Tuesday, April 10, 2012


While we should all be joyous at the passage of Tennessee's Evolution bill, let us not get mired in celebration, people. Too long have the state's dental school's navigated around the heavy absence of the Tooth Fairy from the text books...

WAIT, WAIT, WAIT the fuck up...

I've spent nearly the last five years patiently crouching in the corner waiting for this place to turn into a porn site, and now you just waltz back...
I was technically doing the "Lindy Hop".
...with political shtick?
Well, it was actually a near half decade blackout for that SOPA business if you must know. I'm quite prescient.
Whatever. Save your opinions for the Myspaces.
You really have been crouching there this whole time. Sorry, I never knew...
It wasn't that bad. You left a great deal of gin and country ham...Plus, I ate all the other neglected characters.
Actually, I ate them first to ensure more gin and ham for myself. Survival of the fittest, you know.
Not really. We never went over that in science.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

from rex's unpublished memoirs: october 30, 1982

My feeld trip to shilow

One day Miss Harvey came in and sed gess what class and we said what and she sed were goin on a feeld trip. We all said hooray! and then we sed wher. She sed were goin to shilow where they fot a battul in the sivul war and I sed that’s weerd because my uncle sed thats wher they fot a battul in linkons illegul war of northurn agreshun and sally huchinson sed that must be a scary place then if they fot 2 wars ther and I dont want to go but Miss harvey sed it was only the one war and that my uncle just had a different name for it and I sed my uncle has different names for everything like his x wife and the joos and his hous was called a compownd and it had rebel flags all over it so maybe he fot in one of thos wars. I asked miss Harvey if she wanted him to com with us and tell us how it reely was and she said no reel fast. So then the next week we went to shilow on the bus and wen we got ther ther was peeple wering sivul war costumes and walkin arownd with guns and horses and beerds. Miss Harvey told us to talk to the peeple and we said hello who are you. This man in a raggity uniform and no shues sed im a confederet soldyer and this is the tipicul uniform of my rejimint. Ther was another man in a blue uniform and he sed im a yankey and I fot for the unyon and we sed wats that and he sed america and we sed were from america too and jimmy white kicked the man in the raggity uniform and we sed USA USA! until miss Harvey made us stop. Then we saw this man with a cart and he sed im a sutler and I sold stuf to soldyers and we sed that man needs shues but hes fiting america so don’t give him any. Then we saw a black famuly and mikey burton sed are yall spose to be slaves and they sed no were on vacashun you rednek basturds and then they walkd away. Then we saw another soldyer in a ragity uniform but he lookt funny becaws he it lookt like he had 2 softbals or oranjes in his pants and we laffed and sed whats that. He sed he had a funnyreel dizees and we sed like the chiken poks and he sed no. he sed funnyreel dizeesus wer rampunt in the sivul war and many of the soldyers cot funnyreel dizeesus like sillyfuss from a horse and sally huchinson sed oh no I have a horse and the soldyer with the funny pants sed no I sed hors like they cot it from a hor and I sed oh no thats what my uncle calls his x wife and then Miss Harvey sed yall get away from him hes not part of the ture.

Monday, August 06, 2007

perhaps the marketing equivalent of "hoof and mouth" isn't far behind

I was leaving the confines of Casa Camino this afternoon at the crack of three-thirty when I, after gasping a string of curse words directed at the general state of sauna-ness in front of impressionable though slow-witted neighbor children, noticed a local restaurant advertisement on the ground that had just seconds ago been nestling peacefully between the knob and door frame. You may have also noticed the door-to-door salesman population on the rise once again. A general crackdown on telemarketing has brought a replenishing to their near-extinct herds and driven them out from behind their telephones, though we sadly see so few of their carcasses littered along the roadsides.

Then again, I suppose the poor bastard who has to slip these things around neighborhood doors is merely a newly hired peon at the establishment and therefore a different and more forgivable beast than the one who wishes to have me answer a series of questions or demonstrate a brand of detergent. Those kids probably have plans in life and will go on to someday either meet or fall short of those goals. Either way, they will likely go on to something higher than being a full grown man trying to sell things door to door.

I say that with some confidence because I safely assume that they will maintain a shred of dignity.

There were always telemarketing and door to door type gigs available when I was working through various temp agencies, and temp agents used these sort of jobs to gauge the desperation of potential employees.

"Are you willing to do any kind of work?", they would ask as the interview drew to a close.

"Anything", answered the obviously desperate bastard on the other side of the table with the useless English degree and apartment full of hungry and increasingly more desperate housepets and wife gathered teary-eyed on a tattered photograph in the forefront of his feeble and easily distracted mind. They were accompanied by sad depression-era violin music, and their eyes upon closer inspection were cartoonishly larger than normal. They blinked them quite a bit and always in unison as they directed them through the front window of the local butcher shop while huddling in the cold and driving snow, which was rather odd because 1) the young wife in question was vegetarian at the time, and 2) it was the middle of Summer. It made very little sense and served to only add to the overwhelming evidence that this poor bastard had indeed spent too much time in front of the television as a young lad back in...

"How about telemarketing?"

It would have been a startling question even if he had been paying attention and knew immediately the context and why exactly he was wearing dress shirt and tie in the middle of Summer across the desk from a guy whose name plate he couldn't read for the stack of papers piled haphazardly in front of it.

"What are you doing with those?"

This was an easier question. "Just straightening your desk a bit, Larry. You must be a busy man."

"So, have you ever done any telemarketing?"

Our poor bastard sweating through the dress shirt suddenly thought he knew how people who wind up doing pornographic films feel. He did a quick dignity check and found it to be small and disoriented, though fully capable of gnawing at his gut.

"No", he answered. He then followed it up with the tasteful and marketable way of saying, essentially, "Let's place that somewhere beneath Crack Whore or Assistant Meth Lab Technician on my list of acceptable positions."

Anyway, I folded and rewedged the advertisement and then went about my bid'ness with every intention of bringing it in to the recycling bin upon my return this afternoon. Imagine my surprise when I returned a couple of hours later to find it gone and replaced by a completely different advertisement and one that was in no sort of competition to the one that had nestled there previously. It was for water filtration or something along those lines, an the evidence showed that the clean water bastard had taken the advertisement left by the local restaurant bastard before replacing it with his own.

I gather from this that the herd has grown so large as to turn to cannibalism.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

a most unfortunate interview

The worst job interview I've had--and I'm a bit reluctant to place this crown on any interview for a job that I didn't get, as so many of the successful job interviews led to months of soul crushingly mundane employment and could therefore be argued to be worse by the nature of their success, though such a precedent would move this post from the merely anecdotal and into something a bit too philosophical for this hour of the morning--occured shortly after my graduating college and wasn't even for a "career" sort of job. English majors rarely have those interviews anyway. No, this was just a simple bookstore job involving little more that stocking shelves and the typical customer service activities. It was something to pay the bills while I tried to talk myself into a grad school program that never materialized. It was not unlike any of the other jobs I had worked while in college and I entered the interview seemingly calm and relaxed. I was trying to give that impression anyway, but an unusually warm January day had rendered my thick turtleneck sweater a poor wardrobe choice that left me baking and sizzling under the cafe atrium skylight like so many of the ants I tortured with magnifying glass as a young child and then again as an older child and young adult.

Ants are bastards.

One of the women across the table, perhaps after seeing me mop my brow with a napkin, offered me water that I declined under the rationale that a candidate refusing water might appear more employable than one swilling free water like there's no tomorrow, as if these two nice older women, one looking oddly like a taller version of my high school guidance counselor the other a dead ringer for a shorter version of the same woman, watching me sweat from three short feet away were in the market for a camel. It didn't make any sense, I know, but I would be that camel just in case.

Irregular sleep patterns, a bit too much drinking, and any number of similar shenanigans associated with the final days of one's college career had perhaps taxed the physique a bit too much to pull of a good impression beneath sheets of sweat, but I did a damn fine job of it for the first half of the interrogation. I leaned back casually in the chair with my legs crossed and a lazy half smile pleasantly stretched across my reddening face. I glided through a seemingly informal discussion of college and previous employment. I threw out anecdotes and asides like a regular Regis Philbin, doing so with such ease that not even I could remember which ones, if any, were true.

Then came the stumbling block that derailed my bookstore career and ended the interview in fearful looks from my tall and short counselors that I would see again and again from across the room every time I visited the store afterward.

My future was a bit harder to make up than my past. I threw out the possibility of going after a MFA in creative writing, which was partially true, and then took it a bit too far by mentioning that I was writing a novel.

"Oh really," the short one said, "What's it about?"

It was a reasonable question and one that I should have anticipated, but didn't. One should always have at least a vague outline in mind before lying about writing a novel. That's just common sense.

Emergency sirens went off in my head. The lying creative section had nothing at the ready, and all the other bits rushed to cover for this inadequacy.

Would I go with an Evelyn Waugh-esque comedy in which a number of tragedies befall some poor bastard, a dark and brooding war novel, historical fiction, some outlandish bit of sci-fi?

Each of these were dispatched from various parts of my cranium, and I unfortunately went with each simultaneously as the interview spiralled to a dark and unfortunate place. In my defense, the interviewing ladies could have ended the line of questioning early on when things less than promising and not insisted on dragging it out. When enough lies to constitute a sizable avalanche have been piled upon one another the decent thing to do is let it go, especially when it is in no way germane to the position being filled.

That's another bit of common sense.

So, as you can see, mistakes were made on both sides, though I certainly bore the worst of it there on my end of the table having just described a novel about hapless used car salesman who, after stumbling across a time travelling AMC Pacer, winds up, on the other side of a series of even more outlandish plot twists that my mind has kindly blocked in time, meeting his rather vivid, ghastly, and altogether senseless end alongside a lovable robot sidekick on the battlefield of Chickamauga.

I wish I was making this up.

After a moment of awkward silence the shorter and obviously more vocal of the two plunged the knife a bit further by asking, still with a look of fear across her face, "What does it all mean?"

Another reasonable question, I suppose. I've never liked those.

"Oh...you know," I stammered, "It's just meant to be light Summer reading. Nothing too heavy."

And that was that.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

a cat question

For some reason I awoke thinking about that odd and seemingly cruel tendency in cats to render their prey nearly dead--deliver all but the final "death blow", as it were--and then step back a couple of feet to leisurely crouch in cold observation of the slow and agonizing final moments in the insignificant life of some mouse, rabbit, or Shetland pony. My own cat is far too obese and skittish to have ever engaged in such activity, but I'm sure its one of the things lies dreaming about just before I sneak up behind him with the vacuum cleaner or a crudely fashioned can of rocks. Anyway, the whole thing seems against the streamlined nature of wild kingdom and served to implant a number of questions into my feeble and still-awakening brainmeat.

For instance, what would be the evolutionary benefit of such a thing? Was there a point on the evolutionary of timeline mice where they briefly had the ability to explode upon death? Could it be a savory revenge for any number of agonizing Tom and Jerry-like antics that elude human observation? Is the cat kindly giving the mouse time to make peace with its Jesus?

Just wondering.

Monday, July 16, 2007

lost episodes

One thing I like to do to exercise the ol' brainmeat while driving around or engaging in otherwise mind-numbing activities during a rare sojourn from Casa Camino is pretend, just for shits and giggles of course, that I fell off the face of the Earth. Perhaps I was kidnapped and sold into white slavery or abducted by aliens or drove off an embankment and and wedged myself into a ditch to lie injured and subsist on rainwater and insects and wait on the worst. These and other cheerful contemplations aren't important really--the thing I focus on is this: Were I to go missing, the cops would understandably be interested in the last few Internet pages I visited. And, as I seldom Google search things like "How to get kidnapped and sold into white slavery" or "How to drive yourself off an embankment in such a manner as to live but be injured just enough to have to eat insects and drink rainwater and all that business", the police would have a bit more deducing to do.

For instance, just the other day I was driving around after having done some Wikipedia research on Vladimir Lenin that lead to the typical Wikipedia branching into other Communist leaders and whatnot.

"Ah", a reasonable detective assigned to my case would surmise, "This man has obviously chosen to become a Communist Revolutionary and is now living underground and planning to overthrow the government." He might then say something about the case being closed and proceed to light a cigar only to be told by Mrs. Camino that he can't smoke inside, but in his mind the frame is frozen and the credits have begun to roll. I might show up in a later episode to rob a bank in a bright red shirt with an Uzi and maybe a scarf and band of hippie ne'er-do-wells, but substantial advancements have been made in this particular plot line. Whether or not I turned into a recurring character would be based solely on ratings and is really out of my control at this point. If not, I would of course place the blame squarely on the script writer, as I can only do so much with the material I'm given.

What was I talking about?

Ah, yes. What the detective would be missing--and it's certainly no blight on his sub-Miss Marple reasoning--would be this: I was merely researching infamous bald men in history.

By the way, I noticed very few bald Communist dictators. They are, for the most part, rather soft and pudgy but with healthy heads of hair. Look no further than Stalin, Hugo Chavez, or any number of college professors to see that they greatly outnumber the Lenins and Maos. Perhaps the bald get things started, revolutionarily speaking, and the thick haired sidekicks then take over. Then again, Karl Marx was more a walking fern than a man, though I suppose he never overthrew any governing bodies. No, Marx was all talk. So, yes, I suppose we can safely assume that your finely quaffed Commie would be content to sit back and let the more follically lacking of their revolutionary brethren do the hard part.

You bald commie revolutionary types should really have more pride about you.

Anyway, the detective might not catch a pattern with Benito Mousilini and Dr. Phil preceeding my Wiki-branching into Communism.

Which I suppose would matter very little other than to serve as a bit of brain exercises for the ol' imagination as I dine on the slower crickets who come to investigate my wrecked and obscured vehicle.

Friday, July 13, 2007

though i plan to pass it off as an old "football injury" acting up again...

I think I dislocated my shoulder while trying valiantly to shave my back.