Author’s Note: essays like this are a result of the creative energy fostered by the amazing Atlanta performing arts community, none more relevant to my life than the talent of Dad’s Garage Theatre Company. Homeless for over a year thanks to the scourge of commercial construction progress, Dad’s has recently found a potential new home in a vacant church in Atlanta. Now all it needs is a bunch of money to buy it. Please donate to the Dad’s Garage Kickstarter today.
What’s that you’ve got there? Oh, right. One of those. An online minister certificate. Yeah, I’ve seen them before. A bunch of you have one of ‘em. It’s trendy. It’s fun! You can perform weddings and stuff like that.
But you know what else it is? It’s lame. Okay, I get it; I’ve been hearing it for years now. You’re technically a priest. Congrats.
Well guess what. I can top that. In fact, I have topped that. So to all of you cool kids who think you’re so hip with your Universal Life Churches and your mail-order official licenses, I’ve got you beat. My paperwork came in this morning, and as of today, I am officially a Trappist monastery.
Oh, what a great opening question. Clearly by the banker’s box filled with all the personal items from my desk sitting here next to me, I’m doing just great.
Oh, I am? Really. Well, that’s interesting.
M-hmm. “Noticeable decrease in productivity.” Well, can’t argue with that I guess.
Oh? Do I have any questions? Actually, yes, Jim. Can I call you Jim? I’mma call you Jim.
Jimbo, have you ever watched The Shawshank Redemption?
Great movie. You know that awesome scene at the end where Morgan Freeman is facing the parole board and just gets all profound and intense with them? Good. That’s good. In that case, we can move on to why productivity is down.
It’s this, Jim. This roll of toilet paper. Right here.
I propose a new business venture called BandanaCorgi. With one phone call, you can have a corgi wearing a bandana delivered to you. I don’t think this needs any further explanation.
That’s right. Welcome to the future. You can get that corgi. It will be wearing that bandana. You may have thought that at some point you needed something other than a corgi wearing a bandana, but you didn’t. Now it’s all you want.
I can tell that you’re a conscious consumer, who is wondering what the logistics of bandana-wearing corgi delivery entails. You are right to think like this. The important thing is, there are corgis, and there are bandanas, and when those two come together, you don’t need to ask any other questions. Seriously, stop asking about the why and how of corgi wearing bandana delivery. You’re going to ruin this.
This is a serious proposal with serious growth potential. We’re talking exponential growth here. There are lots of corgis. And I know there are a lot of bandanas. I have seem, personally, both red and blue bandanas. Combine that with the existence of yellow, brown, light brown, and white corgis, and you are talking about a serious number of corgi and bandana combinations. More than seven, but we can’t make any promises beyond that. For now.
Yes, for now. Does that entice you? You are a wise customer. You about the best things in life. Yeah. That’s right. Premium corgis. The ones that are really pleasant to see wearing bandanas. The happiest corgis. The dapperest bandanas. You are getting your money’s worth. The corgi is getting its bandana’s worth. The bandana is getting worn by a corgi. Everyone’s happy, and you’re helping the environment while it happens.
BandanaCorgi. We’re here to deliver you corgis wearing bandanas. Please donate to our Kickstarter today.
Ladies and Gentlemen of this esteemed Congressional panel:
On May 28, 2014, the world lost one of the greatest minds of the last century. A writer, thinker, activist, and inspiration to millions across all races and nationalities, we were blessed as a people by the presence of Dr. Maya Angelou.
Angelou was a legend, with a career spanning more than fifty years as a writer, poet, singer, actress, dancer, public speaker, professor, lecturer, and filmmaker. Her biography required seven separate books to fully expound. She was a respected colleague of Malcolm X, James Baldwin, and Dr. Martin Luther King. Upon the news of her death, President Barack Obama said of Angelou, “the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow amidst the clouds, and inspired the rest of us to be our best selves.”
Dr. Angelou’s work made one of the most significant impacts on the way we thought and felt about life in the 20th century, and there will truly never be anything like her again. With the exception, of course, of our department’s fully-operational Maya Angelou combat robot.
Fellow members of the academic community: thank you for attending. I’d just like to start by saying there are fire extinguishers located at both sides of the room.
Art, they say, is subjective. But that does not shield it from scientific analysis. I have brought you here tonight so I may discuss a great crisis in science. Arts and entertainment have violated the prior respect of accuracy and logic in a basic tenet of sciences: biology. We face a crisis, ladies and gentlemen. One that has built up over the last few decades and unless we address it I feel it will only get worse.
My report, “Comparative Mental and Cognitive Assessments In Relation To Documented Biological Anomalies in Canine Species,” means to address this very crisis. For guests of the doctoral community here tonight: I am referring, of course, to how talking dogs make no sense.
A little voice in the back of my head is screaming oh Jesus Christ, August, no, you’re blogging about politics. This is the abyss. You brought this on yourself; just remember that. The next sentence of this post is supposed to be the usual “…but I was just as shocked as everyone last night to hear that Eric Cantor lost his primary against, well, some dude who reads Ayn Rand a lot and promised to do even less in government than the guy he just defeated, who I will remind you, was actually the person in charge of orchestrating the House’s agenda of not doing anything.”
Except a reader reminded me of a cartoon I drew seven (yes, seven, good god) years ago, alerting me that I had sort of been predicting this all along:
In all my time, I hear ze rabble from ze customers- they say “ah, ze French—’zey are so cruel to les animals.” It is mainly, you see, le fois gras—the delicious stomach rich with fat ‘zat we force feed to ze goose. “Ahhhh” ‘zey all say. “How can you do such a thing? Zat poor, poor innocent creature.”
Innocent. Feh. See ‘zat; I just spit right ‘zere.
You Americans—always so quick to rush to ze side of zee furry little animals- ze duck, ze baby geese, ze dolphins dancing in ze water with ze tuna, le petit… how you say… veal cow.
As a child I was raised on a love for fine food and ze art of cooking. And also, on justice—ze most delicious dish to serve of all. It is for zis reason that I am proud to have become ze head chef of ze most just and honorable restaurant in all of France. One that exclusively serves to its customers ze flesh of animals that truly deserved to die.
What do you mean I “can only bring a hundred pounds of this back to the wagon?”
Look at this thing. It’s dead. And if you think hauling it all back is a chore, let me tell you about finding it. I had thirty seconds to shoot it, I can only fire a single bullet in one of eight directions and the first three times a rabbit got in the way. Or a cactus. I literally can’t tell.
I’m not wasting this. I don’t think if I only shave a few steaks off the flank it’s going to grow back. What happened to “use every part of the buffalo?” Didn’t that Indian at the Snake River crossing tell us that? The one you traded with to get thirteen more wagon wheels because, and I quote, “why do we need three sets of clothing each, anyway?”
Do you know why I’m telling you this, Morten? Because I care. Because I need to tell SOMEONE and frankly, you’re my only friend. Possibly the only person I really know. Possibly the only other person that really exists in this place. Seriously, look around; it’s just you, and me, and wherever you hid your band but I promise I’m killing them if they pop up in any goddamned magic window things too.
No, I don’t think this seems a bit extreme. Have you actually taken a moment to reflect on the bleakness of our existence? Have you given any thought about the future, Morten? Because I have.
Originally published in 2012; reprinted due to popular demand, in honor of Valentine’s Day, and because I’m lazy.
“No! You never fucking get them!” the Pirate screamed, almost throwing the empty whiskey glass directly at the bartender. He held back, as if some unseen force softly touched his arm and coaxed him to lower it.
The force in question, he would later explain, was actually just a moment of clarity, having dealt with the frustration of reaching this point with the bartender no less than seven times in the last hour. At exactly 11:34 he would reach the point of the argument with the bartender, scream and hurl his glass at the bartender’s face, break the glass and two of the bartender’s teeth and immediately be kicked out of the bar, where he would then activate his personal chrono-manipulator and go back ten minutes to when he was in the bathroom, merge with the version of himself sitting on the toilet and try again.