Thursday, April 20, 2017


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Mrs. Grundy

Mrs Grundy lives alone in a house, with three bedrooms and one bed. She's called Mrs Grundy because "Miss" or "Ms" just didn't fit. She goes grocery shopping once a week and eats fruit in the produce aisle, but nobody says anything. If you walk by her house, you might hear Lawrence Welk records playing.
Mrs Grundy is old and she'll probably be dead within a decade.

I wrote this. This is about all I know of her. And I know this because I am her half-brother. But I won't visit her, and I won't be seen with her.
Because she doesn't fit in with my personal brand.
My name is Steve Ballmer. I'm sharing this with you for reasons of my own.

If you publish this, and anybody takes note in any significant way, I will deny having written this. And everyone will believe me.
Because you are a nobody.
Like my half-sister, Mrs. Grundy.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chapter One

“Gimmie another one, Fred”, said Willy, pointing to his just downed scotch on the rocks. He was on his fourth or fifth one now, nothing new – he drank about 5 or 6 of them every night after work. He lived a few blocks south of Fred’s bar, “The Spot”, and he worked at a VA hospital, a few blocks north of Fred’s.

Willy wasn’t much for walking, but had little choice – his old beater had finally died some years back, and because of numerous bad choices, he was in no position to buy another one. A chief reason he disliked walking to work, Fred’s and home, was due in no large part to the fact that he was walking on the streets of Los Angeles.
LA is truly one of the worst places to not own a car. Nothing makes you feel more like a loser than not having a car in LA. He’d tried the bus a few times, but if walking made him feel poor, then riding a bus made him feel even poorer. Most LA buses were rolling tenements, in his opinion.

Walking also gave Willy a lot of time to reflect on the sad state of his life. He’d often rue how he was on the cusp of something big more than once, but inevitably would find his prospects thwarted by the capriciousness of fate, the unpredictability of people, and his own poor timing and judgment. For decades, Willy had clung to his dreams of greatness, and had sweat blood and tears trying to make them happen. For over 30 years, he’d given his all trying to build a successful, local-market advertising agency.

The job had cost him his marriage, his prized possessions, his investments, and eventually, his home. And at that point, the dream died forever.

After his nervous breakdown, and a brief period in a halfway house, Willy found a job as a file clerk in a VA Hospital. The work was rote, and the pay was enough to pay his weekly tab at Fred’s. And while he had no friendships at the hospital (some of his co-workers called him crazy – as if occasionally muttering to oneself is so extreme), Willy didn’t mind. Years of getting screwed over had robbed him of his desire for much human contact.

And all this time to himself meant that inevitably, dreams of another kind started to swirl about in Willy’s head. Thoughts that Willy himself, termed “crazy.” Impossible pie in the sky thoughts. And one notion in particular had assumed a vice-like grip upon Willy’s psyche of late.

It wasn’t a dream of riches, or fame. Or of companionship. It was a dream of selflessness. Something noble; something for the good of a society in which he was invisible.

The greatest impact upon Willy of working at the VA hospital had nothing to do with his work, but rather, the surroundings of his work. Seeing all those wounded soldiers and permanently disabled veterans, made Willy come to despise war. A natural reaction in most people, to be sure. But Willy had been fantasizing about doing something about it. Something to end it.

And the more he thought about it, the more it seemed possible. His surname, features and fluency in the enemy’s language (his parents were immigrants from there) meant that he could walk amongst those peoples unperturbed. That he could strike at the enemy from within. The hardest part, frankly, would be getting all the paperwork required for travel!

And as Willy sat there, working on his fourth or fifth scotch, he decided that now was the time to take action. To live for something. To do something grand – not just for himself, but for his country – indeed, for the world. Willy was going to bring this war to an abrupt close. He was going to kill the leader of America’s enemy.

He gulped down the last of his drink, slammed the tumbler down, which caught Fred’s attention, and looking him squarely in the eye, exclaimed with gusto, “Fred, I’m going to kill Hitler!”

Chapter Two

“Willy”, said Fred calmly and with some concern upon his face, “Hitler’s been dead for over sixty years.”

“Oh, wait. Really? Yes, I think you may be right”, said Willy. “May be right. Ok, let me think on this some more…and gimmie another scotch on the rocks.”

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pearls of wisdom from my father. (A continuing series. Or not.)

“Son, life is, for the most part, joyless. No fun. Just one endless, heartbreak after another. You will be tortured at work, at home and even in your dreams. Sometimes, you’ll find some moments of peace, and even feel good for a little while – This is why I drink. But those moments are lies and as you drink a few more, it dawns on you, that it’s a false moment, an illusion, and so your good mood evaporates, making way for the pain and bitterness to return. So now you’re miserable and drunk. You’re a miserable drunk."

I was 10 as my father told me this.

“And even though you may grow up to be a good person, as I once was, you’ll find yourself surrounded by evil, horrible people. Pricks and cunts, all of them. You’ll likely sleep with vile people and in all likelihood, marry a vile person, as I did. Twice.”

It was my birthday.

“You’ll work for vile people. You’ll have to take orders from them. The most awful cretins, beneath you in so many ways, except the one that matters – They have some small power and influence. Many of them will have had their roles handed to them from someone equally undeserving. It’s who you know and what you’re willing to do to get your tiny piece of cheese. Merit has nothing to do with it. And talent can often be seen as a threat to these assholes. If you’ve got any streak of independence, or originality, you’ll find this life impossible. These scummy little whores will force you to work with their bad ideas. They’ll be ignorant and arrogant, and those people, are the worst kind of people of all. Those are the people that have largely engineered all the world’s ills, from the small, everyday vexations, to global horrors. You’ll want to murder them; beat them until they’re a disfigured, bloody pulp – And thinking about doing that will briefly make you feel good. Of course, even if you could get away with it, there’d always be another cocksucker to step in and take their place. Like a hydra, which is a mythical snake whose heads always are replaced when cut off."

I knew about hydras from my beloved Marvel comics.

“It’s all so pointless. In the end, all their schemes, all their trivial plans, are utterly inconsequential and meaningless; too insignificant to even be noted as an ironic joke. We are nothing more than a speck in the grand design of things. Over the span of untold millennia, our time on this planet will have been less than a blip; essentially invisible. But think of the great and decent things we could’ve done as a species while we were here. The simple joys of this world that we could’ve experienced. And what did we do? We chose to fuck each other over, in a variety of ways, every single day."

There wouldn't be a birthday party. In fact, as a kid, I never had birthday parties. But I must say that I did get some cool presents. Like GI Joe Adventure Team figures, and Britains cowboys and indians.

"We like to think of Christmas as one day where we all just let each other be, just peace, even if only for one day. But trust me, as we’re opening our presents, there are countless little guys getting screwed over. We are a vile, corrupt species, and the few that are attuned to purer instincts are an exception, often shunned, commonly ignored. Or crushed.”

My birthday present was an Aurora snap-together pteradactyl model kit, which I loved, and which complimented my Aurora snap-together sabretooth tiger.

“You’ll make some friends here and there, but many of them will fail you. Some will betray you. Finding someone you can trust, someone you can rely on – a true friend – this is the one of the most difficult things in the world. Since so many people are cowardly, shelfish, and paranoid by nature, they can’t help but present a false face – it’s a defense mechanism.”

But I wasn’t upset. Actually, I was feeling pretty good. My father had let me have some beer! It was my first of so very, very many.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When I was about six or seven, my mom used to have me ride my bike to the local tavern in San Rafael and fetch my father to come home for dinner. When I’d get to Pier 15, he’d usually order me a Shirley Temple while he finished his last drink, and then he’d toss my bike in the trunk of his car and we’d drive home. This was pretty much a daily occurrence for probably a year or so.

My regular route involved passing a huge, airplane-hanger-sized, factory or warehouse of some sort. And although the giant bay doors were open, I had no idea as to the nature of the business – What interested me was the long, marked driveway that ran from end to end. It was like a landing strip, painted green with white and black stripes. Everytime I went by, I had an urge to ride my bike from one end to the other, pretending I was Evel Knievel or Major Matt Mason. And it always appeared to be absolutely deserted. Too perfect.

So one day, I left a bit earlier in order to spend a few minutes riding through that factory. I got there, charged in and mid-way through, I heard some voices, a couple of muted laughs and a clicking sound. Being a curious kid, I carefully coasted over, rubber wheels on a painted concrete floor = stealthy. I came upon a bunch of black dudes throwing dice against the wall and holding money. One of them, a rail-thin man, at least 7’ tall, immediately spied me. “Whatchoo want, little man?”, he asked, smiling. I told him I was on my way to pick up my dad and just wanted to ride my bike through their factory. He told me to go right ahead, but almost immediately, another guy asked me if I’d like to try my luck with a roll or two. They seemed so nice, I figured “why not?” I asked him what the game was called and he told me, “craps.” I burst into laughter, not believing that there’d be a game with such a dirty name. Feeling like a wisenheimer, I suggested they call the game, “shits”, which sent them into spasms. Anyway, good feelings all around, I threw the dice, and apparently, I’d won! The guy who invited me gave me a dollar. I threw again and won again and got another dollar! Before long, I had $5 (!) and would’ve stayed forever, but apparently, it was six and at that point, they told me they all had to start work and invited me back anytime. So the next day, I dropped by again, still with my $5 in my pocket. After a few days, I’d learnt the game and was honestly wagering my own money, though I suspect they still weren’t letting me lose too much. And of course, by then I’d learned all the names of my new friends.

After a couple of weeks, I was bringing home handfuls of comics and 7-11 superhero Slurpee cups by the dozens. Fun!

And then, one day, they were gone. All of them. And the day after that. And the day after that. And I never saw them again. Sad.


Years later, on a trip down memory lane, I was visiting my old haunts with my wife and we stopped in front of that factory. It was a plastic molding company. And putting a suitcase in the trunk and approaching the driver’s door, was someone who looked very familiar. It was a rail-thin man, at least 7’ tall. I was sure it was that same man who’d invited me to play craps decades ago. Ben. Impeccably dressed, he greeted me with a guarded stance as I approached him to inquire if my hunch was correct.

It was. Ben immediately remembered me and told me what had happened. They’d all been caught gambling in the workplace and been fired. Up until then, Ben had been perfectly happy with his lot in life. He liked his job. It paid enough, he was hard worker, and at that time, was likely on his way to being promoted to a shop steward. Up until his dismissal, he was an entirely contented man. But after he was fired, he became bitter, and spent years between jobs, and sometimes, without one altogether. Until one day, when he decided to go to school and get a business degree. He’d come upon a fanciful notion of proving he could compete and beat the man at his game. And he did. It was not even a decade after getting his MBA that he encountered an opportunity to run the very company that had fired him so many years ago. He applied, even told him of his former employment there and got the job – And their apologies!

Amazed, and beaming, I told him that this was like a fairy-tale, complete with a happy ending. But then Ben told me that he wasn’t sure if he’d call it that. On his journey of reinvention and during his climb up the corporate latter, he lost himself. And his wife. And even his second wife. He’d become a changed man. No longer fun-loving, but serious-minded. A person driven; a man with something to prove, but nobody that mattered to share his success with. He told me he wondered if that man from so many years ago would’ve been happier had fate not intervened.

Then he gave me his best wishes and told me he had to hustle to the airport for a business trip. Then my wife and I went to Pier 15 and I ordered a Shirley Temple for old times’ sake. And then a couple of big boy drinks.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A memory of my father.

Many years ago, when we first arrived in Canada, we had to live in a one-bedroom apartment. It was all we could afford, I guess. So, me, my mom, and my dad all slept in the same bedroom, though I did have my own bed. Anyway, one humid summer night, just me and my dad were in the room – Dad probably had to work in the morning; mom was still up. And I told my dad how, in middle of night while sleeping, when you turn over your pillow – it’s nice and relaxing how the pillow temperature is much cooler on the other side – and he said something like, “Yeah, I do that too. The pillow *is* cooler on the other side.”

And I remember laying there, savoring that bonding moment. Just two guys, enjoying their cool pillows.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

“The reason I liked that rubber band was because the moment I saw it in the pan of the Hamburger Helper I was cooking for your idiot father was the moment I realized that I cared so little for him that for a few seconds, while I was stirring that crap, twirling the rubber band with the spoon, I considered leaving it in there. I didn't even mind that it must've fallen out of the box of Hamburger Helper; that it got into the box at the factory or what-have-you. No, my immediate thought was to just leave it there. Like a secret revenge. I mean, he was the only one who was going to eat that dinner – I’d already had a tuna sandwich and you were God knows where. But I took it out, because I wasn’t going to have the bastard accuse me of trying to choke or poison him, and because I was better than that. But you know what I did? I rinsed off that rubber band and put it on my wrist. And I wore it everyday until it caught on my coat button yesterday and snapped. And the reason I miss it, is because it was a daily reminder of the day I completely stopped giving a shit about your father.”

I felt kinda bad for Mom. So to try to make up for that, a few days later, I opened the cupboard, got a box of Hamburger Helper, carefully opened the bottom of the box, put a rubber band in it, and then glued the box shut. She still talks about that day she found a second rubber band, like the way a kid talks about the best present they ever got, ever; almost like it was a miracle.

And that rubber band lasted for years!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

“This idiot, this complete asshole, is insisting I drive home with him, after he’s had god knows how many drinks and embarrassingly flirted with all the other women at the party – And let me tell you, they were NOT interested such a weak, ridiculous man like him. And then at the end of the night, he makes a big stink when I don’t get into the car, getting verbally abusive and grabbing me when I flatly tell him that I’m not going home with him and that another man is taking me home. So he leaves and the next thing I know, it’s almost dawn when a phone call from the police wakes me up and they tell me to come pick him up. So I go down to the police station.

This drunken bum was driving home and suddenly, he saw a very bright light coming towards him. He thought maybe it was another car, with only one light working, and try as he might, he seemed stuck on the road and could not change his lane. It was a train coming towards him and he was driving on the train tracks – don’t ask me how he got there. This disgusting pig was so out his mind that he couldn’t even tell he was on the train tracks. The train smashed into your father’s car, and knocked it into a ditch, and thank God, or maybe curse God, it was going very slow and had begun to brake long before your father had even noticed it.”

This was the story my mom told me when I asked her for an electric train set. She said ever since that traumatizing incident, trains frightened her and she didn’t want them in the house. She also used the same story when I asked for a slot-car set, citing a fear of cars.

She was also afraid of:
Hot dogs
Macaroni & Cheese
Potato Chips
Amusement Parks
Movie Theaters
White Bread
Electric appliances
Sneakers and many types of clothing
Other children in the house
Coloring books/crayons
Circus tents
Evel Knievel
The Harlem Globetrotters
Home ownership
School functions
Valentine’s Day cards
Pets of any kind
Many years ago, my mother and I were walking home from the supermarket when we came upon a pack of cigarettes lying on the sidewalk. It was a warm Sept. afternoon in Terra Linda, California. I was not enrolled in the school across the street from where we lived, as my mother and father were preparing to move yet again – this time to a place called Canada, where unbeknownst to me, my mother was a citizen. Having been educated in the States, I had never heard of it.

Since our return to the U.S. after another in a series of half-assed attempts at moving to Germany, neither my mother or father had been able to find work. They were very nearly flat broke, down to their last $2,000 and the two-storey town-home we were renting was essentially barren. The property manager had loaned us some stuff abandoned by various tenants over the years. So we had a small kitchen dinette set, and two mattresses, one for my parents and the other for me. My room was a mattress and some cardboard boxes, which I used as a fort for the toy soldiers I’d been able to buy, when my mother gave me $3 one day and let me walk the couple miles to the Emporium dept. store.

My father was rarely home as he was “looking for work”, though he usually came home empty-handed, late, and stinking of drink. And my mother was simply broken. A former smoker, she was at her wits end, though I scarcely knew it.

So that day, when we were walking home and we came upon a brand-new, factory-sealed pack of Marlboro’s, just lying there on the sidewalk, she picked it up without hesitation. She smoked ‘em all that day and late in the evening, but still before my father had come home, we walked back to the supermarket and she bought another pack. She told me that they made her feel better. And she felt more sophisticated smoking, noting how stars like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, were smokers.

Years later in Toronto, when my mother came home early and found me smoking in my room – And before she could feign an outrage, I simply told her that they made me feel better about my failing grades. And that they made feel cool, like Humphrey Bogart (I had a picture of him in front of Rick’s Café American on my wall). Her expression changed and she went on to detail the events of that time long ago in Terra Linda, in addition to telling me how she thought it was nice that we now had something in common.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Heinz Klein was a pious man. And though he often felt like a lone candle in a dark world, he kept his feelings to himself, comforted by the ally that walked by his side, day after day.

Heinz always sought his Savior’s guidance at times when he was faced with a difficult decision. He first asked his Lord for a sign when he was eight. He needed guidance with whether or not he should struggle on with his piano lessons (he simply was more interested in the drums, though his parents were so enthusiastic he play piano) or tell his parents how he truly felt. He asked Jesus for a sign. He asked the Son of God that if it be His will that he continue with the piano, then the Almighty One should strike the large maple tree in the field he was standing in with a bolt of lightning.
Well, seconds after he said, “Amen”, a bolt shot down, splitting that tree in two and starting a small fire – though Heinz was unaware of that side-effect, as he was too consumed with awe and fear to take note of much beyond the miracle he’d just witnessed. He ran home and immediately hit those 88 keys. Needless to say, Heinz poured himself into his piano lessons and quickly became quite proficient, to his parents’ delight.

In the years that followed, Heinz turned to the King of Kings often, seeking answers to all manner of questions. And each time, perhaps because of that first wondrous sign so many years ago, Heinz always made a point to give Jesus the option of splitting a tree with lightning. And while he was grateful to have the Lord as his advisor, he did begin to wonder if he was asking Him too many questions, and too often. Like the time for instance, when he asked Jesus for a sign whether or not he should eat a double-beef burrito.

When he was finally arrested, Heinz Klein was considered to be the worst serial arsonist in American history.

And this was the story my mother told me when I was seven and said I was going to pray to Jesus and ask Him if I should put the Big Jim Rescue Rig or the King Arthur playset on my Santa wishlist.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Heartland, ho!

Goin’ up to the country, got to get away. Man, it’s time to get back to basics. Be one with the land. The real stuff, the right stuff, the good stuff, man. Mother Earth. Gaia. Honesty and purity are the virtues of this realm. The country. And I’m almost there! Just take this exit off the interstate and it’s official – I’m in the country proper now. And what’s that ahead? A dirt road? Perfect. I’ll just make a hard right and take the ol’ Volvo XC-90 for some off-road action. Heck, off-roading is what this SUV was intended for, I think.

Open up those windows and turn off the climate control. Breathe deep, man. This is country-fresh air. Cleansing. Good for mind and body. I can feel my sinuses opening up already.

Screw it, I’m pulling over to stretch my legs and really get a sense of where I am. The country! The freaking country! I. Am. Here.

That’s more like it. Blue skies and fields for miles around. Even some good ol’ moo-cows in the distance. Man, just strolling here, at one with nature, makes a person –– huh? What’s this? Did I…? Did I just step in some shit? FUCK! I did. And in my new Berluti’s! Why the hell did I wear these to the fucking country? As if any of the pig-fuckers out here would even know these from a pair of DKNY’s. Great. So here I am in the middle of boonieville with some shit on my brand new Italian shoes. And what kind of shit? From those cows? Doubt it. They’re fenced in, and this crap is too creamy for cows, I’m guessing. It’s probably dog shit. Fucking crackers. Who lets their dog run around, unsupervised? Or wait, don’t tell me some inbred type was walking his dog and he just let him shit by the side of the road. And why not? It’s not like rules of the city, of civilizaton, carry any weight out here, “’round these parts.” Serves me right, for thinking anything of value was to be found in a place where people think a Volvo is part of the female anatomy.

Man, this shit is really worked into the nooks and crannies of the soles. I finally find the Berluti Empreinte du Loup’s, the ones with the wolf-paw treads, and now they’re crammed with shit. Maybe this stick will get some of the shit out. OH GODDAMN IT ALL TO HELL!!! Now I’m standing in B.F.E. like a fool, wearing limited-edition, imported Italian shoes, that probably cost more than any of these corn-feds make in a month, and they’re caked in shit AND I’ve just scratched the upper with a shit-coated stick.

And now, here comes some inbred case, wearing overalls, no less, waving at me. How precious. Well fuck him and fuck his dog, if he has one, and if it’s the one that laid the turd I stepped in. I’m Audi.

I’ll have the dealership detail the floor mats on Monday.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sweet Sorrow

I know of Sweet Sorrow.
O, too well!
Let me relate a tale of exultation tainted…

Once, years ago, in a relentless grip of profound loneliness, I ventured into a pornography shop. Who did I see amidst the racks of ass-to-mouth and granny-tranny videos, but my almost lovely co-worker at, Katrina Flentons.


She gave me a cold, disinterested look, one that conveyed that she didn’t even know who I was, and then went to the cash register with a dildo fun-pack. At the checkout, she was joined by a man who I assumed was intimate with her. He was carrying a case of warming lube, several butt-plugs of varying sizes, and two or three cock-rings. Maria and her gentleman companion then left together, without so much as a backwards glance.


Later that night, I defiled and abused my tender body and soul in ways that left me in a state of fleeting rapture.


Followed almost immediately by shame and loathing.


So yes, to answer the question regarding this position, I do know something of Profit and Loss. Please reply to this email with your salary and retirement savings plan(s).

Kind regards,

Todd Stalinson.

Monday, June 23, 2008

“Cah-elementary, my cah-dear Cockroach, cah-elementary”, said Professor Hoar. “Cor, I ‘ate it when ‘e calls me ‘Cockroach'”, thought Charles Ockroach, assistant to Professor Hoar. The pair were forensic detectives, or rather, Professor Hoar was the detective, while poor Ockroach was but his humble and log-suffering assistant.

They were at a crime scene, and while the police investigators had long departed, there was still work to be done. And although the Professor’s speech impediment, one which led him to involuntary add a “C” to almost every word he uttered, had brought a swft end to his formal detective career (interrogations were beyond labored), there were still plenty of opportunities left for a man with a high tolerance for what the regular detectives called “boring gay stuff”.

“Cah-you see, Cockroach, said the Professor, now shifting into a stentorial tone, “the cah-deceased, clearly cah-killed himself, contrary to what the coppers, as you so cah-quaintly call them, will cah-have us cah-believe!”

Ockroach wasn’t listening. He was thinking about better days; days spent roaming the fields of Indiana. And although he loved those endless, fallow fields, he'd arrived at this passion in a roundabout manner. He had purchased a plane ticket at Heathrow and landed in Indiana thinking it India. He had wanted to go to India in the hopes of having dirty, dirty sex with Indian girls. Sure, there were plenty of Indian girls in England, but Ockroach was a douchebag, and thus waaay out of his league with sophisticated Indian hotties. So, he wagered he'd have better luck with simpler village girls in India. The provincially-minded fuck. Now, because he was semi-literate, he had mistakenly bought the wrong ticket. And because he was a Cockney with a shaved head, and foolishly hit on the mannered, female Indian ticket-clerk, he had not been told otherwise.

Oh Indiana! The fields! Those endless, endless fields. He’d once gotten lost in those fields. That’s why they seemed endless to him. They weren’t. But because he had an inner-ear problem that caused him to occassionaly walk in circles, he’d only been “lost” in a 20 square-foot, unkempt backyard.

What had saved him that day was the most melodious voice he’d ever heard!
“Back home again in Indiana
And it seems that I can see
A gleaming candlelight
Still shining bright
Through the sycamores, for me”

He followed that voice, and he came upon a fence. Peering over, he saw the source of that life-saving paean. Strapping and resplendent in a yellow cardigan, stood Jim Nabors. The antics of that hapless halfwit, Gomer Pyle, had entertained Ockroach endlessly over the years, and every episode never failed to make him feel much better about himself and his faculties.

What happened next still felt like a blur to Ockroach, even after all these years of reflection. He scaled that fence, thanked Jim Nabors, struck up a conversation, was hired as Nabors’ landscaper, and after being introduced, was summarily fired by crypto Cockney-hater, Rock Hudson.

Editor's note: If you enjoyed this story, please visit for more.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An Old-Fashioned Romance Story

Maria Fillipachi lived and worked in the Tribeca area of NYC. She was a part-time bartender at “Le Dive”, a bar very popular with the local bohemes. She was also an artist, who worked in various media, ranging from painting to performance art. (In fact, one might say that she was more of a full-time bartender and part-time artist, economic considerations being such as they are for most artists.)

Among the regulars at “Le Dive”, was one Mark Kleinman, a freelance writer of modest and generally local acclaim. Over the summer that Mark and his pals had been going to “Le Dive”, Maria and Mark had become friendly. Indeed, their chemistry was apparent from the moment she first served Mark. On her breaks, Maria would often come to Mark’s table and chat. They’d also go outside and smoke cigarettes and on more than one occasion, Maria would be admonished for taking an extended break. As far as she was concerned, a harangue from the manager was a small price to pay for a communion that was almost rapturous in its intensity and intellectual stimulation.

Maria and Mark’s conversations ranged from music to politics to art and literature. And even family. They both would admit to sometimes feeling alone in the world. Each one was essentially estranged from their family, both discussing how they could never meet their family’s expectations of them. Naturally, this only strengthened their bond.

The casual bar chat led to them hanging out after her shifts, where Maria would get lost in the vast and eclectic music collection in Mark’s small, but decently appointed apartment. He, in turn gave her ideas, inspiration and hands-on help in mounting her first solo show at a SOHO gallery of renown and influence. The opening was a major success and amidst the reception, and drunk on excitement, let alone the wine, Maria found herself kissing Mark.

From that moment on, and into the autumn, Maria and Mark were inseparable. They fed off each other, and their individual pursuits coalesced into a partnership whose work was greater than the sum of its parts. Well on their way to becoming the darlings of the alt-art scene, Mark decided that it was time to make their partnership more profound, more lasting. He was going to ask Maria to marry him.

The plan: He had bought tickets for them to see a rare U.S. appearance by The Sparks, a band that had quickly become one of Maria’s absolute favorites and one whose catalog Mark had endlessly replayed for more than twenty years. From there, they would go to “Le Dive” (which, by the way, Maria had been able to quit, having ascended to a station whereby she was able to make a living solely via shows, commissions, and grants), where Mark had arranged for their friends to meet them. Surrounded by their favorite people in the world, Mark would propose.

And he did. He even got down on one knee. His cynical side told him it would be ironic and fun, but in truth, it felt like the right thing to do. It felt romantic.

Mark proposed. A tear slid down his face as uttered the words. And then Maria replied, “You’re Jewish. What will my family think?”

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Guest post from Sherlock Holmes fan, Jon Murfehr

I'm a big Sherlock Holmes fan. Have read all the stories. Have seen all the movies. Especially love the accurate-to-the-letter BBC series starring Jeremy Brett, largely considered the definitive Holmes.

So, imagine my delight when, on a recent visit to England, I went to the Sherlock Holmes pub. An entire public house liberally festooned with all things Holmes! Whilst there, I made the acquaintance of a quirky young lady.
She considered this legendary fictional (do I dream that he was indeed, an actual person? Yes, yes I do!) character "cool" and seemed rather interested in my vast knowledge of the world's greatest detective.

Emblodened and feeling that a connection was being made, I waxed eloquently and inbibed liberally, filled with a sense that this night was going to come to a most satisfying conclusion.

As it turned out, the young lady was merely biding some time before a concert by some group called "The Revolting Cocks". She neither knew much of, and cared less for, the Sleuth of Baker St. and was there simply because the pub was across the street from the concert venue.

As I said, I'd inbibed liberally, in fact too liberally and before I knew it, the young lady was leaving, making what my ears took as a disdainful comments as to my age, my unrequited interest in her and my complete lack of composure. At which point, I immediately found myself in need of a basin of some sort.

This is me, in the men's room of the Sherlock Holmes pub.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sally Bonepally (of the Long Island Bonepally's) reviews "300"

First off, if someone had told me this would be a film shot in sepia tone, then I'd -- what, are you tittering? Oh, because of my name. Right. Very mature. Anyway, as I was saying, this film's monochromatic texture in no way made up for -- what?! Stop it. Stop tittering.

Still tittering? Really. Don't tell me you're still tittering because of my name. Honestly, now! Stop tittering!

That's it. I'm going to Clem Safulsonflentons' site, Maybe I'll get some respect there.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Old man Ed Oldham tells us about his dream last night.

Ed is employed as a catalog writer for an outdoor clothing manufacturer. He's 43.
Take it, Ed.

I had a dream last night. I was walking around town with drumsticks, rat-a-tatting here and there. On walls, mailboxes, garbage cans, etc. I had the sense that I was supposed to be heading somewhere, and that drumming would be involved. And as I walked down the streets, I passed other people, also with drumsticks in hand, giving me smiles and head nods of acknowledgement. We all seemed to be part of something special. I turned a corner and found myself facing the local stadium. I headed in its direction, knowing I'd be doing something there. End of dream.

I told my boss about it and he told me that it means I'm gay.

He's 24.

Monday, February 05, 2007

click on it to see it larger

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Old man Ed Oldham tells us about his dream last night.

Ed is employed as a catalog writer for an outdoor clothing manufacturer. He's 43.
Take it, Ed.

I had a dream last night that I couldn't figure out how to change a tire on my car. Well, it wasn't really my car, in real life, but it was my car in the dream, and I completely believed it was my car, within the dream, that is. Anyway, I've got the owner's manual out, and the jack and tire iron, etc. but I just can't make sense out of how to proceed with this maneuver. And the thing is, I'm saying to myself (in the dream), that I've done this many times, so it should be second nature.

I told a co-worker about it. And he told me that it means I'm lame.

He's 27.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

BAND NAMES - The Farewell List

Tiny Daddies
Lonely Stallion
Silly Dark Sissy
Rhino Wax
Vaterland Disco
Mom to Spare
Bestiality in My Soup
Ceramics J. Bobbs
Enigmatic Soda Jerk
Calling All Schpogs
Moody, But Well-Groomed
Jehova's Witness Protection Program
Cucumber For Friend
Battered Closet Masturbators
Flesh on a Kaiser
Organ Loaner
Three Nuns And A Harpoon
Seka's Grandma
Canine Confederate
Slovenly Maverick
Hair Meets Eyebrow
The Whom
Mysterious Dog
The Insipid Lovers
Faithful She-Male
Puff Peace
Pope Inna Camaro
But, Plug
Anal Dwarf
Lost in Strangerville
Fred 'Lil' Devil' Davis
Pus on Prom Night
400lb. Priest
Rectal Vanity Mirror
Abstract Ignorance
Mood Cock Ring
Comical Blue Laser
Luke Warm Space
South of Mouth
Hold My Hedgehog
Ballsy Janitors
Boogie-Woogie Flyin' Cloud
Three Bear Julie
Intense Bachelors
Bald Girlfriend
Nocturnally Faithful
Lair of the Paperboy
Ultrasuede Mood Decade
Experimental Shoe Shine
Savagely Funny Broker
Subtlety Hygienic
Hey Humperdink
Humperdink Humperdink Humperdink
Lonesome Lion
Spanish Fly Fishing
Onion Cock Rings
Cindie Mackell and Prosthetic Boy
Pee Wee Manson
International House of the Unclean
Depressed Butchers
Attack of Life
10 Yr. Old Odor
Elvis Reads
Warm Pen
Centipede Baby Fat
Bad Leather
Sodomy Made Simple
Sweet Spread Eagle
Accountants Anonymous
Unspectacular Crotch
Boy Mansion
Dick and Dick
Personality Ointment
Share the Dead
Big Brother In-Law
Mega Fathers
Small Mom
Rice and Tits
Well Hung Angels
Come In To My Closet
Side Order of Fat
Burnt Breakfast
Coati Foetus
Ugly Brothers
Imaginary Pet
Hillbilly Reunion
Overly Friendly Uncle
Pope in a Drum
Pole Vaulting With Derek
Moist Attack
Plantar's Wart Party
Grandma Smells
Breast of Hamster
Nun Fun
My Meat
Personality Extender
Clean Toilet Seat
Dancin' With Dada
Aesthetic Persuasion
A Minor Key Feeling
Realm of Rationality
A Palpable Pain
Tubular Shipper/Receiver
WW II and Robin
Mushrooms on My Crotch
Pay For The Pork
Screaming Tim Carter
Psychic Chocolate Bunny
Hippies Cause Cancer

Monday, November 06, 2006

Y'know how in a lot of movies, when someone dies and goes to heaven, the clothes they were wearing when they died are the same clothes they're wearing in heaven?
I just hope that if that's how it really is, then when I die, I don't have a cucumber up my ass and am wearing tassled pasties. Because then I'd have to spend eternity like that. And everyone in heaven would know what I was doing when I died and snicker. That's what people in heaven do – they snicker. But it's all moot – like I'd ever want to stick a cucumber up my ass and wear tassled pasties!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Only fat people drive PT Cruisers.
I've never seen a thin person driving one.
And the PT Cruiser looks like something a Batman villain would use as a getaway car.

I hate the PT Cruiser.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Unbaked Potato



Friday, October 27, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

A fable for these troubled times...

The spirit hovered above Sam Talbender. It told Sam that he was in Catholic limbo, and Sam wondered aloud where all the unbaptized babies were. Sam Talbender had been crushed once. Days, months, years ago? The film was vague about this. The spirit was naked and had modest cockage and a huge, gaping funhole. It was an hermaphrodite spirit - the best kind. The character of Sam Talbender was supposed to be of East Indian extraction, but he was being played by British actor H. Arthur Howe.

Clarence "Babyhands" Winslow had to use both hands to hold his soft drink, keeping the popcorn box between his legs. To eat some popcorn, he had to put the drink on the floor of the movie theater, then grab a handful of popcorn. A small handful. Then he would pick up the soft drink with both hands and take a drink. For Clarence "Babyhands" Winslow, holding most things meant using both hands.

After the movie, Babyhands went to “The Doll House” to pick up a puppet they had obtained for him. He collected puppets, though he really couldn’t do much with them since his fingers were too fucking small to properly animate the heads and arms of the puppets. But that didn’t much bother him. He was serious collector.
The proprietor of “The Doll House” was also a serious collector-cum-shopkeeper. Obviously. Or else she would’ve been in the hair removal business. There was not one hair on this woman. None on her forearms - none at all. Babyhands had seen her forearms up close and they were clearly shaved or waxed or somesuch. Needless to say, she was also devoid of eyebrows. She had hair on her head, though Babyhands was sure it was a wig. Nonetheless, Babyhands was rather attracted to her and she was friendly enough to him, but her poonie-woonie was probably shaved and therefore he didn’t pursue anything other than a business relationship with her.
Her assistant, on the other hand, was exactly her physical opposite. Where the owner of “The Doll House” was hairless to the point of fetishism, this girl could at a distance, be mistaken for an endomorphic Mediterranean adolescent male. She was short, with a bulbous rear and two chest lumps that more resembled "he-titties", than female breasts. Be that as it may, on certain occasions, Babyhands would think about her and put five of his baby-small fingers to use. Actually, the only thing that stood between them was her moustache. Not even electrolysis would solve the problem – Babyhands would always be aware that it had once been there.

One hour after visiting “The Doll House”, Babyhands ate a cheese omelet with homefries, and then rode the subway for awhile, wondering why God made people like the staff of "The Doll House."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Remember how the Romans used to dress for battles?
With gold helmets and gold breastplates and leather skirts to protect themselves from arrows and spears.

But they still wore sandals!

Thus, most fights, say between the Romans and the Grecians (also sandal wearers) consisted of the two armies trying to step on each other’s toes and while your enemy is hopping, you spear him.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tuesday's Poetry Corner

The Good Life

Oh, we all want to have
“The Good Life”
But very few of us are willing
to pay the price.

It’s $49.95
certified check or money order only.

The only problem is that it has to be
hand delivered
to a woman who lives 50 miles outside of
Ogden, Utah.
And she’s hardly ever at home.

And she has a mean guard dog...

He’s a biter...

And he has dog-Aids.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Good times...

(click to view)