Monday, July 30, 2007

The hard way

Guy under the bricks: "I feel like we live in a New Yorker cartoon with no caption."

Guy on the left: "That's some existential ennui."

Guy with the hammer: "I hate penguins, and I'm depressed. Can I have a bank loan?"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Me and Dick Van Dyke

Me and Dick Van Dyke are out to fuck up the shit. DVD calls me and says, "Hey kid, are you busy?" And I say, "No, sir." He says, "What's say you and me go have some fun?" And I say, "Boy howdy, Mr. Van Dyke! Would I ever!"

And sure enough, 45 minutes later, DVD pulls up to my house in a 1998 Porsche Boxster, in great condition save for a nasty gouge trailing across the passenger side.

"Gosh Dick, how did your car get so messed up"

"Never mind that, kid. We're on a tight schedule. We've got to get to Atlantic City."

"WOWWEE! I love Atlantic City!"

And I did. And I was excited that DVDizzle was at the wheel, driving so fast down the Jersey Turnpike that light was bending in the glovebox. As we passed the last rest stop, Dick gave me a bit of sage advice.

"Now, you know I'd never get you in to any trouble, right kid?"

"Sure, Dick. You've always been just swell with me."

"Right -- now I'm going to ask you to do something tonight that you might not be comfortable with, but I'm gonna ask anyway. Is that okay with you, kid?"

I loved when D-to-the-V-back-to-the-D called me 'kid'. He could get me to drop out of the fourth grade if he prefaced the request with 'kid'.

"Sure thing. What can I do?"

And at once, Dick reached into the console and pulled out a blade -- real nasty one.

"Now kid, this is a gravity knife. Not a toy, right?"

"Right, mister."

"Good. When I say the word, I'm going to need you to give this little old thing a strong toss at an old friend of mine, who owes me money. Want you to drive it right into his brainpan, from a distance of three meters. Can you do that for me?"

It was an honor. An honor -- this was Dick, after all. Dear ol' Dick Van Dyke. The childhood hero to millions was asking me if I could throw a blade into the forehead of my fellow man. Of course. Anything for DVD. Anything.

We get to the Borgata, check in at 3 a.m., drop the overnight bags in the player's suite and make our way down to the floor. We're gonna fuck the shit up. Dick makes sure the parking attendant doesn't stash his whip somewheres we can find it in a hurry, should we need to.

We see Willem Dafoe. He waves at Dick, and Dick pretends not to notice.

The Dream Team, the Team Supreme, the Taco Supreme, we get to the wheel -- and it's fucking dead. No action, no luck. Same thing with the dice -- motherfucker is crapping out, left and right. The kind of luck Dick had in El Salvador in ’80.

Looks like we're about to fuck off, when the drink lady appears -- all legs and hair, with a smear of fucking mascara somewhere up where she sees out. Dick gets a blended whiskey with one cube of ice, and I get a rum and grapefruit juice. That's right -- a "Van Dyke." It's no coincidence. My whole life's been leading up to this point.

Without needing to be told, I take the knife out of pocket and drop in into the center of the broad's dirty drink tray. Dick gives me that look... that one look that says Kid, you've done alright. Really, you have. If I had it to do all over again, I'd make sure to take you to that one duck pond for sure, instead of to Milwaukee.

He doesn't have to say it. I just know.

Dick balls his left fist and trembles, ever so slightly, before driving it up into the stomach of the croupier. Dick's right hand belts the barmaid, knocking her over into the sleepy, smokey players to the right.

"Gee whiz, Dick, don't you think they've had enough? You sure gave 'em what's for!"

Dee-Viz-Diz lets a grin lift the corner of his mouth. "You're gosh-darn right. I suppose I have!"

What comes next is seminally important in mine and Dick's night -- fucking-off the bags upstairs, we get his whip out the garage and back over the attendant as he returns to the key closet. Poor bastard moans as Dick spins the wheel up on his upper thigh, reducing it to god-knows-what. I didn't want to look. Poor bastard. Poor bastard.

"Looks like I just made a real boner, huh kid?"

"A real aksey-dent, were there ever one."

"What's say we go home?"

I nodded, but he wasn't looking for my approval. Was I looking for his?

Not this time, no. Certainly not. But we lost the knife, just as we set out to do. And it filled me with such happiness when Dick made that little double-click with his tongue, that he does, as we backed over that kid again, and drove off into the black.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?

"Rev." Epstein?, originally uploaded by americancaesar.

As Lisa Simpson once said, I understand the words I'm seeing but not in that arrangement.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Giant boobs

Janice and the giant boobs, originally uploaded by americancaesar.

Janice has giant boobs on her shoulders. I so aced this shot.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Featured in the media

Tony! Toni! Toné has done it again: My domeshtik partner, Janice Erlbaum, is featured in a neat interview at Gothamist. We are all preparing for the next big book, Have You Found Her, to strike next year, so we're just getting started.

Note: The image above has nothing to do with books, Janice Erlbaum, or Tony! Toni! Toné. Thank you.

One shall stand, one shall fall

Omigod, "Transformers" is the greatest movie of 2007. The human stuff -- get rid of it, and give me more punching robots. This was the movie I've been waiting for since I stepped out of the theatre in 1983 after having finished watching "Return of the Jedi."

Optimus Prime is the closest thing I have to a father. He taught me about right and wrong; he taught me about when something is worth fighting for... worth sacrificing for. No organic person has ever done that for me.

When Prime and the Autobots reveal themselves in their robot forms, a tear dropped like quicksilver down my craggy, care-worn cheek. The interchange between Optimus and myself was wordless -- a single lachryma was my way of thanking the Autobot Commander for a life well-spent in the service of those who can't stand up for themselves.

Kenn may not agree, and I can only imagine what Jeff will say, but this was a moment for us all to think of all the things that really mattered, and the chances you've earned. This is an important day in the continual project of character-building... my apprenticeship with Optimus.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Glimpse into the future

Come... step into my dark demesne, traveler. I am Phibes -- Dr. Anton Phibes, and I have seen horrors so unimaginable you would curl up and perish at the mere suggestion of them. I have carried around a darkness in my heart, so black as obsidian coal, since the death of my beloved wife, Victoria. Countless nights have passed as I tread the oak floorboards of this very domicile, scheming revenge on those who botched my wife's medical care and sealed her fate. So long have I been tethered to this gothic aerie like a jessed falcon that I have forgotten the touch of sun on my skin and a smile on my lips.

Those times are over. There can be only one purpose in my life -- revenge. Revenge on those who stole dear, dear, Victoria from me.

Would you allow me to make myself more comfortable, traveler? I wish to remove this mask I wear, which obscures my scarred visage...


Ahhh... much better. Yes, the sight of this pitted face, denuded of its flesh, puts men off their food, to be sure. But it serves as a constant reminder of my narrow purpose... sweet revenge.

Or, at least that's what the fates had in mind for me until I received a revelation of glorious counter-purpose. While stepping out of my dank marble crypt on a provision run last Saturday, I dropped by the local telephony merchant in the mini-mall nearest, hoping to get a mere peek at that infernal device the man on the crackling radio signal called the iPhone. Gods, what a device!

I extended my coin purse to purchase the largest complement available, and decided upon the largest minute plan upon activation. Now, you'll catch me using the SMS feature to text my brittle, cold assistant, Vulnavia, as she wanders the endless halls of my stone manse. Also, it's nice to have a two-megapixel camera affixed to the rear of the device, so that I may document the rictus in the faces of the damned -- the nine, who robbed me of lovely Victoria -- as I send them off to excruciating demises. I can post the photos immediately to an RSS feed off my blog. You've got to see this thing in action. So elegant.

So it seems my circumstances have changed, however slightly, these days. Whereas I once solely dreamed of vengeance while banging madly on the keys of my pipe organ, I now find the time to mix other pursuits in, like decoupage. I can't help but notice that iTunes does not feature a full range of "Mott the Hoople" albums. Hmm... perhaps I'll have to add a TENTH name to my list of damned souls. Heh heh heh...