Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Top Ten Tuesdays: What Halloween Costumes Are We Wearing?

Special extra razor blades in the Snickers addition!

12) Slutty Congressman (with optional built-in excuse)

11) Zombie Bush Supporter (requires more brains than Standard Bush Supporter)

10) Reanimated Spine of Media (with optional spineless Fox)

9) Bloody National Guardsman on Extend Deployment (requires same costume as last year)

8) Severed Purple Finger (with optional democracy)

7) Shrieking Conservative Blogger (requires chickenhawk mask)

6) Ghost of Elections Past (with optional eye of Newt)

5) Mutilated Geneva Conventions (requires board and water bucket)

4) Curious Macaca (with optional Man in the Yellow Hood)

3) Invisible Weapons of Mass Destruction (requires imagination)

2) Skeleton (with optional Republican closet)

1) Vice President Cheney (requires horns and pitchfork)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The bar that launched a thousand manuscripts

The Foxhead is an Iowa City institution, an ordinary looking bar where extraordinary writers converge to discuss life, literature, and who got ripped a new one in the last workshop.

It's also the most cancerous tavern in the United States. The smoke in the Foxhead is like the home crowd at a football game, a 12th man than can turn ordinarily healthy lungs in to black sponges darker than a West Virginia coal mine. But for $2 pints of Anchor Steam, I sacrificed my health and accompanied The Lovely Becky there on many a night, listening to the morbid tales of short stories disembowled by fiendish criticism.

Well, the Foxhead is popular and sentinent enough to have its own MySpace page. There are a number of quotes about the bar on the page, but this one is my favorite:

"The only changes made at the Foxhead through the decades have been to occasionally paint over the extensive bathroom graffiti, which by all accounts is surprisingly bad for a writers' bar."

Sadly, speaking as someone who has read the bathroom walls, it's true. But only because those writers have used up everything in workshop.

"Who Shit My Pants?"

The Offical GOP Guide to Assigning Blame

God doesn’t make mistakes. We know this because He says so.

The Republican Party is God’s party. We know this because we say so. And therefore, the Republican Party doesn’t make mistakes.

However, mistakes do happen around Republicans. Godless, crack-smoking, bath house-visiting liberals often try to assign these mistakes to our colleagues, “blaming” them for their actions.

The following quiz will help you calibrate your ability to assign blame properly, no matter what hits the fan. Answer these questions, tally up your score, and see how well you can splatter responsibility on the correct party...and not the right party.

1) You get caught taking illegal campaign contributions from a Republican fundraiser.

Who is to blame?

a) The fundraiser, for carelessly leaving behind a large sum of money that you were only trying to return to its rightful owner.

b) Laws, for making what should be perfectly legal contributions illegal.

c) George Soros, because he has more money than God, which is an affront to God and leaves God’s party no choice but to take money from the Devil.

2) You make a racially insensitive remark about a colored person of darkness color.

Who is to blame?

a) The person of color, for not being non-colored and therefore calling attention to himself at your rally.

b) The media, for only reporting the remark you said about the colored boy and not reporting that you referred to the ignorant white trash that support you as your “Cracker Jacks.”

c) The Civil Rights Movement, for making the coloreds all sensitive about primate-based nicknames.

3) Your ex-wife accuses you of forcing her to go to sex clubs.

Who is to blame?

a) Your ex-wife, for not obeying the words of St. Paul about wives obeying their husbands.

b) St. Paul, for not being more specific about whether taking your wife to sex clubs is wrong. If you had only known that this sort of behavior was frowned upon, you never would have done it.

c) Clinton’s penis, for creating a gravitational rift in the sex-time continuum that pulled you, against your will, into the front row next to the stage.

4) An underage Congressional page accuses you of sending lewd instant messages and e-mails.

Who is to blame?

a) The page, for getting you all horny with his smooth, hairless skin, firm, defined abs, and...uh, the page.

b) Alcohol, for messing up your motor skills and causing you to drop the “Y” from your intended message, “R U HARDY?”

c) The Catholic Church, for giving you the how-to manual.

5) As Speaker of the House, you find out one of your party members is getting hot and heavy with an underage page...and do nothing until the media finds out years later.

Who is to blame?

a) The media, for always trying to find things out that should be handled privately and after general elections.

b) The gays, for pretending to hate the poor, minorities, Muslims, women, and other gays so they could sneak in as Republicans and schtup the party from inside.

c) Democrats, for saying it’s legal for two consensual adults to have an affair, but not a man and a boy, even though NAMBLA are Nancy Pelosi’s constituents and that means she supports man-on-boy relationships. Talk about a bait and switch!

6) You ignore warnings about an impending terrorist attack until after the terrorists attack.

Who is to blame?

a) The terrorists, for not being more specific about when and how they would attack.

b) Brush, for always growing and needing to be cleared right before terrorists love to launch major operations.

c) The Pet Goat, for being so darn interesting that you couldn’t put it down no matter what.

7) On a hunting trip, you shoot an old man in the face.

Who is to blame?

a) The senile old fool, for not watching where he was going, duh!

b) The Matrix, for making you think that people could dodge bullets if they really try.

c) Your freshman English teacher, for brainwashing you into thinking hunting men was dangerous and exciting.

8) You launch a major invasion of a country because you suspect it of having weapons of mass destruction, only to find only a few old, outdated shells.

Who is to blame?

a) The weapons, for not being more massive or destructive.

b) The CIA, for not planting newer weapons like they were supposed to.

c) The U.N. weapons inspectors, for not acting more competent so that we would believe them when they said there were no weapons.

9) You try to sell the idea of the invasion by saying our troops will be greeted as liberators. They are instead greeted as invaders.

Who do you blame?

a) The country’s citizens, for mistaking 200,000 heavily armed troops and a major air campaign as an “invasion.”

b) Our country's liberals, for making the same mistake.

c) The media, for failing to capitalize the “l” in “Liberators,” which would have preserved the original meaning that our troops would be greeted as heavy-duty bombers.

10) You and your party just got swept out of office.

Who is to blame?

a) The media, for exercising freedom of the press.

b) The Democrats, for hating freedom.

c) Democracy, for getting in the way of your freedom to do what you want.


Brownie tracks
You’ve done a heck of a job...of convincing us you're responsible. Your efforts to shift blame are as obvious as the sag in your seat, which will weigh down your chances of keeping your seat.

Skid marked

You’ve cleaned up nicely, but with a little digging, we can still see some remnants of the blame game. Don’t forget to bleach thoroughly with a snow job.

Tidy whitey
Not only are you clean as a whistle, you’ve managed to fling your feces at others and make it stick. Say, are you free around November 2008?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Top Ten Tuesdays: What's scaring us to death?

10) George Romero's Night of the Living Four-Hour Erections.

9) Not knowing what we did last summer. Seriously, what happened, and why is it all scabby?

8) Being locked inside our house on Halloween and forced to pray with our born-again parents.

7) Terrorists could attack our ports with massive all-in bets.

6) Guy at the gym who transforms into a werewolf when he takes off his shirt.

5) The man-eating ogre that lives in the Washington swamp.

4) The recurring dream where we're trapped in a maze with no way out and surrounded by monsters who keep coming no matter how much we shoot and then waking up in time to go on patrol in Baghdad.

3) The Korean version of “99 Luftballoons.”

2) The IMs we’re getting from the Congressman are coming from inside the House!

1) Death.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Nothing says "family friendly" like repeated point-blank shots to the skull

Saw The De-pah-ted this weekend with The Lovely Becky. My blurb would be this:

"I laughed, I cried, I got my brains blown out!"

There are so many brains splattered in this movie, even zombies would say, "no thanks, I'm all full." You know it's bad when, during the climax of the film, people are laughing at the excessive head shots.

All in all, a very good movie that could have been great had it used its last red herring to cut down the largest tree in the forest instead of slapping me in the face with it. I don't want to give anything away but I felt a bit cheated at the end.

One fun note: some idiotic parent who clearly possessed no brains brought her toddler to the movie. I was sitting on the aisle when she brought the kid in, and I heard the slow Doppler effect of "what the fuck?" from other moviegoers behind me as she walked past. For good forming-language-skills measure, Nicholson drops the N-word about 15 seconds into the movie and there's carpet f-bombing all over the place. Thankfully, the 417th bullet to the head caused mom to come to her senses and take the kid outside.

Anyway, this seemed like a good idea to recycle my Manifesto on the Criminality of Bringing Small Children to Movies Where They Do not Belong nor Are Wanted.

It's funny 'cause it's true

Joke of the day: Why don't Republicans use bookmarks?

Found via SnarkAttack with an assist from MSF. Original joking to resume shortly.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Top Ten TuesdaysWednesdays: How did we blow our insurmountable leads?

10) Tried to lead underage page toward Congressional mounting.

9) Took too long to cover our tracks before the race.

8) Got slowed down carrying huge bags of coins through Ohio.

7) Failed to evolve our gameplan against scientific evidence.

6) Burned out our clutch hitting due to a faulty A-Rod.

5) Chased the wrong nut in the Axis of Evil shell game.

4) Lost our balance while taunting the guys behind us about our fairness.

3) Gambled with our moral authority and got called by a pair of middle fingers.

2) Slipped on some macaca while running.

1) Looked down and saw we were wearing Arizona Cardinals jerseys.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The CJSD theme song

My friend Bob Hillman has written a song called "Circle Jerk at the Square Dance," which you can here at his MySpace page (click the "Demo 7" link in the music player - Bob's trying to duck out of paying me royalties for the title). It's not really about me blogging in the way that, say, "Believe It or Not" is about The Greatest American Hero. But sharing the title alone is good enough for me.

While you're over there, I recommend checking out his other tunes, especially "Valentine's Day" and "My Satanic Friends." He's a terrific songwriter who combines great pop/folk melodies with very clever lyrics. If you like what you hear, hop over to Bob's home page where you can buy his CDs. I am particularly partial to Welcome to My Century, which is just a stellar collection of catchy, witty tunes.

A quick story tangentially related to Bob: When The Lovely Becky and I attended the lovely wedding of Bob and the lovely SER, they had karaoke at the party the night before the wedding. TLB, who is a huge Aimee Mann fan, wanted to do a duet of Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry." My wife can actually sing. I actually cannot. But we had a routine for this song where she would sing most of the song and I would play the part of the psychotic boyfriend. We thought this would be an entertaining change of pace from the other karaoke performances.

The song began, and Becky started singing very well. I stood very still until the chorus, when I grabbed the mic and screamed "HUSH HUSH! KEEP IT DOWN NOW! VOICES CARRY!"

This boomed out of the sound system. Prior to our act, many of the folks singing had not been singing very loudly, so the karaoke DJ had turned up the mic. As soon as I started screaming, I saw him lunge for the volume control.

We kept up the call-and-excessive-response rhythm for the whole song, until we got to the last part before it faded out:

TLB: He said...


TLB: He said...


Together: Oh God can't you, keep it down...VOICES CARRY!

I really don't know how much of the room was with us. I do know that the table full of our Writer's Workshop friends and associates were laughing pretty hard. Probably at me more than with, but since I am a chuckle whore, I take them any way I can get them.

Shortly after we finished, I found Bob. Bob gave me a look that I call the "there he goes again," a slight head shake and eye roll he uses whenever I make a particularly bad joke or blatant attempt to do my "act."

"What did you think?" I asked him.

He paused for a moment before replying, "That was surprisingly aggressive."

That was good enough for me.

Back tomorrow with the Top Ten Tuesday I should have written today.

Seen in the IC

I went to lunch in downtown IC with some coworkers today. As we turned to park into our space, one of them said, "There's Kerry." I thought of my friend Kerry, who moved away over the summer, and became confused. Then I looked up to see John Kerry standing right by our parking meter, shaking some hands and posing for photos with some passersby. We all smiled at him. He smiled back, and then ducked into one of our local sushi restaurants (here for those of you scoring at home).

This may not seem like a big deal to those of you with local populations in the six figures, but here in the IC, celebrity* sightings are rare. They tend to happen only if Ashton Kutcher is home to buy a new trucker hat or Tom Arnold is opening another loose meat restuarant.

I wanted to say something to JK but couldn't think of anything. I thought about saying, "Wish you had won," but thought that might make him think, "Thanks for reminding me I couldn't beat a talking chimp, buttmunch."

*There are famous writers in town all the time, but I'm referring to actual celebrities. You know, people in Us magazine.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

McCain Blames President Truman for Current North Korean Nuclear Crisis

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - Republican Senator John McCain, a 2008 presidential hopeful, went on the offensive against reporters who asked if the Bush administration could have done more to stop North Korea from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Walking from the stage toward the press area, McCain asked, "Do you remember that little thing we had about 50 years ago called the Korean conflict? And how we failed to achieve victory?"

As McCain approached Charles Babington, the Washington Post reporter who had posed the question, Babington asked, "What does that have to do with the Bush administration's handling of North Korea for the past five years?"

"Imagine how things would have been different today if we had crossed the thirty-eighth parallel," McCain said, his voice shifting into a rising shout, "and pushed those rice eaters back to the Great Wall of China!"

He picked up one of the reporters' chairs and ripped it apart, his voice rising to a thunderous scream as he continued, "Then take the fucking wall apart brick by brick and nuke them back to the fucking Stone Age forever? Wouldn't that have prevented this week's tests? So why didn't we do it when we had the chance? Why? Say it! Say it!"

Babington, recoiling, yelled, "I don’t know!"

McCain answered, his face inches from Babington's, "Because Truman was too much of a pussy to let MacArthur go in there and blow those Commie bastards out! Oh! Oooohhhhh!"

In mid-scream, the senator stopped and stood up sharply, whispering, "Oh." He ran back up the stage and disappeared. After a few moments of confusion, a spokesperson for McCain said the press conference was over.

An anonymous source later revealed that the exertion had caused the 70-year-old senator to soil his Depends undergarments. McCain's office did not return calls on the matter.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Top Ten Tuesdays: How are we preventing nuclear proliferation?

10) Um...

9) Yeah...

8) See, it’s complicated.

7) We invaded a country that didn’t have nukes to send a message to countries that did.

6) ...

5) Because we don’t negotiate with negotiators.

4) So now, we’re, um...

3) Trying to negotiate.

2) Because we don’t have any more, uh, troops to send...

1) Um...it’s all Clinton’s fault?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bill Frist: The Director's Cut

Amid all the hullaballoo about hot GOP man-on-boy virtual action, I noticed this tidbit in the news:

Frist: Taliban Should Be in Afghan Government

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Monday that the Afghan war against Taliban guerrillas can never be won militarily and urged support for efforts to bring "people who call themselves Taliban" and their allies into the government.

The Tennessee Republican said he learned from briefings that Taliban fighters were too numerous and had too much popular support to be defeated on the battlefield.
So a major Republican politician and potential 2008 presidential candidate calls for smoking a peace pipe with the people who harbored the terrorists that attacked the United States.

The irony drips thicker than in an Alanis Morissette song. The decision to attack the Taliban was, for nearly everyone in America, a very black-and-white issue, so clear cut, it was almost cinematic in its starkness. Which got me thinking about what some famous movies would be like if they starred Bill Frist...

Star Wars

Darth Vader confronts Princess Frist.

I want to know what happened to the plans they sent you!

They’re in R2D2! (points to droid)

Minutes later, the ship is destroyed.



I will offer you lands in Scotland and Wales for your fealty. What say you?

Sir William Frist looks over the enormous English army.

Deal. Say, do you have something by a loch?


Dr. William Frist puts his arm around the terrified Laurie.

Laurie, I’m not offering you as a sacrifice, I’m just saying that maybe he’ll stop killing everyone if you just go out on a date with him. Trust me, I've looked into his eyeholes, and he is no killer.

Saving Private Ryan

The front of the landing craft splashes down. Gunfire erupts as the men charge out. All the occupants of the boat fall, except for Private Frist.

PRIVATE FRIST (looking up at German gun placements, makes Curly Howard noise)

He turns and runs into the sea.


Colonel William Frist, on horseback in front of the 54th Massachusetts regiment, looks through the telescope at the formidable fortifications of Fort Wagner.

Men, it is my professional observation that our only option is to return you to slavery. After all, you get three hots and cot, how bad could it be? Major Lott, prepare to surrender.

The Matrix

Morpheus sits in a chair talking with Frist.

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—

Frist grabs the blue pill and swallows it.

Sleepless in Seattle

Bill Frist, holding a letter from Annie, talks with his son Jonah.

You know, Jonah, New York's such a long ways away, and it's full of criminals, and I don't even know this woman, she might be one of those transsexuals...I think I'm just going to stay here and masturbate.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

Right, come along, Patsy! (rides away)

High Noon

The train arrives in town. Frank Miller steps off and joins his gang of thugs. They stand ready, looking around the train station. Miller checks his watch. A close up of the hands shows noon. The watch hands spin to 5:00 p.m. Miller and his gang are still at the same spot.

Guess Marshal Frist’s not coming. So, uh...rape and loot, then a bite to eat?

The men all nod and murmur agreements and they head into town.

The Exorcist

Regan’s head spins around in a 360 degree circle before she throws up on Father Frist.

FATHER FRIST (wiping face as he packs up Bible and starts to leave)
You know, she’ll probably grow out of it. If she’s still masturbating with crucifixes in six months, call me.


Game over, man, game over!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Top Ten Tuesdays: What are we doing while we're wasted?

Special 12-pack edition!

12) Crashing the party of family values, having sex in the closest, and then throwing up on the host.

11) Auditioning for a part on Lost.

10) Making new MySpace friends.

9) Making new TV show about MySpace friends.

8) Threatening to kill ourselves because, even though we make $25 million catching footballs, no one will throw us a hug.

7) Putting $1000 on the Cubs to win it all next year (again).

6) Drawing little hearts with “G.W.B. + C.R.” in the margins of CIA terror briefing.

5) Accepting chat-room invitation to meet an underage girl who calls herself D8Lyin’.

4) Saying we approve of the job Bush is doing.

3) Getting our bills mixed up by making waterboarding legal and royal flushes illegal.

2) Hosting The O'Reilly Factor.

1) Providing a convenient excuse for the kinds of behaviors we’d engage in even if we were sober.

Quick question for the technically proficient

Does anyone know if/how you can post an MP3 file in a Blogger post?

And if you have to link from another hosting site, is there any place you can do that for free/cheap?


Monday, October 02, 2006

An exclusive excerpt from Bob Woodward's new book, State of Denial

From Chapter Three: On the Road to Bagdad

Inside the Oval Office, the President's cabinet sat around a large map of Iraq. A PowerPoint presentation projected a slide that simply read, "Iraq Post-Invasion Scenarios and Challenges."

Secretary of State Colin Powell had just finished going through the PowerPoint, explaining all of the difficulties that the United States expeceted to face. "Mr. President, those are the top 100 issues we expect to face after the invasion of Iraq," he said, "Given all of these scenarios, I think that the number of troops we will need will be approximately 350 to 450 thousand."

Bush tapped his fingers thoughtfully. He stood up and approached a white dry-erase board. Grabbing a marker, he began drawing a stick figure with an exaggerated head.

"Colin, here's how I see it," Bush said. "Iraq is like this figure. Saddam is like this head. If you cut the head off... "

Bush grabbed the eraser and rubbed the board. The head would not come off.

Vice President Cheney leaned toward him and whispered, "Sir, you used the permanent marker."

The president sniffed the marker. "'Course I did," he said hastily. "I meant to do that," he added in a Pee Wee Hermanish voice.

Instead of erasing, he drew a large "X" through the head, then an arrow showing it falling off the body. "Anyway, as I was saying, if you cut the head off, the body's no good. Can't really do much without a head, can you?" He let out a series of heh heh hehs. "Plus, when you cut the head off..."

The president drew lines spurting out from the neck, making a pshoo pshoo noise as he did so. "Democracy will just come gushing out. So why would we need 400,000 troops just to make democracy spurt out of Iraq's neck?"

Cheney stood up and let out a loud "Harrumph!" The other cabinet members, following his lead, also let out their harrumphs, except for Powell.

Bush pointed to Powell. "I didn't get a harrumph out of that guy!"

Cheney growled, "Give the president a harrumph."

Instead, Powell sighed and rubbed his eyes. "Mr. President, with all due respect, do you have any experience planning a major military invasion, occupation, and nationbuilding?"

Bush paused as the room fell quiet. "No. But I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night."

The cabinet exploded in laughter. Bush, looking at his cabinent for a moment, also started to laugh. After a few minutes, he asked, "What's so funny? I really did come up with this at the Holiday Inn Express."

Who are the people in your neighborhood?

The very entertaining scruffylooking stopped by yesterday to visit TLB and I. SL lives down the block from us, and while TLB had met her earlier, I had not. I greeted her at the door, and we had that double moment where you're not only meeting someone you've talked to online, but have to decide what to call each other. (Dr. Srcuffylooking, I presume?) We settled on our Christian names. As I said to Blue Girl earlier this weekend, after we exchanged our real names in e-mail, it's a bit like learning Kramer's first name. You'll get used to it, but it will take a while.

Anyway, SL generously dropped off some treats, which we much appreciated, and I was very glad to finally make her acquaintence.

Her visit also reminded me of a funny post, especially in light of our recent difficulties, about her daughter's birthday party. As all the cool, popular bloggers say, just go read it.