Friday, October 31, 2008


I love how Facebook is the place where bygones apparently become bygones.

In high school, this one guy had a nickname that wasn’t very flattering, but everyone called him by it. We weren’t friends. I called him by his nickname once, and he took a swing at me. I swung back and knocked him out. We’re now friends on Facebook.

This other guy once had me jumping through hoops to get a job working for him. I jumped through all of his hoops and didn’t get hired. We’re now friends on Facebook.

Another guy once hit me with a pitch in a baseball game and broke my little finger. After he did that, he yelled at me, laughed, and called me a pussy even though my finger was broken in two places. We’re now friends on Facebook.

Another guy spit at me once because I beat him at ping-pong. We’re now friends on Facebook.

Still another guy used to wipe himself off wherever you touched him and wipe it on his leg. You’d shake hands with the guy, and he’d immediately get rid of “it” on his pants. This was very strange. Facebook seems like the perfect place for him. We’re now friends there.

I’m wondering if the irony is intentional.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


When I was in high school – and off and on after that – I had a job delivering furniture for my uncle, to whom I no longer speak. He’s a prick who fucked me over on an insurance claim. Long story. Uncle Prick used to own a high-end furniture store that supplied pretentious Chippendale and Biedermeier furniture to nouveau riche dickbags who needed such things.

I wanted to go after all of his customers with a fucking chainsaw. I really, really did. You have no fucking idea. None. I fantasized about taking a chainsaw to the entire North Shore of Long Island, useless housewife by useless housewife.

See, the smartest thing my father ever did for me was making me get a New York State Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) so I’d have something to fall back on if everything else in my life went to shit, which it has from time to time. In addition to being able to stand around propping up walls for inordinate amounts of time, I’m also licensed to drive really big trucks. This is something I haven’t told you.

I’m also the world’s best furniture delivery guy, no shit. I can get anything anywhere. I’m strong as fuck, I know all the angles, and I even know how to take shit apart if need be. I can get damned near anything in your house without a scratch – either to the piece or to your precious hardwood floors or your moldings. Just leave me the fuck alone and you’ll be pleased as punch with your new armoire.

Anyway, the point of this post is to introduce a new term. I’ve wanted to use this term on the site for quite a while now, but without explaining it properly the reference would be completely lost and it wouldn’t work. I’m going to explain it here, and from now on, I’m going to link to this post whenever I use it.

The term is “Maltzing.”

Maltzing refers to the irritating habit of standing there with your palms upturned in a gesture of protest without actually explaining what your fucking problem is. It looks like this.

In the furniture business, we called it Maltzing because it was introduced to me by an annoying slapdick named Maltz. I delivered a living room set to Maltz once. This consisted of a sofa, loveseat, chair and ottoman. We carried the loveseat in first and set it down in Maltz’s tacky-ass living room. After we did this, Maltz Maltzed us.

I Maltzed him back and asked him what the problem was.

“I’m getting a sofa, a chair and an ottoman too, right?” he asked.

“Yeah, they’re out in the truck.”

He Maltzed me again.

“What?” I asked.

“I ordered more than just a loveseat,” he said.

“Are you serious?”

He Maltzed me again.

“What do you want me to do? Stack it together and bring it all in at once?”

Maltz was a dick with no common sense. When I delivered furniture for my uncle, everyone was like Maltz. Maltz wasn’t the only one who Maltzed me, but Maltz may have been the biggest cock-ring, so he gets credit for the gesture.

Now you know.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another Declaration of Shit

It’s probably no mystery that I’m not thrilled with the way my life is going right now. For anyone who deals with me personally on a regular basis, it should be no surprise that I’m more than a little dissatisfied with what I’m doing at the moment.

I have a roof over my head, I’m healthy, and I’m not in Baghdad. I’m thankful for all of these things. I know my situation could be a lot worse. Believe me, nobody knows that better than I do. Again, if you know me personally, you know I’m well aware of how much worse things can be.

Life, however, is not how I want it to be.

The good part here is that I’m tired of wasting my time. Things are going to get better, and they’re going to get better in a hurry. They have to, because I’m sick of wasting myself on things that aren’t worth my attention. I’m tired of having a talent I don’t use, and I’m tired of knowing I don’t try hard enough.

There’s another one on the way, and this time, you’re all going to see what I can really do with the written word.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Old School

I was bouncing again on Saturday night. Bouncing is always a fucking disaster. As Big Red once said – while we were pulling up spooge-covered mats from behind the bars at a place we used to work – it’s a “loser’s game.”

But there I was, doing it again – standing at the front door like a schmuck trying to find a comfortable way to lean against the wall without letting my hands get too sweaty because I knew I’d have to shake hands with a lot of people I didn’t like.

Why, you ask? Because everything sucks right now and I need the money. That’s why. Welcome to 2003, only half the people I used to have fun with are married now, and the other half moved out of New York. It’s essentially five years ago without the payoff.

That’s okay, though, because I don’t like going out anymore. Most nights, I’d rather stay home and read. Or watch a game. Or dick around on the computer. Or do anything that doesn’t involve being anywhere near anyone who doesn’t know how to avoid being an irritating, noise-polluting dick.

Three guys came to the door on Saturday night in Guido garb. I’d really like to know why this is still going on. Someone should put a stop to it. When these three guys came to the door, I said, “Trick or treat?”

I couldn’t help myself. It just slipped out. They didn’t get it. They thought we were celebrating Halloween early, or that “Trick or treat?” was some stupid thing I was saying to everyone who came to the door. They didn’t know I said it because of them. They didn’t know they triggered it – that I took one look at them and blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

This happens sometimes. Once, a girl asked me where a bouncer named “Timmy” was. I said I didn’t know. She started spinning around in circles, saying, “Timm-ay? Timm-ay?”

I said, “Wow, you’re really stupid.”

Another time, a girl I’d caught giving blowjobs in a bathroom came up to say hello while I was at the door. This was on another night, when she hadn’t yet blown anyone. She was trying to be nice, I think. I responded by saying, “Wow, you’re not dead yet?”

Another time, a guy who normally had blond hair came in with his hair dyed jet black. I said, “Did you fall in an oil well or something?”

I stomped on a guy’s hand once and broke some of his fingers. He deserved this because he was threatening people with a weapon. I forgot I’d even done it until someone told me he was suing the club. That’s how much I cared.

I’ve told people they were “as entertaining as bone cancer.” I’ve made references to trailer parks and compared people to the size of my bowel movements. I’ve expressed these and many other constructive thoughts in the name of making a living wage.

This job has failed in its attempt to make me a better person.

Monday, October 27, 2008


My friend Phil told me a disgusting story today. He tells me a lot of disgusting stories, which I usually forget right after I’ve heard them. I forget them because they’re depressing, and I don’t like recalling things about Phil’s depressing life because although Phil is a great guy, I don’t want my life to be anything like Phil’s – so I forget his disgusting stories so they don’t stick in any part of my brain that could influence my behavior.

I’m always at risk, you could say.

He told me about a friend of his, a guy I maybe know a little bit, who was engaged to a girl for a little over a year. They were already in serious wedding negotiations, these two. She was maybe already planning to pop out of the floor at Russo’s in Howard Beach, although I doubt it, because popping out of the floor at Russo’s is a gratuitous reference I threw in for comedic purposes – which doesn’t make much comedic sense because only people from Queens, Brooklyn or Long Island would ever laugh at a Russo’s reference.

And maybe only half of those would really laugh, because there are millions of people in Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island who take popping out of the floor at Russo’s in Howard Beach very seriously. I think about moving away for precisely this reason.

Anyway, Phil’s friend went on a business trip that was supposed to last a week. The trip was cut short, and the guy came home a few days early. Thinking he’d give his fiancée a happy surprise, he went straight to her apartment looking for what an old Jewish insurance guy I once caddied for called “The Sex.” This guy also called golf, “The Golf.”

He also told me a joke once. He said, “What’s the difference between a c—-t* and a pussy?”

“I don’t know, Mr. Hirsch. What’s the difference?”

"A c—-t* is a woman on a golf course. A pussy is the guy who brought her there.”

Phil’s friend knocked on her door. She opened it a crack. He said, “Surprise! I’m home early!”

She said, “Oh…great! I’ll be right out!”

He said, “What d’ya mean you’ll be right out? Why can’t I come in?”

The door was only open a crack, remember. She said, “Uh…well…you can’t come in right now.”

He turned around and walked out. Then he parked his car in a place where he could see the front door. A half hour later, the guy came out.

This was some crazy shit. Phil told me she tried to get back together with the guy. She went plum damned crazy trying to get back together with the guy, to the point where he had to change all his phone numbers, including his work number, to avoid having to deal with her.

“She’s corrupted at that point,” Phil said. “She’s been fouled.”

“That’s no good,” I said.

“They’re all fuckin’ savages. That’s what they are.”

“That’s me,” I said, “I’m kickin’ the fuckin’ door in.”


“Yeah. She had a chain lock on the door?”

“Yeah,” he said.

“That’s me, that’s comin’ out of the wall.”

“Why bother?”

* I’m not supposed to say the c-word. I’ve been told it’s not nice.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Ten Favorite Athletes

1. Lawrence Taylor: The best defensive American football player ever, and the reason I started playing the sport. My all-time favorite athlete.

2. Michael Jordan:
For obvious reasons.

3. Larry Bird:
My basketball idol. I was a halfway decent* high school basketball player, and my entire game was a Bird imitation, despite growing up in an urban neighborhood and learning how to play mostly from black players – or at least trying to. I shot the ball with my left elbow cocked way out to the side and my fingers in the seams, and I’d dry my hands on the soles of my feet every thirty seconds the same way Bird did.

4. Walter Payton:
Best running back who ever lived. Nobody ran the ball like Payton did, before or since. Nobody got away with holding it like he did either. When I tried to justify using the “loaf of bread” method one day in practice, my coach said, “Payton can get away with it ‘cause Payton can squeeze the air of out the fuckin’ thing. You can’t.”

5. Bo Jackson:
Would have been better than Payton if he hadn’t gotten hurt. The infamous Bosworth play was total bullshit – nobody could have made that tackle – but Bo was the truth.

6. Dwight Gooden:
The best pitcher I’ve ever seen for two years. Couldn’t keep it going because of the drugs, but I’ve never seen anyone throw the ball like that. I still remember the Gooden mural on the side of the building near Times Square and his giant panoramic billboard in Penn Station. That, my friends, was the shit.

7. Keith Hernandez:
My baseball idol. Smartest player ever, at least on the field. I used to love the way he played bunts. When he thought a hitter was about to lay one down, he’d creep up to about ten feet from the plate and sit there, daring the guy to go through with it. Awesome.

8. John Elway:
Yes, he was better than Marino.

9. Bernard King:
I grew up a Knicks fan, and Bernard was the reason I wore number 30 in every sport from grade school on. When I was a kid, every Knick game was on channel 9 here in New York, and there was a stretch back in the early 80’s where Bernard was doing something amazing just about every night. That made an impression.

10. James Jett:
For showing me reality during a game once and making me realize I’d one day need a day job. Until something like that happens, you don’t know the meaning of the word “fast.” Trust me on this one.

* Calling yourself a “decent basketball player” is a tough sell when the strongest part of your game was free throw shooting but you rarely managed to get to the foul line.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Yes, I voted for George W. Bush. Twice. What am I supposed to do? Lie about it?

I used to vote like a jackass. I lived in New York, so I figured my vote didn’t matter. Since my vote didn’t matter, the idea was to vote for the candidate I disliked less – and when I say I “disliked” a particular candidate, I’m talking about disliking them personally.

In 2000, I was in a very bad place in life, and seeing Al Gore’s face and hearing his voice made things worse because he had a voice and face I didn’t like very much. I had no real, legitimate, grounded-in-fact reason to dislike Al Gore, but I disliked him anyway, and I voted against him.

I realize this is akin to saying “I am stupid” in a public forum, but that’s the way things happened.

In 2004, using the same faultlessly formulated logic, I voted against John Kerry for pretty much the same reasons I voted against Al Gore. This was the result of yet another well-thought-out foray to the voting booth.

I didn’t admit to voting for George W. Bush to make myself look like a jerkoff, although when you make such an admission, the appearance of jerkoffery seems unavoidable. The point is that it’s never too late to start paying attention, which is what I’ve been doing since then – and when I pay attention to things, I’m usually able to figure them out. And I think I’ve got it figured out this time around.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Factor

I used to drink the Bill O’Reilly Kool-Aid. It’s easy to admit embarrassing things once you’ve stopped doing them.

I read his first couple of books, and I said to myself, “Okay, here’s a guy who’s capable of making sense.” I actually respected the guy for dropping off the face of the earth, going back to school for a new degree at a relatively advanced stage in his career, then redefining himself as a “serious” journalist – as opposed to whatever he’d called himself when he hosted Inside Edition back in the early 1990’s.

I thought it was sort of cool that he came from Levittown, which historically has been just about as working-class as it gets on Long Island. I thought it was sort of cool that he grew up under the thumb of a disgruntled, iron-fisted Irish-Catholic father, the same way I did. I thought it was sort of cool that he went to the same high school one of my brothers did.

I said, “Here’s a guy I can identify with, and I’m glad he has a platform from which he can take on all the assholes out there and bring a little bit of New York Irish-Catholic sensibility to the world. This is a good thing.”

You know what, though? He’s not the guy for it.

I picked up my mother at the eye doctor’s office today. Her pupils were dilated and she couldn’t drive herself home, so she told me to come and get her in her car. Her radio was tuned to 710 AM, which is WOR here in New York. Nobody under sixty has ever listened to WOR, except maybe me, today. Bill O’Reilly’s radio show was on, so I listened to it for a little while. It made me very angry.

Bill O’Reilly is a very arrogant man. He’s the conservative Keith Olbermann, complete with all the smugness and the smirking. He told me that if I sent him money and subscribed to some service he was offering, I could go online and have full access to everything he had to say, and I could “learn something.”

I don’t like when people tell me they can teach me things. I like judging that on my own, using my own set of criteria. Under my terms, Bill O’Reilly doesn’t qualify as someone who can teach me anything, unless we’re talking about the things he’s qualified to teach me – like hosting a conservative talk show. I don’t really want to learn how to do that unless someone wants to pay me a lot of money, so I don’t see how listening to Bill O’Reilly can benefit my life in any way.

With regard to everything else in life, I don’t think there’s much he can tell me. He’s significantly older than me, but he doesn’t have the life experience to teach me all the things he believes he’s capable of teaching me. He’s also delusional. I heard him say on the air once that he’d “been in combat.” When people say they’ve “been in combat,” at least in the United States, it means they’ve served in the military. It means they’ve been forward deployed to a dangerous place, and that somebody has shot real bullets at them in the process.

Bill O’Reilly apparently once went somewhere where people were shooting at each other. Nobody was shooting at Bill O’Reilly, but to Bill O’Reilly, this means that he’s “been in combat.” I find this rather odd, and maybe a little bit offensive. Maybe he can teach me how to exaggerate in order to make a point. Maybe that’s the point he was trying to make.

I’m not a liberal. I’ll admit to having voted for George W. Bush twice. I did this because he was running against people I thought were slapdicks. I didn’t like the sound of Al Gore’s voice, and I thought John Kerry was completely full of shit. I still believe John Kerry is completely full of shit. George W. Bush irritated me less than his opponents did, so I voted against his opponents. In retrospect, I could certainly have thought things through a little better, which is what I’m doing this time around.

Theoretically, someone like me should enjoy listening to Bill O’Reilly, because his shows are supposed to provide something different. It should be a relief to watch someone who’s not a smirking, arrogant liberal douche. It’s not, though, because he’s a smirking, arrogant conservative douche, which is just as bad, if not worse.

This is how I feel about Bill O’Reilly.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The One Habit of Highly Ineffective Slapdicks

I had a conversation with a very successful guy today about business terminology. Specifically, the bullshit argot people get from self-help books that they try to sprinkle into everyday conversation as though we’re all supposed to be fooled into thinking it’s perfectly natural for them to speak that way.

For example, I have one friend who’s perpetually “masterminding.” If he talks to someone about something business-related, he calls it a “mastermind session.” If he’s sitting around, broke as a motherfucker, trying to think of ways to make money, he’s masterminding. All day long with the fucking masterminding and business consults and the whole laundry list of other stupid shit he takes part in instead of actually working.

He also says he’s “taking massive action” all the time. He sits around and masterminds, and then he takes massive action. I do this, too. I do it all the time. I just call it something else, and my computer usually gets a big-time fucking virus out of the deal from all the porn I need to sift through in order to get it done.

Here’s an exact quote from the very successful guy I mentioned in the first paragraph:

“What the fuck is a mastermind session anyway? Did we just have one? Are we having one now? Why do you have to be motivated to be productive? Actually, the most motivated people I know do shit work.

“Fuck, I did eighty percent of my best work on my latest project wanting to blow my head off and wishing I was dead. I was far from motivated, and I didn’t get the idea from a mastermind session. I’m talking about the best work I’ve ever done, so I don’t get the whole ‘Let’s get pumped for a productive day’ thing. Anything productive I’ve ever done has taken many days and nights of work and frustration, not looking in the mirror and saying, ‘Today’s the day!’”

This certainly shifted my paradigms.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm Not Involved

I’ve decided who(m) I’m voting for. I’m not going to tell you this information, because it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter for a variety of reasons:

1. Nobody should care, and I’m certain nobody does.
2. It’s none of anyone’s business.
3. Obama is going to win New York by about eighty percentage points, so my vote doesn’t mean jack shit anyway.
4. I’m arrogant, but not arrogant enough to start endorsing political candidates on a blog.

One thing saddens me, however – and bear in mind that this is coming from someone with a somewhat limited command of issues that don’t have any direct bearing on my life. What saddens me is that I’m not particularly enthralled by either candidate.

I haven’t caught Obama fever. This has made me wonder whether there’s something wrong with me. There probably is. Most people I know say they’re planning on voting for the guy, which is fine, but I don’t think he’s nearly as “fresh” or “inspiring” as everyone’s claiming. I’m just not seeing it. And having Joe Biden as your running mate is akin to hiring Marty Schottenheimer to coach your NFL team. I mean, I guess the guy’s experienced and capable after serving in Washington for so many years, but there’s nothing about either of them that’s really lighting me up about this ticket.

As for McCain, I’m disappointed. You have to admire the guy for the obvious reasons, but his entire campaign – from the debates to his speeches – has been uncomfortable to watch. I expected better. It’s also stating the obvious to point out that his Sarah Palin choice was a mistake of monumental proportions. Even in this, the year of the smirking liberal smarter-than-us-all commentator-prick, I have to agree with people on this one.

This baseball season, both the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs qualified for postseason play, but the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies will meet in the World Series. This seems very appropriate to me.

That’s all I have to say about the election.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I despise Twitter. I wish it didn't exist.

"Just finished lunch with D! Going to spin class ;-)"

Who gives a flying fuck? I've been thinking about starting a Twitter account and giving my own updates to balance things out a little:

"Just ran afoul of a slapdick with no regard for anyone's personal space! Told him to fuck off! ;-)"

"Just beat the bishop! Wish I was that horse! ;-)"

"Just bailed on my plans because I'd rather receive a railroad spike in my eye than hang out with J! ;-)"

"Just ate a bowl of glass with a fork...oh wait...just hung out with A! ;-)"

Thursday, October 16, 2008


From the 1986 NBA Finals until the 2001 Super Bowl, no Boston team won a championship in any sport. The Boston Red Sox went eighty-six years – from 1918 until 2004 – without winning a World Series. The Boston Bruins haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1972. The New England Patriots didn’t win a Super Bowl until their forty-second year of existence.

Boston fans learned patience. The figured out fandom. They learned how to hope, they learned how to wait, and they stuck with their teams even – especially – when they were outclassed, outspent and outgunned. For a long time, Boston fans did things the right way.

Then their teams started winning, useless-girls-with-pink-hats took over Fenway, and their little “let me die in peace” schtick went from mildly irritating to played the fuck out.

And now they’re booing David Ortiz at Fenway Park.

We’ve already gone through this shit in New York with the Yankees, so we know the symptoms. From 1978 to 1996, the Yankees didn’t win a blessed thing. In 1996, a charmed team had a charmed year, Derek Jeter entered our collective consciousness, and Yankee hats – tacky multicolored ones, usually cocked annoyingly to the side, but Yankee hats nonetheless – appeared on people’s heads for the first time in nearly twenty years.

Then they won again in ’98. And ’99. And 2000. And everyone in New York thought they were going to win the damned thing every single year. You’d go to a game and listen to these motherfuckers, and you’d think the world owed them a win. And when someone on another team summoned the temerity to do something right – or worse, when someone on the Yankees had the audacity to fuck up – nobody understood. They didn’t understand because the people with that sense of entitlement – our version of the pink-hatters – weren’t the ones who’d suffered through eighteen years of Jesse Barfield, Steve Kemp, Ken Phelps and Stump Merrill.

Things are back to normal around here now. The Yankees haven’t won the World Series in eight years. The Red Sox – the fucking Red Sox – have won two championships over that same span. Yankee fans still boo. They still piss and moan when players fail – ask Alex Rodriguez – but Yankee failure isn’t classified as unthinkable the way it once was. All the pink-hats in New York, provided they stuck with baseball once the Yankees were done winning every year, have learned enough by now to know that wins aren’t a foregone conclusion. That other teams actually have guys who know how to play. That baseball doesn’t owe New York a living.

And now they’re booing David Ortiz at Fenway Park, which begs the following question:

Who the fuck are you people to boo this guy?

You went eighty-six years without winning jack shit. Now you’ve won two championships in four years – throw in the Celtics and Patriots and their titles for good measure – and you’re right back where Yankees fans were in 1999 with the expectations and the entitlement and the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately bullshit that makes everyone who watches sports want your teams to lose every game from now until eternity. It’s ugly, it’s unbecoming of a city with Boston’s sports tradition, and it smacks of front-running in the worst possible way.

In a few years, when Boston returns to normal, they'll understand.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Here’s a little of what’s been going on.

I’ve been putting most of my time and energy into work lately. Real nine-to-five work. The economy is making things suck even for internet figments like me, so like everyone else, I have to do what I have to do in order to get the rent paid on time.

I’m a little unsatisfied with what I’m doing right now, and a lot insecure when I look at my bank statement. Hell, if I really want to be honest here, I’ve been applying myself in all the wrong places, and the thought of all the time I’ve been wasting isn’t pleasant. There’s been too much time spent doing shit for other people, and damned little applied to advancing my own life.

I’m calling this a lack of discipline. I’m calling it that because I haven’t been disciplined enough to go out on a limb and commit to something. Discipline breeds confidence, and confidence is something I haven’t had much of lately, so I haven’t had the “balls” – for want of a better word – to go out and attack.

I’ll roll on the sidewalk with guys double my size without thinking twice about it, but ask me to go out on a limb in order to better my life and I’ll engage, as Dostoevsky wrote, in “a conscious sitting with folded arms.” It’s not laziness. It’s something worse. I think way too much for my own good, and then I don’t act.

This site is symptomatic of the problem. I used to love maintaining it. Now I don’t even think about it until it’s much too late at night to sit down and write anything substantive. I don’t know how that happened, but I’m sure it’s not a good thing. I’d like for that to change. I’d like to be all hot and bothered again about getting something written here regularly. I’ll try doing that for a while and see what happens.

Friday, October 10, 2008

David Foster Wallace

I hadn’t thought about David Foster Wallace very much until two things happened:

1. He killed himself
2. Neal Stephenson said he was “our best.”

Once these two events took place, I went out and procured a copy of Infinite Jest, which I just finished.

David Foster Wallace is brilliant to the point of absurdity. You need to read this book, and you need to start reading it today. Yes, it’s long, and yes, he goes off on too many tangents that detract from his supposed plot, but that’s okay because these tangents are absolutely fucking hysterical. He’s easily the most talented writer I’ve ever come across.

I couldn’t possibly recommend a book more highly.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


If I were running for president, I would have my staff compile a list of every supporter of mine who’s even remotely famous. From this list, I would then have them highlight the name of every person who could possibly be considered “reprehensible.”

I would then call all of these “reprehensible people” and tell them not to support me in public.

Me: “Do you want me to be the next president?”

Reprehensible Human Being: “Yes.”

Me: “Then stop talking about how much you like me.”

Reprehensible Human Being: “But why?”

Me: “Because you need to exercise your powers of self-examination and realize that by associating yourself with me, you’re making me look bad.”

Reprehensible Human Being: “How?”

Me: “Please just shut the fuck up.”

When a person I consider an asshole keeps telling me to support one candidate, I usually look for reasons to vote for the other one.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Joe Biden's Neighborhood

My dream in life, the thing I want more than anything else in the world, is to be on a NEW-KEW-LER Team of Mavericks. If that could ever happen, I think I'd be all set.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I once was waiting to order at a pizzeria with a very long counter. The place was empty. I was there with my ex-girlfriend.

A guy came in and stood at the counter next to me. He was wearing a leather jacket, and he was going bald. There was a ton of space, but he kept bumping into me. I finally said something.

“Hey,” I asked, “do you have to keep touching me?”

My ex-girlfriend grabbed my arm and told me to calm down.

“I am calm,” I said. “I just want this guy to stop touching me.”

“Why do you have to be such an asshole?” she asked.

“This motherfucker has ten feet to either side of him but still keeps bumping into me, and I’m the asshole? Why don’t you tell him to stop being an asshole?”

As it turns out, they were both assholes.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

For fun, I like to push a brutal little device called the Prowler. I have one of these things. Really. It sits in the back of my medium-sized, fuel-inefficient SUV in case I have the urge to increase the oxidative capacity of my fast-twitch muscle fibers between driving spells. That happens every once in a while.

The idea behind the Prowler is simple. You push the thing for a set distance – thirty yards, let’s say – then you stop and rest for a minute or so. Then you push it back. Repeat this process enough times consecutively, and you’ll get really, really tired. Do this consistently for a few months, and you’ll get in really, really good shape. I’ve been doing this four or five times a week since April, so do the math. I’m back down to my football weight, and I can actually see my schlong. It’s all quite thrilling.

Anyway, I was pushing the Prowler today at a soccer field near where I live. Back and forth I went. To my right, a family was playing soccer. This family consisted of an overweight father, an overweight mother sitting in a chair, and their son and daughter, both of whom appeared to be in their early teens. From a distance, they looked ignorant. I can tell.

They were taking shots on a soccer goal that was inexplicably facing in the opposite direction of the way a soccer goal should be facing. In other words, if they missed the goal with a shot, the ball would roll down the field toward me. I was pushing the Prowler across the field widthwise, about twenty yards to the opposite side of midfield.

Every time they shot the ball wide of the goal, a member of the family would trudge after the ball, retrieve it, and bring it back so the fun could begin anew. They eventually tired of this and started hesitating before the retrieval march, looking to see if I’d make a move to kick the ball back to them. I ignored them because their errant balls were over thirty yards away from me, and I wasn’t about to interrupt my workout because they were too lazy to chase after their own missed shots.

About three-quarters of the way through my workout came the moment of truth.

“Hey, a little help?”

I was about to start another trip, so I ignored this request and got on with it. I made it to the opposite side and turned around to see the overweight father gracelessly lumbering toward the ball, staring me down with the anger of a typical New York man with little – other than messes he’s made on his own – to be angry about.

“Hey, you can’t just walk over and throw the ball back? Thanks for the help, pal.”

Yes, he really did say “pal.”

I stared at him for an inappropriately long while because I had no idea what to say back. I was at a loss. I wanted to ask him if he was “fucking kidding me,” but there were kids involved, and when kids are involved, nightclub rules don’t apply. I tried to be diplomatic.

“I’m timing out these sets, man. I can’t stop what I’m doing and run over every time you guys miss a shot. You miss, you gotta chase it yourself.”

“Whatever,” he muttered back, shaking his head.

How about teaching your fucking kid to put the ball on net by making him chase the damned thing every time he doesn’t? Doesn’t that make sense, asshole? That’s what my father would’ve done to me. Fuck, it’s what he did do to me. You think my father was chasing any of my wild pitches down the fucking block? That’s how I learned to throw strikes. That’s why I was capable of handling the pressure of actual games, and it’s why your kid won’t be – because you’re teaching him to call out to someone else to clean up his messes when he fucks up, and to complain like a little bitch when the world tells him to fuck off, the way it’s going to over and over again.

I should have said that, but I didn’t.