It’s that time of the week again, article time. Time for an article. Yup, time to write an article. Okay, here we go. Right now, let’s get the ball rolling. Ehh, you know what, I probably have time to masturbate first.

Okay. You ever get that feeling when there’s something you have to do that you have, like, a million other things you need to do, too? Like all of the stuff you’ve got to do suddenly has to be done at once and you don’t really get anything done? I guess that’s what they call procrastination. I don’t know if that’s, like, actually the definition of procrastination, but that’s pretty much what it is, I think. I wonder what the actual definition is. I’m going to look that up.

Merriam-Webster defines procrastination as “transitive verb: to put off intentionally and habitually” and “intransitive verb: to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.” Yeah, that’s pretty much what I thought it would say. No real surprises there. But, hey, what’s the difference between a transitive verb and an intransitive verb? I’d better look that up, too.

Oh, that’ll have to wait, though, my stomach’s rumbling. You know what, I had so much to do today, I completely forgot to eat. I’d better order some food. But what kind? I’ve got all these menus. Not pizza, I had that yesterday. And not this Greek place, they take too long to deliver. Maybe Chinese tonight. Wow, look at this menu. This is a lot of dishes. It’s going to take me a while to go through all this. What the hell is Moo Shi? Or Ho Fun? Man, I better Google this stuff. And check Twitter.

Okay, Chinese is ordered, Twitter is all caught up, and I masturbated once more. It’s time to get going on this article. Alright, here we go. Oh, wait. Oh, I think I might have to go to the bathroom. Well, it’s not pressing, but I feel like it might be coming soon. I’d better go sit on the toilet and play a few rounds of Solitaire on my phone until this works itself out. Can’t be too careful.

False alarm. I did win one of my eight games of Solitaire, though, so there’s that. And I played a bit of Candy Crush for good measure. But now it’s time to really get down to it and write th– oh! Chinese food is here!

Right. Now I’ve eaten, I’ve shut off my phone, I’ve closed Facebook and Twitter, and I’ve masturbated one last time. Though really, I did eat a lot of Chinese food. I should probably go for a walk or something to burn some of these calories off. I mean, those sweet and sour chicken balls are full of sugar. And nothing’s really as important as my health, right? And once I get a bit of exercise, the ideas will really start flowing. Okay.

Home from the walk, and I didn’t notice while I was in here before, but this apartment is filthy. I should give it a quick clean. At least give the floor a sweep and do the dishes. And I’m kind of sweaty from the walk, I should take a quick shower, too. Might as well cut these fingernails while I’m at it, they’re getting a little long. Oh, and that copy of The Dark Knight Rises finished downloading. All of my friends can’t believe I still haven’t seen it, I told them I’d watch it this weekend, so I’d better do that.

Also, it’s been a while since I’ve visited my parents, maybe I should take a trip out to see them first. And I still haven’t really responded to that weird guy with the top hat who challenged me to a balloon race around the world. I’ve always wanted to visit Spain, I bet I could squeeze in a quick trip there before I need to do this article. But my bank account is pretty dry right now, so I’d better get a good, high paying job to fund that, although I think I’ll probably have to do a few years of university first, so I’d better get on that.

And I don’t want to be too old to see my children graduate, so maybe I’d better work on having some kids. First, though, I have to find a wife. I guess I could set up an online dating profile, maybe do some speed dating? I’ve always imagined I’d fall in love with a beautiful woman who loves classic literature, so I’ll start reading some of that, too. Probably start with Don Quixote, then maybe The Brothers Karamazov and move on from there. Wait, first I’ll have to learn how to read.

Alright, this is getting to be completely overwhelming. If I’m ever going to write this article, I have to just calm down and tackle each of these things at a time, one by one. No more excuses. Just get on it. Now, where is a good place to start? Maybe masturbate? Yeah, I can handle that.


Photo by ginnerobot via Flick

Alcohol is a weird thing. We like it because it loosens us up, tempers our inhibitions and makes it easier for us to deal with social situations that might be a little too overwhelming otherwise. We like that it makes us more fun. Or, at least, makes us think we’re more fun.

Alcohol affects people wildly differently. It makes some people want to fight. It makes some people want to fuck. It makes some people want to joust each other with lawn care equipment in shopping carts. No matter how it affects you, better or worse, there is one thing that anyone and everyone who has ever gotten intoxicated has experienced at least once: Regret.

Maybe it was something little, like telling an off colour joke at the office Christmas party that didn’t go over well, or getting unreasonably mad and yelling at someone for saying they don’t like Calvin & Hobbes. Maybe it was something big, like having sex with your sister’s husband, or driving your dad’s car off a pier. Maybe it was something really big, like taking over the music selection at a party and making everyone listen to a bunch of Doors songs.

Whatever it was, the awfulness of the next-morning hangover is compounded exponentially when you start to piece together what happened the night before and realize what you did. And that you’d better swallow your pride, like the eight shots of Jack you swallowed to get into this predicament, and apologize for it.

Apologizing for something you did when you were drunk can be an especially awkward apology, because in addition to the shame you feel about what you did, there’s already the built in shame that comes with just being that drunk to begin with, and the fact that your memory of it, if you indeed have any memory of it, is hazy at best, and you’re not really sure how bad it got.

So, with all of that in mind, I’d like to take the opportunity I have right now to apologize to some people for some of the stuff I’ve done while drunk in the last few years. I won’t mention any names, but you’ll know who you are.

Here it goes:

I am deeply regretful for my behaviour last night. I am sorry for arriving so late and for leaving so early without telling anyone. I’m sorry I disappeared for 45 minutes. Then came back soaking wet and got dirty water all over your carpet and couch. I’m sorry for urinating on the side of your house and off your balcony and in your potted plant and in the urn containing the ashes of whichever relative it contained. I’m sorry for forgetting which relative you said is contained in the urn on your mantel.

I’m sorry for forgetting your birthday. I’m sorry for passing out on your lawn. And your kitchen table. And the hood of your car. And in your dryer. I’m sorry for hitting on you shamelessly. In front of your boyfriend. That wasn’t cool. I’m sorry for hitting on your boyfriend shamelessly. And your sister. And your girlfriend. And all your girlfriend’s friends.

I’m sorry for accidentally urinating on your shoes. I’m sorry for accidentally stealing your shoes. I’m sorry for intentionally urinating into your shoes. For breaking that beer bottle on your kitchen floor, and that other one on your living room coffee table. I’m sorry for getting belligerent with your landlord when there was a noise complaint. I’m sorry for trying to hit your landlord. I’m sorry for hitting on your landlord.

I’m sorry for making you cry at your own party. And for getting the police called. And for daring your little brother to jump off the roof onto that trampoline. And for the hospitalization of your little brother. I’m sorry for hitting on your little brother.

I’m sorry I told you I’m in love with you. I am in love with you, but this isn’t the way I wanted you to find out. I’m sorry I lingered in that hug a lot longer than I should have. And for how much butt touching was involved in it. I’m sorry I ate more than my share of the pizza. I’m sorry I didn’t pay for my share of the pizza. I’m sorry I threw the pizza into the pool because it didn’t have the toppings on it that I’d wanted.

I’m sorry I flipped over the Scrabble board because you played a good word. I’m sorry I did that with the Monopoly board, too. And the Risk board. And the Sorry board. I’m not sorry I did it with the Settlers of Catan board. Though, seriously? You should be sorry for making me play that shit.

I’m sorry for defecating in your garage. That’s not acceptable, no matter how long the line-up for the bathroom. I’m sorry for those inappropriate phone calls. And text messages. And emails, Facebook messages, DMs, postcards, and the mural of us interlocked in the tender act of passionate love that I painted on the side of your parents‘ house. Marv and Judy were really cool about it, though. Tell them I say hi.

I think that covers everything. For now, anyway. I’m sure I’ll have to do another one of these before too long. I hope you understand and can accept my apologies and we can continue to be friends. Oh, and if you’re looking for an apology for something I drunkenly did during sex, that one’s coming privately in a binder in the mail. It’s a little too personal for this forum, and, frankly, the number of apologies I have to make for that couldn’t fit in an article of this length.


Photo by Johnny Scott

Hey, buddy. How you doing? Look, I think we need to have a little talk. I know you’ve been feeling pretty down the last few days, and that’s perfectly understandable. You lost someone really close to you, and grieving is very natural. But it’s not all bad. I want to tell you about a special place. It’s a place called Pet Heaven, and it’s where dogs and cats and all the other pets go when they die. Well, except that hamster you had a few years back. That hamster was into some messed up shit.

Anyway, champ, Pet Heaven is a wonderful, marvelous place, where all the animals frolic and play together. They all get along together, and there are always Frisbees flying and there are balls of yarn as far as the eye can see.

In Pet Heaven, the dogs have all the cats they can chase up all the trees they can pee on. And the trees are filled with as many birds as all the cats can eat. And for the pet birds, there are more bugs than they could ever dream of feasting on. There’s no pet bugs, though. Having a bug as a pet is just weird, and pet bugs go to straight to Pet Hell. Much like their weirdo owners go straight to People Hell.

So dry those tears, sport. In Pet Heaven, cans of tuna open just by looking at them with a smug sense of detachment. And of all the many things there are to lick peanut butter off of, none of them come with a troubling moral quandary. There is plenty of shit to roll around in, and you only get groomed if you want to. Also, the pet spas don’t have aggressively awful puns for names.

See, things don’t seem so dire now, do they, tiger? In Pet Heaven, the vacuum cleaner was never invented. Thunder sounds like someone telling you that you’re good and it rains Friskies and warm milk. You can hump anything you want without getting sprayed by water and when you give birth to a litter no one judges you, no matter how many of your babies you eat.

There’s nothing so pretentious and presumptuous as vegan pet food in Pet Heaven. In fact, it’s the personal, ironic Hell of the inventor of vegan pet food and every day his body parts are ground up to make extra meaty selections chow.

All the fish and turtles that have ever been flushed flow right on over to Pet Heaven. The fish swim free and boundlessly in sparkling, clear water without ever again having to breathe their own poop. The turtles bask in the sun-drenched rocks, drinking in the warmth and fresh air. Happily they nod to each other, fish and turtle, content because here there is no memory of being abandoned for a real pet.

It doesn’t matter if you were squished by a car, shot by mistake on a hunting trip, or starved because the neighbour forgot to feed you while your owners were vacationing in Spain, all pets are healthy and able bodied in Pet Heaven. There are no vaccination shots, no fleas and no big dumb cones to wear around your head. And your balls? Yep, right back where they’re supposed to be.

So you see, old chap, there’s no reason to be sad. As happy as all these pets were in life, they’re even happier now and we should be happy for them. Because there’s no happier place in the world than Pet Heaven. Do you feel a bit better now? From now on, whenever it starts to get you down, just think of all I’ve told you about Pet Heaven and that’s sure to cheer you up. Think of all the animals running and playing and being joyful. I’m glad I got to talk to you about this wonderful place, and that now you know where your grandpa went.

Photo by bunchofpants via Flickr

So, you don’t have central air to pump through your home or a pool to jump into, but you want to stay cool this summer. When it gets hot, it gets too hot to think and you’ll need to do a lot of thinking. About things like how you screwed your life up so bad that you can’t even afford an air conditioner. Seriously, they’re like a hundred and fifty bucks.

But we’re not here to debate your terrible life choices, I’ll leave those to internally torment you in oppressive solitude, as mine do me. What I can do for you, however, is give you a few tips to help you beat the heat. Because you need them, but mostly because writing them down will give me a few precious moments of reprieve from the nagging self-doubts and painful memories haunting me, which I made mention of earlier in the paragraph.

1. Turn on your oven. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but it really works, and it’s really simple. It won’t reduce the heat drastically, but it will lower it by a few degrees. I don’t fully know how it works, I’m not a sciencetist, but if you turn it on to bake and crank it up as high as it will go, it creates a sort of “heat vacuum” that sucks in heat molecules from the air around it.

Your kitchen will be pretty hot, but other rooms around your home will be marginally more tolerable because of the heat migration. I’m not sure if turning on all the stove elements increases the effect, but you might as well, it can’t hurt. If you don’t have an oven in addition to not having an air conditioner, then you need to stop reading this right now and seriously look at your life.

2. Drugs. Just do lots of drugs. Like, all summer long. Just keep doing them. It won’t actually do anything about the temperature, but you won’t really care about it anymore, or anything else for that matter. Though these crippling issues you seem so obsessed with might overwhelm you if amplified with mind-altering substances.

3. Owls. Owls are creatures of the night, and they bring the night’s chill with them wherever they go. In addition to the potent magic they possess, they are also cold-blooded, and the constant flapping of their wings in an enclosed area creates a cooling breeze.

This requires a little bit more effort than other tips on this list, because of the owls’ befouling of your home with their excrement and pellets, and you have to feed them. Though, if you already have a mouse problem this has the added bonus of solving that as well.

In any given summer I usually have five or six owls in my apartment at all times. Though not usually the same ones the whole time, when you account for all the deaths when they repeatedly try to fly out the closed windows and they tend to kill each other often. And, making a good thing even better, their loud screeching makes for a great distraction from inner turmoil.

4. Get rid of some of your blood! We humans, unlike owls, are warm-blooded animals. So what the heck do you think the effect is when you’ve got all that hot blood rushing around inside you? It makes you warmer!

So get a bit of it out of there. Don’t go nuts, obviously you need blood inside you to live, but you don’t really need all of it.

Be warned, though, that blood letting can be especially dangerous when you are wrestling with intense personal demons. Drain about enough to fill a pint glass and you’ll feel noticeably cooler almost immediately. About two pint glasses full will really take the edge off when you’re going to something like a wedding or a wine mixer where you have to be out in the sun and dress up. Don’t exceed that, though, and don’t drain yourself more than once a week, or you run the risk of passing out and maybe even dying, which would be really embarrassing at a wedding, and, come on, it’s the bride’s day, don’t steal focus.

I hope these tips will bring you some much needed cooling down this summer and for summers to come. And I’ll leave you with one last piece of advice, on the subject of appearing cool, which is perhaps the most important of all. Nothing projects that overall look of cool quite like smoking cigarettes. A lot of cigarettes.


Photo by davedehetre via Flickr

It’s summertime and summertime means a lot of things. Patios, splash pads, breaking into the zoo while high on mushrooms, watermelon. And one of my favourite activities of all: camping.

Camping is the quintessential summer endeavour. Being outdoors, connecting with nature. Basking in whatever climate Mother Gaia decides to bend the environment into to suit her fickle whim. Gazing with wonder at the Aurora Borealis emblazoned across the galaxy-strewn Heavens while pooping into a hole in the ground as mosquitoes cling greedily to every available inch of your exposed flesh.

Camping is recreational soul-cleanse that strengthens our tenuous bond with the almighty, fertile planet which has blessed us with the treasure of life. Also, one time I saw two eagles fuckin’.

The typical camping trip begins with my friends and I forcing as much beer into the back of a van as physics will allow, leaving just enough room up front for us to squeeze our persons into and, if we’re lucky, maybe some tents and, like, some hot dogs and relish or something.

The ride out to the lake is filled with much jollity, smoking and fond reminiscence of camping trips past, which makes the drive seem like a quick jaunt. Then, as we slowly crest a rising slope, the full majesty of the wilderness is spread out before our overwhelmed eyes. The piercing blue water of a massive lake, bordered by lush groves, sparkling beaches and the glittering sunlight reflected from the white shells of hundreds of enormous RVs.

We traverse the winding gravel road in search of a suitable spot to set up camp, ideally one as far into the wild as possible, as secluded as we can get for the optimal relaxation factor. And we’re all pretty misanthropic. If there’s a backwards cap in sight or a hint of an iPod speaker dock pumping out Sublime songs on the breeze, we haven’t gone far enough.

After a satisfactory campsite has been acquired and set up, the camping proper can begin. We cook our food over the gentle licks of our dancing fire, enjoying the warmness of each others’ company and drinking in through our ears the richly woven tapestry of sounds that the landscape has to offer us. The muted rustle of wind through the leaves. The perimetric symphony of chirping frogs. The achingly lonesome cry of the loon. Something squawking really loud in a tree real close.

What is that? It won’t stop. I try throwing some empty beer bottles toward the source of it to scare it off, but it’s no use, so I just try to get used to it and swear at it a lot.

We overdo it the first night, and the only memory I have of it when I wake up the following afternoon is a clouded recollection of two glowing blue eyes in the darkness when I had gotten up from my tent to pee. Probably just an owl.

The next day we spend swimming and fishing and hiking. I wander off and find a cool patch of velvety moss to roll around on and have a nap. But I’m jolted awake when I hear the sound of something moving through the trees. Fast. It sounds huge. I lie flat in the moss for what feels like hours, motionless, not daring to move until well after the sound of its growled breathing has disappeared.

When I return to camp I find out from the others that Roger has disappeared. No one remembers him leaving, he just disappeared. We find some of his tattered clothing hanging from a spruce branch not far from camp, but he doesn’t return by nightfall. That’s not like him at all. The rest of us share a tent that night.

I’m awakened into pitch darkness by a terrible clamour. A flashlight is flicked on, and for a moment I’m relieved to see that Beth is still near. But the moment is fleeting. She shouts suddenly and is gone in an instant. There is an inhuman screech, too horrific to describe, that seems to scrape at my brain. The last I see of Trevor is as he runs past me, wild-eyed and gibbering, as if driven to madness.

It’s morning now, and I write this on a strip of birch bark, with a sharpened piece of charred wood from our fire, not knowing what has happened to my dear friends, nor what will become of me. I will roll up this account of events and attach it to the leg of a crow I have snared, and hope that the crow finds its way to other people, so that they may know the horrors that lie in wait out here.

If this message reaches anyone, I will surely be dead by then.

So I will use my last bit of time in this life to say this: Stay inside this summer. And every summer. Don’t make the same mistake as me. Turn your air conditioners up to the highest setting and watch your plasma screen televisions. Don’t be lured toward the false beauty of nature, which dangles like the luminescent bulb of a lurking, deep-sea angler fish, waiting for its dull prey to become hypnotized enough to strike at it with razor teeth. Something is out here. Something terrible.

I will lie here and wait for my inevitable fate, huddled amongst these ancient, strangely painted stones that seem to mark the oddly human looking bones that I dug up to make my poop hole the first day we got here.

Photo by The Forest History Society via Flickr

Yeah, maybe I’ll DJ your event. What does it pay? What’s the bar tab like? How about the MDMA tab?

Where is it, a club? I usually only do unannounced warehouse gigs. That’ll be an extra seven hundred. You have to take care of decorating, too. I don’t do “decorations.” Where is this club? It better not be somewhere big and central, with a big neon sign that just anyone can find. I don’t spin for just anyone. Just to get directions to this place people are going to have to complete an elaborate scavenger hunt that includes, but isn’t limited to, the deed to a squash court, a jar of giraffe’s breath and a pack of cigarettes they stole from their mom. I can tell if it’s a mom’s cigarette or not.

And there better be severed fingers involved to get in and get a stamp. I want every person who pays to get in here to know that the show they’re seeing is worth more than one of their fingers, and they’re lucky to be here. Actually, make people cut off the fingers of the people they arrive with. I want best friends to be looking into each others’ eyes and crying as they chop off the other’s pinky, so they never forget the magnitude of one of my shows. Oh, but I also need a 200 person guest list for my friends. My friends are too cool to show up to stuff that I don‘t get them into for free.

Now, what I do on stage is an art, so I need to be left uninterrupted for the whole two hours I play. Except when I’m being brought my free drinks and free MDMA, which I expect every five minutes and every half hour respectively. I expect there to be a row of security armed with tasers in front of the stage at all times to stop anyone who tries to request a “song”. I don’t play “songs”. I play mind-altering electro soundscapes that will challenge, like, the perception you have of what music, like, is. Except I do play some Kanye songs, too. It’s all part of my art. You wouldn’t get it even if I tried to explain it.

But for the sake of what’s written on the posters, which of course you’ll be designing, printing, and putting up — at a height of no less than nine and a half feet — yourself, I play Miami Shuck Jive, but not Miami Shuck Juke. What do you think this is, 2012? Ha! Also, I do underground dub-dick jungle mixes, not underground dub-dick jungle remixes. I’m not a fucking hack. Other styles I’ve been known to dabble in are Chicago hitchhike, Elektra dadfuck, chillwave noisechunk, and Salt Lake City bassdrone polyfunk.

There better be a whole lot more chicks at this party than dudes, because I plan on getting mad laid. Put out some big troughs full of water for them to drink from, because they’re going to be pretty dehydrated from all the drugs they’re doing. Fill the water with drugs, though, too, because they’re probably not going to be doing enough for my liking. I don’t have a real job or dress well, so I need a chance with some ladies who are halfway to the moon and back on ketamine and see me standing behind a laptop on a stage, otherwise this carefully constructed illusion of cool that I’ve constructed just crumbles.

So, yes, if these basic conditions can be met, I will hold up my end of the bargain. My end of the bargain, which may seem on the surface like simply showing up and turning on a computer, but which is really so much more. Because you need me. You need me there to not simply play music that people want to hear, like a band or satellite radio would do, but to play the music that I know people should be listening to, whether they like it or not. Right?

Well, you need me there to bring in crowds of entitled suburban white nineteen-year-olds who have spent all the money daddy gave them for the weekend on their American Apparel outfit for the night and won’t buy more than one drink because they split a 26 of vodka in the parking lot and can’t handle their alcohol even at the best of times. No?

Okay, well, my car seats four and I can give some people a ride there.


Photo by Sicran via Flickr

Breakups are tough. Whether you’re the breaker or the breakee, each comes with its own different set of hurdles to jump, and none of them are easy. But often they are necessary. To quote the glimmering Nordic poet-goddesses of ABBA, “Breaking up is never easy, I know, but I have to go.” The Swedes have always been years ahead of us on the subject of love.

Even the most powerful and all-conquering love eventually meets its Waterloo, and it’s the tact or crassness of this parting of ways that can set us apart from the animals. Except the North African Divorcing Bird, which has evolved the process of separation into its natural behaviour so seamlessly, the male and females of the species have totally disparate migratory patterns and alternate caring for their young.

Our conduct during these emotionally charged times, when we are essentially at our worst, defines who we are and can bring out the true character in someone we thought we knew everything about. Civility is what’s called for, but acrimony is the name of the game.

Processes which should be practical and simple, such as the division of shared possessions, become minefields of repressed feelings. Questions about who gets to keep the computer and who the sex hammock, which should be easily answered with a blacklight and a quick appraisal of whose fluids cover more surface area, become protracted arguments about entitlement and guilt, and end up having little or nothing to do with bodily fluids at all.

It’s not impossible to remain classy in the face of this devastation, though. In fact, it can be fairly easy to come out of the whole experience looking diplomatic and sympathetic just by handling a few key issues with aplomb.

The actual moment of breakup, for example. It can be messy and explosive, so it’s ideal to have it take place in a public setting. This may temper the reaction of your partner. But, more importantly, relationships are a constant struggle for superiority, a winner takes it all campaign, and this is the end game. A public meltdown from your partner could be just what you need to seal the coup. A scalding cup of coffee to the face or a fork to your neck can turn you into a relationship martyr, allowing you to rise up again more powerful than ever before, like Gandalf did in the Bible.

Late night, drunken texts and Facebook messages must be operatic, both in tone and breadth. Create a sense of dramatic urgency by quickly and without consistency alternating between anguish, haughtiness, anger, and pleas for forgiveness. You’re only going to get one or two chances before accounts get blocked and numbers get changed, so make this your Carmen. Remember, though, it’s the words on the screen that count, not the context in which they were written, so no one needs to know that you composed them while prostrate in the empty bathtub sobbing into a pot of cold Hamburger Helper.

When you inevitably run into your ex here and there after the split, there is no need to puff yourself up and brag about how much better your life is without them and how many times you’ve banged the manager at your new job at Burger King. Your contentedness will project outward and there will be no mistaking it. Then quickly run outside the supermarket before they hit the checkout and take a dump on the hood of their car.

The most important thing of all is that you truly move on. That you realize this is the natural course of things, and there is nothing to be gained from fighting it. A relationship is a lot like one of those South American caterpillars: it’s fuzzy and adorable in the beginning, then morphs into a beautiful and majestic butterfly that’s dazzling to behold, and then burrows into someone’s brain through their ear while they sleep and causes massive, fatal hemorrhaging. You will never be happy again if you dwell on it. You will only be able to love again when you can finally let go.

Oh, and fuck you, Shelly, that cat is as much mine as yours. I saw through Terry’s Facebook those pictures you posted with him and some dude?? I’m getting him back if I have to break into your apartment and take him. I know where you moved to.


Photo by bored-now via Flickr

Do you want to know which three letters of the alphabet are the most dangerous? I’ll tell you; VLT.

Hi, my name is Johnny and I’m addicted to gambling.

My story starts out like most others. I lived a fairly clean life for most of my days. Sure, I liked a glass of red wine with dinner, was into some very specific and troubling pornography and enjoyed the films of Mark Wahlberg, but all in all I was living a pretty calm and untroubled life.

I never bet on anything or partook in games of chance. Frankly I found it absurd when I’d see a row of people in a bar sitting silently for hours, pumping bill after bill into those greedy machines. I’d wonder how someone could throw away their money so readily to something that didn’t even give them a thrill anymore and was clearly more detrimental than anything, as I flung back Crown Royal and ginger ales until I couldn’t remember what country I lived in.

Then came the day that sent my life spiralling out of control like a football thrown by a football team man who has some sort of hand injury that prevents him from throwing a football properly (I’m bad with sports and analogies).

I was waiting for my hired companion to return from the ladies’ cocaine room at an upscale nightclub, when the flashing lights and sensual purr of a nearby video lottery terminal caught my attention. It promised me riches by the hundreds, it distracted my judgement with bright colours and catchy music. And how could a game in which lining up pictures of cats was the goal be a bad thing?

I inserted five dollars. That wouldn’t be a big deal, I reasoned. That’s less than the price of one of the cans of sangria I’d been buying for my lady friend all night. I hit the max bet button. My five dollars became $7.50. I don’t know if it was the cheery fanfare meowed by the electronic cats or the amphetamines coursing through my blood, but something changed in me at that moment.

I played the cats until the bar closed. My date got bored and left or OD’d and got taken away in an ambulance or something, I don’t know. What I do know is that at the end of the night I was up nearly two hundred dollars.

I began playing video gambling machines of all kinds. I hardly paid attention to how much money I was losing, but fooled myself into believing that each big win was covering any losses and I was coming out ahead. I didn’t want to see the truth. That these machines were evil. That each time I lined up three sevens it might as well have said 666. 666 was the street address of a sushi place that gave me food poisoning once, so the number had bad connotations for me.

The VLTs were just the start, though. I quickly began craving the excitement of more high-risk wager games. Poker tables, roulette and blackjack all lost their thrill quickly, too. I started betting on horse races and dog races, then later dog fights, then horse fights. Once I lost $1500 to some German businessmen on an octopus fight.

Before long I was in debt to some rather undesirable individuals and I ended up resorting to more extreme measures. I narrowly escaped a game of Russian roulette with some Romanian immigrants in Chinatown. At least I was broadening my cultural horizons. I lost three fingers playing Clue in an underground fight club that had a pretty bad flu going around it at the time.

I lost an eye in a black market bet on who would see the first robin of spring. Then I lost my glass eye in a game of marbles and had to replace it with one of those big marbles, which I then lost betting on the Oscars. Though, with Jennifer Lawrence taking home the Best Actress award, we really all won that one.

And now look at me. When will it end? Will it ever end? I don’t feel like I know who I am any more.

I’m sitting at a desk I don’t recognize in an office that feels foreign to me. I look at the framed photo sitting here; a wife and three beautiful children, and they’re strangers to me. Who is this man? I don’t even know. He is scared and crying.

But I better not over think this, the mafia capo said if I don’t kill him by midnight tonight it’ll be me at the bottom of that river. Those were the conditions of the bet I lost to him on who could dance the Charleston for the longest.


Photo by Roadsidepictures via Flickr

When I was about 12 years old I was climbing a particularly tall tree in my neighbourhood and, after reaching a never before achieved height and looking down proudly at all which lay below me, a branch buckled and I fell from the tree. As my panicked brain tried to process what had happened, branches assailed me from all sides, and the ground rushed up at me, my life flashed before my eyes. At that point my life consisted mainly of pooping and trying to see ladies’ boobs, but it was all there. With a lot less boobs than I’d have liked.

I was snatched from the waiting maw of death, though, by an especially sturdy branch about six feet from the ground, which the hood of my jacket happened to snag on, and I hung there for a few minutes letting the entirety of the situation sink in. I realized even then that this was something I’d never forget.

So it frustrates me to see so many parents today coddling and over-sheltering their kids. How are children supposed to learn valuable life lessons and grow to have a knowledge of actions and their consequences? If you don’t let a child run around and play outside because you’re afraid they’ll scrape their knee, how are they supposed to ever really learn about safety? About pain and how to cope with it? If you don’t let a kid jump off a tire swing into a lake, how will they ever learn about the exhilaration of taking bold risks? And the rewards that can come from taking them, like landing on a fat, juicy trout? If you never let a child choke themself until they pass out, how will they learn the delicacy required to do it later in life when they’re also in the throes of orgasm?

The tree incident could have ended very badly for me, but it was that very danger of harm that helped shape me into the man I am today. A man with an intense hatred for trees, and habitual and criminal attempts to burn down national parks.

Entire generations of kids are being raised to be weak-willed, meek, scared, politically correct adults who will never know the simple joys of eating an entire tray of cheese cubes on a whim, boxing a kangaroo, or having sudden, unprotected sex with someone you just met, who just 45 seconds before you had been physically struggling with over a cracked onyx panther statue you had both climbed into the same dumpster to retrieve.

When I was falling from the top of that tree, I wasn’t thinking, “What have I done? Why didn’t I just stay inside with my Pokemans, or whatever kids are playing with these days?” I was thinking “I did it. I may fall to my untimely death without seeing a whole lot of boobs, but I set out to climb to the top of that tree, and, by gol, I did it. I climbed as high as my soul could carry me, and slapped the face of God Himself with my little, embarrassing child-dick.” (I was a precocious lad)

So, parents, let your children run free. Let them play and have fun and discover all that life has to offer; the good and the bad. Let them get lumps on their heads and dislocate their shoulders and pop an eye out of its socket and lose a few fingers. They may be in pain for a while now, but you’re doing them far more harm in the long run keeping them cooped up and coddled.

I wonder sometimes what kind of man I would have ended up being if I hadn’t had the freedom to fall out of that tree. Likely not the adventurous, risk-taking, barrier-busting dynamo I did turn out to be. Possibly still emotionally crippled and afraid of intimacy, though. And the whole waking up every night screaming thing is kind of a toss up. Maybe wouldn’t have punched that street performer yesterday.

But one thing is for certain; the next time an opportunity to do something awesome comes along, I won’t balk at it just because I could potentially get hurt. Life is meant to be lived, and when I finally do die as a result of some harebrained caper, I don’t want there to be any regret in the scenes of the movie of my life flashing before my eyes. Although at this point it’s still mostly just pooping and trying to see ladies’ boobs. And I really haven’t seen as many boobs as I’d like.


Photo by Sean Perkins

Dear Goofy,

I’ve been dating this guy for about a month now and things are going really well. He’s sweet, we get along great, we have similar interests and values. The only problem is, we haven’t slept together yet and I know he wants to move our relationship to the next level. The thing is, I’m not really all that turned on by him. I mean, I’ve been with other guys who I could barely keep my hands off of, but they usually turned out to be jerks. This guys is so great in every other way that I’m hoping the sexual attraction will develop. What do you think? Should I go for it and see if my attraction to him grows, or walk away from it now?

Sincerely, Unsure


Dear Unsure,

The way you describe it, your boyfriend seems to be the perfect gentlemen because he is unactractive and therefore has no other choice since he can’t rely on his looks, like us ”hot” people. When somebody unactractive  is attracted to me I try not to panic and especially  I try not to sleep with that person, unless i’m drunk and they’re wearing high heels. You don’t have to have bad sex with a dude that doesn’t turn you on just because he’s a sweatheart, c’mon’ girl!  The physical connection is the most important part of the relationship. If you ‘re not attracted to the guy, don’t force yourself to have sex with him. You’ll regret it later. Unless he’s rich.

Seriously though. As I see it, you have a choice to make:  either continue to entertain a relationship based on a lie with your butterface boyfriend  or stay friends with him and become his bro that he will always want to have sex with no mather what. I think I speak  for all my average looking friends when I say good guys never win, take one for the team! Just go for his junk and don’t look back, then walk away.

A lot of guys have a problem with menstruation. Which is silly, because it’s a naturally occurring function of the female body. Besides, it’s just a little bit of blood. And they’re not scared of a little bit of blood when they’re practically slitting each others’ throats the other twenty-six days of the month to get a digit or two in there.

But what makes a man suddenly lose his appetite when the soup du jour changes from clam chowder to tomato bisque? Well, what it can all be whittled down to is that most men are scared of periods.

And they’re scared of them because they don’t understand them. If the less discharge-inclined sex were to simply gain a little bit of knowledge on the subject of their girlfriends’ monthlies, maybe they wouldn’t be so grossed out by them.

The female period has been around for hundreds of years. No one really knows exactly when ladies started doing it, or who was the first to do it, but, once word started flowing, it caught on like a bushfire and before long just about every woman in the world was dancing to ragtime.

This era in history, known as the Red Scare, was originally dismissed by many men as a fleeting trend, a flash in the pad which they did not understand. And this lack of understanding was the first trickle of what would soon become a heavy flow of unease.

But what exactly is menstruation? Well, essentially it’s the means with which a woman dispels the clutch of eggs deep within her that is growing into a pod of tiny humans.

Without menstruation, litters of babies would be born by the thousands and the earth would have been overrun by them many years ago. Think of it as nature’s way of keeping the human species’ population in check. Like plastic six-pack holders for fish and shorebirds. Or like a self cleaning oven.

Girls generally begin to menstruate around age thirteen, give or take a couple years, when their first period ushers them into Womanhood while at a slumber party or camping. It is a rite of passage marked by a tremendous amount of celebratory shame and paper towel, the magnitude of which can hardly be fathomed by a common male.

The closest parallel in a boy’s development is the first erection he experiences upon accidentally walking in on his cousin changing. The erection being the physiological twin to the period, as it signifies the gathering of millions of tiny sperms to form a baby.

After a girl first hoists the Japanese flag, she must take the necessary steps to deal with its outpouring of consequences every month. The most common methods of menstrual mantling include the spruce sluice, knicker troughs, the thong sarong and the cordial cork. Most of these products are designed to stop the flow, or divert it into special “reservoir boots” which hold it in their soles to make walking more comfortable, and are easily emptied into ladies’ room receptacles or released onto the ground behind to hinder the progress of unwanted pursuers.

The physical, emotional, and cultural significance of forging the Rio el Vermelho cannot be underestimated and it’s important for men to realize that if they want to keep being invited back to the playground, they have to be okay with the slide getting painted on a regular basis.

So it’s up to us men to ask ourselves what we’re really so afraid of. If we make the effort to reflect upon and absorb this pool of knowledge, we might find that we’re not only okay with our ladies’ monthly subscription to Redbook, but that we embrace it and even want to leaf through it sometimes when we’re looking for something a little more interesting to read than the old, worn Choose Your Own Adventure next to the toilet.

Periods are an important part of the life of our girlfriends, wives and other special ladies. In fact, as I write this I just received a text from a lady friend of mine on the subject of how much she’s missed hers for five days in a row now.

Photo by Johnny Scott

I’m going to Hell. At this point there’s no two ways about it, no changing my blasphemous ways, no making up for past transgressions, no last minute deathbed recantations. I’m a sinner, and that’s that. I’ve done some pretty heinous and sacrilegious things in my life, and I’ll be punished for them in the afterlife.

But, you may ask, how can I truly believe in something so unabashedly superstitious and fanciful as Hell in this age of learnedness and scientific enlightenment? I’m a pretty smart guy, you might say. What makes me so convinced that Hell is real and that I’m destined for it? The answer to that is because I’ve visited it.

It happened to me unexpectedly, as we quickly approach Good Friday in this inauspiciously marked year of 2013. I had just stolen an armful of day-old loaves of bread from a corner bakery and was slinking my escape through a nearby alley, when I was suddenly confronted by two stray, feral cats and a mangy, rabid bitch. As I fled my loping four-legged pursuers, slices of bread littering my panicked trail, I began to wildly evaluate the questionable choices that had led me to this climactic moment in my life and, should I be unable to evade these vicious beasts, what these choices I had sown would mean when it came time to reap.

Seeking cover in a damp hedge, I appeared to have lost the hairy harriers, but I had nary a moment to recall my wits before exhaustion overtook my frenzied mind and I swooned. When I came back to myself I was no longer within the muddy confines of the bushes, but standing at the foot of a twisted, towering gate. I became acutely aware of the lingering smell of patchouli, and the faint sound of a Barenaked Ladies song being piped in from somewhere. A man in a patchwork cloak, worn corduroy trousers, and a tattered top hat who introduced himself to me as Verge explained to me that these were the gates of Hell, and he was here to take me on a tour of what was in store for me.

The lobby of Hell was huge and had no seating. My guide explained to me that it was from this first room that the temperature in all of the other rooms in the entirety of Hell was regulated. The walls were lined with hundreds of thousands of thermostats, each one of them being squabbled over loudly by a bitter middle-aged couple for all eternity. I shuddered and begged to be taken away from this horror.

That was the first level of Hell, it was explained to me as we boarded an elevator full of stone-faced men and women in business suits forever unwilling to claim responsibility for the unwavering stench of coffee farts that hung heavy in the air. The Barnaked Ladies song was louder now. There were nine levels in all, I was told, and I was to visit them all as a grim prelude to what I would suffer through for all of my mortal wrongdoings.

Taco Hell

What followed is almost too horrific to recount. An inescapable labyrinth with the constant smell and sound of frying bacon but all that can be found is raw cauliflower. A room black as pitch where all those that you so longed to see unclothed in the world of the living taunt you mercilessly with their nakedness. A vast pet store filled with puppies even more adorable than those of the surface of the earth, but all you can afford are bagged fish. A ghoulish multiplex theatre that only shows Nicolas Cage movies, but never The Rock or Con Air. A waiting room with only golf and bridal magazines from 2004 where the sending text meter on your iPhone constantly gets stuck just before completion. A never ending dinner table full of distant relatives asking what’s going on in your life. One level was just a Taco Bell.

Then, the deepest and most terrible level of all, where a demonic PA system pumps out the bilious strains of ‘American Pie’ on a continuous loop, the cancerous chamber of Satan himself. The Prince of Darkness is half encased in ice, his hideous visage a melding of three ugly, hate-marked faces, each spewing vile, guttural syllables that I only half understood and which made me weep and retch. One face discussed the results of last night’s hockey game, a second the results of last night’s football game, a third the results of last night’s baseball game.

I awoke, screaming, back in the hedge. I ran home. Had that all been real? Just a dream? I scrolled through the flood of meme pictures in my Facebook feed. I turned on my television and began flipping through the various reality show recaps and news blitzes. It was then that I truly realized there was no doubt that Hell existed.


Photo by Gregory Jordan via Flickr

Who’s bright idea was this Daylight Savings Time thing anyway? What, we just lose a whole hour? It just disappears? Who has the authority, and the gall, to make this happen? The government? Dark wizards? Monsanto? So many unanswerable questions. Well, anyway, you’re no doubt, like me, reeling from the sudden vanishing of this sixty minutes from your life. I mean, I’ll probably lose at least another hour just trying to comprehend this theft and get my life back on the rails. An hour may not seem like much when you’re just whiling it away with an episode of Intervention and a bag of margarita, but when you have one stolen from you, you begin to realize what you could have accomplished in it, had you not been callously denied the opportunity. It looks like I’ll be spending the rest of my truncated day thinking of what might have been.

In an hour I could have finally wrote the first chapter of that novel I’ve been meaning to get around to starting. Who knows when I’ll get another opportunity to sit down and really work out the themes and lay down the foundations for what will undoubtedly turn out to be my most sterling opus. Now it may never get started. I mean, that hour would have been perfect for it. I can’t do it any other hour today because I’ve got stuff I’ve got to do. So, essentially, Daylight Savings Time may very well have robbed us of not only an hour of our lives, but also one of the greatest works of erotic fiction this decade. Think about that next time you can’t find anything good to read, or the book your reading isn’t full of really rad descriptions of boobs.

I could have done something noble like some charity work or something. Like gone down to a mission to give out soup, or distribute clothing and shoes, or cleanse lepers, or whatever they do at missions. I would be doing a great service to my community and my fellow man. I could have taught some disadvantaged inner city youths how to play basketball, and in the process taught them some valuable life lessons that helped to make them believe in themselves. I don’t really know how to play basketball, but I’m pretty sure I could swing this. As long as I was just a little bit better at it than the kids, no one would be the wiser. And it would be easy to come off as knowing what I’m doing, because I’d be bigger than them and could just push them around a bit if they started getting too good at it. But no. Because someone Houdini-ed this hour out from under me those kid will never benefit from the unparalleled streetwise advice I could have dished out and will now most likely end up in gangs and people will die. So next time you get stabbed to death by some twelve-year-old street-tough maybe it’ll make you think a little bit about how much difference an hour can make.

With an hour I could have effectively and efficiently sexed a woman. Yeah, you heard me ladies, an hour.

The possibilities that have been quashed are virtually endless, really. I could have done my taxes finally, but I guess now they’ll have to wait yet another year. I could have cleaned up my apartment, but it looks like I’ll be continuing to weave my way through the towering, labyrinthine stacks of pizza boxes and cases of empty beer bottles. I could have taken my cat to get that operation that’s been so desperately needed these many months now, but nope, little Sneezy is going to have to keep taking one for the team. I could have went to my mother’s birthday party and given her the gift of having the family all together for once, but thanks again to Daylight Savings Time I’ll just remain estranged from her indefinitely. Heck, I could even have finished writing this article, but


Photo by Dave Stokes via Flickr

It’s a big night for the movies tonight. Oscar night. Hollywood’s glitziest night of schadenfreude back-pats and hollow masturbatory gestures. There were some great films released in the last year. After being pitted against each other in the trenches of the Dolby Theater to fight it out over naked, golden statuettes that can mean the difference between living forever in the pantheon of masterful cinematic art, or languishing in heroin-soaked obscurity in the trashcans of Hollywood’s seediest motor hotels, many of them will receive the accolades they deserve.

Film, like any art form, is a subjective beast to behold, and everyone watching the ceremony tonight will have their own opinions on who should take home the most sought after little bald guy in Tinseltown (well, second most sought after, of course, after Danny DeVito). I’m not going to weigh-in with my picks for which nominees should win, but rather take this opportunity to bring some attention to a few movies that were unjustly unappreciated by the Academy this year. Films that, since they slipped under the radar of the heavyweights in Hollywood, may just have slipped under yours as well.

for Best Animated Feature

It’s criminal that this beautiful, hand-drawn, animated masterpiece was totally overlooked. It tells the heart-rending tale of a contemporary Spanish bullfighter dealing with both the increasing pressure from animal rights groups to destroy the barbaric sport that he has become famous for, and his shambolic marriage to the pill-addicted coloratura soprano of the Madrid Opera Company. Until one day, when he rescues a pelican that has been tangled in a discarded plastic six-pack holder. A pelican who turns out to be the reincarnated spirit of his grandfather, the most famous bullfighter of his day, and who then gives him the power to travel back in time where his skills are celebrated rather than reviled. It’s a spellbinding tale to watch unfold, as the bullfighter must decide between living in the present where he belongs but is unhappy, or staying in the past where he has found the life he’s always desired, and a new love — his grandmother. The Spain that the filmmakers have created is warm and richly detailed, and the rather graphic sex scenes are animated surprisingly tastefully. It’s the rare kind of film that comes along every once in a while that captures the wistfully beautiful side of animal cruelty.


for Best Documentary Feature

An amazing film for animal lovers and fans of eccentric characters alike. 78-year-old Rumbi Rumbasa has lived in the same grass hut in the African savanna since he was a child. Though he never felt at home among other humans, he quickly found a spiritual connection to the giraffes around him. This heartwarming documentary gives us a small glimpse into the life of a man who has spent his years raising and caring for these remarkable creatures, living as one of them, and slaughtering them to make trinkets from their neck bones to sell to tourists passing through the nearby train station. The footage of him playing the marimba he constructed out of ribs and vertebrae while wailing a dirge to a recently bludgeoned giraffe is worth the price alone. The extensive footage of mating giraffes is cut in such a way that it never becomes too overwhelming. You’ll walk away from this one with a renewed appreciation for how much heart one person can have. Especially after seeing how many giraffe hearts one man can eat.

for Best Picture

I know that the Academy isn’t known for showing a great amount of consideration for science fiction movies, but not only is this the best film I’ve seen all year, it is perhaps the best film I’ve seen in a decade. It’s a dark, dystopian story that takes place on a distant, unnamed planet at an unknown date. An elite ruling class living in the gargantuan Blue Orb Palace atop the planet’s highest peak terrorize the  large underclass population with constant raids and abductions, after which they auction them off, mutilate and dismember them, and plant their severed arms in the magical Azure Garden, where they grow into mindless slave-drones to do the bidding of the nobility. A young hero known only as Spaceboy steps into this scene, and brings hope for change to a people who have been suppressed for millennia. Everything about this picture is magnificent, from the elaborate costume design and majestic sets, to the gritty yet poetic dialogue, to the cats and horses genetically engineered virtually beyond recognition to give life to the grotesque creatures that populate this imaginative world. Most productions would rely on CGI effects to bring to life such fantastical beings, but it’s exactly this kind of attention to detail that make this film so utterly captivating. The love story between Spaceboy and Princess Fa’ruul is exhilarating, and the unsimulated sex scenes are done with a grace rarely seen. A surprisingly good date movie for those who aren’t squeamish about dismemberment and severed limb fetishism.

These are just the humble opinions of one man. What I’m really trying to get at here is that you should form your own opinions, don’t just blindly trust the Hollywood establishment. Get out there and see different and interesting movies, wherever you can find them. Go to small independent theaters, film festivals, scour the depths of Netflix. Or, as in my case with these three, hallucinate them when you fall asleep on the couch after eating an entire wheel of aged Roquefort.


Photo: Getty Images

When I look at at my vices, of which there are many, and consider trying to conquer some of them, it’s daunting, to say the least. Many of them would be difficult to quit. Coffee, smoking, drinking, betting on horses, betting on dogs, betting on finches, prank phone calls, or emailing anonymous threats to the cast of How I Met Your Mother, for example. Others would be downright impossible to curtail. Opium, daily Greek pizzas, auto-erotic asphyxiation, peeping tommery, sleight of hand or whaling. But there are a few, were I to put my oxygen-deprived mind to it, that I think I might be able to get under control. After some careful scrutiny, I decided that one foible I might be able to correct with relative ease would be swearing.

Now, I swear a lot. The way I’ve always seen it, anything worth being said is worth being said with a splash of profanity. In fact, I really don’t take a person seriously if their speech isn’t riddled with expletives. Whether casual conversation or business power-speak, pickup line or post-coital cooing, wedding toast or eulogy, there’s always a place for the curse. Sadly, it seems that times are changing. After a string of unsuccessful dates, awkward business meetings, and some intense introspection, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to change my ways on this one. (The constant spray paint huffing during the dates may have been a contributing factor as well, but one step at a time, right?)

So I decided to see if I could go one day without swearing. I figured if I could do that, I could beat swearing once and for all.

fuck you alarmI started my day as I start most days: screaming at my alarm clock. Normally, I’d be screaming obscenities, today I managed to just hurl some unintelligible nonsense at the darned thing, and swung around until I connected with the snooze button. After some more grappling with the alarm clock, I managed to drag my sorry rear out of bed, but by this point I was running half an hour late for work. Fudge. I had a quick shower that was cold as all get out, and had to force down some burnt toast with nothing on it, because I was all out of crunchy gol durned peanut butter.

Then, wouldn’t you know it, I missed the monstertrucking bus by, like, ten seconds. That hooplehead bus driver totally saw me running, and didn’t stop, just to be a jerk, I just know it. He’s had a real problem with me ever since I called him a Grade A sphincter sucker that time when he splashed me with a puddle. (I didn’t actually call him that exactly, but I’m not swearing today, remember? Keep up.) Anyway, I caught the next bus and made it to work, even later than I already was, thanks to that verkakte bus driver. The boss didn’t quite see it my way, though. He didn’t really care to hear about the ongoing feud between us. He said he didn’t give two shiksas why I was late, but if it happened again I’d be out on my buttocks. That lousy flim-flammer.

Sweet Hannah in a handbasket, that piece of toast sans crunchy peanut butter didn’t do much to tide me over until lunch. By 11 o’clock my stomach was rumbling like a shrimp boat. It felt like noon would never come. If only I’d had some shrimp. As soon as that Rickenbackin’ clock hit 12, I made a mad dash for the McDonalds down the block to buy a shipload of McDoubles. I felt like I could eat a dozen. I settled for four, in the end.

As luck would have it, those hot gosh McDoubles didn’t sit well. The last hour of my workday was spent mostly in the toilet, with a debilitating case of the shoots. That didn’t sit very pretty with my boss, who was already pretty miffed about me being late. At the end of the day, he called me into his office and told me he had to let me go permanently, the mook. It wasn’t just my being late that day and the hour in the john, he said, but an ongoing problem with attitude and language. That rotten cur didn’t even notice that I hadn’t swore at him once the whole day.

Sweet city woman, what a crummy day!  To top everything off, I stubbed my toe, got a paper cut, and spilled grape juice all over my new shirt. Plus, when I was taking out the garbage, this group of kids challenged me to a swearing contest– whoever could say the most swears in thirty seconds wins –and when I politely declined they called me names and started throwing rocks at me. One of them hit me in the back of the knee with a whole brick. Whatever though, I made it all the way through. I can be proud of this accomplishment, maybe even see it as a glimmer of hope. I may soon be able to triumph over other vices! Perhaps one day I’ll be vice free, and live like a fucking superman. Whoops, shit! Ah, cunt!

I’ve done many things in my rich and storied life, and had many different jobs and many different hats. I’ve hung out with Buck 65. I’ve carried condemned medical equipment out of an abandoned pathology laboratory. I’ve pulled the poop-tubes out of giant prawns. I’ve seen a grown woman release a torrent of urine with wild abandon in a mighty stream onto a dance floor. I’ve enjoyed the simple pleasure of throwing computer monitors at other computer monitors, and smashed many things with axe and sledgehammer. I’ve ridden hospital gurneys down ramps in a spooky hospital basement.

All of these things I’ve experienced because of the various jobs I’ve had throughout my short time on this earth—and more adventures are to come. But, through it all, there is one thing that I’ve never experienced. One thing that, when I tell you, will sound so ridiculous that you’ll probably say “You’re a filthy liar” out loud, to your computer screen or phone or crystal ball or whatever you’re reading this on. I have never worked in an office. Like, in a cubicle with a desk, where you sit there and do things on a computer and staple papers together and talk about last night’s Seinfeld while you drink water.

Because of my total lack of experience in that arena, and my only knowledge of it being gleaned from the stories of others and movies and television, because it’s something I’ve only gazed at from outside in the rain, my idea of what working in an office must be like is terribly, unabashedly, and completely romantic.

Oh, how it must feel to stride confidently into that office every morning, greeted, perhaps, by a cheerful and beautiful receptionist, and stand tall with the knowledge that I have made ingress to my domain. My desk and cubicle splashed with decorations that reflect my interests and set me apart from my peers. A calendar that has a picture of a different cat every day.

Perhaps a torrid love affair would erupt between me and the lovely, yet bookish head of the HR department. She would tell her husband she had to stay late because she’s swamped at work, and we would make unfathomably deviant love on her desk, on top of a pile of sexual harassment claim forms, and we would laugh into each other at the irony of it.

I imagine grand meetings held in an impressive board room around a giant, polished oak table. Where heated, Council of Elrond-style debates would rage, and we’d all smoke menthol cigarettes and drink glasses of brown liquor. A lot of shouting would occur and there would be glass vases all over the table for us to smash against the wall when one of us reached the crescendo of our argument, to really drive home the point. And speaking of driving, do office jobs come with a cool, sexy company car? They do, right? I hope I’d get to pick mine out. I’d take whatever they gave me, of course, but if I could, I’d take the 1928 Stutz Blackhawk over the Benz.

I can only guess and hope that this is what it is like to work in an office. Though, I imagine it’s probably actually much, much more magical and pulse-racingly exciting. Perhaps I will get an office job soon, and live that fervent dream. But am I up to the task? Do I have the mettle required to jump into that searing frying pan? I guess it’s a test that only the bravest among us can conquer. Probably I will be chewed up and shat out, a cracked shell of a man with nothing to cling to in the world. But maybe I will pull myself, naked and bloody, to the top of the heaping pile of rank corpses, a crimson sword clutched in one hand, a tattered copy of “How To Win Friends and Influence People” in the other, and scream to the firmament that I saw the golden idol of office work, and, like a cosmic warrior, snatched it from the very jaws of peril.

Or, maybe I’ll work in the mail room.

* Photo by mediageek via Flickr