Thursday, June 16, 2005

I haven't written anything here for a whle. This is because I completely forgot about it! I had lunch with an old friend today and he mentioned his site. I went to check it out and post a comment and I thought I would have to create an account to do so. That's when I found out that I had already created one!

Good happiness!

So, in celebration of my triumphant return to the blogging world, read this...something I wrote a long time ago:

**************************************
"Wild Turkey and Bad Artwork"

I spoke with my friend Alan the other day. It didn't have anything to do with you, though, so don't get excited. Apparently they're planningthis entertainment production here at the medical school and Alan isone of the Big Doggs(TM). He wanted to know if my department was interested in contributing an advertisement and a huge pile of money to the cause. I said that not only had my department decided to contribute, we had taken out a half page ad. To top it all off, they had consigned the greatest artist within a 0.75 mile radius (the greatest one that was available, anyway) to do the job.

Me.

But things were not all bright roses and happy children's tales. It being my last quarter here at school, I was beset by a fit of laziness and I found myself scrambling around at the last minute, frantically scribbling idiotic cartoons in hopes of impressing the medical community. What came out was not only pointless and stupid, but dumb and wrong as well. I will more than likely be drawn and quartered for my efforts.

I showed Alan the cartoon I had made, and he smiled a patronizing smile, saying, "Gee. That's kinda cool." In reality, I could tell he was thinking "no wonder it took you eight years to get out of college." He didn't want to be mean, but I could tell he thought it was shit.

I apologize for that. It's past midnight here in the land of evil, and as Aristotle once said, midnight is magic time. You can do whatever you want when the lights go down and everyone is asleep.

I could be wrong, though. Maybe it was Goethe.

Anyway, my extreme failure as an artist and editorial cartoonist thre wme into a fit of insomnia coupled with mad drinking the likes of whichI had never seen. I have spent an inordinate amount of time in front of the television watching reruns of "Law & Order" and scarfing down mixing bowls full of cheap rice.

I just can't get enough of that show. I'm a fan of the modern version where Sam Waterston plays the assistant D.A., although I have to saythat I like the old DA better. I can't remember the old guy's name(his character's name was Adam), but Fred Thompson (the ex Senator from Tennessee) doesn't hold a candle to him. What can you do, though? He's a politician at heart, and politicians never do anything well.

I stayed up late the other night and watched four episodes of Sportscenter back to back. I know what you're thinking. A person would have to be insane to watch that much Sportscenter. That is, of course,why almost every man on the face of the earth is crazy.

Am I right. You feelin' me, bruhz?

Four hours of Sportscenter can do strange things to a person, especially considering that they play the same episode over and over. In the second hour, you can recite the lame-ass jokes in time with the show. In the third hour, you have all the sports scores from the bottom line ticker memorized and you start making bets with your alter egos, hoping to make money off yourself by covering the spread on the Knicks-Spurs game.

But the fourth hour, much like midnight as we have already discussed, is magic time. During the fourth hour, Stuart Scott communicates with you telepathically. It's like one of those dream sequences in movies where the person on television turns and starts talking to the main character while everyone else goes on like nothing is happening.

He speaks to you personally, only he doesn't call you by your real name. He gives you one of those stupid nicknames where he combines your first initial with the first few letters of your last name (T-Mac and A-Rod, for instance).

"J-Ev" he says to me. He uses my middle name, Everett, because J-Sha sounds too girlish and you can't have a girlish name in sports. "J-Ev, it's time to step up to the plate. It's the fourth quarter and there's an open net at the end of the ice. The game is on the line and it's all up to you."

Then Chris Berman comes in and starts arguing with Stuart Scott.

"Why do you always have to make up those dumb nickames, double-S?" he says. "Players had good ncknames back in the day. The Human highlight film. The round mound of rebound. The Fridge. They were cool. Yours are stupid and unoriginal."

"Well, C-Berm" Stuart Scott says,"I suppose your nicknames are the epitome of coolness?"

"They certainly are."

"I admit. Lance 'You Sunk My' Blankenship was funny the first time I heard it. But Alan 'Have Guns Will' Trammel was annoying, and Chuck'New Kids on the' Knoblauch was just plain sad."

"Hey, it's better than taking an already established player like Jerome Bettis, The Bus, and demeaning himwith a moniker as dumb and wrong as 'J-Bet. "

"Hey baldy, I call 'em like I see 'em."

"Oh, now you're a regular Cosell? I bet even the golf team gave you swirlies in high school."

That made him mad. "Don't say it," he growled.

"Oh yeah, I bet they called you Stuart 'Swirley' Scott back in the day."

"That's it, bitch. I'm gonna fuck you up."

"Come and get it motherfucker. I'm gonna tattoo your face with my five iron. I'm gonna hit a homerun...backbackbackbackbackback GONE!!!"

And they spent the rest of the episode doing the ESPN version of WWF smackdown, which was disconcerting because Chris Berman in tights is a scary thing.

In the midst of it all, Hunter S. Thompson came to my living room with two strippers, a collection of scary drugs that I am not at liberty to discuss, and a brand new bottle of Wild Turkey. We took bets on the sportscaster smackdown, smoked cheap cigars, made love to ugly strippers, and consumed terrifying amounts of illicit psychotropic substances. I passed out sometime after Chris Berman did a suplex on Stuart Scott, and Craig Kilbourn, who was a Sportscenter guy fromWayback, ran down the aisle with Keith Olbermann to take out the fat man from Philly.

I woke up three weeks later on Interstate 70 just outside Kansas City. I was dressed in an old, worn out Donald Duck outfit. My head pounded in the bright sun and my legs felt like they had been broken and set by a dyslexic midget with bad eyesight.

There was a note stapled to my left hand:

"Joe,
The road calls and I have to oblige. Mine is a life of Wild Parties with fast and loose women. Some are cut out for it and others are not. You are not. I'm sorry you couldn't keep up, but I have to move on. Itwas fun while it lasted, eh?


You are broke and dressed like a duck, but so what? Given the circumstances, it's probably the best possible situation. Don't worry. The good people of Kansas City have learned to appreciate depraved people like you. You are among friends now. Res Ipsa Loquitor!

Mahalo,
HST."


I worked for three months as a pimp on the streets of Kansas City to pay for a bus ride home, and when I got back it was like nothing hadever happened. That's one thing you learn all too quickly in Cincinnati. Time has no meaning and the people either don't know ordon't care what you do as long as you don't bother Them with your stupid antics.

Speaking of stupid antics, this is how pathetic I am. I'm in thebasement of Chad and Christy's house typing out yet another pointless e-mail to all of you while everyone else is asleep. At least I think everyone else is asleep. For all I know, Chad's incessant snoring could have Christy awake and staring at the ceiling, pondering philosophical conundrums like Nietzsche's sense of self, Russell's problems of pain and everybody's favorite philosopher, Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds 2, who said, "What if C-A-T really spells dog?"

And what if it does? What if, after all is said and done, everything we thought we knew to be true was actually false? What if up is down, left is right, good is bad, and Britney Spears really is respected forher musicianship instead of her ha ha's? What then?

If that terrible truth were to ever come out, it would cause immense chaos the world over. Nobody would pay attention to an authority figures ever again because authority is really just a form of servitude. So those in authority are really lower than us in the status of all things, therefore we do not have to pay homage to their rules and regulations. It's Ogre's theory of increasing chaos by means of increasing order.

Brilliant work, Christy! I applaud the temerity with which you spend your sleepless hours. Even if it amounts to little more than personal satisfaction, at least you aren't boring the crap out of everyone elselike I am.

Which leads me back to this e-mail. It is unfortunate that I am writing to you from Columbus instead of my home in the Nati. You see, my computer is temperamental. Sometimes it shuts off for no reason and I lose whatever it was I was working on. Believe me, I have written several e-mails that could rival the latter Stephen kingnovels in both length and sheer boredom. You haven't experienced true insomnia until you've spent eight hours in total darkness and solitude describing conversations with people who don't exist into e-mails for friends who will most likely delete everything you send them just to save time.

Most if not all of these have been struck down by my computer mere seconds before they were sent off to the farthest reaches of the internet. I suppose I could have saved them to a word document or something, but that is too much work and I am a lazy man.

So it is unfortunate for you that I am in Columbus, because I have a feeling that Chad's computer will stay up and running for the five or six hours it will take me to either bore of typing or pass out infront of the computer.

Lucky you.

So what should we talk about? The possibilities are endless. I just checked out a book from the library that was written by a lady who was a foreign news correspondent for The New York Times during the Clinton Administration. Her book is entitled"A Problem from hell" and it is about the US's policy of non-involvement in most of the major examples of true attempted genocide in the 20th century. The writing is really good so far.

But I've only made it to the third page. The book is really long and rather than taking the time to read it, I have chosen to spend most of my free time playing TexTwist on MSN. I currently have the highest score at work. I can't recall exactly what it is, but I know it's somewhere around 145,000. The next closest score is Amy, the English major, who scored 125,000. I think she would have beaten me if I hadn't unplugged her computer.

I'm a bastard like that. I hate losing, but rather than taking the time to perfect my skills, I prefer to sabotage others. I take great satisfaction in watching others fail where I have barely succeeded. I feel this is preparing me for a career as either a used car salesman or a member of the French Senate. Le chat est sur la chaise et ma grande mere est en flambé.! Ou est le bibliotechque? See, I'm ready for a long, prosperous career spouting things that make no sense and undermining the work of others.

Hold on a minute. I have run out of Mountain Dew and I have to go to the bathroom. I'll be right back. … Alright, I'm back.

You know, Chad, the basement down here would look nice if you'd clean it up once in a while. It's funny. You have two 24 packs of Diet Mt.Dew filled with empty cans. I got all excited a minute ago because I thought I could just skip the trip upstairs and grab a can from down here. Then I knocked the box over and spilled the cans across the floor.

It was a good thing, too, because by then I had forgottne about my trip to the restroom.

They didn't get too far, though. There is a large pile of picture frames, cds and computer wires spread out in the middle of the room that blocked their progress. There is also a small box filled with spare change and what looks like either thin mints or some sort of small, cushiony fabric. I can't really tell. My contacts are drying out and the box is at least 5 yards away; past my field of discernable vision.

Across the room from the bastion of computery goodness are the couch,which is covered by blankets, and an alcove where a collection ofmusical instruments and amplifiers sits on the floor collecting dust.The whole room has a vague, artistic feel to it. It's like one of those new age pieces Wright State kept throwing out for the public to look at and puzzle over.

That reminds me.

One of my many part time jobs at Wrong State University was as a tour guide. I quickly got tired of it and by the end of my tenure the only joy I got out of the job was to see how fast I could get through a tour and how annoyed I could make the potential families who had driven all the way to scenic Dayton, Ohio to check out their son or daughter's second or third pick for college: the one they don't really want to go to but will if Harvard and Ohio State don't call.

My record was thirteen minutes and when they left, the parents told me that I was the reason America is such a shithole. They actually usedthe word shithole, too!

But before I hit the wall of cynicism, I used to point out all the little interesting things about our wonderful school. Like, for instance, the fact that the Math and Science building resembled a pig if you looked at it correctly, and the fact that the large smokestack coming out of the ground next to the biomedical sciences building was connected to the morgue. This, I told many a horrified potential student, was where they burnt all the bodies that had been donated to the medical school for research but were no longer of use.

This was, of course, a lie. They bury the bodies deep in the woods next to the President's house and that is why the university administration board always makes sure to elect a Satanist as the newest president. He or She must tend to the poor, departed souls who had recently been used for strange and scary practices deep in the heart of our twisted medical school. The smokestack, I said, was where theyperformed nuclear tests!

Where was I? Oh yes, art!

So one day I was out on a tour and I noticed a collection of woodenbeams and poles lying in the grass next to the library. I informed the tour group that Wright State was fond of promoting the advancement of bold, new artwork, the finest example of which could be seen lying inthe grass not ten feet away.

I think my exact words were, "Look at the shit your tuition dollars will produce if you go here. Wouldn't you rather go to Ohio State? I hear they have a good football team."

So the pile of stuff sat there for the better part of a quarter, and each time I passed it I made sure to point it out to all the prospective students and their families. I was a senior member of the tour guide staff (having been there for two whole quarters), so I urged my fellow tour guides to do the same. Over the course of six or seven weeks, I would estimate that we
told a good five or six hundred people that the collection of rusty poles and wooden beams was a new form of artwork that was all the rage in campuses across the United States.

One day, shortly before finals week, I noticed construction workers moving the pile of stuff.

"What are you doing with the artwork?" I asked them.

"What artwork?' they said.

"That artwork," I said. "That pile of shit in the grass there."

"Oh that? That's not art. The contractors that were here in March never cleaned up after themselves."

"Oh. So this isn't artwork?"

"You thought it was art, too?" the guy said with a puzzled look on hisface. "That's strange."

"Why is that strange?"

"Well, the University was going to leave it here and try to get the construction company to come back and pick it up. But word got around that lots of prospective students and their parents were complaining about the ugly 'artwork' on campus, and administration contracted us to pick it up at twice the rate they paid the other guys to do the work in the first place."

"Yeah," I said, "that sure is strange." I then hurried to Millett hall, where I informed the students on my tour that the ROTC club used to have repelling classes off the top of the building until some guy fell and broke both his legs.

I pointed to the remnants of red sidewalk chalking and said, "See,they couldn't quite get up all the blood."

Your basement reminds me of that pile of useless garbage that I mistook for artwork, so please excuse me if I am quick to judge it as dirty. I do not, apparently, have a nose for high-minded artistry. If you are planning some strange and beautiful piece that expresses the bleakness of the human condition and the depth of the heart, I apologize.

It looks like crap to me.

Alright…enough torture. My fingers are tired and I'm sure you've all deleted this e-mail by now. You're lucky. I once wrote an e-mail to afriend that took up ten pages in Microsoft Word. I used 10pt font andI did it single-spaced. It was comprised mostly of long paragraphs with complex sentences that used shameless amounts of semi-colons, dashes, umlauts and other forms of punctuation that rarely see thelight of day.

I think it was about baseball, too, but I can't be sure.

1 comment:

thokolosi said...

It is great to read your writing again. Remind me not to great on e-mail list.