Friday, June 30, 2006

A Very Short Interlude--Flip-flopping on the Talking Heads...

I just got back from doing a little work at my local coffeeshop. While I was there, they were playing some kind of Talking Heads best-of collection. Now, just a few years ago, I would have thought something along the lines of "Oh, great! The Talking Heads! I enjoy their challenging music and literate, socially-aware lyrics!". Today, however, I instead thought "Goddamnit, the Talking Heads! I can't stand their pompous, tinny sound and David Byrne's ridiculously affected yelping-nerd singing voice!"

Why have I come to dislike the Talking Heads so much? Was I just in a bad mood, or have I gained the wisdom and maturity necessary to see them as they really are: a bunch of art-school snobs who made ugly, unappealing music? I don't know, I'm afraid I just don't know...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

What I did on my summer vacation, part two...

(Continued from here)

At some point thereafter, through the foggy scrim that now passed for my consciousness, I heard my doorbell ringing. Thinking that it might have been the UPS person bringing me the box of leather harnesses and ball gags I had ordered last week, I raced upstairs to answer it. Strangely, even though I was now a zombie, I felt pretty much the same as I always do. A little more light-headed, perhaps, a little less graceful, but still basically like me. It was interesting. I had always assumed that the transition from normal human being to crazed, lifeless man-beast would be slightly more dramatic.

Still, I now had an insatiable lust for the taste of warm brains. So I suppose that was different.

Regardless, when I threw open my front door, there was no cheerful delivery person dressed in brown standing there. Instead, there were two well-dressed, earnest-looking young people decked out in ill-fitting khakis and nacho-stained plaid button-downs. They were bedecked in colorful buttons and toting armfuls of campaign literature. “Hello, sir,” one of them said to me, “My name is Hewitt...”

“And I’m Petey,” said the other

“...And we’re here to tell you about Mark Kennedy, Minnesota’s next senator!”

Normally, I’d have a witty rejoinder to all this Republico-cant, but that was before the nearly-skeletonized and re-animated corpse of Ronald Reagan had infected me with the curse of the undead. Now, all I could bring myself to say was “Must! Eat! Braaaaains!” as I reached out my stiff arms to grab Petey, the nearest and juicier-looking volunteer.

“Yes! Brains!” Hewitt enthused as his partner and I grappled with each other, “Mark Kennedy has FAR more of them than any stupid idiot terrorist-appeasing Democrat! He’s a C.P.A., you know! That’s, like, a totally hard test to take! With all the math on it and everything!”

“Brains! Brains! Brains!” I bellowed at him, opening my mouth wide to bite off Petey’s nose. With the change from human to inhuman (or, more accurately, post-human), I had become privy to all manner of obscure zombie-knowledge. One thing that I now knew was that the nose or the ear is the best way to get at a living person’s fresh, delicious brains. The bones there are quicker and the cartilage is easier to chew away. It can be a challenge to smash a victim’s skull and you need steady hands if you want to tear off the jaw and go in through that route. Zombies usually don’t have steady hands. I sure didn’t. All I had was a mouthful of drool and an all-consuming bloodlust.

Frustration and hunger were all I got, however, because just as I was about to sink my teeth into that young man’s skin, two more Republicans leapt out from behind the bushes and threw a net over me. “Got him!” Hewitt shouted, pumping his fist in the air.

“You were going to let him BITE me!” Petey cried.

“Sometimes you have to take risks to reap rewards. You would understand that if you weren’t such a RINO,” Hewitt lectured him as the other two Republicans wrestled me to the ground, weaving their net tighter and tighter.

Petey shook his head. “But he was going to EAT me!”

“Better you than me,” Hewitt said and then he gave me a weak little kick.

I growled and struggled, but I was caught. “Braaaaaaains!” I cried out, forlorn and miserable. The Republicans hoisted me up and threw me in the back of a cargo van. It was dark in there, but I knew from the noise and the stench that I was being locked up with others just like me. “Brains!” we cried out as the van started down the road, “Waaaaaaaant! Braaaaaaaains!”

But there would be no brains for us. We were headed for the Mark Kennedy For Senate campaign headquarters...

(To be continued)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tacky Khakis--A Short Interlude

I don’t like khakis. I don’t like how they look, I don’t like how they feel, and I don’t like what they say about American culture. More than just another ugly pant, the khaki should be understood as representative of our contemporary consumerist “we-can-have-it-all-as-long-as-it’s-baggy-and-stupid” ethos. Put simply, khakis are low-brow American smugness magically transformed into beigish fabric. “Here I am, rockin’ the cul-de-sac/Applebee’s/Home Depot/Accounts Receivable Department,” khakis say, in the whimpery overfed voice of guys who live to call in to the Rush Limbaugh show, “Please spill mustard and toddler vomit on me!”

Call me an ass, but I refuse to accept the prevailing wisdom that states that there exists a level of formality between utter casualness and the need to wear fancy pants. I don’t believe in “business casual”. If an affair is informal enough for you to show up in flesh-colored quasi-dungarees, it’s casual enough for you to show up in jeans, in shorts, or in jean shorts with ripped off bits of fringy stuff dangling from the hem. I can’t help it. This is the way I feel.

Khakis=suck. Tonight, I have no more to say.

Monday, June 26, 2006

What I did on my summer vacation, part one...

So I’ve been gone for awhile. For this, you must forgive me, but I’m afraid that my extended absence only covered up more heinous crimes. Crimes so foul and sickening that I can barely bring myself to confess them here. You are kind people, I know, but I fear that even an audience as goodhearted as this one would be repulsed by the depths to which I’ve sunk. The wickedness at the core of my heart would try the mercy of Jesus himself, and I’ve come to believe that there are no words, no deeds, and certainly no excuses for the evil I’ve partaken in. There is only shame. Shame and regret. These will be my burden for the rest of my days, and my nights promise to be haunted by dreadful dreams in which the good in me is repeatedly and viciously struck down by my Satanic side.

Oh come on, I can hear you groaning, it can’t be that bad! But it is! As much as I hate to admit it, it is! You see, inside every human lurks the germ of corruption, inside every tender soul there is a terrible shadow. Some, if they’re weak, are driven to murder, to thievery, to all manner of vice and cruelty. And others, weaker still, fall even lower. I am among the dregs of this latter group, I’m afraid.

I have volunteered to help out with Mark Kennedy’s Senate campaign.

Why?, you ask. Why would a liberal Democrat like me do such a thing? What brainwashing have I gone through, what self-hatred and ignorance could drive such a decision? I’m glad you asked, because by explaining the steps that led up to this low state, maybe I can mitigate a few of the black marks on my character. Failing that, perhaps my story will serve as a warning to those who, like me, might be tempted down the same ruinous pervert’s road.

You see, it all started with my attempts to raise a zombie army. Now, as anyone will tell you, it is one thing to raise a zombie army, yet to raise a zombie army that will do your bidding is another thing entirely. The undead are a tricky species, I’ve found: one minute you’re irradiating a rotting corpse and the very next it’s trying to eat your brains. I don’t want my brains eaten, which means that I’m compelled either to (a) set the zombie on fire or, (b) sever its head completely from its body. As you can imagine, this is gory, frustrating work.

The problem, from my point of view, is that it’s hard for a living person to tell a zombie what to do. They don’t respond to commands, they’re deaf to pleading, and non-verbal suggestion is generally lost on them. This is the challenge that every non-undead leader of a zombie army must confront. My solution was to attempt to enlist a zombie lieutenant, a liaison–if you will–between the world of the dead and the world of the living, through which I could control the masses of shuffling, flesh-drunk corpses that would soon be issuing from my laboratory. Once I settled on this strategy, the question then became simple: who could lead a vast band of mindless, remorseless, blank-eyed, bad-smelling creatures? What dead person would wield such respect among those whose souls had long since fled, leaving only a greedy shell of rubbery, rotten meat?

I thought long and hard about this. And then I bought Ronald Reagan’s corpse on eBay.

This was, if I may say so, the worst $13.95 I’ve ever spent. Say what you want about his lackadaisical governing style, the Gipper still makes a fearsome member of the living dead. For one, he was a lot faster than I thought he would be. And rather less genial, too. The instant after I was finished bombarding him with high-frequency gamma rays, he leapt off my metal table and charged me like I was some sort of gigantic peach jellybean. I didn’t even have time to reach for my cattleprod. I can still feel his teeth sinking into my shoulder.

Now, if you know anything about zombies, you know that getting bitten by one is no laughing matter. Still, it’s a hazard you have to be prepared to accept and, as the fortieth president of the United States stumbled out to wreak havoc on my neighborhood, I laid down and prepared to pass through the portal that separates our existence from the horrible beyond. It wasn’t as hard as it seemed. All I had to do was walk into the light...

(To be continued...)

Friday, June 23, 2006

I'm back, I'm bad, I'm black, I'm mad!

Well, maybe I should be clearer here. I’m not exactly “black”. In fact, I’m white. Really, really, really white. Whitey Peckerwood McWhitenstein the Third, they used to call me back in Brooklyn. It’s true: I’m so white my momma used to reach for me instead of the bleach. I’m so white I make the Partridge Family look “urban”. I’m whiter than a salt mine, whiter than a skeleton’s dentures, whiter than a Burnsville bingo game. “Hey, Salt! Where’s Pepper?” they used to shout at me. “I don’t know,” I would say, and then I would start to cry. Because that is what us white boys do, we cry. Because we’re white.

And, while we’re doing the honesty thing, I want to confess that perhaps “mad” isn’t the best word to describe me. Sure, certain things can make me mad---people walking three abreast on the sidewalk and not moving over to let you pass, unwarranted rudeness towards service personnel, ignorance, cruelty, and parents who let their kids run all over the store like they don’t have any sense—but I don’t think anger is my natural state. For instance, I’m not mad right now. I’m quite happy, in fact. I’ve got a bottle of Kevin (the fragrance), a long weekend off, a pocket full of money and life is fine, fine, fine. What could I possibly be mad about?

Nor can I be described as “bad”. That just doesn’t make sense on any level. Those of you who know me can attest to this: if I was coming down a dark alley towards you, you probably wouldn’t think “Oh my goodness! Look at that bad-ass! He certainly is intimidating! I better turn and run in the other direction immediately!” If you thought such a thing, you would be weird. You’d be more likely to think, “Oh, that guy better watch out, somebody’s liable to steal his brand new iPod, seeing as it has at least 5200 of the world’s greatest songs collected within its fragile shell!” Or else you’d think, “Wow! Look at that smoulderingly sensual hunk of raw male essence! I wish he’d take me back to his apartment and ravish me! And then tell me all about obscure Latin American authors until the sun ascends over the eastern shore! Because my lust for him knows no bounds, residing as it does in my entire being, not just my trembling and supple loins!”

But maybe people only think like that in my fantasies. And maybe if that’s true, maybe you should be kind enough not to burst my bubble. I’m just saying.

Anyway, I suppose I can be described as “back”. That’s probably the least interesting descriptor up there, though. It’s really just there for rhyming purposes.

Still, one accurate word out of four isn’t too bad. Especially for a blog.

Thanks for your patience. I’ll be back Sunday or Monday with some spanking new filthy, filthy nonsense...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I need a vacation from my hobby. How sad is that?

Over the past couple of weeks, I haven’t felt very enthusiastic about maintaining this website. It takes a lot of time, something I’m pressed for nowadays, and the nicer weather has been tempting me away from the computer for longer and longer stretches. Some nights now, it seems like there’s six million things I’d rather do than write for this blog. Clipping my toenails and rearranging my CD collection have started to rank higher on my priority list, unfortunately. I don’t want this site to become a chore. I want it to be a fun, no-big-deal thing to do in my spare time.

That’s why I’m going to take the next week off. Then I’ll decide whether I want to keep going with this. Whatever I choose, I’m glad that you all take the time to read my demented tripe and comment upon it. It is a well-known fact that I happen to have the smartest, wittiest, wisest, and all around sexiest audience on the internet. That is quite an honor, and I thank each and every one of you.

Now I’m off to play polo!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Because I know the world is clamoring to hear about my shirt-buying travails...

Today I went down to the department store to buy some new dress shirts. It was horrible. For most people, picking out clothes is a pleasant, diverting hobby. Not for me, though. For me, it’s a process that involves little other than confusion, frustration and disappointment. You see, the American apparel industry has decided that my body is too freakish and rare to mass-produce garments for. I think this is weird. After all, I’m five-foot-nine inches tall and I weigh about 165 pounds. I’m hardly a medical oddity. Yet my 31-inch waist is, it seems, far far far too dainty for the U.S. pant cartel. Even in more-or-less upscale places, you’ll plunge through lavish racks full of 38-waisters before happening on the lonely, forlorn, battered pair of 31s that every store stocks in order to mock me for not being more girthful.

Shirts are, like, ten times worse. I’ve got a fairly normal chest, it’s true, but it’s broad and–the final insult–topped off by a rather meaty neck. Because of this, I’m forced to wear the notoriously obscure 16 1/2 32/33 size. To make matters worse, these shirts seem to come in two lengths and two lengths only: (a) way too big for me, and (b) clipper ship main sail. So, when I’m finished tucking them in, oftentimes you can see the bottom edge poking out my pant cuff. Because of this, I can never have a simple, hassle-free trip to the store. No, I must hunt and hunt and hunt until I finally turn up a shirt that:

—Will not choke me to death if I choose to fasten the top button
—Will not have giant bat wings of fabric gathered under the arms
—Does not have a pattern that makes me look like a fratboy

There are such shirts, of course. I usually find them shortly after they’ve announced that Marshall Fields will be closing in ten minutes so would Kevin the Clueless Bastard stop rooting around the racks for Christ’s sake...I won’t even hear all that business, though. I will be gazing upon my long-sought prize. This shirt will fill my heart with joy to look upon and it will—invariably—cost somewhere in the low three digits. Now, a true St. Paul boy, no matter how far he’s roamed, cannot just lay down that kind of money for one shirt, no matter how rare, no matter how necessary. Oh, he can buy it–-no one doubts that—but first he must hem and haw and, if only for a perverted moment, consider giving up the whole charade and just going to J.C. Penny’s. But the latent metrosexual in me will not allow me to do that. No, I’ll buy the fucking shirt and go home filled with resentment. Resentment that isn’t aimed at the shirt per se, but is more a general feeling towards the entire world.

I doubt that the global face of Kevin, the fragrance, has these issues...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Price-gouging chocolate-dealing hippies haunt my boring, boring dreams...

Last night, I dreamed I went to a hippie fair. There were booths with all manner of hippie crafts: dream-catchers, windsocks, and tie-dyed flags with Jerry Garcia’s face on them. I wasn’t interested in any of this stuff, so I just sort of wandered around the stalls and the booths until I ran into my brother. “Oh, you’re here too...” I told him. He nodded and said he was hungry, so together we threaded through the browsing hippies to find something to eat.

Eventually we found a place that claimed to sell cookies. It didn’t sell cookies, though. It sold chocolates. This discrepancy was never resolved. My brother picked out a handful from all the varieties they had and laid them in front of the two hippie ladies who ran the place. While they were slowly totaling up the price, I rooted around their display looking for the ones I wanted. Most of them were normal, chocolate-looking chocolates, but there was also bucket filled with bluish gunk. I reached in, pulled out a handful of it, and put it into the wicker shopping basket that had just magically appeared in my hands.

“Oh, good choice,” one of the ladies cooed, “That’s chocolate from the Ocean of Phish!”

“Huh,” I said. It was too late to put it back and, besides, my attention was quickly diverted to the scene developing between my brother and the other hippie lady. As far as I could tell, my brother had chosen $20.16 worth of chocolates and he only had a $20 bill.

I heard him say, “Why don’t I just put one back?”

“You can’t do that. You touched it already,” the hippie lady countered.

“I’ll loan you a quarter,” I said, in what I thought would be a heroic resolution of the whole problem. They wouldn’t listen to me, though.

My brother went on to explain, “But if I can’t buy any of them, you’ll have to put them all back, and I’ve touched them all...”, but the hippie lady just shook her head with what seemed to me to be completely un-hippieish obstinancy.

“I have a quarter, though,” I said to no one in particular.

“Chocolate from the Ocean of Phish is better for you than whole grain,” the other hippie lady told me, but I wasn’t really listening.

“You can’t touch things you don’t want to buy,” the first hippie lady said and my brother threw up his hands in defeat.

“Fine,” he said and he went off somewhere, chocolateless and forlorn, to wait for me to finish my transaction. I laid my basket, which was only about a third filled, onto the table and glared as my purchases were tabulated. After an extraordinarily long time, the hippie peered over her granny glasses to check her adding machine tape.

“Eighty-nine dollars,” she said and I’m afraid I lost it. The dream me, obviously a lot more volatile than the real me, became a full-on raging profanity monster. I apologize for the dream me. He is a real dick.

“The FUCK I’m going to pay EIGHTY-NINE DOLLARS for a bunch of GODDAMNED HIPPIE chocolates you FUCKING NITWIT!” I thundered, “Why don’t you take your SHITTY CHOCOLATES and your GRATEFUL DEAD and your GREEN PARTY and shove them right up your MOTHERFUCKING HIPPIE ASS! YEAH! YOU HEARD ME, JANIS JOPLIN!”

There was silence following this outburst. I looked from one hippie lady to the other with fearsome bug eyes, drooling and panting like a crazy person, and eventually the one without the adding machine told me, “Chocolate from the Ocean of Phish would probably help with your aggression problem...”

And that’s when I woke up. I laid in bed for awhile, wondering where dream Kevin’s hostility came from, especially since I sort of like hippies and I’ve voted Green once or twice. I do, however, really, really, really dislike Phish. And I don’t even care much for chocolate.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

That was Laura, but she's only a dream...

It was with a certain wistfulness that I read that Laura Bush was in town today. In fact, I couldn’t even finish reading the article which detailed her itinerary, because my eyes had grown too misty. I had to set down the paper, turn on the soothing music of The Cure, and stare at my walls for awhile. You see, not a lot of people know this, but the First Lady and I were once torrid lovers. The ardent flames of youth cool, of course, but I’ve found that the embers can still burn you. Laura-poo and I, her one-time sweet choogly-woogly, burned brightly for a time, so brightly that even today I feel the heat of her caress, the melting passion that once lit up her eyes when she gazed upon my nude body.

It was back when we both lived in Texas. Because my parents read this site, I’m afraid I can’t go into too much detail here, but be assured that our voracious desires often consumed us entire and left us spent and panting at the shores of glory’s golden gate. I’m speaking in metaphors, but you know what I mean. Looking back on it, it seems like the whole thing was fated to happen. After all, she was once a librarian, whereas I very much enjoy books. She is a tempestuous brunette, while I’m a poofy-haired one. She is married to an influential man, and I once had a nice long telephone conversation with Dr. Ruth. Kismet? I hardly believe in such nonsense, but still...

Oh! How it tortures me to write about this part of my life! How my longing still tears at the sinews of my little boy heart! Would you find me absurd if I told you that sometimes I wake in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat and tears, crying out “Laura! Come back!”? Oh, spare me your pity, I have enough of my own to get me through my nights, my long and wretched Laura-less nights! What a capricious master life is! To give you so much and then strike you down just as you begin to feel that you deserve it! It’s enough to make a grown man clutch a pastel-pink teddy bear!

I can still remember the night it all ended between us. It was at an Austin-area Best Western. We had just finished our cigarettes and I could sense tension in the air. The conversation that still echoes through my ears went a little like this:

LAURA: We can’t keep doing this, Kevin-dear...

KEVIN: Sure we can. I’m getting a whole lot of Best Western points! And, besides, I love you, my lil’ pookie-wookie...

LAURA: What I mean to say, mon amour, is that I can’t keep doing this.

KEVIN: Bosh! Whatever do you mean?

LAURA: It’ husband. I can’t keep doing this to him.

KEVIN: Him again? Whenever will you leave him? I keep telling you, my glorious bon-bon of bliss, that he’ll never amount to anything...

LAURA: He’s governor of Texas! And you’re just some weird guy!

KEVIN: Yeah, but still...

LAURA: I’m afraid this is goodbye...


LAURA: Yes, and please stop calling me.


LAURA: Some things just naturally end...


LAURA: Goodbye, Kevin. You were a gentle lover.


And that was it. She was out the door. I went “NOOOOOOOO!” for a few hours longer, but I knew that she had made her decision. There was nothing I, a mere Democrat, could do. I paid the hotel bill, packed up my Datsun, left Texas and never looked back. Oh, sure, I see Laura on television sometimes, but usually I manage to stuff my fingers in my ears and change the channel before any real damage is done to my psyche. And then I hear she’s in town. Raising money for the foul Mark Kennedy.

Of course I didn’t go to see her. That would have been weird for both of us.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Brains! Brains! Brains!

Well, I’m back from beautiful Ithaca. On my last afternoon there, my brother gave my mom and I a nice walking tour of Cornell University. Since he works there, he knew exactly where the good stuff was. And I’m not talking about the well-tended quadrangles and the gorgeous Victorian architecture, either. No, I’m talking about the jars full of human brains. Many colleges don’t have them, but Cornell is a fancy school, with a long and storied history, and so it has a built up a formidable collection of human brains. Genius brains, murderer brains, famous brains, big brains, little brains, all manner and shape of brains are kept in the Cornell University brain archive. Unfortunately, you need a legitimate academic purpose to view most of these brains, but a special few are kept in a snazzy display case in the psychology department.

It’s kind of a funny sight. Imagine a display case at the high school you went to. I’ll bet that it used a lot of construction paper, some eye-catching colors, and cheaply mounted placards explaining the cheerleading team’s awesome prowess, the value of diversity, or how much drugs will ruin your life. The Cornell University display was pretty much in this same vein, only there were a bunch of brains in it. Really old brains too, but they kept well in their urine-colored formaldehyde stew. They rested on some nice, dignified black drapery and above each was a picture of its former owner along with a little biography enumerating their accomplishments. Most of them were professors, doughty folk of accomplishment and academic excellence, and in their portraits they stared sternly out at us through bushy beards and goofy eyebrows.

One, however, belonged to a lady, and this was a somewhat groundbreaking brain. According to the text accompanying it, her brain, donated in the name of very, very early feminism, helped to put to rest the myth that the female brain was anatomically different than the male brain. Our brains are essentially the same, she proved, and so at least one nail was driven into the coffin of male dominance.

Another brain belonged to a peerlessly smart, but nonetheless crazy guy who killed his family and dumped their bodies in Lake Cayuga. His is the second largest brain on record, weighing it at a whopping 1770 grams. And, I must say, it was an impressively sized brain, even if it was starting to fall apart from about a century and a half of floating in its own juices. I don’t think sheer brain girth matters much, though. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that having a bigger brain just meant you had a bigger head. It’s not the size of the thing, but the quality. Isn’t that right? I don’t know. I really don’t know much about the brain. Except that they look pretty cool sitting in jars in a college hallway.

In fact, they look so cool that I’m willing to say, in public and under no duress whatsoever, that–when I die–any college that wants to may take my brain and display it in their psychology department hallway. All I ask is for a flattering picture to go with it and a biography that kind of “talks me up” a little bit. That would make me very happy. Do you hear me Cornell University? I’m saying you can have my brain. My brain is your office decoration. E-mail me and I’ll sign whatever forms I have to.

Friday, June 02, 2006

This place sure is purty...

Hello. I am in Ithaca, New York. Earlier today, I was in Detroit. Before that, I was in the Minneapolis aiport, foolishly eating something called a "breakfast stromboli". I urge you all, should you ever be in the Minneapolis airport, to skip the breakfast stromboli. It's kind of nasty.

I'm sort of tired right now, so I'll limit myself to making very banal observations:

1) The Finger Lakes are pretty.

2) Cornell University's campus is pretty.

3) There is a pretty graveyard just outside my brother's apartment. If there is a zombie uprising anytime soon, this could be a problem.

4) On the way into town, some guy had a sign on his fence that read "Why not talk to Iran?". I tried to take his advice, but I don't speak Farsi and my cell-phone wouldn't cooperate.

5) Even though there is a cell phone tower approximately thirty yards from my brother's apartment, I still get crappy reception out here. Is this a T-Mobile thing or what?

6) I don't like to fly in the real little planes. They bounce around too much. They also fail to project the confidence and humanity-over-nature vibe of the larger jets, I feel.

7) This town crawls with small woodland creatures.

8) I got to pick up a meteorite. From, like, outer space. Is that cool, or what?

Au revoir, Minnesota!

In a matter of hours, I will be boarding a plane for the exciting Finger Lakes region of New York. There, I will visit my brother and see much in the way of grand scenery and charming antique stores. We will also kill a grizzly bear with our bare hands and tear the still beating heart from it's chest. We will then devour the heart and, with it, the bear's essence and wisdom. This will be followed by a drum circle and an invocation to our ancestors. When that is all done, I may be too exhausted to blog. I will try, however, because I love you people and I want you to be entertained.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

You know what Minneapolis needs?, part 643,994

Minneapolis needs a Greek restaurant. And, mind you, I’m not talking about one of those places that simply serves Greek food. We have plenty of those, and some of them are pretty damn good. No, I mean one of those restaurants, typically run by Greek immigrants, that stay open all night long, are staffed entirely by the owner’s extended family, and have menus longer than the complete works of Homer. New York has thousands of these, as does Chicago. Milwaukee has them, St. Louis has them, and Seattle has them. They’re great for when you need a plate of spaghetti with a side of falafel and a milkshake at three in the morning, or for when you get up really early and need a six egg breakfast mixed with chorizo and capers and washed down with a great big glass of chai tea. And they usually have cool names too: the Acropolis, Little Athens, or Jimmy the Greek’s. And, if you go there every day for six years, the proprietor will stop by your table in a grease-soaked rag, tell you dirty jokes, and call the sitting President of the United States of America a lying sack of shit. It just doesn’t get better than that.

Minneapolis doesn’t have places like this, though. And so our dining lives suffer gravely.

The global face of Kevin, the fragrance, deigns to answer all your trifling questions...

Dear global face of Kevin, the fragrance:

I have a holiday dinner crisis on my hands! I’m expecting 16-18 hungry, hungry guests and I just don’t know how I’m going to please all these picky people! My mother-in-law, Nadine, is DEATHLY allergic to chicken, but my sister Bertha ABSOLUTELY REFUSES to eat anything that “once had a face”! And that isn’t even the worst of it! Burt, my cousin’s second husband, is always ragging on me for serving “gourmet hoity-toity crap” instead of the hamburgers and fries that he likes! So I’ve got him griping while, at THE EXACT SAME TIME, I’ve got my brother’s wife looking down her nose at me for not making the same perfect cranberry sauce that she can make! Well, I’m sorry, but I didn’t spend five years at culinary school in Paris, Theresa! I CAN'T WIN! And you might not believe this, but I don’t even know how to seat these people! Earl’s mad at Betsy for something she supposedly did to Rick and Rick’ll of course pitch a fit if he’s not sitting close to Amber, who–according to him–is the only one of us who can keep up a decent conversation about Adirondack crafts, but if Amber has to sit across from Jolene, they’ll be staring daggers at each other all afternoon because of that Christmas tree stand scandal from five years ago! Whatever should I do? Help, global face of Kevin, the fragrance: HELP!

—Befuddled in Baltimore

Dear Bafaddley in Birmingham

Your troubles bore me. Go away, please. But, before you do, be so good as to tell the global face of Kevin, the fragrance, if you like his striped belt. It doesn’t look too affected, does it?


Dear global face of Kevin, the fragrance:

I fear that I am slipping into an abyss of despair and existential horror. Every morning, it takes an act of sheer, futile will to force myself to crawl out of bed. From there, I wander numbly though the asinine rituals that I have now come to recognize are all my life, or any life, consists of. As I shuffle around this dreadful void we all society, I listen to the merriment and repulsive ignorance (for is there any difference between the two) of those around me, and it has no more affect than bilgewater upon the hull of a rusted, sinking freighter ship. I have long since given up any hope of anything “changing”, but–theoretically speaking–if I wanted to seize one fleeting moment of pleasure from this barren slog we call existence, what would I do?

Depressed Swede

Dear Depressing Weed,

Get your balls waxed. If you happen to be a woman, have them wax the area where your balls would be if you were a man. If this area is not completely smooth, your life will be bad. That’s a guarantee. Now be a dear and freshen my drink, will you?


Dear global face of Kevin, the fragrance:

I’ve been married to a wonderful man for fifteen wonderful years. I feel blessed that the Good Lord has sent me a husband who loves, cherishes and provides for me. We share all our dreams and desires, enjoy mutually-fulfilling intimate moments, and consider ourselves best friends in addition to soul mates bound in eternal holy matrimony. There is only one dark cloud on our horizon, and it’s such a small thing I hesitate even to mention it. Basically, I sometimes worry that my husband–an absolute gem of a man, mind you–might be killing and eating runaway children. He treats me like a queen, true, but I’d have to be deaf not to hear the rumors. And he does spend a lot of time in his workshop. And the police have come to question him a little more than usual recently. Should I confront him with my suspicions, or should I just try harder to be his helpmate?

Confused Lady

Dear Ladyboy,

Cannes is over. Nice is over. St. Tropez is so over I don’t even recognize it anymore. This season, I’m looking at Malta. Malta and Nicosia are the only two places on the whole Mediterranean a person ought to be seen these days. It’s tragic. Tragic, I tell you.

Does my hair look alright?

(Feel free to submit your own questions to the global face of Kevin, the fragrance, in the comments section! And, in case you were wondering: yes, I am sort of ripping off the Onion a little bit...)