Sunday, August 15, 2010

How to host a Barbecue

A barbecue a great way to enjoy a thriving colony of ecoli wrapped in a crunchy black shell. It’s also a nice opportunity to spend time with the people you’ve only met once, but you know the intimate details of their children’s potty training status via Facebook updates. This guide will help you to host a successful barbecue.

Chew gently. There's a family inside!

The key to a successful barbecue is get lots of extremely attractive people to attend, so as to make your neighbors as jealous as possible. If you are an extremely attractive person yourself, then you should skip this whole guide and accept an invite to someone else’s barbecue, just go check your Facebook inbox.

A supply trip is in order, because you’re going to need lots of booze and meat. Don’t bother buying pricy meat. Even if you’re a gourmet chef, no one is going to care. There’s an expected quality of food, and you’re just blowing the curve for everyone if you over do it. Saving money on meat ups the budget for booze, and that’s all anyone really cares about. Just swing by the back of your local food bank and collect whatever they tossed out last time they cleaned out the walk-in. This should leave you plenty of cash to stop at the local warehouse store and pick up a few oil drums full of gin and tequila.


When selecting a grill, you have to decide between gas and charcoal. I recommend charcoal, especially if you’ve been meaning to get rid of those pesky eyebrows of yours, but haven’t had the time to wax. The preferred method of lighting your charcoal is to use one of those chimney thingies. If you don’t have one handy, you can make one out of a mailbox with a little solder and a pair of tin-snips. Additionally, the post makes for nice kindling, and the termites inside offer a tasty secondary protein to your meal. You’re best off using someone else’s, or you won’t be getting any mail for a while.

Somewhere, Smoky the Bear is quietly weeping.

If you want people to bring food, make sure you assign dishes, otherwise EVERYONE will bring store brand potato salad. Once all of your attractive guests have arrived, position yourself in front of the grill and make sure it’s angled so the smoke drifts away from them and into your neighbor’s ventilation system. If the social end of your barbecue stagnates, give everyone a bendy straw and point them to the tequila drum. Things will kick right back into action.

When you’re tired of people smelling up your bathroom and feigning lewd acts with your lawn gnomes, set off a bug bomb and the situation will pretty much sort itself out. Cleaning up is a cinch. Just throw away the grill (you’re never gonna get that thing clean), and leave you’re gate open so the neighborhood strays can take care of the leftover food. Then drive straight to the emergency room to deal with the ecoli.

It's shame that closed those eyes.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Laser Guns and Smelly Garbage

I went rooting around in my neighbor’s trash the other day in search of whatever they cooked that had made my apartment smell like a dead rhino’s intestines. I hoped to find the secret ingredient and buy it out from every grocery store in town, so it could never again be transformed into the devil’s goulash. I failed in my endeavor, but did find something interesting. At the bottom of the dumpster was, of all things, a laser gun.

An idealized version of what I look like rooting in a dumpster

You may be thinking, “Huh, a laser gun? Really?” To which I would say, you need to lay off the thinking a bit. It really isn’t doing you any favors. I gave up thinking in the mid 90s, and I can safely say that I don’t miss it a bit. Now I just react emotionally to whatever situation presents itself. This has backfired on occasion, like the time I drank half a bottle of Tobasco Sauce when I was drunk at Denny’s and then threw it up in the bathroom, but forgot I had drunk the Tobasco in the first place and believed I was throwing up blood, but on the whole, poor impulse control has served me well. Give it a shot.

Don't drink while drunk

So back to the laser gun…

Oh Yeahhh!!!!!!

I grabbed it, gleefully looking forward to blasting cars and Snuggies. I knew from watching reruns of Star Trek that your basic laser gun comes with a little switch that goes from stun to vaporize, but this one only one setting, and that was mutate. I looked around for the neighbor, but only found a straggly raccoon in the neighboring dumpster. The raccoon and I sat down for a while and discussed our options. We decided to draw juice box straws to see who would be the mutatee. I drew the short straw, but the raccoon, his name was Steve, thought the winner was the one who got to be mutated. Apparently the life of a dumpster diving raccoon isn’t as thrilling as everyone thinks it is. I happily acquiesced.

Steve walked ten feet away and stood there with his arms outspread, waiting for me to pull the trigger. I admit that I was a little apprehensive, but performed task. A red beam emanated from the gun and enveloped Steve. It quickly disappeared, and Steve vanished. In his place was a small bunny rabbit with a pink bow around its neck. The bunny was Steve, and he was furious. He wanted to be giant and ferocious. Instead he was tiny and cute. He demanded that I shoot him again. I suggested that things might only get worse, but he wouldn’t listen to reason.

The next three hours were not pleasant. Steve went from a rabbit to a weasel, and from a weasel to guinea pig. He told me to keep trying and the results were in sequence: a guppy, a toaster waffle, a meal worm, a fruit bat, a small block Chevy engine, a limp rutabaga, and back to a fruit bat. We stopped at the second fruit bat incarnation, and I recommended it might be the best we were gonna get. The beam from the gun was getting a little more faint with each successive blast, and it might stop working completely before we achieved an acceptable result. Steve just flapped his wings at me angrily, because his vocal chords were too small to talk. I took this to mean that we should carry on.

Seven blasts later, with a pollywog and a piano bench in the middle, Steve turned into a rhesus monkey. I looked at him with a hopeful squint. In response, Steve ran up and gave me a giant smelly monkey hug. I was incredibly relieved, because the laser gun was smoking pretty bad and the beam had become barely visible. I asked him how he possibly intended to get by as a monkey in the city, but he reminded me that as a monkey, he could break into second story houses and eat all their bananas. I was happy for Steve, and made just one request, to which he happily agreed.

A compressed view of Steve's evolution to a rhesus monkey

The next day, I was sitting at home drinking tequila and watching Jersey Shore when I heard the neighbors banging around in the kitchen. The god-awful smell started drifting through my living room, but I waited patiently. A shadow flitted by the window, and I heard a harsh buzzing sound. The putrid smell instantly changed to fresh baked cookies. Now I leave a fresh bunch of bananas on my deck every morning, and my home never smells like rhino intestines.

My buddy Steve

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Modern Fable

Today’s posting is a story about a snail named Sammy:

Once upon a time there was a snail named Sammy. He was the star of a series of children’s picture books with names like Sammy Saves a Sandwich and Sammy Slimes the Soil. The books were very popular and Sammy made good money. But as he became wealthy and famous, Sammy succumbed to the lifestyle. He began snorting Ortho and betting on aphid fights. He dated an exotic murex snail with expensive tastes, and he had a custom salt pillar built just so he could mock death. The money ran like water, but his books kept it coming in. He showed up late to art sessions, but he was so popular the editors let it slide.

Funding Sammy's vices

Then one day it all came crashing down. Book sales had fallen off, and the publisher decided to go with disabled otter to capture a new market base. Sammy was crushed but knew he would bounce back. Unfortunately, no one wanted him. Other publishers knew how difficult he was and, besides that, alliterations were dead. The only animals getting work had multicultural names or clever meaningful names that made children stop and think.

The dark underworld of aphid fighting

Sammy grew depressed and blew through the rest of his money. The murex snail left him, his Ortho dealer stopped coming by, and his slug bookie sent two hornet thugs who threatened to break his shell if he didn’t pay up on his bets. Sammy turned to fermented apples to block out the pain. At his lowest, he tried to end it all by climbing into the bucket of an escargot collector, but he was too slow to get in. He eventually moved to a pick-your-own strawberry field where he spent his days eating the leaves and defecating on the strawberries.

Sammy knew that if he could work his way into a real life narrative that taught him a lesson, but without being heavy-handed and moralistic, he could turn it into a memoir and make a roaring comeback. When a school bus full of kids on a fieldtrip showed up at his strawberry field, he knew it was his big chance. He oozed his way across the field toward the bus, looking for anyway to involve himself. He was pretty slow, as snails tend to be, and barely made it ten feet before the kids had finished up their picking and clambered back onto the bus.

The sad snail turned back to his plant. He had failed, and might as well accept the fact that living in the field and getting his kicks watching people eat the strawberries he had just pooped was how the rest of his life was going to run, when something caught his eyestalk. A little boy was lying in one of the furrows, and he looked like he was knocked out. Sammy saw the bus getting ready to leave and knew he had to do something. He started back towards the bus as quickly as he could, but it was still a pretty pathetic pace.

A lost cause

He knew he had no chance at getting to the bus in time when a deus ex machina appeared in the form of the two thug hornets who were out searching for him. Sammy begged them to help and promised to get them their money plus the vig with the sales from the story. The hornets picked him up and flew him to the school bus just as the driver was closing the door. The sight of two hornets carrying a snail was bizarre enough to capture the attention of everyone onboard. Sammy had learned to read from back in his literary days, and slimed out a message about the injured boy.

The teacher was extremely grateful to Sammy, particularly since she was already on a final warning for negligence after leaving a child in the stingray tank on an aquarium fieldtrip. She agreed to substantiate his story with the publisher as long as he left names out. The book was a huge hit and Sammy was back on top. His success even brought alliterations back in the picture book market. Now that Sammy was flush, his Ortho dealer showed up at his doorstep, but Sammy pushed him into the street which was freshly coated with salt and oozed back inside to his new wife, a simple apple snail.

The End

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Guide to Dating

Dating is a terrible idea. It’s the quickest way to show a complete stranger what a creep you are. It would be just swell if every first date ended in doe-eyed infatuation and pinkie swears of eternal love, but usually they’re just awkward and painful. It takes a lot of first dates to find someone willing to wash your dirty socks and listen to your idiot plan to get rich stuffing envelopes. You’re best off trying to get your parents to set up an arranged marriage, preferably to a professional cheerleader.

This happy couple's marriage was arranged by their zoo keeper

If you are gonna date, you need to make yourself presentable. Neck beards and Linux t-shirts will severely limit your pool of prospective ladies. It’s best to stick with timeless fashion and wear a polyester leisure suit. Not only will it help you attract women in gaggles, but wearing it to work is sure to get you that big promotion to head fry cook. Be sure to open those shirt buttons and show off your luxurious chest hair. If it’s a little patchy, you can apply some of your neck hair clippings with paste. A healthy sized astrological medallion will round out your look nicely.

Now that you’re all gussied up, you’re gonna need to find a girl to appreciate your sexiness. Finding dates on the internet has become increasingly popular, so try giving that a shot. You want to avoid the big flashy sites, because they already have thousands of members that are more attractive and interesting than you. Instead, find a niche site that caters to your particular interests. I recommend, a site dedicated to “Connecting Admirers of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.”  If you’re a big Ayn Rand fan, this is the place to get your objectivism on. They boast over eleven thousand dating profiles.

Controversial philosopher and successful internet matchmaker  

If the internet isn’t your speed, you can always track down girls the old fashioned way. Sitting at a construction site and whistling at them as they walk by is always an effective method, as is breathing heavily over the telephone to attractive receptionists. Failing that, you can go to the beach. Girls love running their fingers through a healthy carpet of back hair, so be sure to accidentally brush yours against their cheek. Before long you’ll have to push them away with a stick.

Once you do find that lucky lady, you need to plan your date. It’s very important to set realistic expectations early. If you take her to a fancy restaurant, you’ll set the bar too high and it will be impossible to impress her down the line. Take her to 7-11 for hotdogs, though, and you can impress her later with just a trip to Arbie’s.  Avoid all conversation, talking can only hurt you. Whenever your date asks you a question, pretend your mouth is full and take such a long time trying to chew it that she forgets she ever asked you a question in the first place. If you can keep this up for several months, you’re in. This is a good time to offer her a pile of your dirty socks.

The perfect first date

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Lifecycle of a Bobcat

There are dozens of fascinating stories in the news today, which is why I’ve opted to write about crayfish. Crayfish resemble lobsters with dwarfism, and many people believe them to be from the same family, that being “Large insect shaped monsters with pinchy hands that you would be terrified to see crawling out from behind your toilet, but taste mighty good when dipped in butter”. Other members of this family include crab, scorpions, and genetically mutated head lice. Crayfish, or “mudbugs” to you hipsters out there, are not a member of this family, however. They are actually the aquatic juvenile form of bobcats.

Future Bobcat

Now I’m sure plenty of you are waving your University of Phoenix diplomas and Wyotech certificates of completion and screaming, “I am a pseudo college graduate, and this is just plain false.” I’m sure you were top of class in sparkplug gapping, but, with all due respect, I don’t think classes in arc-welding or fetching coffee for the middle manager really qualifies you to weigh in on this. I, however, have spent literally dozens of minutes studying the life cycle of bobcats, and that clearly makes me the expert.

Bobcats only mate under a waxing gibbous moon occurring in spring, or when the female bobcat doesn’t have a headache, the latter being far less common. The female gives live birth to hundreds of little crayfish, but recoils in horror at the idea of nursing them, thereby becoming the only animal to avoid classification as a mammal by willfully opting out. After seeing her hideous offspring, the mother bounds off into the woods, furiously working on a good excuse for the next gibbous moon. This is the reason bobcats are afraid of water.

Lifecycle of a bobcat

The first minutes of a crayfish’s life are the most vulnerable. They have only minutes to crawl into the water to avoid being grabbed in handfuls by the incomprehensible residents of Louisiana hell bent on turning them into jambalaya to serve in Disneyland at the restaurant in The Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Once they make it to the water, however, theirs is an idyllic life spent pinching the toes of wading toddlers and acting as a delicacy for steelhead trout. Frequently they congregate around a hunk of old meat in a lobster trap and discuss politics. This typically ends in a trip to Disneyland.

Lifecycle of a Bobcat Interrupted

A crayfish has no idea it’s a baby bobcat until one day it wakes up and discovers that its claws have turned into furry arms with claws. The other crawfish usually look at him askance, but scuttle away when he bursts from his shell into a fully formed feline. Ideally this transformation takes place in shallow water. From that day forward, the bobcat keeps to land and looks forward to or dreads the coming of a spring gibbous moon, depending on their gender.

Disaster in the Making

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to Knit a Sweater

Knitting a sweater is an incredibly simple and rewarding activity enjoyed by far too few people. The best way to go about it is to visit your local Walmart and buy a sweater from the shelf, cut off the tags, and write “I MADE THIS” in puff paint across the chest. People will marvel at your creativity and craft skills. For a more personalized approach, you can buy several sweaters in different colors, cut the arms off, and reattach them to the other sweaters. Be careful not to attach any of the sleeves to the neck hole, or you’ll end up with a turtleneck and people will just think you’re a creep.

             Smarmy Creep        Euro Creep            Emo Creep             Potential Sex
                                                                                                  Offender Creep 


If you really want to go all out, you can also make a sweater from scratch. For starters, you’re going to need a bunch of yarn. You can purchase yarn made from all sorts of materials. If the sweater’s for you, get something soft and comfortable like cotton. If the sweater is for your ex-girlfriend or mother-in-law, then go for yarn made from cat hair, or cactus, or both. Yarn comes in god-awful tangles known as skeins, so your first job is to wrangle it into a ball. Mostly you just wad it up and hope it eventually becomes spherical. If it doesn’t, bribe an elderly lady to do it for you by offering to put fresh tennis balls on her walker. Once you have your yarn in a ball, it’s always a good idea to soak it in kerosene overnight. This will make your sweater waterproof and lend it a pleasing odor.

You’re also going to need some knitting needles. It’s been rumored that you can buy ready-made knitting needles, but if you were that kind of half-assed sweater maker, you would have followed my original advice and taken the Walmart approach. Instead, go to the grocery store and buy a couple toothbrushes. This is also a good time to pick up tequila, which just as important to sweater making as anything else. Once you get home, fill a medium sized coffee mug with tequila and drink it. Refill the mug, but set it aside for later. Take your toothbrushes and rip out all the bristles. File down the heads of your toothbrushes using a concrete floor or the edge of your steel bed frame. It may seem simpler just to sharpen the handle, but the rubbery grip makes it pretty worthless as a knitting needle.

You now have everything you need to knit a sweater. Some people will tell you that you also need a sweater pattern. Those people are idiots and you should promptly un-friend them on FaceBook and sign them up for dozens of “bill me later” magazine subscriptions. Now drink the mug of tequila, and possibly another, because knitting a sweater is really really boring.

You need to use your toothbrush needles to manipulate your yarn into a fetching sweater like shape. This is accomplished by using running stitches, casting off, and clicking your toothbrushes against each other furiously. You also have to do a lot of purling, which is much like curling, but without the hot womens team from Russia. You should now have a beautiful homemade sweater. If you made any mistakes and left gaps in the armpit or nipple areas, you can easily patch them up with duct tape. If there’s any tequila left in the bottle, you also have a reward.

Enjoy your sweater!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Deer Pee and Owl Barf

My “action-pose” clam failed to sell, or even generate a single bid, at auction. I did get a helpful message from porcelainsquirrelfan232, who informed me that if she wanted a clam shell, she would just order a bowl of cioppino. She bookended that with several misspelled obscenities. I politely responded to let her know that my clam was quite the looker and had probably been in pretty high demand down around the clam beds. I mentioned that her cioppino clam was likely to be homely with a pock-marked shell. She responded with a fresh batch of obscenities. I offered to add the googly eyes. She hasn’t responded.

I’m surprised there wasn’t a market for my unique treasure, since a quick perusal of Ebay turns up current auctions for elk urine, owl pellets, and used womens underpants, all of which have bids in. The description for the underpants leads me to believe they’re not being marketed as a value driven alternative to Walmart.

Elk urine is wildly popular with people that like to shoot at deer, but usually repel them on account of smelling like Aqua Velva and salisbury steak. They slather deer pee all over their fluorescent orange jumpsuits to transform into invisible clouds of urine soaked elk death. The most desirable urine comes from female deer in heat (and, before you ask, yes it does have a pink label). Wearing this, hunters can pick off the unsuspecting elk bounding towards them with amorous intent. I like to think they apply this kind of urine by spritzing their wrists and gently rubbing it behind their ears.

At first glance, you might think owl pellets are actually owl poop, but then you would be wrong. It only takes a cursory examination of an owl’s aft end to realize passing one of those things rectally would be like an average person trying to crap out a tuba. If this were the case, owls would have disappeared from constipation weeks ago.

Owl Pellet
Constipated Owl Contemplating Extinction
Owl pellets are really owl barf, consisting of all the hair, bones, and flashy gold jewelry that an owl can’t digest after swallowing a mouse. People pay good money for these things so they can wack it like a piƱata and find the goodies inside. Finding the parts to a complete mouse skeleton means you are A-1 top owl barf guy. A bag of owl pellets will set you back about $15.00. Slingshots on Ebay go for $5.