Toy Story VI - Fire Island Adventure

Things were pretty happening at the Crocodile Bar. The mellow music set the mood for romantic dancing and fun holiday frolic. Feeling festive, the Rock' Em Sock 'Em Robots decided to bury the hatchet, and swayed to the torch song stylings of Édith Piaf.
The festivities heated up a bit when the Y.M.C.A. Party bus pulled in to the parking lot. Flamboyant Playmobil merry-maker Vic LeMoyne got things going by climbing atop the bus and leading revelers in a chorus of "It's Raining Men."

Champagne was flowing, as the party-goers cavorted and caroused. "The night is young," LeMoyne shouted into the microphone.

Taking advantage of the subdued lighting, several celebrities made the rounds, in cognito. Amid shouts of "Get the f*ck outta here with that camera," and "Damn you, paparazzo," Mr. Incredible tried to enjoy a night on the town.

"Where is that Boy Wonder?" an inebriated Batman pondered. He was in no condition to drive and was thus left to sleep it off until he could find a ride home.

Unfortunately, the evening took a turn for the worse as Ben Grimm, or Thing as he is known to his friends, found himself doing his best Brian Jones impression at the bottom of Sue and Reed Richards' swimming pool.

"Hide the drugs, bitch!" snapped a distressed Dr. Richards to his wife. "The ambulance will be here any minute. I'm damn sure the cops will come with them.

As the wail of the sirens cut through the icy night, Thing was taken away to Mt. Sinai, where brave efforts to resucitate him finally succeeded.

"I'm off the horse, baby," a relieved Thing admitted to Sue Richards.

"Thank god! Do you have any idea how hard it is to put ice cubes in your rocky ass?"


All I Want for Christmas...

File Under: It sucks when the little bastards get sick

Dear Satan Santa:

I've been a pretty good boy this year. I rarely beat my wife, use only the mildest of hallucinogens, pay most of my taxes, haven't gotten arrested again, stopped eating veal, stopped clubbing seals and threw out all my John Tesh records. There is only one thing I want this year.

The Fletch-Monster's had some mutant bug for the past week, causing him to leak out of both ends. He's in good spirits, playing with his brother and running around the house squealing, in between bouts of vomit and diarrhea. This morning, I have changed the world's most disgusting diaper. Even the Fletch-Monster, in his infinite 20 months worth of wisdom was driven to say, "Yucky. Daddy, yucky." as I negotiated the delicate task of removing his soiled pyjamas and shirt.

"I know, little buddy," I reassured him, as I took off his clothes (all the while thinking "you're GODDAMNED right this is gross! This is as gross as all hell)."

He had the presence of mind to clench his arms firmly against his sides, ensuring I could not pull his clothes over his head. After a quick look around for a pair of scissors, the best course of action was to pull the clothes down, and have him escape through the head.

So if you could somehow manage to make sure the next diaper has a solid bowel movement, I'll get your back. Please. May it have the consistency of a Denver nugget, a yule log, Snickers Bar, Hershey's Kiss, fruit cake... even chocolate toothpaste.

Yours truly,


'Sorry' Unseated as Hardest Word to Say

by Joy X. Noel

Sorry's long reign as the hardest word to utter has finally come to an end. The usurper? Christmas. Long considered the most difficult two-syllable utterance in the English language, Sorry is now no more difficult to express than "f*ck you," and "a*shole" or no more humbling than "I voted for Bush."

"I don't know what the hell happened," Sorry said. "Christmas just came out of nowhere. I mean, it's been around for a few years but now everybody's pussy-footin' around it."

Boston, MA Department of Parks and Recreation officials had a hand in the deposing Sorry by referring to a 48' decorated spruce as a "holiday tree", thus sparking the indignant back-lash of Christians.

"Holiday tree, my ass! That's a f*cking Christmas tree in my book," said Father Seamus O'Toole. "If I ever catch the mother f*cker who decided to call it a "holiday tree" he's going to be sorry he ever met me! We managed to put the kibosh on X-Mas, so don't f*ck with us."

His sentiments aren't alone. Christians nationwide are feeling their "holiday" wrestled from them.

"I was at Target yesterday with a cart full of presents," one distraught Roman Catholic lamented. "I said 'Merry Christmas' and the clerk said 'Happy Holidays,'"

"'What kind of shit is that?' I said. 'Sorry,' was her reply. I left my goods in the checkout aisle."

Store manager Tina Tim remarked "I'm sorry this particular customer was upset, but the Christians have had a foothold on December for some time now. We have lots of Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, agnostics, Wiccans, Hindus, practicers of Santeria and Voo Doo, Zoroastrianists, Shintoists, Confucianists, Jainists, Taoists, Sikhs, Bahá'ísts, Neo-Paganists, Cao Daists, Rastafarians and Scientologists that shop here. We need to respect their beliefs."

One Rastafarian was quoted as saying, "I don' give a sh*t what dey call it, mon. Both parties should light up some spleef, and chill out, mon."

Wiccans disagreed, and have no compunction in taking the Christ out of Christmas.

"Hey, we started this Winter Solstice business," an anonymous local Wiccan stated. "When the Christians pushed their mumbo jumbo on us and burned us at the stake, they didn't say 'sorry' or 'our bad.' That tree idea? That was us. Yule log? Us. Am I sorry they're offended this year? F*ck no." She proceeded to put a hex on Jerry Falwell and Oral Roberts.

As for 'Sorry,' what's next? "I don't know. I'll probably hang out with wife beaters and politicians. They've always had the toughest time with me."

"Merry Christmas, Sorry."

"What the f*ck did you just say to me?"

"Sorry. Happy Holidays."

"That's better, mother f*cker."


I've found my calling

I had an epiphany at Blockbuster today. (Shit... Here I am again with the corporate behemoths. At least I didn't rear-end any of the patrons). Anyway, After dinner, my wife sent me out to get a movie. As I made my way around the crowded store, I started feeling a bit distended and gassy. I peeked around the store to see where I could inflict the least possible olfactory trauma. I headed straight for the Foreign Films.

I am gassier than a propane tank. Just call me Gaseous Clay. I work with intestinal gases the way Yo Yo Ma works with a fiddle. My wife and kids no longer have nostril hairs because of me. As an expert, I thought I'd share some of my fail-proof methods of covert crop dusting.

1. Always drop one near babies or large dogs. They can't defend themselves or rat you out. The mother will likely check the diaper, thus distracting her just long enough for you to make a clean getaway undetected. Additionally, it MUST be a dog. Cats do not work. I once farted in the bed of a new girlfriend. The next day I told my friend Marcel about it.

"Did you blame the cat?" he asked.
"She's got a f*cking cat, dude. Not a mountain lion."

2. Make your way over to the fragrance section of the department store your wife/girlfriend/warden took you to. Spray the Chanel, the Halston or anything by Liz Taylor (anything that crusty shill endorses has just got to smell like shit.)

3. Walk in one door of KFC and out the other. The smell of frying grease is to ass what paper is to rock (or scissor to paper or something...). Do not get anything to eat, lest you compound the problem.

4. Always carry around an El Marko or other potent brand of markers. Sharpies are only good if you're going to write for a while. An El Marko will cover your tracks as soon as you uncap it. Pretend you're writing a phone number down, or crossing off from your grocery list.

5. Find the drunkest asshole in the bar, release gas and then wrinkle your nose and look around. Ladies, do not find the "skank-ass 'ho" you hate to try to pull this one off. It has to be a guy. You're going for authenticity & high-probability - NOT vengeance or spite.

6. Kathy Ireland's candles do more than add ambiance. Keep this in mind for any romantic moment you might jeopardize. Light as many of those as possible and of course, use matches. Phosphorous works much better than butane.

7. Start developing a taste for durian fruit. Find out if it's available locally.

8. Shop exclusively at WalMart. The body odor and stale cigarette smell of all the sketchy customers will deaden the senses of anyone who might care. Hell, they're probably blasting Dinty Moore fumes that would knock YOUR socks off.

9. Take a melted Snickers bar and Jell-O pudding cup - mix carefully and rub on the bottom of your sneakers. Let one go, then look at the bottom of the aforementioned footwear... puzzled and mutter, "Aw, Mannnnn!"

10. If none of these methods are possible for you, own up to it. Take some pride in your crapsmanship. Try uttering some of these light-hearted ice breakers.
"Phew. I'm on death row."
"King of Beers, my ass."
"I'm sorry guys. My mom made a pot of pasta fagioli."


E Pluribus Plumbeus

Western New York's proximity to Canada causes us to end up with an unusually large amount of Canadian currency in our pockets. We joke about how the Canadian dollar is only worth about 80 cents or so. We cross our fingers, hoping the toll-booth taker is too dizzy on carbon monoxide fumes to notice we slipped him a couple Canadian quarters among our $0.95 toll. Of particular amusement, is the "Looney" and the "Tooney," coins of $1 and $2 denominations respectively. Just saying it evokes patronizing giggles as we leave them as tips for your bartenders, or throw them in a sock drawer for our next trip to the "Canadian Ballet."

I will go on record, though, to say that the Canadian $5 dollar bill is the coolest bank note on the planet. Okay, so the face side has the crusty old diplomat of European descent: Wilfrid Laurier, the first French Canadian Prime Minister. The second side, however, has a portrait entitled "Children at Play," featuring a pond-full of kids playing "shinny," or pick-up hockey.

Our bank notes got a face-lift over the past couple of years. Our European forefathers got bigger, greener portraiture while the artwork remained pretty much the same. I wondered what, if anything, they might have put on the back depicting American "Children at Play." I remember as a kid, I couldn't wait to get to the park after school to play baseball, throw my arms up in the air like Carlton Fisk as I sent the tennis ball sailing over the right field wall. Am I harking back to a by-gone era, or do kids actually do that anymore?

On second thought, keep the Lincoln Memorial.


Karma is a Bitch Barista.

A couple of months ago I went on a tirade about coffeehouse customers, and took a couple of shots at baristas. It was all in good fun, but the gods of caffeine have decided to jam their retributory index finger in a rather uncomfortable locale.

As you northerners might know, winter driving is a hairy endeavor that carries with it an entirely different set of rules. We treat our vehicles as bumper cars, and minor bumps occur frequently. Shitful road conditions and poor visibilty make driving a full contact sport, once Old Man Winter has sown his wild oats all over our community. On occasion, one might dink some unfortunate soul's shitwagon and slink off into the wintry landscape without as much as a leaving a note.

Today, I dropped off the O-Dog at school and stopped for a cuppa at Starbucks. I rushed in and out, trying to make it to work on time. I got in my car, put it in reverse and (*fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck) nailed a parked vehicle that somehow appeared in my rear window amid the surfeit of snowflakes. Now there is a fine line between a dink and a bonk. This one felt closer to the latter, but of course, winter rules were in effect. I peeked out the window and didn't see anything dented, hanging off or ablaze. Off I drove, with a sinking feeling of paranoia.

The paranoia turned out to be warranted.

Tonight, the wife, kids and I returned from the hockey rink to find a message on the answering machine. I heard "Subaru," "Starbucks" and "Hit 'n Run."

"What did you do?" my wife asked, with the tone she reserves for the occasional major fuck up.

I explained to her what happened, and called back the owners of the offended vehicle (it turns out it belonged to a barista). They were rather amicable about it, and accepted my apology (and will in all likelihood accept the substantial cheque I have to fork over for my transgression).

Here then, in order to avoid any other castigation levied by karmic law I'd like to hereby apologize to the following:

Baristas- You rule. You beautiful. You are not gay. Nobody pours the faggety Eurocentric coffee beverages as adeptly as you.

Christians - Your religion is the best one. You are infinitely more pious than the Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. Jeebus? Now that's my nigga.

Cell Phone Users - I do not think you are pathetic, needy creatures. You no longer annoy me more than wedged underwear.

Any Child named Caitlyn, Kali or Madison
- You are all unique princesses. Your parents reek of originality, and your names have a certain 'je ne sais quoi.'

Hillary Clinton & Yoko Ono - I love you both. Yoko, I'm going to buy your entire unlistenable back catalogue. Hillary, I may actually vote for you and the cuckold ticket. Maybe I'll go to Florida and squeeze in an extra one just for you, baby. Neither of you are coattail riding opportunists. You are a credit to humanity.

The rest of you: trailer trash, tattooed sluts, Justin Mraz and Celine Dion, Mrs. Aginoth... my deepest and sincere apologies. On second thought, Mrs. Aginoth, not you.

Oh no! The wrath of England! My skin's getting pasty, my teeth are falling out! My humor is getting drier. Aaaaaaaahkkkk! (thud)

Patchouli or Phlegm?

It's official. I'm old.

Last weekend, my friend Doug and I stepped out on the town. Doug managed to procure a pair of tickets for a stinky hippie show at Shea's Theatre. Phil Lesh & Friends dropped by with Chris Robinson, of Black Crowes fame. Now I've never been a fan of the Grateful Dead, but I attribute that fact to the fans more than the music.

I'm all for nostalgia, but personally I prefer to be nostalgic about an era in which I actually lived. I suppose that's why I hold "dead heads" in such disdain. There's such lack of originality in reminiscing and living out an era that died out twenty or so years before you were born. Granted, the 60's counter-culture is a bit more celebrated in the common consciousness we call Americana, but ultimately, what is it besides a bunch of college kids that became socially aware, did drugs and banged every skank from San Fransisco to New York? You could do that today, and you don't have to wear burlap and a tie-dye to do it.

We made our way through the crowd, past all the mesmerized, stoned dancers in the aisle, and found our seats inhabited by a few kids. Apparently they thought that the numbers on the row and seat were mere suggestions. Glossy-eyed, they were gracious enough to step aside. We managed to stay through two songs (granted, those two songs spanned 38 minutes) before Doug decided he'd had enough.

"Aaaaargh, I got patchouli on me. GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!" Doug cried as we made our way out the door.

When we were leaving, the security guard told us, "Guys, if you leave, you can't get back in."


Before we called it a night, we decided to stop in at the Town Ballroom to visit our friends Donny and Artie who work there.
Artie was in the lobby, so we chatted for a bit and popped our heads in to see the show. It was one of those god-awful new-metal/hardcore bands with one of those cleverly devised sentence fragments for a name. As I Lay Dying.... As you lay dying, WHAT, f*ckhead? Shit. If you even SAW the Grim Reaper coming towards you, I know you'd casually cross the street , pretending you don't see him.

As infinitely stupid as that band's name is, there's MORE. We were handed a flyer for an upcoming Holiday show featuring Every Time I Die, It Dies Today and Dead Hearts. Great timing... just at the height of suicide season.

As for the music, your run of the mill, unintelligible grunting over the dissonant crunch of hessian guitars. Throw in the stereotypical chubby bass player for good measure. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, judging by all the macho posturing in the "pit." Sweaty post-pubescents flailed their arms and pumped their fists wildly in approval. One boy strolled across the chaos and coughed up a visibly large loogie from the back of his throat and propelled it indiscriminately over the crowd. Very classy of you, Phlegmy Kilmister.

'Um, let's get out of here.'

On the way out, we saw one of the denizen of Testosterone Town come out of the bathroom wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a bandana across his face. I peered into his seedy little eyes, wondering if he fancied himself a suburban Zapatista or if he was a bit embarassed by a grill-full of acne.

In any case, I found myself wondering which was the lesser of the two evils: the stinky hippies or the suburban toy soldiers. Personally, I'm thinking the hippies. God. I can't believe I just said that. I think I'm going to ask my wife to grow armpit hairs and stop bathing. Growwwllll.


"Come and dance on our floor..."

The baby boom generation had their Kennedy. My generation had Lennon. I was reading Michele Agnew's site today, and the question was posed:
Do you remember where you were when you heard that he had been shot? Do you consider yourself a John Lennon fan?

I get the feeling I'm the only one that can tell an amusing story to answer this question. I was in seventh grade. I knew about the Beatles, but I didn't know who was who, or anything about them personally, since I grew up in an immigrant household.

When I woke up that morning, my sister had been listening to the radio. "John Ritter died," she announced. "Somebody shot him."

"Man... really?" I replied, wondering why anybody would bust a cap in such a comic genius. I was more bewildered than distraught. 'F*ck. No more Three's Company,' I thought.

We got to school that morning, and my friend Tom Kubiniec had drawn a screw and a baseball on the chalkboard. That's what the media was calling Mark David Chapman. Next to it, he drew a picture of Lennon. Tom explained his drawings to me with the enthusiasm of a 12 year old. The magnitude of the event became increasingly clear as I watched the news later that evening, and I tried to feel the sadness of a true fan, but I just couldn't muster it.

As I grew older, I suppose I felt it more. Enough to pay an annual visit to Strawberry Fields in Central Park every year in my early twenties, and enough to wish I still could.

Ritter, as we know, lived for another twenty-three years.



I'd be the world's biggest hypocrite if I got all "Jesu-fied" this time of year, considering I don't sing his praises January through November. Still, I play the Christmas ball game. As the bible-thumpers like to say, sometimes you've got to break bread.

I've been drawing my own Christmas cards cards for about twelve or so years now. Some have been borderline sacriligious, others just thought provoking. Here's the 2005 version. If you like it, feel free to pull out some card-stock and print it out. Send it to anyone who might appreciate it.

Here's an alternate for the single and childless or for the devout with no sense of humor:

If you'd like a high-resolution copy, I'd be happy to e-mail you one if you request it.
Thanks to Geoff, via Michele's blog for your input.