Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cutting Cakes With Doctor Awful - Part 6

Continued from Part 5...

With Doctor Awful having left the room, the office folk had returned to their business. Loathsome Kevin stared sadly at the plate of cakes sitting on the edge of the desk, shifting his weight uncomfortably from one swollen ham to the other. "Oh no, this won't do..." he muttered to himself as he carefully gripped the edges of the flimsy paper plate where the fourteen half-circle cakes were arranged. Halfheartedly lifting, he slid the plate toward the edge of the desk and the garbage can waiting below.

It was in this moment when it all clicked for Mr. Somewhat Reasonably Normal. Time stopped moving fast. It would be a full two minutes before the cakes hit the bottom of the garbage can, seemingly, which would be plenty of time to stop them from falling all the way.

In the instant that the plate began to slide off toward the edge of the desk, a series of facts, ideas, and notions began to play in Mr. Somewhat Reasonably Normal's mind, and the fog began to clear. Doctor Awful hates Loathsome Kevin - thus the title Loathsome (this, of course, accompanied by his potent lack of physical fitness and pungent aroma). Doctor Awful is a known sociopath - the type who has Guns and Ammo magazine delivered at work. As of late, there had been a string of vandalism in Doctor Awful's neighborhood, where Mr. Somewhat Reasonably Normal lived - first it was mail boxes exploding, then manhole covers being blown out of place, climaxing with overhead power line transformer explosions that seemed to have been triggered by certain cordless phone signals. Nearly every home in the area was hit aside from Mr. Somewhat Reasonably Normal house and Doctor Awful's own musty basement apartment. But that had all stopped a month before.

The final fact that clicked as the cakes went overboard was that Doctor Awful had recently taken an advanced cooking class and was always quite vocal about the "lovely things you could hide in a cake."

It was at this moment that Mr. Somewhat Reasonably Normal sprang into action - dashing, albeit in slow motion, toward Loathsome Kevin's desk shouting "Don't!" Although his thoughts quickened, his movements had not. His mind, outpacing his body, had imagined his right foot well in advance of his left, catching the heel and bringing the entire man to the ground, chin first, with a sharp thud that went unheard under the deep thump of the cakes hitting the bottom of the garbage can. Loathsome Kevin watched with horrified disbelief on his be-jowled face - his eyes knew something was terribly wrong, but did not know what.

Exactly three seconds after the cakes hit the bottom of the can -- POOK! A controlled detonation sent a shotgun plug of burnt cream cheese frosting through the air, coating the ceiling and Loathsome Kevin's puffy, wincing red face as he let out a muted, squirmy yelp. The rich smell of mothballs curled from the smoking steel garbage can which recoiled and fell over, dumping banana peels and candy wrappers to the floor as garnish on the crime-scene mess that would be left there until the janitors came later in the week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fulcrum Days

Every now and then a day has so much riding on it - opportunities braced at either side like fat kids on a see-saw, bouncing terrifyingly on the fulcrum of the day laughing that hideous hyena laugh, pushing your guts up excitedly out your armpits, your stomach up near your neck, rocks flying at your head, lawn mowers buzzing in your ears. These are good days, don't get me wrong, because nothing good ever happens without them. So sit at your cubicle and wait for them to send word...

For me, this translates into waiting to hear back about potential publication and an interesting opportunity - a possible side gig in the Social Gaming industry. Yes, that's right kiddies, I could be the guy creating new and inventive ways for you to dick around at work, like a modern day Robin Hood, robbing from the tragically bored, and giving to, well, me. Only time will tell.

But I will leave you with this: this past Saturday, during a elitist, line-skipping tour of Lake Compounce's Haunted Graveyard, walking through the narrow halls of castles and lushly appointed jungles, I found myself in a vertigo room. With a strobe light blaring and the whirly-twirly striped candy cane dingdongs dangling from the ceiling, coming right for me, I began to laugh, much louder and more manically than anyone else, and more so than I probably should have. But it felt good. I want that every day. I want crazy all the time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Guerilla Warfare at Occupy Wall Street

There is a nine hundred pound gorilla in the room - but what is it? What does it want? These are simple questions, which, nowadays demand simple answers, but none are offered, and this is extremely upsetting to those in the 24 hour news cycle. They want to touch, hold and examine a moment then label and file it - but all they have is a movement that is not only taking place physically in cities around the country, but going on in peoples imaginations around the country.

So, like any other nine hundred pound gorilla, Occupy Wall Street was ignored, more or less, by the media - nobody wants to talk about it, as the old saying goes. But after a few weeks it was clear that this gorilla wasn't leaving and it was only getting bigger, so the media, having nothing better to go on than opinion and assumption, decided to put a hat on it, calling it some crude  Pro/Anti Left/Right Up/Down Green/Gray Rich/Poor Liberal/Conservative agenda machine. It was glorious - they could write if off as whatever they wanted it to be, waiting for it to lose steam, waiting to get in the last word.

But still the gorilla stays - more than a month later. And it's getting bigger. And it has no leadership, no demands. Now, after all that struggle, there's an increasingly large group of people who are fed up with the financial system and the state of jobs, who are soothing their angst with their numbers and with the power and momentum their cause. And because it has no figurehead or specific demands, it is finally settling in the public mind that it can be whatever they want it to be, too. With merely the power of presence, OWS can be the voice of an entire disillusioned nation who has watched the American Dream suffer the death of a thousand cuts, as the Dastardly Few worked tirelessly to sell the bones out of it, leaving a withered, deranged husk. We are a Gorilla Nation.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cutting Cakes With Doctor Awful - Part 5

Continued from Part 4...

"Everybody gather 'round!" Doctor Awful shouted from the entry to Loathsome Kevin's cubicle - a poorly lit, dusty hovel covered in cat hair and canned-food spatter. Loathsome Kevin looked up, exhaustion spreading across his face at the mere appearance of Doctor Awful. He adjusted his bulk in the just-big-enough gray office chair, his spine curled like a puffy Cheeto.

"To what do I owe the, uh... pleasure, doc?" Loathsome Kevin squeezed from his blubbery lips, becoming less comfortable as the office crowd gathered.

"I've come to offer an olive branch, so to speak. Just look at these delicious Moon Pies I've baked you! Just for you!" Cheer and spit flew from Doctor Awful's lips like burning embers of potassium nitrate showering from the end of a lit sparkler. "Not for you, you wretched wench!" he shouted at the other officefolk, blank eyed and at no one in particular.

"Waaah... well, uh, I think I'll take a pass, doc. It's-a, hmm... it's this new diet I'm on. It's very specific." Loathsome Kevin, now seemingly fearful, slowly pushing himself away on the wheels of his stained gray office chair.

"What! Yes! No! Um, yes, this will be fine. Yes, Kevin, I will leave these right here on the edge of your desk here for you. For you. This will be just fine. No, it will all work out. Yes." With that, Doctor Awful carefully placed the dish on Loathsome Kevin's desk and walked away, twitching, and muttering something about "...in the trunk..."

All the while, Mr. Somewhat Reasonably Normal looked on unnoticed from the edge of the room. Watching. Waiting.

To be continued (part 6)...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Occupy Sesame Street

What started as an idea that I had in the shower today, actually turned out to be a thing already. From the internet, Occupy Sesame Street:


So there's that... but the correlation I intended to draw was much different than this weak meme. It is clear that Occupy Wall Street has legs, and it obviously has sleeping bags - and those sleeping bags have paid off. What was initially written off and subject to a widespread media blackout, has lasted long enough to be taken Not Seriously by various pundits, then written off as un-American, and now, finally, been given credence

How the idiot pundits could not get it, I kind of understand. It's like this - those wretched talking head types are so used to The Game, and how ideas are bundled, packaged and gift wrapped into little dumbed-down, bite-sized morsels for mass distribution and consumption, that when a Genuine, Earnest idea makes a splash, they scramble for the Real Meaning, assuming that any political notion is just a sweet candy shell surrounding a bitter, nasty husk of some back-room truth. They can't cope with the possibility that an idea could be, on the face of it, the very idea that it's supposed to represent. Their circuits become scrambled, and there's a waft of blue smoke as the motherboard begins to fry. But, you know, these are our trusted news sources.

So yes, these young people are gathering to be collectively Anti-American, Anti-Capitalism Commies who's main intent is to be a slacker burden on society. OR, they are of the generation who grew up through the Dot Com bubble and a few huge economic dips, and feel disenfranchised by the pervasive notion that a stark few control most of the wealth, while people are losing their homes because the very few rich, when left to their own devices, just couldn't help themselves, and had to defraud and raid the retirement of the middle class. All while shareholders have just enough control of the major employers in the US to ensure that any job worth working gets exported to China in the ever-quest for rising stock values. Like that poor horse in True Grit, American Industry will be ridden until it falls exhausted, only to be shot in the head by Rooster Cogburn, or, in this case, those Super-Wealthy 400 families who, I suppose, will need all that money so they can live on the Moon.

All this while Politicians are doing a very short-sighted version of The Dirty to fill their pockets on what's left of the American Dream, selling off any local government property and revenue that isn't bolted down, so to speak.

Take these raw facts, push them through the Play Doh Spaghetti Factory of Michael Moore and Matt Taibbi and a few other choice voices, you get these little focused pills of rage that the youth eats up like hot cakes. They get mad, they all instinctually know that the system is fucked up, and they organize -  much like their Grandparents did in the Sixties.

And the pundits don't get it. "What does it all mean?" they ask from behind their cheap Formica and pancake makeup. It's like Sesame Street. Sometimes a huge yellow bird reciting the alphabet is just a huge yellow bird reciting the alphabet.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Cutting Cakes With Doctor Aweful - Part 4

Continued from Part 3...

Earnest is probably the best word to describe the way in which Doctor Awful spread the prepackaged cream cheese frosting on the urinal cakes with the serrated bread knife. He was at the same time careful and haphazard, his intensity of focus occasionally overcome by twitchy fits of excitement which broadened the stroke of his frosting, extending the off-white smear across his work surface, which happened to be the trunk of his late 80's Honda Accord - a decrepit gray thing that leaked oil, had suffered severe raccoon damage leaving all interior upholstery ravaged, and smelled of musty old grapes from the outside.

There is a certain point in any illicit activity when it becomes wise to step back and let others perform the tasks that would otherwise leave a participant in a more actionable position, and at this point in his life, Mr. Somewhat Reasonably Normal was an excellent judge of these things - he had come a long way since his days as Young Disaffected Misanthrope. It was for this reason that he stood back and let Doctor Awful perform the act of Criminal Disguise on these non-food items. "He's never gonna eat those. What are you gonna tell him they are?"

"He will eat them, damn it! They're Moon Pies. His favorite." Doctor Awful said through his gnashed teeth while attempting to affect some artistic pizzazz with his brush.

"You see, that's where you're wrong - for one, even if they weren't cut in half, they are still way too chunky. And, Moon Pies aren't even frosted. You are a fool, this will never work." With that, Mr. Somewhat Reasonably Normal walked away.

"Okay, fine... they're Half-Moon Pies." Doctor Awful shouted, "He'll love them! He loves to eat piss!" 

To be continued (part 5)...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cutting Cakes With Doctor Awful - Part 3

Continued from Part 2...

As far back as he could remember, and much to the chagrin of his blood-relatives, friends, girlfriends, teachers, employers, and most acquaintances for that matter, Mr. Somewhat Reasonably Normal had always drawn the attentions of lunatics and feral half-breeds. These encounters almost always were accompanied by an acute risk of loss of limb, life, health, happiness or general well being. Strangely, though, it had never paid off, for good or ill.

Once, while walking down the street in a perfectly normal neighborhood, in a perfectly normal city, and in a absolutely normal fashion, Mr. Somewhat Reasonably Normal had stooped down to tie his shoe. There was no one around. Oh, but when he stood erect again, he encountered a stumbling and demanding Rabid Hipster - which is unusual, because it means that an otherwise normal person had probably purchased The Shins' Chutes Too Narrow or a Will Oldham album and grown an intense desire for irony, likely just before going complete batshit crazy. As unlikely as it is, we will take it for surface value and move forward.

During his interaction with the aforementioned Rabid Hipster very few facts remain clear, but we do know this: a lesser member of clergy's car was stolen (from which we can make certain assumptions of denomination based solely on the notion of ownership), no less than seven local house cats went missing (only three of which were outdoor cats), the local Stop and Shop was run completely out of butter and plungers, and all coffee urns from the area's twelve step programs went missing.

It's hard to judge what exactly happened during those three rain-free days, but even in speculation, the possibilities are endless. Did they eat those cats? Were they trying to make jailhouse wine? Was it all just an elaborate tribute to Toonces? We'll never know. But the point of this exercise, I guess, is in the fact that after those weird Autumn days, Mr. Somewhat Reasonably Normal surfaced unchanged, and never really mentioned it again. In fact, if pressed about what happened he would respond with "Nothing really..." because it was nothing, just Par For Course in the strange life of Mr. Somewhat Reasonably Normal.

To be continued (part 4)...