin when some old bird came up to my desk.

"Can I get the new Dan Brown book? What's the name of it?"

I regally eyed the impertinent customer. "Origin?" I deigned to say.

"It begins with an O. It's his latest."


"Can you put me on hold for it? I don't know the name. It's his latest."

"Origin is the name."

"Whatever it is, can you put me on hold? What's the name of it?"

"The book is called Origin. By Dan Brown. I put it on hold for you. Now... begone."

"Thank you. And what's the name of the book?"


Her lacquered face crackled. "That's it!" She snapped at the air triumphantly. "I knew I'd think of it!"

I was sitting for my oil portrait when Donovan came over. He needed to report his findings in the men's restroom downstairs.

"You know how the bottom of the toilet has a hole?" Donovan made a toilet O with his hands. "About yeah big?"

"Mm, yes, I've stared it down many times."

"This morning there was some... you know, just stuck there. Now how can something that size come out of someone? That ain't right. And I had to fish it out. When I'm doing those kind of things, it don't make me angry. It just makes me sad."

"I have something else to make you sad. You see, since I'm in charge," chest puff, "I've been getting the customer comment cards."

One said: "BUILD A CELL PHONE BOOTH." No, that wasn't it. I shuffled through them. Another said: "THIS LIBRARY CARRYS BRUTAL SHOCKING CRAP. PLEASE ELIMINATE THESE ITEMS..." No, that wasn't it. (Why were they all so shouty?) Here it was. Yet another high-decibel comment:


Donovan stared at the comment. "What this mean?"

"Who knows. But take care of it, will you?" I fingered my ermine and fixed my steely gaze upon him. "Dismissed."

Then Mark Hotdog our Origami Specialist came in, lugging a giant tree. Red in the face, panting, he said, "Okay, where do you want it?"


"Where do you want it! Karen wanted a Christmas tree, and here it is."

"Oh, uh..." I dithered. "Put it... wherever?"

"What? Do you want it here?" He nodded at our shocking brutal crap section.

"No. Uh... er..." Where was Karen?? "I mean, where do you want to put it?"

"It's your decision."

"Um. Yeah. Er."

Mark stared at me with suppressed rage and homosexuality. "You better step up to the plate! Don't make me fold you."

"All right, uh, put it by the... travel books?" (Swing and a mistletoe!)


He dragged the tree to its new home, trailing pine needles and Christmas cheer.

Todd came over, scowling beardfully after Mark.

"What's that homo up to?"

"He's not gay," I said. "Just furiously festive. Anyway, I've got a comment card here. Did you ask one of our patrons how old they were? And then when they said they were 33, you told them that they were too young to be checking out DVDs? Were you... DVD shaming them?"

"What's your point?"

"I just thought... you know, the comment card." I twirled my hand. Suddenly I was feeling weary. Weren't monarchs supposed to have a royal good time? Where was my turkey leg?


"Never mind."

"Jerk. You think you're the boss now, but you're just a TYRANT."

Todd stomped away, and I made a mental note to have my spies watch him more closely. I went back to desultorily shuffling through the last of the comment cards. I was shocked to see something about Justron.

"Oh, no," I said, reading. "Not our favorite Jew?!"

I summoned him to my royal circulation quarters.

"Yes, boss?"

I tented my fingers. "Justron," I said imperially. "It's come to my attention that you've been having sexual relations with your fellow shelver back on the workroom desk. Is this true?"

Justron was stunned. "Was that wrong? Had I known... Wait! That IS wrong! Let me see that!"

He grabbed the comment card.

"Just as I thought. Jonah wrote the comment! See the interrobang? Only Jonah is pretentious enough to use them!"

In the background we heard chuckling snortles. Jonah peeped around the corner, and then disappeared into the stacks.

"Come back here!" Justron yelled softly. "I'll interro-bang you!"

I sighed. I was starting to wonder if I was just another Al Haig wannabe.

Justkidding came by. She had a get-well card for Karen, and wanted me to draw something in it.

"What should I draw?"

"Maybe a drawing of her in her coffin," Justkidding said, and whooped a laugh. Then she got serious. "Too soon?"

Get well too soon, Karen! This crown is heavy as fuck!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Always Stroking My Own Wookiee

In today's Movie Minute, SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY answers questions such as: Where'd Han get his dreamy vest? What Berlitz class did he learn Wookiee? And why is Woody Harrelson?

"That's right. Why is Woody Harrelson?"

SOLO gives us a young Harrison Ford, but with none of his voice-over sleepiness or non-existent acting ability.

"If I see Greedo, I have to remember to let him shoot me first.
At least that's what some old guy told me in a dream."

Though mildly able to articulate the shit someone has typed, the new Han Solo exhibits all the charisma of your dad's new novel, if that new novel was called 50 SHADES OF MILTON FRIEDMAN.

The bad guy is less handsome, and therefore less nice. He's part of a syndicate from the Planet of British Accents, and not the delightful kind of syndicate that brings us Fred Basset to our breakfast nook every morning. No, this bad guy is THE MAN, and he wants Han Solo to stop getting involved with cannabis. Or is it Woody Harrelson?

"No, why is Woody Harrelson?"

Along the way, Harrison Holo assembles a ragtag band of muppets, hippies, and jive-talking Clint Howard impersonators.

"Luke, I am your father. And I am Ron Howard's
 brother. And probably someone's cousin. Sheesh am I ugly."

If all this doesn't prod the boning experience, then we also have a young lady who straps on her perfect breasts and readies herself for a night of horizon dancing. In space.

"I sure hope I don't run into the Galactic Federation of PETA."

The hero wins a neato ship in a poker game from Billy Dee Williams lite, or is that heavy? All I know is there's something heavy in my space britches.


They play games onboard the ship to make sure the movie is doing as much fan service as possible.

"Meanwhile, another draw in the Carlsen match. Zzzz..."

Then they fly into Andy's eyeball so he can watch Madagascar with rich enjoyment.

"Dude, your eye is fucked up."

In the end, the bad guys betray the good guys who betray each other who betray the audience who betrays their desire to buy more toys. Fail all around.

At least they have a new hat! (Hat not included.)

Seriously, why Woody Harrelson? 

"Why? Yeah, I don't get it either."

Friday, November 30, 2018

Go East, Old Man

Awash in unwanted Proustianisms, I sat alone in the library of East High School. My objective was to entice impressionable students to the dark path of library science. Few stopped by my table set up with brochures and skulls. It didn't help that I had dawned my new sweater Mom had given me.

"Don't let this happen to you, kids!"

There I was, lost in contemplating the Travels of Marco Polo, Venetian, when finally a class of students wandered into my web. I gave the nearest student a tight smile in my beard. He seemed frightened.

"I'm not a hobo," I said.

"Oh." He seemed disappointed.

"Want a library card? It'll open the door to a magical world of ideas and information and bloggin'."

The student grunted. As he filled out the application, my phone buzzled.

"GREG," came Mom's voice. "I need to talk to you!"

"Okay, but I'm at East, Mom. Can we maybe--?"

"I think Bingo ate my dentures."


"Bingo! He's been acting strange all day and I think he ate my dentures. I'm trying not to cry as I tell you this."

"And I'm trying not to laugh."

"I've torn up the house. I can't find them anywhere! I'll have to spend thousands to get a new impression made. Oh, this is terrible!"

"Okay, let's just think. Has Bingo ever tried to eat his own teeth? And maybe he was just licking off the Polident? Maybe it gets him high?"

"This isn't funny! I'll have to take him to the vet and get his stomach pumped."

I continued riffing like a pro. "Maybe Bingo's an anti-dentite, maybe Bingo thought the teeth would eat him first if he didn't..." The student waved the application in my face. "Mom? Can I get back to you?"

Mom hung up. I signed up several young people, helping them achieve their dreams of fine removal.

Ten minutes later my phone burzled.

"GREG. Is there any way you could come over and help me look for my dentures? I've torn the whole house apart! But maybe it's under the chair. It's too heavy for me to lift..."

"I don't know, Mom. I have to be here. You know, surly teenagers are our future sullen adults. Have you tried squeezing Bingo really hard?"

"This dog will be the death of me. I don't know where my teeth could be! Can you come over, please? Do I sound funny without my teeth in?"

"Mom, just--"

"Maybe we can get Bingo to poop and we can find them that way. Will you come over and help me go through his poop?"

"Gotta run."

I never felt so grateful when several more students came in wanting library cards.

"Thank you," I told the students gathered around. "Thank you. Otherwise I'd be rooting through poop for my mom's teeth. Anyway. Wait--don't go!"

My phone blurferled.

"GREG. Are you there? I've been calling and calling. Do you have a minute?"

"Yes, Mom," I said. "But I can't really--"

"I found the dentures, thank God! They were on my head under my glasses the whole time! Can you believe it? I'm so happy. I was worried sick that poor Bingo was going to be hurt."

"Oh, okay. Good."

"You're not going to blog about this, are you?"

"No," I said forcefully. "Nor am I blogging about this right now."

"And are you wearing the sweater I got you? You like it, don't you?"

"Yes, Mom."

"Good! Now, listen, I have to talk some more about this and that!"

"Yes, Mom."

An hour later I hung up. What happened to the days when you weren't allowed to talk on your cell phone in the library?? DAMN DEMOCRATS

Friday, November 23, 2018

Eye Can't See You

Today's guest blogger is Andy. For those of you who don't know, he is a cartoon.

Alas, he is also real person, in cartoon form. Now, let's all have a good laff at his health problems!

All of us conceal secret shames. Perhaps you like bingeing on giraffe porn, or have an addiction to "The Bachelor"? Maybe you like peanut butter and mustard sandwiches? I even have a couple of friends who are shorter than average. My secret shame, something I've kept hidden all my life, was that I had poor eyesight. I just covered it up with stylish eyeglasses.

"Does this hairnet make me look fat?"

With age, my eyes suffered diffraction from more cataracts than the Nile. So I had to finally paddle past my denial and schedule surgeries. That’s right, surgeries, for you see they can only operate on one eye at a time. I had a couple of pre-op appointments and they measured my eyes with lasers, sound waves and, for some reason, a rectal thermometer (which I enjoyed immensely).

The kids were off school on the day of my first surgery, so they accompanied Amy and me to the center. The children were so anxious about me that I think I heard one of them grunt at their iPhone as I said goodbye. As the door shut behind me, I heard Liam’s sweet call, “Hey Dad, do you know what the wifi password is here?”

A couple of nurses went to town on me, and not in a sexy way. They started an IV that I kept calling a four. Neither of the nurses ever asked why I called it that, ruining my Latinate jocularity. They put approximately 738 eye drops in and then discussed the previous evening's “Bachelor” as if I wasn’t even there. I even had to take my own photo.

"Thank God I don't need to blow my nose! Yet!"

Everything in the surgery center was blindingly white. White coats, white walls, white blankets, white lights and white people. The nurse said it was necessary to keep everything sanitary.

Finally, they wheeled me into the room with a high-tech laser doo-hickey and the machine that went “PING.” One minute of watching Laser-Floyd pulverized my cloudy lens. I assumed they would play “Comfortably Numb” during the laser show, but for some reason they chose “Brain Damage.”

"Nooo! Not The Shape of Water!"

Fully Syd Barretted, I had to change gurneys for the trip to the OR. This proved somewhat difficult as I could no longer see. Using echolocation, I finally made it to execution chamber and my anesthesiologist cranked up the Midazolam (versed). Suddenly I realized, “Why’s everyone so uptight about things. It’ll work out…” Meanwhile the surgeon chopped away at my eye like he was tossing a summer salad. All I could see during this was Thousand Island goodness. The 738 drops worked great and I felt nothing but love for my fellow human beings.

After about 10 minutes of this, the doctor slipped in my new lens and I could suddenly see betadine-tinted shapes. Before I knew it, I was in the post-op room. Amy was there and amused at my mellow.

The week between getting my eyes done was pretty hellish.  Unable to read, I was forced to watch cable television. Apparently, an election caravan was making a beeline to the southern border. This caravan would consume our entire country, or evaporate into thin air as soon as the election occurred.

Having one eye corrected and one not made my vision look roughly like this.

"This giraffe says we'll make bank if we fuck each other!"

It made me nauseated because I don’t even like Madagascar. 

The following Tuesday, I went in to get my right eye done. Second verse, same as the first. The following day, I went in for my follow-up appointment. The doctor asked if I had any questions.

“We’re going up to the Estes Y for Thanksgiving. Will I be able to swim then?”

“Sure you will,” he answered.

“That’s great because I’ve never been able to before!”

Friday, November 16, 2018

Life: A Continual Series of Astonishments

This wasn't a comical attempt at astonishment. Todd was truly, utterly astounded. After I'd told him about Sheryl's salary hike, he stared at me in speechless, breathless disbelief: mouth open, eyes blasted, beard electric.

"What in Christ's fuck."

Just then Amelia Lapland came over to my desk. An elderly toadish Russian lady, with gaping fleshy mouth and Stalinist chin, she wanted to know why she wasn't getting notifications for her holds. This led her into an extended gulag of complaint about Google--that her email account had been hacked three times and she had lost all her information and she only had a flip phone so she couldn't receive text messages from Google about getting a new password and her brother wanted to give her a smart phone but she didn't want it and finally she had gone to "the Google" in Boulder but they wouldn't let her into the building, even after demanding to speak to Mr Google himself. I nodded and smiled and chuffed my lips to express sympathy. Then she went away.

Todd gaped. "Was that woman talking about seeing Mr Google? Is she insane?"


I then decided to test Todd's limits for astonishment. I had seen an old friend a few days before, someone I hadn't heard from in years. This friend--we'll call him, uh, Gary--had and has a number of vague Mayo-Clinic-ish ailments that prevent him from leaving his house. His wife works in the legal field and makes all the money while he sees doctors and tries new treatments in ever-diminishing cycles of effectiveness.

In his text Gary had warned me that his house was a "shitshow," but being a connoisseur of shows and shit, I drove right over. He answered the door with his graying hair in a topknot and a vermicular braid in his beard. He wore a soiled white t-shirt, sweat pants and crocs. Then he explained that before we got caught up he needed to go to the local dispensary. On the walls of the kitchen, amid the darkness and disarray, were several post-it notes that spelled out one word: SPRINKLER! His wife was gone at a wedding, and he needed help. Firstly, he needed to scare up some cash, as he didn't like the idea of using a card to buy weed. We went into the bedroom where the bed was buried under a Matterhorn of clothing and shoes. Gary muttered, going through envelope after envelope, extracting bills from birthday and Christmas cards.

"Okay, fifty, fifty, fifty, and four twenties. And a ten. That's... 240?"


He stopped, counting and recounting, laying out the bills on the clothing peak. "Wait, what did I say?"


"Wait, no. It's three fifties. And four... twenties." He counted them out. "What is that? Is it 240?"

Gary gave me such an anxious, befuddled look that it made me question my own math. I went over it again in my head.

"Yes, it's 240."

"Okay. Okay. Okay. Wait, what's this ten? Is that another twenty? Wait, what did I say?"

"420. No, I mean, 240."



Having finished our labored and overlong Cheech n Chong routine, we hied to the local pot emporium whence Gary decided to involve himself in cannabis. He haggled with the utterly high person behind the counter, arguing for discounts and asking about growers in the area and why don't they carry this blend anymore and Dave's not here, man.

Once we rode a unicorn's rainbow back to his house, we tackled the ubiquitously posted SPRINKLER! subject. Ripping down a post-it, Gary stared for a long moment, then turned to me. He asked if I could help him with his sprinkler. Hence: SPRINKLER! Would I be able to? I said sure, man. This entailed going out the front door again, and as we did so I loudly cracked wise about reefer.

"Shh! Shh!" Gary said. "It's against the law, federally. Okay? Come on. Seriously, be quiet about that."

"Do you have enemies who... live across the street?"

"Just, shh. Okay? Just. Come on. Shhh."

Before traveling to the back yard, Gary had to lock the front door. He patted at his jacket. One pocket. Another. And then another. Fuck, he whispered. Then he found the key and proceeded to lock all the locks, one by one. Which was a good thing since we were taking a perilous three-minute trip to the back of the house--we didn't want narcs bogarting his stash or-- SHH. SHH. Right, right. Sorry.

He led me with a flashlight to the spigot. It was turned tight. Gary was baffled.

"Who turned it off? I just talked to [my wife] this morning, and she says we needed to turn it off."

"Did you do it?"


"Are you sure? Possibly while high?"

"SHH! SHH!!"

"Right, right."

Chores finished, we now entered into the fun portion of our hang-out sesh. Gary warned me that the basement was not... tidy. While the house was packed with tottering piles of books, large mysterious boxes, drifts of mail, little cat turds, hundreds of pill bottles, and decomposing bodies, the basement was somehow even worse. As we descended the stairs, the vibe changed from Cheechy Chongy to Scooby Doo-ey. The floor, the walls, the ceiling were covered in... DVDs.

"Wow," I said banally. "That's a lot of DVDs."

"Yeah," Gary said, kicking at a turd.

I stood over a raft of DVDs that came to my knees. The titles ranged from Dr Who to Anchorman 2 to Jeepers Creepers 7.

"So how many DVDs do you have?"

With a grimace, Gary stretched, turning and twisting his back. He was still recovering from our adventure. He held his stomach.

"Just a sec."

He took out a little bottle from a slag heap and loudly drank something called Aromatic Bitters. He threw back his head and gargled.

"Ahhhhhh," he said. "Helps to settle my stomach."

"Hm. Anyway, how many DVDs would you say...?"

"Yeah, I heard your question. It's probably around, I don't know, five to six thousand."

"Wait, wait," Todd said, interrupting my story. "How many...?"

"Five to six thousand."

His eyes rolled up in his head, and down he went. Justron rushed over and waved pages from my dad's economic thriller, trying to to prod the boning experience, but to no avail. Todd was out cold. We stepped over him the rest of the day.

Sometimes, my friends, life is just too damn much.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Horizon Dancing

First, an apology to my readers for the length of these blog posts. Just like the rent is too damn high, these posts are too damn long. So in the interest of succinctness, of taste and brevity, here is today's brief, pithy, laconic post without further ado a-a-and... the curtain opens on Perkins, Mom, flapjacks, griddle cakes, and some gentleman choking in the distance.

"Oh! Is he okay?" Mom said.

I shrugged. "You know, Reuben--that's Pat's dog--performed the Heimlich on Pat the other night."


"Reuben heard Pat breathing funny, there was a low whistle in his throat, and the dog jumped on him and got Pat to cough. Then Reuben checked his prostate. With his paw."

Mom frowned. "When are you going to get rid of your beard? You look like a deranged Ewok."

"Not until I get my own Christmas special."

Maybe I shouldn't let it grow up to my eyes...

"Anyway," I continued unsolicited, "Pat is thinking of moving to Miami. He's using my address now. His passport came in a mailer, but it seems I lost the birth certificate that was supposed to be with it. And he wants me to get him a phone. All in the name of Latin."

Mom's eyes narrowed. "I think he has a thing for you."

Mine widened. "Maybe he does."

"Does he... does he....?"

"Does he what?"

"Does he, I mean, is he able to have sex?"

"He's been talking about getting the right equipment. You know, for the boning experience."

"What does that mean?"

"Sorry, I was just quoting some of Dad's prose. I got his novel, and he wants me to edit it. Here's a necessary sampling.

They fell onto the bed. She was ready to ride. He entered the starting chute, and mounted that wild mustang's saddle. Bareback bucking was on, slow and easy, then up tempo, faster... faster.

That crazy-ass mare bucked with fury, she bit, arched her back and scratched his. Her hips thrust and he grabbed the filly's mane, hung tight, thrust for thrust. He gripped like he was pumping iron. Gyration for gyration...they went!

The Tony Lamas flailed his buttocks, he scarcely felt it, he was grinding to the promised land, soaking in sweat, gasping for air with heart pounding out the path to ecstasy. They came to... a neck and neck ending to release their iron grip on momentary bliss.

Wordless she rose, having satisfied a daily itch.

He sank, while watching her walk in nothing but boots to the bathroom.

Seeing her short skin tight skirt and infectious smile, fired his desire to  perpetuate the species, he said, “what’s available?”

She eyed him, “you asking about me or a drink?”

He was going to ask when she got off work. “Jim Beam neat and . . . ,“ as she turned for the bottle he saw her tight waisted figure it prodded the boning experience in him but before he could say . . . “you! When are you off?,” dit - dit - dit - daaah rang, as she placed the glass in front of him with a I’m ready if you’re up for it.  

Many women there seemed in the hunt to score too. He could just sense that they had begun after work to dawn their evening costume, which began with strapping on perfect breasts, slipping into tall stilettos with a short sleeveless bright colored mini-dress that fit like it had been spray painted on their work-out toned bodies. Tanned legs, courtesy of a tanning salon, were well exposed. After slipping into “combat gear,” they’d obviously spent enormous time with make-up and professionals coiffing their, the longer the better, hair. They were ready for a night of horizon dancing.

Mom started choking, gasping for air.

"Reuben!" I yelled. Just then Pat's dog came rushing in and grabbed Mom in the Heimlich. They went! Gyration for gyration.

I turned to the audience, releasing my iron grip on momentary bliss and dawning my evening costume of perfect breasts and my, the longer the better, hair. "I hope everyone had a good time reading my blog today."

*looks over length of post*

Aw hell.

Dit - dit - dit - daaaaaaaaah.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Four More Years!!

There I was, sitting at my accustomed spot in the universe and listening to my beard grow. Alas, 'twere Fate that it were ever so. But then, who's to say what the quiddity of Fate is, or what the stochastic alterity of Time is, or what Yahoo Serious is doing these days...?


Thankfully, Justkidding came over to dispel my tedious philosophical musings.

"I need you to give me money," she said. "Ten large."

I grunted in my beard.

"COME ON. Here, I'll make it easy for you." Justkidding shoved me to one side and brought up her Funding A Go Go site. "What's your bank routing number?"

"What is this for, exactly?"

"It's for my movie about women of color running for office!"

"Oh, right. Like Lisa Toblerone?"

"Calderon, dummy."

"Sorry. Right. But I do love white chocolate. Does that make me not a racist? Then again, is white chocolate just chocolate in whiteface?"

"You. are. trash."

Justkidding stomped away and left me to my beardly ruminations on the Lacanian tripod and the Aztec Camera--when Zani came over.

"Greg! I can't get into my computer I think it's because I changed my password and they don't like what I changed it to or I just forgot it and I don't remember it and now I can't get into my computer and I don't know what to do can you help I need help can you help?"

"Breathing is helpful. Have you tried that?"

"Do you think they don't like my password but don't we have freedom of expression in this country? I thought we did I just changed it to something against the president that's my new password but maybe I can't remember it."

Then she leaned close. The atoms on her nose intermingled with mine.

"My new password is... FUCKTHEPRESIDENT. Do you think they denied me access because of my password but I can't remember if I added some numbers or not?"

"Don't worry, the FBI has been informed."

While Zani rushed off to report herself to the authorities Jonah and Justron interrupted their Talmudic exegesis to harass the goy.

Justron looked after Zani. "What's the problem with that Jew?"

"Jewish," I said. "What's the problem with that Jewish."

Jonah was still wiping off his Halloween makeup.

"Did you go as Hegel?"

"How did you know??"

Justron was joining us he-men in the beard harvesting. His theory, or beory, was that all the superstars in the NBA had chops of Civil-War-era mutton, so therefore more beard meant more splashes from downtown.

"If that's true, then Todd would be MVP of the league."

"Todd?" Justron said. "That would be Most Vegan Person."

Todd poked his whiskers around the corner. "Did someone call my name??"

He had just got done pissing. There was a tragic dark spot on his jeans.

"Look at this," he said. "Don't ever get your dick pierced. I can't pee straight anymore. Sometimes I think I'll just snip that piece of skin with some scissors."

I was in full-on shudder mode when Karen appeared. She grabbed my chair back and rolled me into the office.

"What's this about you retiring in two years??!"

I shrugged in apology. "I was just thinking about it."

"Well, you can't. You have to stay for at least four more. You just gotta."

I rustled my beard with a sigh. "Okay. Maybe. I don't know yet."

"Great. Then it's agreed. You'll stay four more years!"

Karen rolled me back to my place, and led the staff in chanting:


I saluted the crowd and then I was carried around the library on their shoulders before they all had to be hospitalized. I was alone again. I started to think about things. What had I been ruminating about? Oh! Right. Yahoo Serious was indeed working on a new movie and he... zzzzzzzzz.

Todd whispered: "Four more years."