Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Haiku

It's trick-or-treat time
got treats - hand sanitizers
now that is scary

Monday, October 26, 2009

Birthday Haiku

I'm liking this haiku thing. Here's a few I wrote for a friend's 50th birthday:

So you're fifty now
You can start to forget that
What was I saying?

Half a century
Sounds depressing, doesn't it?
Depends on which half

The older you get
The less you will care about
Who thinks you're a bitch

Fifty brings freedom
To really be who you are
And not give a crap

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Parent Trap - the Dark Side

Okay, does anyone else find the whole concept of "The Parent Trap" profoundly disturbing?? Maybe it's because I lost my father when I was eight, but I find the whole idea kind of warped. You've got two parents who each not only effectively abandon one of their children, but keep two sisters - twins, yet - separated without telling them that the other one even exists. I'd like to write an alternate version of the story entitled "The Parent Trap - the Dark Side. Separated in infancy and left without conscious knowledge of their loss, the twins develop severe attachment disorder and become serial killers." I could see it as an SNL episode....

Actually, writing alternate versions of films could be interesting. How about "Saving Private Ryan" as a romantic comedy. Or "Godfather II - The Musical."

Or how about incongruent screen couples: Vanessa Redgrave and Pauly Shore. Or Emma Thompson and Sylvester Stallone. Judi Dench and Woody Allen. These are the things I think about when I can't sleep at two in the morning....

I have always found religious rituals somewhat bizarre. The bar mitzvah – Now there's an interesting tradition. "Today, you are a man. Yesterday, you got in trouble for giving someone a wedgie in gym class, but today you're a man. If a 20-year-old woman tried to have sex with you she'd get arrested, but you're a man." I guess when the custom first started people only lived to about 35, so 13 was a grown-up. You got toilet-trained, threw spitballs, had wet dreams, tried drugs, got married, had kids, found a gray hair in your crotch and died.

The bar mitzvah's kind of like a one-man show. You've got your props, the Torah and shofar, which is made out of a ram's horn (and when you're talking about 13-year-old boys, any kind of "horn" is apropos). Your relatives are stagehands; they hop on and off stage to help with the props. This is to make sure no one dozes off for too long. "Wake up Grandpa, it's your turn to unwrap the Torah." The kid stands up on stage and recites prayers for two hours. As long as he's up there, why not have him tell some jokes? "A priest, a rabbi and a nun were sitting in a boat..." The kid sings in a foreign language, kind of like an opera in Hebrew. As long as he has to sing, why not do some tunes from Fiddler on the Roof? Or maybe a Barbara Streisand number. Why does religion have to be so serious, anyway? Have fun with it. Priests should all wear big red clown noses. You go to church, have a few laughs, you get a balloon animal on the way out.

I give Catholics a lot of credit. How do they keep track of all those saints? How do they decide who becomes a saint? I guess if you suffer enough, you can be a saint. In that case, all Jews should be saints, since we're good at suffering. Suffering's our thing. Yeah, Saint Goldfarb, patron saint of PMS. I think they should have a patron saint of hospital food. Saint Barf.

By the way, what does it really mean to take the Lord's name in vain? You stand in front of the mirror and go, "Goddamn, I'm good-looking."

Religion does have its good points. The lure of heaven is certainly tempting. Heaven is like the prize dangling there at the end of the endurance contest. You enter the contest, you jump over all these hurdles, and if you don't kill anyone along the way you get the prize.

But it's a mystery prize. No one really knows what the prize is. What if it turns out to be like those holiday gifts from your aunt, like bunny slippers? Can you pretend to like it? Sure, you can fool your aunt, but if there is a God of some sort, he or she is probably less gullible.

Some people say whatever you want heaven to be, that's what it is for you. My idea of heaven would be the men I wanted to sleep with but couldn't, all lined up next to a six-foot-tall hot fudge sundae. Now that's heaven.

Virgin Mugger

A couple of years ago I was coming home from a Steve Almond reading (if you don't know who he is, check him out - he's hilarious, not to mention very cute) and was about to put the key in my front door when I heard a voice behind me. I thought it was a neighbor - I turned around, and some guy was standing behind me on my front porch. He said, "Give me your purse and you won't get hurt." I said, "What?" He repeated himself. I stared at him, thinking, I'm not giving this asshole my purse, and trying to decide if I should just screech in his face and scare the shit out of him. He said, "I'm not kidding." He had no visible weapon of any kind, he wasn't touching me or trying to grab the purse, and he was so amiable about the whole thing that I didn't feel particularly threatened. If he was high on anything, it was probably weed, he was so mellow. I said, "I don't even have any cash," which happened to be true (I had thirteen cents in my wallet). He just stood there and looked at me like, shit, what now? I then yelled at him, "Get the hell out of here!" and he left. Didn't even run; just kind of sauntered away. He was probably the most lame-ass mugger I've ever heard of. I can't help but be grateful that, if I had to have an attempted robbery experience, I was lucky enough to have one with someone who was such a model of gentility. Was he a mugging virgin? Perhaps. Maybe just a Cambridge native. I speculate that maybe that one unsuccessful mugging attempt caused him to re-evaluate his life path and decide to go to college after all and follow his dream to become a marine biologist. But probably not.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Phone Therapy

Hello. Welcome to Phone Therapy. If you're depressed, press one. If you're trying to work through childhood traumas, press two. If you have multiple personality disorder, press three and four. If you have an eating disorder, press pound. You have pressed two, working through childhood traumas. If this is correct, press star. If you are the adult child of an alcoholic parent, press two. If you are the adult child of a parent addicted to twelve-step programs, press three. If you are the adult child of a Republican, press four. If you are the adult child of sixties love children who named you after a plant, press five. You have pressed five. If you are a woman who loves too much, press one. If you are a woman who reads too much about women who love too much, press two. You have pressed one. If you are drawn to men who are emotionally unavailable, press two. If you prone to affairs with married men, press three. If you want to have an affair with a married man, hang up and call 555-2123. If you remember why the hell you called in the first place, hold on and someone will be with you shortly. Have a wonderful day.

Is That a Squirrel on Your Head, or Are You Happy to See Me?

The toupee was invented in 1572, when bald Prince Comb-over slid across the floor and injured himself while attempting a headstand. At this crucial turning point in history, men decided (apparently oblivious to most women's attraction to elongated foreheads) that even bad hair was better than no hair. The first toupee was made out of pig whiskers. However, this was not only excruciatingly uncomfortable, but had the unfortunate consequence of causing the men who wore these hairpieces to snort at inopportune moments.

Cat hair was the next material to be attempted, but this was abandoned after the wearers began coughing up hairballs on the carpet. After the cat hairpieces lost their popularity, hairmakers graduated to dog hair. Regrettably, not only did the wearers develop a flea problem but also a rather disconcerting penchant for fire hydrants.

From dog hair, toupee-makers resorted to synthetic materials such as polyethylene, which they shaped with scissors and fitted onto the scalp. However, this material was quite flammable, and gentlemen's heads frequently ignited when they attempted to light their dates' cigarettes.

The next attempt was with polyester fibers similar to those used in carpets, which were also shaped with scissors – hence the term, "cutting a rug." Dust mites made these hairpieces unbearably itchy, and the rug shampoo used to clean them caused any real hair underneath to turn green and fall out.

Hair artists, as wig makers preferred to be called, then went through several other materials, including dyed plant leaves. Not only did these hairpieces look incredibly ludicrous, but the men wearing them developed a fear of cats, as the animals would often pounce on their heads and chew the leaves.

Subsequently, the practice of using real human hair was developed by a funeral director. Sadly, the wearers of these toupees often took on the characteristics of what later became known through popular films as the "living dead," much to the consternation of their loved ones.

At this point, bald men began the horrifying practice of flinging their side hairs across their scalps, as if this were fooling anybody. Unfortunately, this practice is still used today, for some unfathomable reason. Hairpieces, however, have been perfected to the point where one almost can't see the seams, although occasionally one may be compelled to ask the wearer, "Is that your real hair, or did an otter die on your head?"