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skot AT izzlepfaff DOT com

Monday, 15 June
Ass (The World Turns)

Coming home from work today, I caught up with a gal wandering down my street. I guessed she was in her twenties, but it was hard to say; I was walking behind her as she distractedly talked on her cell. She had remarkable pants, to the extent that she was wearing them, which is to say, she was barely wearing them. Now look. I'm not some creepy fucking letch. I'm just a dude trying to make his way home.

But I'm only human. A human heterosexual male. And normal, human heterosexual males tend to notice things like when random girls happen to be wearing their pants hanging halfway down their asses. Which is what was happening here. There was a good five inches of ass crack staring at me, and, once I gave up the idea of trying not to stare--which happened almost instantly--I also clinically noted a distinct lack of any evidence of underwear. I honestly found myself cocking my head to the side (why do we do this?) to verify that there wasn't even a hint of a thong strap concealed somewhere. Nothing. I continued to stare helplessly at the pistoning half-globes and stepped up my pace so I could pass her and make it all end. I felt terrible. I'm not voyeuristic at all, really, but Jesus Christ, how can you not notice?

As I passed her, I spied another detail. She had one of those front-loading baby slings on. With, of all things, an actual baby sitting placidly inside it, bouncing against her chest. Those dealies always make me think of baby vampires, where the child is poised at any moment to lash out at mommy's neck to feed on her lifeblood. This wasn't helping AT ALL. I caught part of the mom's phone conversation, which seemed to involve some complaining about a guy named "Davey." The child coldly contemplated the mother's unprotected neck. The mother's exposed ass presumably kept bobbing behind her exuberantly. I hastened my pace yet again, trying to put this unwholesome thing behind me, literally and figuratively. The third party continued to receive cellular castigations of the unknown, unloved enigma named Davey, and I scuttled forward, feeling like I had committed some mental form of frottage.

She gave me an inexplicably dirty look as I sailed past her, which made me feel even worse, for some reason. I wondered if I was, at that moment, a proxy-Davey, or if her half-ass had strange ocular talents that I'd never experienced before. The child on her chest stared at me liquidly, probably wondering how adroitly he (or she) could go after my jugular.

I'm turning 40 next week, as it turns out. I'm aging, yes, but I'm not decrepit or creepy or horrid. I mean, I'm working on it, but I've got a ways to go. I'm looking forward to hanging out with around 40 of my good friends while roasting a fucking pig for dinner.

What I'm trying to say is, lady, if you want to wander around Capitol Hill with your undead baby jouncing off your damn chest and your asshole winking at me in the sun, I'm going to look at it. Sorry, honey. But you'd look at it too.

Yes, this was an entire blog post about some insane woman's exposed ass. The internet is improving your life.

Tuesday, 20 March
Reunited, And It Feels So . . . What?

A couple weeks ago, I got a not-wholly-unexpected voice mail. "Hi Skot," said the voice. "This is D. Give me a call."

D. was our senior class president in high school (I was vice president, and pleased to be so: my duties were, among other nothings, being vice president). And this year marks my 20 year anniversary of graduation.

I stared at the phone for a while, uncertain what to do, if anything. I hadn't seen anyone from high school for, well, ten years, since our last reunion, which I did attend, and, thanks to a combination of an entirely inedible greymeat dinner and my profligate drinking, got really drunk at, mumbled incoherently, planted several unasked-for kisses on people, and then stumbled blindly home, and woke up the following morning thinking, Hey, my ears hurt! Let's never do that again.

But I called up D. anyway. D. is still a perfectly nice guy, and is a doctor. This made me feel like a tool. Let's not discount all my valuable time spent as a debt-ridden loser! I occasionally worked hard at it! Anyway, D. was wondering if I had some intel on our old grad-mates, the folks I ostensibly spent some of the best years of my youth with. I didn't.

Well, I had one. An old friend of mine had not long ago emailed me out of the blue after discovering this very blog; I provided D. with his email address. I didn't have anything on anyone else. I asked him how many other people he had tracked down. It turned out to be (at that point in time) three. "I've left messages for other people, a lot of them," he explained, "but nobody's called me back."

Oh, the mysterious allure of the 20-year reunions. Here's a group of people (small, in my case--my graduating class was around 70 strong) who are so profoundly uninterested in each other that over the years, nobody even knows where anyone went. Sounds like a party!

A few days later, D. emailed again with news of some success: a few people had called him back, and were interested in at least the abstract idea of getting together. D. also had a rather plaintive plea for help: he no longer had a list of graduates for our class, and mysteriously, the school was not being helpful with his inquiries. Did anyone have a damn class list from 1987?

At this point, I overrode my usual instinct to never Reply To All, and Replied To All my confession that I did, in fact, still have possession over all four yearbooks from high school days, and offered to provide a list of student names. Another CC'd former classmate then wrote to say, "You have the yearbooks! What spirit!" I did not point out that I didn't keep the yearbooks ("annuals," we called them) out of any sense of lingering spirit or nostalgia, but simply because as comedy qua comedy, they were indispensable. For one thing, since they were created by high school students in rural Idaho, the overall quality of these editions are stunning in their incompetence--and I am also happy to report that I had a hand in their creation. For another thing, the photos are simply shockingly funny: we were all so astonishingly ugly. Most strikingly, me. My freshman year, I resembled some sort of rodent that had been soaked in denatured alcohol and then aggressively combed; my spectacles were apparently borrowed from Martin Mull while he was on break at Fernwood 2Nite. I am also wearing a velour sort of proto-Izod-thing. Collar not up, due to uncoolness. And my senior photo--taken by my father, in an aggressively soft-focus manner, the better to obscure my puzzling, ghastly Richie Rich haircut--is not unlike a portrait of Cybill Shepherd's transsexual doppelganger.

As it stands now, the status of the reunion is unclear. There have been more respondents; D. set up some site where people can enter "Where are they now?" sorts of information, but not a lot. Unsurprisingly, I'm guessing, a lot of people have just scattered to the winds, and I'm also guessing that other simply just don't give a royal fuck.

I don't know what I'm going to do. My mom, I know, wants me to come home for a visit--it's been a few years. On the other hand, the event, if it goes forth, is scheduled to occur during my hometown's annual HUGE FUCKING RODEO FREAKOUT, in which our small town balloons from around 3000 people to around 20,000, and main street is closed for hot dog stands, hamburger vendors, projectile vomiting, random facepunchings. And parades, and of course someone suggested that we, the Class of '87, have a parade entry. I can just imagine the parade commentator: "Here comes the Class of '87! Remember them? B. has kind of tubbed up . . . that's K., we all remember him and his meth conviction . . . oh, and there's little G., who cost us the big game at state . . . looks like all his hair fell out after he knocked up that cheerleader from Riggins . . . and speak of the devil, here she is . . . "

I don't know. If it all goes off as (tentatively) planned, I'll probably go. I'll also probably make my usual fool of myself by failing to identify like ninety percent of all these people, these people who have aged another 10 years, who I never bothered to keep in touch with, nor they with me, which I assume is probably because I am a lousy creep who couldn't wait to get away from the damned place anyway, and was most assuredly not missed.

Small towns get a lot of crap, and for some good reasons: a lot of it is surely deserved. They are insular and weird and everyone is always in your shit. They are fundamentally conservative; community is valued far more than individuality. Being a hotheaded little coward, I couldn't wait to leave, and did so at the earliest possible opportunity. I immediately went to a ridiculously expensive university where I was free to invent a whole new identity for myself, which initially manifested as an Ocean Pacific-wearing, hyperverbal jackass who spoke in some sort of Martian surfer patois that I lifted mostly from my summers spent with my grandparents on Santa Monica beaches in between playing speed chess sessions with my addled grandfather. Had I tried this little experiment in personality reinvention in my home town, I would have deservedly been beaten to death with shovels. It was a hugely theatrical pose, a complete invention borne out of some weird need to present myself as anything other than what I clearly was: a pathetic hick with a gift for linguistic and kinesthetic mimicry. I doubt I fooled anybody, and it is a credit to my university friends that they didn't tie me up in oily rags and set me on fire while calling on the gods to accept this meager sacrifice.

Small towns also get absolutely no respect for their good aspects, the things that drew my parents there (both grew up in large cities); things I unfairly derided for years: the emphasis on loyalty to community; the juggernaut honesty and plainspeaking; the universal loathing for even the vaguest scent of bullshit.

I left for much different things; I didn't know at the time what they were. I was just a dumb kid bucking for something else. And I found a lot of those things, to be sure. I think. Maybe it's worthwhile to go back and see.

Thursday, 02 November
To Live And Die In Elevator

Another Halloween has come and gone, and I'm pleased to report that, as I grow older, Halloween is becoming less and less relevant every year. Don't get me wrong: Halloween is a lot of fun. For children. For adults? It's just kind of a big pain in the ass, and more and more, people are just ignoring it.

For instance, work. A few years ago, better than 50% of my coworkers would come in some sort of costume, even if it was half-assed, like the guy who always shows up in sweats and says, "Hey, I'm a sports fan!" Jesus. A more troubling example was the since-departed female supervisor of mine who, every year, showed up as Sexy Witch, with fishnets and plunging cleavage and alarming hat and all. Now, the thing is, there all sorts of supervisors: there are shitty supervisors (that's me!); there are great supervisors; there are hands-on supervisors and I'm-staying-home-all-week supervisors; there are insane supervisors and there are supervisors who wear visors, and who themselves might be insane, since, God, visors? But what there are not are sexy supervisors, and this always created all kinds of cognitive dissonance for me that I'd have to go hide under my desk whenever Halloween rolled around, reaching occasionally for my trusty whisky bottle.

But as I and my co-workers age, we are more and more blowing off the dressing-up conventions; we're all much less likely now to go out to some dance club costumed in revealing outfits. We're more likely turning into the kind of old cranks that go home and watch television, waiting for someone unpleasant to show up onscreen so we can scamper over to the screen to press our ass against it. (I assume everyone does this. I personally ass-pressed both Sean Salisbury and the Verizon guy on Halloween.) So hardly anyone dressed up.

A couple people did, of course, but they were pretty half-hearted. For some reason, they were all women: I saw one lazy pirate in a sort of pirate hat and an eyepatch; she said "ARRR!" to me and waved a little plastic sword commonly found in tropical drinks. Terrifying! And another woman dressed up as a construction worker. I wouldn't have noticed her, except she happened to walk by my office window. The only reason I really took notice is that she is under five feet tall, so all I saw through my window was her hard hat crawling by, and it startled me, because I thought a turtle was crawling along my window sill. I like turtles, so I quelled the impulse to press my ass against the glass as a startle response.

The wife, of course, working as she does at a day care/sweatshop, had plenty of tales to tell of kids who dressed up. A pair of twins came dressed as cops, complete with little pads to write people tickets for bad behavior, which they gleefully did all day long. They also arrived carrying donuts and coffee. (The wife herself borrowed my pajamas and arrived at work dressed as something called "Corduroy Bear," whatever the fuck that is.) But for some reason, I was most tickled by the tale of one particular child who, unable to master the pronunciation of "Miss Jeanette"--the convention is that the children address the teachers as Mr. Whatever or Miss Whodat--decided to simply call her "Mister Net." Mister Net sounds like a lazy month for the writers at Marvel Comics. Let's team up Mister Net with Stilt-Man! They're the Circus of Evil! We can work in Kraven the Hunter and the Rhinosceros!

Anyway. Halloween has come and gone again. The only other remarkable thing that happened that day was when I left work. As usual, I waited for the elevator to take me down the 20 floors to freedom. Part of the way down, the car stopped, and more people stepped on; one woman was dressed as some sort of . . . you know, I have no idea, really. A gangster? She had a black jacket on, and a dingy baseball cap. I paid her no attention. At least until about floor 11. Then she stabbed me.

"I'm sorry," she suddenly said to me, blinking rapidly. She laughed a little bit in nervous tones. I had no idea what the fuck was going on. "What?" I was about to say, but then she plunged a knife into my arm. A fake knife, of course, one of those cheap retractable jobs. "She dared me!" she cried, pointing at an uncostumed woman who had boarded the car with her. "She dared me to stab a stranger!" The other woman offered a sheepish smile. I stared at them both for a moment, and then did the only thing that made sense. I rolled my eyes into the back of my head and moaned "Oh my God." Then I let myself fall to the elevator floor in the most bone-jarring possible fashion. Nobody screamed, but there were an assortment of harsh gasps.

The poor woman had simply picked exactly the wrong person to sport with. I've faked passing out in the office for years, so much so that I've had co-workers step uninterestedly over my collapsed form after being burned one too many times. And I'm really pretty good at falling down in the most awkward, jarring way possible without doing me too much harm--no mean feat on thinly-carpeted concrete. God help me if I really ever do gork out at work--I'll probably die on the floor, since I've pulled it so often. People will continue to say "Har har, Skot" and continue clacking away while fluids leak out of my brain onto the floor. I'd certainly deserve it.

After a short moment, I sensed people crouching, leaning down over me solicitously. I opened my eyes then and said "Happy Halloween!" Uproar and clamor.

I guess I'm not so old yet.

Monday, 09 October
The Best Kind Of Nothing

I know I'm really starting to get the hang of this blogging thing when I start half my entries with some variation on the phrase, "Not much has been going on lately, but . . . "

It was an uneventful weekend. The wife, on Friday, did go to see a play featuring many friends; I did not. It was a shitty week, frankly, and I had to work late that day, so I just showed up after the show was over for the opening night party. I ran into the director there--a good friend--and said, "Sorry I didn't come for the show, but . . ." and prepared to launch into my tale of not much woe, but he cut me off, saying, "But you didn't want to." It seemed unwise to contradict such a succinct summation. "I'm here to drink your free booze," I said. "Excellent!" he said, grabbing a bottle of whiskey. This is what real friends do: they labor to tolerate the myriad of ways in which you are a disappointing asshole.

I did have a lovely dinner with the wife on Saturday. We had what we call a tapas night--just many little plates of stuff like salamis, olives, bread, chorizo, cheeses, lightly steamed vegetables, etc., and we just graze. It's simple and great and, best of all, is a killer way to see how all kinds of different foodstuffs go with whatever wine one has chosen to sample that evening.

It really was a lovely dinner, so I naturally followed my instinct to see if I could ruin it. I picked up a nice piece of pastrami, a thinly-sliced tatter of a morsel, put it in my mouth, and then let a large flap of it hang out of my mouth, as if it were a horribly maimed lower lip. Then I leered at the wife. "EW!" she said, and laughed. My tens of readers will recognize this as being fairly emblematic of my level of humor.

"Wud?" I asked innocently. "You wouldn't lub me if I god indo an industrial aggsident and I looged lige thid?"

This is a hoary joke of mine that I never tire of. "You wouldn't love me if I got into an industrial accident and looked like this?" is a question I have plaintively asked after sticking grape tomatoes up my nose, after putting my arm around the back of my neck and hooking the corner of my mouth, after jamming small screwdrivers in my ears and hanging Christmas ornaments off of them. "If you really loved me, my appearance wouldn't matter," I've said after rolling my eyes into the back of my head while my gums were packed with citrus rinds.

The wife is no fool, except for the whole marrying-me part. "What on Earth would cause your lip to look like a piece of pastrami?" she asked sensibly, while I worked at flapping the piece of pastrami ghoulishly.

"You don't love me any more," I said morosely. This is another stock line. "You'd leave me if I got the pastrami-lips."

"I . . . well, it's a good thing it'll never happen," she said primly. I wailed in horror.

"Aaaaaaaaaahhh . . . don't leave me and my pastrami-lips! Kiss me!" I leaned in impulsively for a deli-kiss, and the wife recoiled. "You won't kiss my pastrami-lips?" I was really warming to the phrase pastrami-lips; I gave my head another little shake, and the slice of pastrami waggled enticingly, anchored in my mouth by my tongue.

My horrified wife had a question: "Listen. Would your pastrami-lips--" (Yay!) "--only look like pastrami? Or would they taste like pastrami, too?"

It was a good question. I gently masticated the meat pensively as I thought about it. I had to be honest, especially after I looked at my glass of wine. "I hope it wouldn't taste of pastrami all the time," I said. "I'd hate to open a nice bottle of Malbec and have it taste like pastrami."

"I wouldn't want you to taste of pastrami all the time," she agreed. I still had the awful slice of meat hanging out of my mouth, and she eyed it angrily. "I don't like the pastrami-lips," she said, suddenly restive.

So I slurped the meat into my mouth and ate it. We finished the rest of the meal without incident.

What I said earlier about friends? It goes double for spouses. Easy for me to say: I don't have to be friends with me, least of all be married to me. I don't know what I'd do without these good people. I'm lucky to have them around. They allow me to fuck around, to be my usual self-indulgent self, to play without consequence. Without these people, my beloved wife, my beloved friends, I'd never bother to start off writing something like:

"Not much has been going on lately, but . . . "

Monday, 14 August
Girls, Girls, Churl

This weekend the wife and I watched Cap'n Spielberg's most recent import-o-thon Munich. It was fine, if overlong, but maybe my attention span suffers these days from less ambitious projects such as Leprechaun Vs. Mecha-Spicoli in Space.

Anyway--and this is such a non-plot point that I don't care about spoiling it--at some point in the film after Eric Bana has slaughtered a bunch of dudes, he finds himself reunited with his wife, and is vigorously fucking her. You'd think he'd be delighted about this turn of events, but as he sweatily chisels away at her, we see that he's not! He is haunted by visions of all the violence that has infected his life to date, and hellishly, we see lots of guys being killed, replayed in his head, as he continues to joylessly fuck his wife. In this way, Spielberg explores the consequences of violence: for one thing, you might not like fucking your wife any more. For another: you might start to Hulk out when you're unhappily fucking your wife. It sure looked like Eric Bana was going there! But he didn't. Maybe he was thinking about Nick Nolte to rein himself in.

It was during this wrenching scene that I turned to my wife and calmly said, "You know, when we're having sex, I think about Arabs being murdered."

"That is so great," she said, looking appalled.

"Yep!" I replied. "Hot."

This sort of shitty behavior is really nothing new to me. I thought a bit about it over the rest of the weekend, and remembered some of the various ways I had maltreated the women who had passed through my life. I started to wonder: Why did any of these girls not stick a screwdriver into my temple?

Let's take the first wife, for instance, that incredibly ill-fated disaster. When we first moved to Seattle and got a tiny little studio to rent, for some reason, we found ourselves soon living in unbelievable squalor: beer bottles forever on the coffee table, recycling piling up in the corners, mutant rats chittering and wheezing as they swarmed over our comforter. It was really strange, and probably really indicative of how the relationship was bound to end up: condemned and unliveable.

I honestly do not remember the genesis of how this all transpired, but what I do remember is that among the empties on the coffee table was a liter bottle of long-since drunk Koala. And what I also remember is me saying, apropos of nothing, "That bottle's not so big. I bet I could fill it with piss."

The former wife begged to differ. "No way." So I marched to the bathroom and filled that sonuvabitch and emerged triumphant, holding the bottle of golden liquid aloft.

"See!" I cried. I set the awful thing down on the coffee table.

"Get that fucking thing off the coffee table!" she screamed. "You do it!" I countered. I was flush with victory and a good bladder-emptying. "I'm not touching it!" she cried again. "Neither am I," I said, and leaned back. We were at an impasse.

It sat on the coffee table for a week, until finally we had to clean up for some guests coming over. Who probably would have sensibly declined to do just that had they known what was occupying the coffee table for the prior week: one liter of cooling piss.

It is not surprising to me that we divorced, for a lot of reasons, but a lot of the time, I come back to that episode. I would occasionally sneak happy looks at the noxious bottle, and occasionally, I would half-tip it with my feet, threatening to break it, causing former wife no end of alarm. (I was the one who finally emptied it, glugging it out nervously into the toilet, wondering: Did we really just allow all that to happen?)

(It is also not surprising to me to remember that when the whole marriage fell apart, at one point, she launched a full can of beer at my head. It missed and completely destroyed a piece of pottery that she really liked. Which honestly? Was awesome.)

Later, I managed to completely infuriate a girlfriend by spending an evening wandering the neighborhood looking for places to eat, all the while bellowing every comment I had to offer in the voice of The Simpsons' Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel. "HEY MAW! LOOK'N AT THE CHI-NEEESE REST-RAWNT!"

"Oh my God," she hissed. "Will you shut up?"


"Shut up! Shut up!"


It may be argued that sometimes I fail to recognize when to stop. It was, in retrospect, a tense evening. Later in the (brief) relationship, there was a me-drunken incident which ended with me catching a bus home at six a.m. wearing my pajamas and one contact lens. I'm still proud of the whole thing, as you might expect, and it never causes me to think about rending my own flesh, or casting myself into cleansing fire.


But now, having been married for a few years to a good woman who seems to understand me (or tolerate me), I like to think I've calmed down. I've mellowed.

I'm long past those things like when I got engaged to my now-wife, without whom I cannot imagine existence. And I kind of mean that. Shortly after we got engaged, we for some reason--probably it was the terrible horror movies, even then--employed the phrase, "I don't want you to die!" I think usually after some young lover got an axe in the lungs or something. "I don't want you to die!" It was our jokey (yet heartfelt) in-joke.

Some short time later, though, I explained to the wife what I'd do if she did die.

"I'll get a little hammer," I explained, "and then I'll knock out all your teeth. Then I'll have your teeth strung onto a chain, and when I'm up to it, I'll go to friends' houses and parties. Occasionally, I'll hold up this necklace to my ear and rattle it, and when people ask what I'm doing, I'll say, 'Oh, nothing, I'm just talking to my dead wife.' Then I'll rattle the teeth at them by way of explanation. It'll be awesome." And here I would ghoulishly mime rattling her teeth-necklace in my ear with a wide grin. "Rattle rattle rattle!" I'd whisper.

"That is so great," she'd say, looking appalled.

I'm a lucky man.

Thursday, 29 June
King Of The Choad

As I get older (so much older), I start to think about the things that I did when I was young, and wouldn't even consider any more. Weirdly, as it turns out, one of those things is the venerable road trip.

We've all been there. "ROAD TRIP!" And then you pile into a car and drive. My friend PJ and her guy are doing this starting tomorrow! They're going down to the fucking desert somewhere to crap in the sand for a week. They are insane. Fuck road trips. They were fun at one point, but now they're just going "WOO!" for half an hour and then falling asleep and running into a roadside barrier. I wish my friends weren't going on this TOTAL DEATH ROAD TRIP, but they are adults after all. Say hi to Satan, road-trippers! I hope you enjoy taking it up the ass for eternity!

But I used to really enjoy road trips. My old college friend D. used to take them all the time. (D. was the same guy who would get his Alaskan Dividend Fund checks every year and solemnly announce, "We are drinking this whole thing.") D. would show up at my horrible, dilapidated college house--the one where we patched walls by spackling over wall-holes filled with empty pizza boxes--and simply kidnapping me. "We're going to the beach!" he would scream. And then I'd kick a path through the dead flies and beer cans to shake his hand. "I agree to this plan," I would intone. Then I would do a quick visual scan of the living room floor to make sure there weren't any mysterious human turds on the carpet that required my attention (hey, once bitten, you know?), we would leave.

ROAD TRIP! Right to the local Safeway, two blocks away. D. and I would then, in the best idiotic college student fashion, load up on "road sodas." Our sodas of choice happened to be Red Beers: that is, Rainier beers mixed with tomato juice and topped with a generous amount of black pepper. (D. kept a container of black pepper in his pickup truck for just these trips.) Once armed, we would then head for the Oregon coast.

A side note here on driving while drinking: unless you are a dumb teenager, don't do it. You might hurt somebody. If you are a dumb teenager: I must insist that you not drive unless you are drinking. My experience has shown me that the only safe driving teenager is a drunk one. In fact, I've written a paper on this topic, which I have submitted to The Lancet, entitled "Red Beers Found To Be So Awesome."

The thing about road trips is how quickly you realize that the destination is utterly unimportant. In fact, once you get to wherever, things can rapidly sour if you're not careful--for example, if you failed to carry enough supply of red beers. D. and I would usually get to the Oregon coast and dick around with our feet in the terrifyingly cold surf for a couple minutes before retiring to the sand for some red beer-induced naps. We might as well have gone to a Motel 6 or some Tokyo discount coffins. The Oregon coast is, don't get me wrong, completely gorgeous, but it's also the cure for what ails ya if you're really tired of ever seeing your nuts for days at a time.

I sort of miss road trips, but it's an abstract sort of feeling. I haven't had a red beer--or rode in a pickup, for that matter--for a long time. It's just as well. It doesn't really sound that interesting to me now to load up on some cheap beer and tomato juice to make a run to the coast. In fact, it sounds like something out of Raising Arizona, but without the baby or dye packs.

In fact, I don't really feel like driving around anywhere any more. It's just a hassle and a drag. Which is why I'm putting out the call for teenaged chauffeur. NEEDED: Drunken teenager to drive me wherever I need to be. The Rainier is on me. Safety first, after all.

Wednesday, 01 March
My Imaginary Brush With Royalty

Ever had one of those really silly, really inconsequential memories that hits you now and then and you realize that you're stuck with forever? I've got one that I apparently will take with me to my grave. It is, happily, totally stupid.

I'm on the playground, around sixth grade or so, so I guess I was eleven. I was hanging out with ur-dweebs M. and S. M. was a reticent kid who also happened to have diabetes; I remember once in class when there was some spirited debate going on, and M. waited patiently with his hand raised in the air for five minutes to be called on. Finally, when Mr. W. said, "Okay, M.?" He replied calmly, "I think I'm having a reaction." His hobbies in retrospect seemed to preemptively summarize his entire life: M. basically devoted all of his energy into three directions: 1. Drawing (and he was talented), 2. Not being noticed by anyone, and 3. Collecting every Star Wars action figure ever created.

S. was, if possible, even more awkward than M., and his traits were characterized mostly by a weedy kind of nervous energy. S. seemed, at all times, to vibrate at some odd, inhuman frequency that made him waspish and inspired a sort of pain in one's teeth. It's hard to explain, as you see. S., I always thought, even as a kid, would grow up to be a sniper. He had a fiendish knack, for example, when playing dodge ball, of hitting boys in the nuts.

Anyway. Here's the bit that has stayed with me. I don't know why.

The three of us were dorking out on the playground one day, and M. said something to set S. off. Not in a really pissed-off way, but just one of those "gotta save face" reactions. So here is what S. said:

"You BUTTHOLE!" There was a slight pause, and then he continued. "You HOLE OF THE BUTT! You BUTT OF THE HOLE!"

And it is this that has stayed with me for all these years. I have turned it over in my mind, like some mysterious, precious piece of handed-down jewelry, examining its facets too try to determine its strange charm on me. And after much analysis, I have decided that what has made this memory so indelible is the incredibly strange wordplay involved in the phrase "You butt of the hole." In fact, I have decided that I love this infelicitous phrase beyond all imagining.

For one thing, it makes no sense at all. But for another thing, it kind of does, that is, if you pretend that it is some long-forgotten terrible honorific whose courtly connotations have long since been corrupted by popular usage of the crass "butt." For the past week--again, I don't know why my brain is doing this--I have been entertaining myself by imagining being introduced to some very proper British fellow.

"Hello," he says in a plummy accent. "My name is Aubrey Henry Shellington Mawpes, Second Earl of Burfton, Knight of the Order of Glump." I shake his hand formally. And then he continues, "I am also the Butt of the Hole." He pauses for effect.

In this weird, meaningless fantasy, I maintain outward composure. But inside, I am screaming with cosmic glee. I am shaking hands with the Royal Butt of the Hole! "It is a pleasure to meet you, sir," I say. I'm trembling a little now. "It's an honor to meet you."

"I should think so," he sniffs. "It's not every Yank who shakes hands with . . . the Butt of the Hole."

Then I replay it all over again.

Thursday, 15 December
Turn Around, Stand In Place

In these holiday times, it's always nice to take a moment and think of home. And why you left. And why it was so great to leave.

I mostly grew up in a small town in Idaho, with a population just over 3000. It sits on the prairie just sort of where the panhandle starts, so it's kind of like where it would be pretty hot to hold on to if, say, you were frying an egg on Boise, which really, I wish would happen, because there isn't much other use for Boise.

(People in other states I'm sure would agree with me, but they probably wouldn't care or even notice if the entirety of Idaho were to be used as a giant omelette project. Once, visiting my grandparents in Los Angeles as a kid, I was asked by another kid where I was from. "Idaho," I said. "Oh yeah!" she replied. "That's over by Torrance.")

My hometown is not really remarkable in any way, least of all for anyone who has done some time in small towns. Everybody knows everybody, which can be good sometimes ("I heard you like apricots, so I brought you some from our tree!") and of course sometimes really horrible. ("That hooker you fucked and then stiffed for fifty bucks was my cousin. She called me from the car wash.") It is, in fact, so unremarkable and so blandly iconic in its small-town ways that one wonders how on earth my parents--who met in L.A.--ever decided upon it out of the thousands of identical little towns dotting our country. My best guess is that it's where they ran out of gas.

As I mentioned before, it's a place where everyone knows everyone. Or, at least, everyone who wasn't me. Being the callous little asshole I was--and remain--I never really bothered to imprint but a few people permanently onto my mind. The people I did remember were: 1. my close friends (sparse) and 2. the people who wanted to beat me up (many). And I still remember them clearly! Hey, Bill! You still a metalhead? Hey, Clay! Why did you punch me at that dance?

This horrible mass-deletion of all of these people kind of bit me on the ass when I idiotically went to my ten-year reuinion a few years ago. I failed to recognize an old crush of mine after she had gained some weight and stared at her blankly, and I actually did say, "Who are you now?" Classy! To make it all up to everyone, I drank too much at the horrible dinner and kissed the former homecoming queen passionately (quite surprising her) before I stumbled out into the night, cackling on my way home. I made a tremendous effort for the rest of the visit not to see anyone, and I'm thinking I'll give the twentieth a miss.

My hometown is, in many ways, completely unchanged. It does seem to be going through this dreary sort of urban-migration woe, which afflicts so many rural areas as people gradually fall into the gravity wells of larger and larger cities, but the folks there endure. There are, I understand, just as many racial groups as when I left so long ago: One. Just white people. And in terms of spiritual diversity, as spicy as we got were the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses. I spent a good portion of my youth really, really confused about these mythical "Jews" I would hear about every now and then. In rural Idaho, I think you had to go to a ski resort to see one of these cryptozoological specimens. "Daddy! Is that a Jew?" "Yes, son. He's practicing one of his people's rituals called 'telemarking.' " "You mean he's calling you at dinner to sell you something?" "I think so.")

Off-color jokes are still bandied about freely in these places, as they always have been. A company that I used to work for had (and maybe still does) an employee that was half-Arab. His inevitable nickname was "Sand Nigger." Understand that he was definitely not ostracized or beaten with sacks full of oranges: that was just his nickname. The jokes and epithets you learn as a kid are the ones that, at least for me, stick. I have an inexhaustible store of hideous jokes that I can never, ever tell. I clearly remember in fifth grade calling a female kickball competitor a "fag." She responded, "Oh, yeah? Well, you're a fag-get!" Really hitting that second syllable. I of course had no idea what she was talking about (or what I was talking about), but it really bummed me out at the time, as I was sure there was some important distinction I was missing about these terms.

For my senior year in high school, in 1987, the school play was, inexplicably, M*A*S*H. I played Duke, the little-remembered character from the movie played by Tom Skerritt. Anyway, remember the Spearchucker Jones character? He was the black guy of the movie, basically. We didn't have any black kids in my town. So how did we handle it? We sent out the quarterback of the football team done up in blackface.

1987. (The only uproar about the show--which was abominable, of course, as all high school plays surely are--was when the Radar character upstaged everyone by picking up a Playboy magazine.)

It's coming time again to go back. My folks are due for a visit, and I'm guessing it'll be perhaps next Christmas, or possibly the following 4th of July, when the town literally explodes in a cowboy orgy known as Border Days, one of the oldest rodeo events in the west. "You can get together with your old friends!" my mother importunes, probably not knowing that I don't really care about most of those people. I barely remember their names. I still burn with shame when I think of not recognizing the old crush who got fat. "You can go to the rodeo!" she also says. Which isn't as weird as those of you who've never been sounds: Rodeos are kind of unreal. Maybe you don't really want to see a guy stomped into paste by an angry, nut-twisted bull, but it's pretty good theater, really. And I once watched one of those crazy fuckers leap a ten-foot-tall fence and run amok in the surrounding neighborhood. One year, a horse broke its leg in a bronco-riding competition, and had to be shot in the head just outside the arena. Everyone heard the shot. The announcer stoically said, "You hate to hear that." It beats the shit out of the WWF.

"Home" is a funny thing. You can't wait to leave it, and you sort of dread it when you go back. And then, when you're all done with your return visit, you feel strange and lonely about going back--back to whatever you've replaced the original with as "home."

Neither are bad places, in the end. For me, it's just hard to leave them, and to come back again.

Tuesday, 11 October
Rilly Big Shew

Skot and the wife are TAKING THE STAGE BY STORM! Because we hate and fear other actors, and have decided to hunt them in their natural habitat. They are distressingly easy to kill.

No! Not really. At least about the killing part. Yet.

The wife (one reader has begged me to not refer to my wife as "the wife" on the basis that it sounds callous and as if I do not much like her, so I might periodically refer to her now and again as "the husband," or perhaps "Ethel Rosenberg," depending on my mood) opened up a show on Friday, an annual event at Open Circle Theater here in town in which three HP Lovecraft stories are adapted for the stage. The stories are adapted in such a way as to play up the complete ridiculousness of many of Lovecraft's themes but to also give a nod to the still-creepy atmosphere that he was justly credited for. Think of it as Desperate Housewives, except that in the end everyone dies horribly at the hands of fish-faced alien races.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun at opening night, and it was good fun to watch good old Ethel not betray her country and get the chair, but instead gleefully inhabit the roles of various crazy ladies. The wife does get a lot of work playing crazy women, and I'm not sure what that says about her, but it might explain the new fondness for knitting. Don't all crazy ladies knit? I think the Elder Gods might be crouching inside my wife, Ethel Rosenberg, and are causing her to knit, and to possibly betray my country. Fuck, man, I hope she doesn't get the chair. Her knitting isn't that bad.

Anyway. I also find myself suddenly back (sort of) doing theateresque things: sort of. I agreed to do a little three-day deal called the Brown Derby at Re-bar. The Brown Derby project has been going on for some time, and what they do is take terrible Hollywood films and put them onstage in utterly mutilated form, using drag queens, dance numbers and relentlessly funny script-savaging. I've done one before, when we eviscerated Halloween a couple years ago, and now I've been called on again to come defile one of our old classics.

We are doing Flashdance. I will be playing the Michael Nouri role--he's the creepy-ass bossman who seduces Jennifer Beals' spunky (shaddup) welder-slash-nightclub dancer (played, of course, by a man, unlike me, who will be played by me).

These things are done intentionally slapdash, with scripts in hand--deconstruction is the order of the day, not professionalism. And I am blessed with a great cast, who have all begun making hysterically funny contributions, which is good, since I've totally got nothing.

This is not a cry for support! I've literally got nothing. I'm glad others do. But do you remember this awful movie? The Michael Nouri role is: kinda slimy 40-ish guy fucks his hot welder/dancer employee. I'm not even blaming the role. But I've got nothing here. Yes, I'll get some laughs for shoving my tongue down the throat of the Jennifer Beals drag queen, but how hard is that? (SERIOUSLY, SHUT UP!) I am nervous. Tonight we had a rehearsal to work on how we were going to viciously maul all of the dance scenes, and I was so hopeless at dancing badly that I was asked to, like, not dance at all. I'm so terrible at dancing that it's literally not funny! (And true story: when I tried to emulate a Bealsy dance move, I hurt myself terribly . . . I tried to do this kick-thing she does in the "BIG AUDITION" dance scene, and it felt like lizards were biting my triceps. I moaned audibly, and it was about then that I., the director, explained that I was excused from the number. I wandered off for a cigarette, feeling like Ethel Rosenberg, my wife, walking to the Chair.)

This is the actor's life: ongoing bouts of crippling self-doubt occasionally relieved by flashes of intense humiliation. There are reasons why we drink. Especially those of us who cannot dance, or come up with good comedy bits for their lousy characters, or who happen to marry Commie spies.

And I keep coming back.

Friday, 05 August
I Have Lofty Goals

At around 9:00 this morning, sitting in my office, I had a revelation. A revelation that left me breathless with its profundity, its uniqueness. It hit me like a thunderbolt, but without the burn scars and neurological failure. Surely nobody has ever had this feeling.

Work sucks, I thought, spinning idly in my office chair. I don't feel like going to work any more. I know! Freaky. I am apparently the Immanuel Kant of my age. I sat for a while, wondering at my staggering thoughts, and then I had to take a piss, and some of it dribbled onto my shorts, so that was a bummer. I cheered myself up by thinking that surely Kant occasionally got some piss on his pants at some point during the creation of Critique of Pure Reason. Probably Tommy Locke, too. I'm betting that guy pissed his pants all the time. "Just because I got some piss on my pants this morning," I can hear him saying, "doesn't mean I will get piss on them tomorrow." Fuck yeah! Tommy Locke was the Bret Boone of his age. Just because Boonie hasn't had a homer in three years doesn't mean he won't hit four tomorrow! Even if that means he has to do it against Harold "Aint' Got No Arms" Femelhebber, who pitches for the Bakersfield Sawdust!

These are the things I was thinking about when I decided to take tomorrow off.

What am I going to do tomorrow? Well, I guess the first thing I'll do is get some piss on my pants a little bit. And then I'm going to watch me some TV ads. There's a bumper crop out there! And not just the stale old Vehix ads that I've already complained about, and give me bouts of incontinence. There's newer stuff!

For example, the humiliating ads for Red Roof Inns (whatever the hell those are). They are horrifying and delightful, and look like they were shot in a country whose currency valuation is pegged to Safeway coupons. In one, a fellow is limbo-ing on his hotel bed, and crows, "How low can you go?!" Apparently referring to the relative inexpense of staying at a Red Roof Inn, but only highlighting the relative inexpense of creating the ad itself. In another spot, a fellow is watching TV, and says, "The chances of working tonight are . . . remote." And he holds up a remote control and gives a big fake laugh. It's like watching student films made by the bongmeisters at Delta Rho, and they are about as funny as infected hangnails.

But in the end, you kind of have to laugh, because, come on: Red Roof Inn? I have no problem with cheapo hotels at all, but neither do I expect them to come up with ad magic either.

This brings us to some Coca-Cola ads. They do have money.

Which is why it's so baffling that they're choosing to disinter the old 70s chestnut ad with the hippies who sang "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing"--which became an improbable radio hit song for some group of session musicians who called themselves the New Seekers--only clumsily updating it for our new generation, in the form of an embarrassingly, obviously totally uncool scrubbed group of hilariously non-indie kids. "I'd like to teach the world to chill," sings a guy on a rooftop, who is surrounded by various immaculately groomed mycoteens squatting fungally around him, joining him in his awful paean to HFCS-loaded serum that will one day TAKE OVER THE WORLD, and god help you, Pepsi! We've got the pod-kids on our side!

So that's what I'm doing tomorrow. Better than working, I say. Just sit around, watching ads. And maybe occasionally pissing on my pants.

Beats work.

Tuesday, 19 April
The Dark Backward

In college, I was on the booth crew for a production of Lysistrata which happened to use these groovy things called, if memory serves, periaktoi. These were tall triangular dealies set upstage that had different scenes painted on them that could be turned to change settings throughout the play; by cannily rotating them, one could display not only different scenic views, but also artfully arrange them so as to provide entrances and exits for the actors. Very Greek, or something. The stagehands--in Greek dress, of course--whose job it was to manipulate these things were called, inventively, "periaktoi turners."

I will never know how people let themselves be convinced to do these sorts of theater jobs. You get zero stage glory, and are in fact very lucky if the actors bother to notice you at all (unless you fuck up, in which case you will be noticed very quickly). You work the same hours as the rest of the people there, except that your job is boring, menial and mindless. Have you ever heard anyone brag about being a stagehand?

For this show, the stage manager hung out backstage; he was a big football-playin' kind of guy named Greg (he was also an actor, but he was fulfilling part of his degree requirements by stage managing). One of the periaktoi turners was a horribly shy little thing whose name is lost to me now. All I remember was that she was painfully self-conscious about being onstage, particularly in a scant little toga-thing, even though all she did was turn these big dumb things around all night.

One night she went out onstage to do her thing and rotated the periaktos into position, which happened to block her from getting back offstage. Usually, after getting it into position, she would crack a small opening for herself, slip backstage, and then adjust it back to its position. However, on one night, Greg was standing backstage, and from his perspective, noticed the in-position periaktos start to move. It was shy thing trying to slip backstage. But Greg thought, "Uh oh. This thing is slipping." So he put one beefy hand on it to prevent any motion.

Shy thing tried to move it again, but she had no hope of budging Greg, who had a hundred pounds on her and was involved in headset chatter anyway. I saw this all from the booth. She pushed. Nothing. She pushed again. Nothing. Actors were filing onstage, ready to start the scene, and eyed her curiously. She noticed the actors. She knew she wasn't supposed to be there, and there was nowhwere to go: all other exits backstage were being used by the actors. I watched in horror as she turned out full to face the audience, and seemed to crumple under the weight of its collective stare.

She burst into tears and then ran off the stage, up through the audience and out the exit doors, sobbing like a fresh widow.

We were out one periaktoi turner.

Thursday, 14 October
He's Leaving Home

To be honest, I don't have much gas left in the tank this week. Sorry about that--work has been, well, hellish, and next week I have to go to Kansas Fucking City for work. This would be great (if disturbing for my wife) if "fucking" really was part of the Kansas City equation, but it is not. I'm pretty sure that an oncology consortium will be largely fucking-free. Especially for anyone who gets treated to the penile cancer slide shows that I've heard so much about.

"Here's a horizontal cross-section of a diseased penis. And now our lunchbreak!"

Anyway. I myself happily do not have to attend any graphic penile cancer presentations, so I'll have to content myself with whatever varied joys the lymphoma and melanoma folks have concocted. If I'm really lucky, someone will have some good splenomegaly films.

So posts are going to be here and there for a couple weeks, just so you know. I had a conversation recently with cancer about this:

Skot: "So, cancer, why be a dick? It's hard to work around you sometimes. I have a crappy blog to maintain."

Cancer: "Yeah, well."

Skot: "That's not even an answer."

Cancer: "Sorry. I wasn't paying attention. There was this guy in Montana."

Skot: "What the fuck? Now what? Eye cancer?"

Cancer: "It's an expansion market."

Like I say, I'm out of gas. And it's just going to get worse once I have to leave town. I hate being away from my girl, and it makes me behave erratically.

Actually, I've already started. Tonight:

[The theme to "Law & Order" begins. Skot adopts a cruciform pose and begins wriggling his hips. This is horribly unfunky.]

Wife: What are you doing?

Skot: [still gyrating] I AM THE DISCO CHRIST! I DO WHAT I WANT!

This is the Disco Christ, signing off for a while.

Wednesday, 29 September
The Others

Today he stood by a recycling bin, feeling at the lid of the container and rattling it slightly, as if divining its contents. His white cane rested against the store wall, and he looked up into the air as always. When he heard my footsteps, he wheeled on me and I hate this guy.

Let me back up. There is a fellow, known to probably any long-term resident of the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, who is (1) blind, and (2) perhaps homeless, but this is indeterminable, and (3) in the ultraviolet spectrum of "fucked up."

He can frequently be seen on Broadway, calling out to passersby, "EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME!" As he is obviously blind, this traps many people, who then sometimes quite helpfully--if they are new fish--accede to his outlandish requests, such as escorting him into stores to aid his shopping, which he will then ask for his victims to pay for. (When unaccompanied in stores, he simply enters and immediately begins shouting demands: "I need some tomato soup and some bread, please!") I have seen him get people to lead him into bars, where I can only assume he then presses them to buy him drinks.

When people walk right by him without acknowledging his cries for help, he delights in lobbing harangues after them: "Hey, that's great! Just ignore the blind man!"

I know this isn't painting me in the best light, but frankly I don't care any more. I'd feel worse in the grand liberal tradition if I thought the guy was radically unhinged, but really, I think he's just a titanic ass who exploits his disability at every single turn. Maybe he is homeless. Maybe he is a victim. Maybe he has mental problems (and here I see him aimlessly rattling at recycling bins again). But my impression is, he's just a big turd who won't leave my neighborhood.

I do know that I have no reason to disbelieve an old coworker of mine named M. (sorry, initial-haters, that's just the way it is), who had her own special encounter with the fellow. M. related the scene to me thusly:

M: I know that creepy blind fucker. He stopped me on the street once.

S: Why did you stop?

M: I didn't know who he was then. I felt bad because he was blind.

S: What did he want?

M: He wanted to give me fifty bucks to go back to his apartment.

S: You're joking.

M: You don't even know. His idea was that he would strip naked and then I was supposed to break albums on him.

S: (Pause) What?

M: He wanted me to break vinyl LPs on him while he jerked off.

Never has there been such a time where I really didn't know what to say. I staved off the urge to ask which LPs he had in mind. "First, Boston's second album! Then some Kurtis Blow, and we'll finish up with a nice Anita Baker!"

I hate him.

Thursday, 22 July
Unfortunate Things I Have Said During The Rehearsal Process

"You looked like you were trying to eat your way into the earth."

"Sorry about pissing all over your shoes, there."

"Those children can all go fuck themselves."

(Referring to our music director)
"Don't miss J. in Sadwich, his new show where he spends two hours eating a sandwich and occasionally bursting into tears."

"I don't have to listen to you, because you're gay."

"The theme music for the leper scene should be either 'I Go to Pieces' or 'Eyes Without A Face.' " (Worse, this was a recycled joke, meaning I have had more than one music/leprosy conversation in my life.)

"She's what I imagine a disease would look like as a person."

"This line is, well, acne. I hate it."


"I'm sorry, but I'm going to continue to think of your mother as retarded."

Monday, 15 March
The Yellow Kid

Earlier today as I was blearing around the office, I felt nature's call and stopped by the rest room. I approached the nearest urinal and stared down into a pool of bright yellow. It seemed to glow faintly, and as I stared at this little puddle of malice, I got kind of depressed. I mean, heigh-ho, do your part for the environment and all--I'm not unamenable to saving some flushwater here and there--but man alive . . . not when it's that color. It was just a feeling I got as I stood there, that somehow it's not right to leave your spoor lying around when it's so violently hued and, frankly, kind of alarming and unsettling and weird. Clear piss? No problem! Malevolent, caution-yellow, renal failure piss? Come on, Kidney Avenger, flush it away from innocent eyes.

If you're waiting for this post to start displaying some of the classiness that my tens of readers have come to totally not expect from this weblog, you're going to be really sad.

On the home front, in the new place, the wife and I have basically realized that the central feature of the new pad--in fact, we save it for the end of the guest tour--is, yes, the bathroom. Not the patio. Not the pool. The bathroom.

It's kind of hard to explain without seeing it. The main motif is slate. Blocks of rough-hewn slate cover the walls, and there is not-really-recessed lighting, the kind where the little cylinder hangs from the ceiling with the bulb tucked up inside, so the light pools. This combined with the dark stone walls contribute towards a sort of seedy Mobbish feel to it, like at any moment you could either get a bullet in the brain, or a blowjob from a stripper, depending. Which I must say is pretty exciting brain-fare when you're just trying to find your shaving cream.

Well, not all the walls are as I describe. There is one wall that has full-length mirrors, a nice feature in some bathrooms. Perhaps not this one, however, as the location here is key. First of all, they are directly across from the shower, which to me is largely unimportant: I am blind as a fucking block of wood, so the sight of a damp, writhing pink blob is no more startling than any of the other amorphous fuzzwhats that make up my uncorrected visual field. The wife, however, reports that it takes some getting used to climbing out of the shower only to spy your life-large naked self climbing out of the shower directly across from you.

Which is not to say I'm wholly unaffected by the mirrors. No, I am, in a distinctly more horrible way, because there's still one piece of information I've held back. As I said: On one side is the shower. On the other facing wall are the mirrors. And just below the mirrors is the toilet.

This is in many ways a very curious bit of home decor. Well, for me, very curious from a male point of view (so to speak), considering that, like most non-impaired males, we have the physiological privilege of being able to piss while standing up. This is a birthright that fathers make sure to inform their male kids of at earliest opportunity, frequently at a lonely roadside on some long car trip. But at least for me, something I am emphatically not used to is seeing me piss, full face on, two feet from myself. It was, in fact, extremely disquieting the first few times I did it, because let's get down to brass tacks here: there I was, idly pissing, staring as men frequently do down into the bowl. (Hey, I think I'll aim at that little piece of tissue! Bam, direct hit! Yes, we shoot at stuff, because we can, and we are, after all, just silly boys.) Then I looked up. And there I was. Holding my doppelwanger, pissing.

It was really strange. I mean, I see myself piss from the skull-cam all the time, but this was brand new. For one thing, I suddenly felt deeply self-conscious about that guy across from me holding his weirdo penis. Hey, pal, I felt like shouting, put your dick away! Jesus! Then I got kind of weirdly clinical, and started thinking unkind thoughts about this alien penis glaring at me from the mirror. Is that the right color for that thing? It looked vaguely wrong. I mean, all penises are kind of wrong-looking, and weirdly hilarious; they sort of flop around unpredictably, and are kind of excitable, and there's just no talking to them at all. Penises do what they want. They are not inscrutable and enigmatic like, say, vaginas. There is nothing less enigmatic than a penis.

Finally, after a while of this, I was done pissing, and so was my new pal over there. But I stood there a second longer, thinking, There's something else. Something else that looks weird. What? Then after a moment, I had it. I know what it is. I just thought . . . I just thought it would look . . . bigger.

Monday, 12 January
Number Two! Engage!

Comment spam? NOT IN MY HOUSE! My last five commenters:

Ski Shop
Snowboarding Boots

I like to think of these people as party guests, which is pleasing, mental-image-wise. I think of Lesbians hanging out chatting with Snowboarding Boots.

But really, BASTARDS! What to do with these miscreants? Well, if you're like me, nothing, because I don't know what the hell I'm doing around here anyway. So I just went to the bathroom, filled with gastrointestinal wrath.

Which turned out to be another awful situation that I had to suffer through, because here's the thing: I have this pathological neurosis about making embarrassing toilet noises. And others, ah . . . well, they clearly don't. How I wish I were one of these people, but I'm not, so if I'm in the work bathroom and someone else walks in . . . well, I just sit there. Quietly. Clamping down on whatever awful freight is anxiously awaiting its release, in agony, until the bathroom is empty again.

I know this is my problem. But it causes me suffering.

And it's not necessarily just butt-noise related (though it usually is). Having just returned from yet another psychologically shattering bathroom experience, I will simply say this: I can handle being at a urinal next to some guy. I can even handle said guy lamely attempting conversation (though I hate this). I can even handle--because it's pretty funny--those guys who do the two-hands-on-the-wall, lean-and-piss thing, who look like they're waiting to be frisked. But there are some things the mind is not prepared to accept, and one of them is standing next to some guy at a urinal, and he is whistling "Tiny Dancer."

This sort of thing is distressingly common in the public bathroom (and yes, this will probably get disgusting), especially for nutfucks like me who are neurotic about this to the point of frenzy. Is there anything more harrowing than The Grunter?

(Sounds of unzipping and pants flopping around ankles. Pause.)

HURM! HUUURRRM! Um. (Pause.)


[Terrible, earthshaking flatulence.]


At this point, I usually can be found in the next stall over, bursting into flames. Or there's also the unnameable horror known as The Sigher:

(Unzip, pantsflop, etc.)

Haaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh. Fooooooooo.

The Sigher always sounds very plaintive and sad, as if he's burying several young relatives.

I'm going to have to get over all this somehow. It's just too punishing for me. So if you happen to enter a public bathroom sometime soon, and there's a guy in there, farting merrily while singing the old Slade song "Run Runaway," that's me, just working through my issues.

Tuesday, 18 November
Not Good.

I don't like it when I can't write. And it happens too often: when I started this bloody thing, I made it my mission to do five posts a week--obviously, I don't do that any more. I don't know why, except that I got married and all, and I think that's valid (it's kind of sad that I even feel the need to make excuses), but let's also face it, some of those old posts reeked of desperation and sloth, and maybe, well, just fuck it, but sometimes it just drives me nuts when I feel like writing, and it just won't come.

I deleted three other abortive things before this. One was this weird tone-poem-y thing that I had high hopes for; it was a kind of cinematic screenplay filled with portent or something. Then I started writing it, and I got hung up over--I kid you not--whether or not the board game SORRY! used that weird bubble-dice device. (It didn't. What the fuck was that game? It's driving me crazy. Was it Parcheesi?) It also involved some character named "Borovski." The big idea was this not-so-much ending where I cut to nothing. I'd be a hell of a filmmaker. "Joe! Cut to nothing!" "What?" "Cut to nothing! It's poetic or something!" "You're stupid. I quit."

I also deleted a story about this weekend about how this poor guy (he's in the cast of my show) got his car towed because he parked in a Safeway parking lot. The gist of it was: This guy got his car towed because he parked in a Safeway lot. It cost him almost three hundred dollars. But then I realized that nobody could possibly give a fuck.

Now that I think about it, I didn't even get around to deleting a story about my facial hair, because it didn't even merit starting: I have this sort of dire whisker situation where sometimes I get two whiskers trying to share the same follicle, and that doesn't work, so they grow into this gigantic mutant whisker that is like a redwood stump growing out of my face, and it turns into an awful thick ghoul-hair that makes my face all angry, and I kind of have to police my face to make sure that they aren't massing for a revolution of some sort, these horrible Gimli-ish stumpy whiskers that rouse the pus army and overrun my poor, Aragorn-lacking chin. The last thing I need is for Ian MacKellen to show up indignantly on my face, calling for reinforcements.

Oh, it's late. I'll do better. Cut to nothing.

Wednesday, 17 September
We Face Follicular Armageddon


This is horrible. And it's not what you're thinking: I don't actually have wiry black hairs sprouting from the deep recesses of my ear-holes, though that's a happy thing to countenance for later. No, I was just shaving the other night, and I noticed the outer ridges of my ears: they had this fine spray of hairs reaching out their skinny arms to refract the light (which is very nearly a Godspeed You Black Emperor! album title). I toyed with them for a moment, intrigued: what the fuck could they possibly be for? The answer was clear. To irritate me, and to make me even more neurotically aware of my remorseless mortality. I quickly identified their leader; it was a purely white motherfucker that was a good two inches long, and was shrewdly concealing itself by coiling around the back of my ear-ridge. I savagely pulled it out and questioned it. "Vile ear hair!" I screamed. "You thought I wouldn't find you! You are vanquished!"

The dying ear hair was unrepentant to the end. "Stupid man," it sneered, "you think you've won. You have not."

"I have plucked you! I have plucked you! My ear ridges are triumphantly smooth again!" I railed desperately.

"Fool," it whispered. "Check your nose. Check your shoulders. We are coming. You are finished." It finally expired in my hand, and I pitched it into the trash.

Trembling, I checked my nose. I checked my shoulders.


I don't know how long I'll be able to transmit these messages. I am being overrun. I will hold out as long as I can, but I fear my heroic plucking and yanking and searing-with-cigarettes are only token gestures; soon I will meet my depilatory Waterloo. And then . . . and then . . .

I will simply just be The Hair. I will be transformed into a living mass of hair, and The Hair will rule What Once Was Skot. My wife will look at me, and outwardly I will appear normal, but when I speak to her, it will not be Skot who speaks: it will be The Hair.

"I love you," she will say.

"I REQUIRE APPLE PECTIN!" The Hair will reply.

"You know, I never thought I'd say this, but I think you're getting weirder," the wife will tiredly respond.

"I AM THICK AND LUXURIANT. THIS IS A GOOD HOST." The Hair will observe, while the wife sighs and clicks the TV remote.

"You want to watch anything in particular?" she'll ask, clearly not listening any more; this is hardly the first time her "husband" has lapsed into utter nonsense.


The Hair will soon be firmly in charge. Remember me. Remember me fondly. For as long as you can. For I think that soon, we will all succumb to The Hair.

Thursday, 19 June
Today's Consuming Stupid Idea

I spent a simply tragic amount of time today trying to craft the following into something even remotely resembling funny or interesting:

Phone Call of Cthulhu

In which the Elder Gods become increasingly frustrated in their attempts to order a pizza, as all the humans on the other end of the line immediately become raving lunatics the moment the Deep Ones say "Pepperoni and sausage."

NOTICE TO FUTURE GENERATIONS: This is a really terrible idea. I assume it will one day be a show on FOX.

Wednesday, 04 June
I Am Conflicted About My Doublethink

This past week walking home, I've noticed a new fixture on the old home street: a bum, who has nestled into a new home in some bushes about thirty feet from my front gate. He's always sleeping there when I walk by, dozing peacefully on a pizza box, and it has freaked me out any number of times. First of all, most of the time walking around in the neighborhood, I generally expect the humans I encounter to be standing erect rather than in a recumbent position. So every time I catch a glance of him lying there, I think, "AAAAH! Lurking pygmies!" or "Fuck! Cheetahs in the greenery!" before I wise up and then amend it to "Oh. Bum in the bushes." And second of all, even once I realize what the prone figure actually is, I then proceed to torture myself with mental scenarios where he springs awake and snatches at my pants leg. "Vote LaRouche," I hear him croaking in my mind, "and I'll let go." "LaRouche! LaRouche for Emperor!" I mentally scream, but then I'm past him and at my gate, and I calm down.

Now here's the thing: I am pretty much a total pinko when it comes to a lot (though not all) of issues, and this is true of The Plight Of The Homeless in general. I regularly inveigh against the continued lawnmowing of social services for the needy; I howl at the ridiculous "no sitting on sidewalks" targeting legislation; and most importantly, I am endlessly generous about doling out cigarettes to those who ask (yeah, I'm all fucking heart). I try to be a good person, because it's a problem, and there are people genuinely hurting. I think in some ways we should help them a helluva lot more than we do.

So when I got home the other day, I mentioned to the wife that we had a new neighbor: a bum had found a little haven in the bushes one building over. Did I say, "Great news! The Plight Of The Homeless is setting up house in our neighborhood bushes! Let's go bring him a cheese plate." Well, no. I believe what I said was, "Some scuzzy fucker is sleeping down the street."

Classy. It's a pain in the ass to have one's abstracted ideals get into a fender-bender with NIMBY syndrome, isn't it? I don't feel particularly good about myself for saying that, but I'm not going to let it get to me much either. I didn't curse at him, or beat him up, or hassle him until he left. I just said something nasty out of earshot. But I can do better. And I will. I'm going to vote LaRouche.

Thursday, 03 April
Creature Discomforts

I have an evil homunculus. He lives with me. He has powers. He uses them whenever he can.

I've never seen him, but I feel him, and sometimes hear his sour-milk voice. I can detect his workings.

He has odd, misshapen teeth. In the morning, before I shower, he runs into the bathroom and gnaws on the soap, turning the nice symmetrical bar into a lumpen, raggedy thing that falls apart in my hands. When I bend over to myopically pick up the slippery pieces, he directs a jabbing spray of water right at my asshole. I yelp, and I hear his tiny laughter.

While I'm drying off, he runs back to the nightstand and repositions my glasses to ensure that I will pick them up by the lenses instead of the temples.

When I walk to work, he's with me. He rides, clutching the small of my back with one hand while reaching down with the other to slowly, stealthily, inexorably pull my boxers up into the crack of my ass.

He has this thing about my ass.

When he tires of that, he scampers down my leg and pulls my socks down to my ankles. I pretend it's just the socks, and I scold them loudly. "Quitters!" I yell at them as I pull them up again and again, "You socks are fucking quitters."

He has a prism that he carries with him, pure and transparent as winter ice. When the mood strikes him, he climbs onto my shoulders and plays it across my field of vision. It is then when an ordinary sign reading "PISTON & RING SHOP" transforms in my mind to read "PIMPIN' RING SHOP," and I wonder for a moment what sane person could possibly have opened a jewelry store for pimps. The homunculus' laughter echoes inside my head moments later.

He flits about my desk at work. On my lunch break, when I am searching for airfares to Europe, he is inside the wires, riding the luminous ether of the Internet, and fouling the messages back to my monitor. My airfares repeatedly display staggering, idiotic figures like "$739 per person," over and over, while I know full well that the airlines are all mad with fear because their profits are Greg Louganising all across the board; people everywhere are getting plush plane rides across the Atlantic for fifty bucks a head, and that's with a gourmet lobster dinner and an enthusiastic handjob from a pneumatic stewardess thrown in to boot, both ways. I stare at my horrible, obviously fictional airfare quotes and I silently curse the homunculus.

The homunculus dashes downstairs to the deli, right before me, and throws all the bagels into the dumpster before I can get there. All except the onion bagels.

When I stop for a drink on the way home, the homunculus does not rest. He is the one who scampers to the jukebox and evilly preprograms the selections. I will hear only Bob Marley and Santana on this visit, and every other. The twenty-year old fake hippies all bob their heads along with the rhythms, as if in thrall, but I know that they are pawns of the homunculus, mindless and obedient. They will ask me for cigarettes before I leave, and the homunculus will jab me violently in the asshole with his sharp little thumbnail if I refuse them.

When I get home, he deviously manipulates the cable channels. Tonight, every channel was either playing Pootie Tang, M*A*S*H reruns, or hockey. All three hundred channels. Pay-per-view would only offer America's Greatest Tumor Biopsies.

Before bed, I retire to the bathroom, and the toilet seat is clammy and searingly cold; my startled flesh screams and tries to contract all at once, causing my posterior to sort of sieze up on itself; a spasmodic, hypothermic clench that will only ebb after a few minutes of sluggish bloodflow. I sit patiently and wait for abatement, and again I hear the chittering of the homunculus in my ears. I know he is with me forever.

I wish he'd leave my ass alone, just once.

Tuesday, 25 March
I Have Saved The Universe Many Times

Growing up in (mostly) rural Idaho and being an only child as I was, at an early age I got pretty proficient at keeping myself entertained. I had Andy, my good dog, to keep me company--and what company! He was a German Shepherd/Collie/St. Bernard/Malamute mix, so he was fucking huge--and of course I also had the great in- and outdoors; most of these efforts at self-amusement I now see as an adult were incredibly death-courting. I'm honestly stunned I made it past age ten. I found once an old abandoned buried water tank on our property; I thought it would be neat to crawl down inside and look for salamanders, delightfully heedless of the fact that once I dropped down the eight feet to the floor, I had no good chance of getting back up. After a couple hours of terrified, useless screaming, I literally rock-climbed my way up by finding teeny niches in the old concrete to hold on to, probably abetted by massive amounts of fear-adrenaline shrieking through my veins. We also had a barn on the property, and I spent hours dicking around in there, and it chills me to remember confidently strolling around on the thick 12" x 12" rafters that crossed the barn fifteen feet in the fucking air. I used to run across them, pretending to be Spider-Man. There's simply no good reason I'm not a fading stain on the concrete floor.

On the non-lethal side of things, I of course spent a good amount of time playing in my room. Like a lot of boys, I had a jones for action figures--you know, dolls. And also like a lot of boys, they were a motley bunch, culled here and there from various toy lines demarcated by whatever passing obsession I happened to hold at any given moment. But that didn't matter, because whatever the little guys originally were marketed as, they were renamed and reinvented by my own imagination when I felt that their original purpose was lacking. I invented whole mythologies for the little bastards and had them act out elaborate (by my reckoning) dramas, roughly along the lines of the SuperFriends or, much cooler in my opinion, the Justice League of America.

For example, Star Wars figures were obviously hugely popular around this time, and sure enough, I had a couple. I had a Stormtrooper figure, a little plastic white guy around four or five inches tall. But the thing is, being a faceless, expendable guard-dork doesn't make for much superheroing, so I renamed him The METEOR! The Meteor's origin was thus: he was some astronaut guy (I know I gave them all "secret identities," but I don't remember those) who was testing a brand new super whip-ass combat/supersoldier/outer space suit and he was kind of cruising around in space somewhere giving the thing a test ride when ALL OF A SUDDEN! (and this kills me to remember that I concocted this) he has, like, the most wildly improbable thing happen to him when he is caught dead smack in the middle of a collision between two meteors. What, he didn't have enough room in deep space to get the fuck out of the way? Talk about being in the most incredibly wrong place at the most unbelievable time EVAR. But hey, I was a kid. Anyway, as if that bunch of horseshit wasn't enough, this incredible blast obviously didn't kill the poor fucker, but instead it somehow fused the suit to his body! This gave him some pathos: so now the guy was a superhero (The Meteor! Or, uh, somebody really fucked over by two meteors, but never mind), but he'd LOST HIS HUMANITY and could never feel the sweet touch of a spring breeze on his skin, etc. etc. I constructed lots of scenarios where The Meteor, a fundamentally good guy, would periodically freak out and and protest to the heavens and pick fights and stuff, because I thought it made him complicated or something. I really liked The Meteor; he was certainly cooler than some mook who gets ignominiously shot in the first reel by a goddamn Wookie.

I also had a Luke Skywalker figure, a much more tragic story, because it was just a guy in a white tunic, and who fucking cares about that? He became even more pathetic once I lost the little red piece of plastic that served for his light saber, so I hit upon a solution: Luke was the perennial victim, for whom my team of heroes would rally around when (always, always) in peril. So Luke got kidnapped a lot, and my heroes would stage a massive battle and save the little turd, over and over, and it kind of got boring after a while. Then I began to hate Luke a little, because, Jesus, can't this fucking putz do anything other than get kidnapped? Of course he could: he could die. It was great! So from then on, Luke was the victim of countless unspeakable crimes, and suffered countless horrible deaths, each of which would either (a) drive a member of the team mad with vengeful fury or (b) drive the entire team of heroes mad with vengeful fury, depending on how ambitious I was feeling on that day. So useless Luke still served a function: eternal whipping boy, fated only for cruel kidnappings or horrifically fatal barbarities.

I also had a Boba Fett figurine, but Boba Fett was so fucking cool, he was just Boba Fett, and I was happy with that.

Micronauts were also big deals when I was a kid, and sure enough, I had me a cool blue one with wings. So he was the Blue Angel (yeah, yeah, Marlene Deitrich, shaddup); he was some alien guy from someplace unimaginably far away, like the planet Cleveland or something. He could fly, obviously, because he had this cool flip-up wing attachment that was just greater than shit, until I lost the damn wings, and then I was kind of stuck with what to do with him until I decided fuck it, he could still fly anyway. He was all but indestructible, and could shoot mysterious power bolts from his hands; I decided this almost immediately because Micronaut hands were sort of three-quarters curled into fists for gripping little always-lost ancillary toys, but they also looked perfect for generating blast rays that would shoot out from the palms of his hands.

I also had--you know it!--super-villains. One was a sort of planet-eating bastard modeled on Galactus named ROM. Remember ROM (I realize here that good portions of this post will be gibberish to a lot of women)? He was the coolest damn thing I remember having; a giant battery-operated silver guy with a whole boatload (well, three) of gadgets that would blink and make ooky noises. He had a jetpack and an audible Vaderish breath-noise and a distinctly Cylon-like set of red blinking eyes. Basically, Parker Brothers just ripped off every single sci-fi thing they could think of and dumped it into this fucker. He was great, and would inevitably nearly, almost, but not quite totally destroy my team of good guys, or their Hall of Justiceish Place, or the Earth, or whatever in these terribly epic battles that could last for hours. But he never succeeded, of course, except with Luke, whom he gruesomely killed many, many times.

I also had this weird thing called Baron Karza that I don't remember where the hell I got. Baron Karza was another big robotish thingy with a kind of Camelot 2578 AD feel to him, but he had a kink: his arms and his legs were held on by magnets. I have no idea why. But this was pretty cool for my aforementioned epic battles; inevitably, Karza would be thundering about my heroes' IMPENDING DOOM, MORTALS! or whatever, and then the Blue Angel would come up with some devastating mot juste and hit the bastard with an energy ray, which would sever the foul Baron's arm or leg or head and he'd scream NOOOOOO! Or maybe he ticked off The Meteor by killing Luke for the millionth time, and The Meteor, wracked by a mad frenzy of grief and sadness would yell THIS IS FOR LUKE, YOU INHUMAN MONSTER! and smash him right in the gut and all his arms and legs would fly off from the impact, and The Meteor would kneel, spent from the effort of avenging his useless and dead pal.

You'll be terribly surprised to learn that I was really bad with the girls all through high school. Comic books and sci-fi movies have a lot to answer for.

Friday, 24 January
My Dreamscape Is Neither Rich Nor Textured

The other day I was taking a nap before having to go to rehearsal, and I hit some serious REM sleep, because I started dreaming very, very hard. I don't tend to remember very many dreams for some reason, but this one was a doozy; I remembered everything. It really was meticulously detailed, which was truly unfortunate. Not because it was a scary dream. Unless you find "hopeless banality" scary, because it was the most boring dream possible. Luxembourgian geopolitics are less boring than this dream, if Luxembourg has any geopolitics to speak of, and I'm already weak with boredom even thinking about that, but it's still a flaming-hoop act, excitement-wise, compared to that damn dream. Anyway.

As it starts out, I'm in a plain white room with a brown carpet. (Good God, even that first sentence makes me want to put my head into a paint shaker. You already know you're in for a thrilling Cavalcade of Boredom.) It is evening, around nine o'clock, but I only know that because of dream-logic; the room is too uninteresting to feature anything as pulse-quickening as a clock. The only other person in the room is a mildly pretty saleswoman standing by a table with about a dozen cell phones on it. She's kind of packing stuff up, because it's the end of the day. I guess. The oppressive boredom makes it difficult to ascribe reason to the situation.

All of a sudden, I realize I have a vast, consuming need to purchase a cell phone. So I start talking to her. She really just wants to go, but is stuck dealing with the weird dreaming guy who's just way too into the minutae of cell phone plans, but she starts describing them anyway.

In lengthy, excruciating detail. X number of minutes for Z dollars a month; roaming costs; year-long plans vs. open-ended contracts, all kinds of stuff that my brain must have been manufacturing. And I was eating this stuff up, I simply couldn't get enough of this brain-choking bullshit. All the while I'm picking up phones and excitedly examining them. Let me stress again how lame and prosaic this dream is. Because as I examined the phones, I didn't find any with incredible features or doodads, like a concealed switchblade, or a rhino whistle, or a Jim Carrey proximity alarm or anything. They were just . . . phones. I heard myself saying terrible things: "What can you tell me about this red one?" "Wow, I don't know how I'd use all those minutes! (Wild laughter)" "What about the ones with the flip-down mouthpiece?"

It went on like that for a while; in dream time it seemed like hours. Finally I guess my brain had simply had enough of this, because I'm pretty sure it got bored by itself. The reason I say this is because of the idiotic way it ended: I was jabbering away about some awful phone detail, and the salesgirl, without a word, simply turned away from me and walked out the door. I just stood there watching her leave, clutching one of the phones, feeling very plaintive that I was being treated so shabbily, and maybe she'll come back? I'm still interested in many of these phones!

I woke up then. I kept still for a few minutes, reviewing the dream bit by bit, marveling at its detail, marveling at its startling vacuity, marveling at the cinematic scope of its breathtaking dumbness. It was like watching a Warhol film on IMAX or seeing a Grand Guignol play performed by catatonics.

I know now I will never, ever be able to buy a cell phone in my life because of this.

Tuesday, 24 December
I Enthusiastically Enjoy Crap

Today I was the lucky recipient of two new CDs. One I ordered straight off the web, by a band called For Against. It's some really good crap; pretty songs that sound like they've been moldering in someone's basement since 1987. Since I will turn 34 this coming year, even the specter of 1987 brings up some seriously good memories. Man. I sure jerked off a lot that year. It was special. I look forward to jerking off to these songs; or perhaps just reminiscing about such profligate jerking off. Either way.

The second one I got was totally different, yet is still undeniably crap. It's a CD (I have to consciously not type "album") by some bunch of fucking lunatics named Lemon Jelly. I wish I could tell you more, but they won't tell me more: the CD and its packaging is utterly bereft of any words at all. No lyrics. No track listings. Not even a goddamn list of band members. Just a bunch of drawings that look like something Chris Ware might have designed for a Stuckey's ad. Anyway, it's crap. It's total studio wankery, a ton of self-consciously strange found audio bites melded to limp-dick guitar and synth arrangements in a weirdly autoclaved dance context. It totally blows. Naturally, I love it.

We all love crap. I clearly love a lot of crap music, and as if that weren't damning enough, I also enjoy sports, which is basically crap writ large on the screen. Crap writing? Gimme! Hunter S. Thompson is a one-note johnny that I still enjoy, even after he stopped making sense, which was around 1972. Crap movies? I recently watched the indefatigably stupid Thirteen Ghosts, and I think I might have enjoyed myself. I mean, come on! That was QUALITY CRAP! It was so awful, I took a perverse glee in its existence.

I said a bit ago, with basically no substantiation, that we all love crap. I just kind of assumed that you agreed with me. I imagined that everyone thought, "Yeah, I know what you mean," and then thought of personal examples of SchadenKrap. Because we all know those people who really, insistently hate crap. They'll tell you so, over and over. You know these people. You try and make sure not to invite them to your parties. Hell, you try and make sure not to invite them to your funeral. They are the anti-fun.

Nobody doesn't like crap. No matter what they say. And if someone denies it: they're full of shit. And that's a whole other discussion.

Tuesday, 17 December
I Loathe the Able-Bodied

I work--or rather, "don't work very hard"--in a 20-story office building. I am on the 20th floor. This of course necessitates many rides up the elevator, which affords me (nice, stable me!) many opportunities for the unnecessary hatred of my fellow man.

For example, I was just on my way back up from lunch (read: cigarette), cruising along happily in my own unoccupied car when bing! I stop at 15. An apparently healthy young woman enters the car bearing the Atlas-like load of one manila envelope. She pushes a button.


She gets off on 16.

HEY! You freaking baked potato. You couldn't handle one flight of stairs? This irritated me greatly, so I tackled her from behind and put her into an excruciatingly painful wrestling hold called the Estonian Milkshake of Agony until security hauled me off of her and clapped me in leg irons.

Not really. But I wanted to. Jesus. She must be a charter member of the Society of the Apparently Legless.

Other thing that burned my less-than-asbestos ass re: the able-bodied today: following completion of burning-stick-of-lunch, I wandered back over to the front door of the building. There is, nicely, a big button with a handicapped symbol on it so that people on crutches or in wheelchairs can whap it, and the door will open automatically for them. Like I say, nice (and, in a cancer care facility, pretty useful). So I'm walking up to the door, and a nice, young couple of kids are at the door and they hit the door-opening button.

Now really. Reach out with your wonderful, youthful arms and open the fucking door for Christ's sake! You have so many years to come in your future that will be filled with helplessness, infirmity and despair. Do you have to usher them in with such eagerness? So I naturally took out my boot knife and stabbed them in the eyes. Then I stood bestride their fallen bodies and screamed to the skies, "I CLEANSE THE WORLD! I AM PURE LIGHT!" until security came and hauled me off.

Not really.

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