A midsummer night’s dream sequence

I heard a cool story today. I don’t recall every detail, but here’s the gist:

Once upon a time not so long ago, this dude I know and a girl who had the hots for him took a rubber raft down the Merrimack River on a very warm July day. At some point the two of them got drunk on Schlitz to the sound of cows lowing away from both riverbanks, eventually inspiring the dude to push the chick over the side just to see what she might have been sitting on. She tumbled in backward, shoulder blades first and ass akimbo, which was nice. “JERK!” she yelled, tearing off her string bikini in consternation and following doggedly in his wake using a modified butterfly stroke. There were no witnesses. He tossed her a couple of beers and settled back for a nap.

After three hours and seven minutes of this, the dude, now awake, sunburned, and bored with the whole enterprise, steered the raft to shore, shed his homoerotic cut-off jeans shorts, and forcibly commandeered a 1967 Dodge Dart with bright yellow rocker panels from a blind yam salesman operating in a riverside park. He soon found himself driving down the Everett Turnpike, his nubile companion again seated beside him and — from the musky smell of things — uncommonly hot and bothered. (I’m just telling you what he said.) There was a decal of Yosemite Sam giving the finger pasted on the rear windshield. The oil light kept coming on even though the yam salesman had claimed to have dumped about four quarts into the crankcase that very day, so the dude became really angry and smashed in the dashboard display with his thumb. Then, while still doing seventy-five, he threw the door open, leaned way out and peered under the car, abrading his scalp on the pavement. He could see a veritable flood of oil spurting from the sagging engine block. This shit, he thought, should never happen with a Slant 6 engine. Continue reading “A midsummer night’s dream sequence”

Mass shooter kills 137 good guys with guns at NRA gathering

PECKERWOOD HEIGHTS, Tenn. — An armed gunman attending a National Rifle Association convention opened fire on his fellow Second Amendment enthusiasts yesterday, killing 137 and wounding 823 others and orphaning dozens of rifles — some as young as six days old — in a matter of eight horrific minutes.

The massacre, believed to be the deadliest U.S. shooting to occur so far today, took place inside the spacious theater of the Christian school that hosted the gathering. A video presentation instructing NRA members how to properly deal with irrational analysts intent on linking guns to gun violence had been playing for approximately 20 minutes when a 46-year-old former Marine combat veteran calmly trained the AR-15 military-style automatic weapon he had been casually brandishing on the front row of viewers and began dischargingn rounds of at a rate of 10 bullets per second while slowly rotating the muzzle clockwise. Before anyone could do more than let fly howls of terror and dismay, witnesses said, the man — whose name the gun lobby is declining to release owing to a high likelihood of negative media coverage by cowardly leftists — had also deployed a light anti-tank weapon, tossed several lethal grenades, and a tricked-up Kalashnikov capable of firing tiny conical thermonuclear warheads with a muzzle velocity of 1,100 meters per second.

“Sometimes,” marveled an owner of 54 firearms from Who The Fuck Cares, Texas, “bad people just find a way to make guns do stuff guns was never intented to do, and good people get killed.”

The dozens of surviving NRA members who were literally inches to feet away from people who lost their lives vowed to find the ultimate reason for this grisly attack, adding that had any armed private citizens been on hand to intercede, well over 130 of the fallen with various kinds of guns still strapped to their shredded corpses would surely have lived to see another NRA convention.

“Ole Jim there would have been ready for something like this,” said one survivor, pointing to a slain man lying a few feet away whose head now consisted of a pool of blood, skull fragments, and brain matter. “He was always packin’ heat and had an eye for miscreants. No psycho could’ve got the jump on him.”

“We’re sending our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the deceased and their families, as well as each other,” declared Wayne Lapierre, the cult’s supreme leader for many harvest moons in a row now. “We feel it’s unfortunate that the Democrats, in their haste to blame NRA members whenever some nutbag from a domestic terror sponsor commits violent gun act, are probably going to politicize this first like they always do.”

At press time, a naked Dana Loesch was attempting to crack a coconut open with her thighs as part of filming another “We’ll Die Before You Take Our Guns” YouTube video for the NRA.

Reality doesn’t bite, it gnaws and gnaws

Lots of people who were around before the advent of the World Wide Web blame the Internet for the apparent decline in people’s respect for one another in the past 25 or so years. They imagine that the ability to remain anonymous, the tendency of people on social media to form thought-bubbles, and even Donald Trump’s Twitter account have made inroads on people’s sense of honor and dignity.

I’m an optimist, so I accept that little has changed since I was a kid, and that in any society, most people are dishonest, uninformed, corrupt, incompetent, and self-serving by default and to varying degrees at different times. This has always been true and always will be until the warm, although admittedly abrupt, embrace of a multitude of glorious mushroom clouds erases us all in a giddy thermonuclear rapture.
Continue reading “Reality doesn’t bite, it gnaws and gnaws”

Don’t worry, be happy (or I’ll fuckin’ kill you)

d72bc7759697b04042b588adf44a701bIt seems that the inspirational-quotes genre — and I’m talking about entire Twitter feeds and e-mail lists devoted to the phenomenon, not the posting of a few go-get-’ems here and there — should be self-limiting. Exhortations to ditch negative people and situations in favor of joyful smiles and unconditional love would disappear from circulation if these quotes were actually inspirational in the literal sense, because people the world over would simply put all of these messages to practical use and no longer need to continually receive them.

But of course it doesn’t work this way. The people I know who love posting kum-ba-ya fluff are often inspired to do no more than repeat this exact process every day, and worse, they are usually contemptuous gasbags and founts of banality who blame others for their dismal life choices and attendant poor outcomes. Continue reading “Don’t worry, be happy (or I’ll fuckin’ kill you)”

The paradox of the rhetorical circle-jerk

A lot of us are familiar with sort of belligerent online ranters who aren’t afraid to “speak their minds,” “stir the pot,” “put it out there,” and so on — as long as they can control the conversation, that is. On their blogs and social-media profiles, these people grow comfortable talking either into a void or to a (typically small) cadre of equally mindless followers. It is usually evident that their toxic views and flights of ideas are fueled by some combination of glaring intelligence deficits or legitimate mental illness. Their output is blatantly dishonest, repetitive, self-contradictory, and in violation of countless rules of grammar and style.

Continue reading “The paradox of the rhetorical circle-jerk”

Getting unfriended in five joyous steps

I’ve mentioned before that I have more than a few friends who voted for our ever-more-embattled C-i-C, and that they not only don’t take umbrage at the stuff I write about various pertinent goings-on, but also chuckle at a lot of it.

But not everyone has such accommodating people in their online lives. If you have friends or “friends” who disagree with your politics or religious beliefs in a manner you find toxic, don’t worry, you don’t need to take action — soon enough, they will.

This is how it goes: Continue reading “Getting unfriended in five joyous steps”

A subprime extended analogy

Imagine that for some reason the Bolder Boulder 10K — which I will be running for the first time on Memorial Day — fronted me 200 race bibs for this year’s event, and told me that they wanted $10,000 ($50 per bib) in return. Recognizing that the homeless and low-income population of Boulder is an untapped and eager market for this race — there’s a lot of free food and a free T-shirt involved, after all — I canvass the downtown area and offer to give race bibs away for $5 each, along with any EBT cards with a balance of between $25 and $50 (I might throw in a pint of vodka to sweeten the deal). I am able to very rapidly hawk all 2,000 numbers, giving me about $1,000 in cash and a pile of EBT cards. I have no idea if these have any value and I don’t check because I don’t care.

The reason I don’t care is simple: I’m on the hook for ten grand to the Bolder Boulder, but that is about to become someone else’s problem. Through a process of possibly illegal but complicated forgery, I manage to make the 200 EBT cards look like Whole Foods gift cards with a value of $250 each, and I offer these to people around Whole Foods stores and on Craigslist for $50 in cash, explaining that I have a gripe against the company and want no part of any of their nasty-tasting, overpriced garbage and homeopathic woo-woo. In the fine print of the agreement, which is written in Sanskrit, I have each “gift card” buyer sign for my personal tax records, it says that they also owe the Bolder Boulder 10K $50 in the form of a mandatory charitable donation to the Bolder Boulder 10K itself. It also says that the gift cards are only good in Whole Foods stores that open on or after January 1, 2020. No problem. Continue reading “A subprime extended analogy”