Friday, November 16, 2007

Rejected Onion Headlines

1. Overweight Man Insists He’s Not Trans-Fat.
2. SEC Blocks Co Ed Naked/Big Johnson Merger.
3. OE: This Laser Pointer/Pen is the Most Thoughtful Gift I’ve Ever Received!
4. Frozen Turkey Found in IED Shrapnel.
5. MAG: The Case for Implants.
6. MAG: The Longest Shit Ever Expelled By Someone Famous.
7. Ironic T-Shirt Ironed.
8. 2 for 1 Self Promotion Fails.
9. Fred Durst Waiting for Market to Settle Before Releasing Sex Tape.
10. Rock Hard Erection No Match for Hard Rock.
11. Snake Ingesting Just to Show Off.
12. Armchair Psychologists Battle Lay-Z-Boy Clinical Social Workers in All Out Turf War.
13. Hunt is On for Hidden Green Day Track.
14. Jerk Off Session Interrupted by Jerk Off Roommate.
15. Piece of Action Demanded.
16. Kilometer Continues Steady Gains Against Mile.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Hooker Lived in Brooklyn

Last Thursday, the prostitute that worked on Malta Street, behind my office building, got arrested. As I left the building, I witnessed the crime scene. She had her hands cuffed behind her back with about seven or eight plain clothes police officers surrounding her. The cops were all dressed in blue jeans, baseball or football jerseys and sunglasses. They were also all fat and bald.

Best picture of an undercover cop I could find.

Maybe it was just these cops, but I was disappointed by their un-creative narc costumes. If I were working a stakeout or sting operation or something, I would put as much energy as possible into researching and designing my wardrobe. Like Serpico, I'd experiment with all the latest street facial hair styles. And in the summer, I'd put on a ratty loincloth and hit the sidewalk looking like I just crossed a desert.

Anyway with her hands tied behind her back, our hooker was doing, what looked like, the pee-pee dance. Meanwhile, the cops were standing around talking about how much they hate Reno 911, I guess.

I've heard that when you die, my life flashes before your eyes. As I stood on the corner watching the scene, my mind flooded with memories of the Malta Street Hooker. There are two.

The first is the giant, carnival prize, stuffed animal she never came to work without. It was an impractically large -most probably a 'choice' prize at a Six Flags or similar theme park game- green bear with a sewed on crown. I imagine it was difficult to commute with, but it never missed a day. I imagine, one of her best Johns won it for her and she didn't want him to see her without it. Such is a level of customer service that most telecommunications company could take a lesson from.

Another time I was parking my car on Malta Street when our lady jumped in the spot I was about to take. She rubbed her behind at me while cooing. I'm really not a fan of people saving parking spots for each other, I think that the first car to arrive has a right to the space. But I suppose a hustla doesn't always play by the rules. As the saying goes, hate the game not the opposing team.

Fare the well, old hooker friend. You livened up the block behind my office building, perhaps we'll meet again at a bus station or county courthouse.

Google Image search result featuring Jane Fonda with Ted Turner in the lobby of the theater immediately after the conclusion of the telecast of the 62nd Academy Awards. Keyword: Hooker Malta St. 112$#

Monday, August 13, 2007

Choose Your Own Adventures. Third Installment

We last left off here. And before that, here.
We continue... here.

Good initiative. You and Sydney walk at a steady pace toward the facility; not too fast and not too slow. As you get closer, it becomes apparent that Frozen World, is actually frozen. Thick layers of ice blanket the industrial campus. After a few more steps, you can feel the air coming off the frozen world cool the warm summer evening.

You are reminded of the moving freezer you woke up in.

"I'm reminded of the moving freezer we we're just in," says Sydney.

"I know. Me too," says you.

As you close in on the armed guards, you decide to start a non-suspicious, casual sounding conversation with Sydney.

"You don't often see lions like that, how about it?" You state. "Did you know that the Lion, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, is considered vulnerable, while the Asiatic subspecies is critically endangered?"

"Ok," says Sydney.

"The total population of wild lions dropped from perhaps 400,000 in 1950 to an estimated size of 16,500–47,000 in 2002-2004."

"Who in the rat's sack are you?" says the guard on the left, interrupting you.

"Don't move, even a ligament!" says the guard on the right.

They point their guns at Sydney and you. "Speak." Says the guard on the right.

Sydney whimpers a little.

"We were just walking in the neighborhood, and we stumbled here." You say. "Are those your Lions?" You ask.

The guards don't move. They have laser pointer beams coming out of their guns and they are trained on your mouths.

"Ok," the guard on the right finally says, "You should come inside and, maybe, buy a soda."

You do not want to go inside, but there is no other choice at this point in the story. They are armed men. You will have other chances to choose from a list of adventures at another point in the story.

Though completely draped in ice, the hinges on the door are greased and they float open. In front of you lies the biggest room that either you or Sydney has ever encountered. An amateurs guess would be something around 10 football fields long by six city blocks wide, but you are in the company of no amateur. Sydney works in real estate occasionally and has a good eye for square footage.

"800,000 square feet." Sydney says.

Rows upon rows of shipping containers fill the great room. Some are stacked 12 high; every surface is frozen. The walls are frozen solid, ice stalactites hang from the ceiling. And large men, dressed in white lab coats, white helmets and safety goggles skate around on the ice floor.

Sydney clutches the itchy woolen blanket tighter.

"Could we use the bathroom?" You ask the guard on the left.

"Down there," he points next to the entrance, to a dark set of stairs that lead underground. Above, a sign reads 'Unisex Bathroom.'

The bathroom is dark and cold. The floor, frozen. "Sydney," you say, "light a match, please."

The little bit of light reveals just how filthy the room is. The walls are black, caked with dirt, frozen over long ago. Three toilets, overflowing with solidified who-knows-what, sit in a row at the end of the room, no walls or partitions separating them. There is a long trough with faucets hanging over it at the wall on your right. It holds a giant frozen block of brown ice. Over this is a mirror, you do not initially recognize yourself and when you look into it, it catches you off-guard.

"We are dirty." Says Sydney, looking in the mirror.

"I have an envelope in my pocket," you say, "it says 'Dill' on it."

"I have one too, Lee," says Sydney "mine says, 'Re:'"

Sydney tears the envelope open. "It says, 'Rest on a radiator, Toby Abrazadey.'

Neither of you know what this mean.

"Hey! You're all clean down there! Get up and get a soda!" One of the guards screams down at you.

Back upstairs there is one of the men in white with skates waiting for you. "This way." he says, as he pushes behind you.

You turn around and catch a glimpse of the guards talking to other people who have shown up at the door. They look peculiarly like what you saw in the mirror. You can feel the breath of the man in the white coat.

You slide about 100 yards down the room. Men are working everywhere, loading and unloading containers.

The man stops you in front of an open container. At the end of are a stack of Pepsis.

"Soda is in there." Says the man.

Do you...
A) Go inside the container and have a soda?
B) Make a slide for it?
Cs) Ask for a different soda?
-) Have a flashback?
1) Skip to the end of the story?
r) Choose not to choose?
a.2) Wake up?

Monday, August 06, 2007


After a sleepless night at a class lodge in Zhengzhou, I hit the rec center for some lap swimming. After that, I polish off in the sweat room. I don't exercise to stay fit, I exercise to keep away the droll.

Morning chow consists of local eggs with pickled garnishes, some kind of rice tamale, strong coffee, a rich man's cheese plate and a foofie pastry with cacao trimmings. I'm fed well and unsparingly.

A driver then picks me up from the lobby to take me deeper into the province. He speaks no English.

After five minutes into the journey, i receive a remote transmission from our U.S. headquarters. My mark, it seems, has suffered a mild heart attack and will not be at the rendezvous. Themission is now expendable. Nevertheless, I will continue to the facility and either wait for further orders, or bide my time until I can catch a break home.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


After our aircraft circled over Western Beijing for 45 minutes, the control tower finally cleared us to land. China.

The clearest days in Beijing are as dark as the haziest in cities outside the Orient. Officials are working tirelessly to clean up the capital before the 2008 Olympics. They're planting millions of acres of trees, building newer and taller buildings, and broadcasting media that rally against poor manners like cutting in line, spitting, and littering. But no matter how much vegetation is introduced or how many pleases and thank yous are uttered, the games will be played under the shadow of this overcast. Today, the sky is thicker than Maypo, which caused our delay, and makes it seem like evening at three in the afternoon. Asia.

My assignment is to travel to our facility in the Henan Province via the capital, Zhungzhou. There, I rendezvous with a potential financier, sweet talk him and oversee his tour of the operation. I'm covering close to 15,000 miles over five days for about two hours of work. The Far East.

Currently, I'm waiting in the airport holdover room. The connecting air leg has been delayed to an unspecified time. So far, three hours have lapsed and officials are distributing extra rations to keep untrained civilians from croaking of malnourishment. If Charlie had the aviation problems Paddie has, we may have won the war. People's Republic of China.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Last night, I stood on a rainy rooftop in Brooklyn and watched Macy's blow firecrackers over the East River. The show was big and bright and it lit up New York Harbor well, but throughout the spectacle, I couldn't help but feel unimpressed. That is because, I had seen this same display on New Year's Eve and before that, last Independence Day. My point is, with all the technological advances in the cellphone, computer, MP3 player and shaving industries, why are we watching the same fireworks presentation that we saw when the Civil War was won?

According to Wikipedia, fireworks were first used by the Chinese in the 12th century to scare away evil spirits and ghosts. Now I don't know what they looked like, but according to the website, ancient Chinese pyrotechnics were lauded for mounting "dazzling displays of light and sound." Fine. I'm sure it was great and I bet it fixed their evil spirit problem right up. But that was 900 hundred years ago; a very long R&D time. Dazzling displays of light and sound pretty much sum up every firework show I've ever seen.

This is a picture of a firework event from England in the year 1749.
It looks awfully familiar to what I saw last night, 2007. On the bottom, there are smaller explosions that stream light continuously; and on the top, the blast spreads out in different directions and then pops again. Last night, these twice-exploding shots were abundant and got plenty of applause.

Here is a picture of some more modern day fireworks. Same idea.

Anyway, I'm just getting started. According to the website, The Chemistry of Fireworks, which promises to 'provide insight' into this fascinating world, in 1560 a British chemist combined a mixture of 75% Salt Peter, 15% Charcoal and 10% Sulfur resulting in an explosive effect. This same combination is used today, 500 years later. Why haven't we tried anything new? Throw some gas on there, that's flammable. How about some match heads or tequila? Take a fuckin risk!

Furthermore, according to Chemistry in Fireworks, it was only in the 19th century that they found a way to make red, green & blue explosions. It took 700 years to blow up a different color. And not even a new color. Apparently, we still can't blow up certain shades of forest green! You can record any number of television shows at once, eat a boneless chicken wing, listen to the radio in the shower, and ride a hovercraft, but you cannot light a firecracker the color of a leaf. Put some fucking food coloring in it.

A few years ago, my friend and I stuffed a doll's head with fireworks and hung it outside my window. When we lit it, the head flew around like a little rocket ship and the eyes blew out. It was awesome. I have never seen any firework company utilize a doll's heads, large or small. But nor have I ever seen a show that really stands apart from others. It seems like each group uses the same hardware but organizes it differently. I have never seen a firework that looks like something other than a firework. How about an explosion in the shape of the United States on July 4th or a veteran on veterans day? The appeal of the lopsided heart has faded with my innocence. And what about a firecracker that explodes out and then sucks itself back in? Or maybe one that blows up and then releases those little parachute men? Go get on that firecracker maker, impress me, stagnation isn't the American way.

On the roof last night, there was a guy who stood right next to us. He was by himself, which was weird enough, but what I found most strange was his unabashed glee for the show. He had a big smile plastered to his face and he kept repeating the words, 'Awesome!' and 'Whoa, totally!' to no one else's benefit but his own. I mean, maybe he was high, but had he really never seen fireworks before? Call me a cynic, but I don't get the fuss;I saw the same shit last year and the 25 subsequent.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Not Just A Man's World

The other day, I biked to the playground near my woman's house, to ride through the sprinkler tunnel. A sprinkler tunnel is just like the Holland tunnel, except it is much smaller and gets you wet. Before I could peddle through, a very little three-year-or-so-old boy stopped me. He said, "Wait! Where's your boy?" I looked at him, puzzled, and said "Uh... I... I'm my boy..." It wasn't the answer he was looking for and asked again, "No, I mean... Where's your boy?" I thought for a second and replied, "I'm not sure I know what you mean." His mother then came over and inspected me over before smiling. She attempted to put the boy's sandals on when he said, "Don't you have any people like me?" Now I understood and replied with a half smile, "No, not yet, unfortunately." Getting his shoes on threw him off balance, so he stuck his hand down the front of his mom's shirt and grabbed her bra for support. "Not yet! Unfortunately!" the mother assured her son. Suspiciously, he looked at me and asked, "So you're just a man?" Feebly, I responded, "Yep, just a man... right now..." He kept his eyes on me with a look that said I had disappointed him. Then he began sucking on his mothers arm fat. So I asked him if it was okay to go through the sprinkler tunnel; because, that seemed like the right thing to do. And he just kept staring and sucking. Then, I, just a man, rode my bicycle through the sprinkler tunnel and went about my afternoon.

The incident has certainly not made me feel welcome at playgrounds. Just this afternoon, on the way to my softball game, I stopped by the playground to ride through the sprinkler tunnel and escape the heat briefly. Yet, I felt so timid about entering that I peddled all the way around the park, so I could go in through the less crowded side. Then, when riding in the tunnel, I smacked my head on the top in the rush to get through. This unwelcome feeling is a shame since playground design has gotten so exciting in recent times. With the inclusion of such novel amusements as shaky bridges, giant nets meant to be jumped into, midevil style belfries, rock climbing walls and, of course, sprinkler tunnels, the playground has come a long way since the see-saws and sandboxes of my youth.

But my encounter also addresses that pressure which falls upon 27 year old men; to bare children. There is nothing which brings me greater joy than playing with my 19 month old nephew. Similarly, when I visit my non-childless married friends, I spend most of the time messing around with their kids, than talking to them about non-childless married friend things. These behaviors feed my consciousness a steady flow of munitions to fire at my non-baby-having will.

As I am sure you are aware , there are also third party pressures. Recently, at two separate weekday evening dinners, my father discussed the benefits of having children in your twenties. Then, my mother discussed those very same benefits. They are aware that I am not married, but maybe the joy of a newborn grandchild would outweigh the devastation of it being bastard. I am not sure. Similarly, I am reminded of my late grandmother when I hear passive aggressive statements like 'Where's your boy?' Perhaps, if my grandmother channeled the child in the park more intensely, he would have continued with, "Why are you here, Eytan, if you have no young children? What possible business could a 27 year old have in a playground? Tss..."

But like a bigoted country club, the only way I will truly have a place at the playground, is when I bring my own boy. Until then, I am 'just a man.'