Friday, May 30, 2003
by Capt. Liam McEneaney, Ph.D.
In November 2002, Scientific America gave this reporter $200,000 to lead a team of researchers to the North Pole to see what new forms of comedy he might discover there. Unfortunately, the expedition's first stop was Atlantic City, where they lost most of the research grant in a high-stakes game of Solitaire. So no Arctic report (my bad!).
Instead, please enjoy this account of his dangerous journey to the Central Park Zoo's penguin exhibit.
I find myself standing at a cheap turnstile, waiting as my guide, Sir Frederick Fotheringay of the British Arctic Institute, negotiates our admission to the zoo. As he dickers with the sullen teenage gatekeeper, I can't help finding the inhabitants of Manhattan - long rumored to be an island of friendly, if strong-willed natives - a rather surly bunch. I pick up the occasional muttered comment from the line behind us, forcing me to ignore more than one sotto voce utterance like, "Hurry the fuck up," which I do believe was meant for ears other than my own.
Fifteen minutes later, Fotheringay returns to tell us that the keepers of the Zoo demand that we pay "The Full Price," or we will not be guaranteed safe passage. As I hand over a large sum of money (they insist we pay in American dollars, much stronger than whatever toilet paper currency they use here), I shudder as I imagine the things they demand of the children who must enter this stronghold.
Into the Heart of Darkness
We walk past the Island of Sea Lions and, using maps, compasses, and the ancient technique of Asking For Directions, make our way through the crowds of adults (nannies hailing from countries as diverse as England and Sweden) and chocolate-smeared children. Then we are upon it: the Legendary Lost Entrance to the Hall of Arctic Life. I find out later that the Hall of Arctic Life is actually in the Museum of Natural History uptown, but by then it is too late, much too late.
We enter the cavern of Arctic Life. As my eyes grow accustomed to the dark, I spy a glass enclosure containing our quarry - penguins, those Waddling Demons from Nature's Icy Bowels! Their eyes are full of a kind of blood-lust; a thirst that can not be slaked, and a hunger that cannot be satisfied with a mere diet of raw fish. I tremble as I approach, and I lock eyes with a fierce black-and-white king monster. I know that this is a key moment; if I look away or in any way indicate fear, then I shall lose the beasts' respect with undoubtedly fatal results.
Arctic killers prepare for blood-feast.
That is when we lose the first member of our expedition: Carlos, a simple peasant graduate student from Columbia University. He absent-mindedly lights a cigarette; the red glow of the flame playing over his fine Hispanic features. Just as suddenly a security guard appears from nowhere, gliding from the murky shadows like the Specter of Death. He informs Carlos that he has violated the Code of the Citadel; the Laws of the Ancient Ones forbid smoking indoors. Damn these primitive superstitions!
Before any of us can act, Carlos is escorted through a door marked "EXIT," a final egress from which he was never to return for ten minutes. The armies of science must march on, no matter how many comrades fall by the wayside.
I contemplate the penguin; so royal in appearance, so bloodthirsty in deed. No wonder they're called the Lions of the Arctic! (Okay, so I am to learn later that they live in the Antarctic. But I have hard, scientific proof that penguins are originally native to the North Pole, and several thousand years ago they migrated south on crudely fashioned rafts following some sort of natural catastrophe. I shall publish it in an upcoming monograph to be titled, Going With the Floe: Migratory Patterns of the Penguin.)
I know that if I am to study these fierce aquatic creatures, I must get to know them intimately. Which means living as they live, sleeping in their environment, and eating the raw fish they eat. But how to get past this glass barrier, this force shield protecting the casual traveler from these tuxedoed Birds of Prey?
For five minutes I ponder this Sphinx' riddle, until my group despairs of ever reaching that Nirvana they begin to talk of: the fabled Men's Room. Just then, as if guided by the hand of fate, I see it: a native in the uniform of the Penguin Caretaker leaving through a door in the exhibit. One moment, there is naught but seamless wall; the next it is transformed into a void of blindingly muted grey light.
With catlike reflexes, I insert my foot into the door and keep it from locking behind her. Saying a prayer to Saint Algernon, the Patron Saint of Scientists, Cosmetologists and Janitors, I walk in. Through an anteroom I walk, an anteroom that reeks with the twin scents of fish and fear. Into the exhibit.
As I enter, the penguins run towards me as if in a feeding frenzy. I recoil, thinking that I am done for; the little monsters would surely tear me apart with their razor-sharp beaks after stunning me with their paddle-like feet. But seeing that I had not come laden with fish, the watery warriors wander away disinterestedly. From there, they refuse to have anything more to do with me, no matter what sort of entreaties or promises I make.
Soon the truth hits me like the smell of half-rotted herring: Although I have always considered myself half-mountain man (my spirit having always been that of the untamed animal), the other half enjoys too closely the comforts of the academic life. It must be that which they could sense, this too-civilized scent that lays upon me. And it must be this scent which is keeping them at bay.
As quickly as I come upon my plan of action, I decisively spring to action: I remove all remnants of civilization from my person. Shoes, socks, glasses, shirt, belt, fanny pack, pants, and upon reflection, yes, even my underwear are swiftly removed. By this point, there is a large crowd gathered around the glass enclosure (who says that John Q. Lunchpail is uninterested in academic inquiry?). I can see that the foreign nannies, having spied their first example of the American masculine form, are leading their wards away in a fit of intimidation and sudden cultural self-loathing.
I then position myself on the simulated ice, cross-legged and extending my hand in interspecies friendship. Literally. Imagine me, sitting naked, holding my rapidly-bluing hand out to the horde of curious man-eaters. I try to fill my entire being with the same sense of peaceful purpose that radiated from my spiritual forebears; Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jesus Christ. Just as these great men extended the olive branch to their enemies, I was constructing a bridge of understanding across the gulf separating man and his natural enemy, the penguin.
Penguins in the wild swarm on helpless humans
Just when a breakthrough in human/penguin relations seems within my grasp several security guards enter the enclosure; ugly brutish cousins to the first we had encountered. Within seconds they are dragging me from the scene of my scientific conquest to a small office deep in the bowels of an unnamed Parks Department building.
As I am being viciously manhandled by these savages I explain my scientific credentials in a loud voice, calling out to my comrades to verify the truth of what I say. In a moment of cowardly self-preservation, they act as if they have never heard of me, or, indeed, met each other before this moment..
The surly teen gatekeeper is summoned to verify that I am, indeed, the "troublemaker" she had complained of, and I am banished from the Central Park Zoo. I am told to never again attempt shining the light of Reason, Rational Inquiry, and Scientific Study into their dark Cave of Ignorance.
Needless to say, I am now forced to wear a disguise if I want to penetrate the zoo's perimeter. I blend in seamlessly with the rest of the crowd wearing a large beard, movie star-style sunglasses, Bogart fedora, and long black trenchcoat. I pay the gatekeeper - who stares at me for a long time before suspiciously pressing a ticket into my palm. This one may be brighter than she appears, and bears further scrutiny.
The rest of my company has quit with typical cowardice; they complain of their fear that they will not "get paid," and demand an "advance." This, of course, being moneys I will not be able to spare until I receive the kind of "Hollywood cash" I'm sure the movie rights for this exciting narrative will fetch. But that's the thing I've learned about vultures: they would draw blood from a stone if only they could.
So I press on alone. Striking camp in the confines of the gift shoppe, I make my plans for the day's assault. I know that the door to the penguin exhibit will be jealously guarded by zookeepers; my natural rapport with the animals apparently having an invidious quality. There is no need to look up the word "invidious;" it is real and I have used it correctly.
I have given up all hope of ever continuing my research when a chance light - as if a guiding Finger from Heaven - falls upon something small, and soft, and white. A doll. And I am filled with an innate understanding of this divine message.
Kids prepare to meet their best friend.
I make my way to the Polar Bear Environment. Polar bears: Nature's Furry Fuzzy Friends. I first attempt to befriend the beasts by stroking their fur lovingly from the observation deck, but a natural chasm (probably caused by an earthquake long-forgotten by all but the most aged and revered greybeard) keeps me at arms' length. Since the bears are ignoring my earnest petitions to come closer (note to self: is deafness an inherent trait in the species?), I pull out my secret weapon: from the depths of the trenchcoat, I produce several fish I have laid in store in the event of just such a contingency. The bears respond at once, coming so close that the tourists behind me flee for fear of their miserable and ignorant lives.
Nature's Furry Friend preparing for his next round of hugs.
Unbeknownst to me, the same team of brutes who had persecuted me the day before have been trailing my expedition from a discreet distance. I am halfway over the rail when they tackle me to the ground. This time, they call the police.
Although the coverage on the New York Post's front page will undoubtedly help me in obtaining funding for future expeditions of this type, the mug shot splayed prominently all over the tabloid will undoubtedly help park police enforce the 50-foot restraining order the judge slaps on my person that very afternoon.
Thus ends my exciting narrative of both scientific and self-discovery. Check these pages next month for my stimulating and educational travelogue: Around the World in Eighty Dollars: Exploring Global Cultures in Epcot Center.
Liam McEneaney is a captain of the Leonard Rothstein & Sons Accounting Firm Softball Team. He owns several sweatshirts from Harvard and Princeton.
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
"'H-I-R-E-A-R-K-E' - heirarchy."
Before it gets deleted.
WARNING: It's pretty foul.
I'll keep you updated if I get any replies.
Someone did reply, but on Craig's List.
See, what they do there is they post replies critiquing each others' personal ads.
Here it is:
RE:Drown in a Sea of Semen
Reply to: email@example.com
Date: 2003-05-28, 10:11AM
YOU NASTY, SIMPLE MINDED, MUTANT FREAK!!!
Go and Drown in a Sea of Cement!
Your listing belongs in erotics services, not here. Good bye!
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
this is in or around Belvue Psych Ward
You know what? If you're cruising Craig's List trying to pick someone up to have sex with them, don't get all holier-than-thou on me.
Saying things like "It's grizza in the hizza." Most of the time it's these smug little middle-class college graduates.
There's a fine line between "being down" and "making fun."
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
"And under the new Patriot Act, you must be this tall to ride the Emergency Escape Vehicle."
My favorite holiday comes every November. You know what I'm talking about - Election Day.
Because it's the one day in the year when the elementary school has to let you within 500 yards, protection order or not.
It's my Halloween - because I dress in costume and hand out candy.
The next big retro trend, we leave Warrant out of it?
I just don't want to be at a party listening to stupid people reminisce about the song "Cherry Pie."
No, not even ironically.
I FORGOT ABOUT INSTITUITIONAL STUPIDITY
(I'm not crazy - INSTITUTION! You're the one that's crazy - INSTITUTION!)
I was at Queens College today - I've been thinkin' about gettin' my learn on - and I asked a woman in Kiely Hall room 111 where Room 117 was.
She looked at me as if I was holding a crossbow and aiming it at her head, and said, "This is room 111."
I said, "I know. I'm looking for room 117."
"This is the ESL office."
"Right - "
"English as a Second Language." And then fled into an inner office.
"THAT BOY'S GOT 'THE SHINING'" (TIME STATION)
By the way, as it turns out, Kiely Hall has no room 117; although they have a room 115 and two rooms 119. My guess is that there was some grisly axe murder in room 117, and like the 13th floor of aq building, it's just been disappeared. Maybe my finger starts croaking the word "Red Rum" over and over again if I enter 117. And a dead woman in a bathtub.
I WAS TRYING TO FIND OUT
About classes on becoming a paralegal.
In case you're wondering, a "paralegal" is like a "parapalegic;" only instead of your limbs, you can't get your comedy career moving.
As it turned out, the office for that - was in room 111 as well (I'd misread the directions on the website). I don't know what it says about the fact that the paralegal studies were in the same room as the ESL department, except that either way, you're trying to avoid a future of manual labor and food industry jobs.
Saturday, May 24, 2003
Happy memorial Day everybody.
Can I wish you a happy "holiday to remember dead soldiers"?
Also, happy "International AIDS Day"!
Friday, May 23, 2003
"All right Jesus, final offer -
two million to take out the ACLU."
I don't understand Caramel Corn rice cakes.
It's like, "Let me take something that's inherently healthy and make it as disgusting as possible."
Seriously, just eat caramel corn.
It's like having bleu cheese dressing on a salad.
You're having something that is, by definition, the healthiest thing on Earth.
And you're smothering it with liquid fat and yuck.
Just eat chocolate cake with butter on top. You'll at least die happy and fulfilled.
I NEVER GO ON BLIND DATES
Let's face it, if I want to get rejected by a woman, I meet plenty on my own. I can just imagine that look of disappointment as I approach the table and she realizes that yes, she will be stuck spending the next two to three hours with me hoping I won't try to make out with her.
Have a happy weekend everyone!
Thursday, May 22, 2003
I was walking down the street the other night, and got to witness the raising of the curtain on another NY Street Theatre scene:
WOMAN: Fuck you!
GUY: But -
WOMAN: You're a fucking fag!
GUY: Look, I've got a bottle -
WOMAN: You can shove that bottle up your ass!
I wanted to stop her and say, "but if he's a fag, wouldn't he enjoy shoving the bottle up his ass?"
PEOPLE TALK ALL KINDS OF FOOLISHNESS
Some folks are "dog people." I'm a "dragon person."
I hate having to hear people tell me about their pets.
That's why, when I'm trapped in a conversation about someoen's dog, I pretend to have a pet dragon.
"Then Sir Fluffer-Muffins, get this, he got on both hind legs, and he - "
"That's nothing. Scaley-Boy just torched most of Northern Europe. And then he ate a virgin chained to a rock."
Then I'd pretend to stroke its nose and go, "You're a nughty little fella aintcha? Don't worry, he likes you."
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
"Eh. What's up, Doc?"
* "A crow is only as clever as the wind that lifts it."
* "Time is a swiftly-flowing river, especially when you're up it without a paddle."
* "Potatoes mashed, potatoes boiled; you'll still have to dig hard to make it a carrot."
* "A oak may have mighty branches, but he who writes fables swings a big stick."
* "It's an ill wind that follows a bean parmigiana sandwich."
* "Continued on page 17"
* "A whistle for a dog is a symphony for an earthworm."
* "Even the tiniest insect may have a bigger heart than a thoughtless publisher who is late with the royalty checks."
* "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is worth more than fifty bucks."
* "Honesty is the best policy. Another good policy is not telling your husband that he is a lazy bum just because his job is sitting around writing fables all day. Also, don't nag about taking out the damn trash again."
* "Persuasion is better than Force, especially if you're trying to persuade a girl to come home with you. I won't end up in that court twice."
* "Copying fables for one's friends without paying a royalty is evil and will result in a swift trip to Hell after you die."
* "The fox may be cunning, but it is the mouse that can fit into small spaces."
* "Do unto others, especially with your best friend. Trust me, you'll enjoy it I swear."
* "Children's voices are only to be heeded when they are asking for one of Aesop's Fable books or its many sequels."
* "One bad turn deserves the night of drinking that preceded it."
* "The Gods help them that help Aesop."
* "A greedy publisher may make only poor decisions."
* "Seriously, I amy be drunk right now but trust me, you are the best friend I've ever had."
* "If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't have been caught with that goat."
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
On getting a 4.0 average in this semester of college.
(Too bad it's out of 100.)
HERE'S SOMETHING RANDOM
A link to Ghostbusters/Night Court crossover fan-fiction.
WHICH EPISODE WOULD YOU BE?
I might be the one later in a long-running series when one of the characters sees a UFO but nobody believes them.
Or maybe the one where one of the characters fakes an injury/sickness because they need more attention.
Or maybe the one where one of my friends says something racist, and we all learn a very important lesson about tolerance.
Or maybe the obligatory antidrug episode.
The "This Will Be An Embarrasment For The Rest of Your Life" insane guest appearance.
The crossover episode.
The supposedly anti-molestation episode that seems made for child molestors.
The episode of a hit series that is actually a pilot for another series (like Perfect Strangers that turned into a pilot for Family Matters, or Diff'rent Strokes introduced all the characters from The Facts of Life).
But he apparently reads a lot more than I do.
Look for me at a party, repeating what I read in his entry tofay, acting like I keep up on the news!
I DO KNOW THIS GIRL
Read her blog.
AND THIS ONE
Read it up!
Monday, May 19, 2003
Who wants to step up to the plate?
Urban Cowboy the Musical on Broadway this weekend.
I left during intermission because I realized that Im going to die someday, and I don't want my last thoughts to be, "Well at least I got to see how Urban Cowboy the Musical ended."
I ALSO SAW
A bunch of old racist Warner Brothers cartoons.
Which left me with a real moral dilemma: The cartoons were undeniably racist in an extremely appalling way.
But old Warner Brothers cartoons are awesome.
How do you laugh at something you find completely reprehensible?
I see guys cat-calling women on the street, and I just want to know - does that ever work?
Does a woman stop and go, "You know, I didn't realize I had a nice ass before. You're right, if I don't use it, I will lose. Let's have sex in the back of your construction truck, and don't forget your thirty pound gut."
Friday, May 16, 2003
Victor Varnado is a fast-rising comedy star. He has appeared in the movie End of Days with Arnold Schwartzenegger, Pluto Nash with Eddie Murphy, and A Guy Thing with Julia Stiles. He currently has a deal to write a film that he will star in.
In 2002, Victor was a finalist in Comedy Central's Laugh Riots Comedy Competition, and he's a regular fixture at the annual Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. In addition to all this, he's an improv veteran, having been a cast member in the Chicago City Limits main cast for several years before moving to Los Angeles.
You can learn more about Victor at his website.
Q: Victor, how are you - oops, I mean "Yo what up dawg? What the dilly-yo?"
A: I’m fine, how are you?
Q: Fizzle for shizzle. LOL! But seriously, you are widely considered to be a very good improvisor. Let's do some quick "yes-anding" at the top of this interview. I'll give you a topic, and you improvise a blues song about it. Here we go: Twine. And, give us a blues.
A: Are they going to be able to hear the blues in text over the internet? Secondly, I’m not your fucking monkey.
Q: How did you get started with improv? Were you always a funny person, or did you have to learn how?
A: Of course there is some natural talent with all types of performance. I found that I have to take classes and workshops quite a bit to stay 100% on top of my game. Some people train all their lives and never get funnier. No offense.
Q: You originally moved to New York from Minneapolis. What was the big difference between the two cities? Do you miss Minnesota?
A: Minnesota is like a microcosm of NYC, except it’s cleaner with a lot more Hmong. No offense.
Q: And now you live in LA. What have you been up to out there?
A: Los angeles has been the place where I am cutting my teeth as a driver. Yep, I just learned how to drive for the first time in my life. Werd up! It rocks! Oh, and I’ve been making deals.
Q: Let's talk about your movie career for a second. You've been in End of Days, Pluto Nash, and A Guy Thing. Which movie are you proudest of?
A: Fuck you.
Q: In End of Days, you play the character of "Albino." How much time did it take you every day to get into albino makeup for the role?
A: What! Jesus H-! Why you-! I AM an albino! I’ll drink your blood!
Q: Who was more fun to hang out with, Arnold or Eddie Murphy?
A: Eddie, because he’s black. I find that white people are not as much fun on the town.
Q: Your website is called BestAlbino.com. Where did you come up with the name?
A: It’s a Hebrew word.
Q: We're halfway through the interview. Why don't you plug something here?
A: Well as long as we’re talking like friends, every month at my website www.bestalbino.com you can see an all new video on the site. Most of them are pretty funny. Some of them are disturbing.
Q: What's up with your dating life? You seeing anybody? Got any hos in your stable (LOL)?
A: Yes, I am currently sticking it to your mother.
Q: What's in Victor Varnado's CD player right now?
A: Beastie Boys Anthology and Jazz Pharmacy. My CD player holds more than one CD. Doesn’t that blow your mind?
Q: If you couldn't be an actor or a comedian or a performer of any kind, what would you want to do?
A: Okay, that’s a stupid question. I know they say that there are no stupid questions, but come on! If I could be an actor I would want to act! I AM an actor.
Q: It's pretty amazing that you've got this great deal to write your own movie. Do you have an idea for a story yet?
A: I am not supposed to tell about the story yet. I will however, say that it is a very dark comedy.
Q: The reason I ask is that I had this great idea for a movie. See, it's a horror movie called "Terror Camp." I don't want to give away too much of the plot (I wouldn't want you taking this for your own. LOL! But seriously, don't steal this idea), but basically it's about a washed-up cop whose fiancé leaves him for his mysterious and freewheeling cousin, who turns out to be - the Devil! And here's the crazy part: all the action takes place on Mars. It's Total Recall meets The Exorcist. Is this the kind of story you'd be interested in filming?
A: Actually I am already doing a movie similar to that with your mom, it’s called “Tear her C&!@”
Q: You were in Harvey Korman's movie, Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy. Do you prefer making small art films as opposed to big-budget action films?
A: Does he mean Harmony Korine’s Julien Donkey Boy? Who am I talking to. Well anyway, I prefer movies where I get to shoot guns.
Q: What makes Victor Varnado cry?
A: I broke up with my last girlfriend and I was still in love with her. Was this supposed to be funny?
Q: We're almost at the end of this interview. Why don't you plug one more thing here:
A: Okay, where’s your mother? Thank you.
Q: Victor, I want to thank you again for doing this interview.
A: Now I feel bad for being such a jerk…
Thursday, May 15, 2003
"Man, lunch was spicy. Oof, Mexican food?
What was I thinking? Fuck it, Tijuana's next."
You know what I hate? People who tell me that I don't act "white" enough.
People who are like, "Liam, you're cool, but why don't you talk - you know? Like your people?"
I'm like, should I try to talk more like Fred Willard?
Selling out his
people for money
What am I supposed to do, walk into a room going, "Hello Mr. Timson, let's go do three rounds of golf before enrolling medical school."? Fuck that stereotypical bullshit.
It's like I can barely go into a store without security guards completely ignoring me, like I'm some sort of solid citizen or something. And whenever the cops pull me over, you better believe they're all polite and respectful and apologizing for bothering me.
You know that phrase, "He can't even get arrested in this town"? I can't even get arrested in this town! Literally!
And whenever I turn on the TV, it's always some story about a white man who became successful. Quit stereotyping! White people make up most of the welfare rolls in this country, but do we get our props? Hells no!
And whenever there's a special on gang violence, how many pictures of the Hell's Angels do you see? No it's always Bloods and Crips, Bloods and Crips.
And then the way some people talk to me, it's like, "Why Liam, I barely noticed that you're white. In fact, I think of you as Asian most of the time." Like that's supposed to excuse everything.
By the way, none of this excuses that new Jamie Kennedy movie. That's just wrong.
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
"Bow puny Mortals - before the Almighty Rumsfeld.
Soon, yes soon, you shall all feel the power of total -
and ultimate - evil! WAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!."
It's the only entity on Earth that keeps raising its prices without offering better service.
HERE'S A BIT OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY
My mom tells this story. It explains a lot about me:
When I was about four, my sister caught the chicken pox. She had about four and was better in a couple of days. I was jealous, prbably because she was getting a lot of attention. I kept asking my mom, "Why does Laura have the chicken pops? Why can't I have chicken pops? I want chicken pops!"
A couple of days later I got my wish and came down with a case of chicken pox. The first day I ran around, lifting my shirt to show everyone my chicken pops. By the next day I was sick in bed, real bad sick; pox all over my body, each one infected, temperature of 104, daily visits to the doctor, almost hospitalized. I apparently lookedu p at my mom and said, "I don't want chicken pops any more."
There's a moral in here somewhere, but as usual I never learned a damned thing.
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
"When I get down to the country,
I'm gonna live in a tent.
Mom and dad will sure be mad
At all the money I spent.
Now I know just what they meant,
I ain't broke, but brother I'm badly bent."
- I Ain't Broke But I'm Badly Bent, H. Payne
You might as well date me now, because ten years from now you're going to settle for me anyway.
And when the beauty fades and the bloom is off the rose, you know what? I'll do you.
So no worries, eh?
My roommate is angry at me because she found me cheating on her with another roommate.
All the signs were there: Grand Funk Railroad posters on her wall, Return of the Jedi sheets on her bed.
I tried to convince her that a little subletting is healthy for any relationship.
YOU CAN FIND SNOBS ANYWHERE
Especially on the INternet, among people who have no right to be snobby.
Like, there are people who write Star Trek fan fiction, where htey come up with their own Star Trek stories.
Then there's a special subcategory who write exclusively Kirk-having-gay-sex-with-Spock fan-fiction.
And then there's a subcategory where they write Kirk-having-gay-sex-with-Spock fan-fiction entirely i nKlingon.
I went to one of those sites once, and the guy had written a peevish little note:
"Don't ask me for a translation, because if you can't read it then you shouldn't even be here in the first place."
And I'm like, "Wow, I'm impressed. Because sure, I know how to not get laid. I do it quite well. But this guy is organized. He has it down to a science. And if you don't work as hard at not getting laid as he does, he doesn't even want to know you. Two hundred years ago, he would have been an archdeacon. Now he's getting made fun of by a guy who runs a blog!"
Monday, May 12, 2003
As you can imagine, this certainly caught my eye in the 99-cent CD bin a few years ago.
The actual music doesn't live up to the cover, but you can't have everything.
I think I forgot to mention this, but this blog was mentioned in another article in BackStage this week. In an article about (heh) good ways to promote yourself. So I am now very famous among people looking for chorus work in the Lion King touring company.
I NEED AN ANTONYM
Because they say "Time flies when you're having fun," so I need to find out what the opposite of the word "fly" is so I can describe what time does when I'm sitting through "performance art."
Yes, I went to the open mic last night to celebrate my seventh anniversary doing stand up (and my six-and-a-half month anniversary realizing I'd made a mistake).
Now, the open mic I started at, Faceboyz' Open Mic, has been going on for over nine years at various little theatres. It's a Lower East Side Performance Institution. It's what can be kindly referred to as an "eccentric magnet."
They were featured in a photo spread in New York magazine last week, so I guess what happened was ABC Family Channel contacted them. See, ABC Family is doing a new dating show - because, as you can guess, ABC Family is really ahead of the curve. trend-wise - and the father of the young woman in the couple is a performance artist.
ABC Family Channel read about the open mic in New York and decided that would be the perfect place to film the couple watching the father doing his thang. And thus, before the open mic started, we were treated to eight minutes of this guy's "art."
I have nothing against performance art in general - okay, that's a lie. Most "performance art" is pretentious posturing by a sad case who believes that they should be famous, but without any actual talent to back it up with. This guy - I swear I don't know his name or else I would use it, but let's call him "Richard" because that is his first name.
So Richard got onstage and - actually, I heard what happened before the show started. Apparently this guy needed to be there an hour before tech-through. He took a look at the space - a tiny black box theatre on the Lower East Side - and said, "Hmm, I'm used to performing on stages 50 feet by 20 feet, but I guess I can do a site-specific piece." Then he had to be told that if he strayed out of the stage light, he would not be seen very well.
Also, ABC Family feared that the people at the LES theater's wouldn't be sufficiently "downtown" or "alternative" enough, so they brought their own audience of what I'm sure they imagine hipsters should be - a guy with a shaved head, a girl in horn-rimmed glasses.
The guy started to do his thing and what his "art" is standing onstage and shaking spastically while going "bah bah bah" a lot.
Then he started forming words and moving a bit, his arms outstretched - you know, like Jesus on the cross. You could tell that he wanted his audience to think that he had it all planned out beforehand, but that he was making it look like he was making it up as he went along. Instead it looked like someone with a framework of an idea trying to improvise and just coming off as somewhat dull.
He started to get into it, and some loveable eccentric in the audience made a noise. The guy stopped and said, "I need complete silence to perform."
First of all, just because you're used to performing for appalled silence doesn't mean you need it. Second of all, if you can't handle audience reaction, then you're not a performer, you're a douchebag who needs attention too much of the time.
Then he started getting heckled.
I can only hope that ABC Family uses the footage of all the times he had to stop his performance to demand silence. I hope they air the shit out of it. Not that he really needs to worry - I think more people will watch you if you're taking a dump on the subway than if you're on the ABC Family Channel.
It was just good to know that my anniversary show was just as awkward and weird as most of the rest of my comedy "career."
Okay, tomorrow I'll post some actual jokes, so how you like them shits?
Friday, May 09, 2003
This Sunday will mark my seventh anniversary doing standup.
I'll actually be at the open mic where I first started - Faceboyz Open Mic, at Collective Unconscious, 145 Ludlwo St. btwn. Stanton and Rivington Sts.
ASK THE WHITE MAN
Clayton Smith is a professional White Man; as a member of the
board of Halliburton, GE, MicroSfot, and many other comapnies, he
controls most of the world.
Dear White Man,
I am a housewife. I am writing because I have to strongly disagree with your response for the woman who thought her husband was cheating on her. Your advice was the she should try cooking, cleaning, and working around the house more so he wouldn't want to roam from home.
I was in a similar position a few years ago, and it turned out that I had gained fifteen pounds. You should tell that woman to look in the mirror, and see if she could work on herself a bit.
- Judy V., Memphis
Thanks for the correction. I am giving myself 100 lashes with a wet noodle.
Dear White Man,
Does the Devil really exist?
- James M., Kansas City
Yes, Rupert Murdoch really exists.
Dear White Man,
My husband has been drinking steadily since the day we met.
At first it wasn't a problem, but lately I've suspected that he's become an alcoholic.
How can I tell if he is becoming an alcoholic?
- Jessi O., Santa Cruz
To tell if a loved one is an alcoholic, you must answer these question:
1) Is he white?
If the answer is "no," then he is also probably a drug addict to boot.
2) How much money does he make?
$10,000 to $25,000 a year: He's a drunk and will probalby live in a gutter.
$25,001 to $75,000 a year: He's an alcoholic and deserves treatment.
$75,001 to $150,000: He's a tippler and should be humored.
$150,001 and up: For God's sake, just be grateful he hasn't found a trophy wife yet.
Hope this helps!
Dear White Man,
Settle a bey, please. Is it legal to horsewhip a servant? What if they are particularly impudent?
- William VanD. III, Greenwich
How many times do I have to say it?
If you must assault or kill a servant, be sure they are not in this country legally! It's easier to avoid unpleasantness when all you have to do is call INS.
Thursday, May 08, 2003
Wonder no more. Get it straight from my roommate.
I've decided to refer to myself as "emotionally handicapable."
BEGGIN' FOR A BONE
They say that dogs are man's best friends.
I disagree. I think man's best friends are lesbians with exhibitionist tendencies.
I mean, I've never invited a couple of dogs to a party and bought them drinks all night.
FRIEND OF THE LINE
Ever have a friend where you're decribing them to someone, and the more you describe them, the more you realize that you really hate them?
Just like, "Yeah, he's a little self-involved. He owes me fifty bucks and he's never even tried to pay me back. He kind of screwed me over a couple of times. And when he drinks - forget it, last time he almost broke my nose. And he made my girlfriend cry. The next night he slept with her while I was visiting her mom in the hospital. Wait a second, he's not my firend, he's my enemy."
A YEAR AGO ON THIS BLOG:
ANOTHER PROTEST SONG
This is about something that's bothered me for a long time.
We're going to wars, our politicians are whores,
They've sold out to the highest bidder.
Our schools get shafted, our young men drafted,
Our economy's down in the shitter.
Environment gets polluted, and the flag is saluted,
In the name of the big oil biz.
But of all the problems I see, what bothers me,
Is how lame my generation is.
My generation, they're all as old as me,
But they don't mind being defined by the crap on MTV.
Wanna go out and explore the world?
"My couch is where I wanna be."
My generation sucks, my generation sucks, my generation sucks.
Sure everyone complains about the hip,
Ironic distance of Generation X.
But at least they bothered to advocate
Promiscuous threeway kinky sex.
And sure Gen X may have invented
Big chain stores like Starbucks.
But did we have to accept them as the norm?
That's why my generation sucks.
Who are your rock stars, Generation Y?
Creed? Their antics are so tame.
Or what about your boy-bands over
in their costumes made of gold lame
- Excuse me, I mean la-may.
Every time I party, I have to listen
To twenty-five year old boors
Telling me the greatest work of literature they've read
Is the script for Star Wars.
You can tell our future's in danger,
When everyone's agreed.
"If I'd have bothered to vote, I would have voted Nader,
You can tell that he smokes weed."
And by the way, what kind of name,
Is "Generation Y?"
As in "Y are you letting advertisers define you,
so they can tell you what to buy?"
And Y is "That 70s Show"
Telling you what you should be?
But I think the lamest thing of all, and it shows that we suck,
Is that this message had to come from me.
(CHORUS, REPEAT, THEN FADE)
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
I kind of need a hug today.
I'm headlining a show at a restaurant in Park Slope this Friday - doing a full half-hour.
See below the jokes for details.
GIVING THE HARD CELL
You can't have phone sex on a cell phone.
"I'm going to lick you all over...
"No, I said LICK! LICK you all over!
"Oh, you would want me to? Okay...
"I'm going to kick your ass.
"No, this time I said KICK.
"Now I'm going to take off my pants - I SAID I'M GOING TO TAKE OFF MY PANTS - and - excuse me for a minute. Sir, would you mind not eavesdropping?
"Sorry, baby. I'm on the bus.
"Yes sir, I'll lick you all over next."
NOW, I CAN'T DATE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU LADIES
So here on this blog, I'm going to simulate the dating-Liam McEneaney-experience:
Here's what you do, ladies. Have a male friend read all of my dialogue out loud. Then just fill in the blanks where it says "YOU."
SCENE: A NICE ITALIAN RESTAURANT IN MIDTOWN MANHATTAN
ME: Hey, uh, thanks for coming out with me tonight.
ME: No, I really mean it, thanks.
ME: No, no, it means a lot to me. A lot of women wouldn't be willing to, uh -
ME: It's true. I mean, I'm not in the best shape in the world, I'm not a great-looking guy, I don't have a great personality. And to be honest, I think I smell a little bad.
ME: Yeah, I probably shouldn't have mentioned it.
ME: I'm sure. So -
(AWKWARD SILENCE FOR ABOUT 2 MINUTES)
ME: So, do you meet a lot of guys on Craig's List?
ME: Uh - (obviously lying) Me either.
(ANOTHER, LONGER, AWKWARD SILENCE)
ME: So what do you do for a job?
ME: Wow, really? So you can afford to pay for dinner, huh?
ME: No, seriously, I'm broke. I should have mentioned it earlier -
ME: Thanks, that's awfully decent of you.
ME: Right. But we'll still be making out afterwards right?
ME: Sorry, that was just a joke.
ME: No, really, I was just kidding.
ME: Seriously, I'm sorry.
ME: You're right, I do deserve that. Look, tell you what, let's just get some wine. How about a nice -
ME: Yeah, I guess that's fair. You are paying for it.
ME: Actually, I prefer red.
ME: No, it's just that I don't like white wine.
ME: I understand that, but I think we should just get red wine.
ME: Maybe I will. Your ad forgot to mention that you were a total bitch.
ME: Not if you paid me, sister.
SEE ME PERFORM:
PLease note I am only cut n' pasting, I didn't write any of this:
The Big Show is BACK!!! Friday, May 9th@9 PM
The Big Show @ Snooky's is located at 140 Seventh Avenue, between Garfield and Carroll, in the heart of Park Slope. Doors open at 9:00 PM. RSVP at (718) 675-1776 for info and reservations.
So who is in this Big Show anyway? Let's look at this superhot, superfunny lineup:
Shauna Lane - The Queen of Surf Reality is back! This time she takes the reins as host of The Big Show, and god is she addictive! The stages of Carolines, The Comedy Garden, and Surf Reality are still burning from her appearances as both comic and MC.
Liam McEneaney - We have been after this headliner for a long time, and he is worth the wait. Hot off an appearance on Comedy Central's Premium Blend, and named one of 2002's Stand-Out Stand-Ups to watch by Backstage Magazine, this incredibly talented performer's observations on life, love, and the world of Liam are something to behold.
Eileen Budd - Eileen Budd is a Jersey Girl. Which means she's a smartass, and she can sure chew a mean stick of gum. She's appeared at venues throughout the NYC Metro including Don't Tell Mama, The Duplex, The Triad, Rose's Turn, and The Conduit.
Ken Perlstein - See this man before he starts charging $50 a head at Caesar's! He is already featured on morning radio shows around the country doing impressions of George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Michael Bloomberg! Just close your eyes and feel the laughter!
Grant Cooper - This young man is a comer, rocking such rooms as HA!, The Comedy Cellar, and Gotham. Mr. Cooper is a guy who keeps it hysterically real for his audiences.
John Femia - Before he became the sovereign of Greenwich Village's Stand-Up Sushi, he was one of the stars of a little 80's TV show called "Square Pegs" with some girl named Sarah Jessica What's-her-name. Come see him all grown up, as he makes a regular pit stop here in Brooklyn to make you laugh!
Joanna Briley - Most of you thought I was the funniest transit worker. RIGHT!! It is actually this young lady who is indeed a Token Booth Jerk, er, Clerk from Brooklyn! She really deserves the title of NYC's funniest transit worker, as she is a regular at the Boston and Gotham Comedy Clubs.
William Lewis Wexler (aka, The F.O.B) - This Funky Old Brother is Comedy's answer to Eminem (give or take 40 years) and he's telling it like it is from his years of experience. Mr. Wexler has a way of reaching out to any audience, as his stints at the New York and Uptown Comedy Clubs have proven.
The Caucasian Experience - Back by Popular demand, Mike Birch and Eric Chercover are back with some NEW raps about such hard hitting subjects as growing up in Worcester, MA's housing projects, and rooting for the Boston Red Sox.
See you at the show!
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Every so often I try to get an Internet hoax going; I try to create one of those emails that everyone passes around that say, "THIS IS GUARANTEED TO BE TRUE," even though you can kind of tell it's bullshit. But I have a feeling that this might be my year.
So do me a favor - cut and paste everything below the asterices abd send then to everyone on your e-mail list, and we'll see if we can't get dumb people to start telling the following "facts" to you at a party as if they were true:
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
TOP 10 STRANGE-BUT-TRUE FACTS
The following is from a recent Entertainment Weekly article. They come from Harvard's Department of Cultural Studies, where a graduate student did a two-year research into pop culture. They're guaranteed true:
10) Barry Manilow wrote the Mr. Softee ice cream truck jingle.
9) Believe it or not, according to ASCAP, there's only one song that's been played more times on TV, movies, and the radio than "Happy Birthday": the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive."
8) "King of Pop" Michael Jackson tried to open an orphanage on his Neverland Ranch to "rescue lost children everywhere." He was finally turned down because, due to tax reasons, his private zoo is zoned as "a wildlife preserve." It's illegal to build schools, orphanages, or playgrounds within 50 miles of any wildlife sanctuary.
7) Mikhail Gorbachev cites the movie "ET" as a big reason for glasnost: He could only get cheap Soviet bootlegs, and wanted to be able to buy the official video release!
6) In 1986, heavy metal group Megadeth were forced to stop a Pennsylvania concert halfway through when neighborhood dogs for a 25-mile radius were howling in pain.
5) Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was a member of the Liza Minelli Fan Club.
4) In 1997, Japan's most popular game show was called "Beat Your Wife." Japanese husbands put their wives through mock punishments for cash. Production stopped when women refused to appear on the show.
3) Rumors that Judas Priest's music was Satanic were put to rest when it was discovered that the lead singer had started those rumors himself to drum up publicity for the band!
2) According to an August 1st, 2001, New York Times article, former Beatle Paul McCartney bought the full rights to the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction." He paid $25 million to not only own the rights to the song, but the right to list himself as the author. When the article was printed, McCartney denied that that was his intention. According to reports, 250,000 Stones albums listing McCartney as the song's author - already shipped to stores - were recalled and destroyed.
CDs listing "Satisfaction - (McCartney)" are now extremely rare and fetch up to $3000 on eBay!
1) Pop singer Mariah Carey campaigned nonstop for six months to play the lead in the last Broadway revival of "The Music Man." According to Mariah, "Marian the Librarion was the role I was born to play; our names are a letter apart." When she was turned down anyway, she then starred in Glitter and had a nervous breakdown.
Monday, May 05, 2003
I celebrate Cinco de mayo the same way every year - I do Miracle Whip shots off a young girl's cleavage.
... STEP RIGHT UP AND BEAT THE METS
If you're reading this blog, odds are pretty good that you're not a Mets fan. Mets fans sound a lot like the girlfriend of a drug addict:
"I know they've let me down in the past, but they promised they'd really try this year. I think this is the year they're not going to finish last."
The last time the Mets were in the World Series was 2000; they were up against the New York Yankees, the winningest team in baseball history. It’s one thing to have a great team against you, it’s another to have the entire tide of history. Going into that Series as a Mets fan was like going into Waterloo and saying, "Man, looks like those French have a shot against the English this year. The Empire’s finally looking to lose one."
Mo Vaughn trains
The most hilarious thing about the Mets are their various ad slogans. A few years ago, it was, "SHOW UP AT SHEA."
That's a sad ad campaign. That's like saying, "You looking to kill a couple hours? Show up at Shea! Trust me, it's not like it's going to be sold out or anything. You just want a quiet place to read the paper? Show up at Shea!"
Then in 2000, when they were in the Series, it was "Amazin' Again!"
Because there wasn't enough room on the ad for the slogan: "HOLY SHIT, WE AREN'T FUCKING UP, I CAN'T FUCKING BELIEVE IT!" Just wasn't snappy enough.
So now, for 2003, I've decided to help the Mets out and come up with a couple of new ad slogans for them, free of charge. Let me know what you think:
* "We Lead The League In Excuses"
* "More Expensive Than The Movies, Less Satisfying Than A Night Out"
* "Your Kids Will Be Safe From Errant Fly Balls"
* "If You're In Queens, Odds Are Good You Don't Have Anything Better To Do Anyway"
* "Make Alomar Cry"
* "Watch Careers End"
* "Come for the Overpriced Players, Stay for the Overpriced Hot Dogs"
* "See if you can catch more balls than Mo Vaughn"
* "Taste the Disappointment!"
* "Yankee Stadium is in a Scary Neighborhood"
Thursday, May 01, 2003
MISS SUBWAY, AUGUST 1943
Her face, a picture of beauty denuded,
Toothless grin and capless whiskey,
Knocked-down glass, rolled under the table,
With a hollow thunk! and the promise of sleep.
Her face stretched, heated, weathered,
Tanned and cured like a hide of leather
Stripped of fat and feeling by the sands and winds
And blasted heat of hard time,
Red hair burning atop an ash-white body.
Her lips, once full, now twist and sneer,
And cringe under her sharp and whip-taut nose.
Her breasts, once bold, now cower in fear,
Her body fights her too-tight clothes.
Her hips once swayed, invited men into bed
Her hips once swayed, now content to spread.
Times Square calls you now.
Glowing in red neon, until the whole night's a'blaze,
But the two-dollar belt man whispers
To the three card monte hustler and tell,
"Go down, go down."
Beneath the streets, there lies a maze,
Concrete, steel bonded by urine and gum.
These vast and dimless pits of Hell
Baking like the inside of the sun.
Downward you will spiral, downward you will spiral,
In shrieking fits of glass and bile.
Her eyes, once points of inspiration,
Now as mad and deep as the pits beneath
The white-tiled bunker of Times Square Station
Down now further you shall slither and seek,
Past the grey and yellow geysers,
Past the stiff and sleeping husks,
Down under the furthest tracks of the number 7,
And in the river of filth,
That sticks until your skin is coated black.
In the very bowels of the city, in the dark digestive tract
Where men and women are swallowed whole and expelled as waste,
Among them, you will find your place.
The 7 train wheels above the streets of Queens,
A falcon circling as it spies its prey.
Street lights shining with the cold fury of a thousand stars.
The strangers crowd too close, their warmth,
Their breath, their body heat.
And the sway of the train beneath your seat.
And the mad preacher picks a man and stares
Deep into the bags under his eyes,
Pacing the car as he drones the tuneless hymns.
And you're crammed, crammed between
The turbaned man with the beard and itch,
And the platinum blond black woman
Kissing the ring-nosed girl who hates her father
That son of a bitch.
Her arms lie saggy, off her bones, dragging and flapping
Like plastic rattling on an old tree's cragged limbs.
Her belly, once firm, now bloated from the caviar and corkless champagne.
Her capless grin and toothless whiskey
Burns her mouth, her throat, her shame.
Demons clawing inside her guts for a taste,
"'Tis a shame that such a beauteous thing,
"Should ever go so completely to waste."
The voice of the conductor, the next stop,
It's filled with a quiet and nasty despair,
And he cries that it should ever be so unfair,
To be doomed to forever ride these sloping tracks,
To open the door and never get off.
The 7 train screams above the streets of Queens,
Tearing down upon its hapless prey,
As they empty a thousand sad and jukeboxed bars.
The maddened grease-caked beggar stumbles to his knees.
His sad and desperate, incoherent pleas
As the expression of sad defeat,
Of abandoned hope and hollowed pride,
A man carved out so deep inside
And buried in a steamy grave deep beneath the street.
An empty husk containing naught but memories deluded,
And the malt liquor steaming out its fakened heat.
The 7 flies until, called by its master, it will,
Fly to its perch, a dark tunnel.
Clinging to its beak the blood and flesh
Of another fresh and nameless kill.
Her hunger is as thin and yielding as her flame-red hair,
As nights hot and rank and dreamless pass.
Her desperate grin cracks the thick white makeup,
The flourescent light that gives a hard and steely stare,
To eyes of polished and seamless glass.
And soon the train car's emptied of people and things,
Empty of all but the stench and grease of chicken wings.