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Archive for April, 2007

Pussy Ambush

Posted by scott on April 20th, 2007

I have never gone pet-shopping.  Never left home intent upon returning with some sub-sentient companionship (which also explains why I never hung out in singles bars in Texas).  And on the extremely rare occasions when I did return with a fur-bearing refugee, it was always the result of a sneak attack.  And so it was with my most recent assailant.

Mary and I had gone to see my grandfather, intending to run a few errands afterwards.  But the visit was rather protracted and depressing, and aftewards I just wanted to go home and stick my head under a sofa cushion (it doesn’t do much for existential despair, but I often find enough loose change to buy liquor).  She agreed to indulge me, on the condition that we stop by Pet Smart on the way and pick up some catfood and a filter for Riley’s drinking fountain cum water feature.

They were having a pet adoption fair when we arrived.  Most of the crowd was clustered around the dogs, who lounged under canopies in the parking lot, while inside was a stack of cages containing a motley assortment of superannuated felines.  A sleek, gorgeous, and utterly resentful-looking Blue Persian was laying in the near topmost cage.  She had been the pampered darling of a young married couple, who dumped her when the wife got pregnant, for fear the cat would sneak into the nursery and suck the newborn’s breath.  There were a couple kittens attracting a squealing cluster of little girls, and a friendly, balding, and obese cat the approximate size and weight of a medicine ball who was attracting mostly horrified stares (and who, according to a note taped across her cage, was on the kitty equivalent of Jenny Craig).

The cat in the far bottom cage was striking in appearance and demeanor, but seemingly invisible to the crowd.  A thin marmalade, about two years old, he was curled up in the back of his cell, watching the passing feet through slitted eyes and occasionally huffing a fatalistic little sigh.  Mary paused on her way to the pet food aisle and squatted down to say hello.  He gazed at her appraisingly for a long moment, then uncoiled abruptly and padded to the front of the cage.   She opened the door and tentatively scratched his head.  They eyes locked, and suddenly, from out of nowhere, I heard “Unchained Melody.”

The woman who brought him in came over and talked to us while I admired his unusual coat – flanks dappled like a cheetah’s, tail ringed like a lemur’s.  For some reason, she’d named him “Cotton,” perhaps in honor of the zinc oxide-like smear of white on his nose.  She was a veterinary technician who volunteered at the local shelter and had impulsively claimed him when he was 24 hours away from termination.  Unfortunately, she was already over the pet quota allowed by her lease, and couldn’t afford to keep him.

The bottom line?  We’re suckers, and I’m just grateful this woman was a running a cat placement operation and not a three card monte game.  We were both ambivalent about taking on another cat while we were still grieving over the loss of Hobbes, but he seemed very attached to Mary (literally — there were holes in her t-shirt when we finally pulled him off), and we hoped some same-species companionship would lift Riley out of the funk she’s been in since Hobbes’ death.  Alas, the new kitty’s introduction instantly turned Riley from a inconsolable Indian widow inches from commiting suttee to Glenn Close in the last third of Fatal Attraction.  But there have been some recent signs that we may indeed see Peace in Our Time.  But more on that later.

So here’s the new addition.  Due to his white nose and preternaturally laid-back attitude (I would suspect him of smoking my stash if I had one), we figured we could name him after an Amsterdam hashish cafe or a surfer.  So allow me to present: Moondoggie.

Dude…The flash…harshing my buzz…

The Devil And Man At VT

Posted by scott on April 19th, 2007

On the heels of its scoop revealing that a 6 year old Barack Obama was recruited to violent jihadism by Jim Henson’s Madrassa Babies, Fox News now exposes the real perpetrator of the Virginia Tech shooting.  Could it be…SATAN?

Why yes.  After laying low following his thumping at the polls last November, Lucifer has finally stopped sulking around the house and gotten off his ass and done something.  At least, according to a story by religion correspondent Lauren Green:

Could Cho have been possessed by the Devil? Could that explain the massacre at Virginia Tech?

I suppose so, if the Devil had a Glock.

Dr. Richard Roberts, president of Oral Roberts University, shouts an unequivocal “Yes!”

He probably could have used his indoor voice, since Miss Green was standing right next to him, but he finds that random shouting drives evil spirits out of the bodies in his immediate vicinity, and will often let fly with a prophylactic scream when entering a crowded elevator.

“Based on what I’ve seen in the news,” Roberts said in an interview, “there’s no doubt that this act was Satanic in origin.”

Forensic evidence confirms his theory, as we’ll see in this week’s episode of CSI: Crime Scene Inquisition.

Roberts added that he doesn’t know if it was Satanic “possession” or “oppression.” Possession, he said, occurs when Satan takes over a person’s life, and the person’s actions are dictated by demonic possession within. Roberts says he’s seen this type and has seen the Devil cast out of a person.

As evidence of this phenomenon, Roberts pointed to the many downtrodden, homeless devils on Skid Row, begging for change and fighting for the right to “possess” a refrigerator box.

Satanic “oppression,” on the other hand, is “that which comes against.” “It’s not in a person, but is coming against them, trying to put evil thoughts in their minds,” Roberts said.

“A good example of this,” he adds, “Would be The O’Reilly Factor For Kids.”

Roberts says we’ll never know whether Cho was “possessed” or “oppressed,” because the killer has died. But he did leave a note blasting everyone around him, calling them “rich kids,” and “deceitful charlatans,” and then blaming them, saying “you made me do this.”

So it was probably possession, because the Devil hates the rich, since their selfless entrepreneurial ways create jobs for the Lucky Duckies.  We can’t all heal a leper, but those of us in the top 1% can outsource our manufacturing operations to Burkina Faso.

Roberts describes Cho’s writings as “just words,” and says words are one of Satan’s tools to bring about Man’s destruction.

On the other hand, Cho used firearms for the actual destruction part, and guns are clearly not one of Satan’s tools, so maybe the shooting was just an accident.  Like that thing with William S. Burroughs and Joan Vollmer.

The battle of good vs. evil in all of us is not a simple choice between two forks in a road, but a cosmic war being waged over our souls.

Says Dr. Richard Lints of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary: “The lesson, I think, is that when we don’t take our own evil seriously, we are much more liable to perpetrate acts of evil.”

Later, shown a tape of his performance on Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume was overcome with glee, cackling like Margaret Hamilton until he hyperventilated and had to lie down.

And The Ghostwriter IS…!

Posted by scott on April 18th, 2007

Well, Jonah’s little red button has popped up:

I’m “Done”   []

Just thought I’d let folks know that the publisher (Random House/Doubleday) has formally accepted the manuscript for my book. This means the official writing phase is over and the unofficial rewriting phase has begun. I’m sending off  chapters to a few friends and other trusted folks for feedback. Though a few folks have seen discrete parts (Ramesh, JPod and a few others) now’s the time when I get to find out how far off my rocker I am — at least in the eyes of people I trust. I remember Derb chastising Rich in the Corner a long time ago, telling him a book isn’t done until it’s done. I’ve still got all sorts of production schedule hurdles ahead. Some I’m not done. But I am “done.” And I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel.

Unfortunately, I stuck a toothpick in Jonah, and he’s still gooey in the center.  Still, congratulations are in order for the grit and determination he displayed in dumping a suspicious brown sack on his publisher’s porch, ringing the doorbell, and wheezing away to hide in the bushes and snigger.

To celebrate this auspicious occasion, we’re announcing the winner of the Pantload For A Day contest!  Jonah’s distinctive style proved to be quite the inspiration for our contestants, much like the annual Imitation Hemingway Contest, resulting in entries that were so eerily Goldbergian that only a DNA analysis of the Cheeto dust on the manuscript could reliably determine authorship.  Each seemed to illuminate a different facet of Jonah, which seemed particularly apt, given that he’s shaped like an 8-sided die, but alas, there can be only one, and the populi have voxed:  Matthew Garth, for his trendsetting (and bar-raising) glimpse at Liberal Fascism’s exhaustively footnoted text.  For posterity, here’s Matthew’s page of Jonah’s book in its entirety:

…Carl Schmitt’s The Concept of the Political [footnote 1123] was to Nazi Germany what the monorail episode of The Simpsons [fn 1124] was to my adolescence: a theory I didn’t quite understand but that made me chortle even when I was sitting alone, in my room, at night, with a flashlight, under the covers, looking at my drawing of Troy McClure [fn 1125] on the cover of my Trapper Keeper [fn 1126]. Or maybe it wasn’t like the monorail episode at all. Maybe it was like “Time and Punishment” from Treehouse of Horror V [fn 1127]. Yeah, that’s it. Homer goes back in time and keeps screwing up the future except for this one time when everything seems to be perfect but it turns out that no one has heard of donuts [fn 1128]. Homer’s crushed, but what he doesn’t know is that in this alternative universe donuts now fall from the sky [fn 1129]. It’s better than perfect! Ironic.[fn 1130] Anyway, Schmitt argued that parliamentary democracy was bound to be paralyzed by opposing interest groups lobbying the state for handouts [fn 1131], and he and Hitler and Hitlery Clinton [tm] all seem to think that’s just horrible. You see, they all want the government to be able to get things done [fn 1132]. But legislative paralysis isn’t horrible at all. It’s donuts from the sky, man [fn 1133]. The parliamentary logjam [fn 1134] is exactly what we need to keep the fascists at bay [fn 1135]. The real threat comes from a united [fn 1136] government; that’s just a hop-skip-and-a-jump [fn 1137] away from a fascist nanny state [fn 1138]. (Unless the Republicans are the ones uniting it. We can trust them not to overstep the proper bounds of state power. They promise. [fn 1139])

1123: Schmitt, Carl, The Concept of the Political, pub info TK.
1124: www.snpp.com: The Simpson’s archive
1125: Ibid.
1126: A remarkably useful product produced by pulp and paper producer Mead from the years TK to TK. MeadWestvaco was formed in January 2002 as the result of a merger between Mead Paper of Dayton, Ohio, and Westvaco (originally the Piedmont Pulp and Paper Company and then The West Virginia Paper Company). The original Westvaco Plant was sold with its Paper business coated paper operations to investment firm Cerberus Capital Management for about $2.3 billion. The new company is called NewPage Corporation.
The company owns large tracts of land in northern Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The company is relatively lenient regarding recreational land use by private citizens, including hunting, fishing, and the digging of ramps, and unimproved roads can be used to access the area from Anjean and Richwood. Westvaco, however, does not tolerate destruction of property or the use of ATVs. [Note to staff: can we paraphrase this Wikipedia entry without citing it? I don’t want to hurt my quality researching cred.]
1127: www.snpp.com, as above.
1128: The use of the colloquial spelling “donut” in no way implies an endorsement of Dunkin Donuts. I fucking hate those liberal bastards with their totally gay “Boston Cream” donut without even a fucking hole in it. Massachusetts liberals.
1129: Just to interject: that would be fucking awesome! And if it snowed cheetos…
1130: This is really ironic, not like those bullshit non-ironic things in that Alanis Morriset [SP? Staff, get on this.] song. Also, this note is totally prosopopoeia up in your face!
1131: Schmitt, op. cit. p. TK.
1132: This fascist idea is also totally queer. Cf. Bowie, David: “Some times I want to go out./Some times I want to stay in./And get things done,” “Modern Love.”
1133: “Man” here is not used in that bullshit liberal sarcastic way, but in a truly heartfelt way…………….Psych!
1134: The use of the term “logjam” in no way implies that political stalemate is gay.
1135: Cf. Reagan, Ronald, “On the nature and purposes of divided government.” Also, find some Leo Strauss for me, ’kay?
1136: No reference to the British soccer team is implied. Citizen of the world, yo! Ha, just kidding.
1137: See? Fascists: totally gay. See also chapter 4 of this book, “On the nature and purposes of Hitlerian rhetoric,” for an analysis of Hitler’s very gay hands-on-hips speaking style and comparisons with liberal icons.
1138: I’d like to thank my mother for all she’s done for me over the years.
1139: See Norquist, Grover, “On the nature and purposes of limited government” Cherokee National Enquirer, June 2003.

Congratulations, Matthew.  According to Price Waterhouse, you’re entitled to your choice of a Wo’C mug, a copy of , or a guest post at World O’ Crap on the topic of your choice.  Send me an email and let me know which you prefer.

And thanks to all our beautiful contestants.  The swimsuit competiton was a little rough going in spots, but the talent portion was an unalloyed delight.  When Jonah’s book is finally published, I’ll have my great-grandchildren page through it and see how close your predictions proved to be.

Yes, it’s one of those “the dog ate my homework, that’s why I left a bag of dogshit on the teacher’s desk” posts, in which I offer some lame excuse for our plunge in productivity.  Well, lame on my part.  As some of you know, s.z. has a chronic and debilitating medical condition, which waxes and wanes, and at the moment, it’s producing a dull waxy build-up on her the likes of which has not been seen since Carolyn Jones in the 1953 House of Wax.  I spoke to her last weekend, and she promised to log on and post an update on her latest be-furred refugees, but she hasn’t been able to summon the strength to deal with her balky computer, let alone brave the Kiddie Pool shallows of Fox News, or Renew America.

For my part, I’m still trying to finish a script, the deadline for which is bearing down on me the way the windshield of a speeding Kenworth approaches an oblivious dragonfly.  I’m also dealing with my grandfather’s rapidly deteriorating mind and body, and visiting various Bedlams around town, trying to find the one skilled nursing home that least resembles — in both residents and facilities — the House of Pain in Island of Lost Souls.

Anyway, my apologies for the state of the place.  I did promise s.z. that I would hold down the fort.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until too late that it’s Fort Zinderneuf, and everybody’s dead.

On a more democratic note, please cast your ballot in this thread for the winner of the Doughy Pantload for a Day contest.  The winner will be announced on Monday, and will receive a copy of , a Wo’C Mug, or (per Harry Chedder’s suggestion) a guest post on World O’ Crap.

Let the voter fraud commence!

Meanwhile, At Our Neighborhood Theater…

Posted by scott on April 13th, 2007

An interesting double feature:


My own theory is that the manager is a lycanthrope, and he booked the current bill while in mid-transformation.

Quote O’ The Day

Posted by scott on April 12th, 2007

From the LA Times obituary of actor Roscoe Lee Brown:

He…recalled that early in his career, a director told him that his speech sounded “white.” Browne’s response was simple and to the point: “We had a white maid.”

Kurt Vonnegut Has Come Unstuck In Time

Posted by scott on April 12th, 2007

Born 1922, Indianapolis, Indiana. Died 2007, New York, New York

  • Player Piano. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1952.
  • The Sirens of Titan. New York: Dell, 1959.
  • Mother Night. Greenwich, CT: Fawcett, 1962. New York: Harper & Row, 1966 (second edition, first hardcover publication, with a new introduction by the author).
  • Cat’s Cradle. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1963.
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1965.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five. New York: Delcacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1969.
  • Breakfast of Champions. New York: Delcacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1973.
  • Slapstick. New York: Delcacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1976.
  • Jailbird. New York: Delcacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1979.
  • Deadeye Dick. New York: Delcacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1982.
  • Galapagos. New York: Delcacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1985.
  • Bluebeard. New York: Delcacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1987.
  • Hocus Pocus. New York: Putnam, 1990.
  • Timequake. New York: Putnam, 1997.

Collected Short Fiction

  • Canary in a Cat House. Greenwich, CT: Fawcett, 1961.
  • Welcome to the Monkey House. New York: Delcacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1968.
  • Bagombo Snuff Box. New York: G.P. Putnam Sons, 1999.
  • God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian. New York: Seven Stories Press, 1999.

Dramatic Works

Work for Children

  • Sun/Star/Moon. New York: Harper & Row, 1980 (with illustrations by Ivan Chermayeff).

Collected Nonfiction

*from Vonnegutweb.com

Hey Jimmy, What Lotto Numbers Did You Pick This Week

Posted by scott on April 12th, 2007

Commenter “Harwell” at Tbogg’s establishment brought out this flag-wrapped Precious Moments figurine from Grandma Lileks’ closet of Wartime Nostalgia:

“Can you imagine the parties in Baghdad this week? Hospitals had best make a rubber stamp that says GEORGE, because nine months from now they’re going to use it on every other birth certificate.”

Here’s a link to Nostradamus’ original post, in case you’d like to savor the bouquet of vintage chickenhawk triumphalism, complete with tumescent references to Saddam statues blindfolded by Old Glory, and fist-pumping amens to the spitting cobra-like expectorations that are (were) Donald Rumsfeld:

“You can just imagine what some of the reporters say to one another as they leave the briefing:

I say, what’s that in your hands, there? That pink thing?

Oh, this? It’s my ass. Rumsfeld handed it to me. And I see you have a nice clock there – brand new?

No, it’s quite old, but Rumsfeld cleaned it. Free of charge.”

Nowadays, of course, if Rumsfeld is doing any of the above, it’s on spec, and I have a feeling he hands out asses and cleans clocks the way the pool boy dispenses towels and tidies up the cabanas at the day spa in Calabasas: with deference, alacrity, and the desperate, fingers-crossed hope of a big tip.

Do Your Patriotic Duty!

Posted by scott on April 11th, 2007

Yes, it’s time once more to exercise your franchise.  And since we’re no longer permitted to vote for President of the United States — or at least, we’re politely rescued from such impudent acts of lese-majeste by having our ballots spirited away from polling stations and respectfully interred in a composting toilet in the basement of a condemned ice house owned by the Republican National Committee – your franchise needs all the exercise it can get, if it’s not going to develop a pair of Hugh Hewittian man tits.

And after all, there are still some areas of urgent public policy in which our voices can and must be heard!  To wit:  we can stand up and be counted in the do-or-die race to select Jonah Goldberg’s ghost writer.  So please review the entries submitted in this thread and vote here for your favorite Fake Page From Jonah’s Imaginery Book.  And remember, Jonah’s reputation as a groundbreaking political thinker and exhaustive researcher are at stake, so think about it for a couple of seconds before you cast your ballot.

We had some wonderfully funny (and eerily prescient) entries, and they deserve to be recognized, if only because the people who posted them spent far more time and effort on Jonah’s book than he has.  As previously threatened announced, the winner will receive their choice of either Better Living Through Bad Movies, or a World O’ Crap mug.  (Initially, because some of our contestants are in early middle age, I had planned to award either a copy of Liberal Fascism, or a coupon good for 10% off the Early Bird Special at Denny’s, but unfortunately, the odds of their surviving until the actual publication date seem a bit grim.)

Comment of the Day

Posted by scott on April 9th, 2007

From preznit giv me turkee:

so it’s been three days, is Johnny Hart still dead?