Monthly Archives: January 2008


Every once in a while a show I direct gets interviewed by newspapers and such. When this happens they often ask me to be there to offer my thoughts. As always, after all these years, I’m surprised they don’t know me better.

One time I told the reporter that, when the show began, we’d do it in their home.

“I thought it was odd because they didn’t have cameras or anything. I’d just stand there pointing at them and calling non-existent shots.”

I told someone else they couldn’t be blamed if their reviews didn’t make sense because they outsource the writing to India. I told another I didn’t know why anyone watched because they give every movie a B. I went so far as using that premise as a cartoon for a company I wrote for (it never got to production because the company went under).

After all that, they still call me in.

Last night I was sitting there nodding in happy agreement with everything they said. That was okay but every time they’d move I’d flinch. When it wrapped I got the reporter alone and handed her a note that said,

“They hit me if anything goes wrong during the show but I can’t leave until sweeps week because they’ve kidnapped my daughter.”


I was asked to edit a video concept for a band a friend of mine works for. It’s a remake of the 1972 Crosby-Nash’s hit “Immigration Man” with a slightly different, some have said enigmatic, politically neutral and even far out, view of the immigration issue.


Do you find yourself with the inability to become aroused by any of our choices for President of the United States of America?

Then you may suffer from Electile Dysfunction.

If that’s the case take Voteagra.


Lesson 1

If, by chance, a bird (not just a Canadian brown finch – but you know how they are) poops on you, do not go looking for it. 

Sgt. Robert Ventullo

One of my best friends in this or any other world is the guy named above. Right now Bob The Man (so called because there is also Bob The Kid) is in Iraq. This isn’t going to be one of them ‘for the troops’ things.

Not my style. Nor his.

But I will tell you he got to come home for Christmas to surprise his family and the local paper did a story on him: 

Because of that article and the celebrity it brought he got out of a speeding ticket. That’s why I’m telling the story. Because, if you knew Bob, you’d know just how funny that is.

Here’s a picture that accompanied the article:


Bob The Man’s the one licking the kids face.

I will, however, let Bob have the last word with something he wrote during his deployment in Afghanistan a few years ago:

Just Going

Today is pre-disastered.

At least that is my hope.

I get to work and all things are going the way they go. Not saying good or bad, just going. I notice the requisite amount of broken glass around the parking lot so status is just going. I sweep and pick up the glass as happily as one can.

Once that chore is complete, I spend a little time easing into my day. Check to see if there’s anything in email I have to deal with. A request for jokes, a submission request, a request to introduce one person to another. Things that have to be paid attention to but nothing that’s more than just going.

Before opening I grab the default notices which, on the way to get my coffee, I’ll wander over to place them in the appropriate mail receptacle. I wander back toward the building and see a broken 40 ounce bottle on the ground. I’m thinking there was no way I would have missed that while picking up shards earlier when I hear from the bus stop,

“He he. Sorry, Chris. I dropped it.”

It’s a tenant. One of the many believers in modern and no so modern pharmaceuticals. I smile while tossing the glass in the barrel.

“Shit happens. Have a nice day.”

I don’t give him much thought. After all, that’s the most lucid sentence I’ve had from him in a month. I just keep going. This time to get coffee. I get back to the office, toss up the happy go open sign and begin my day.

Two minutes later the door opens. It’s the guy who dropped the bottle. He’s asking if he can use the restroom,

“My rents paid.”

I don’t bother telling him that it is, in fact, not but I also wouldn’t stop him from using the restroom. After all, on the way in, I saw four piss stains dotting the walls. I’m not saying they were his, I’m just saying, if I didn’t let him in, the fifth would have been.

I continue to open the building when, after about ten minutes, I remember someone came into the building. It’s part of my job to keep track of the comings and goings of people who enter the establishment so, not knowing if he is here or gone (I know he’s not at his unit because I didn’t turn the light on) I walk towards the bathroom door and whiff something frowned upon within legal society.


“Get the fuck out of there right the fuck now!”

I calmly interject while gently rapping upon the door.

After some stumbling and thrashing I take it upon myself to unlock the door and kick it open. Sprawled next to a broken crack pipe is the tenant.

“Here are your choices, get the fuck up, get the fuck out because if I have to put my hands on you I will make sure your skull comes into contact with every inch of concrete from here to the middle of the fucking street.”

He unfocuses on me while I stand there. I can see he is conversing wildly. Not verbally, but I’m sure he thinks he’s getting his point across.

I, on the other hand, not having such verbal limitation, take one step into the close quarters and bark,

“Move or I will move you!”

I’m sure the booming of those words through this echo chamber was much worse for him because he crawled and scratched his way toward the door. I stepped back to allow him to gather to his feet and scuffle out of the building.

I watch to make sure he’s outside before looking at the mess of the bathroom. We don’t get many people attempting to use this room as more than what it’s designed for so this is beyond my level of normal cleaning. I’m not saying better or worse, I’m saying beyond. Honestly, it’s actually cleaner and easier but I’ll leave that image to your own version of public toilet cleaning hell.

I sweep up the glass, crack and give it a disinfectant swab before going back to the office. I look at the clock and hope that, forty minutes into my day, the next eight hours and twenty minutes is disaster free.

But, as we’ve come to know, I have no hope and even less luck.

The guy walks back into the building and, I can only assume via his feeble attempts, is trying to impart some information, exceptionally vital information it seems, to me. The problem is I am not multi-lingual. Even if I was, I’m sure not one of the institutes of higher learning I went to taught a language quite this high.

After six minutes of standing there with someone sounding like an Ellen Jamesian from ‘The World According To Garp’ I come to the conclusion that I must do something to extricate this person from the building before other people come in and assume I am much more tolerant to human foibles than I truly am.

“Shut the fuck up!” I say pounding my fist on the counter. I have learned over my vast number of years that speaking to people calm and rationally is of little consequence. But making loud, startling sounds commands attention.

“From this point on I will give you two choices. Choice one,” I increase the volume of my voice because, aware that I’ve used about a dozen words, I have reached the limit most fairly stable people can absorb. I’m sure I’m a dozen words over for this guy. “Leave now. Quickly. And without sound. Choice two,” I bellow. “I call the police.” I pause knowing I’ve hit a keyword. “They will be here momentarily.” I pause again knowing his brain has only heard ‘police’ and ‘momentarily.’

After much collecting of whatever invisible shit he’s placed on the counter, he weebles out of the building. I follow him to the door, fight the urge to put up the closed sign and lock it, while watching him serpentine across the loading area, continue unabated past the bus stop, straight into the traffic clogged street undeterred, until he trips over the sidewalk and crashes into the newly painted building across the street.

From the safety of my building I watch as a good samaritan leaps out of his car to render aid and comfort. I also watch as the guy, just as rapidly, surveys the situation, sees that everyone in traffic is ignoring his deed, takes one last look around, doesn’t see anyone watching, so gets back into his car and motors away.

I watch the guy drive away and wonder if, when he tells the story, he tells a tale of concern and compassion or, like me, he says,

“Please be the disaster of my day!”

Hostage Situation

Weiner Poopie would be a great name for a band:

A Big Boy

We were at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants – – and, as in my wont from time to time, I had to visit the men’s room. I know I’ve said this in the past but, truly, this is usually an unremarkable procedure.

But not all the time.

I open the door and a father is helping his son wash his hands. I squeeze past the tight area as the kid says, “I used the urinal!”

“Wow!” I respond with my usual response to this statement.

“I did it all by myself.” “That means your a big boy.”

“I know! Big boys use the urinal!”

The father and I laugh as he completes the hand washing.

“Okay,” the father says. “Toss the paper towel in here.” The kid does as requested as the father open the door. “Let’s go.” The father holds the door but the kid stops.

“No. I want to talk to that guy some more.”

“No,” the father states. “You shouldn’t talk to other guys in the men’s room.”

The kid protests until I interject,

“Listen to your father. That’s probably the best bit of advice he’ll ever give you.”

All About Me

Activity will be light here except for my biweekly bit because I’m going to be doing a prison ter. . .project. I’m hoping it’s only for two year. . .weeks or so but you never know. You always think what you know you’re getting into but when you crack the hood on some of these puppies, it’s uglier than you think. But, a boy’s gotta pay his debt to societ. . .bills.

I’m probably going to drop in some short scripts (maybe even Facade) to maintain some activity but it all depends on time and if anyone would be interested in such things. Let me know. I can be quiet too.

But, before I go, I’ll leave you with sort of a connection to the last post. Beside getting requests to be nice, people often also say,

“I told them all about you.”

I don’t think that’s possible. Forgetting the time factor (I am rather old, you know) I’m sure if someone knew all about me I’d have killed them by now. A secret is something you tell one other person just before killing them. That’s my motto!

The guy who said that knows two things about me. My first and last names. Other than that, it’s perception. But, in preparation to meet the other person, this guy had to tell them all about me.

“All about me?”

“Yeah!” He responds.

“Everything? Even that I killed a man?”

The guy continues to smile while saying, “Yeah, yeah, I know, just to watch him die.”

“No, to watch his mother cry. I hate that bitch.”

We drive down the street for a few minutes in silence. Finally, as we pulled into the parking lot, he turns and says,

“Can you be nice in here?”

Killer App

It always amazes me when people want me to visit their homes. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t rub my bare ass on the carpet or show off my collection of bolts I never put into the rides from my carnie days, but I tend to feel if the guests know me I don’t have much more to offer and if they don’t, it’s probably best they don’t hear what I have to offer.

I’m a normal person. There are people within any group genuinely happy to see me, aren’t happy I’m there, and could give a shit if I came or went. But then there’s this other area that tends to follow me like a rumor. More than most, I feel, I get warned about things I may or may not, should or should not say or do. That’s where I think I flow downstream from my fellow man.

Let me ask you, have you ever been asked, while on the way to meet a friends girlfriend for the first time, not to be so. . .you? Not knowing what that meant, I asked for a simple clarification. What I got was a bunch of stammers and stutters attempting not to insult me nor engage the me he was most mephobic about.

In the end, I didn’t meet the damsel that night or for the next couple hundred days of their courtship. Oh, he tried, but, with a look and a smirk, I knew I could count on another few weeks before he’d ask again.

I’ve been walked into gatherings and told not to mention certain subjects around certain people; not to use language in a manner to which I am accustomed; a litany of things I’d be better off not doing. Gee, way to make a guy feel comfortable in your home. But, not being one to take insult, I smile at my host, look them square in the eye and tell them I’d never dream of doing what they are so fearful of.

Then I walk away laughing.

Okay, that may be mean (and makes sure the nervous host never takes their eyes off me for my entire stay) but how would you like to be categorized as some loose cannon awaiting the opportunity to scorch the gathering with the songs of Charles Manson? Don’t knock it until you’ve heard my rendition of ‘Sick City’ from ‘Lie: The Love And Terror Cult’ on the kazoo.

I’ll ask my host a couple of questions in a situation like this. Simple questions such as,

“Give me an example of what you’ve seen me do to make you think I’m going to sit on someone’s lap and eat from their plate?”


“Why, if you think I’m going to actually talk to your other guests, would you invite me if you feel you need to sedate me?”

In all the years I’ve been invited to things, no one has ever given me an example of my outrageous behavior. I’m not saying I can’t say things that will offend, I’m not saying I can’t do evil things, but I try to contain that within my realm of friends.

I’ll sidle up to someone I know will appreciate it, quip, and quit. I think that’s where I get into trouble. Not what I said but what someone across the room thinks I said. Trust me, and ask my trusted conversation mates, what you think is much more interesting than what I’ve actually said.

I’m generally happy to sit there, eat, drink, and feel Mary (okay, that one got me in trouble). I don’t need to talk to people, I don’t need them to talk to me. It’s not that I’m anti-social, I showed up after all, it’s just that I’ve been warned so find it best not to be too verbal. I don’t find that being difficult, I find it as following the rules of the house. Besides, I know me. There’s always potential.

I’ve been sitting in the same spot for about an hour while the party flows around me. Every now and then a dog will come by, drop a ball which I’ll pick up toss toward an empty area. To me, that’s party involvement.

Without warning a group of five guys plant it’s gathering in front of me. Although they aren’t talking to me, due to their current location, I have no choice but to hear what they’re talking about.


They’re all talking about how important they are at their job. If each of these gentlemen is to be believed American commerce would come to a stock plummeting plunge without them at their respective company.

What’s odd, to me, is that none of these men owned their own company. I’ve owned my own business and didn’t feel as vital to it as these guys do theirs. I know for a fact that, when I closed my business, each customer found someone else to give their money to. While watching this two or three of the guys got calls from their company. I’m sure the first guy who took a call was kicking himself by the time the last guy got his call. He’d only yelled at someone. The third guy threatened to fire the entire company if whatever urgent service had to be performed wasn’t performed ASAP and up to his stringent satisfaction.

During a walk back from getting myself a frosty adult beverage I thought it was a good thing people care about their job. I care about whatever I do. It’s just that that’s one part of me. When my day is over, when I finish writing this story, whatever I do, the moment it’s done I move on to the next part of me.

I’d hoped the conversation had moved on to something else by the time I got back but, alas, it had just engorged. Two guys were now in a game of ‘I’m much more important to my company than you!’ It reminded me of those arguments we’d have as ten years old over who was a better ballplayer. Although I’m sure these guys wouldn’t get bored, call each other ‘stupidhead’ and go play ball.

I excuse myself to get to my seat. The men make an opening and close it with me now ensconced within their conversation. I sit there and listen. I have nothing to add so don’t. It takes some time but even they seem to come to the conclusion that no one is going to budge. Neither of these guys is going to back down but, seeing that their respective wives wandered over to give him the old ‘you’re getting loud, honey’ ass pat, they know they’d better take a break.

And what better way to fill a break than get someone else to talk!

“So,” begins one of the guys. “What do you do?”

It is at this moment where I have choices. I can 1) politely excuse myself 2) stand, state my current occupation, sit and drink 3) say something that is probably why I get warned so often upon entering festivities such as this.

“Damn, boys,” I say knowing full well I have no idea where I’m going but full knowledge that I’ll end up with something on me. “I work for myself and I’m not as important to my company as you are to yours.”

“What do you do?” Asks the guy who’s going to fire everyone.

It is at this moment when I first realize why it’s often requested I be nice. That is because I said,

“I own a life replica company that specializes in pleasure companions for devotes of bestiality.”

There’s a moment when I start something like this that’s golden. It’s that moment when I have no idea where I’m going or how quickly those around flee. It’s pure reaction on the faces of those to whom I am speaking and pure bullshit to those about to speak.

“What’s weird is, most people think we make our money off the companions but that’s not true. Sure, the companions are expensive, but we make a killing on the come back. You should have seen how crazy our customers were when we invented the traction action tongue. When we added varying sizes of moisture reservoir you’d think we’d found the holy grail. Even with those value added products we make a ton on the replacement of, what we call, pleasure spots.”

I smile at this group of guys, a trucking manager, a network manager, and other management ilk’s standing agape. Well, I can’t just let them stand there can I? I have to go just a little further. If only to keep their attention long enough to be noticed by the host.

“But what’s recently taken over refurring as our top revenue producer is what we think is going to be our killer app. We’ve just opened a joint replacement division. Some these guys, and girls, can go through two, three replacements a year so it only made good business sense. We’ve recently completed our first full ankle, knee, hip replacement. That was a very exciting day.”

I see one of the wives from earlier standing next to the host pointing. I see that ‘The baby has a penny near the electric outlet!’ expression as she quick steps toward us. I stand up, extend my hand to anyone willing to accept it as I say,

“Trust me, boys, the traction action tongue will keep them coming, but the real cash is in the joints.”

Before the host has rounded up the wives I’m standing safely at the cheese dip. I smile at the host as it dawns on me that people shouldn’t warn me from talking to guests. Far from it. They should have me come late and start conversations all over the place. If that doesn’t clear the room you’ve got some professional freeloaders as friends.

Now that, my friend, is a killer app.