Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Hardass Goes to Show and Tell

The Hardass stared with eyes of chipped granite into the icy maw of oblivion between swipes of the windshield wipers. He did this with one side of his mouth turned slightly upward forming a species of almost-smile to frame his gritted teeth. This was as close as he got, generally, unless there was sex involved. That sublime act of thrustery allowed emotions he kept locked deep in the bomb shelter that was his subconscious to punch through. On those occasions, he would allow the other side of his mouth to twitch.

The weather was being a bastard, but The Hardass expected that from the weather. He’d had many an occasion to swear at it for being too rainy, too sunny, too humid, too full of sparrows... Today it was too full of frozen water, though The Hardass held a grudging respect for ice because it was cold and hard and killed people.

Sleet and pedestrians pelted the windshield of his chrome bulldozer as he thundered through the narrow avenues of Downtown.

“Damn,” he growled across a steaming mug of molten lead with marshmallows on top. If he was going to make it to Boringdale Elementary on time, he was going to have to find some shortcuts.

The station chief, one Chuck Franklin, was the weasel behind his little field trip to Boringdale today. Franklin knew damn well that The Hardass was the only one in his department that didn’t have children, so the putz had sent him.

“Children give me heartburn, Franklin.”

“Oh, they’re not so bad. This’ll be good for you. You could use some experience with more delicate work, and sending a decorated detective like you is good PR.”

“Seriously, Chuck. I got better people and things to do than to prance off and talk to a bunch of gunky kids.”

“No doubt you do. Today’s a slow day, though, and Boringdale asked us to send a cop over to talk to the third graders for Career Day. I’m sorry pal, but you gotta do it. That’s an order.”

Thinking back to that recent encounter, The Hardass was glad he’d eaten Franklin’s cell phone as he passed his office on the way out.

He made a skidding left and cut across the parking lot of a hair salon, clipping a rear-view mirror off a silver Chevrolet Cobalt with his machine’s forward blade.

“Heh,” he boomed into his mug. Even if he was late, at least he brought along his favorite mix CD he'd burned himself by scratching the binary into a solid disc of aluminum with his teeth: recordings of exploding mortar shells and busy steel mills. The Hardass turned up the bass.

* * *

Milford Brunkley, lone security guard at Boringdale Elementary, twirled his taser happily as he galumphed the halls of academia.

“Froightfully smart, these kids,” he mumbled to himself in a glutinous Cockney. Many of them knew fancy tricks like addition and subtraction, and he had even heard that one or two of them could...whaddyacallit...multifly. Something like that. It was all voodoo magic to Milford.

“No matter, though,” he said, still to himself. “Ain’t my job, learnin’. I’m ‘ere fer security purposes. Learnin' gives me a roight ol’ case of the bothers.”

Milford paused and cocked an ear.

“Strap me ifn’ that don’t sound loik a Diesel out front. Ruddy big ‘un, too. Oop, now it’s gone.” He speared an apple, from a fanny pack strapped around his generous gut, on the end of his taser.

At the sound of shattering glass, Milford forgot his apple and sprinted to the source like the duty-bound protector of the weak and magical that he was. Rounding a corner and skidding to a stop at the front doors in Boringdale’s arterial hallway, he beheld a giant man in an alligator coat brushing shards of glass out of his hair.

“Oi! What’s all this?”

“Sign said push, so I pushed,” The Hardass explained, gesturing to the twisted remains of the steel double doors. “Where do you keep the third graders? I’m supposed to talk to the little bastards about law enforcement and stuff. God, I could use a drink.”

“Cor blimey! You mus’ be that copper th’ headmaster said was comin’, eh?” said Milford, enlightenment rustling timidly through his eyebrows.

“Uh huh.” He showed the security guard his dented badge. “Nice taser.”

“It’s the weapon I battles evil wit’. Of course, sometimes I uses it to eat me apples too,” he said, smiling fondly down at it. “Roight then! Best get ya ter Miss What’s-er’-name’s room.”

The Hardass stood in the hall and stared at the frosted glass window in the door the security guard had left him in front of. He looked at his watch. It was hours since he’d last had a good gasoline and Coke. Better get this over with as quickly as possible.

* * *

When The Hardass kicked the door in, Megan DeLingerie’s third grade class went from quiet study hall to screaming cyclone in half a second as he charged into the room in a storm of splintered wood and glass.

He ignored the tumult, and showed Megan his badge.

“You—you’re the police officer they sent?” she said, recovering quickly.

“That’s right.”

“Okay! Children, I’d like you to say ‘good morning’ to the officer, please.”

The children obliged, some of them climbing out from under their desks to do so.

“Sir, if you would, please tell us a little bit about what it is like to work for the police department,” Megan continued, re-seating herself behind her own desk.

“I spend most of my time on the streets, beating the crap out of crime. It’s satisfying work, as long as the top brass don’t get in my way. Take Chuck Franklin, my boss. He’s a twat.”

Silence fell over the room, except for the crunching noises The Hardass made as he casually munched a handful of 9mm bullet casings.

Megan quickly stepped to the front of the room again. “Well, uh, that was... Ahem. I'm sure the officer is busy, and we should let him get back to work. Do you have any questions?”

“Yeah,” The Hardass said, looking and liking. “What time do you get off work tonight?”

“I meant the children.”


“Yes, David?” Megan pointed at a blond-haired boy with his hand raised.

“Have you ever shot anybody, mister?” the kid asked. That was just the kind of question this sticky little specimen looked likely to ask, The Hardass thought.

“Nope. Don’t even have a gun. Guns are for pansies like Franklin,” The Hardass replied, burping cell phone bits into a fist.

“Have you ever been shot?”


David’s eyes widened.

“What’s it feel like?” he asked, voice low.


Megan pointed to a girl in the back row.

“Have you ever guarded an important person?”

“Yes. Myself.”

“No, I meant—”

“No, really. Myself.”

The next child waved his dirty little hand in the air. Megan pointed.

“Yes, Chester?”

“What’s your favorite food, mister?”

“Nickels. Hey, Megs. You got anything to drink in this nursery?”

“I have a bottle of water in my desk. Would you like me to get it for you?”

“Hell no,” he said, pushing past her. He rummaged in a drawer. “You got anything stronger than—ahh! Here we go.” He straightened up with a bottle of nail polish remover.


“Yep. Well, look, this has been fun and all, but I gotta roll. Crime’s not going to kick its own ass, you know.”

“Um. Thanks for coming down?”

“Yeah. You’re a babe. You up for a sex scene later on?”

Megan blushed and the children giggled.

“Gross!” said little Rodney.

The Hardass chugged his acetone on the way back to his bulldozer. Patting his coat pocket where he’d put Megan’s phone number, he allowed his mouth to do that twitchy smile thing.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Headphone Heist

FooDaddy's FooDaddy lurked in his underground Lair, plotting and chuckling over a large, unfolded sheet of draft paper. Upon the paper were drawn the detailed plans for a top secret headphone depository. It had come to his attention that in this carefully guarded location was kept the only surviving model of the WS9000-II, the most powerful and crystally-clear set of headphones known to mankind.

"I must have them!" hooted FooDaddy's FooDaddy, raising his fists into the air. "And I shall!" He chortled in beardish glee and pushed a wallside button. Within moments, the door opened and a tuxedo-clad butler appeared, holding a glass bottle on a silver platter.

"Your crappy wine, sir," the butler said blandly. "Shall I remove the price tag?"

"Certainly not!" FooDaddy's FooDaddy said. "As long as it's crappy, I want to make sure I didn't pay much for it."

"It was a bargain, sir."

FooDaddy's FooDaddy took a long swig and allowed the liquid to cavort about his molars for a bit. "I doubt that," he said. "This wine is truly crap-worthy. Good job, Dullworth."

"Thank you, sir. Shall I lay out your adventuring garments?"

"Yes, Dullworth. I may be out on a mission this night."

"Dangerous, sir?"


"I shall fill your pockets with Band-Aids, sir."

"You're a good man, Dullworth."

"I know, sir." Dullworth nodded appreciatively and left the Inner Lair. Once the door had closed behind him, however, his bland, harmless face twisted into a nasty leer and he uttered a laugh of pure evil. He had managed to catch a glimpse of the plans on the table and knew what FooDaddy's FooDaddy was planning. Dullworth had also heard of the WS9000-II and his true allegiance was a jealously guarded secret. For although Dullworth was publicly in the employ of FooDaddy's FooDaddy, he was also taking large amounts of under-the-table remuneration from said employer's nemesis, the evil headphone glutton Philips Emerson.

Both Emerson and FooDaddy's FooDaddy had been in competition for the WS9000-II for many years, but the government had been keeping the set under wraps for fear of a general dissatisfaction with the regular run of headphone fare.

FooDaddy's FooDaddy clamped a monstrous pair of Stax headphones onto his ears and cranked up Hindemith's Symphony in E-flat. Within a moment or two, he was completely engrossed in crafting the final plans for the night's heist.

*     *     *

The phone rang.

"Ignore it," The Girlfriend said.

FooDaddy pushed her gently away. "No, my love. I must heed the device. It could very well be the call of justice."

"Justice can leave a message. Let's finish this."

FooDaddy shook his head dutifully, regretfully. "We can finish baking the cookies later. I happen to be an internationally-known Crime Fighter. I have responsibilities."

He answered the phone, but didn't recognize the voice on the other end of the line. Its dulcet tones, however, were pleasing to the ear.

"Hey!" FooDaddy said. "You've got a great voice, there. How about reciting The Song of Hiawatha?"

"There isn't time," said the voice. "I'm afraid I have troubling news."

"The government's outlawed coffee!"



No, no." The voice took on a strained tone, as if it was wondering if this was all worth the effort.


"No, now please listen. You are the son of FooDaddy's FooDaddy, are you not?"

"Did he tell you that?" FooDaddy was instantly on guard. Whoever this voice was had keen insight into the obvious. A worthy foe, to be sure.

"Well, actually, I've never been able to make him admit it," said the voice. "But it all seems to fit together."

"You're a shrewd voice," said FooDaddy, with grudging admiration. "And I loathe you. Are you sure you won't recite The Song of Hiawatha?"

The voice muttered something too low for FooDaddy to entirely make out.

"Did you just call me a bastard?" FooDaddy was shocked at the language and began searching his pockets for a New Testament.

"Uh, why no! Of course not," the voice said hurriedly. "I said, 'Denny Hastert.' I voted for him in the last election. Now on to business."

"Right, business. Uh...what business?"

"The reason I called, you...never mind. I have troubling news, as I said. I'm afraid your father may be about to make the most serious mistake of his life."

"I thought he already made that."

"Don't be silly. He loves you like a son."

"I am his son."

"Ah ha! You admit it, then!"

FooDaddy wrinkled his forehead in puzzlement. "I thought we'd already established that?"

"Oh, right. Anyway, it has come to my attention that your father is planning to knock off a government establishment for personal gain."

"He wouldn't do that!" FooDaddy was livid. "He is a fine, upstanding gentleman who has supreme respect for the laws of the land!"

"There are headphones involved."

"Ah. So what do you want me to do?"

"Why, stop him, of course! He has no idea who he's dealing with, here. There are other forces on the move. Forces who have it as their highest life's goal to have these headphones. They will stop at nothing."

"And just what is your stake in this?"

"Just a concerned citizen trying to do his duty. Heed my words, oh FooDaddy's FooDaddy's FooDaddy!"

The phone went dead and then emitted a dial tone. FooDaddy hung up and took two steps before the phone rang again.


"By the shores of Gitche Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water..."

*     *     *

Night had fallen over the landscape, crushing trees and small, furry creatures in its path. The shadows, which before had merely tickled the horizon, had now grown long and put a stranglehold on the heavens, causing stars to dance before the eyes of the populace. The Writer sat back and tried to decipher this paragraph. Failing miserably, he decided to leave it in anyway, hoping it would pass for "deep" literature.

FooDaddy's FooDaddy rolled up the plans and slipped them into a plastic tube. Not that he would need them, as he had memorized every line and detail, but better to err on the side of safety.

Walking to a nearby closet, he removed the clothes that Dullworth had put aside for him. It had been some time since he had had opportunity to don his adventuring garb and a little thrill shot through him as he gazed upon the familiar garments. Before long, he had suited up.

He walked to a full-length mirror and examined himself with a critical eye. A stocking cap with a LED lantern attached to the front (for caves and such), a black jumpsuit designed with reflective horizontal lines (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright himself), and sleek, black leather sandals with built-in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound speakers.

FooDaddy's FooDaddy wheezed craftily and put the critical eye back into its specially-designed side pocket. "Hot dang, I still got it! The WS9000-II shall be mine!" He started to hoot, but decided it wasn't worth the effort. "HOOooo...nah. Dullworth! Bring the auto!"

In mere moments, Dullworth had careened to a stop in front of the Lair and FooDaddy's FooDaddy clambered inside the red Mazda 6.

"To the Depository!"

Before Dullworth could accelerate, however, a large, rusted Ford Taurus station wagon belched from the shadows and blocked their path. It came to a screeching halt and a door fell off.

FooDaddy stepped grandly out of the Taurus and began swaggering toward the Mazda. The dramatic effect of his approach was dampened somewhat when the fumes from the Taurus finally overcame him and he was forced to pause in a fit of coughing.

He quickly recovered and managed to crawl to the side of the Mazda. "I received word that you were planning to knock off a government establishment. I must stop you."

"But, son, there are headphones involved."

"Yes, but..."

"The WS9000-II!"

"Can I help?"

"Certainly!" FooDaddy's FooDaddy said. "Climb in the back and...hey! How did you know what I was planning?"

"I got a phone call from a mysterious, well-spoken stranger," FooDaddy explained. "He didn't identify himself."

"Ah, well that explains why he was stranger." FooDaddy's FooDaddy rolled his eyes. "There weren't many people who knew about my plans. Do you have any idea who it could be, Dullworth?"

Dullworth shook his head.

"Why do you not speak, Dullworth? Is it because you know that my fine son will recognize your voice, eh? No one knew about my plans, except for you. Who else did you tell?"

"No one, sir. I can assure you that I remain faithful to your cause."

"That's him!" FooDaddy shrieked. "I recognize his voice!"

FooDaddy's FooDaddy sighed. "We've already moved beyond that, boy. Silence, please. And try to keep up." He deliberated for a bit. "Well, there's no choice but to go ahead with the plan. I must have those headphones! Onward, Traitorworth!"

"I can't, sir. There is a monstrosity blocking our path."

"Ah, yes. Boy, move the Crime Wagon."

FooDaddy backed the Taurus out of the way, leaving a pile of rust and car parts in his wake. "I'll follow you!" he shouted out the window. "We might need the Crime Wagon if things get dangerous."

"When you've got the Crime Wagon, things are always dangerous," answered FooDaddy's FooDaddy, but the words were lost in the roar of the Crime Wagon's lopsided engine. "I say, he's got someone else in there." A chill shot through him and mingled with the earlier thrill, which had already overstayed its welcome. "It looks like...no, it can't be!"

But it was. The Stupid Blogger was sitting smugly in the Crime Wagon's passenger seat, eating his horrible mayonnaise doughnuts and toying carelessly with the Wagon's various crime-fighting devices. Suddenly, a tarp shot out from the rear of the Crime Wagon and wrapped itself around the Mazda 6, completely immobilizing it.

"Now look what you've done," FooDaddy scolded. "How many times will I have to tell you not to toy with the devices?"

"A few more?" The Stupid Blogger grinned. He had a spot of mayonnaise on his chin and FooDaddy had to turn away in disgust.

"Well, stop it. It looks like my dad and his lousy butler are going to have to ride with us and we want to present a professional front."

"Good luck with that." The Stupid Blogger scarfed another doughnut and took a long swig from a bottle of green tea. "I'm kind of a health nut," he explained.

"Health nut? But you're eating mayonnaise doughnuts by the bagful! You should be carrying around your own defibrillator!"

"Ha! Look who's talking. You, who glugs down pots full of coffee spiced with Cherry Coke. I'll bet you even brush your teeth with caffeine and sugar. At least I'm killing myself the old-fashioned way. With cholesterol. The pioneers practically lived on deep fried fat and gravy."

By this time, FooDaddy's FooDaddy and Dullworth had taken their places in the back seat. "Can we cut the amusing banter, please? The night is waning."

"Let it wait its turn," The Stupid Blogger said, and he and FooDaddy instantly burst into wild gales of laughter.

"Wait...its...turn!" FooDaddy gasped. "You're a genius, Stupid!"

"I know!" The Stupid Blogger was bent over in a paroxysm of mirth.

Finally, the two intrepid crime fighters managed to control the hilarity and FooDaddy put the Crime Wagon into gear. Occasionally, there would be a snicker or a snort, but no major outbursts, and the foursome arrived at the Depository safely and in one piece, if you don't count the dozen or so random mechanical parts that the Crime Wagon left strewn along the interstate.

The Depository looked deserted as FooDaddy's FooDaddy stepped from the Crime Wagon and shook the rust from his sandals. Within these walls were held hostage the most powerful headphones ever conceived by mankind. And soon they would be his!


Working quickly, FooDaddy's FooDaddy opened a horizontally-designed side pocket on his jumpsuit and removed a long coil of nylon rope. From another, he took a disassembled crossbow and hurriedly put it together. Attaching the rope to an arrow, he used the crossbow to lodge the arrow at the top of the wall.

Within minutes, he had scaled the wall and used a horizontal cutter to remove a portion of the skylight. Using the same section of rope, he lowered himself down onto the main floor of the Depository.

"Now for my headphones!"

Suddenly, there was a voice from the shadows. "Not so fast."


"Those are my headphones, FooDaddy's FooDaddy." The overhead lights clicked on and FooDaddy's FooDaddy found himself face to face with his arch nemesis.

"Well, if it isn't Philips Emerson. Fancy meeting you here." FooDaddy's FooDaddy frantically searched his memory for some clever 007 in-the-face-of-danger remarks.

"Is it so surprising that I should want these headphones? After all, we've always been fierce competitors."

"But on the same night? Those are long odds."

"Not when you have friends in the right places," Emerson replied. "Your butler, for instance, is an old acquaintance of mine."


"The same. He gave me a call as soon as he figured out what you were up to. I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to get the headphones and then frame you for the heist."

"You fiend!"

"Quite. My general fiendish fiendishness is surpassed only by my fiendishly fiendish desire for fiendishly excellent headfiends, I mean, phones. Something you should be able to appreciate."

"Oh, but I do," FooDaddy's FooDaddy said. "My only question is, how do you expect to prevent my securing the headphones. I am, after all, sporting a Frank Lloyd Wright designed jump suit."

"Simple," said Emerson, beckoning to the shadows, out of which stepped three large henchmen. "My bodyguards. Allow me to introduce them. Bruno, Biff, and Marge."


"He's a big Simpsons fan. Boys? Please snatch this man and tie him up. Then force him to peruse pages and pages of Victorian architecture."

FooDaddy's FooDaddy paled, but resolved to be strong.

The overhead skylights shattered with a deafening shatter and FooDaddy and The Stupid Blogger descended, supported by torn strips of tarp. Dramatic music filled the air as the two crime fighters made their entrance and landed gently on the floor of the Depository.

Emerson and his three thugs looked around in confusion. "What the heck is that sound?"

"That's our theme song," The Stupid Blogger replied. "It strikes terror into the hearts of criminals everywhere."

"But you're playing it on kazoos."

"Well, of course," FooDaddy said scornfully. "You expected us to haul around the Boston Pops? Kazoos are simple to learn and very portable. The obvious choice. Now all of you get your hands up."

The Stupid Blogger raised his hands before remembering that he was one of the good guys. He lowered his hands quickly, hoping no one had noticed.

"I don't have time for this," Emerson said. "Tie them all up, men, and perhaps a little torture would be in order. It's Victorian architecture for my good friend, here, and the other two can take turns reading aloud from Pride and Prejudice." Emerson clamped his hands over his ears, grimacing. "And gag them. I can't stand that screaming."

Using the nylon rope, the very bad men had the crime fighters tied up in a flash and Phillips Emerson raced away to find the headphones, followed closely by his three cohorts.

"I can't stand this much longer," groaned The Stupid Blogger, after managing to chew off the gag. Fortunately, the thugs had forgotten to bring dirty socks with them and had been forced to gag our heroes with lengths of taffy. "One more page of this trite prose and I'm gonna snap."

"You two are lucky," retorted FooDaddy's FooDaddy. "At least you have words and such. All I have are curls, scallops, spindles, and little onion-type carvings to look at. I'm going mad!"

"Don't be gone long," said FooDaddy. "We'll need you to help get us out of this direness."

"Don't worry," said FooDaddy's FooDaddy. "Emerson will never get the headphones."

"How do you know?"

"Because he's in too big of a hurry. My plans showed several traps set up around the vault where the headphones are kept. I have methods of circumventing those traps, but that fool Emerson will never make it through."

Just then, there was a sudden outburst of maniacal laughter from somewhere in the building.

"Ah," said FooDaddy's FooDaddy. "It would seem he has accidentally released the tickling monkeys." He smiled cruelly. "If that doesn't discourage him, then I'm sure the horde of sarcastic bats will. He always did have a fragile ego."

Sure enough, within minutes, Emerson and his assistants ran by the captives at break-neck speed, closely pursued by a multitude of bats and monkeys.

"Well, that takes care of Emerson," said FooDaddy. "But what about us? We're kind of tied up at the moment."

"Never fear. The ropes are designed to deteriorate quickly after having been touched by evil hands. In fact, they should now be weak enough to break away."

Both FooDaddy's FooDaddy and FooDaddy easily dispatched their bonds, while The Stupid Blogger still struggled.

"Mine must be defective," he whined.

FooDaddy reached down and snapped the ropes with a pinky. "Be glad they didn't bind you with dental floss," he said.

"Meanie." The Stupid Blogger pouted for a little while, but was soon ready to go. "Let's go get us some headphones!"

The farther back into the building they walked, the darker it became, but FooDaddy's FooDaddy solved that by turning on his LED stocking cap. "We shouldn't have to worry about the traps," he said. "It would appear that Emerson set them all off for us. Thoughtful chap."

At last they reached a solid steel door. To one side was a keypad with flashing buttons.

"I think it wants a password," said The Stupid Blogger. "Was that in your plans?"

FooDaddy's FooDaddy leaned forward and examined the keypad. "Can't say that it was," he admitted. "But it shouldn't be too hard to figure out."

Over the next hour, they entered hundreds of passwords, but the keypad only smiled coyly and refused to accept any of them. Finally, in desperation, FooDaddy kicked the solid steel door and was surprised to see it crumble at impact.

"Hey, this stuff isn't steel. It's just painted drywall with some rivet decals pasted on. Stupid government."

FooDaddy's FooDaddy coughed. "Ahem. Yes, well I don't think we should mention this to anyone. I..." Then he looked into the room and spotted a shiny pedestal, on top of which rested a glistening pair of headphones. "The WS9000-II! Hoot, hoot, and yet again, hoot!"

They crowded into the room and gathered around the pedestal. FooDaddy's FooDaddy picked them up gently and began caressing the noise-canceling ear pieces.

"Um, I think maybe we should be going," The Stupid Blogger suggested.

"Can't I just admire them for awhile?"

"Later. Right now I think I hear the bats returning and my ego's not all that great, either."

To make a long story short (a little late for that, I know), the WS9000-II headphones now occupy a place of honor in FooDaddy's FooDaddy's Lair. Dullworth was turned over to the authorities, but escaped by lulling his captors to sleep by being, well, dull. FooDaddy and The Stupid Blogger continue their war on crime and are still driving the Crime Wagon. Philips Emerson has never been found and it can only be assumed that he will turn up the next time there is a pair of headphones worthy of his attention.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Arguing with Coffee

I've had occasion to mention the effects that caffeine has on Writers. I claim to be one myself, of course, so I've had my share of arguments with the beneficent brown brew.

So there I am, at my job, jobbing it up. I reached over and put one book on top of another. I took a sip of my coffee. I keep it in a clear glass mug until I'm ready to ingest it.

"How about some more?" Coffee said.

"Sure thing!" I said happily. This particular mug of Coffee had been made with the same quantity of grounds that sane people make a whole pot out of.

I swallowed the rest and put the mug down. I tossed a videocassette onto a shelf.

Then I smiled craftily to myself as I put a DVD down next to it.

"Wasn't that just a big satchel of fun?" asked Coffee in his manic, tittering voice.

"Putting that DVD down? Not, uh..."


"Kinda, yeah! Whee!" I said, prancing. I could do this because I was alone.

"You know what'd be fun?" Coffee asked, poking me jovially in the ribs. I waited expectantly.

"You ought to go into the office and get a candy bar!"

"I'm following you so far. What next?"

"Nobody's there, right? No personnel left?"

"Place is empty as Paris Hilton's head."

"Then I suggest we go prance!"


And so then Coffee and I go into the office where I pick up a candy bar and hop-skip around the empty cubicles.

"Well, Coffee, that was fun, but I have to get back to work. You know. Stacking some more things on top of other things before I put them into a bag. Wanna come with?"

"Nah. I'll meet you at home, 'kay?"

So with a smile on my feet and a song in my face, I go back to work. I put a romance novel on the top of a stack of them.

When I get home, I put the Buick I'm borrowing in the garage, and I can tell Coffee is waiting for me at home, because I drop the keys when I try to use them in the deadbolt.

"Ha ha!" Coffee says. "Let's party!"

I'm not in the mood to party, of course, since all the prancing I did at work delayed me, and I was there late.

"Can we not? I'd like to maybe write a post on the Blog, and maybe read some cats. Then...wait...did I just say 'read some cats'?"

"You sure did! Sounds like you're ready to stay up really late! Wanna organize your video game collection?"


"Come on. It'll be fun. And I've got good reasons you should do this, too. Allow me to enumerate: First, if you sit down and put your collection in a pile, it'll look nice and large. This will make you giggle inside."

"Sounds doubtful."

"Nah, wait. There's more. If you take all the games out of that little CD folder thingie, and put 'em back in the boxes they came in, it'll be inconvenient when you want to play one."

"Sounds like a really crappy idea."

"It is! But your friends will see them all in a row, and think you're prosperous. Perhaps presidential material."

"My friends aren't that stupid."

"Sure they are."


It goes back and forth like this, with Coffee suggesting I stay up until 6 A.M. doing moron activities, like playing with the contrast settings on the TV.

"You could do some laundry too. That'd make you feel nice and industrious."

"I don't have any dirty clothes to wash."

"Then go out into the garage and fall down."


"It'll get your clothes dirty, and then you can wash them! Yaaay!"

"This is ridiculous. I'm going to bed."

Coffee does not want to hear this. In fact, this is the last thing Coffee wants. Coffee'd rather I explore the basement some more. Anything to keep me from going to bed so my kidneys can work on him.

Gotta respect self-preservation instincts, so to the basement I go with Coffee, and we vacuum all the little wads of lint out of the dryer. Coffee said it'd make the dryer more efficient, and that it would help protect some baby seals.

"Right then. Sun'll be up soon, and--hey! What's that over there?"

"Never you mind, Coffee. I have to go to bed, or I'm not going to wake up until 5."

"Pansy." Then, continuing in a lisping soprano, "oooh! I have to sleep so I can go harvest fairy dust from my wuss bushes in the morning! I might fall off my marshmallow stool while I'm brushing my unicorn!"

By now, Coffee has becomes sullen and abusive, and I have to shut him down with some aspirin or a boring book. If I wave a copy of Pride and Prejudice around, it stuns him long enough for my kidneys to sneak up on him.

It's bye-bye Caffeine Man until "morning,"when I open the fridge and smell that French Roast. Post-sleep amnesia has done its job admirably. I close the refrigerator door and think "Mmm! Coffee! That'd be real tasty right around 1:00 AM. I'll leave myself a mental note."

Friday, February 08, 2008


whizzbangTo the untrained eye of the rank amateur, this may appear to be merely a cute, innocent kitten. But I can assure you that beneath the surface of his furry little hide lurks a devious, manipulating feline mind. Using only his wits and adorable looks, he has some how managed to hijack my life.

Before I go any further, perhaps I should explain how this little creature came to invade my apartment. It started out innocently enough, as I pulled through the drive-thru at McDonald's. Little did I know, as I ordered two cheeseburger Happy Meals, that my life would never again be the same.

"Would these meals be for a boy or a girl?" asked the lady at the window.

I told her it didn't matter. Oh, if I could but go back in time and change those fateful words!

I returned home with the victuals and we ate sumptuously. It wasn't until I was preparing to throw away the trash that I remembered the surprise.

I reached into the bottom of the bag and slowly withdrew a small, black kitten in a sealed plastic bag. The kitten quickly took stock of his new surroundings and began immediately issuing orders.

"Get me out of this bag!" he ordered irritably. "And fetch me some diced salmon. Pronto!"

"Who are you?" I demanded.

"Never mind that," the kitten said. "Where's my salmon? Chop, chop! And make sure it's fresh."

"If you want fresh salmon," I said, not to be outdone. "Why don't you scamper down to the Grand River and get your own?"

"What?!" The kitten was aghast and paled a little. "Do you know who I am?"

"No," I said. "Thrill me."

"Your attempt at sarcasm bores me," said the kitten. "I happen to be Whizz-Bang, son of Whizz and grandson of the late great Bang. My salmon?"

And this, dear readers, was only the beginning. Since then, he has continued to make fun of everything I do, sneer at my slightest mistake, and plot against me at every turn. So the next time you are tempted to order a Happy Meal...don't.

by The Stupid Blogger's Wifey

Legumes and You

legume[5] There's been a lot of talk on the Blog lately about legumes and I think it's time someone put all this chatter into perspective. Well, okay. There hasn't been a lot of talk about legumes. In fact, there hasn't been a lot of talk about anything on the Blog lately. I just thought I'd provide a seamless segue for my chosen subject.

Why legumes, you ask? Because they are fascinating, that's why! Peanuts, which are nut technically nots, are legumes. And indehiscent legumes at that. Pretty incredible, eh? I'll tell you something else, too. Hey, where are you all going? I was just getting started!

Okay, reader, I guess it's just you and me. Thanks for sticking with me. What's that? Oh, of course. I'll take the handcuffs off as soon as I'm done, here. You have my word on that.


The legume began as a lowly member on the botanical chain and, at first appearance, really hasn't made many strides since the early days. Except that they are more numerous, if only because back in the old days, nobody knew what a legume was and, therefore, couldn't count them.

Nevertheless, it all started with one lonely legume labeled Larry. Now, Larry was a lonely legume and was always trying to join in with other types of fruits and vegetables, but no one would have him.

"Look at you," they would scoff. "Your pod splits open all by itself!"

At this point, Larry got mad and decided to start a third party. He began organizing rallies and conventions. He gave speeches on street corners and handed out pro-legume literature. He drew up petitions, trying to get legislative protection for the rights of all legumes.

Well, sir, it was a long, hard fight, but Larry finally began to see progress. Gradually, others began to do a little self-examination and many found that, unbeknownst to them, they were actually legumes, as well! Soon these enlightened ones began showing up for Larry's rallies. The movement began to grow quickly and received a huge boost when it was decided (over the fierce objection of many botanists) to broaden the definition of "legume" in order to allow some of the fringe groups to join the legume family.

Their numbers thus increased, it wasn't long before the Legume Party began getting nuts elected to public office.

The Legume Party is still active to this day, although they have not yet managed to pass any protective legislation. Billions of their number are savagely devoured every year, with no apology or remuneration to the families. It is the purpose of this post to 1.) humiliate the author and 2.) raise Legume Awareness. It is a standard I shall proudly carry to my final day.

Now, if you'll excuse me, this has made me hungry.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Tuesday Wrap

tuesday Okay, political junkies, it's time to step back and figure out what the heck happened during the big Super Tuesday primary results.

As you all know, there were several candidates running last night, most of whom picked up a few states, with the exception of Ron Paul, whose sole purpose in the race seems to be an attempt to set a record for running the longest futile campaign in history. The record for the most futile campaigns run is already solidly in the Dennis Kucinich column, but because the K-Man has since dropped out, Ron feels this is his year to capture a piece of history.

The big winner for the evening appears to be John McCain, who finally put some distance between himself and his nearest rival. As the poll results began to show him winning, McCain appeared to his supporters and gave a stirring oration late in the evening, promising to bring change, civility, and hair loss back to the White House. "By the way," he said, in closing comments, "did you people know I was a war hero?"

The waiting crowd was taken aback and wished they had known about this sooner, so they could have made a campaign issue out of it.

John Edwards also spoke for a few minutes last night, before remembering that he had already dropped out of the race. He grinned sheepishly and made a quick exit. Cornered by reporters, Edwards openly questioned the intelligence of the voters, who had not given him any victories.

"After all," he said, flicking his bangs to and fro. "I have an accent!"

Mitt Romney's strategy of buying each voter a Porsche hasn't seemed to work as well as expected, although he did manage to capture several states. One of these, oddly enough, was Alaska, a state in which the market for Porches isn't particularly high. Apparently, the residents of the North Country thought the cars were high-tech igloos and, though they found them somewhat impractical, were touched by Romney's generosity. It is also thought that his first name, Mitt, won him points with those most familiar with winter garb.

Hillary Clintoned her way to a big delegate count, although her rival, Barack Obama, managed to win more overall states. "I've always identified with those states that wear overalls," Obama said. "It shows humility and a willingness to work hard in order to ensure that our children, grand-children, great grand-children, great great grand-children, great great great grand-children..."

Little Mike Huckabee provided the big surprise of the evening by announcing that he was actually a closet Catholic. To prove it, he promptly played Ave Maria on the bass guitar (not an easy feat). Nevertheless, he picked up several key victories in the South and even received the endorsement of his wife, who was waiting to make the announcement until Mike finally agreed to take out the trash.

Well, folks, Super Tuesday didn't solve the nomination question for either party. But rest assured that we here at the Blog of Stupid will keep you apprised of all the news that isn't.