Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sad Story Of A Sensitive Man

This is an absolutely true & ridiculous story about me. It happened yesterday. I wanted to share.

I was waiting at the busstop yesterday, listening to songs about bones in my continual decision-making process about the songs I will play on my show, & reading Christopher Hitchens' wonderful new book, God Is Not Great, when, as is not uncommon, a homeless fellow, who had been standing next to me but not making eye contact, turned & asked for change.

I had to turn off my iPod, & turn to him, & he was a scrawny, filthy thing, with teeth all back & a face cracked & red with damage from too much sun & way too much alcohol. I'm not sure what all he said, because he was still talking as I was pulling my iPod out of my back pocket & turning it off, but I did hear him say, "A little change I gotta get me something..."

I generally give change to whomever asks for it, as long as I have it, & I gave him the 85 cents I had in my pocket. He was curt as he grumbled a "thank you" & made a beeline for the convenience store across the street. I noticed he had talked to me as the bus was driving up - I guess he felt I'd be digging in my pocket for change anyway, so he could hit me up then. Very crafty!

I didn't think about him at all for the rest of the day & wouldn't have, I'm sad to say, except when I went to get some whiskey that evening, last night, he accosted me outside the liquor store as I was going in. I didn't have any change & I said so, & he turning away before I finished as he sensed he wasn't going to get any money from me. But that's not what makes this a sad story of a sensitive man. What makes this a sad story of a sensitive man is what follows:

I was a little offended that he didn't remember I had given him money earlier in the day.

Isn't that pathetic? I told my girlfriend the story & laughed at myself. How could he not remember the ugly sweaty dude waiting for the bus who helped him get his morning drink on? The nerve! The gall! The impudence!

How sad is that? Oh, don't answer. I am become a caricature. Don't I know.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Whither Bones?

I live with an anatomist. She has a skeleton - not a real human one, but one that accurately represents the bone structure of your average human being, only made out of plastic or something. It's in our living room. It doesn't like me.

Let me first say that I am the least "spiritual" person you'll ever meet. I don't really have any beliefs that go beyond the material world. I don't think there's sprites or fairies or gods or devils or ghosts or poltergeists or Merv Griffins out there (well, not any more, in the case of Merv). But I do know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that that plastic replica of a human skeleton is not only alive - it wants to consume the flesh of everything in my house.

Everything? you may ask. Yes, you may. The cats & the dogs, the rats & the frogs, the gnats & the hogs. The hats & the logs. The chats & the snogs. The spats & the togs. The fats & the fogs. The mats by the bogs. The pats on the cogs. Everything, but especially those things that rhyme with "cat" & "dog." Also, me. I don't rhyme with cat or dog (though I do rhyme with "Hairy Stickerson") (which, I know, has nothing to do with this, but I was feeling left out) (it isn't a bad rhyme, you know) (my girlfriend rhymes with Bogda Butch-chin-tree - that's a much worse thing to rhyme with) (anyway) I don't rhyme with cat or dog, but it still wants to consume my flesh.

Why does it want to consume my flesh? Because it has no flesh, duh. It will consume the flesh of the living things in the house & then it will look like some kind of fucked up man-woman-beagle-cat thing. But it still won't be able to talk. That's the flaw in its plan! It can't talk.

So, on Self Help Radio this Friday, I am giving it a voice. My theory is this, & a very good one it is at that: since it wants to talk more than it wants flesh - in fact, since it thinks if it gets flesh, it'll be able to talk, but it doesn't know how completely stupid that sounds - if I give it a voice, it won't want to kill me anymore. Ergo, a show about bones. Which is all it is, really. Hungry, envious, murderous bones.

I know, I should just throw it out, but if I do my girlfriend will kill me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Preface To Bones: The Deliberate Mistruth Of "Cracking Knuckles"

Here's a picture of some bones, & what you can call them if you want to talk to them.

I have never broken a bone. I have dislocated a bone, but the bone found its way back, usually by asking a friendly doctor & being told the proper way back. I am lucky I haven't broken a bone. Maybe it's because my bones, like myself, are cowardly. Every chance my bones have had to break, they have instead chosen to run & hide. My skin, which may be a little braver (or feels it needs to be, anyway), has therefore been bruised a lot. Thanks bones!

I once saw a person break his foot by getting up incorrectly. It's true! But I didn't hear a bone snap. I can't imagine that would sound very good. Perhaps it would sound more squishy than "popping your knuckles." It seems to me that most television shows & movies leave out how squishy it must sound when things move around in our flesh - including bones, knives, bullets, etc.

Oh yeah, I've never been shot or stabbed, either. I've lived a dull life. My girlfriend came back from South Africa with African Tick Bite Fever. That's like being shot & stabbed by one bad-ass African Tick. I guess I got bit by a Brown Recluse Spider once, but I got it by stepping on it in a sock I hadn't worn all winter. The spider bit me in self-defense. That's not the same.

Someone told me that the bad thing about not having had any broken bones is that, the longer you wait to finally break a bone, the older you get, & therefore the longer it'll take to heal. That will suck. But, knowing my bones, they'll wait until it's something major, like a hip, or my skull. Jerks.

That picture above says we have 206 - 350 bones. That seems quite a discrepancy. Why tell us the low number most of the time? I mean, I always heard we have 210 bones. Are there some folks with more bones? Are they more likely to break them than those with the small number? Or does the larger number mean you get more small bones, like in your ear? Are there people out there with a hundred bones in their ear? Do they hear a weird rattling all the time? Does they drive them crazy? Do crazy serial killer types have more bones than those of us who couldn't harm a fly? Have I hit on something here? Should I go & pursue that degree in sociology I've always wanted?

Bones ask more questions than they answer. They're like beagles in that regard. Hmm, I wonder how many bones a beagle has...

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Disappointing 200th Post

Wow, what a letdown. After all that hype, too. Could there have been a more disappointing 200th post to the Self Help Radio blog? I am so sorry. Please enjoy the complimentary rue.

To be fair, the media shares some of the blame. Maybe because it was a slow news cycle, or because of the weird promise I made while drunk that I had cured cancer & invented a way to make money out of cheese. I wish I was like other drunk people & didn't spell check my pronouncements! Alas! Alack!

Also, I am angry at YOU. You know who you are, even if I don't. Your expectations, which should be pretty low, considering the previous posts on this blog, were way too high for this, the 200th entry. Your emails, your planned "post parties," the rumors you began to spread about "guest entries" - Matt Damon? George Jetson? Ramblin' Jack Ponytail? Robin Williams in a burka? - how could you? - all of this contributed to a status which this lowly, unambitious blog couldn't attain. It never had a chance.

But I have to be honest. My mother deserves a lion's share of the blame. She raised me to dream big but act small. I remember, when I had come in second in a spelling bee in fifth grade, & didn't get to travel to Washington DC for the finals, she told me, "It serves you right for even trying. Now you're disappointed. If you hadn't entered, you wouldn't be upset now about going to the nation's capital, which is a shithole anyway. Give mama your hand, I need to put out this cigarette." & that was a high point of my childhood. The point is, if I wasn't my mother's son, I wouldn't be the disappointment I have since turned out to be.

Of course, none of it is my fault. So, let me formally apologize for this disappointing 200th post & let's move on to more or less the same sort of thing for the next one hundred. Oh boy! One hundred more posts! Who would've thought? Etc., etc.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Suddenly! 199 Posts!

The countdown to 200 continues. Wow, that's a milestone. I can't even imagine how great it'll be. Most people in the world don't write 200 letters in their lifetime - they don't read 200 books all their lives - or even know 200 words, when you think about it. But I - me! - have, just in support of what many describe as an astonishingly piss-poor radio show, written almost 200 posts! There should be a celebration - certainly expensive alcoholic drinks should be passed out & imbibed- & there should be dancing - & speeches by dignitaries who will put my precious prescient words in their proper context - death row inmates spared - a national holiday! Oh wouldn't that be swell. What an accomplishment! Nearly 200 little paragraphs of ramblings about Self Help Radio &/or my tiny life. Sigh. This might make up for nearly forty years of broken dreams.

No. No, it doesn't.

If you feel sticksome & glueish right now - & maybe were feeling that way on Friday, but didn't get a chance to listen to my show then - the theme was "glue" - you can now go to & listen to it in its gummy gooey entirety. What fun!

& tomorrow: the 200th post to this blog! Keep an eye on the news - I bet the networks will be covering this one!