Sunday, July 28, 2013
HE WALKS IN BEAUTY LIKE THE NIGHT
A "Bonanza" Adventure
(DISCLAIMER: Not associated with the official "Bonanza" TV show or any of the people who made it or were in it or anything.)
One day, the members of the Cartwright clan--brothers Hoss, Adam, and Little Joe, and father, Ben--were sitting around the living room of their large, comfortable ranchhouse on the beautiful Ponderosa, languidly digesting the latest of their Chinese cook Hop Sing's delicious lunchtime feasts, when suddenly Hoss stopped in mid-sentence, which was unusual since Hoss usually finished his sentences, and went stiff, which was even more unusual.
"And so dang if I didn't have tuh whump that ornery polecat right upside thuh--" Hoss was saying when he fell silent.
"Upside the what?" asked Little Joe. "Hoss? Upside the what, Hoss?"
When there was no answer, Adam leaned forward and examined the silent, stiff Hoss, which he had been meaning to do all day anyway, although until now there hadn't been a really plausible excuse for doing so.
"Upside the what, Hoss? Hoss?" Little Joe persisted.
"I don't think he can hear you," Adam thoughtfully intoned in his rich, sonorous voice.
"OH! Dat such a rich, sonorous voice you got dere, Mistah Adam!" Hop Sing exclaimed from the kitchen. "Me rove hear you talkee, ah-ha ah-ha, ha ha!" Further sounds from the kitchen indicated that Hop Sing then dropped a large frying pan on his foot, screamed something dreadful in Chinese, hopped around in pain for a few seconds, and then launched himself over a butter churn and crashed through the window into a watering trough.
"Upside the what, Hoss?" This came not from Little Joe, but from the Cartwright patriarch, Ben, who shared Little Joe's curiosity regarding Hoss' unfinished sentence and had decided to stop clipping his toenails and join in the conversation.
"I don't think he can hear you, Pa," Adam reiterated. This prompted another exclamation from Hop Sing, farther away this time and mostly unintelligible except for the words "me rove" and some random gurgling noises.
Adam reached for his sidearm and slowly drew it from its holster. "Hoss," he said gravely, "I'm going to give you to the count of five to finish that sentence." He aimed the pistol at Hoss. "One...two..."
"Upside the what, Hoss?" said Little Joe.
This caused Adam to lose count, so he started over. "One...two..."
"Adam," said Ben, reaching for his own gun and smoothly drawing it from its holster. "You've already shot Hoss three times this week, and, by Gadfrey, I think enough's enough." He leveled the gun at Adam and cocked the hammer.
"One...two..." said Adam, starting over due to Ben's causing him to lose count again.
"Upside the what, Hoss?"
"Adam, I'm warning you for the last time..."
"Hoss? Upside the what, Hoss? Hoss?"
There was a loud crash from outside, and a huge burst of flame was reflected against the front windowpanes, followed by a scream from Hop Sing, and the pitter-patter of unknown debris upon the rooftop, and horses neighing in terror, and even more plaintive screams from Hop Sing, and a strange bellowing cry that none of them had ever heard come out of a cow before.
At that point, Hoss unexpectedly broke his silence. "Upside thuh..." he said in a dull, droning monotone, his eyes glazed over like one of Hop Sing's doughnuts that Hoss had eaten four hundred of that very morning. "Upside thuh..."
Adam relented for a moment, although he was fully prepared to proceed to "three" if necessary, and resolved to do so if Hoss were to fall silent again. He leaned even farther forward, listening, as did the others. An eerie silence fell over the scene, broken only by the distant sounds of a stampede of horses, an avalanche, some Indians, and the reverberating echo of Hop Sing's now-unending screams.
"Upside thuh..." Hoss repeated.
Adam leaned forward still farther, until finally he lost his balance and fell off the couch, hitting his head on the edge of the coffee table and passing out cold. Ben shook his head slowly and returned his pistol to its holster. "I've told him a million times not to lean forward so far when he's sitting down," he said reproachfully as he surveyed Adam's sprawled figure. "One of these days this might happen during an Indian raid, or a buffalo stampede--a time in which a man needs all his wits about him, or he'll perish just as sure as the dawn rises up over the Ponderosa each morning...or the stream heads down from out of the mountains after the spring thaw every year and makes its way toward the raging river...or the chipmunks--"
Suddenly, the top of Hoss' head flipped open like a jack-in-the-box, causing his ten-gallon hat to pop off. A thin, metal rod emerged, and collapsible propellors sprang taut to the sides, whereupon they began to spin in an increasingly rapid motion which emitted a soft buzzing noise like the sound of angry bees. Hoss' head detached from his neck and rose slowly into the air, bobbing slightly from side to side, and then began to fly around the room in a circular pattern.
Little Joe observed all of this with a look of bemusement, unable to speak since his entire concept of reality had just been utterly subverted by the strange display. He felt his very sanity begin to slip away as Hoss' head continued to buzz past him with its every noisy revolution around the room. Finally, he managed to formulate words that emerged stumblingly from his quivering lips.
"Pa..." he said. "Is...is Hoss' head supposed to be able to...to come off and fly around like that?"
"No, Joseph, it isn't," said Ben. "And for the very life of me, I just don't know what's gotten into Hoss today. What if we were in the middle of a buffalo raid, or a chipmunk stampede, and this sort of thing happened? Sometimes a man needs all his wits about him. Well, you don't have all your wits about you when your head is flying around like a buzzard circling its prey, waiting for it to die in the desert. Not when your head is flying around!"
This last part he punctuated with a resolute pounding of his fist against the arm of his chair, which spooked Hoss' head and caused it to attack. Like an enraged chicken hawk from out of the blazing noonday sky, Hoss' head took a sudden nosedive right at the shocked Cartwright partriarch and knocked him backward, his chair falling over with a wracking thud. Little Joe could see only a pair of feet sticking up over it.
"Pa..." Little Joe tried to say, but his sanity began to slip away again. Without another word, he rose from his chair, a blank look on his face, and headed upstairs. In an old trunk in the attic were stored several lovely dresses that had belonged to Ben Cartwright's various wives, and there was a particularly stunning sequin-bedecked emerald evening gown that Adam's mother had purchased in Boston many years ago, which Joe had always admired. Now, no longer restrained by the restrictions of sanity, he was free to try it on at last.
The matching pumps were a perfect fit as well, and Little Joe posed proudly in front of a full-length mirror, admiring his beauty. But something was missing--ah! Makeup! And there, in the old trunk, was an assortment of lovely accessories that would compliment his ensemble in every conceivable way. Before long, the makeover was complete.
Downstairs, Adam had finally regained consciousness and crawled over to Ben, who was hiding behind his overturned chair. They watched warily as Hoss' head, which had resumed its circular pattern, continued to buzz relentlessly around the room.
"What's happening, Pa?" he asked.
"I'll tell you what's happening," Ben said in a low voice. "There's been a buzzard stampede, and we were caught unawares like a herd of Indians on their way to a barn dance. The chipmunks are circling their prey, waiting for it to die. And we...we are that prey."
"Prey tell," Adam remarked with a wry smile.
Ben smiled back, mentally noting that in times of danger, Adam had always been the most wry of all his sons. He figured that Adam must have gotten his wryness from his mother, who had been the wryest of all the fair young maidens in Boston in her time. It was her wryness that had first attracted him to her, along with the beautiful sequin-bedecked emerald evening gown that she had been wearing when they'd met. He grew wistful, wishing that he could once again gaze upon the picture of beauty she had presented to him on that fateful day.
Suddenly there came a footfall at the top of the stairs, and there, standing with the elegant assuredness of one who knows that she is the most beautiful woman in the room, stood Little Joe. He gathered his lovely gown about him and strode gracefully down the stairs, heedless of Hoss' head as it flew past repeatedly, barely missing him each time. Finding Ben and Adam crouched behind the overturned chair, he stood with one hand on his hip and the other delicately fluttering a lace hanky about his breast.
"Pa, I want a coming-out party," he said. "One of those big, elegant affairs like we have out in the front yard, with Japanese lanterns and a band, and food and punch, and a cake. That is, two cakes," he added wryly. "One for Hoss, and one for everyone else." With that, he screwed his face up into that familiar Little Joe smile which always seemed to light up the whole room.
Ben was confused. Certain elements of his concept of reality had just overlapped in ways that he'd never even begun to anticipate, and the only sound he could manage to emit was a somewhat undefined quacking noise.
"Quack, quack, quack!" Hop Sing exclaimed, rushing out of the kitchen with a large pot in which he was stirring something thick and green, his clothes singed and tattered. "All time quack, quack, quack, when it time for dinnah!"
"But, didn't we just eat?" asked Adam, trying to out-wry Little Joe's previous wryness.
Hop Sing stopped short, puzzled. "You right, we did--" Suddenly, the floor beneath his feet collapsed and he fell through, plummetting down an abandoned mine shaft over which the house had been built many years ago. His terrified screams could be heard echoing up from the dark pit as they grew steadily more faint, until finally they were cut short by a distant splash.
Hoss' head abruptly ceased its circular flight and assumed a holding pattern over his body. Presently it lowered onto his neck and reattached itself. The little propellor blades folded neatly away and the slender metal rod retracted into Hoss' skull once again.
"--upside thuh head," Hoss concluded, to the incalculable relief of Little Joe. "Did somebody say 'dinner'?"
"Three-four-FIVE!" Adam exclaimed, and shot him. He smiled wryly as an angry Hoss sprang from his chair and chased him out the front door. "Dagnab it, that's the fourth time this week!" came his bellowing voice as the two brothers disappeared into the forest as they so often did whenever Adam shot Hoss.
Ben rose to his feet, a sudden rush of well-being surging through his body, and patted Little Joe on the shoulder. "Son," he said proudly, "you look beautiful."
"Thanks, Pa," said Little Joe, his features becoming contemplative. "But I don't think I'll be needing that coming-out party now. And," he added, suddenly feeling less elegant than before, "I don't think I'll be needing this dress anymore, either. You see, I've realized that, when you come right down to it, true beauty comes from inside a guy, and not from what he wears. Besides," he said, his Little Joe smile returning in full force, "this corset is killing me."
Ben laughed heartily and pounded him on the back as hard as he possibly could. Little Joe gasped, suddenly unable to breathe, and sagged to his knees, where he then fell face-first through the coffee table with a resounding crash. Ben continued to laugh heartily. He laughed and laughed and laughed, his laughter growing louder and louder, and more crazed, and more terrifyingly maniacal, until all the ranch hands began to emerge from the bunkhouse and come down out of the fields and approach the house with trepidation, peering curiously through the windows.
When Ben saw them, he drew his gun and started shooting at them. They ran in stark terror as Ben stood at the front door, still laughing, still shooting at them until his gun was empty. His laughter finally dying down to a satisfied chuckle, Ben holstered his gun and bellowed to the world: "I love the smell of chipmunks in the morning!"
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
One day, a nuclear power plant blew up, and a nearby wiener factory was bathed in radiation. One of the wieners sprouted arms and legs and escaped into the wild. As he traveled, unsure of what he was or where he was going, he saw a series of billboards advertising “Johnny’s Hot Dogs”, a regional frankfurter brand whose logo included a dancing wiener with arms and legs. “That’s me,” the wiener thought. “I am Johnny Hot Dog.”
As the days passed, Johnny grew to a height of five feet, and he felt a need to wear clothes like the wiener on the billboards did. Finding a clothesline with clothes on it, he took the ones that looked as though they would fit him. His new outfit included an Irish touring cap, a red-and-gold bowling shirt, shorts, and a pair of golfing shoes. Johnny did not know at this time that stealing was wrong, though he would later discover this widely-held belief and adopt it as part of his own philosophy. In the meantime, however, he felt only a certain pride in his new appearance and a readiness to join the society that he had hitherto observed only from a distance.
At last came the big day when Johnny felt he was ready to enter the world of people. He emerged from the woods across the road from a rural gas station called “Buddy’s Gas-n-Gulp.” He saw people putting something in their cars with a large hose. He saw people going into the building and then coming out with food and drink, and various souvenirs such as rubber fishing worms and cardboard fans with religious depictions on them. He noticed that some of the people entered one of two doors at the rear of the building, and that they always looked more relieved coming out than they did going in.
He wanted to experience what they did in those rooms, so he looked both ways, crossed the road, and made his way unobserved to the back of the gas station. On one door was a picture of a woman wearing a dress. On the other door was a picture of a man wearing pants. Johnny felt this second picture was more similar to the way he himself was dressed, so he entered the second door.
Inside he found a little room with a mirror and a sink and some strange chairs that were hollow and smooth and had water in them. Johnny was drawn to the mirror, where he was able to see himself for the first time. Since leaving the wiener factory, he had not only grown taller but had also developed facial features. He had big, round eyes, a pointed nose, and a large mouth with nice white teeth. He smiled like the wiener on the Johnny’s Hot Dogs billboards, and it looked very nice in the mirror. He would use this expression when he came in contact with his first people.
Leaving the room with the funny chairs, Johnny circled around to the front of the building and walked under the shady overhang. A little girl came out the front door with a handful of rubber fishing worms and spotted him standing there. He smiled very nicely. She stopped and looked at him uncertainly for a moment, then smiled back. “What are you?” she asked.
“I am Johnny Hot Dog,” he replied pleasantly. “I would like to join the society of people now.”
The little girl tilted her head curiously. “You’re a giant hot dog, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” said Johnny. “Compared to the average size of other hot dogs, I am a giant hot dog. May I please enter your society?”
“I guess,” said the little girl. “Would you like a rubber fishing worm?”
Johnny beheld the gift she was offering and nodded. “Yes, thank you,” he said as he reached out and took it. “This is my first possession as a member of the human race. This is my rubber fishing worm. Now people will see me and say, ‘He has a rubber fishing worm. He must be a genuine member of society like us.’ And I will say, ‘Yes, this rubber fishing worm was given to me by – ‘ Umm, may I ask you your name?”
“Sure. My name is Lily Millie,” she said. “Lily is my first name and Millie is my last name, even though it sounds like a middle name. Usually when people ask me my name and I tell them it’s Lily Millie, they ask, ‘Lily Millie what?’ And I say ‘Lily Millie period.’”
“That’s very nice,” said Johnny. “So, I will tell people that this rubber fishing worm was given to me by Lily Millie, period, and I will be accepted into society because I have this possession that came from Buddy’s Gas-n-Gulp and was given to me by another member of society.”
Lily smiled politely and nodded, although she had no idea what Johnny Hot Dog was talking about. She was mystified by the sight of this giant, talking wiener who wore clothes and yearned for acceptance. She didn’t understand why he was so happy to have been given a rubber fishing worm. But the whole idea seemed relatively harmless, so she merely went along with it without any further attempt to fathom its incongruities. She did, however, have to go to the bathroom very bad, so she said “Excuse me” and hurriedly rounded the corner.
Johnny felt wonderful that his first contact had gone so smoothly. “That was a pleasant exchange,” he thought. “She was very friendly, and I appreciate this gift very much. And I’ll bet that Lily Millie is even now entering the little room that has a picture of a person wearing a dress on the door. She is probably going to look in the mirror to see what her face looks like.”
Just then, a large man with a big belly drove up and got out of his car. He was gruff and unfriendly-looking, although his clothes were clean and fancy compared to Johnny’s. He looked at the giant wiener and frowned. “Do you work here?” he asked.
“Why, no,” said Johnny. “I do not work here. I have just now begun my life in this society, and have yet to acquire any sort of employment.” He held his rubber fishing worm in full view so that the man would be sure to see it.
The man eyed Johnny from head to toe and raised his eyebrows. “Well,” he said, “my prediction is that you are going to fail miserably in this society. You will find that people aren’t all that thrilled to see a giant wiener walking among them -- I’m not exactly jumping for joy over it -- and nobody’s going to want to hire you to work for them, because you are a giant wiener and that’s two strikes right there.”
“Two strikes right there?” Johnny repeated. “That doesn’t sound good. Would it help if I looked like you instead of like a giant wiener?”
The man laughed. “It hasn’t helped me much, giant wiener. In fact, I’m just about ready to run away from the very society that you seem so anxious to join. Where did you come from anyway?”
Johnny pointed to the woods across the road. “I came from there.”
“Well,” said the man, “that’s a good place to come from, and it’s also a good place to go. I think I’m going to go there and live, and become a wild man. I hereby renounce society and all of its trappings, and from now on I will be like a caveman without any worries or fears or obligations except for those that a caveman would have.” With that, the man began to take his clothes off. Johnny watched with interest as the man shucked off his tie, coat, pants, shirt, shoes, and socks. Then the man handed his car keys to Johnny. “You can have my car,” he said, suddenly more happy and friendly. “And whatever you want from that pile of clothes. And my wallet and my identity, if you think that’s what you really want.”
Johnny took the keys and looked at the car. “Thank you for this thing,” he said gratefully, “although I don’t know how to operate it. Thanks as well for the clothes. I will put them in my new car and wear them later, when the clothes I am wearing now wear out. I hope you will be happy in your new life as a wild man, or caveman, or whatever you decide to become when you go into the woods to live.”
By this time the man was already crossing the road toward the woods. “Goodbye, giant wiener,” he said over his shoulder. “If you want my advice, you should go and join the circus. That is the only place I can think of where they would be happy to see a giant wiener walk through the door looking for work.” He disappeared into the woods without a trace.
Johnny smiled and considered this valuable advice. “That man was nice,” he thought. “His words made me feel hopeful for my future in this society.” He turned and entered the gas station, listening to the car keys as they jingled in his hand. There was a counter with a man sitting behind it, reading a magazine that had cars on the front.
“Hello,” said Johnny. “I am Johnny Hot Dog. Could you please tell me where the circus is?”
The man looked up from his magazine and gasped. “You’re a giant wiener!” he said nervously.
“Yes,” said Johnny. “I have been told by a very helpful man that the only place where I might find work would be the circus, so I would like to find the circus as soon as possible.” As he spoke, Johnny held the rubber fishing worm so that the man could easily see it.
“Well, that makes sense to me,” said the man. “Hmmm…seems I recall there being a circus over in Siler City right now. That’s ten miles down the road, that way.” He pointed to his right. “It’s a small circus, but it’s a circus.”
“Thank you,” said Johnny. “Can you also tell me how to operate a car? The very helpful man gave me his, along with his clothes, his wallet, and his identity, before he went into the woods to live as a wild man or a caveman.”
“Well,” the man said, thinking, “you put one of those keys in the ignition – you should be able to figure out what that is by looking at it – and you turn it until the car starts. Then you move the lever on the steering wheel until the little arrow points to the D, which stands for ‘drive.’ You push on the right floor pedal to make the car go forward, the left one to slow it down. If you want to go in reverse, you make the little arrow point to the R. And to park the car like it is now, you point the little arrow at the P.”
“That is very useful information,” said Johnny. “I believe that I can now operate the car sufficiently to get me to Siler City, where the circus is. I am very grateful to you.” He wondered what he could do to repay the man, and then he remembered his rubber fishing worm. “Here,” he said, putting the worm on the countertop. “Please accept this in return for your help. It is my first possession as a member of this society, and it was given to me by Lily Millie, period.”
The man held the rubber fishing worm between his fingers. “Yeah, this is one of mine,” he said. “It’s a Rod Ranger lure. Fifty cents for a bag of ten.”
“Rod Ranger,” Johnny repeated. “I like that name. I will use it when the one I have now wears out.”
“Names don’t wear out,” said the man. “But you can change yours anytime you want, I guess. What about the man’s name? The man who gave you the car and the wallet?”
Johnny hadn’t thought of this until now. He opened the wallet and looked at the various cards and photographs that spilled out in their plastic sleeves. “The name that appears inside this wallet is Lester Storch. Perhaps I can be Johnny Hot Dog until the day I decide to change my name, and on that day I can become Lester Storch. Or Rod Ranger. It is nice to have such a choice.”
“I guess so,” said the man. “I’ve always been pretty happy with my name and I’ve never had any reason to change it.”
“Are you Buddy?” Johnny asked. “If so, you should probably stay Buddy, or else you will have to change your sign.”
“Yeah, I’m Buddy. That name suits me well enough.”
“Well, Buddy,” said Johnny, “I thank you for your assistance. I will now drive my new car to Siler City and look for the circus. Goodbye.”
“Bye,” said Buddy as he watched Johnny exit the station and get into his car. Several moments later the motor ground to life and roared loudly. Then the car lurched forward and crashed through all three gas pumps and one of the poles that supported the overhang. It creaked loudly, then collapsed in a cloud of dust as Johnny Hot Dog sped away haphazardly down the road toward Siler City and a new life in the circus.
As the countryside blurred by on either side, Johnny Hot Dog reflected upon the day’s events. In his short time as a member of society he had made three friends -- Lily Millie, Lester Storch, and Buddy – and they had all been very nice and very helpful to him. He looked forward to meeting more people, especially these circus people who would, according to Lester Storch, accept him and offer him work. Then he would really be a genuine member of the human race, and he would be the luckiest giant wiener in the whole wide world. This thought made him so happy that he immediately composed a song which would later become his theme song in the circus, and he sang it loudly as he drove.
“I am Johnny Hot Dog, Johnny Hot Dog is my name
I go to join the circus, in hopes of gaining fame
I’ll dance and sing and yodel, and hop around and prance
I’ll make the children happy, until they laugh and dance.
“I am Johnny Hot Dog, until that fateful day
When I become Rod Ranger, and Rod Ranger I will stay
Unless I suddenly decide that I am Lester Storch
And live in Lester Storch’s house, and whittle on his porch.
“I am Johnny Hot Dog, a fact that’s true and firm
Since Lily Millie, period, gave me a fishing worm
And Lester Storch bestowed on me his clothes and name and car
And Buddy told me where the circus was, and just how far.
“I am Johnny Hot Dog, a happy giant wiener
My future could not be more bright, or my anticipation keener
I hope that I don’t crash this car, into a truck or train
Or come down with amnesia, or go totally insane.
“I am Johnny Hot Dog, the circus is my fate
I’ll travel with the elephants and clowns to every state.
I’ll be the only giant wiener you can pay to see
I’ll hand out rubber fishing worms, and happy I will be.”
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Here are some of the sayings that I find extremely irritating. Please do not use them around me, and if you must, please give me advance warning so that I can pre-emptively attack you.
"Just sayin'." Some people think it's really cute to complain or make a snide, smart-ass comment about something, and then cutely end it with the phrase "just sayin'." You can almost see them putting their finger under their chin and making an "aww, aren't I cute?" face when they say it. Here's an example: "Uhh...aren't you a little old to be watching 'Howdy Doody'? Just sayin'."
EAT ME!!!!!!!! Just sayin'.
"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful." Sorry, but I do hate you--because you're beautiful.
"Death is just a part of life." Really? Well, then it's an incredibly crappy part of life. Which I will continue to complain about, so you might as well just shut up.
Let's see--that time I went to Disneyland when I was a kid? That was a really good part of life. First sexual experience? Good. Seeing Devo in person? Good. Death? Hmmm, that's a tough one...wait, no it isn't. IT SUCKS. DUMBASS. So, next time you feel like you're some wise old sage doling out wisdom like somebody's old pipe-smokin' grandy-paw, go outside and say "Mnyehh, death is just a part of life" to my dog. She will look at you as though you actually deserve the attention, and wag her tail, so maybe you won't feel quite like the huge, blithering dickhead that you are.
"A stitch in time saves nine." "Time" doesn't rhyme with "nine", Shakespeare.
"There may be snow on the roof, but there's still fire in the furnace." That's great. Too bad the house is condemned.
"You look like you fell out of the ugly tree, and hit every limb on the way down." This irritates me because it forces my mind to envision something called "the ugly tree." Like, there's some tree with ugly people in it, either sitting around on the branches or hanging off of it like some horrible human fruit, and every once in a while one of them falls to the ground and gets up, and suddenly there's one more ugly person walking around.
This image is almost too bizarre for my mind to bear, so whenever someone uses this expression it bugs me for the rest of the day. It makes me want to get revenge on this person by stealing a bunch of corpses from the local morgue, breaking into their house while they're asleep, and leaving the corpses lounging around in the livingroom watching TV or sitting around the kitchen table waiting for breakfast. When the person wakes up, finds the surprise I've arranged for him, and starts screaming, I would pop out from behind something and shout, "VENGEANCE IS MINE!!! HA HA HA HA HA!!!" and they wouldn't even know what I was referring to, which would make it even better.
Somehow, I doubt if the entire phrase was even created all at once. It sounds to me like one backwoods yokel with two teeth drawled, "Yew look like yew fell out'n the ugly tree, heh heh" and then his cackling little toady added, "Yeah, and hit ever' limb on the way down", and the first guy said, "Yeah, and hit ever' limb on the way down, heh heh." You know, sort of like a tag-team deal.
Maybe a lot of old sayings started out as team efforts. In fact, legend tells us that Benjamin Franklin originally stated: "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy." And when someone suggested adding "wealthy and wise" to the end, Franklin thought about it for a moment and said, "Hmm...doesn't make any frickin' sense, but it rhymes." And indeed, the simple addition of this rhyme has fooled all subsequent generations into believing that going to bed early and getting up early will somehow make them richer and smarter, which, of course, is total bullshit.
"One hand washes the other." I'm so sick of the idea that hands are forever destined to wash each other. Don't you think a hand ever reaches a point where it dreads seeing that other hand coming at it with a bar of soap yet again? Don't you think that, just once, a hand might like to get washed by a foot? Heck, with enough practice, you could easily wash your hand with your face. And with a little imagination you can turn your own buttocks into a fun, frothy "car wash" for your hand. Plus, this would free up the other hand to do something else for a change, like making origami hamsters.
I am currently training myself to wash my entire body using only my feet, head, and buttocks, which will release both of my hands from the bondage of washing so they can do all sorts of other stuff. I'd like to be able to tell everyone how to do this, but just following some instructions won't cut it--like kung fu, you just have to do it over and over until you get good at it. It's not like Keanu Reeves putting a thing on his head and then five seconds later saying, "Whoa...I know how to wash my hair with my ass."
Personally, I have been undergoing this rigid discipline for over fourteen years, and am still far from the point at which I'll be able to snatch a pebble from someone's hand with my buttocks. But I can do crossword puzzles and play the xylophone while taking a shower and still come out clean as a whistle.
(Read "Porfle Vs. More Irritating Sayings" HERE.)
Monday, July 8, 2013
I'm not sure exactly when furniture diving got to be so popular, or "hip", but it's certainly starting to get on my nerves. At first, people only did it in private groups and in the seclusion of secret, shameful little hideaways where neither I nor other decent people had to look at them. But now, these uncivilized hooligans are doing it all over the place like a bunch of cheese-crazed bagel thieves.
I was sitting in the doctor's waiting room a few weeks ago. There wasn't anything wrong with me--I just like the magazines. Suddenly a guy came in and started diving off the furniture. He climbed up onto a coffee table and did a swan dive right into the linoleum, face-first, as though he expected it to be a cool, refreshing pool of water. Then, bleeding profusely from a gaping head wound, he jumped right onto the arm of my chair--causing me to lose my place in an article I was reading about throbbing genital warts in the Foreign Legion--and did a double-twisting back flip. Actually, he only finished about one-and-a-half twists before crashing into a large display of "Take One" pamphlets and demolishing a potted plant.
As if that weren't enough, he then managed to drag himself up onto the receptionist's counter and was about to do some other horrible kind of dive off of it before the sheriff finally showed up and hauled him off to jail at gunpoint. I got a bunch of the guys together that night and we formed an angry mob around the jailhouse, but the sheriff came out and gave us the old speech about "law and order" and all that crap and then pointed his shotgun at me and told me I'd be the first to die if we tried to rush him, so we went home. But I was still mad.
Of course, MTV has tried to cash in on the whole thing by coming up with shows like "Furniture Diving of the Stars" and "Pimp-Dive Off My Furniture." And ESPN is doing "extreme" furniture-diving shows now, where they dive off of those big antique armoires and other highly dangerous items of furniture and often get seriously injured or even killed. That's the only good thing about those shows, ha ha, seeing these reckless idiots buy it in entertaining ways.
Just last week, Mariah Carey dove off a fancy china cabinet in her formal dining room and crashed into P. Diddy, and they both flew out a second-storey window and landed on her Lamborghini. On another show, famed jackass "Bam" Margera dove backward off his mother's priceless Victorian vanity table, landed on a skateboard, plunged screaming down three flights of stairs, and was launched headfirst into his Uncle Vito's ass while he was bending over to rip off a Deluxe Beef 'n' Bean Burrito fart. It took the fire department six hours to remove his head, the footage of which can now be seen in a rather effective anti-furniture-diving public service announcement that is currently being shown on the giant screen during most sporting events and rock concerts.
Perhaps the worst aspect of this whole heinous fad is the "Little Miss Furniture Diver" Pageant, which I totally think should be banned. It's well beyond my comprehension how these parents can subject their own innocent children to such blatant exploitation when the prize money is so low. Like, a thousand dollars or something. And to think that they're instilling in these poor tykes a sense of self-worth that is solely dependant on how cute they look diving off chairs, tables, futons, and even home entertainment modules and bunk beds. And if you ask me, Larry King and Kathie Lee Gifford should be ashamed of themselves for emceeing such a loathesome event.
Unfortunately, furniture-diving doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. Judge Judy now concludes each segment of her show by diving off her judge's bench and crashing into either the plaintive or the defendant, depending on who wins. Oprah Winfrey recently dove off the sofa during her show and landed on Tom Cruise, putting him into intensive care for six weeks. Venerable commentator Andy Rooney has been summarily fired from "60 Minutes" and replaced with Carrot Top because he refused to dive off his desk. And over on Fox News, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly now compete to see who can do the most dangerous dives off various parts of their set while perplexed guests such as John McCain and Boutros Boutros-Ghali sit ignored.
Which begs the question: will the next President of the United States be a furniture diver? What will "State of the Union" addresses look like in the future? Will presidential press conferences end with a swan dive off the podium? What will future candidates be willing to dive off of in order to win the nomination? How the hell will Batman and Robin get out of this one? Where did Fernstetter hide the lizards? Is there a small Japanese woman living in my closet? Why did I wake up next to Vince McMahon this morning?
Sometimes I like to pretend that the Wolf Man and I are hog farmers and that, at the county fair, I get to put my hog next to the Wolf Man’s hog. Would you like to put your hog next to the Wolf Man’s hog? If not, why not?
Here are some other very deep, profound questions that I’ve been pondering lately:
“What is the definition of a man?”
Let’s take a look at a few of them. First, there’s Ernest Borgnine. Somebody had to marry Ethel Merman, and Ernest Borgnine stepped up to the plate. That was the first hurdle. The next one was the honeymoon, and the inevitable wedding night. Somebody had to see Ethel Merman naked, and Ernest Borgnine took the bullet for the rest of us. I won’t even discuss what happened next. Ernest Borgnine made the world safe for all of us that night, going where no man had ever wanted to go before and coming out of it alive.
Next, there’s Wilford Brimley. The man. The actor. The legend. A mound of unmolded clay, waiting to be formed into something that will uplift and inspire the world. And, in the final analysis, all it really takes to light the eternal flame that is Wilford Brimley is a horse, a fork lift, and the Grand Canyon. So when he tells me to go to the doctor to get something checked, I do it without question. Or at least think about doing it. Or, at the very least, make an attempt to consider remembering to think about trying not to forget to come within a reasonable approximation of intending to imagine myself beginning to formulate an almost semi-valid simulation of the actual consummation of the act of doing what I will probably never get around to doing anyway but did, after all, entertain the notion of doing in a somewhat vague and abstract way. Which is, of course, the magic that is Wilford Brimley.
Finally, there is Charles A. “Clench” van Wellenmellen, the guy with the mullet who works in the Pet Department at Wal-Mart on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and some Saturdays. I was going to buy the expensive name-brand windshield wiper fluid, but he told me that the less expensive generic brand was just as good. This saved me eighty-five cents, which I then spent on popcorn. I wanted a corn dog, but that cost more. I went back to find Charles A. “Clench” van Wellenmellen to see if he could save me some more money on something else so that I would then be able to afford the corn dog, and maybe extend my projected meal into a corn dog-popcorn combo.
But then I wanted a Dr. Pepper, too. So I decided at that moment to purchase a set of Firestone whitewall radial tires, which were on sale that week, in order to be able to save enough money to afford the entire meal that had so inflamed my imagination as well as my appetite. But I couldn’t find him. He had gone back to the Pet Department, as I later discovered, to remove all the dead fish from the aquarium displays. What do they do with all the dead fish that they remove from the aquarium displays, I wondered long after I had returned home in defeat.
But what, I then pondered, is defeat? Not getting a corn dog? Well, I realized, if defeat is not getting a corn dog, then that just makes the popcorn taste all that much better. And the windshield wiper fluid worked splendidly, by the way. It cut through the dried bug guts like a knife slicing through hot butter. Which is why, after all these years, I still heat the butter before I put it on the table and then watch the amazed looks on everyone’s faces when the knife slices through it like a windshield wiper cutting through dried bug guts.
(Personal note to “Fluffy”: Yes, you did leave your “Planet of the Apes” DVD at my house.)
“If a man says something in the woods, and there is no woman around to hear it, is he still wrong?”
Hmm, wait a minute — let me ask Phil Donahue. Okay, the answer is “yes.” Which is why you rarely see me hanging around in the woods, especially if there’s a possibility of running into Phil Donahue in there. He may look relatively normal on TV, but if you see him out in the woods it’s just creepy.
“When a man thinks he is good in spirit and heart, how does he know if he is righteous?”
Well, Regis, I think I’m going to have to use my third lifeline on that one. Hello? L. Ron Hubbard? You don’t know me, but I have a question I’d really like to answer, and I thought maybe you might’ve covered it in that book you wrote…you know, the one about dieticians…oh, it wasn’t?…that’s funny, I did everything you said and lost forty pounds in two months…anyway, when a man…hello?…hello? Okay, Regis, I’m going to say that he doesn’t know, and it doesn’t matter if he knows or not if he is. Righteous, that is. Yes, that’s my final answer. Oh? Well, thanks for the lovely parting gifts. The leg cream will really come in handy next time I decide to go rock climbing in the Himalayas.
“Does a hummingbird have too much space in its nest if it has only one nestling?”
Before I attempt to answer that question, allow me to ask one first. What the f***? And now, here is my answer. No. I could have said “yes”, but I decided to say “no.” Why, do you ask? That’s what I say — why do you ask? Well, here it is in a nutshell. If a hummingbird has only one nestling, then she suddenly realizes that, at last, she can finally rearrange the nest according to design, rather than being a slave to function. Which means more space for walking and sitting, along with more negative areas within which to ponder positive thoughts. What might a “positive thought” consist of in the mind of a hummingbird? Oh, I don’t know…”gosh, look at all the delicious worms”, I guess. Or maybe something like “cool, this hummingbird feeder isn’t extremely rank.” (Note: change your hummingbird feeder occasionally. That red crap doesn’t stay fresh forever.)
Besides, the nestling will have extra space to grow up in, and for a baby hummingbird, that’s a positive step toward becoming a big, strapping, adult hummingbird ready to take on the world. Which, if you stop and think about it, is a pretty stupid concept. Ask anyone on the street if they care one way or another about how big hummingbirds get, and chances are they’ll look at you and ask, “Aren’t you the guy I saw prowling around my garbage cans last night?” Which, of course, I am under no obligation to admit to, regardless of whether or not I can actually prove where I was or discern the comparative size of a hummingbird just by looking at it from a distance, which you will find out when you try to get close to one with a ruler.
For example, have you ever heard anyone say “Hey, look how big that hummingbird is compared to that other one — I’ll bet it was an only nestling”? Which doesn’t even take into account the possibility that hummingbirds don’t even care how big they are. In fact, it’s entirely likely that inordinate size is a distinct disadvantage for hummingbirds, since I can’t remember ever seeing any hummingbird feeders or hummingbird houses or hummingbird anythings that were designed to accomodate the “full-figured” hummingbird.
But, at this point, I have gone well beyond my usual daily allotment of wondering about hummingbirds, and besides, this is getting to be a pretty big nutshell. More like a walnut shell, perhaps, or one of those big Brazil nuts that they never put enough of in a can of mixed nuts because peanuts are cheaper. But then again, that’s life — every once in a while you get a Brazil nut, and the rest of the time you get peanuts. If you happen to like peanuts, life is good.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Fictional characters are really stupid because they aren't real. I mean, Sherlock Holmes is supposed to be so smart, right? Well, guess what? He's a blithering idiot compared to me. Why? Because he doesn't exist. And the sad fact is, people who don't exist are dumber than even the stupidest actual, real people in the world. Including me, ha-ha.
Sherlock Holmes only said and did smart things when author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote them for him. And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died, like, at least fifty or sixty years ago, right? So Sherlock Holmes is just wandering around in some literary void somewhere waiting for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to tell him to scratch his butt or whatever. And Dr. Watson is gawking at him like "Dude...?" because he's even dumber than Sherlock Holmes. Elementary, indeed!
I don't mean to brag or anything, but I thought that last "Elementary, indeed!" crack was pretty clever of me. Anyway, fictional characters are nothing more than ideas that some writer stuck down on paper. Meaning that they are at the mercy of anyone who decides to write about them. For example, picking on Sherlock Holmes a bit further, I myself could sit down and write a story called "Sherlock Holmes Strips Naked, Ballet Dances Into A Rotary Club Ladies' Auxillary Meeting, and Performs An Impromptu Weenis Puppet Show For Your Mom and Her Friends." And he'd have to do it. Nice weenis puppet show there, Sherlock.
(The concept of naked Sherlock Holmes doing a weenis puppet show for your mom is a copyrighted idea, by the way, so if you're thinking about writing your own similar story, expect a call from someone claiming to be my lawyer in the morning.)
Sure, fictional characters are entertaining. But as soon as they start thinking they're all that, they should be reminded of how much extremely better I am than they are. A prime example of this is the great James Bond, 007. Since the passing of his creator, Peggy Fleming, Bond thinks he can flounce around blowing his own horn and being the coolest guy in the universe without any literary supervision whatsoever. Well, wrong-o, "Commander Bond, James Bond."
Because even now, I'm in the process of writing an epic story where you get kicked out of Her Majesty's Secret Service for having an illicit affair with a diseased water buffalo, and the only job you can find is to appear as "Buttsniffer Bob" on a children's TV show called "Poopyland." So one false move, Double-O Dork, and this story goes right onto the Internet for tens of people to read, eventually. Checkmate, MISTER Bond!
And just imagine the great Batman, if you would, swooping around like a winged avenger in the night, deep in some thrilling adventure against a dastardly super-criminal with the fate of Gotham City in the balance, and then suddenly some little kid picks up a Big Chief tablet and a crayon and starts writing a story called "Batman Finds My Missing Betsy-Wetsy Doll." So Batman has to drop whatever he's doing and go off looking for a friggin' Betsy-Wetsy doll because he's a fictional character and he has no choice in the matter.
"Batman! Help us!" the citizens of Gotham City would scream. "The Joker's murdering millions of people!" and Batman would have to say, "Sorry, citizens! I have to track down Sally's missing Betsy-Wetsy doll first!" and everybody would shrug at each other like "WTF?"
So, this is why I purport that fictional characters are stupid and lame. And yes, "purport" is a real word. I'm probably using it incorrectly, but I don't care. What I do know, and nobody on Earth can contradict me on this because there's no way to amass any empirical data to the contrary, ha-ha, is that I am infinitely superior to Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Batman put together. Even if some great wordsmith such as Stephen King decided to write a story called "Porfle Wears a Banana Suit Into The Gorilla Cage At The San Diego Zoo" or "Porfle Gets Into Telepod A, Richard Simmons Gets Into Telepod B, and The Ghastly A-B Combination That Comes Flying Out of Telepod C Eats Woody Allen's Shorts", it wouldn't have any effect on me because I'm real and I don't actually have to do any of that stuff. Besides, Richard Simmons and Woody Allen are real, too. I think. And Stephen King wouldn't dare write anything uncomplimentary about me, because I have incriminating photographs of him and a certain, shall we say, "hydraulic device." Maybe it's a forklift, maybe not. We'll see what happens. (LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I just made that last part up.)
And then, of course, there are those fictional characters that exist in the hazy twilight area between fantasy and reality. Characters like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Roy and Dale were real people, yet they played fictional characters named "Roy and Dale" in movies and TV shows. I still have no idea what that's all about. In real life, they were rich movie stars who lived in Hollywood, but in the movies, they lived on a really neat anachronistic ranch near an old-timey Western town (in, like, the 50s) and hung out with comedy-relief morons like Gabby Hayes and Andy Devine.
They couldn't hang out with full-fledged fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes or Batman, of course. If they ever ran into Batman, they'd probably just say something like "Batman? What the flying 'F' are you doing here in Prairie Dog Flats?" and he'd say "Beats the everlivin' bat (beep) outta me, citizen--I was looking for Sally's Betsy-Wetsy doll" and they'd say "Well, why don't you get Sherlock Holmes to help you find it?" and he'd say "I tried, but his dumb ass was putting on a weenis puppet show for your mom" and Roy and Dale would say "Well, I'll be hornswoggled!" and Batman would be all like "Yeah, right...what the f*** ever."
Monday, July 1, 2013
If I had been one of Quentin Tarantino's celebrated RESERVOIR DOGS, I wouldn't have been named after a stupid color like Mr. Pink or Mr. Orange. I would have been called "Mr. Shut Up." For example, in the opening scene in which they're all sitting around the breakfast table in a diner, discussing Madonna's "Like a Virgin" video...
MR. BROWN: ...and so, the reason she's singing about it being like the first time isn't because of some sweet romantic feeling she's having, but because of the fact that this guy has such a huge--
MR. SHUT UP: Oh, shut up. Madonna sucks, and anyone who likes her or even talks about her is stupid, including you. Including ALL of you. So just shut up.
MR. BROWN: (who is played by Tarantino) Who the f*** do you think you are? Hey, I WROTE this f***ing script, okay? I can say whatever the f*** I want, okay, and furthermore, I can write you as, like, a f***ing PENGUIN if I want to.
MR. SHUT UP: You better not! I'll tell Perez Hilton the truth about you!
MR. BROWN: Oh, yeah?
MR. SHUT UP: Yeah!
JOE: Toby Wong?
MR. SHUT UP: Shut up.
MR. BLONDE: Are you just gonna bark all day...little doggy...or are you gonna--
MR. SHUT UP: Shut up!
MR. PINK: Hey look, man, just because you don't personally happen to like something doesn't mean that everyone else who personally happens to like it happens to be stu--
MR. SHUT UP: Shut up! You're funny-looking.
MR. PINK: Funny-looking? How am I funny-looking?
MR. SHUT UP: Oh, just in a general sort of way.
JOE: I want the BOAT of youse to SHUT UP!
MR. SHUT UP: I don't HAVE to, and you can't MAKE me.
JOE: I said SHUT UP!
MR. SHUT UP: No, YOU shut up!
NICE GUY EDDIE: STOP TELLIN' MY DAD TO SHUT UP!
MR. SHUT UP: SHUT UP!
I'm sure you can see how the addition of me as "Mr. Shut Up" would've transformed Tarantino's slightly passable attempt at filmmaking into a genuine classic and made "shut up" a nationwide catchphrase used by millions. This, of course, would also apply to other films that just missed being great by lacking that one magic element--me--which would elevate them to classic status. Films such as THE GODFATHER:
DON CORLEONE: Bonasera...if you had come to me in friendship, these animals who injured your daughter would be suffering this very day. And then they would fear--
SHUTUPPO CORLEONE: (played by me) Shut up, Dad. You've dragged this stupid Bonasera hoo-hah out for half an hour now, and it's makin' me barf. Just tell old Moustache Pete here to "shut up" and go bake some waffles or something. On second thought, tell him to "butt" up. It sounds funnier.
DON CORLEONE: Why? Why do you treat me with such disrespect? What have I--
SHUTUPPO CORLEONE: Butt up, Dad.
TOM HAGEN: Sir, I've been weighing the funniness of those two terms, and it's my opinion that, in the long run, "butt up" is indeed funnier than "shut up." Maybe not now, but...ten years from now.
DON CORLEONE: What, so I'm supposed to start telling people to "butt up" now?
SONNY CORLEONE: Pop, all the other families are gettin' in on this "butt up" thing. The Barzinis, the Tattaglias...even the Cuneos, those pastafazool--
SHUTUPPO CORLEONE: Butt up, Sonny.
SONNY CORLEONE: HEY, WHO YOU TELLIN' TO BUTT UP--?
SHUTUPPO CORLEONE: It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business.
TOM HAGEN: So, what are we gonna do about this Sollozzo business? With that crooked police chief McCluskey watching him like a hawk, we can't get near him.
SHUTUPPO CORLEONE: Here's what we do. Tom, butt up. But first, you arrange a meeting... in a restaurant, a bar... somewhere public, where he'll feel safe. It will be me, Sollozzo, and McCluskey. We sit down, order our food, and start to talk. Then, when things have settled down, they've lowered their guard, and they least expect it... I tell them both to butt up.
CONNIE CORLEONE: Papa, why are you discussing business on my wedding day? It's time to cut the cake--
CARLO: Hey, butt up, Connie.
SONNY CORLEONE: Don't you EVAH tell my sister to butt up.
LUCA BRASI: Don Corleone, I am honored and grateful dat you have invited me to your--
SHUTUPPO CORLEONE: Butt up, Luca.
LUCA BRASI: Don Corleone, I'm gonna butt up now, because I know dat you are busy.