The accept/deny duality of one Ms. Joanna Smith

When I was in high school, there were two Joanna Smiths, a fact which is only relevant when I divulge that, today, I received a Facebook request from Joanna Smith, and not knowing which one it was, I was thusly confronted with the critical decision to accept or deny said request.

Joanna Smith the first, the bronze-legged cheerleader with the piercing brown eyes and unbelievably perfect breasts, the type of breasts one could stare at for hours imagining one’s head nestled up against them to feel the comforting yet absurdly tantalizing sensuality of the female form, the type which formed a protective barrier for her implausibly sexy stomach adorned with that little belly button ring that I imagined spending my afternoons trapped inside, and also provided shade over that tiny space between her legs which tortured and tormented many a high school freshman when she was thrown in the air after the football team scored a touchdown and one could catch a glimpse of that off-limits area and yet still harbor dreams of conquering that mountain.

On the other side, the other side of Joanna Smith the first, lie the two perfectly-formed mountains with the vertical horizon that dropped into a canyon of imagination and ambition, an asset which garnered her attention from the entire student body and more than half the teaching staff, and led to rumors of lunchtime trysts with Mr. Spading, the history teacher with the pedophiliac’s eye, and Mrs. Tuncher, a 1960’s hippie whose concept of free love branched out to lesbians, farm animals – only limited only to those with four legs – and the occasional administrative orgy that no faculty member on campus would ever admit to, and of course Joanna, the undeniably attractive cheerleader who would bring out Mrs. Tuncher”s burst of feminist energy, and perhaps allow her to express her rather masculine compulsion for dominance.

Joanna Smith the first thought I was adorable, allowing me the impracticable belief that I might sleep with…. kiss….nay, engage in more than a cursory acquaintanceship with her, though to be honest she was the reason I spent many extra hours in the downstairs bathroom while my parents prepared dinner, an admission I smile about as I stare at the computer screen wondering whether to press accept or deny, and how quickly I should move my hand if I do decide to press the button. Oftentimes, Joanna Smith the first would lift that beautiful upper lip, as though tugged from heaven, and point her inverted index finger at me with a little wiggle, the suggestive gesture of approach, and I’d coolly, meaning trying to stay calm and composed but feeling the intense lust of a teenager struck with the awful hormonal imbalance of puberty, wander over to her and let her squeeze me against those aforementioned unbelievably perfect breasts, gleefully looking out the corner of my eye to see if Wendy Simmons, the other hot cheerleader for whom I also maintained a stiff penchant, might notice and become slightly jealous with the side-possibilty/benefit of her taking corrective action to thwart that emotion. Other times, Joanna Smith the first would stroll up behind me, place her hand on my ass and with the brush of her hair across my face and the smell of her sweet perfume thrilling my nose, pass by me with a firm pat and a “Hi cute boy!”

My memories of Joanna Smith the first come back to me in little beads of sweat, at once making me hot and sticky but too, cooling me with the remembrance of evaporating love. For a moment, I sit back in my leather chair, deciding whether to give that button a firm pat to once again hear that “Hi cute boy,” from the unconventional intimacy of cyberspace.

Joanna Smith the second, the dyed black hair, jet-black tank-top, black-black jeans, blacker-black cape wearing Goth-cum-Satan worshipping individualist, though with an obvious sense of conformity, because really, the moment one claims to be setting a trend is the same moment one becomes part of a group, represented the flip side of the accept/deny request decision. During one student assembly, Joanna Smith the second grabbed ahold of my hand as we were entering the auditorium, then smiled with a bloody tongue as she leaned in and licked my cheek, smearing the red liquid across my face, and then, as she walked away, smiled with a single raised eyebrow, as though lifting the blinds to her interior wickedness.

On another occasion, I can remember her relaxing under the bleachers at one of our high school soccer games, and while others might have presumed she was performing some voodoo spell upon our opponents, several times I caught her staring right at me, the silver point of her black hunting knife aimed at my head, as she squinted and screwed her face up into a twisted knot, mirroring the gesture with her hand and making me feel as if I’d just been stabbed and gutted by Lucifer himself.

Still, the unsettling memory, which endures most distressingly, is Joanna Smith the second in the school parking lot, or rather, in the back seat of my car which was parked in the school parking lot. On my way home to study, I entered the front seat of my vehicle and tossed my books into the back seat and heard a loud “Oof!” Turning, I saw Joanna Smith the second, her black-black jeans lying on my back seat, her jet-black tank-top hanging out the window, and that scary blacker-black cape, tightly-knotted around her throat as she pulled on the ends, and stuck her tongue out at me and screamed “Come take me now, come take me now, c’mon quickly!” this as she lifted her legs onto the headrests of my front seats and exposed her womanhood to me, the densely-wooded forest of hell beckoning me to enter her fiery den. Once again, I sit back in my leather chair, choosing whether to thrust forward and allow myself to enter Joanna Smith the Second’s life from the anonymous sanctuary of cyberspace.

Confronted with the accept/deny choice, I pondered the options with equanimity, measuring the pull of desire against the possibility of imminent death. Hovering above the keyboard, my hand began to shake, as though a victim of some ouija magic, and I felt Joanna Smith the second take control of my body. I recoiled and looked down, at the slight rise now protruding from my groin as I succumbed to the compulsion of Joanna Smith the first. The button was merely inches away and I could not act. For a brief moment, I felt like every American, asked to pull the voting lever but completely oblivious to the facts, and without time nor energy to educate oneself.  Then I pulled my hand back from the computer. My choice was obvious. I’d leave Joanna Smith the first or Joanna Smith the second, dangling, basking in the glow of un-acceptance, left in the frustrated rejection of denial, a fitting tribute to how I felt during my own high school years, and a corollary for the entire Facebook community.

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By ccxander

‘Til death do us part?

With all of this pre-campaign campaigning going on, I’ve been thinking about this term limits issue, and as we all know by now, me thinking rarely turns out well.

Maybe it’s time for one-term candidates – an in and out thing (sexual connotation notwithstanding, after all the whole point here is to STOP getting fucked by these folks) – so they can focus for a term and then return home.  This would alleviate representatives from feeling obligated to outside interest groups and afford them time to work for an entire political season, without necessitating time on the re-election trail.

And since term limits sound interesting for politics, maybe we can apply them elsewhere.

Today I read an article that claimed over 50% of households no longer have a married couple running them.  Additionally, almost 70% of marriages end in divorce. So, how about exploring term limits for marriage, renewable contracts every two or three or five years.  This would allow successful pairs to renew and strengthen their bonds, while affording unhappy pairs a way out of the contract.  Knowing that they no longer have to choose between surviving a lifetime of misery or undergoing a nasty divorce, but rather, just have to stick out a term, might incentivize couples to compromise a bit more, and squelch the exponentially increasing frown lines and taut-lipped expressions visible on contemporary society’s urban landscape.  After all, marriage is a word, not a sentence.

For those who believe marriage has a historically religious basis, I’d suggest reviewing the history.  The only “Oh My God” involved in the marriage institution occurs right around the honeymoon, and shortly thereafter transforms into “Oh my! Goddamnit!”

We have term limits – leases – on cars, housing, and appliances.  We have term limits – semi-annual or monthly premiums – on car insurance, health insurance, life insurance.  We have an agreement with children – the unwanted offspring are kicked to the curb right around the 18-year mark. Education is broken down into semesters and three, four, or five-year programs.

Perhaps the only other lifelong commitment is one’s faith – although clearly there is something to be said for the random sports junkie who can’t imagine a season without shoving a plate of overpriced nachos through his intestines and dumping twelve ounces of something unfiltered down his throat as he farts and screams upon his sofa while cheering on this year’s un-winning version of a long past championship squad – but then, I was referring to religious faith.  Term limits may not be God-friendly, although it does seem a lot of folks take a sabbatical from morality right around the college years.  But even religion offers forgiveness and compassion and redemption.

If there is a point here, it’s this: Sometimes people make mistakes, and if yours happens to be choosing the wrong person to spend a lifetime with, surely you deserve a less painful escape clause. What do you think?

By ccxander

A funny thing happened on the way to…

Seventy-nine degrees and almost humid. An abundant scent of something cleansing fills the air.  Crowd noise sounds like it’s coming through a taut scarf.  I am in a bank line, small bald woman presiding.

“May I see your identification, please?”

“But I’m just making a deposit.”

“Still.”

The passport in my rear pocket is well-used – shredded edges, sun-bleached, photo laughable.

“Anything else I can do for you, sir?”

God, when did I become a sir?

“Yes, can I get into my safe deposit box, please?”

“One moment.”

Turns into five as she shuffles papers. When pressed for time and in regards to financial matters, red-faced expressions and anxious jitters are not inspiring characteristics.

“Sir, can you please provide that safe number again for me.”

“131.”

“Are you sure, sir?”

“It’s what your teller wrote on my key when she gave it to me, so yea, I’m pretty sure.  But then, she no longer works here and since you appear close to requiring a diaper, I’m assuming there’s a problem?”

“We have…um…no record of you having a box here, sir.”

“Just so you know, the fact that you lost the records to my safe deposit box doesn’t bode well for my trust in the whole “safe” part of this deposit box thing.  And since I am standing here with a key, and in your bank, with a lot of money in that box, I am fairly certain we are about to have a serious problem.”

“One moment, sir.”

 

“May I help you, sir?”

Are all bank managers blessed with less than the normal number of eyebrows and the uncanny ability to push their body odor through thick security glass, or am I just lucky?

“Apparently you have lost the record to my safe deposit box.”

“Are you sure the box is here, sir?”

“It fucking better be.”

The sight of one massive eyebrow rising, looks like a caterpillar trying to jump.

“I mean, are you sure you purchased the box at this bank branch?”

“You mean, did I spend thirty minutes with your boy, Josh – over there – filling out paperwork and listening to a truckload of B.S. legal jargon while waiting for Marcel, the fellow who clearly needs a season or two on The Biggest Loser, to waddle his way over to the main door and take three minutes to explain how to insert a key into lock, before I walked over to Mary, the teller with the overly-low blouse line and the surgically-enhanced lips that make her face look like it’s being attacked by swollen earthworms, and signed the final document?  Because if that’s what you mean, then yea, I’m in the right bank.  Seriously, buddy, I’m not trying to be an ass, but it’s been twenty minutes and I expect access to that box, now.”

“Sir I –

“Don’t even think about finishing that sentence.  I know what’s coming and it’s unacceptable. Here’s my key.  Here’s my I.D. Open the door.”

“Sir we can’t do that.”

 

When the police arrived, the whole innocent until proven guilty assumption-thing went awry.   With patrons watching and one uniformed arm well-attached to my left bicep, I explained that the bank was either A: stealing my money B: withholding evidence or C: committing false imprisonment of funds, and I’d expect the officers to act in accordance with the law.

Police laughter sounds like metal cheese-graters.

I’d love to post bail but I can’t get into my safe deposit box to get the funds.

Somebody help me!

By ccxander

And then I slapped the little bastard

Today, in one of those profound philosophical moments when I was considering my own mortality in relation to the existence of some universal diety, a fly landed on my arm.   For a moment I took hedonistic pleasure in the thing, watching its tiny insect legs strut across my skin and feeling that tickling sensation one gets when consuming the first bite of something willful and intent.  A second later I was staring at this disgusting bug and wondering how I could relish in any moment of this odious delight.

The correlations are there though, the brief blissful instant followed by the angst and discontent of something repulsive, joy then guilt.  Life has these circumstances, eh, when you have to consider the cost/benefit ratios?  Perhaps it’s that post-meal dessert, the new flat screen, shoes, sports car et al, the midnight tryst – instant gratification un-sublimated – which leave us the most remorseful.  Why do we do it then?

We’ve become a society of immediacy – Wikipedia, phone messaging, delivery services – stimulus/response to the nth degree.  Pavlov is wagging his tongue and barking in his grave.  I don’t have answers for this one, only questions. Do I always give in to impulse and conduct myself according to the pursuit of happiness, or shall I defer to some outdated moral code, which suggests delaying gratification is the path less traveled?

Meanwhile, the fly grazes on my dead flesh, as I smile, repulsed.

By ccxander

Three women are responsible for this rambling

It is now 4:30a.m. and I am skimming the surface of sleep.  It’s not as if I’ve woken from a bad dream, but into one. This morning’s haze feels like I am walking through spiderwebs and my brain has the raw force of a weak sprinkler.

Last night, I had dinner with three great women and somewhere between the salmon risotto and a sublime dark chocolate dessert, the topic of this blog arrived.

Sometimes I think my literary ramblings float out in cyberspace like a single pelican perched upon the waves of an endless ocean. Other times, they shoot forth like a late night dog’s bark in the back of my brain. Tonight I learned they represent something more.  Three women told me my words require several trips to the O.E. Dictionary, and require such intense concentration – the kind one is unlikely to maintain after a 3:00 a.m. stagger home from a hard night of debauchery and vice – that most of the time, they just flick the computer’s off-switch and settle in to await the impending hangover.

The whole conversation made me feel the way you feel when you know the brakes on your car are tenuous and you’re nearing a steep descent. Just about the time the words hit my body with the same effect one would get when receiving a lengthy rusty needle through his testicle, perspiration joined in.  I sat there, agape, humiliated and questioning what is apparently the literary equivalent of a genetic mutation.

In that moment, I realized this blog is truly for me.  It’s cathartic the way a good vomit is cathartic, or how an orgasmic adrenalin surge empties one of angst and aggression. I write with the will of a weed, marking my territory the way morning dew rests on car windows.  What I write will never be for mass consumption because I don’t want to be consumed. Better for me that these words are tossed out like old beer bottles, left beneath some freeway underpass to disrupt the day of some seemingly insignificant street dweller in order to make him question his existence.  That is my crowd.

I cannot control the length of my literary life, but I can control the width and depth, decorating the silence with language.  Consider this blog a cul-de-sac, cool in the way a pond beckons coolness.  And when you depart, remember that you were affected but don’t really know why.

By ccxander

Ughh!

Just a few things I need to get off my chest:

The fact that California weather forecasters can be so blatantly wrong so often, pisses me off.  If I am standing outside with a case of swamp-ass, while getting a sun-burn, can we, just once, not report that it’s cold and raining.

Too much ice in my glass sucks.  It waters down the flavor and proves you are a cheap bastard. Plus, I can’t figure out how to drink the damn thing without dribbling on myself.

Not signaling before you cut me off is a lot like being sucker-punched. There’s the whole wtf reaction, followed by the unmitigated desire to retaliate.

Getting Poked on Facebook is like foreplay without the payoff.  It’s pointless and frustrating and just shouldn’t happen.

The grocery cart with the wheel that pulls left is staggeringly frustrating.  I’ve certainly figured out ways to adjust when I am “going left” and it’s just not that friggin’ difficult to fix.

People not willing to turn right on a red light deserve something terrible, like being pushed into the intersection.  Now you’ve been warned.

Media polls, which explain that 10% of the people are against something, are unnecessary and ridiculous.  10% of the population thinks Elvis is still alive.  It’s not news!  Hell, I’m in the 10% of the people who think lame news polls should never be posted.

Married people who flirt are like the Milk Duds at the movie theater.  They sit there in the glass case tempting you, but when you finally devour one, you realize they were horribly overpriced and way less satisfying than you thought. 🙂

People who use the word “like” as their default phrase, after age 14, should be imprisoned, like criminals, like social deviants, like the inarticulate abominations they really are, and like those people who make bad similes like picking on teenagers is like picking your nose.

People who use clichés like “No one can hurt you unless you let them,” to console you after you’ve been surprised by a mugger or punched in the face by a drunken lunatic, should be punched and then asked the obvious question.

People who beg me to start a blog and then refuse to read it, because I spend most of my time writing cynical rants on whatever is bothering me that day, do not RULE!

Thanks for letting me vent.

By ccxander

Dear runners!

At what point does someone learn how to run?  I recognize the differences in body types – longer legs, larger waists, overfull bras, and even those lacking serious coordination – and how certain physical attributes might cause one’s stride to appear a bit off -kilter.  I even acknowledge the fact that anyone getting out there to run should be commended for pursuing fitness and probably deserves some respect for the effort.  However, sometimes, and I’m just saying this so as to protect certain people from incredible embarrassment – you know who you are – certain people should NOT be running.  Perhaps they could try another sport, something in which their body parts don’t move around like an unfolding lawn chair, in which chiropractors and physical therapists don’t hover outside the lanes waiting for the inevitability of a new client, in which the idea of getting healthy means moving gracefully and smoothly through a stride rather than like an octopus caught in a tornado.  Remember the ol’ hokey pokey thing – “right foot in right foot out” – when you were a kid.  That is NOT how you run.

The phrase “put one foot in front of the other” is a good place to start.  Heel to toe, straight, pump the arms a bit.  It’s really not that complex, and yet, on any given morning, you can witness some courageous acts of athletic endeavor:  the grandmother whose Depends are clearly creating drag on her derriere and causing her right foot to splay eastward as though she’s trying to shake something from her shoe, the portly housewife whose chest bounce resembles two midgets trying to fight their way out of a duffel bag, the I-spend-my-life-behind-a-desk-and-this-is-my-day-off middle level exec with the Russell brand tank top and matching terrycloth headband whose molasses-like movement actually challenges Newton’s theory about object in motion, and the college co-ed, home for the summer after putting on the freshman-fifteen and now jogging around the track with a lateral-ish gait that suggests something might be terribly wrong with her x-axis, oddly-shaped thigh-sweat stains notwithstanding.

I guess all I’m asking is this:  When I pass you, if you could find a way to proceed without me worrying about getting smacked in the jaw or de-cleated in a way that your average Joplin, MO. tornado victim can really understand this morning, I’d greatly appreciate it.

By ccxander

Airline Travel-An excessively long CC Xander perspective

The human herd descends down the jetway, as though entering the tiny tunnel of a time machine, to board the metal vessel – a blatant attempt to outwit nature. Stow, sit, strap-in, snooze – the “default commands” travelers endure as they prepare to hurtle through space at the speed of sound. You pop an airborne to combat the affected coughing and sneezing jackass who, by no mere coincidence also intentionally avoided washing his hands in the terminal’s urinal after peeing next to you with an initial grunt followed by the relieved sigh of a positive flow.  Jamming your bag into the overhead compartment appears easy, easy until one realizes that other passengers have taken advantage of the “one carry-on” rule and stuffed half their wardrobe into a duffel bag, which now fits into the overhead compartment like a morbidly obese donut-shop worker wearing Saran Wrap.

Now you stare at the primitive seat assignment system, trying to decipher the hieroglyphic like coding of numbers and letters as you search for your final destination. Ah yes, 24 B! At this moment you wonder at the lottery-like selection of humanity, which will accompany you on your journey through the clouds. As you enter the aisle, you mentally scratch off the silver filings of your lottery ticket, assessing the life form in 24 A. Will he be a gifted conversationalist, blessed with insight and business acumen such that you depart from this summit a more educated and versed man, or perchance, a sleeper, the strong silent type who allows you freedom to enjoy your trip without the crushing pressures of restrained conversation with a stranger but then strangely smiles and, as you quit the plane, says “Have a good one” as though you’ve been engaged in a friendly conversation between old acquaintances for the entire ride, or possibly the overindulgent and annoying questioner, the one that interrupts your reading with inane queries about your hometown and the status of your relatives, forcing you to adorn your ipod headphones and close your eyes while pretending you’ve actually turned the volume on? Or maybe, just maybe, in some fortunate tribute to fate, you’ve scratched your ticket and found the smiling jackpot symbol, the beautiful woman whose warm grin and amicable eyes offer hours of possibility, a sensation you enjoy for a brief moment before wondering whether you are now the sick psycho who will disturb this woman with your inane queries as she suffers through your interminable pestering for the duration of the voyage. Luckily, the airlines’ pygmy-sized blankets offer some small sense of asylum, for nothing is more enjoyable than napping while fighting the chilling air of thirty-thousand feet as it courses first through your collar then up your pant legs, an impossible foe to combat with your typewriter-like pulling of the linen washcloth three inches this way or that. I often wonder if the blanket-producing department is situated in some airline hangar just off the runway, where some four-foot eleven-inch hobbit spends the day laughing in vengeance as she watches, through those tiny plane windows, the frustrated faces of normal-sized passengers struggling with disappointment as they attempt to cover themselves from the cold, using these diminutive dishrags.

On planes, sleep comes easily, a consequence of the pilots pressurizing the cabin with just enough air to sedate the passengers without killing them, an appropriate method for taming the herd, since euphoria and awareness would scare the shit out of anyone pondering the insanity of hurtling through the air in a metal cylinder five miles above the earth.

Once slumbering, the tete-a-tete with wakefulness begins, the myriad opponents of forty winks presenting themselves like British soldiers, their ranks thick, one replacing the other with each failed attempt. A baby screams and you lurch, the piercing wail slicing your eardrums like a blade, but unconsciousness calls and you drift off again, resting your chin gently upon your hand, leaning slightly into the aisle. The stewardess pummels you, treating your head like a punching bag on her way to more pretzels for the old lady in the third row who “needs a little salt for her perspiration problem,” and you tilt back into your seat, wondering whether to hit the “call button” for an icepack.

Now, resting your head straight back on your perfectly upright seat – because allowing decline would mean thirty dollars less per flight for the airline warlord, and God forbid he go without this years new Ferrari such that his clients might be able to fight insomnia during the four hour jaunt to JFK – sleep comes once again, but succumbing to the forces of gravity as your head snaps forward as though at a hanging, ironic because the chiropractor in the next seat is smiling at you when you look over with red-faced embarrassment at your snooze-induced contortionist routine. He passes you a business card and you turn slightly, trying to remove your hand from the two-inch metal railings, those imprisoning accoutrements of divisiveness that separate you from the other passengers.

One last attempt at restfulness, the final passage into sleep and you are flying, blessed with the achievement of REM, until the whopping woman at the window decides her oversized stomach is now pressing too hard on her petite bladder and she urgently needs to crawl over you – urgently meaning with flapping arms, obscene morning breath, and the shuddering flailing of desperation – those massive dual driver’s side airbags called breasts pressing against your face like boxing gloves, pinning you against your seatback, as you pray she will turn a little harder and knock you out for a few hours.

Finally, you surrender to the awakened state, flawlessly falling into step with the stewardesses now traversing the aisle with some semblance of overpriced airplane food. First, the peanut appetizer, sixteen per bag, shelled and sugar coated, the precursor to anaphylactic shock for at least three unhappy passengers. Next, accompanied by the inevitable plastic spoon and knife too flimsy to butter anything, let alone cut, the meal arrives – though one questions the term meal, as the concoction of meat substitute and now-crystallized mashed potatoes shouldn’t legally qualify as hearty fare and may or may not be edible. Luckily the fruit does not appear poisonous so you’ll be receiving your daily dose of whatever nutrients honeydew and pineapple can offer (which is essentially sugar and citrus, so you’ll avoid scurvy but suffer high-altitude insulin shock), and all of this at the low price of thirteen dollars, a price which, if you were at a restaurant, would cause you to raise and hurl this fabricated foodstuff at your insufferable host. You place the hot plate – in fact a tiny heated slab of metal which singes your hand but does nothing to cook the raw meat substitute – on the tray contraption you’ve unfolded from the back of the persons head in front of you, like some scene out of a Ridley Scott film, and you perform a minor scraping of the fiberglass tray-top in hopes of removing some of the less-than-delectable cuisine from the last thirty four passengers who’ve previously suffered through fictitious lunches at this diner in the sky. And then you eat, performing some eerie elbow contortions reminiscent of the chicken dance in a failed attempt to keep from bumping the grossly overweight version of femininity currently devouring her meal with the intensity of a African lion, as if she would notice in the midst of her gnawing and thrashing.

Lunch ends, the scattered remains of death flung about your seat and tray, as though Jackson Pollack had chosen row twenty-four for a sampling of his artistic exploits, and now you sit, trapped underneath the debris, the claustrophobic intensity rising with each nauseating gaseous outpouring from the obviously digestively-challenged passenger situated directly in front of you. Finally, the stewardess comes by, relieving you of Hell’s kitchen and you glance at the man in the exit row, now struggling to navigate his seatbelt, an observation, which inspires some serious introspection. After all, you spent hours steering your way through airport parking, ticket lines, TSA, gate security and figured out how to get eight days worth of clothes into one bag so you wouldn’t have to pay the extra baggage charges and this guy, who can’t discern the inner workings of a seatbelt is rewarded with sixteen more inches of legroom and responsibility for the lives of his fellow passengers. His fumbling is apparently supposed to inspire confidence that “in the event of an emergency” he’ll be able to decipher those emergency door instructions, let alone figure out how to pull down that idiotic oxygen tube that dangles like an IV drip from the ceiling and, even though may not inflate, rest assured the oxygen will be flowing – and hell, if it’s not, you’ll be dead in the next thirty seconds and won’t be able to complain about it anyway — and you think to yourself, “Fuck, I’m in hell.”

The moment passes and once again, you attempt sleep, the unique combination of depleted oxygen supply, rectal air, and fake meat driving you toward comatose. To make matters better, you’ve found an airline pillow, and though it is the size and consistency of a wet sponge, and probably riddled with the dandruff and drool of thousands of prior passengers, you place it against your seat and search for the fluffiest part upon which to rest your cheek. Thankfully, the captain has “turned on the quiet tones of the in-flight movie for your viewing pleasure” and the extremely inappropriate showing of 9/11 The Documentary fills the screen as passengers shut their window shades, not in an effort to create a better viewing environment, but rather, to distract them from the fact that they are now in the exact scenario as the planes represented on the film, the ones which are about to slam into the World Trade Center, and for a long second, one wonders at the intelligence gap between those who chose this film, and those who are flying this plane, hoping the discrepancy is massive. Of course, in your row, the spiteful and malevolent bastard in the window seat has left the shade open in an obvious stab at curtailing your siesta, and the effect is like an incessantly beaming streetlight perched outside your bedroom window. Your last thoughts before drifting off to slumber…the stewardess in first class sure is sexy and definitely mile-high club worthy…followed by a curious contemplation on where the bathroom waste goes when you flush.

Twenty minutes into a peaceful repose, you are interrupted by the captain’s voice over the intercom, and as you do your best to contend with the notion that Charlie Brown’s parents are apparently flying the plane, you interpret the various “Wahh Waaaah Wahh Waaa Wa Waah’s” to mean you are about to experience some turbulence, a polite term indicating the pilot is tempted to perform some aerial acrobatics and wants to blame the wind. As you strap on your seatbelt and wonder how in the hell the Orca next to you is going to make those metal fasteners reach around that girth, you envision the pilot and co-pilot in the cockpit doing their version of Chubby Checker’s The Twist, and make a mental note to investigate train travel for your next business trip.

Finally, the seatbelt sign dims and it is now “ok to move about the cabin.” You unbuckle your belt, the slight chuckle a recognition that this act is like solving the Rubik’s cube for many of the gene pool’s dead weight currently flying with you, and lift your leg into the aisle. There, the cocktail cart is now firmly planted in your path and you roll your eyes and drop back down to your seat hoping you can hold it, and with a subtle and abbreviated rub of the hand, squeeze off the flow without embarrassing yourself in front of the other passengers.

The child behind you is now awake, and playing soccer on your spine and you wonder if there is such a thing as premature bladder relief. To distract you, you pick up the $395 dollars per minute phone on the back of the center head rest, and create various theories as to why you can use this phone, but opening up your cell phone on the plane will get your both arrested, and victimized by the terrorized and angered glares of other passengers.

At last, Mr. Brown announces your impending landing and asks you once again to buckle up. You calculate the twenty-minute descent followed by the intolerable wait for these idiots to grab their bags and exit, plus the thirty-second OJ Simpson-like dash through the terminal to the nearest restroom and decide you can hold it. Shamu, apparently terrified of landing – a strange fear as it indicates safety and security a hell of lot more than tearing through the blank space of the lower atmosphere – begins praying and humming, and now, the malevolent bastard is toying with the window shade, creating a strobe-like effect upon the cabin, one which is likely to cause someone an epileptic seizure, or at the very least, the obese woman to believe she is truly immersed in some universal struggle between heaven and hell.

Ah, the rumble of the landing gear and hard slam of the wheels on pavement, followed by the roar of the brakes and the grotesque sweat of the seated whale who is now wringing her hands at the sky screaming thank you God thank you and dousing me with armpit residue. As I perform my little two-step down the aisle, disguising my struggle to keep from wetting myself, I get a brief glimpse of the cockpit and wonder why only little kids get to go visit that video game-like console. I consider asking the stewardess for a pair of wings, really hoping she will pin them to my chest with her phone number, then stumble out to the jetway and begin my sprint to the bathroom. Two minutes later I am midstream when Orca walks in and begins screaming again. Apparently, in my rush to relief, I’ve made a minor, and perhaps Freudian error, and entered the wrong facility, something I will note at my next psychology appointment after picking up the rest of my baggage.

By ccxander

Why I threw my cell phone out the car window

“Hi, I’d like to….”

“Oh, whoops.”

“1 for English..ugh, this is so stupid”

“3 for Cell phone”

“No wait I meant 2…crap”

“Hi, I’d like to…oh yea…1″

“2″

“5”

“7”

“Oh hi I’d–”

“I’d rather not.”

“I guess that doesn’t matter…and you can’t hear me now anyway.”

at the Copa, Copa Cabana, music and fashion are

“Yes, yes, hello, Julie is it?”

“Ah, I’m sorry. Hello Gupta. My cell phone isn’t working properly.”

“No, I’m on it now.”

“No I don’t have a home phone line. That’s pretty bad marketing on your part don’t you think?”

“Well, if I get a home line, you’ll get less business from my cell phone usage.”

“No, I’m not trying to be difficult, I just think that if you want to keep your job, it makes more sense for you not to ask me to go on a home phone.”

“No, it’s ok?”

“Hello?”

“Oh, hi, no I really didn’t need to talk with a supervisor.”

“No, I wasn’t being difficult –is that what she said?”

“I wanted to see if –”

“Hello?”

“Oh, it’s you again?”

“No, I didn’t mean it that way. Look can we just help me get my phone fixed.”

“Thank you. So I am not receiving my emails on my phone.”

“Are you serious? Yes, it is the type of phone that receives emails.”

“Well, I’ve had several people tell me they’ve sent me things, and none of them are going through to my phone.”

“Yes, I’ve tried that.”

“ The mute button? Why would I press—“

“Yes, ok. I’ve pressed it?”

“Hello? Hello?”

“……..”

“Hello?”

“No I didn’t think it was the mute button either.”

“Yes, I’ll hold.”

and she’s buying the Stairway to

“I can but it’s about my email. I can’t really see what removing the—“

“No, I’m not being difficult again, it’s just that—“

“Ok, I’ll remove it. You’ll call me back though, right?”

“Right, but how will you know if it worked if you don’t call me back.”

“No, I’m sorry, I don’t have a pen to take down your extension.”

“Sure, I’ll remember, go ahead.”

“2361, got it.”

“OK, should I remove the battery now?”

“Take it out for ten seconds, replace it, then hit 611, then call you back. Got it.”

“……..”

“Ahh, Christ what was that extension?”

“Hi yes, I–ahh, 1,2,5,7,”

“Hello, Mary I was talking with Gupta?”

“Sorry, I heard Mary, um…Marti, I was talking with a woman named Gupta and-“

“Six hundred you say? So then, you probably don’t know her.”

“A different country? Really? Well that would explain the interesting name then.”

“Nothing.” “Um, well I really don’t want to start all over again, but I’m having trouble receiving emails.”

“No I don’t have a home phone line. Ya’ know you guys should…nevermind.”

“No really, it’s nothing.”

“Can we just try to fix my phone?”

“No, I will not hit the mute button. Look I’ve tried that, and I’ve already removed the battery and counted to ten and dialed 611 and now I’m talking with you, Marti, and getting very frustrated with this whole issue.”

“Yes, thank you, for being so interested in remedying my problem.”

“OK, options, yes, I can do that, one second.”

“Ok, I’ve clicked that.”

“Yes, it says it’s on.”

“Ok that’s great. Thank you so much.”

“So, just wait for your email and I’ll do the final steps? Great! Wait, Marti, if this doesn’t work, how do I get in touch with you?”

“Extension 2361? Um…isn’t that Gupta’s extension?”

“No, I’m sorry, I know you don’t know who Gupta is. Me neither.”

“No, I don’t need to speak with your supervisor.”

“Hello?”

“Hi, are you the supervisor…oh yes, well Marti is great. She helped me a lot.”

“I do understand you are very busy supervising.”

“No, I’m not being difficult.”

“Right, ok.”

“Hi Marti, I said good things about you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Are you married?”

“Right, sorry. I look forward to your email.”

“Thank you, you have a good day too.”

Ten minutes later

“2361.”

“Hello, Marti?…oh Gupta, well, how’d that happen?”

“Ah Julie, my apologies. Julie listen, I am about to kill someone, ok.”

“No, I don’t need a supervisor. I didn’t mean I’m actually going to kill someone.”

“Suicide hotline? No, look it was a joke.”

“Yes, I agree it was a bad one. I’m sorry.”

“I understand. Can you just help me though?”

“I’m happy to hear that you are interested in remedying my problem.”

“ Marti was supposed to send me an email a few minutes ago about how to—“

“She works for your company.”

“No, I don’t mean…I mean I was on the phone with her about this issue.”

“Yes, she gave me this extension.”

“I agree. It was sort of stupid.”

“Julie, I’m starting to run out of time. Can you just walk me through the steps to fix my email on my phone?”

“Great, thanks.”

“What is it with you guys and the mute button?”

“Yes please, just the steps.”

“Twenty three?”

“No, that’s not going to work right now, I don’t have a pen.”

“Ah that would be wonderful…Julie, you are a Saint.”

“Ok, I’ll look for the texts.”

Ten minutes later

“Hi, I’m …arrghh!”

“1 2 5 7.”

“Hello?”

“Hi, Gary?”

“Sorry Flarpi…listen please cancel my service with your company.”

“$175?”

“To cancel?”

“Flarpi, I fucking hate you!”

“Oh, I’d love to speak with your supervisor.”

“Hi Kalpi?”

“Right, well then, Kelly, I fucking hate you and Gupta and Marti and Julie and your entire company!”

“What’s that?”

“ A customer service survey?”

“Sure, you just email it to my cell phone, I’ll get right on it!”

“Click!”

By ccxander

My post-ascension report from Heaven

Yesterday I ascended.  So listen, here’s how things go down.  First of all, you get to keep your Facebook page, which is pretty cool, although the hours for usage are rather tight because these fucking angels do a lot of status updating, plus the whole “Oh yea, who died and made you God” contention when someone tries to kick you offline, isn’t nearly as effective, what with the…well, you know.

There’s a BYOB policy, however, Bartles and James – remember those two old dudes with the fishing hats and the smartass flavored-beer commercials – have a sweet set-up outside the Pearly Gates and offer a good pilsner along with a pale ale for a spattering of frankincense and myrrh. (I didn’t bring my myrrh yesterday but jeans are hard to come by in Heaven, so if you can hang onto that pair of Sevens for the upward journey, you can trade them for unlimited vials of myrrh and pretty much be set for eternity. True Religion pants are a dime a dozen though, so don’t say I didn’t warn you). Barring denim, folks gravitate toward fig leaves, and let me forewarn you, get a wax job before you die.  This place makes scanning for genitalia harder than finding Santa Claus’ mouth.  Just sayin’….

I’ve had a chance to look around and I have to admit, there are a lot less suicide bombers than I expected.  After all, martyrdom seemed popular back on Earth and it’s possible some the planet’s citizens have been sold a bill of goods, because the benefits package promised – virgins, fruits, etc. – aren’t showing up on the radar.  Some of you might want to investigate another after-life insurance plan.  Two other quick notes. When achieving orgasm in Heaven, the phrase ‘Oh My God” begets a booming response that sounds vaguely like “I KNOW, AND YOU’RE WELCOME!” Also, bathroom lines are excessively long.

Due to the large influx of new members, St. Peter and his team threw a great party last night, replete with red carpet, low-calorie dessert plates, and a grand duet performance by Sinatra and Pavarotti– for which the recently-ascended Italians went nuts – although the Vatican Priests were noticeably absent (unsubstantiated rumors had it there was an un-cancelled little league game that evening and the patriarchy felt obligated to stand behind the boys, at least through the seventh-inning stretch).

Apparently you folks down on Earth are in for a pretty rough go over the next few months.  The Heavenly weathermen are predicting earthquakes, hailstorms, torrential rains and flooding – although to be honest, their boast of 100% accuracy on the weather forecasts seems a bit disingenuous considering they control the damn atmosphere, cocky bastards.  My personal suggestion is to drop down onto those sore patellars and toss a few Hail Mary’s and lordly praises northward, unless your last name is Sheen, in which case you’ve already got a large piece of property reserved way down south, so keep up the hedonism and pray Satan has a large stash of Viagra.

By ccxander