*Greatest Hits*

To The Person Who Found My Camera

Dear Sir/Madam:
First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on the acquisition of a Casio Exilim S20 compact digital camera. No doubt it was an exciting find after your fine meal at Houston’s on Park, where delicious spinach dip is the signature item.
As you may have noticed, the Casio Exilim is a 2.0 Megapixel beauty with a 4X digital zoom. At under a half-inch thick, it’s the perfect camera to put in your pocket and lose while dining out.
No doubt, you’re wondering why the memory card contains 17 close-ups of a cat’s ass.

Continue reading…

Field Guide To Online Dating Profile Photography

Mark Harris, comedian and AirTran baggage handler, is a self-described Japabilly – the end result of sexual congress between a tiny Okinawan lady and an Ozark Mountain ex-Marine Corps hillbilly. Here, Mark offers photographic representation of the various photos one will find on online dating services.

THE FAUX-CANDID (FC) has a profile that contains phrases like “first time for me” and “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” They would like you to believe that they were unaware that their profile photo was being taken, and that this is how they look when not really posing. They are in denial and consider themselves “above” the online scene, while at the same time logging in every twelve minutes to see if someone likes them. Faux-Candids are tiresome braggarts, and if they’ve ever been to Bobby DeNiro’s annual pig roast the entire room is sure to hear about it.

THE PRIZE likes to employ a photograph that contains someone else of the opposite sex. This is done to provide visual proof that they are neither sad nor lonely since at least once in their lives they had someone willing to stand in close proximity to them. A man will always use the picture of the hottest woman he has ever stood next to; the less attractive that person was, the more their photo will have been cut or modified.

THE FRIENDSTER exhibits similar qualities as THE PRIZE, as he wants you to know that he has been in the company of others and they did not run away. The Friendster wants you to know that there’s a party, and you’re invited to come join it. The Friendster has a familiarity with the whorehouses of Costa Rica.

THE MUGSHOT, not ironically, indicates unimaginative, brain-dead potential criminals. Mugshotters have defecated in public and killed squirrels. The Mugshotter thinks Kafka is what you do if you have a chest cold. A date with a mugshotter involves coupons, and the evening often ends with a request for a blowjob no matter how the date went.

THE LONG-DISTANCE LOVER (LDL) is painfully insecure about his or her looks and generally avoids a photograph that would reveal body flaws, be they perceived or real. This is a good indication that the person in the photograph is tremendously weak and will exhibit qualities that will scare you away after the first or second date. These annoyances include calling several times but not leaving a message (despite Caller ID) and sulking if you look at someone else during dinner.

THE SELF-SHOOTER is one of the sadder profile photos, as it means the person has no decent existing pictures, or any friends to take a new one. The Self-Shooter is bi-curious, only because it increases the odds of someone touching him.

THE WEBCAMMER is frightening, because his technology is dated, which suggests he is backwards intellectually, financially or both. The Webcammer just recently heard that Barracuda jackets were in. If anyone you meet online is going to be the type to masturbate in a public library, it’s the Webcammer.

THE EXTREME CLOSE-UP (XCU) is employed generally to disguise morbid obesity, called “voluptuous” in today’s internet dating-speak. They would like you to love them for who they are on the inside, rather than their inability to mount a doorstep without breaking into a sweat on the outside. Most folks see through the XCU, and those who employ it in their profile photo traditionally die alone. Two other approaches yield much better results: honesty and smaller portions.

eBay: Appalling Flatware For Sale

There are many reasons you might wish to purchase the 75-piece set of amazingly heinous gold-plated Versace flatware I’ve recently come to possess through no fault of my own.
Perhaps you are an angry gay attorney with a lot of disposable income, desperately searching for a collection of cutlery to complement the glossy black dining table, blue sofa and neon waterfall in your tastelessly decorated domain.
The gold-plated Versace demitasse spoon suits any espresso, and would undoubtedly add a sophisticated accent to your endless bitching about the building staff and delivery menus left at your door. And, there are eight of them. With great spoons come great friends, goes the saying. Your acquisition of gold-plated Versace flatware could be the first step in acquiring a posse of mean-spirited dandies to love you for who you really are.
Please purchase my recently acquired gold-plated Versace flatware set.
Perhaps you are a made member of a crime syndicate. You know quite well that your Cadillac Escalade assault SUV announces your class and stature to the general public on the roadways and sidewalks; but, did you know what announces that same je ne sais quoi to your dinner guests?
That’s right. Just like a giant, inflatable rat alerts folks to a content non-union construction site, a gold-plated Versace sauce ladle tells folks you’re the boss. Absolutely nothing adds more class to the timeless act of sauce relocation. Your friends and enemies alike will give you the respect you crave. And your family will know they made the right decision not having you “dealt with” last Easter when you were acting all sassy to a Capo.
Please consider purchasing my recently acquired gold-plated Versace flatware set.
Overnight Hip-Hop success? Firstly, let me congratulate you on parlaying a fascination with vice, three gunshot wounds, and a history of felonies into a career. You know as I do that one must not only represent, but one must represent with style. Style is not just gold teeth, gold chains, gold rims and gold car antennas, my friend. Style is also gold-plated Versace flatware.
The late-night recording sessions are draining, G. To keep pace and deliver more phat raps about whores and liquor, you’re going to need sustenance. That sustenance is cake. And cake, my G, is best served with a gold-plated Versace cake server. What your entourage does with the remaining 74 cutlery pieces is unimportant. What matters is getting your cake on with class.
Please, someone, purchase my recently acquired gold-plated Versace flatware set.
By no means am I limiting purchase to angry gay lawyers, hoods or guys from ‘hoods. Perhaps you’re a self-made, middle-aged businessman suffering a mid-life crisis. You may have terminated your 32-year marriage, purchased a Ferrari, and spent three weeks in Costa Rica because of their laid back attitude about prostitution – but, at some point you’re going to want to settle down again. When that time comes, you’ll need to woo a trophy wife. Nothing woos a twenty-something opportunist quite like miso-glazed sea bass, Chalk Hill Chardonnay and two gold-plated Versace fish knives. She’ll be hanging on your arm before you can say “How much?”
Please, I’m serious, purchase my recently acquired 75-piece gold-plated Versace flatware set.
Finally, perhaps you are Donald Trump. Please, The Donald, take advantage of my not inexpensive, recently acquired, 75-piece gold-plated Versace flatware set. I watched almost a half-hour of The Apprentice, and think you’ll find the gold-plated dessert forks great for picking up nougat.
Will anyone purchase my recently acquired 75-piece gold-plated Versace flatware set?
This flatware monstrosity once set someone back nearly ten grand. If you think that’s pretty amazing, you’re not the only one. Although I encourage you to purchase it at a high price, it does not mean I will respect you for it.
All pieces feature the same gaudy Medusa logo that Versace uses to justify $900 cufflinks.
Set includes:
8 demitasse spoons
8 teaspoons
8 tablespoons
8 bread knives
9 knives
8 salad forks
8 dessert forks
9 regular forks
1 cake server
1 sauce ladle
2 fish knives
2 fish forks
2 serving spoons
1 large serving spoon
1 large spork-like spoon
Large box to hide all 75 godforsaken pieces
As I’ve mentioned, I hope someone will purchase my recently acquired 75-piece gold-plated Versace flatware set.
Perhaps that someone is you.

Saddam’s Interrogation Logs

Interrogation commenced: 0735 hours
Colonel Beckwith and I decided to play Good Cop/Bad Cop again. I came into the room as Bad Cop and yelled at SH. He immediately laughed at me because last week when I came in I was Good Cop and had given him a sandwich. I tried to play it off that I had some heartburn and was still Good Cop but “just a little cranky.” Colonel Beckwith tried to cover for me by entering the room as Bad Cop and yelling, but that didn’t seem to work either. SH muttered something but wouldn’t say what.
Interrogation terminated: 0749 hours

Interrogation commenced: 1430 hours
I tried to break the will of SH by showing him an Iraqi newspaper editorial calling for his trial and punishment. SH told me that our Psychological Ops folks obviously printed a fake newspaper. I told him I swore that I bought the paper at an off-base coffee house. He insisted it was a fake. I told him I crossed my heart. He said he did not believe me. I asked him what I needed to do to prove to him that it was a real newspaper and he suggested taking him to the off-base coffee house to see it first-hand. I asked, but Gen. Farley said absolutely no way. SH didn’t say anything else aside from asking how much my PsyOps newspaper subscription cost and if there were any PsyOps coupons in it. I asked where the WMD were and he suggested I look in my copy of “PsyOps Weekly.”
Interrogation terminated: 1540 hours

Interrogation commenced: 0330 hours
Woke SH quite early to catch him off-guard and groggy. I asked “What’s your first name?” and he said “Saddam.” Again I asked, “What’s your first name?” and he said “Saddam.” I kept asking “What’s your first name?” and he kept saying “Saddam.” Once I had a rhythm going, I quickly asked “Where are the WMD?” and he said “Saddam.”
Interrogation terminated: 0338 hours

Interrogation commenced: 2210 hours
I played chess with SH, who is not too bad a chess player. At one point, my Bishop took his Rook. I told him that in the U.S. when you lose your Rook to a Bishop it is customary to divulge a little personal secret, like maybe where the WMD are. He said we weren’t in the U.S., then he took my pawn with the horse piece.
Interrogation terminated: 0122 hours

Interrogation commenced: 2000 hours
I told SH that we would be paid a visit by Baghdad’s longest-running improvisational comedy troupe, and that they often ask for audience suggestions. I had one of the “players” ask SH for the name of something you’d return to a department store. He said “pliers.” They did a quick scene about returning pliers, and then another “player” asked for a geographic location where one might hide WMDs. SH was quiet for a long time, and so I suggested Wal-Mart.
Interrogation terminated: 0122 hours

Interrogation commenced: 1241 hours
After lunch, SH informed us he was willing to talk. Colonel Beckwith and I sat down with him. He spoke for quite some time and answered every question fully. We believe we have made great progress and we are researching the data.
Interrogation terminated: 1551 hours

Interrogation commenced: 0940 hours
Colonel Beckwith and I told SH that we didn’t think it was particularly funny that he had us looking for “Monkey Valley” and the “Camel Ass Testing Facility” when it turned out there were no such locations. Also, we told him we were unable to verify the existence of Mohammad Mohahaha and we do not believe his claims of having built an “Indfidel Ray.” We told him as a result of our disappointment, we would be denying his TV access. He said TV sucks anyway because they don’t sing about him anymore.
Interrogation terminated: 1100 hours

Interrogation commenced: 0250 hours
I roused SH from his slumbers and told him Tariq Aziz was on the phone and wanted to know where the Vx gas was. Didn’t bite.
Interrogation terminated: 0252 hours

Premiered on McSweeney’s, 4/20/04.
Longer version commissioned by The Independent (UK), 7/29/04

A Note To The Dentist

Dear Dr. Spielman,
Thank you for the postcard reminding me that I’m due for a dental check-up in April. I look forward to it because you are my favorite dentist and you have state-of-the art equipment I helped pay for.
Since American Idol was not on Thursday night, I had a lot of time to sit and think about this postcard and how it stuck out of my pile of mail and frightened me. In fact, now that this terrifying image has been burned into my psyche, I would like to express to you how I feel.
The postcard poses the question “Who doesn’t like a nice smile?” Indeed, the only exceptions I could think of would be anti-masticationists, gingivitists, or people who don’t have teeth and might not want to talk about such things. I’ve never met an anti-masticationist or gingivitist, to be honest, and they probably have a smaller base than Ralph Nader. Also, people with no teeth are usually too old to read small text, or they live far from regular postal service. So, the question would seem to be easily answered: Nobody doesn’t like a nice smile, silly!
And rightly so. Normally, a smile is a good thing because it means someone is happy. When someone is happy, that puts you at ease because there is statistically less of a chance they’re going to try and stab you or set your car on fire. That’s how I look at it. Happy people don’t rob banks or steal your lawnmower. Happy people don’t cuss at you or file frivolous lawsuits. They just smile nicely.
But in this case, the smiles presented on this postcard are collectively unnerving and potentially not nice. Indeed, there are some individual smiles presented here that I would have run away from outright, so you can imagine how terrifying I find seeing all seven of them at once.
The upper-left girl’s smile seems fine. I would probably smile back at her. Maybe she works in Public Relations. I have no problems with her, though she slightly resembles an ex-girlfriend whom I’ve done a good job of not remembering.
The black guy in the back seems pretty happy too. His smile is quite nice and if I had to vote for the one smile that didn’t frighten me, he would be my pick. His teeth look great and I hope they have a long life together.
The guy in the back on the right, well, I start to question the nice here. I don’t see the happiness reflected in the eyes. It doesn’t seem sincere. I think he is about to try and sell me a Buick. I’m not crazy about the hair, but that can be taken care of by inviting a band of stereotypical gay guys over the house and appearing on Bravo Network.
For obvious reasons, the gentleman in the front left is the absolutely most terrifying, and I will lose sleep over him. Not only is his expression and nice smile nerve-shattering, but his eyes are slightly red and very glassy. If I came home, opened the front door, and a strange man came running down my stairs with a bloody hatchet screaming “Jesus said to do it, and I do’d it!” – this is pretty much what I would expect him to look like.
The blonde next to the axe-killer seems to be laughing more than smiling. I don’t know why she’s laughing – there’s a crazed lunatic on her shoulder – but she seems to have heard a funny joke. Maybe she’s watching some prop comedy from Carrot Top, or a hilarious improvisational comedy troupe. We’ll never know, because I assume she was murdered by the crazed freak next to her, after the photo shoot.
The middle lady isn’t really smiling as much as she is politely asking “What?” with her face. Perhaps she doesn’t speak English. In fact, she seems Latin. Speaking of, the postcard is almost perfectly Politically Correct. Women, men, black, white, Latin, gay, murderer… But no Asians. Don’t they like a nice smile?
Lastly, the girl on the front right is missing her lower teeth. She seems friendly enough, and you’d have to be if you had no lower teeth, but it’s not necessarily a nice smile. Incidentally, my former Marxist/Feminist/Lesbian film professors would flip out on you for showing a black woman with no lower teeth being pushed down by a smiling white man. Personally, I always thought the professors were full of it, so you should just take their umbrage at symbolism with a grain of salt and get mediocre grades like I did.
And so Doctor, in closing, I’d like to say that the answer to “Who doesn’t like a nice smile?” would be Me – if the nice smile comes from an entourage of murderous freaks, Carrot Top fans and Buick dealers.
See you in a few weeks.

Nipplegate: The Index

Janet Jackson’s Boob, 225-317
       absurd denials:
          CBS not knowing, 244-246
          M-TV not knowing, 244-246
          wardrobe malfunction, 245
       controversy surrounding exposure to:
          8th-grader reaction, 228
          bizarre starfish clamped to nipple, 258
          blatant Madonna/Britney PR rip-off, 253
          coincidence of upcoming album release, 261
          comparison of Nelly’s crotch-grabbing, 252
          FCC fines regarding the uncovering of, 309-311
          jokes about, 247, 249, 302-307
          lowering the culture bar, 257
          M-TV’s slow erosion of all things decent, 282-290
          mainstream America’s disgust at, 229-233
          Pope’s condemnation, 290, 299
          puritanical fervor, 269
          relation to decline of civilization, 256-257
          tastelessness, 225
       explaining to children:
          Justin is mean, 312
          the lady needed to release some hot air, 312-313
          the lady had a bad daddy make her crazy, 312, 314
       phrases coined:
          Boobiegate, 279
          Nipplegate, 279
          superbowls, 278, 279
          Titskrieg, 280
       stock market reaction
          dow jones rising, 308-309
          NASDAQ falling, 309
       ways of rationalizing:
          Allah’s will, 298
          desperate for publicity, 299-301
          child molester’s sister wants spotlight, 299
          choreographer’s joke gone awry, 301
          Justin Timberlake horny, 300

Christmas Party, Cheesecake, Jelly Bean, Boom!

It’s not often I am invited to anything, much less anything interesting, so attendance of the Michael Stipe & Friends Christmas party Saturday night was a no-brainer. To give you an idea of the schedule-altering power of celebrity party invitations, we had planned our own Christmas party for the same night but shelved it for the opportunity to attend the Stipe fete. Plus, most of our friends were out of town so our party would have sucked.
We initially fretted over the dress code. The invitation specified several colors. Unfortunately, I have nothing silver, gold or resembling an animal. Nor do I have much in the way of green, white or red. The invite wasn’t clear as to if your entire outfit had to be these colors or just part of it. In fact, the invite didn’t even say what time the party started. I was left to search through a closet stocked mostly with the official colors of New York: black, dark black and light black.
We met some other partygoers at the W Hotel bar beforehand. If the bar has a name I don’t know it. It’s the W Hotel Bar to me. Our friends introduced us around. I met a Fred and later realized he was Fred Schneider from the B-52s. My brain immediately cued up Love Shack. When I meet musicians I have the annoying habit of playing their songs in my head. I’ve done this ever since 1989 when I worked on an TV crew interviewing bands. During a segment with the Beastie Boys, Brass Monkey cued up and stayed in my head for the duration.
We headed over to the party, a stone’s throw from the hotel, and stood outside while our names were checked. Some guy came to the door and called Mr. Schneider in. The guy was dressed head to toe in bright red and made me worry that my burgundy shirt wasn’t enough to pass muster. I think he might have been an R.E.M. guy but I don’t know their names nor do I know what they look like, aside from Mr. Stipe.
Eventually our names cleared and we were let in. There were plenty of open bars. In retrospect I never waited more than 10 seconds to get a drink. That’s good hosting. Food, lots of it, was available in the back room. The wines were good wines, and the bartenders refused to accept tips every single time.
Mr. Stipe was immediately recognizable. He looks the same to me as he did in the summer of 1987 when I was first acquainted with his band and tried to mend a broken heart by deciphering the lyrics from Life’s Rich Pageant. Upon seeing him my brain cued up Exhuming McCarthy as it will do.
The dress code was wildly interpreted. Some folks went all out, others had a splashes of the required colors. Others wore all black. All my fretting had been for naught, as usual.
At a party thrown by a famous person with famous people in attendance there’s a certain energy in the air. Everyone is assumed to be a somebody whom you either don’t recognize or who is a behind-the-scenes somebody. It doesn’t occur to you that, such as in my case, they could be nobody in particular. Folks spends the majority of their time looking around, trying to figure out who’s who. I would be the world’s worst gossip columnist because not only do I not know who’s who, I make things up. When four black guys walked in and were warmly received my thought was they must be famous rappers. I don’t even know what the people in White Stripes look like, but I saw two effete English guys and simply assumed they were famous musicians from that band. A band I know nothing about. I continued to make wild assumptions like that all night long.
On a few occasions I did recognize people. I saw Ed Norton. And the girl from Spiderman was pointed out to me. Even though I never saw Home Alone I immediately recognized an older Macaulay Culkin because my TiVo had recently recorded the E! True Hollywood Story about his chaotic family life. According to one of the security guards I chatted up, he’s a real nice guy.
While I was talking to a dental surgeon about children, I looked over to find that my wife had made an almost immediate new friend of Ethan Hawke to the point where I thought maybe they knew each other. They had a lengthy discussion and she returned concerned that he seemed down. She became very motherly and told him he was too skinny and needed to eat better – so she had invited him over the house for dinner. He told me that he was in Henry IV on Broadway which we had just bought tickets to. I was surprised to learn this, but in retrospect should have kept my surprise to myself. You’re in that? I had no idea! is not what actors want to hear. He was very pleasant, regardless. The wife remains genuinely worried about him not eating well which I find very sweet, if not a little alarming.
Other celebrities were mentioned as being present, rather than me actually seeing them which wouldn’t matter because I couldn’t recognize or name them anyway. Such was the case with the girl from The Secretary and a guy from Saturday Night Live. And there were others. It occurred to me that celebrity types must get upset if they look at a gossip column and aren’t mentioned when everyone else in attendance was. It makes me want to be a gossip columnist solely so I could report on events that P. Diddy was at and deliberately not mention him.
While smoking a cigarette outside I gave directions to Darryl Hannah. My brain couldn’t immediately conjure up her name and instead my inner voice said it’s that lady from the swimming movie. More alarming than the fact I could not remember the name of a blockbuster film and thought it was about swimming was the fact that I was smoking. I don’t smoke. This is usually an indicator that I’m reaching my limit with regard to alcohol. I had, because it was good and it was free, and the excellent service insured there was no delay in getting another glass.
At some point I decided to call and invite my one celebrity friend, John Mayer. I thought it would be cool of me to invite him to something of this nature in a Hey I’m here and you’re not kind of way. As if I were cool. I tried to track down the doorman to have his name added which turned out not to be necessary. When he showed up he simply strolled in and was immediately whisked away to be introduced to other famous people. The cruel irony here is that next year he’ll probably be invited to this thing and I won’t.
After her quality time with Mr. Hawke, the wife decided to adopt Moby. I recognized him because I had seen him on Dennis Miller Live once. He came across as very dry and smart on that show, so I knew I’d like him assuming we never talked politics. My brain cued up Praise You but seemed to be stuck on the dih-dih-dih-dih-dih part. I have since learned that Praise You was actually by Fatboy Slim, so I internally cued up the wrong artist. They talked about something, though I do not believe she invited him over the house for dinner. Probably a good idea, because cooking for vegans is traumatic.
At somewhere around three in the morning she decided it was time to go. I had outlasted her, which is quite unheard of. I had also consumed two bottles of wine, at least. Before we left I ran into a friend I knew from Athens, Georgia who I had not seen in nearly a decade. I had forgotten about his past connection with R.E.M. and didn’t realize he had moved to New York, but the moment I saw him it all came back to me. He introduced me to Mr. Stipe who subsequently had to suffer through me trying to articulate, quite poorly, that I liked Life’s Rich Pageant and had tried to decipher the lyrics. This was something he did not need to know but my brain was running on Cabernet and had regrettably decided it was essential to share the anecdote before departing.
We had passed on all the lovely food offered at the party, but decided that the night was not yet complete without a stop at the not very glamorous, non-star-laden 24-hour pizzeria. We apparently enjoyed our slices on the sofa, where I awoke alone at 9:30, covered in crumbs and with the Mother of All Headaches. The party was officially over.

New York Sidewalk Trivia

The average time it takes any stationary object to be sprayed with dog urine is nine minutes.
The skeletal remains of bicycle frames you see chained to various bike stands and signposts are all part of a massive art project by pointless modern artist Christo.
There are more bacteria on the sole of a single New York City shoe than there are in the entire nation of Gambia.
97% of sentences beginning with “Excuse me” are not apologetic in nature but rather a preface to being asked for money.
Diagonal walking accounts for 77% of all “sidewalk-rage” incidents.
All the brand new boxes for the free weekly The Onion were completely covered by graffiti, stickers, and the ludicrous”Housing As A Constitutional Amendment” flyer within twelve minutes of being placed on the street corner.
“I Survived The Blackout” t-shirts would have been available two hours after power went out, but the artist’s computer didn’t work.
As you walk by Apex Technical School students on 19th and 6th, remember that the number of graduates who went on to lucrative local, regional or national careers in government is still zero.
That guy who told you his alternator was broken and that he needed $32 to get it fixed so he could get back to New Jersey does not actually have a car.
Yes, that was Ethan Hawke.
That gentleman who just tossed the McDonald’s cup, straw, bag, burger box, French fry container and apple pie box on the road emigrated here from Shanghai to live a better life.
The toothless drunk passed out on 7th and 22nd at 10:00am considers himself a victim of tax cuts for the rich, Enron and Dick Grasso’s salary.
A busy hot dog vendor can make over $80,000 a year. A busy Gastroenterologist treating food poisoning cases from that same vendor can make $300,000 a year.
A single stretch of Manhattan sidewalk has more poop-per-inch than an Idaho cornfield on Planting Day.
A zealous, motivated leaflet distributor can annoy over 72 pedestrians per minute.
The shills for “Flesh Dancers” have indirectly contributed to over 329 divorces in the last 5 years.
0% of actors using the $99 headshot service advertised on every light post and mailbox have appeared in theatre, TV or film.
The guy selling the albums on the blanket hails from Somalia, where the warlords have yet to establish copyright infringement laws.
A drunk passed out on a park bench with his penis hanging out can traumatize an average of three children and seven adults an hour.
The individual selling the $30 “backup” copy of the $999 Final Cut Pro program assumes you already have a full-price copy and just need the backup to be safe. He will be crushed if you have lied to him.
That gentleman with the sidewalk yard sale was indeed selling the boot you threw out last week.
People who think they’re experiencing sidewalk déja vu are actually just unaware that the “United Homeless Organization” guy at 17th & Park is reading from the same script as the “United Homeless Organization” guy on 17th & Broadway.
After limited exposure to the elements, a bloodstain will resemble a poopstain. Both should still be avoided.
There is an 84% chance that an arrogant Sex & The City Production Assistant will let you pass if you counter their attitude with the realities of their salary.
All the merchandise on Canal Street would be worth an amazing $93 Billion if it were actually legal and licensed. That would be enough to pay for the rebuilding of Iraq, and purchase more unlicensed merchandise from China.
89% of Segway riders have touched another person while being catapulted from their defective Segway. For 92%, this was their first significant human contact.

Please Stop Reading Us Magazine

Darling Wife:
I love you more than anything. You are the most important thing to me. I’m eternally grateful that we met through such happenstance. You’re beautiful. You’re brilliant. You speak four languages. You can cook like a head chef. You’re rational. You’ll be an incredible mother. You have qualities I didn’t even know I wanted in a woman.
Please stop reading Us Magazine.
I have every intention of following through with my marriage commitments. Even though the ceremony was in another language, I understood enough. I know I heard “cherish” and “honor” and “fidelity” and “love.” And a few other things. When it comes down to it, all marriage ceremonies seem pretty much the same. At least the traditional ones. So I know what I have to do. And when I said, “I will” in your mother tongue, I meant it. I will be with you forever. I have every intention of doing so.
Fate has been very kind, introducing you to me. I’m luckier than anyone I know. But why Fate would have introduced you to Us Magazine, I’m not sure. I think Fate wants to mess with me. Maybe hurt me a little. Maybe Fate thinks I’m a little too lucky. Kind of like poor Christopher Reeve or M.C. Hammer. They had it all, then Fate sucker-punched them. I understand them now. When I see you reading Us Magazine, it’s like a tiny dagger in my soul. Sometimes a bigger dagger, depending on who’s on the cover.
So, please, stop reading Us Magazine.
You’re above it, I keep telling you. Demi and Ashton are of no import to us. I don’t care what Reese Witherspoon is really like. And where J-Lo had brunch is as interesting to me as who Fred Durst is soiling. You may think me out of the loop for not knowing exactly who Kate Hudson is, but that’s because we belong in a different loop. A better loop. A loop that doesn’t include Kate or Brad, Jennifer or Matt. A loop where being Courtney Love is not a plus. A loop where Angelina Jolie is not taken seriously. Or even better, she’s locked up.
Please, my love, my angel, my darling: Know that when I enter the room and see you ingesting such printed arsenic, my heart sinks. Winona’s side of the story is not your concern. The Ruben vs. Clay debate is for other people. People we don’t know, or care to know. People who consider scratch tickets investing. People who think National Review is a cabaret. People who buy Swiffer. You see? That’s not you.
For the love of all things holy, my sweet and precious wife, please stop reading Us Magazine.
Your husband.

Rant: You

You bother me somehow. Perhaps it’s that you litter. Or that you walk in front of me too slow. Maybe you’ve come darting out of a doorway oblivious to the fact there are people on the sidewalk outside. Maybe you spat in my proximity. Or coughed or sneezed without covering your mouth. Maybe you walked diagonally or veered to the left instead of the right. Whatever you did, it bothered me.
It could be the way you stand in front of moving traffic with the attitude. Possibly it was the way you pushed through me to get to the bar. It could be your obsession with designer labels. Or the desperate cry for attention you call fashion sense. It could be that you didn’t say thank you when one was warranted. Or that you failed to say please. Suffice to say, it bothered me.
It may have been the pantyhose on the head with the sideways baseball cap. Maybe it’s because you do not belong in a shirt that exposes your ample midriff. Perhaps you called your son a loser in front of the whole subway. It might have been that you drew a swastika on a wall. Or that when you draw a swastika on a wall, you do it backwards. Rest assured, you bothered me.
Perhaps it was when you cut the line because you didn’t bother to notice there was one. Or it was the wearing-sunglasses-indoors thing. It’s bothersome to hear your phone ringing in the nice restaurant. The kind of restaurant where phones shouldn’t ring. If it wasn’t that, it was the way you were shouting epithets to your friends on the subway platform. Or how you picked up some effete guy’s dollar that he dropped and insisted it was yours.
It could be the hissyfit you threw at the deli because the slices weren’t thick enough. Or that you’re on Prozac yet taking comedy classes. Maybe it was because I could see your penis. There’s a chance it was the lit cigarette you tossed on the ground. Or the open-mouth chomping of the gum, complete with snapping noises. Maybe it’s the rainbow flag waving. Or that you have six kids and no spouse. Perhaps it’s the fact that you couldn’t spell, even if the spelling Gestapo were threatening to ship you off to Spellschwitz. It could be the thoughtless placement of your shopping cart. Or your misuse of the apostrophe. It bothers me.
Maybe I took offense to the way you called your significant other a whore. Or it could have been when you interrupted my conversation to ask for money. The way you decided that jumping in front of me was the proper leaflet-delivery method. Or the issue could be you choosing to ignore my having right-of-way. Perhaps it’s your habit of spray-painting your creative impulse or politics on every surface. And putting your face in your own billboard advertisement… that bothers me.
It could be that you’re rich and make sure everyone knows it. Or that you’re the laziest person I’ve ever seen. Perhaps it’s because you’re completely unemployable. Or it might be that you’re an arrogant sociopath. There’s a good chance it was because you don’t get sarcasm. Or because you swear in front of children. It might have been when you didn’t use gloves to make my sandwich. And you kept touching your forehead. Maybe it’s because you held the subway doors open so you could continue chatting with your friend. Trust me, you bothered me.
It certainly may have been the puddle of poodle urine you allowed to happen in front of my apartment. Or the way you entered the subway car before we exited. Or that you sleep all day. Letting the door close in my face bothered me too. As did the riding of the skateboard down the sidewalk full of people. The 300 Gigawatt car stereo system bothered me at 4:30 in the morning. As did your business-killing smoking ban. The way you lie about yourself in your online personal ad bothers me. As does the fact you use online personals.
It could be the way you talk about therapy like it’s normal. Maybe it’s your insistence that everyone needs therapy. Or your belief that everyone is gay. Perhaps it’s because you’re gay, lesbian, trans-gendered or straight. Maybe it’s that you drive a Hummer. You bother me.
It could be your liberalism or conservatism. Your blind patriotism and your contempt of the homeland bothers me. It could be that you’re obese and ordering a venti mocha. Or it might just bother me that you make up new words when “small, medium and large” would suffice. Or it was how you blatantly stole my cab. Perhaps your clothes being filthy bothered me.
It’s possibly your lewd behavior. Your lousy taste in music. Your failed hygiene. Or how you blanket the entrance to the building with smoke. Maybe it’s that you’re selling drugs in my neighborhood. Or the way you give money to anyone feigning homelessness. Or how you feel the need to fondle your girlfriend so all can see. All of that bothers me.
Your racism bothers me. As does your multi-culturalism. And the fact that you didn’t bother to rsvp to our wedding even though the stamp was provided. It could be that you’re not competent at what you do. Or that you complain every day to the superintendent about fingerprints in the elevator and menus under the door. Telling people you’re an actor when you’ve never made a penny acting bothers me. As does the fact that you can’t seem to run the Post Office.
Your junk email bothers me. The fact that you think I’m stupid enough to provide a Nigerian with my bank account information bothers me. And you can imagine how annoyed I get when you try to kill me because I think differently than you do. I also disapprove of you robbing banks and your adultery. Really, it bothers me.
I don’t like your yipping little dog. Or that you became famous and aloof. It very well might be your purple hair. Or the tattoos. Perhaps it’s that you’re holding Hillary’s book. Or you talk too loud when it’s not warranted. Maybe it’s because you’re an underpaid, undereducated bureaucrat and giving me grief. Or that it takes you 25 minutes to parallel park. That just bothers me.
Perhaps it’s that you’re 30 and still have posters taped to the wall. Or that you’re obsessed with sex. Perhaps it’s because you watch Showtime when HBO is so much better. Or that you honestly believe the earth is only 10,000 years old. It might be your atheism. It could be because you’re a militant vegan. Or that you don’t listen. Or held up the line. Your gum is on my shoe. You dinged my car. Your cable access show sucks. You can’t speak English. You’re wishy-washy. You wear too much perfume. You try too hard. You’re paying with a check. You waste money at deli ATMs with $2.50 service fees. You hate your parents. You only date Jewish girls. You always want to share appetizers. You like jazz. You press the elevator buttons as if that will make it come any faster. You live in a 5th floor walk-up. You declared bankruptcy. You think you’re so great. You’re pretentious. You’re weak. You show off at the gym. You pitch your sob story to a captive audience in the subway. You don’t know the difference. You don’t tip. You tip too much.
I can’t put my finger on it, but something about you bothers me.