Monthly Archives: December 2014

Just Your Normal Conversation

Sometimes I have to call deadbeats, I mean, customers who are in arrears with their payments. It’s a shitty thing to do for a living but so is putting the key in the deadbolt every day. The calls are mainly to let them know that if they don’t cough up some cash soon shit is going to get real.

It’s sort of a useless adventure. I know they’re lying to me (if I were to believe our customers they are patient zero for every malady known to man and chimp. They all have an average hospital stay of between six and twelve months. I recently had a woman come in telling me she disconnected herself from a dialysis machine and had her children break her out of the hospital to stand in front of me to plead her case. I’m not a medical professional but that seems a little off the mark) they know I know they’re lying to me but it’s a dance we must take.

I call a woman and a man answers, “Is Sue there?”

“Yeah.” He pauses. I can hear that he’s not making any movement to get her for me.

“Can I speak to her?”

“She’s busy right now sucking my dick. Can she call you back later?”

“That’s all right.” I respond. “I’ll hold. I’ve heard your quick.”

A Special Holiday Message

I hate Christmas parties. Wait, that’s not true. I hate going to Christmas parties. Now that’s true. They tend to be filled with all the unused cheer that’s been blocked due to stress and cheese wheels you’ve swallowed all year.

It’s too fake. Too up with peopley. Too much to take. But, because of forces against my better health and well being, I make some appearances.

But I don’t join in with any of their reindeer games. I won’t ugly sweater it. I won’t sweater it at all. Get the fuck away from me with your Grinch sneers. You think your petty judgement is going to bother me?

You’re the one standing in front of me with what looks like a Nazi elf riding a candy cane colored dominatrix on an uncomfortable sweater. Yeah, your opinion is really important to me.

Besides, I don’t wear sweaters. Ever. Period. I blame sweaters for starting Bill Cosby on his road to rapist ruin.

So, being of that ilk, I’ve perfected the Zell Method of Holiday Party Shenanigans. And here, I’ll teach it to you!

Wherever people are in the room, go to the other side. If they’re pouncing around the punch bowl see if you can squeeze between the tree and the wall after
getting a beer. If they’re taking festive holiday photos around the tree go to the refrigerator, get a beer then stay there. All this moving will start making you tired so take a break and remember to remain hydrated. But when they inevitably crowd into the kitchen to klatch fill your pockets with beer and go sit in the car.

See? Easy.

But you have to be subtle about it. You just can’t go right to the car, that would be rude. Or so I’ve been told.

That means there will be a time or two when you’ll have to listen to, and sometimes get involved, in some inane blathering from people who make you think that you’d like to create mistlefoot, the evil opposite of mistletoe. Mistlefoot would be strewn around the floor and when someone stood over a piece you could kick them in the groin.

Fa lalalala la la la la.

I was surrounded by some of these people and got the honor of listening to a conversation about how much the holidays have increased this woman’s TMJ.
All the shopping and baking and whatever it is people do for the holidays (I don’t know what they do. I don’t cook – I think kitchen is a French word meaning, passageway to the backyard; I don’t wrap – it always ends up looking like something the cat spit up. One year I didn’t have tape so wrapped everything in white, sticky athletic tape; I don’t buy gifts for my loved ones – they never liked my surprises so I give them gift certificates to everywhere AKA money; I don’t even talk to anyone named Carol for the entire month) is really making it painful. She looks at everyone, there are six or seven people there, couples, a few who’ve strayed from their coupling, who are all nodding sympathetically with glazed over, couldn’t give a snowman’s snot about whatever it is this woman is babbling about.

Then she looked at me knowing I too would sheep up and bleat like the rest of these barnyard animals.

“Bullshit.” I cheerfully add. “I don’t believe in that shit.”

“Oh, I can tell you. . .”

“. . .you can’t tell me shit. TMJ is some bullshit made up by a woman who didn’t want to give blow jobs. So they made up a disease so she has an out.”

Hey, guess what? That wasn’t a very popular opinion!

But I could tell by the men avoiding eye contact they agreed with me. Or were afraid of being grouped in with me. Either way, they’re out of the discussion.

“You don’t know what you’re. . .”

“. . .I know damn well what I’m talking about. It’s bullshit. I wish Penn & Teller’s show ‘Bullshit’ was still on so they could do an episode on it.”

“What makes you the expert?”

“I was talking a bisexual woman who was bemoaning the fact that she suffers terribly from TMJ. I looked at her as if she’d just said she a gnome living inside her pancreas. Because she told me she didn’t suck dick I said she must be a horrible lesbian because eating pussy has many more moving parts then sucking a dick.”

I’m pretty sure that was the last conversation between us.

But, back at the party, I could see a couple of guys suppressing laughs. But they stayed true to their team and were lead off in a huff. And then a Christmas miracle happened,

I got an entire room to myself for the rest of my stay.

And a wonderful night was had by all.

Especially me.

Have a great whatever you want to call this time of year.

Just don’t put a sweater on it.

Jukebox Taste

On the off chance that you personally still put money in a jukebox I have something to say to you,

“Please stop.”

Thank you.

You are personally destroying any shred of peace I was trying to enjoy and jamming an ice pick into my day. I know it’s a constitutional right to use the jukebox but do you have to be so fucking bad about it?

I didn’t think there were so many horrible fucking songs that have been written, recorded, pressed, marketed and sold (okay, I do. Years ago I wrote a thing about a radio station called WDIE about songs that should be banned). How can that be that in the history of recorded music someone, using their own free will and cash, would play ‘Watching Scotty Grow’?

Then there are the people who play the same songs, in the same order, every time they saunter up to the jukebox. Wouldn’t you, just once, not want to hear ‘Hooked On A Feeling’ followed by ‘Patches’ followed by ‘In The Ghetto’ with the encore of ‘Mr. Roboto’ every fucking day of your repetitive life?

But, you know, I could even accept that. They have to accept that I have put a personal bounty on their heads so I guess  I shouldn’t complain about their horrendous taste in music.

What I have trouble accepting is some of the things I am forced to hear. I was sitting there enjoying a hockey game with the soundtrack of someone’s golden age (if ‘Knock Three Times On The Ceiling’ could be included as a highlight of someone’s life) but then I heard it. Now I’ve heard plenty of really terrible lyrics before. We all have. We’ve all been sitting there gently ignoring the tunes surrounding us until something scratches at our ear hole and we say,

“Did that lyric say, ‘New Kids On The Block had a bunch of hits/Chinese food makes me sick’?”

Yes, motherfucker, yes they said that. Someone wrote that down, got other people to agree it was a good lyric, committed it to memory, sang it, got people to put money behind it and then go out into the world, in front of people, and say that dumb ass shit every night.

That’s a subhuman specimen right there and I think we can all agree on that.

Then one day I decided to make it my life’s goal to eradicate jukeboxes from the face of the earth. They cause too much pain for innocent bystanders. And it all coalesced when this lyric assaulted me:

‘Cause the free wind is blowin’ through your hair
And the days surround your daylight there
Seasons cryin’ no despair
Alligator lizards in the air

Alligators AND lizards in the air? That’s the most frightening shit I’ve ever heard. I’m sure Godzilla would be freaking out if he ran into alligators AND lizards crashing into him. I sure as hell would care if the free wind is blowin’ through my hair if it was bringing alligators AND lizards with it.

Now I’m not easily frightened and have written my own share of scary lyrics (remember ‘Axe Murdering Drag Queen’?) and other things (‘Bug Boy’ come to mind?) but for those people to put you into a false sense of a beautiful summer day (free winds in your hair, a little bit of daylight on your face) only to have the seasons cry and fill the air with alligators AND lizards! Well, those people must be stopped.

And because I know no ones sitting at home listening to that song the only avenue we have to eradicate that and other harmful and senseless lyrics such as, ‘Only time will tell if we stand the test of time.’ Yeah dumbass, that’s how that shit works. Or ‘I’ma make you my bitch/Cake, cake, cake, cake/Cake, cake, cake, cake/Cake, cake, cake, cake.’ (that bitch maker loves her some cake) or (sticking with the cake motif) Someone left the cake out in the rain /I don’t think that I can take it /Cause it took so long to bake it /And I’ll never have that recipe again. Oh, someone left the cake out in the rain, could it have been you Mr. Shitty Lyricist? Because who else would write about someone being so dumb they left a cake out in the rain only to have a mental breakdown because of it and then admit they’re suck schmucks they didn’t even jot the damn recipe down. But could write stupid lyrics about it.

The world must be saved by these songs. And the only way we can do it is to banish jukeboxes. Well, we could also learn to appreciate better music and recognize dreck when we hear it. But, having listened to the jukebox selection the other night I think it’s much too late to hope for that.

Come on everyone! First we get rid of jukeboxes and then we can say bye-bye to Sweet Caroline!

Someone hated. . .

. . .something I did. No big deal. Someone gets pissed with almost everything I write. I usually ignore the emails but sometimes they make me laugh.

This person was giving me a what for that made me laugh when I got to:

“. . .and I don’t want you to think I’m ovary acting about this. . .”


I’m not sure which allegations are worse.


I was being my normal. . .

. . .wise ass when someone asked,

“What’s it like hanging out with your friends?”

“It’s like the Algonquin round table if everyone had Tourette’s.”

Just A Second

I’m pleased to announce a new show I’m hosting. It’s called ‘Just A Second! With Chris Zell”.

Snappy name, wouldn’t you say?

It came about one night when a friend and I were brainstorming. As usual when that happens we both get headaches. But this time not only did we get a headache we came up with an idea that turned into a concept that turned into us actually getting off our asses and sticking it to tape (or whatever it is TV programs stick to these days) for the enjoyment of this and future generations.

The guy who did 99.9999999% of the work in this project, the talented James Mudge, deserves much more credit (or blame. If you have a complaint make sure to direct it at him in the comments. Remember, if you like it, we share in the praise, If you don’t, once again, his name is James Mudge) then I. Of course, I did write the words that come out of my mouth but, after all this time, who really listens to me?

As far as my performance, well, for someone who hasn’t been in front of the camera for some time I think I pulled off my task rather well. I did what I was told and, if I must brag, did it in one take. No edits, no stopping. Roll it and get this puppy started.

But if you disagree please remember it was James Mudge who was directing me so he was responsible for yanking the best performance out of me and if he couldn’t do it, well, you can’t blame me for that. You can, however, blame the director who goes by the name James Mudge.

It’s just one idea of many ideas we came up with that night so you never know Bound & Gags could once again rear it’s ugly video head and make eyeballs unsafe as the Mudge/Zell juggernaut trundles into your town.

So now, please, sit back and enjoy the first episode of “Just A Second! With Chris Zell” (but it’s mainly James Mudge’s fault if you don’t like it):