27 December 2008

holiday moths

the lonely and thirsty flock to the quicky mart on christmas day, since it is one of the only things open and people want to go somewhere. whether from loneliness or its extreme opposite, many seem to appear on the streets around two in the afternoon. christmas is over. now what? so they pace in cars.

if only a bar would open or a house catch fire. something. anything.

through the doors of the quicky mart they come, to look, to linger, to chat with someone paid to be friendly. a bad hair dad with two holiday coat girls wander slowly. he wants bud, but it cannot be purchased on christmas. the girls' dark red coats clash with pink boots and yellow hats.

three gangsters wander in with sunglasses on. no beer for them either. the clerk spends his christmas saying, no alcohol today.

we buy coffee and mixers and eye the next couple of moths who come in as we leave.

22 December 2008

a forced smile

me trying to fake smile

ring lardner, the 1920s humorist, didn't like jokes. once, he sat in a bar for more than 6o hours, leaving only when someone came up to him and said, "have you heard the one about. . . "

he didn't like jokes for the same reason i don't generally like jokes: the implied laugh contract. it is polite to laugh.

"have i told you this one," someone says. i don't recognize the joke as it starts, so i say no. then it comes back to me. i know the punchline as the joke goes on. it would be rude to interupt the joke teller and say, "oh, i do remember that one. johnny gets rid of the rake and grabs a hoe, right?"

i know it's rude, because i've done it.

so, one must suffer doubly. suffer from the joke contract itself--straining a smile from the beginning to prepare the laugh muscles for a heartfelt fake laugh at joke's end--and suffer from the knowledge that it will be even harder to fake a laugh while not even listening.

to share a joke is a very intimate thing. it's like making a pass at someone. refusing to enjoy the joke is like turning down a romantic gesture with a kick to the pelvis--whatever a pelvis is.

sure, every so often, i find a joke funny--but more in the aha, clever sense than laugh out loud sense. but i have to give the outword loud fake ha regardless. no one feels satisfied with "i found that joke to be clever. i'm not laughing, but i appreciate the humor in it and thank you for your kind gesture of cheer."

for the same reason, this won't work:
he: hey, you're looking hot tonight.

she: that's probably true, but while i appreciate the compliment and admit it helps my ego, i'm afraid a giggle here would give you the idea that i might be romantically interested in you, which couldn't be further from the truth.

19 December 2008

the last christmas blog

there is a groundswell movement i don't see reported on tv. it isn't anti-christmas as much as it is christmas-indifferent. the opposite of love is indifference, after all. christmas drop-outs like us.

last year we flew to new orleans on christmas day. tickets were too much this year, so we're at home until the 28th. christmas drop-outs from up north were supposed to visit on the 25th (our new term for the holiday), but they became travel drop-outs as of yesterday.

but last night at a fundraiser, we chatted at a bar with the michigan cowboy, another christmas refugee, who said he would be at home this year as well. next thing we knew we had plans to make the perfect old fashion at his basement bar on the 25th. john galt will join us. at some point we will go see the spirit at the movie theater. movies based on vintage comics and vintage cocktails will be our tradition for a day.

and we shall sing my new 25th carol, sung to an obvious tune:

i'll be drunk for two five
you can bet your ass
please have rye and apple pie
and bitters in the glass. . .

17 December 2008

state of the economy

the news tells me every morning that things are bad. i've been considering panicking and downsizing in my personal life to reflect national trends. as for the panic, i tried to do the dishes with an attitude of irrational fear, but i'm afraid i wasn't able to do it. dried milk cannot be removed in haste. i did the dishes in my usual manner. to downsize, i told the cat that i was no longer able to keep her on the payroll. in response, she batted a plant and went to sleep. once again i am no good at following national fashion.

i looked closely at my own economic indicators and came to a different conclusion than the news does every morning.

1 it is cold outside, yet warm inside. good.
2. i saved $1.69 because the quicky mart was out of the pink sobe. good.
3. i am able to watch the justice league on my tv. good.
4. i have a wife who buys me dinner and drinks at the minnow. good.
5. the bag of baked cheetos in the kitchen is 4/5 full. good.
6. i got to hold a little girl named reagan makepeace who called me grampa with her eyes. great.

10 December 2008

grinch, christmas bodhisattva

ugly wife reading this blog

the grinch is about the only christmas show i can stomach. for my money (free on tv), it is the best secular christmas message show there is. grinch is rightfully pissed off by the rampant materialism he sees around him. from his vantage point the holiday seems to be a celebration of gluttony and conspicuous consumption. what right minded person isn't a grinch?

but grinch is an activist. he isn't content to sit and complain. he decides to stir it up. by stealing the gifts and the roast beast from all of hooville, he forces the heathen hoos to look inward and "discover the true meaning of christmas." some would contend that the hoos always had that spirit. but without grinch, how would we know? he reveals their character. i'm sure off camera there are many pissed off, spoiled hoos. i think of them during commercial breaks.

the message is obvious: celebrate. gifts and such get in the way of true, spontaneous joy.

most would agree that christmas shouldn't be so materialistic. the same most feel sorry for those that don't get good gifts. instead of toy drives for the poor to reinforce the message that more is better, we should have toy stealing drives to show the middle class and the rich that happiness doesn't come from stuff. be a grinch. steal your neighbors' gifts. only don't give them back at the end. that would be truly spreading the christmas spirit.

cold related death

i've always wondered how they calculate the number of deaths due to severe cold. what contribution must the cold make to the person's death? does slipping count? anyway, i think i will soon be a statistic. i just came in from the cold. the cold excited my bladder. after coming inside, i went immediately to the bathroom. my frozen hands caused my talliwacker to retreat, but increased the level of bladder trauma. long story short (in more ways than one): i think i peed internally.

08 December 2008

drunk sunday

why i don't care what the stores tell me i can do on sunday.

02 December 2008

no comment

just saying

doug came to the meeting last and rolled his eyes when he was handed the "scavenger hunt" list. doris explained it to him: "you have to find people in the room that fit the categories. but you can't use any person more than once. it's an ice breaker." doug stared. "you can use me for this one here." she points. "i've worked in a foreign country. i taught english in korea." doug stared.

people mingled. doug kept moving. discomfort moved like a gas through the room, fueling some, burning others. short bursts of laughter could be heard above the murmur of nothing funny.

a tall woman approached doug and asked him if he was born in michigan. she seemed interested. "i have a fetish for sneezing women," he said. "the complete lack of control reminds me of an orgasm." doug kept moving.