Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Does this Mercator Projection make me look fat?

I may be your home learnin' globe, but I'm dealing with some serious issues -- body issues. I'm suffering some serious dismorphism. Have ya seen me lately? I'm huge!

Everything would be OK if you went about business a litle bit differently, like, if I was a map. Then, I'd be all laid flat on a wall, or framed -- mostly just two dimensions. But you need to have a globe -- you're killing me! Do y'all have any idea how unflattering lines of longitude are? It's a real bitch to look at Ecuador, or Slovenia even, and see these parallel lines running all over me. See the Tropic of Cancer?! A huge sign on my midsection that screams, "Look at the oblate spheroid!"

I can't take it anymore. I do everything I can, really, but I just can't seem to lose an inch. It's always there, a constant 360ยบ all the way around. I figgered that if I could have shaved the Svalbard off, or maybe the Ross Ice Shelf, then my self-image would be inproved. I'm talking massively. No amount of spinning in this cheap brass mount seems to be working on dropping the weight.

This Mercator Projection makes my ass look huge. And you already know about longitude... I don't see any horizontal-striped shirts in your damn closet. Some giveback latitude is supposed to be. Urrnk! Sorry, wrong answer! Tell them what they don't win, Bob! They all bow out from only two poles. Is that supposed to help me? My Borneo-Celebes look ginormous.

I wish I was never born. I wish I was an atlas.

Sunday, November 26, 2006



On the occasion, or near, the occasion of this space's one-year anniversary. Way back on November 8 of 2005, I decided to add to the congested bandwidth of this nation's ailing internet with a thoroughly disposable sounding board consisting of nothing but facile, poorly thought-out opinions and, more often than not, pure calumny.

I say again, huzzah. There is microwave pizza up front, served on festive napkins featuring characters from the 1998 computer-animated flop "Antz," because those particular napkins were marked down at the party store. Also, there are three bottles of crystal Pepsi, although I know them to be flat. Help yourselves to it.

Anyone want to make a call? My rotary phone is up front. Please keep it to local calls.

Everyone having fun? I knew that this particular group of people would lead to some interesting anecdotal conversations. I shall move across the room to raise the volume of the music a bit now, to add a more festive mood to the party.

Why, this is a cassette of Journey's last album, "Raised on Radio," in fact. You might remember that album yielded the hits "Be Good to Yourself" and... maybe another. After side two, I put in the soundtrack to "Jurassic Park."

Save some room after the pizza, because there is a half a crumb ring on the kitchen counter. There are also some jordan almonds in the glass bowl on the coffee table.

Having a good time? Did you meet so-and-so? I thought you guys might hit it off.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A fork up their ass?

There's this:

You have got to wonder what happened. I think that Michael Richards was bombing, got desperate, and decided to go out there to handle the people talking during his set. Why the whole n-word thing? There's sufficient reason not to go there unless you're Chris Rock, Will Ferrell, or a similarly competent entertainer. If the thing you're best known for is opening a door wackily, I suggest you stay away from racial material at the Laugh Factory. But the remark about being upside down with a fork in your ass -- is that some kind of harkening back to Jim Crow/segregation bad-old-days? I never read about the Klan doing that to anyone.

I can't wait for Jason Alexander to go up at the Improv and start insulting the Koreans in the audience.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I think I've only ever met one guy named Gary in my entire life. I guess it's not one of those names you'll come across too readily these days.

It wasn't Oldman, for the record.

Holding it over my head

Forgive me for dwelling on this point, but last night's Playstation 3 mania was a real test for the species. Not only were people encouraged to abuse their bodies and abandon their lives for a week to camp out on city streets, there was an alarming amount of violence exhibited in the chase for a video game system:

HARTFORD, Conn. - Two armed thugs tried to rob a line of people waiting for the new Playstation 3 game system to go on sale in Putnam early Friday and shot one man who refused to give up his money, authorities said.

Have people taken leave of their senses? Is it not crazy enough to replicate the homeless experience (making mockery of true disadvantage and suffering) for a material bauble, or beset violently upon your fellow man for said bauble? How is it that the same species who bakes pies and donates bottles of water en masse to World Trade Center rescuers easily finds in itself the ability to act downright australopithecine toward each other, over meaningless circuits?

Yes, I'm awful upset that I wasn't able to score one myself. But, as I deliberated my course of action last night, it occurred to me that I would have had to have been camped out for over a week to have scored one of only 100 available Sony boxes. What kind of ugly math is that? People want millions, and Sony only produces 400,000 -- good move. Or, we can listen to the doushebag in charge tell it:

Jack Tretton, executive vice president at Sony Computer Entertainment America, said retailers will be receiving new PlayStations daily — expedited by plane rather than ships. "At some point we want to get to some degree of normalcy, but that remains to be seen," Tretton told The Associated Press, adding that seeing all the people camped out and lined up for the console "kind of makes all the effort worth it."

Kind of makes the effort worth it? Fuck off, you Marketing 101-washout motherfucker. You enjoy seeing people miserable out in the rain for a week, just for your widget? What kind of Kozlowski-Tyco shenanigans are going on over at Sony anyway?

The final word, for me, comes from one of the greedy cretins on line for the thing in San Francisco:

Edgar Alcala, 18, who grabbed one of the first spots in line at San Francisco's Sony Metreon Mall on Wednesday morning, said he was looking forward to a warm, dry bed and a hefty profit. "When I get home, I'm going to take a quick picture of it, slap it on eBay and go to sleep," Alcala said minutes before the store's doors opened at midnight Friday.

You waited that long on line, just to hold it ransom online for a vastly inflated figure? Edgar Alcala, are you the guy who pees on the toilet seat in restaurants, bars, and movie theatres? Is there a jagged piece of anthracite coal where your heart should be?

Again, angry that I was denied a PS3 by fools like Jack Tretton and Edgar Alcala, if that needed to be clarified.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The line, or dashed expectations

[The author is walking down 14th Street in Manhattan to the Circuit City to buy himself a kickass Playstation 3 when...]

Me: Zounds! Hay-zoose Marimba! What is this dogshit!?

[There is a line of hundreds of people behind police barricades, stretching down Broadway for two blocks. The assembled throng looks like it's slept on the sidewalk for a week.]

Me: What the?! I just... how?

Scruffy Guy In Crowd: Hey buddy, this is the end of the line. It begins down there on 12th St.

Me: Fer rills? All this for a Playstation 3?

SGIC: We've been camped out here since Monday morning, asshat.

Me: My entire value system has been smashed to pieces.

SGIC: You're going to have to wait, like, six months for one of these babies. I, on the other hand, will have given up a week of showers, sleep, and pride to be 35th on line here -- but I'll be able to play Madden 2008 waaaaay before you will.

Me: I don't understand what's going on here. You've been camped out a week in front of this Circuit City?

Unwashed Woman in Crowd: I've been here for a week and a half.

Me: You! If you have the kind of time to spend a week on the street, how is it that you have the 600 bucks to spend on this thing?

UWIC: I'm here in the city living off a trust fund. I don't need to work.


SGIC: I go to NYU. I ditched Poli Sci for a week for this.

Me: Guh-guh-guh-guh...

Bummy Looking Guy: This is a repudiation of everything you stand for, a naked display of corporate avarice and greed that rewards the mentally ill and lifeless people who would gladly volunteer for the horrible experience of living on the street, except in this case, for a mere video game system.

Me: Fah-fah-fah-fah...

UWIC: Isn't this the height of irony? We're taking the kinds of things that people in Russia had to do to get whitebread and toilet paper only a generation ago, and making sport of it. Hah hah!

Me: Glurgg.... mrrr.... rrrggghhhh...

SGIC: And, in the process, we're reinforcing the corporate mentality that comes up with schemes like this -- if demand is in the millions, only produce 25,000 units to keep the buzz going.

BLG: And who loses? You do, Guy Who Turns Up At the Store the Day Said Product Goes On Sale Actually Expecting To Go Home With One. Didn't you ever hear of Cabbage Patch Kids, motherfucker?

Me: Dark... becoming dark... and so cold... I can't feel my legs...

UWIC: Why don't you just go back home and play with your Playstation 2? I hear that Splinter Cell is cooler the third time around.

Me: .... [thump]

Monday, November 13, 2006


Uh... heh-heh. Hi there. Heh-heh.

Me?... Nothing. Seriously.

Heh-heh. Um... er....

Really... nothing. I was... what? Heh-heh... hee... what?

There's... um... nothing. Explain... heh-heh... um...

Jackhammer Esophagus!

Who dares? JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS, that's who!

What happens when good men do nothing? Evil roosts! Well, not on JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS's watch!

When the situation calls for a hero? Only JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS can fit the bill!

When the going gets tough? JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS gets going, and sends the bad guys packing!

Who's the "Man of Unbreakable Cobalt"? JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS, that's who!

What can stare down a kodiak bear? Only the steely eyes of JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS!

Who the hell is JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS? It's a goddamn name that was in the subject line of junkmail I received last week, and there has to be a better use of this random word association technology than to confuse my spamfilter.

What is the title of a thinly conceived blog-post? JACKHAMMER ESOPHAGUS, and you'll find yourself on the receiving end of the toughest adventurer/explorer in the Lost Continent's patented "Flying Fist Fury" if you're in league with Professor Chen-Lu and the Masters of Crime!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Some changes afoot: the House of Reps switches from a Republican to a Democratic majority, with the Senate likely following suit; the Democrats picked up a number of key governorships last night; and Rummy steps down as Sec'y of Defense. This is certainly an impressive sequence of things falling into place.

Your Uncle Salad is skeptical about what it will all actually mean once the new terms begin in January. When Bush squeaked by in the 2004 general election, he coined the term "political capital" to indicate his slight margin of victory being a mandate. Of course, reality begged to differ. I'm afraid of Pelosi and the rest of the Dem ruling class thinking along the same terms, as if the country weren't still polarized along the same red/blue lines it's been since the 1996 midterms.

While this election was a referendum on Iraq (among other things), there is still a prevailing culture of social conservatism among a great deal of voters. Just because they wanted a change in Iraq policy doesn't mean that they want homos gettin' married and shit. A buncha states managed to pass restrictive gay marriage bans, even if South Dakota killed the abortion ban referendum.

All's I'm saying is that this was a symbolic groundswell of public opinion, but it doesn't mean a hill of beans just yet. Prove to me that this will change anything to a great degree, and I will mail you a copy of the official "AmericanCaesar Salad Home Trivia and Behind-the-Scenes Factoid Companion", a handy guidebook to the goings-on of the No. 1 Google-rated* internet destination. Enter early and often -- void where prohibited, families of employees not eligible.

*A bald-faced lie.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Walking dead

A fog creeps across the land, and the still, wet air is swollen with the hiss of dragging and moaning... the dead walk again. They pull their enervated carcasses across the earth, looking for the merest scrap of warm flesh to consume hungrily, an unrelenting craving conferred by the decay of the grave. Entrails wet with disease and rot slide over grass and asphalt, as legless bodies claw their way towards the living, all for that one thing they crave monomaniacally -- brains.

In an insolated farmhouse, the damned that hell hath angrily spat up munch and slurp hungrily at a freshly dismembered corpse with toothless maws, the still-warm blood pulsing out of throbbing arteries as a heart beats its last. Two lumbering, dessicated forms move their grasping digits inexactly at the flesh, mindlessly filling their ruined jaws with the meat.

Larry: This one is is quite good.

Bob: I agree. There's a good measure of fat marbled throughout.

Larry: I don't remember anything tasting quite this good.

Bob: I actually can't remember much, myself. My brainpan was shot away by that farmer in the last frame.

Larry: Tough one, there.

Bob: Yeah... but I agree. This is really hitting the spot right now.

Larry: Like a glass of cool water after mowing the grass on a hot day.

Bob: Something like that. I really can't say for sure what grass is, at this point.

Larry: I wonder how we ever got along without the taste of brains.

Bob: I'll say. By gum, I used to not eat brains at all!

Larry: Me too. Back when I was alive.

Bob: That'll do it to ya. This whole deal is a bitch.

Larry: Granted. I'm tired of pulling an empty torso along the ground. My guts spilled out a long time ago.

Bob: I thought I saw a squirrel in there before.

Larry: I know! You, with those knee stumps and one arm -- you're practically on a vacation!

(There is a momentary pause as they voraciously shovel tissue and bone marrow into their throats.)

Bob: Hey Lar, you ever stop to think why we love the taste of brains so much?

Larry: No. Not really. Can't say I ... no. I know I like it, and there's not much more to it than that.

Bob: I can't stop thinking about it. I used to love bacon, and heavy cream, and mint chocolate chip, and braised lamb, and Slim Jims.

Larry: Slim Jims?

Bob: Those little beef jerkies you can score at the convenience store.

Larry: If you squint hard enough at this person, some of the marrow looks like jerky.

Bob: You're missing the point -- I don't care about lamb shanks anymore, or chow fun, or even Count Chocula! All I want is BRAINS!

(From another wing of the house comes the low vocalized moan of "BRAAAAAIIINSSSSS!")

Larry: Great, now look what you did! All those idiots are going to come and mooch off our farmer's wife. I'd like to see 'em get up these stairs.

Bob: What happened to us, man? Where did we go wrong? One minute we had pools, and Hondas, and TiVo. Now, we're shambling corpses.

Larry: Here, have some pectoral muscle, it'll make you feel better.

Bob: I've had enough of this woman to eat. Enough! It's time that we had some changes around here. Big changes!

Larry: We were only turned into ghoulish abominations of nature, like, yesterday. Give it some time, homes.

(Coincidentally, the remaining pulpy mass of Bob's spent cerebral tissue bubbles out of the sizable shotgun wound to his skull.)

Bob: Hurrm, what was I saying?

Larry: You asked me for some bile duct.

Bob: Oh, I love bile duct! Pass the perineum, please?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Gonna get thrown out

As part of the wiff's physical fitness regimen, she runs her ass off on the treadmill as if a grown man of 31 years and six feet of height were chasing her around the apartment with an erection. To motivate herself during said workout, she jacks up an iPod full of her favorite thumping disco tunes that feed her the willpower-sausages she needs to keep going.

The only problem is, her songs-o'-empowerment all deal with throwing her man out.

The guy's been a real bastard, been underestimating her, been cheating on her -- treating her in a bad way, yo. Apparently, the missus enjoys the feeling of independence you get from belting out Beyonce's "Irreplaceable":

You must not know 'bout me/
I can have another you by tomorrow/
So don't you ever for a second get to thinkin'/
You're irreplaceable

Disturbing much? And then there's Aguilera's "Fighter":

You were, there by my side/
Always, down for the ride/
But your, joy ride just came down in flames/
'Cause your greed sold me out of shame, mmm-hmm

Or maybe, Blu Cantrell's "Hit 'Em Up Style":

When you go then everything goes/
From the crib to the ride and the clothes/
So you better let him know that/
If he messed up you gotta hit em up

Did I do something wrong? I thought I was doing OK. Now, I find out that I'm a fucking bum whose domestic partner entertains power fantasies of tossing me out on my ear. I don't sing songs on the treadmill about disintegrating some bitch with heat vision, or tossing city buses at a shrill harridan from a great height. The least she could do is exercise the same courtesy.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I don't like that kind of talk!

What's the matter with you? Do you cuss like that all the time? I don't like that kind of talk in my house!

I can't believe, god forbid you could go more than five minutes without cursing. Always, with cusswords. You know, that everytime you you curse it makes you look cheap and stupid? And what if a child had heard you say that? Pray tell, what they might think. They would repeat what you said, because that's what children do. Why can't you have a smidge of politeness and watch your cursewords? I don't like that kind of talk around here!

We live in a civilized world where people have decency towards each other, and you walk into this place with your... foul language. All the nice young ladies are never going to give you a second look if you use that kind of language around them, for pete's sake!

I'm of a mind to give you a slap for that cussword. I swear, I think that's the only way you'd learn. Stringent parenting... I used to give my own kids a heaping dose of guidance whenever they would slip up and use a curseword they learned in school, whether it was at the dinner table or in front of the TV.

First, I'd work little Stevie over with the rubber plumber's mallet, pounding his knees and elbows until he screamed and begged me to stop. Afterwards, Stevie couldn't walk or move his arms for a few days, which was just as well, because more often than not he'd be locked up in the crude hot-box my late husband -- god rest his soul -- built in the backyard out of aluminum and timber. After three days in that sweltering pit of hades, Stevie wasn't one to cuss in front of his mother and father, that's for sure!

If Alex, our oldest, acted up with any attitude that he'd brought home from those little urchins he called friends, I left it to my husband Peter to take care of him. Peter never let me see what he did to Alex, because he wanted to share equally in the child-rearing, which you have to understand was very unusual in those days. Now, all the families do that, but back then, we were among the first. You kids think you invented gender equality. Anyway, if Alex ever gave any lip, Peter would start by binding his wrists with piano wire, hoisting him up on a hook, and dunking his feet five times in a pot of boiling water. He always did this same thing first, time after time, before he'd move the parenting into the toolshed behind the house. That was was the part Peter kept separate, and I think that Alex was all the better for it. That boy knew there were consequences to using that coarse talk in the home, and by gum, he'd pay for it.

Our children learned manners, young man! They grew up to be polite citizens... why, I bet you don't even hold the door open young ladies, do you? You're so far gone, I don't know how your parents lost you!