6/17/14

You're invited to feel socially obligated to attend my birthday dinner!


Dear friends, it's that time of year again when my mass email and/or a Facebook notification reminds you that the exact same calendar date when my birth occurred many years ago is almost upon us again this year. As you all well know, we've all been socially contracted by the coincidence of birth into accepting a custom peculiar to our culture that deems this annual on-paper recurrence on the Gregorian calendar an event worthy of celebration with some kind of gathering or other. So please allow me to remind you of your duty to fulfill this social obligation this coming Thursday. That's not technically my birthday, because my birthday falls on a Monday this year, so we'll in fact be celebrating my birthday three days later. Some of you may be thinking "why not celebrate two days before on a Saturday?" but unfortunately I already have another social obligation to attend a wedding ceremony where a lot of money will be spent on a lavish party to celebrate two people promising a government official that they will spend the rest of their lives together, unless of course they change their minds and decide to divorce later on. I had to buy a tuxedo just for those kinds of obligations, and would like to get my money's worth, so I should really attend that wedding. You may also be wondering why we're doing this on a Thursday instead of a Friday, but that's because I'm playing tennis Saturday morning and don't want to be hungover. Also, I couldn't be bothered with throwing a real party at my place because that means my house getting trashed and either me spending a fortune on alcohol or depending on you guys to bring alcohol, in which case everyone will just bring some beers and hit the hard liquor, which means we'll be out of drinks before midnight, so no thanks. Thursday it is then!

We'll be meeting at L'Exorbitante restaurant at 8 pm. As you can tell from the fancy French name, L'Exorbitante will be expensive, so for those with solvency issues, I suggest you abstain from starters, stick to a non-red meat main like chicken or pasta, and forget about wine and dessert. If people ask why you're not eating much, just say you're not too hungry. Don't say you're broke, because that's an instant bummer for everyone at the table, and all you'll get is awkward silence and a sudden loss of eye contact from those around you. Stick to tried and true socially acceptable ways to say you're broke, like "I had a late lunch" or "I just don't have much of an appetite". We'll all know what you're really saying without having to go through the discomfort of addressing it openly. For some of you for whom any kind of eating at all will be out of the question due to lack of money, I will expect the usual "I'll come after dinner for a drink". That's fine, we all do that at some point, whatever. Others among you will just reply to this email with a "Happy Birthday! I'll try to make it!" and then write another email the day after my birthday dinner saying you or your dog or your girlfriend was sick and therefore couldn't make it. I'm sure most of you would like to opt for that old trick, but I'm not going to let you, because this is where I say "Please let me know if you are attending or not because I'm making a reservation and need to know exact numbers". Bam. I just played the RSVP card. So you're going to have to work on coming up with creative, semi-credible excuses if you think you're expecting to get off the hook that easily.

That being said, I will accept all fabricated excuses to not have to come, without question, since I know that I too will welcome the opportunity to invent some kind of lie to not have to attend some of your inevitable upcoming birthday dinners, either because I'm broke or because I can't be bothered. I also understand that most of you are either married or pretty much partnered up for life, as am I, so the thrilling allure of going out and meeting someone attractive with whom you could strike up an engrossing conversation that will effortlessly segue into flirting and the distinct possibility of amazing new-sexy-person sex, and possibly even new love... is essentially non-existent. That's not going to happen at a birthday dinner. We're not in our twenties anymore. Instead we will all pretty much be sitting beside our same old significant others, perhaps making do with secretly checking out each others' partners with furtive glances as we engage in inane forced conversations with people we barely know whose only thing in common is that they know the person whose birthday it is, viz. me. We will of course be waiting for the alcohol to kick in so we can loosen up and relax a bit, even though with each drink we order we'll be painfully aware of the accumulating bill that awaits us at the end of the night. But I have no need to remind you that even as we get a few drinks in and start feeling like we might be having fun, there will inevitably arise in the back of each of our minds the lingering worry of obligations, money, your job, health, and the fact that you have to leave early to get enough sleep for work the next day, all of which will be tinged with a faint melancholy unease of wasted youth, and for some of us maybe even a despairing general feeling of regret for what might've been.

I assume most of you will come fashionably late, but as you know, if you come too late, you may not have any seating options other than what's available, which means you may end up spending the birthday dinner talking to someone you don't care to talk to, generally trying to muddle through some awkward and painful small talk about what you do for a living and how you came to know me. On the other hand if you come too early, there's a chance that you may feel obligated out of courtesy or pity to sit next to a couple or person who is already there at an empty table, even though you otherwise wouldn't choose to sit next to them. Even worse would be you being the first person there, as that would mean you are a loser/losers who might actually be looking forward to this birthday dinner, and/or had nowhere better to be and nothing better to do beforehand. So pick your time well.

I'm aware that some of you will drink wine and others won't, so will the wine drinkers please divide the wine bill separately. Please beware of waiters pouring wine for you, as they will try and go through as many bottles as possible. Once the wine is in your glass, I'm afraid you'll be expected to chip in for the wine bill. To be on the safe side, place your hand over your wine glass in case you're distracted in a conversation or playing Words With Friends on your iPhone to avoid painful human interaction while the waiter's pouring wine. The waiters love to pounce on the distracted. That being said, at the end of the dinner about a fifth of the wine will be sitting around in half drunk glasses. This is inevitable. Just accept the waste and pay up without complaining about those who didn't drink their wine.

During dinner we will all of course want to take photos of ourselves to post up on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. May I suggest that photos intended for Facebook be taken without it being announced that a photo's about to be taken. A dinner party looks fun when everyone's engrossed in conversation and having fun without being aware of photos being taken. If everyone's sitting around a table smiling at a camera it looks like a photo being taken is the most interesting thing going on at the dinner party, which is sad. I accept that photos taken for Twitter will likely be used for sarcastic purposes, but try to do that without insulting people there, including me. If you don't want to be at my birthday, then just do what everyone else does and pretend like you do, okay? I promise to do the same for you.

Naturally at some point after the mains, people will want to switch seats to sit with those who don't bore them as much. I just want to say please don't let this turn into the inevitable boys sitting all together talking about cars, gadgets, prices of things, and football, and girls sitting on the other side talking about... whatever girls talk about, I don't know. I know this happens every time anyway, but let's just at least try and keep boys and girls kind of mixed.

Also, in case anyone's considering buying a big elaborate cake, don't bother. Just pick a dessert off the menu and stick a candle in it. I'll act delighted. Contrary to what you may be thinking, a sparkler is NOT a welcome bonus as that will mean I'll have to embellish the delight act, which, frankly, I can't be bothered to do, especially considering I know that what comes next is the bill.

You will know the "fun" is over when your bill arrives... although, theoretically, we may know the fun was over way before that, if it ever was there to begin with. Nevertheless, reach calmly into your wallets while you and your partners whisper and point at items on the bill. Everyone has to pay for whatever they had or sort their respective bills out with the waiter. That being said, I'm resigned to accept that I'll still be stuck with a hefty amount of the bill that somehow went unpaid, either because the restaurant is stiffing us or because you overlooked a couple of items. I know, it sucks, but hey, I dragged you to this thing so I accept that ultimately I'm responsible for it. Plus that means my conscience is clear about leaving a few beers unpaid at all your upcoming birthday dinners. Of course we could alternatively split the whole bill evenly, but who are we kidding, that's just going to lead to a 45 minute all-table series of arguments about who had what and why they should be expected to pay for so-and-so when they didn't have any so-and-so. So let's just stick to the original plan.

This email ran a little longer than expected, but I really like to map things out and consider all angles beforehand so that the dinner is at least bearable, and the only thing we have to worry about (other than how much it's going to cost each and every one of us) is having a good time.

So see you Thursday. It's going to be "fun"!

P.S. I'm considering whether we should all wear ironic birthday hats. Thoughts?

6/1/14

Hi, I'd like to sign up for the revolution please


- Hi, I'd like to sign up for the revolution please.

- Okay, let me see... are you an aspiring Marxist, Marxist-Leninist, Trotskyist, Stalinist, Maoist, Socialist, Socialist Nationalist, Kurdish-Socialist, Alevi-Socialist, Democratic Socialist, Social Democrat, Communist, Anarchist, Anarcho-Syndicalist, Structuralist Marxist...

- I'm, uh... I don't know, what's trending right now?

- Well, it depends who you ask

- Right, obviously... let's just go with straight up Marxist.

- Oh, really? That's kind of old fashioned and intellectualist. Can I at least suggest Marxist-Leninist? It's still intellectualist but a little more practical.

- Okay, fine. I take it you're a Marxist-Leninist?

- Yes, but that's not why I'm...

- Right sure, okay, that's fine. Sign me up for that. Wait, you mentioned Stalinism. There are Stalinist parties?

- Yeah well, there's parties with known Stalinists. They don't like to say they're Stalinists, it's not exactly a popular ism.

- I can guess. And the Trotskyists? What are they about?

- Um, nobody really ever remembers. It's pretty much the opposite of Stalinism I guess. You just have to look out for ice picks.

- What?

- That's just an inside joke.

- The anarchists sound pretty cool, what about their party?

- They don't really have a party, obviously. Organization isn't their thing, they just be anarchist.

- They look pretty cool though, all those black hoodies and red masks and stuff. Like jedis or something.

- Yeah, I'll admit, they look good, but that's only when they're rioting. Otherwise you have to walk around with lots of piercings and ripped pants and weird hairstyles all the time, even when you're at the store buying milk. It gets tiring.

- Okay then, for now let's just go with the Marxist-Leninist party.

- Good choice. Which one? There are fifty eight Marxist Leninist parties. Look, here's the list.

- Oh wow, that's a long list. I don't know, which is the biggest?

- This one, it has hundreds of members. That's the one I'm in.

- Sure, sign me up.

- Okey dokey... So you're set, comrade.

- Great, what do I do?

- Well, to start off with, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with Marxist-Leninist dogma. Are you familiar with that jargon?

- Kind of.

- Also, can you play guitar badly and sing Commandante Che Guevara in really bad Spanish?

- I can play Hotel California on guitar, is that okay?

- No no no, that is NOT okay. Do not ever sing that bourgeois shit. Learn the Comandante Che Guevara song. It's real simple, there's like five words. And learn the jargon too. Let's start with the basics: just call the police and politicians "fascists" all the time and raise your left fist every time you chant something with your fellow party members. Things you don't like are always "bourgeois" and the people being oppressed are always the "proletariat". Plus, history is always and only about class conflict. Got it? Start with that, and you can work up from there.

- Okay, simple enough.

- Oh and you might want to pick a pet topic to be nitpicky about when you encounter other Marxist-Leninists or Socialists. Maybe debate whether the Marxist dialectical materialist teleology is still relevant today, or whether latter day structuralists like say Althusser or Poulantzas had a better grasp of...

- Wait, what? What are you talking about?

- I know I know, none of this is really relevant to anything or has any practical meaning to anybody's life, but I suggest you really memorize some of the main points of contention, pick a side, and defend it furiously without any compromise to look especially revolutionary, committed, intellectual and, most importantly, attractive to the ladies.

- I do want to look attractive to the ladies.

- Sure you do. We all do. Why do you think I always have this solemn semi-heroic expression on my face? Why do you think I wear this Che Guevara shirt and act like I'm fighting the world?

- That's Che Guevara? I thought it was Planet of the Apes.

- No, it's not Planet of the Apes. This isn't a Sci-Fi convention. This is a globally recognized iconic image. This is THE famed revolutionary Che Guevara gazing heroically into the distance from t-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, mouse pads and other paraphernalia all around the world. You can even find these shirts at Target now. By the way, you're going to have to change the way you dress. Are those loafers?

- Yeah yeah, I know, I'm going to start dressing really drab

- Good, yes. Wear gray, black, lots of red, and some camo green. Also wear boots. Never wear clothes with logos, obviously. You should also maybe consider sporting a big bushy Marx-like beard, growing your hair out, getting some communist iconography going, hammers and sickles, red stars, etc. Also some of those leather wrist bands, maybe some leather necklaces, earrings. Think Jimi Hendrix crossed with Johnny Depp. That means lots of accessories. Also look into red scarves and Palestinian shawls, that's part of the kit. You don't want to be too ambitious, though, and go for the Subcomandante Marcos look. Everybody at some point thinks they want that look, but trust me, it's no good. You have to keep a balaklava on at all times and have a pipe in your mouth. Not practical. A cotton balaklava against your mouth all day is a hygiene nightmare. I know, because I tried it. The balaklava eventually smells like a sock.

- I've already got some fashion ideas I'm looking into. I was thinking of going for the slick shaved head, black turtleneck, Doc Martins...

- Whoa whoa, you just described Michel Foucault. Do you want to be a postmodernist? You signed up for Marxism-Leninism, remember? If you want to be a postmodernist you can go teach cultural studies at a private university.

- Yuck, no, I don't want that.

- Exactly. You do NOT want that. Postmodernists don't get to storm barricades and engage in romantic revolutionary struggles and fight cops and pretend they're struggling to change the world. Postmodernists just wade in a tepid pool of relativism. They fuck their students and collect art.

- Okay, scrap that then. I'll go for the Marxist-Leninist look. By the way, when do I actually get to go out and, you know...

- You're going to ask when the next protests are, right? You're going to ask when you get to riot?

- Yep.

- That's why they all join. Wanna throw some Molotov cocktails and "fight the system"?

- Yeah, all that revolutionary stuff. I wanna do that.

- I'll bet you do. And at the end of all the danger and fighting and camaraderie as we struggle against the blackguards, you want to fall in love with some female revolutionaries, some fiery young idealist girls you just fought alongside, and you want them to gaze in your eyes and fall in love with your courage, commitment, idealism, and your gorgeous revolutionary heroic good looks, and then you want to have sex with all of them and have them stroke an AK-47 tattoo on your chest, correct?

- Yes, exactly! When does that stuff get to happen?

- Pretty much never. We all think it will, and that's the main reason we go through all this, but the free-love communist thing is a myth. We don't go around having orgies and sharing our men and women who are supposedly always up for having sex with their fellow wild romantic revolutionary comrades. Communist men are just as jealous and possessive as any other men and socialist women are just as picky about who they sleep with. Sorry to burst that little bubble.

- Right, okay, whatever. I'm still up for it though.

- Good, because it's still a lot of self-important, self-satisfying fun. You really feel like a revolutionary, like a warrior, like you're changing the world. But don't worry, it's not really revolutionary.

- What do you mean?

- Come on. I know we say we're populists and that we represent the people and the working classes and revolution and all that, but we're really just a bunch of young idealists who get off on being morally superior and combative. None of this will bring about any real change. We actually like it like that, because that means we get to keep on fighting heroically forever without the chance of it ever actually achieving its goals. It's perfect.

- Right, yeah, I figured that.

- When the people and the so-called working class at home turn the TV on and see red flags and people chanting Marxist-Leninist slogans and hurling Molotov cocktails, they don't identify with any of this. It's just us university students from bourgeois families being populist and pro-worker for ourselves. It's basically just rebellious sloganeering. We get off on feeling like we're actually fighting a fight with a goal toward revolution, but really it's just a periodic pantomime where we chant the usual chants and break the usual windows and bust the usual ATMs, and hurl the usual Molotov cocktails, while they chase us and spray water cannons and shoot gas canisters. It's all part of a well-rehearsed show. The police and state and the bourgeoisie believe they're defending their country against internal enemies, and we believe we're fighting for the people to bring about a revolution against the reigning fascists. Everybody else just watches it all on TV with absolute indifference. Then when it's all over we get to walk around singing Spanish socialist chants, dressing like Jimi Hend... I mean Che Guevara, having serious and pointless conversations about dialectical materialism, and pretending we're the saviors of the world

- Okay... so we're kind of actually just...

- Wankers, yes.

- Hmmm, fuck it. It all still sounds worth it. It's either this or I become a nihilist... or worse, a headbanger.

- Ugh, definitely this. Then when  you get older and rich and work in some shitty profiteering capitalist pig corporation, which we all do eventually by the way, you can justify it by saying "I used to be a socialist". That's a good card to have in your hand when you're a sellout in your forties. You can't say "I used to be a headbanger" and sound cool, that just sounds like you were a loser. And nihilists... well, they don't get laid much. Not that we do either, but at least we're around girls a lot and there's the possibility of it happening.

- True.

- So then, welcome on board! Lesson one: how to dismantle cobblestones and hurl them at bank windows in between spray-painting signposts. Ready?

- You bet!

1/6/14

Let’s be grateful we don’t have a commentating God


Of all the Gods we could have had, it always seemed to me lucky that we didn’t have a commentating God that would just kind of hover over us commentating on everything we did. Some people believe in an interventionist God, one who has a big invisible Godly hand in day to day things and who supposedly thinks “I’ll help this little kid out with his math exam” or “MUDSLIDE!” Other people believe God is non-interventionist, just kind of sitting back, chilling out, waiting for the right moment to reward or (more likely) punish you. Some believe there’s a creator God who created everything (except himself, presumably); others that there’s a theist and monist God who is everything and always has been. There’s a Judeo-Christian-Islamic God with laws and rules and books and prophets, and there’s a deist variety of God who’s more kind of just indiscreetly there somewhere, kind of aloof from the whole thing. But despite having all those kinds of Gods, I really think it’s wonderful that, of all the Gods we could’ve had, we didn’t have a commentating God, at least not since the time of the Greeks, when Ares and Athena would get all bitchy with each other as they played finger puppets with Hector and Achilles. I mean, God could’ve picked that path for himself, right? He may have thought “Instead of sending books and prophets that are full of contradictions like ‘Circumcise! Don’t circumcise! Circumcise!’, why don’t I just give live real time comments on everything everyone does?” And he might have had a point, since all those prophets and books haven’t done anything except make the world a more fractious, violent place. But can you imagine how much worse it would‘ve been if we‘d had a commentating God? Here are some terrible scenarios that come to mind:

1. He would probably be unbearably sarcastic all the time
Could you imagine the amount of sarcasm we would all get from a perfect being who’s constantly commentating on everything humans do? He’d always be saying stuff like “Wow, nice job ironing that shirt, were you raised by monkeys?” or “Gee let‘s see if your shoddy construction materials can withstand my earthquake… uh-oh, I guess not” or “Cool gambling problem you have there, Robert, hope you’re looking forward to an eternity of hellfire?” or “Hm, last time I checked, I said adultery was a sin… although technically I didn’t say anything specific about NOT getting tied up, whipped, and fisted by a tranny hooker at a roadside motel, so carry on Steve, by all means…”. Plus he’d be commentating out loud so everybody around could hear him. It would be so embarrassing.

2. Or alternatively, he would be annoyingly helpful
God: “Hey there Brad, maybe you should water the lawn in the mornings and evenings when there isn’t such direct sunlight so you don’t scorch the grass… hmm, that’s not the best way to roll up the hose, try wrapping it around your hand and elbow… yeah, there you go… hey, the pasta water’s boiling, wanna tell Sheryl? She’s in the backyard putting up the laundry… ooh, the baby’s about to wake up. I suggest you throw the pasta in the pot and give it a quick stir so it doesn’t stick, maybe pour in a little olive oil, then go check the baby… up to you, I’m just saying, I can see everything from here… you know, omniscience and all… also you might want to unplug the juicer, better safe than…” etc.
You: “Okay God, geez”
God: “Hey, I'm just trying to help”

3. God would spoil all your relationships because he’d keep commenting on what happens in the future 
You: “I have a date today! She’s amazing, we met at Dave’s party, apparently she’s into Tae-Bo and…”
God: “Forget it.”
You: “What?”
God: “She’s too good for you. It’ll seem like it’s working out at first but then she dumps you in three weeks.”
You: “What? Oh, man. I was really looking forward to that date.”
God: “I don’t blame you, she’s hot, she’s smart, she’s cool… but that’s also kind of why she dumps you. You see the irony there?”
You: “Yeah”
God: “You want to be with her because of those qualities, but it’s those very same qualities that make her impossible for you to get”
You: “Yes okay, I got it, thank you. Would I end up having sex with her at least?”
God: “Um, yes. But trust me, you don’t want to. You get all excited and... well, you know... the girl says it’s ‘okay’, but of course it’s not… you know how you are”
You: “Okay okay, wow, you‘re really laying it thick today. Geez. Aren’t you supposed to be on my side?”
God: “I think you’re confusing me with a fairy godmother. Technically, I’m a commentating God, so I really just offer commentary”
You: “Hey what about her?”
God: “Shyeah, right!”
You: “Why?”
God: “Seriously? You want me to tell you how that works out? Please, make my day, I’d love to see the expression on your face”
You: “Okay, you don’t have to be a dick about it”
God: “What did you call me?”
You: “Nothing. What about Caroline? The one from…”
God: “Yes, I know Caroline. I was the one who shouted HIGH FIVE! when you two made out at her mom’s place, remember?”
You: “Yeah thanks again for that, that went down real well”
God: “Look, I have good news for you. You and Caroline fall in love, have three beautiful children, and live happily ever after”
You: “Wow, really?”
God: “Yes”
You: “You’re not fucking with me?“
God: “Nope”
You: “Because this sounds like another one of your sarcastic set-ups where you go NO, SHE DUMPS YOU!”
God: “It’s not, trust me.”
You: “Great, well then I’ll call her now”
God: “But…”
You: “I knew it. What?”
God: “She dies of cancer on October 6, 2041.”
You: “Why would you tell me that? And why would you tell me the specific date? You’re such a…”
God: “Don’t say it”
You: “Okay, but can’t you see that was a dick move?”
God: “Yeah well, she suffers for years, you eat up your savings, and she dies. Painfully.”
You: “Awesome, thanks.”
God: “Wait, that’s not it”
You: “Oh goodie”
God: “You live another 13 lonely years after she dies and then you die of pneumonia.”
You: “Is that it?”
God: “Yes. That’s the worst of it anyway”
You: “Oookay, so I won’t be calling Caroline after all”
God: “Well, she’s still your best bet.”
You: “What about that girl there? She’s cute”
God: “Herpes”
You: “You are no fun”

4. Forget about watching sports with your favorite sports commentators
John McEnroe: “That was a great crosscourt forehand, Tony, I think Djokovic is looking really…”
God: “Excuse me, excuse me, John and Tony, sorry to butt in again, but don’t you think he should’ve gone down the line on that and wrong footed Murray? I seem to think so.”
John McEnroe: “Yeah well, he could’ve I guess but…”
God: “Yes he could’ve, he definitely could’ve.”
John McEnroe: “But with all due respect, he still won the point pretty convincingly”
God: “Ummm… who’s God? You? Are you God, John?”
John McEnroe: “No, of course not. I‘m just saying…I think my opinion as a former world number one counts”
God: “Oh by all means! By all means, John, I’m not taking that away from you, I’ll give you that. It’s just that you were world number one in tennis, John, whereas I’m world number one in EVERYTHING. I’m world number one in the WORLD. I’m world number one in the UNIVERSE. Do you catch my drift?”
John McEnroe: “!#*%$#$”
God: “Sounds like somebody still has anger issues”

5. You couldn’t watch a movie without God spoiling it for you all the time.
God: “What did you pick? Oh that’s a good one, definitely watch that one, it has an amazing twist at the end”
You: “Okay I‘m going to. Look, God, I appreciate the help picking out a movie, but just don’t talk through the whole thing this time, okay? And stop saying what‘s about to happen”
God: “Um, well, technically I’m a commentating God, so I can’t make any big promises… oh, shhhhh, look, you’re going to want to see the beginning of this”
You: “Alright, see, you’ve already started”
God: “Just pause it first, pause it or you’ll miss it. Look, did you see that? Did you see what he just did? That‘s going to be important later”
You: “No, I didn’t see it, because I was busy telling you not to interrupt. Do you see my point?”
God: “Okay, you know what, just fast forward to 36:40, there’s an amazing car chase”
You: “First of all, you don't ‘fast forward’ anymore, we’re not watching a Betamax video. You skip…”
God: “Okay smarty pants, that’s what I meant, skip to 36:40... Man, you’re pretty lippy for someone talking to the supreme creator of the universe, you know that?”
You: “Yeah well you’ve ruined films for me. And you don’t have to bring out the ‘I’m God’ card every time we have an argument. We get it, you’re God”
God: “Well sometimes I feel like I have to remind peoOH THIS A GREAT SCENE, YOU TOTALLY SEE SCARLETT JOHANSSON’S TITS!”
You: “Can’t you do that any time you want anyway?”
God: “Well, yes, I suppose I can. But it’s different when it comes up in a movie, I don‘t know why… oh great you missed it, mister lippy. There was nipple and everything. Just rewind…wait, I mean skip backward”
You: “AAAAGH!”

6. He’d be the worst backseat driver ever
God: “I told you to take that left on Edmunson, now you’re going southwest toward the I-50, and that’s going to take you to..”
You: “PLEASE! I’m driving here, my wife has the map, we’re doing the best we can”
Wife: “He’s right though, I don’t know why you don’t listen to him”
God: “Thank you Linda. See? She’s smart”
You: “Oh now you too, Linda? You’re ganging up on me? It’s like I have two wives in the car, great”
Wife: “I just don’t know why you’re too proud to ask for directions, especially when God is giving them”
God: “I know, right? I was just about to say that. Typical men”
Wife: “Don’t get all cocky, you're the one who made them like that”
God: “Um, yeah I guess I did”
You: “Yeah, so it’s not my fault, it’s yours”
God: “Oh great, now you’re both ganging up on me? I’m…”
Man and Wife together: “you’re God, yes we know
God: “Pfff, that’s not what I was going to say”
Man: “Oh really? What were you going to say?”
God: “….”
Man: “That’s what I thought”
God: “Oh bite me, seriously, you have a deity to help you out and you prefer to... LOOK OUT, POTHOLE! Why are you going so fast? Wait, do you have enough gas?”
Man: “I don‘t actually, would you mind doing a little God magic and putting some in the tank, I promise next time I‘ll…”
God: “Let me guess, you’ll promise to listen to me next time I tell you to pull into a gas station because it‘s the last one for the next hundred miles? Yes well, too late for that. Besides, I’m a commentating God, not a gas station attendant God”
Man: “You are so annoying”
God: “You are”

7. Sir David Attenborough wouldn’t be able to get a word in edgewise
Attenborough: “Here, in the Patagonian plains, one bird has prospered above all: the Yellow-Tailed Austral Thrush, which is…”
God: “A-DOR-A-BLE! Am I right?”
Attenborough: “Ahem. As I was saying, the Yellow-Tailed Austral Thrush…”
God [in a sarcastic Attenborough tone]: “the Yellow-Tailed Austral Thrush nyah nyah nyah, look at me I‘m Sir David Attenborough, I know everything about animals myeh myeh myeh I think I‘m God
Attenborough: “Okay cut. We’ll just wait until…”
God: “Until what? God leaves? Where am I going to go? There? Oh wait I’m already there! I’m everywhere”
Attenborough: “…..”
God: “I am omnipresent, beeyatch. Sorry, okay, go on, I was just kidding around. Seriously, go ahead, I’m not going to interrupt you Sir David. Proceed.”
Attenborough: “Okay, thank you. As I was saying, the Yellow Tailed Austral Thrush has prospered above all others in the…”
God: “AND HIS GREATEST PREDATOR IS MAN!”
Attenborough: “…….”
God: “………”
Attenborough: “……..”
God: “That’s what you were going to say right?”
Attenborough: “Well…”
God: “You were, weren’t you? You always say that.”
Attenborough: “Yes well, eventually I suppose I was.”
God: “Yup.”

8. Evolutionists would have much tougher debates
Richard Dawkins: “The fossil and DNA evidence suggests that genetic mutation through natural selection has been the driving biological factor behind the evolution of species in their constant need to adapt to various ecosyst…”
God: “ZAP!”
Dawkins: “Excuse me?”
God: “I said ZAP!”
Dawkins: “I don’t… I don’t understand”
God: “That’s how I did it. I went ZAP!”
Dawkins: “What do you mean you went zap?”
God: “I mean none of that fossil DNA natural selection mutation bullshit is real, it’s all just made up”
Dawkins: “So then how do you explain the origin of species?”
God: “I just told you. I went ZAP, and there it was, a giraffe.”
Dawkins: “A giraffe?”
God: “Or whatever. A hippo, a leopard, a dung beetle, your mom. ZAP!”
Dawkins: “You actually say ‘zap’ when you do that?”
God: “Well, not necessarily. Sometimes I do. Or sometimes I just go BLAM!”
Dawkins: “Mmhm. I see.”
God: “Or KABLOOIEE!! I did that with dragons”
Dawkins: “So there were dragons?”
God: “Don’t be silly, I was just messing with you. But yes, sometimes I say kablooie… or SHAZZAMAZOOO! Then I do this really cool thing where I furrow my brows and shoot lightning out of my fingertips as my voice thunders across the sky going LADYBUGS!!!”
Dawkins: “I can’t continue this infantile debate”
God: “You’re infantile, with all your scientific gobbledygook”
Dawkins: “Look, the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of…”
God: “ME going ZAP! That‘s what the evidence is in favor of”
Dawkins: “That’s it, I’m done, this debate is over”
God: “Okay, wait, let’s talk about your book then, The Selfish Gene”
Dawkins: “Really? You're not just being sarcastic?”
God: “No sir, I would seriously like to talk about it.”
Dawkins: “I feel like I'm going to regret this, but okay then, go ahead”
God: “I think it seems a pretty big generalization to say Genes are selfish”
Dawkins: “Yes well, let me explain...”
God: “I mean, is Gene Hackman selfish?”
Dawkins: “Ugh, I should've seen that coming”
God: “Or what about Gene Wilder, was he selfish?”
Dawkins: “Okay I’m out of here”
God: “Wait, Richard, one last thing… your friend Christopher Hitchens says hi!”
Dawkins: “What?”
God: “Yeah, says he was wrong about the whole atheism thing.”
Dawkins: “You don't say”
God: “Says Hell is pretty shitty”
Dawkins: “Okay that’s enough”
God: “Says he wished he’d prayed to me more often”
Dawkins: “Oh fuck you”
God: “Ha! You wish!”

9. Religious people would get sick of God commentating during their sermons and lose faith in their religion
Priest: “Our Father which art in heaven
God: “That’s me”
Priest: “Hallowed be thy name
God: “Damn right”
Priest: “Thy kingdom come
God: “Sure will”
Priest: “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven
God: “Zap! Kablooie! Abracadabra!”
Priest: “Give us this day our daily bread
God: “You got it”
Priest: “And forgive us our trespasses
God: “Well, we’ll see about that, I mean what if you’re a serial killer?”
Priest: “As we forgive those who trespass against us
God: “Except maybe serial killers... or pedophiles, what about them?”
Priest: “And…uh… lead us not into temptation
God: “Sorry, am I distracting you?”
Priest: “It’s fine… where was I? Oh yes… but deliver us from evil
God: “Amen!”
Priest: “Not yet… For thine is the kingdom
God: “Mine, thine, ourth, theirth”
Priest: “[Sigh]… and the power, and the glory
God: “Fuck yes”
Priest: “Forever and ever
God: “I’d like one more ‘ever’ added to that line”
Priest: “Amen
God: “Okay there it is… Amen!”
Priest: “Would you PLEASE just shut up!?”
God: “Whoa… are you talking to me?”
Priest: “Yes! You don’t need to comment on everything, just be quiet and let us worship you in peace, just once, how about that?”
God: “Just take it easy, you’re having a priest tantrum”
Priest: “Guess why? Guess why I’m having a priest tantrum? Because you won‘t stop talking and commenting on every little fucking thing”
God: “Watch your language, you’re in a house me”
Priest: “I don’t care anymore, you are UNBEARABLE. Look at these poor worshipers! They’re stunned and frightened. This should be a place of solace and peace. There is HORROR on their faces”
God: “Well maybe if you didn’t flip out in front of everyone”
Priest: “Maybe I wouldn’t flip out if you didn’t talk all through my sermon, which, by the way, we’re all doing for YOU, and you just fucking talk right through it”
God: “Okay okay, geez, just tell me to hush down next time”
Priest: “But that’s just it, I DO, I do tell you to hush down every time, every fucking time”
God: “Oh great, people are leaving. People are leaving the church. That’s just what I need, more people leaving the church”
Priest: “It’s your fault, you’re SO annoying”
God: “Well then why are you dedicating your life to me? Why don't you dedicate yourself to lawn bowling or something instead?”
Priest: “I should've. I can't believe I gave up sex for you”
God: “Oh right, I guess fondling little choir boys doesn't count as sex”
Priest: “Hey, that's uncalled for”
God: “Fuck you”
Priest: “Fuck you”

10. Sex would be really awkward
God: “Yeaaaah… mmhmm… like that, oooh yeah… nice”
You two: “HEY!”

1/4/14

Fantastic Chalkboard Creature series: The Demon




This is a demon. But do not be alarmed, because for all their ferocious and fearful reputation, demons are actually a pretty lame species of fantastic creature. They are in fact quite harmless, and not just because they’re fantastic and don’t really exist. They are harmless because it’s obvious that even if they did exist, they have no discernible teeth or claws, as can be seen in this chalkboard drawing. A creature without teeth and claws cannot do much harm, let alone the picture of a creature with no teeth and claws. Okay, he has horns, but they're much smaller than you would imagine a demon having. On the other hand, demons are fabulously ornate and eye-catching, as can be seen by all the colors produced by my Italian chalk set from which this creature emanated. I bought that chalk set at a nearby stationary store for a mere five bucks. But from that five buck chalk set has emerged one of the most primordial and feared creatures ever conjured by the human psyche. That’s pretty good value for money if you ask me. Plus if he gets too uppity about being a demon, I can just wipe him off the chalkboard with a wet paper towel. Yes, it’s that easy. The manifestations of evil and all of Satan’s hellish horde can be defeated with a mere wet paper towel. So it’s true what they say: evil doesn’t pay.

By the way, you may choose to ignore the pre-natal vitamins and Horehounds that lie beneath the demon in a lesser infernal realm.


1/3/14

Fantastic Chalkboard Creature series: Tecnicolored Fire Breathing Dragon



Dragons are funny creatures, because they're basically what we thought dinosaurs were when we found their fossils and bones while building temples for trident-wielding sea gods and we couldn't make any sense of what we found because that was back when we thought the world was a 5000 year-old lab experiment conjured up by some giant space magician. Now, of course, we know that everything was really just an unfortunate accident that got out of hand to the point where there were... DINOSAURS. Dragons are a pretty accurate guess at what a dinosaur might be, though, because, like dinosaurs, dragons seem to be giant lizards. I mean, it would've been pretty embarrassing if people thought dinosaurs were enormous squirrels. So kudos to our ancestors for not getting it totally wrong. Where the wings and fire-breathing comes in is hard to say, but considering the kind of wacky animals that do exist, wings and fire breathing aren't the silliest attributes to give an imaginary animal like a dragon. Plus it seems like a T-Rex should breathe fire or something cool like that... something to make up for those tiny little arms they have. Seriously, how funny are those? "I AM A T-REX, I WILL DESTROY YOU!!! Now just hold still while I fumble around and poke you to death with my tiny little claws".

This dragon blows tecnicolored fire clouds, and doesn't have wings. Think about it, would you fly up into a tecnicolored fire cloud? 

Fantastic Chalkboard Creature Series: Flaming Feather Limbed Farty Bubble Tailed etc etc


This is a... I don't know, let's call it a flaming feather limbed tree dwelling bearded bubble tail dragon lizard. It has colored flaming feathers on its limbs and neck, and it blows bubbles out of its tail, which is actually probably just a really long protruding anus, isn't it? Kinda like what happened to the nose of an elephant's ancestor, but from the other side. Kind of like a postboscis rather than a proboscis. What are the evolutionary advantages of blowing bubbles out of a really long protruding anus? Well, for one, those bubbles probably stink, so you don't want those things floating up and popping around your nostrils when you're on the hunt for a flaming feather limbed tre... one of these. On the other hand, that tail looks like it can get into nooks and crannies in trees where the fart bubbles can flush out prey, like grubs or beetles. Also he has a long white beard for some reason, and antennas for whatever antennas do. The ideal ecosystem in which you'll find one of these flaming feather limbed tree dwelling bearded farty bubble tail dragon lizards are rainy days just after finishing work while the baby's napping and I have too much time on my hands and don't feel like reading or doing anything even mildly productive (like read Baby Led Weaning even though she insists it's really important we read it but I can't get past page 50 because it's BORING BORING BORING) why are you still reading this?

1/2/14

Fantastic Chalkboard Creature series: Sabertooth Bird



Birds are a dime a dozen, but tropical birds with massive sabertooth tiger fangs designed to rip their prey's throat to shreds? Come on! This guy was perched on our kitchen blackboard right by the baby vitamins and iron drops, just above the rubber bands and colored chalk from which he was born. For days, he sat and observed as we made breakfast, prepared dinner, and washed dishes. His patience and tranquility was reassuring, but the fangs always left you wondering whether he wouldn't just jump out and cause havoc on a whim. Perched on a branch that stretched across the other side of a window unto an imaginary chalkboard realm, the bird would just sit there and observe. Then one day the window was gone with a few swipes of the arm and a wet paper cloth. But new visitors would be expected now. The gateway was open unto a new world of chalkboard creatures.

Those are testicles under his chin, by the way.