Remote Control King

The Ass Beating List

There’s that old sentiment that the world would be monumentally better off if a list of people received a hefty ass beating. You know what I mean. Everyone has their own list. Your list might ...

How We've Started to Suck

In Esztergom, Hungary, I saw for the first time in my life a dioramic representation of how human beings have managed to overthrow nature and evolution and how we’ve started to suck. Inside Esztergom Castle ...

Nemesis Ad

My Personal Ad on an Internet Dating Site: This isn’t for dating. I’m not making this profile to get dates. This profile is to audition for a nemesis or nemesises (nemesi?). As it stands, I ...

Interview with a Billboard

I Interview the Billboard Down the Street Me: Hey, how’s it going? Billboard: Not bad. It’s been rainy, but I usually get good sun, just sort of standing here. Me: Yeah, that’s not bad. You ...

Lost

All anybody really wants is to be naked. Well, there are other things that one might want, but “nude” sits — on a towel, one hopes — proudly at the top of the list. Watch ...

Kazoo Hero

They may not do it this way down here, but in my little town in the hills, kids slept outside when the weather was right. In the summer, it was cooler to sleep outside. I ...

Hungarian Plumbing

Hungarian plumbers are all great fans of M.C. Escher, I’ve deduced. They don’t just see the artist’s creative works as pleasing concepts but more as hard-fact schematics and blueprints for their own work. In the ...

TiVo for the New Year

Wow. 2008 can choke on it. First day, I was shot in the butt with a BB gun. I’m not kidding. Some little terrorist with a pump-action Daisy and a swift bicycle lay in wait ...

Tonight on the News

Ron and I were eating a sugary scone and talking about our plans to pork up over the coming holidays. I had decidedly given up, and I planned to get a good amount of bloat ...

Honest Abe, Pro Wrestler

Abraham Lincoln was born on May 6, 1954, to a poor family of Central California date farmers. Baby Abraham came out bald as a spoon except for a full beard. His first photographs, grainy black-and-whites, ...

Time Machine Clothes Dryer

Two years ago, around this time, I built a time machine from a Dynamo clothes dryer and sent an orange housecat to the past. To allay any of your concerns, the cat was not seriously ...

Christmas Colors

At ten years old I was in a serious Lawrence of Arabia phase. For Christmas I drew out what I wanted in crayon and left the illustrations around the house: me, in long flowing robes ...

Honk if You Hate Christmas

Christmas gargles mule, and let me tell you why. It's not religion or my lack of it. Everyone has a deal. Your deal is what gets you through the long, cold night. If in the ...

I.M. Blues

Remote Control King

Startling me from sleep, my clunky phone lit up and buzzed on the nightstand. Ding ding! Brrrr! I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, fumbled with the phone's blue backlit controls, and read the text ...

Red Eye

A red-eye flight, six miles above the black icy Atlantic, winging toward Greenland is the quintessential setting to make a pillow fort and work on creative projects, I've found. Think of it. You have free ...

List

"Here," my girlfriend said and handed me a sheet of paper. "Read this." "All right." I cleared my throat and snapped the paper twice for theatrical effect. "Number one," I read. "You're too theatrical." "It's ...

Thrift Shop Lady

There are few things as vile as a thrift-shop lady. They're drawn to the mothball air like a mummy to its crypt, and they exist only to offer people a glimpse of what an evil ...

Workin' for the Man

Pandalike, I remain uninterested in much except rolling on my large furry back, grappling with my own feet, and gnawing on things. There existed a time when I modeled productivity by the American standard. Worked ...

Veiny Blue Cheese

There's a type of person who likes veiny blue cheese. Hunks of it, with raucous funky ribbons that smell like abandoned gym socks and taste like postage stamps, dish soap, and couch. That type of ...

Turning Viennese

Austria is not Mexico. That's the slogan Ron and I devised after our third day in Vienna. The whole slogan goes, "Hey, settle down, man. This isn't Mexico," which means: There are rules you aren't ...

General Lee, G.I. Joe, Transformers

The girl, whom I had never met before, shoved a black, oblong box at me, hard into my stomach, and I wheezed when it crammed my breadbasket halfway up my throat. "Listen, you," she said, ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Oh, they love to tell you they're in a wheelchair, don't they? This one screamed it. "I see you're in a wheelchair, sir." I said, exasperated with his shenanigans. "Then why the hell did you ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

There's a trick to those stinky nicotine patches. You've got to attach them to the tender flesh at the zenith of the ribcage curve to get the good zang! flush of chemicals. The informational packet ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

My dentist looked at me as though he knew a secret, as if he knew something about my underpants and extra-virgin olive oil. He twisted his face and covered his mouth and whispered to the ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

That woman in Howard the Duck did it with him, and he was a duck, and that's weird and sad, but it's not why the movie is glorious and hysterical. Nor is it because Howard ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Mean people's rice pilaf is a terrible disgrace. At Kaiser Vanduzer's Brathaus and World War One Memorial, get the wiener sandwich and wheat beer, but tell the bright-eyed frau in lederhosen to keep that damn ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Tiki people are a disgusting, wild, terrified group. This weekend at the tiki convention I witnessed the grossest of base, amoral misbehavior by adults. It was in the tiki and sushi bar that I saw ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

As a loose rule, whenever you hear "question authority," you can replace it with "be a lazy ass." When a hippie in an organic oats and horse apples store says, "The government doesn't want you ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

You probably don't know this. I mean, how could you? Unless you hang out in vampire bars, that is. But I'll tell you something -- it's not a secret, but it's not broadcast, either -- ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

About the same time I was studying to take the SATs, my mother was renewing her sense of purpose with the lost art of sewing clothes for her family. I was sitting on my bed ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

"What the hell is going on?" I yell into the phone. "I've turned into a Possumizon!" "No you haven't," my girlfriend rolls with it. She's heard this sort of thing 14 times a day since ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

San Diego Public Access Channel presents: Sex Education as Taught by Your Bashful Nephew Hi, I'm Ollie, your bashful nephew. They told me to give this sex education class on the TV because I screwed ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Foxy has mad gameness. "Gameness" is a word my friends and I picked up from a book, A Fighter's Heart , by Sam Sheridan. It means a willingness to fight even if a dog is ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

"Would you get off the phone?" my dad yelled. "I'm setting my watch. Give me a minute." "It's close enough." "No it isn't." I wanted to synch my Batman watch with the infallible voice of ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

This film is wholly implausible. In this first scene, the starlet's noisy neighbors disrupt her homework time by banging their headboard against the shared wall. Yet, in the next scene, she's walking downstairs and through ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Soughington Armes looms dark and heavy on a discreet block in South Park. The Ashfield family, from Soughington, England, built the estate more than a century ago. Rumors around the area speak of dark and ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Diary of a Television-Infected Existence 5:22 a.m. Dick Cheney and George W. Bush are doing it. I know it. That old, chapped man's hand is down that other old, chapped man's pants. They lean in. ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Miss Muffett traded her tuffet, many years ago, for the comfort of Italian leather. But it isn't her own seat Muffett is interested in at this moment. It is the seat of her stewardess. Muffett ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Chasing blond flakes around a glass table with my last dollar bill in my nose wasn't "rock bottom." When a car backed over me, I was shirtless and running through an alley. That wasn't the ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

If there is an opposite of "hip," I am the embodiment of it. All people have an amount of hipness in them, even if it's the tiniest drop. A staid soccer mom may enjoy the ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

"Get your hands off of me, vile woman!" I scream. "Turn me loose, Martha Stewart!" Martha Stewart's hands have the strength of a steroidal orangutan. It's all that scissor work. And the tying of stiff ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Friday night I put on a Mexican wrestling mask and went bowling. I'm not making that up. It's a huge bowling alley, over 20 lanes, so the two dozen of us in masks made up ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

My hometown, Sonora, had a big shakeup this week. Traffic on Mono Way came to a standstill several times. Ranchers on their way to Jim's Feed and Tack store, construction workers driving to their job ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Olivieri Manor is the new name of my apartment. It was formerly known as the Embassy of Cool, but I was watching a Batman cartoon on TV last weekend and it struck me: Bruce Wayne ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Hey, man, could you stop doing that? Could you stop marching American kids to their deaths in a crappy desert country so we can lay claim to their oil? Also, could you guys over there ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

An Interview with the Easter Bunny Ollie: Thanks for sitting with me. Easter Bunny: Well, sure. It's my week off. I'm not doing anything until next Monday. O: What's next Monday? EB: That's when I ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

What I Will and Won't Watch This Week Why are they called permanents? I know that sounds like the setup to a joke that isn't funny, but I've read about the "permanent-wave hair treatment" online, ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

Yes, sir, the mind is an amazing thing. The other day I was walking, enjoying the warm sun, and counting bits of litter, listening to cars, birds, and people on my street. As I got ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

After a quick check of Internet fares and a phone call, I was on the redeye to Milwaukee. Seventy miles by bus from Milwaukee to the city of Fon du Lac, a greedy jailer with ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

The cooking-segment host for that l.a. News station was a kid-toucher. They ever tell you that? No. Because Hollywood is depraved. Right now, there are slaves tied up and swinging from the ceilings of TV ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

What I am not is a loud ass in the morning. I am a morning person. When most people are slapping their alarm clocks and begging God to let them sleep, I'm cartwheeling to the ...

The Reader's Eye on Television

At some point, we're going to have to dig up Mister Rogers's body. I know it's not a pretty business, but there it is: little kids are turning up at the morgue in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. ...

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