Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Human Writes Has Moved

Greetings, Human Writes readers,

After a spirited run and nearly 50,000 hits, Human Writes has moved on to greener, more user-friendly pastures. You can now read the slanderous commentary and nonsensical rantings of Daniel Evans at:

www.DadGoneMad.com

Worry not. The same silliness about poop, farts and efforts to kill Barney can be found at the new location.

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.


Danny


P.S. -- Please update your links and bookmarks accordingly.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Dad Gone Mad 500

I watched roughly 10 minutes of the Daytona 500 this weekend. Ten minutes is my threshold for auto racing unless there’s a five-car crash where someone’s head goes rolling down pit road or the announcer with the hard, barely intelligible Southern drawl squeals, “They’re running three abreast down the straight-away, y’all! Weeeeeeehooooo! I tell you hwut, dad-gummit, I ain’t never seen a race like this’n right here!”

Three abreast. Love that imagery.

One of my favorite things about watching race cars on TV is that they have little cameras mounted inside the cars to spy on the drivers and microphones that capture the fever-pitched chatter between the driver and his pit crew. I like to imagine what the camera would see if it was instead mounted on the dashboard of my car, spying on me as I swerve through rush hour traffic on my way to work.

7:25 a.m. -- Camera sees me kerplunk into the driver’s seat of my black Honda CR-V. I start the engine, rub the sleep from my eyes and read the sports page while the car heats up. Then, as I pull out of the Evans World Headquarters driveway, I go fishing for boogers.

7:35 a.m. – I stop at Starbucks. They’re out of cinnamon twists. I have a k’nipshin.

7:45 a.m. – I spill coffee in my crotch. I scream “Fuck!” at the top of my tired lungs. The announcer says something about me needing to maintain composure. I make a mental note to stab him in the eye with my straw next time I see him.

7:50 a.m. – I’m on the freeway and the traffic is bumper to bumper. I turn on the radio and pick my nose again.

7:52 a.m. – I have extracted a booger the size of a ferret from deep inside my right nostril. I roll down the window and try to flick it off of my finger but it won’t let go of me. It merely adheres itself to one finger after another. I pull my hand back inside and wipe the booger under my seat. The announcer says I’m a disgusting animal. He has no idea.

7:54 a.m. – Some assclown in a pick-up truck cuts me off. I flip him off. He flips me off. I mouth the words “Suck my dick, you fucking asshole” at him. His mouth moves but I have no idea what he’s saying. I imagine that he is accepting my invitation.

7:57 a.m. – The assclown in the pick-up is next to me now. He rolls down his window and invites me to pull over and settle our dispute “like men.” I thank him for the invitation but tell him I’m late for my job as an assassin and will have to kick his long-haired pansy ass another time. I pick my nose.

8:01 a.m. – That new Green Day song comes on. I cranked the volume on the radio, roll down the window, sing as loud as I can. I pretend that my index fingers are drumsticks and my steering wheel is a cherry-ass drum kit, a la Neil Peart from Rush.

8:03 a.m. – A middle-aged woman wearing too much make-up pulls up in a Cadillac next to me at the bottom of the offramp. She throws me a look of disdain, the kind she gives to her cleaning people when there is too much Pledge build-up on her solid oak dining room table. I look at her for a moment and then scream, “Don’t wanna be an American Idiot! The subliminal mindfuck America!” (major emphasis on “fuck”). She shakes her head in disbelief. I am happy that she thinks I’m representative of what’s wrong with society today, so I pick my nose in celebration. Though there is nothing left to extract, I withdraw my finger and pretend to flip a booger at the Cadillac.

8:07 a.m. – I park the Honda in the Employee of the Month parking space near the front of my building. As I open the door, the assclown in the pick-up parks in the stall next to me. I clinch my fists and prepare to tenderize his ass like a skirt steak. He opens his palms in a gesture of peace, tells me he’s starting a new job today. As it turns out, he reports to me. I get him in a headlock and give him noogies just to let him know who’s boss. “Me! That’s who! Me! You got that, asshole?”

8:10 a.m. – My ass hits the chair at my desk and I’m still pissed about the cinnamon twists.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Monday Enema

Dear Dad Gone Mad,

Here's the scenario: Get to work. Everything's going great. Go over to new, and very excited about, girlfriend's cubicle. Start talking about our fun drinking escapades last night. Fart. Isn't loud. Smells like a rotten trash barge on the last day of August. Run away as fast as possible. The end.

HOW do I approach her after such a disastrous event? She was most definitely aware of the smell and there was no one else around to blame it on.

Any advice would be great. I've only been friends with her for a short time and would hate to have a fart come between us!

Sincerely, Stinky



Dear Stinky,

In the friendly confines of my marriage to Hot Wife, I like to think of a good fart as a gift to her, like a bouquet of roses or a case of Yoohoo. When one of us cuts loose a butt-cheek-flapping window-rattler or a pooter that smells especially heinous, it’s cause for a good, hearty laugh. It might behoove you to take a similar posture with your ladyfriend. Make it fun. Make it an ice-breaker, an entrée through which you can take your relationship to a higher, more pungent level. After all, is a union where bodily functions like burping and farting are suppressed the kind of relationship you want to be tangled up in?

I think it would be silly to retroactively apologize or beg forgiveness for a butt bomb you unleashed several days ago. “Hi, um remember that fucking nasty rat I cracked in your cubicle about five or six days ago? Yeah, well, I had a pretty gross quesadilla for lunch that day and, um, what I guess I’m trying to say is, um, I’m sorry. I hope this doesn’t make you think twice about going down on me tonight.” No. Absolutely not.

Look at this as a positive. You’ve already crossed an imaginary threshold – the fart barrier -- that most people in relationships sweat over. My suggestion is to do it again. Next time you feel a hardcore goober putting pressure on your sphincter, turn it loose. If she laughs, you’ve got yourself a winner. If she freaks out (which is highly unlikely given that she has already been subjected to one of your weapons of ass destruction), she’s probably as prissy little control freak who you should kick to the curb.


Dear Dad Gone Mad,

My boyfriend is a web designer...for porn sites. Yeah. We've only been going out for seven months, after three months we moved in with each other. He told me he did web design, but left out the porn of it. So we moved in with each other and crap and then he told me, so I was like "uh...OK" and then he went on a trip and I was looking through his closet for an AIR CD (I swear!) and I found a massive collection of porn DVDs. Not just a little bit of porn...A MASSIVE COLLECTION OF PORN.

The man is 23 for Christ’s sake! And he works on porn!! And has…MORE PORN! Um yeah, so my question is...is he worthy of keeping around? Or is he some sort of weird retard porn freak man thing? Oh yeah yeah yeah and he talks to some of the girls that he advertises sites for (filthy whores). On the phone.

Since I found the stash and all I asked him about it, and he said he's stopped talking to the girls and buying porn. Is he to be trusted? Or will he always just be a wanker?

Thanks.

sincerely yours,
girl who got a vibrator for valentines day from this man


Dear Girl Who Got a Vibrator for Valentine’s Day From This Man,

There are two issues here. One is the porn. The other is the personal interaction with the alleged porn starlets.

1. Porn
Unless the work your boyfriend does or the videos he possesses depict salacious acts with livestock or circus clowns or anyone from the cast of Barney’s Alphabet Zoo, he’s not hurting anyone. Shit, the guy is 23 years old. When I was 23, I was punching the munchkin five times a day and the issue of Playboy with a Vanna White pictorial was my bible. At 23, the kid’s hormones are buzzing around like an infant after a triple espresso. In fact, if he has a bearskin rug in his apartment, I suggest you wear shoes when walking on it.

As for his work, I’m told that porn on the web is an exceptionally lucrative pursuit. If you want the guy to buy you nice things and live in a neighborhood where you don’t have to keep mace in your purse when you go to visit him, let him follow his chosen career path. I don’t think it makes him “some sort of weird retard porn freak.”

My neighbor has season tickets for the Angels next to a guy who produces porn. When I ask the guy about the shit he sees at work (strictly for research purposes, of course), his descriptions make it seem as though he has become desensitized to the vision of women sticking 15-inch purple rubber penises into themselves. Your boyfriend may become similarly numb. Although I can’t understand how.

But if you’re really uncomfortable with his collection of porn, box it up and send it to my attention.

2. Talking With Filthy Whores On The Phone
This, obviously, is over the line. If he wants to chat with dirty sluts on the phone, he should have to pay $4.99 per minute like the rest of us.

If he says he’s stopped calling them, good. Now get over to Radio Shack, buy some bugging equipment and spy on his perverted ass to make sure he’s not cavorting with Roxanne Gravel, the chick who can shove a two-liter Pepsi bottle where the sun don’t shine, while you’re not looking.

Speaking of whores, I have a question for YOU: what were you doing move in with this cat after three months?

--------

Submit your questions for next week’s Monday Enema to themondayenema@dadgonemad.com

Friday, February 18, 2005

New Feature: The Monday Enema

I’m both proud and horrified to disclose that this site gets between 600 and 1,000 hits a day. While only about 2% of you have the balls to leave comments, I have to assume that 100% of you are deeply troubled human beings. Why else would you return day after day to read about poop and boogers and the ways in which I have conspired to kill my daughter’s favorite TV character?

In part because I want to know the depths of your psychoses, I am prepared to offer my bad advice, twisted insight, faux empathy, handy tips, and hollow independent confirmation of your lunacy through a new regular feature called THE MONDAY ENEMA.

It’s important to begin each week anew, free of the burdensome problems and confusion that gather in our minds during each weekend’s Zima-fueled introspection and self-loathing. To assist you in regaining that freedom, I will be responding each week to your questions, queries and pleas for mercy.

The act of venting your problems and having them validated by a fellow looney-ass motherfucker will serve as a mental enema for you, helping to cleanse the little colon in your brain and starting you off right for a week of peace and harmony.

(Plus, we all want to see how fucked up you are.)

If you’re contemplating taking a new relationship to “the next level” by audibly farting in front of your boyfriend, we’ll talk you through it.

If you don’t know what to do when your boss says he’ll only promote you if you give him a humdiggity under his desk, ask us.

If you are seeking just the right way to tell your parents that you’re into sex acts that involve temporarily halting your breathing, we can help.

Send your questions and conundrums to themondayenema@dadgonemad.com.

In honor of George and Abe, the first Monday Enema will start draining this Monday.

(For those of you playing at home, that e-mail address should give you some insight into some changes afoot. More news on that next week, too.)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Back Off Before I Tazer Your Ass, Sasquatch

The Starbucks nearest Evans World Headquarters has a drive-thru window, which is ideal for mornings like today, when my son was up at the buttcrack of dawn, climbing into our bed and wanting to cuddle and chat and bond. Because I am the model parent, I acquiesced despite the fact that my son had roused me from a dream where I was flying naked over Nazi Germany, taunting all of Hitler’s pointy-helmeted goons and telling them to suck my schmeckel. “Screw Adolph,” I yelled. Heil this, motherfuckers!”

Awake and grounded, I buckled my son into his car seat and steered our pimped-out Mazda minivan (the one with the CD player that doesn’t work because my daughter shoved about four bucks in loose change into it) over to the Starbucks drive-thru. A friendly female voice welcomed me through the speaker and took our usual order: an iced venti soy latte, a chocolate milk and two cinnamon twists. And then we “pulled around.”

Here’s where the story gets a little hairy.

I hold out a $10 bill to pay for our very healthy breakfast and out of the window comes the right front paw of a yeti.

I scream. “Aaaaah!”

My son shrieks. “Eeeeeh!”

The yeti groans. “Grrronnng!”

My first instinct is to fish around in the glove compartment for my wife’s pepper spray. I’ll douse the beast, render it powerless, hog-tie it and drag it down to the police station in exchange for a handsome reward of canned welfare turkey and supermarket scrip.

But as I leaf through the maps and pens and tampons in the glove compartment, the yeti speaks to me. In English.

“Sir,” it says, “here’s your coffee.”

I snap my head in Sasquatch’s direction. IT’S A WOMAN! A HUMAN WOMAN! RUN, WOMAN, RUN! RUN BEFORE THE YETI EATS YOUR GUTS!

I look at her outstretched hand -- the hand holding the coffee that I need to survive -- and I notice that the yeti’s arm is attached to the woman’s body. I inspect further and I’ll be damned if that wasn’t a yeti paw at all. It was a woman’s arm --- an arm covered with more human hair than the heads of Crystal Gayle, Cher, Rapunzel and that weirdo lead singer from Creed combined.

I’m mortified. How do you apologize to someone for thinking they were Big Foot and being so petrified by their mutant limbs that you were three seconds away from pepper spraying them like you would a belligerent, piss-soaked drunkard who takes a swing at a cop? I try to summon the right words but my thought process is interrupted by the kid in the choo-choo train pajamas in the back seat.

“Daddy,” he says, “why does that woman have arms like a bear?”

“Not a bear, buddy. A yeti.”

“What’s a yeti?”

“A yeti is a big, hairy, human-like animal that lives in the Himalayas and eats little children who don’t flush after they go potty.”

“Oh. We don’t like yetis do we, daddy?”

“No, buddy. We don’t. And that’s why you have to remember to flush.”

When we return home from Starbucks, Hot Wife is awake. She confronts me in the bathroom. Seeing yet another cup of coffee, she wonders if perhaps I’m spending a little too much money at Starbucks. I tell her that with a few more visits during the yeti’s shift, our son just might be scared into painting the house, cooking us dinner every night and rotating the tires on the minivan.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Tribe Has Spoken, Bitches

I get a kick out of people who stick their noses in the air and say, “Oh, we don’t have a television.”

I’m all, “Why?”

And they’re all, “We’d rather talk or read.”

And I’m all, “Talk? Read? Are you fucking nuts? Where’s the fun in that?”

I lump people like this into the same category as the people who will haul ass to an Omaha donut shop to see an apple fritter that looks like the Virgin Mary or the people who perpetually send me emails about not flashing your brights at cars who don’t have their lights on at night because it’s all part of a gang initiation ritual and they’ll totally pop a cap in your punk ass. Word.

This just in, folks: TV makes the world go ‘round. It’s right up there with water and oxygen and Yoohoo. And when you say you’d rather talk than watch TV, I have to guffaw because what else is there to talk about besides the way women on The Swan look like Secretariat after their teeth get capped and how the incessant tension between Simon and Paula on American Idol is because they’re schtupping and Paula won’t let him poke her in the pooper? If you’re not hip to the happenings on the boob tube, I have to assume that you just sit and stare at each other and listen to the chirp-chirp-chirp of the crickets.

My sister-in-law, Karona, is the decaffeinated version of one of these people. She freely admits to owning a television, but she claims to be too busy to indulge in the nonsensical drivel on the air. Hah! Double hah! I wonder what she’ll say after I tell the whole god-damned Internet that whenever she comes over to visit the kids, she can’t take her eyes off of Survivor or The Apprentice or The Surreal Life long enough to notice that the kids are asleep, Weak-Bladdered Dog (whom she HATES!) has eaten her curry couscous (which makes sense because the healthy, preservative-free “food” she eats tastes like Alpo to begin with) and she has a big puddle of drool at her feet because she was so enthralled with the show that she forgot to swallow.

We also know some people who are hardcore bible-thumpers. These fine folks imply that they don’t own a TV because it’s the devil’s entertainment. I have never had the gonads to challenge them on it, but I presume this also means that they don’t listen to Slayer (the devil’s music), drink Mocha Mix (the devil’s non-dairy creamer), vote Democratic (the devil’s party), root for the Yankees (the devil’s ballclub), eat Hot Tamales candy (the devil’s confection) or engage in sexual relations intended for purposes other than procreation.

Actually, that’s a pretty good analogy because you’re about as inclined to believe that people don’t watch TV as you are to believe that they only screw when it’s time to have another baby. These are the same people who read Playboy for the articles and never pick their noses and smoked pot once but didn’t inhale. In other words, BULLSHIT!

I think there’s nothing wrong with watching shitloads of TV. It’s the American way. Hot Wife is always pleading with me that we should have some “quiet time” with the kids --- that we should have the TV off between the time they get out of the bathtub and when they go to bed. I ask if by “quiet time” she means we should have the Laker game on mute. She says nothing, just gives me a look like, “You just bought yourself another date with Rosie Palms, mister.” This from the woman who is still so stuck in the tar pits of the dark ages that she won’t agree to let us have a TV in our bedroom. I know: horrifying.

Quiet time, my ass. That’s right. You heard me. Quiet time, my pimply white ass. I want the TV on. I want my kids to know that if they can’t sing the theme song to The Apprentice (“moneymoneymoneymoney…MAH-NAY…”) by the time they go to kindergarten, they’re losers in my eyes. Yes, my son can say the alphabet and count to 10 in three different languages (and no, one of them isn’t Pig Latin) and sing the National Anthems of two different countries, but if he doesn’t know that SportsCenter comes on at 8 and 11 p.m., what good is he?

I swear, if either of my kids grows up to be one of those assclowns who doesn’t believe in watching television, they can kiss their inheritance goodbye.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I Have Seen The Depths Of Hell And They Look Like The Inside Of A Bean And Cheese Burrito

I have a daughter.

Her name is Barney’s Biggest Fan.

She’ll be two next month.

She is sweet and cute and when she wants to know what I’m doing she walks up to me, puts her teeny little hand on my leg and says, “Danny. Dooween?”

Until last weekend, she was allergic to peanuts, dairy products and eggs. The doctor called this weekend and said her blood test revealed that her allergies have essentially vanished.

Last night, for the first time, she drank a sippy cup full of milk.

This morning she came to visit me in the bathroom and her ass smelled like a vat of spoiled cottage cheese on a 100-degree afternoon in Death Valley. She needed a diaper change and quick, before the paint on the walls started to bubble and peel.

[I want to digress here for a moment to tell you about the most disgusting thing I had ever seen before this morning. When I was in college, I took an environmental science course that mandated a visit to the nearby waste water treatment facility. In the middle of the tour, we were led up a concrete staircase to a viewing platform overlooking a 300-yard-long, 20-feet-deep lake of shit, piss, used condoms, discarded tampons, dead goldfish, soiled toilet paper, foam, vomit, Q-Tips and countless other unmentionables. According to our docent, when residents of this particular city flush something down the toilet, it comes here, to the Great Shit Lake. The aptly named “waste water” is then treated and recycled and the detritus is presumably packaged and shipped to McDonalds, where it is ground up with underperforming drive-thru associates and shaped into little McSausage patties and chicken nuggets.]

I carried Barney’s Biggest Fan from the bathroom to her bedroom with my hands outstretched as far from my body as possible. When I unzipped her lavender footie pajamas, a wave of hot toddler stench nearly knocked me backwards. As I steadied myself, I imagined that first few gulps of milk as it churned through my little baby girl’s guts, festering and souring, producing a foul chemical reaction in her belly and the rank fumes I was breathing.

But I am an experienced parent. I have changed literally hundreds of dirty diapers. And I know that any crap that smells this bad has the power to incapacitate those within a two-mile radius when the velcro straps on the diaper are undone. I girded myself, tried to breathe through my mouth and prepared to witness a new level of excretory hell.

When I peeled back her Minnie Mouse Huggies, Barney’s Biggest Fan laughed. I don’t know if she was laughing because she was proud of herself or if she was reacting to the “Grungnf” sound I made when I saw what she’d spawned. The entire inner surface of the diaper was smeared with a pungent, inch-thick wad of runny, brown nastiness that reminded me of the filling in those rank 7-11 bean and cheese burritos. Steam rose from the diaper, and embedded within the smear were three whole cranberries, the only survivors of the accident.

Evidently, dairy products are to my daughter’s digestive system what Mork From Ork was to the cast of Happy Days --- an unwelcome irritant that spreads havoc and destruction through the whole area. And we haven’t even introduced eggs or peanuts yet. I imagine that when we do, Barney’s Biggest Fan will sprout horns on her head and shoot fire from her cute little ass and demand a personal audience with Barney for her second birthday party. And then I’ll be forced to tell her the sad truth, which is that Barney lives deep in the Great Shit Lake and eats little girls for breakfast, especially those who haven’t yet learned to deposit their disgusting, milk-fueled devil shits in the toilet like normal people.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Danny’s Guide To Personal Grooming and Fashion

I was walking out of the supermarket near my office this morning when I passed a woman who had committed the mortal sin of leaving for work without drying her shoulder-length hair. Her head was covered in a matted mop of wet, curly blackness that bore striking resemblance to the pubic hair of a late 1970s porn king after an especially squishy romp on a leopard-skin loveseat with a top-heavy, coked-out starlet.

Now, don’t get all upset and accuse me of being the possessor of a wandering eye. I am not in the habit of closely examining the personal grooming habits of strange women, but this pube-headed goober’s Monday morning faux pas was thrust in my face. How can you NOT notice something like that? It’s like being kicked in the nards with a steel-toed cowboy boot. There are just certain things that should and should not be done when it comes to personal grooming.

1. If you are going to wear open-toed shoes, kindly sand back your toenails so they don’t protrude past the front rim of your flip-flops, pumps or Birkenstocks. Nobody wants to see your Gail-Devers-ass toenail daggers or see the sparks that fly backward every time you drag one of your Neanderthalic, two-inch-thick paws across the concrete when you walk (even if they’re painted Sassy Ass pink and decorated with little white flowers --- which, by the way, makes your feet look like a piece of wallpaper from the China Palace bathroom).

2. Perfume is nice when it’s a squirt or two on your neck, but those of you who douse yourselves with so much potpourri-scented pisswater that you make yourselves smell like the linen closet of an octogenarian are doing serious damage to both the ozone layer and the septums of the men you try to seduce. Christ, some of you smell like my parents’ Maltese does when it comes back from the dog groomers.

3. What’s the deal with mascara that leaves big old globules of black soot on your lashes? Some of you look like you have aphids crawling up your face. Do you have any idea how distracting it is to ask a female coworker about when she might have the TPS reports done only to see her stop mid-sentence in her reply to fish a piece of hardened mascara the size of a peach pit out of her left eye?

4. This just in: we can see the cavernous crevices under your caked-up on makeup. We know you had a big zit on your chin because you ate half a pint of Chunky Monkey and in a fit of rage and fear, you picked at it until it popped a wad of white zit goo all down your face. Big whup. It happens to us, too. Save yourself the money and the trouble of smearing that ashen slop all over your face and just tell us about the sound it made – “Squirtsch!” – when you popped it. It’s a great conversation starter.

5. If you want to wear a g-string, fine. If you want to let it peak out from the waistline of your pants, have at it. But please don’t let it hike so far up your back that men are forced to imagine that the underwear is so far up your ass that if you yawn, we might be able to see it wrapped around your uvula.

6. If you want to ask us about the kind of car seat we purchased for our children, please remove the Crest White Strips from your Cheerios-box-yellow grill first.

7. If you’re going to wear a mini-skirt, please also remember to shave the back of your legs, where your hamstrings are. Nothing like walking behind a woman who looks like a runway model in the front and The Bride of Sasquatch in the back.

8. If you can fit a two-liter bottle of Pepsi between your tits, please wear a bra with that shirt. Nobody wants to see your droopy, disgusting primate tits two inches from your waistline, cavewoman. And we certainly don’t want to see your hairy, dinner-plate-sized nipples peaking through the weathered “Porn Star” shirt you’ve tragically elected to wear to work on Dress-Down Friday.

9. Whatever the reason may be that you choose to break the air-tight seal between your dentures and your top gums and force the fake choppers outward with your tongue, please make sure that your mouth-breathing doesn’t produce a high-pitched whistle that distracts your coworkers.

10. Got a hickey? Wear a turtleneck. Nobody wants to have to imagine what you and your crack-showing, donut-eating IT boyfriend do in your own time, especially if it means that he sucks the Cheetos crumbs off of your neck with such ferocity that it leaves a bruised welt in the sh

Sunday, February 13, 2005

All Up In Walt’s Ass

One of the great, underrated joys of living in Southern California is the semi-regular opportunity it presents to interact with disciples of The Church of Disney, a cult-like congregation of “cast members” past and present who are likely to disembowel and consume the remains of any non-believer sinful enough to believe that “The Little Mermaid 6: Ariel Makes That Little Lobster Her Deep Sea Sex Slave” went straight to video because mainstream theatres would rather show a Wilford Brimley film festival than that animated swill. There is no gray when you’re a Disneyophile --- anything associated with the mouse or the theme park or the cable channel is mind-blowing, off-the-charts genius.

I know a handful of people who have worked for Disney --- one who worked in the corporate environs and one who was employed at Disneyland, presumably mopping up the snow-cone-colored vomit of park patrons who evicted their $8 corn dogs all over Main Street after a particularly bumpy trek through Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. In both cases, despite the fact that their respective tenures with Disney ended over a decade ago, there are incessant references made to Disney as the model by which all other brands and animation studios and employers should be judged. It’s as if anyone who ever signed a W-2 there has a fresh shot of Disney Kool-Aid waiting on his front porch each morning, right there next to the Orange County Register, the mud-covered Welcome matt and the stinky, corroded flip flops that don’t dare enter the home, lest they shower their toe-jammy stench all over the Goofy-and-Donald-playing-Pinochle throw rug in the entryway.

When I worked in advertising, I remember hearing one particular Disney cult member describe in glowing terms the Disneyland strategy of posting signs at various rides that overstate the amount of time visitors would have to wait. If the sign outside Space Mountain said “30 minutes from this point” and the wait was only 15, Disney had made a miracle happen by making people actually feel good about waiting 15 minutes. Funny, he never said anything about how that goodwill came crashing back to earth when the same patron had to pay $173 for two plates of cold, congealed fried chicken, leaden mashed potatoes, two Cokes and a piece of ass-cheese-flavored cheesecake at The Mad Hatter’s Hideaway in Tomorrowland. Fuckers.

I was shopping at the mall with Left-Handed, Power-Hitting Son this weekend when he predictably wandered into The Disney Store, a satellite supplier of Disney propaganda, overpriced merchandise and little plastic tchotchkes bearing the likenesses of Rollie Pollie Olie and Buzz Lightyear and the aforementioned undersea mermaid with the loose morals. I obliged the boy and sure enough he found a pair of underpants baring the likeness of the little blonde kid from The Incredibles (and let’s not even discuss how I feel about my son having pictures of a boy on his skivvies), and he absolutely HAD to have them. To avoid a scene, I obliged him and we trotted to the register with his new Dash butthuggers (and I have set the over-under on this garment being smeared with unwiped poop from his ass at four days).

Behind the register stood a sloth who embodies all things Disney: early 40s, overweight, pocked with acne and random, thick-gauge hairs in places where women don’t normally have hair (see: moustache, beard, ear bush), and enough Disney-themed pins and buttons on her suspenders to add a good 40 pounds to her already hefty upper body.

“Hi, welcome to The Disney Shtore,” she says, her speech slurred by a heavy lateral lisp and a build-up of thick white mouth smegma in the corners of her lips.. “Will thish be all for you today?”

“Yes, that’s it.”

“Would you like to shign up for our Disney Shavers Club and resheive an addition 15% off your purchash?”

“No. No thank you.”

“Are you sure? You’ll also get dishcounts off of cool Disney shpecialsh like admission to Disneyland and membersh-only merchandishe.”

“I’m sure. Just the underwear, ma’am.”

“Are these for you, little Mousheketeer?” she asks my son, folding the undies in that nice little trifold that only retail clothing experts can reproduce. My son says nothing. He merely hugs my right leg, partially hiding behind it. He is petrified.

She continues.

“I love The Incredibles, don’t you? I think it’sh some of the besht animation we’ve done since The Jungle Book 14: Mogley Getsh Busted For Shtealing Cigarettesh.” My favorite schene is the one where Mr. Ice hash to go help The Incredibles and he shaysh, ‘Honey, where is my shupershuit?’ Washn’t that hilarioush?”

“Yeah. Hilarious.”

A line is forming behind us and I pray to God and Walt Disney and all of those kinds of guys that no one I know is in the queue. They may think that I have said something to indulge this behemoth weirdo, and perhaps that I too am a disciple of The Church of Disney. I am not. I am merely a man who wants to get these underpants purchased so my son can get them home and poop in them.

“Oh! That remindsh me,” she says, “would you like to preorder your copy of The Incredibles on DVD?”

“No.”

“Are you shure?”

“Honey, here’s what I’m sure of. I’m sure that you are scaring the shit out of my son. I’m sure that there is so much of that white build-up in the corners of your mouth that if you were a shih-tzu they’d test you for rabies and distemper and probably euthanize you. And I’m sure that of all of the tweaked, pathetic Disney low-lifes I have ever met, none of them has had a better Tom Selleck porn star moustache than you. I am also sure that if you don’t swipe my Visa card right now so I can conclude this purchase, my son and I are going to strip naked, light our hair on fire and run screaming from this store.

[Deep breath.]

“Furthermore, I don’t want to be in your little Disney Rewards club and I don’t want to preorder any stupid DVDs and I don’t want to hear your lame-ass Samuel L. Jackson impression --- which, by the way, sounds more like Carol Channing than Mr. Ice. Simply hand me my son’s underpants and let’s get this over with, shishter.”

The Disney sloth didn’t miss a beat. She leaned over and asked my son, “Is your daddy always this grumpy?”

“No,” my son said. “Are you always this ugly?”

And a little tear ran down my face. My little boy is becoming a man.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Show Me A Batshit Asshat And I'll Show You A Shit-Eating Cockmaster

I once read that psychologists believe people swear out of a need to feel empowered and in control, but I think that’s bullshit. I swear because it feels good. It’s fun. I’m good at it. And sometimes calling a person rude or narcissistic or misguided doesn’t do justice to his shortcomings the way calling him a shit-eating cockmaster does. It’s a matter of accuracy, not empowerment.

The first cursing I ever remember hearing came from the mouth of my father. It was, as so much cursing is, inspired by a traffic altercation. We were pulling into the parking lot of the Simi 4 Deli when some ditsy bimbo in a wood-paneled yellow station wagon cut in front of us and nearly wrecked our shit brown Ford Granada. My dad, a man you don’t want to piss off, rolled down his window and lit that bitch up, rattling off a prolific string of expletives that forced my mother to cover her ears and my sister and me to giggle uncontrollably in the back seat. That experience was an awakening for me that I put on par with the first time I saw bare breasts.

And so began my life in profanity.

From time to time I call my sister and try out new curse words on her. We’ll talk about the usual gossip and family news and then I’ll say, “OK, I think I have to go now, you fuck-knocker.” If she laughs, that new word goes into everyday rotation. If not, the word goes down the drain the way “shit monkey” and “dickmunch” and “assclown” did.

Certain words are bona fide staples in my profane vocabulary --- words like “batshit” and “asshat” and the reliable “cocksucker.” It’s important to use these words in the proper application. Some are nouns, some are adjectives. You don’t want to call someone a batshit because that’s an adjective and calling them that would be like calling them a moist or a magenta. Therein lies the slippery slope of swearing: use the word correctly or you might sound like an assclown.

Some of the people who read Human Writes have told me they recommend the site to their friends only after warning them that the content is “a little raw.” I take offense to that. It’s not raw. This is how people talk, especially when they’re mad or oppressed or under the influence of near-fatal doses of drive-thru chow. And people always ask me if I talk like this in front of my children. The answer, of course, is yes. “For the fourth time, get in the motherfucking bathtub, shit-for-brains.” “No, dear, you may not watch Barney again because he is a cocksucking purple dipshit.” And so on.

I by no means believe I am alone in my adherence to this strict moral code of cursing. To prove my point, I would like you all to answer the following questions when you leave a comment this weekend:

1. What is your favorite curse word?
2. Please use your answer to No. 1 in a sentence.
3. Invent a new curse word right now and put it here.
4. Without naming names, say something profane about someone you don’t like.
5. Describe a time when you cursed when you shouldn’t have (e.g., in front of your children or your parents).
6. Describe yourself in a sentence using at least one dirty word.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Turns Out You Don’t Have To Butcher The Word “Nuclear” To Succeed in Politics

I’m not generally the type who likes to get involved in political or civic causes, but last night I found myself standing before the city traffic commission, turning my sweaty palms to the sky and pleading with the five elderly men on the dais to install a four-way stop at the intersection leading into and out of Evans World Headquarters before our minivan gets t-boned by an oncoming F-150 and I am forced to eat my next birthday cake through a straw and shit it out into a bag attached to the back of my motorized wheelchair, a la that really smart science guy, something-or-other Hawking.

Whatever I said worked because the old guys were all yeah I think that intersection really needs a four-way stop so do I hear a motion to accept the resolution and I go yeah I’ve got your motion right here and the chairman of the commission was all no sir someone on the commission needs to make the motion, which they did, and then it was seconded and just like that I get to eat my cake with a fork. Phew.

Speaking of a piece of cake, that’s what politics is. I never had to say the word “noo-kee-lur” or stick a Cohiba into an intern’s coochie or have myself burned in effigy by angry foreigners chanting “Danny, Boom-Bah-Yeh! Danny, Boom-Bah-Yeh!” (Whatever that means.) All I had to do was show up. Given the ease with which I got this stop sign put in, I’ve started to pen a list of the causes I will be tackling next in my mission to adjust the world to suit my own preferences and comfort zone.

1) I would like someone to find a cure for lactose intolerance. I love ice cream but every time I eat it my insides turn to water, my gas smells like the rotting carcass of a wooly mammoth, my face breaks out like the kids from Hanson, my belly cramps and I have to wear running shoes with my Dockers (which looks totally lame) because I may have to sprint to the bathroom with my hand over my ass at a moment’s notice.

2) I would like to make it a federal regulation that all men’s bathroom stalls be stocked with a sports page, the current issues of Playboy, Hustler, Swank, Oui, Juggs and Leg Show, a PlayStation, a container of lotion, a small fridge stocked with beer and a television with a cable hook-up. Anyone who thinks we go in there just to defecate is kidding herself.

3) I would like to make it a crime for a woman to walk around the office with her shoes off unless she also removes her blouse.

4) The government seems to be big on launching this big cultural awareness campaigns, propagating messages about the dangers of smoking and drug use and hating people based on their ethnicity. I would like to support the launch of a campaign geared toward changing the nation’s reaction to nose picking. My independent survey indicates that virtually everyone does it, so why is it ridiculed? I want the country to jump on board with me and rally behind our new slogan: It’s Hip To Pick.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

My Daughter Thinks I’m Gay (Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That)

There are two disturbing trends in my otherwise-perfect daughter’s speech development:

1) She has some kind of mental block that prevents her from calling me “daddy.” She calls me “Danny” instead. I am aware of the fact that that is my name, but I don’t expect that kind of formal reference until she’s entered college and learned how much fun it is to subvert authority wherever possible.

2) She has not yet learned to pronounce the “L” sound. When she wants to say a word with that sound embedded within it, it is her common practice to drop the “L” altogether. For example, she says the word “butterfly” like this: “Fuhfy.” Interestingly, that’s also how she asks for french fries --- “fuhfies, Danny” --- but if Hot Wife knew I fed our child McPoison like that she’d kill me, so let us never speak of this again.

The other day while we were driving to the gym, the convergence of these two speech irregularities bore catastrophic consequences. My daughter saw a large American flag flying from a pole in front of a large bank building. She said this:

“Danny! Fag! Fag, Danny!”

“Honey,” I say, forcing calm, “daddy is not a fag. And we don’t call people names. It’s not nice.”

“Fag, Danny! Fag!”

“What did I just say, baby? Name-calling is not nice and even though daddy is not gay, there’s nothing wrong with being homosexual. Do you understand?”

“Sorry, Danny.”

“Thank you, sweetheart.”

[A pause.]

“Danny?”

“Yes?”

“Fag! Pretty!”

I roll my eyes, conceding defeat.

“Thank you, honey. I think you’re pretty, too.”

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Penis, The Home Version

When I was in my early teens, I was introduced at summer camp to a game called “Penis.”

The game is simple. A group of people stands in a circle. Whoever elects to go first says the word “penis” as softly as he or she can. The next person says it a little bit louder. And so on. The first person to laugh loses and must step out of the circle. After that, the game begins again. The last person standing wins. (When I grew older, I learned a drinking game variation on “Penis” --- the first person who laughs must take a shot.)

The great thing about “Penis” is the sight of someone yelling “peeeeeeennniiiiiissss!” at the top of his or her lungs (and when you’re 14, hearing a girl even say that word is enough to turn your Jordache jeans into floods) (if you know what I mean) (and by that I mean it gives you a huge boner) (or as huge as a boner can be when you’re 14) (which in my case was about the size of a AA battery) (but still) (and can we just stop here for a sec to appreciate the splendor and phonetic beauty of the word “boner”) (just try to say that word without smiling) (and by that logic, I guess the game “Penis” could also be the game “Boner” or the game “Vagina” or the game “Labia Majora”).

As I became more adept at stifling my amusement at the word “penis,” I became a bit of a showboat during our regular games. I’d mix in adjectives and verbs and occasionally hand gestures. For example:

• Big fucking penis
• Purple-headed hairy penis
• Huge erect penis and a furry ballsack to match
• Massive vein-covered penis with a hairy wart on the bottom of it

Yep, I was the Michael Jordan of “Penis” (and by that I don’t mean that I have a penis like Michael’s (which I wouldn’t know because I’ve never seen Michael’s unit, although I assume it was, you know, nice) but that I was the greatest to ever play the game and everyone knew it).

Monday, February 07, 2005

I Don’t Want To Eat Anything Other Than What I’ve Been Trying To Eat Lately

My daughter, Barney’s Biggest Fan, has lived the first 23 months of her life with allergies to peanuts, dairy products, eggs and soy. For those of you playing at home, that means she has never experienced the tender kiss of crunchy peanut butter or Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or Ovaltine or any of the other staples to which no less a document than the Constitution of the United Fucking States of America declares to be the inalienable rights of every almost two year old girl in the country, even the ones who care more about some former cheerleader in a purple dinosaur costume than, say, walking around the house with boogers crusted to her face.

At her most recent trip to her allergist, it appeared to the doctor that my daughter had outgrown her food allergies. Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure is to subject the child to a blood test, so Hot Wife called me and begged me to take two hours out of my very, very, very important and insanely busy blog-writing schedule to join her at the lab for the blood test, the first my daughter has ever been treated to.

We entered the slaughterhouse this morning and my wife said to the women, “Um, just so you know, she has this thing where sometimes she cries so hard that she passes out. So if that happens don’t worry because she starts breathing again right after she passes out. M’kay?”

The phlebotomist’s face turned ashen. “Um, OK…” she said. [Note to Hot Wife: the next time one of our children is going to go under the needle, let me do the talking. Love you, honey.]

The nurse started fishing around for a vein, poking my precious little girl with her Lee Press-On Nails and saying hurtful, insensitive things like, “My, she does have small veins, doesn’t she?” Newsflash, you smarmy bitch: she’s not even two. It’ll be 40 years and 16 cases of Twinkies before she has the big, cholesterol-smeared garden hoses you have running through your scaley arms. Now can we please just get this over with so I can get back to my office and write to the whole Internet about how fucking mean you are?

Naturally, my daughter had no idea what was happening. All she knew is that she was sitting on my lap with a piece of surgical tubing tied around her arm, a woman was rubbing the inside of her elbow with a stinky alcohol swab, her mommy was distracting her with stickers and Care Bear dolls, her father was promising that everything was OK (liar!), and then --- whamo! --- the crazy bitch with the blue scrubs on was thrusting the business end of a bayonet into her arm.

To stem her crying, I tried to explain to my daughter that the red stuff pouring out her was going to tell us whether she could eat peanut butter and ice cream. [Note to me: don’t try to reason with little kids when they’re giving blood. They don’t give a shit. Let Hot Wife do the talking.] Then I started singing Barney songs to her, which worked for, oh, three-quarters of a second, at which time she looked down and saw herself melting into a blood vile and started wailing again. It was like she was telling us she’d rather drink rice milk for the rest of her life than be subjected to this torture.

When it was over, the evil nurse put a cotton ball and a Bugs Bunny Band-Aid on my little baby’s arm…but no toy. I saw red.

“Wait a second, honey,” I said to the Twinkie vein lady. “My kid just gave you her blood and you don’t even have a little Barney sticker or a Mr. Tooth coloring book for her? What kind of joint are you running here?”

She tried to sling some stupid comeback about this not being Chuck E. Cheese, but I wasn’t having any of it. In six months, after my daughter has started eating ice cream only to discover that she is lactose intolerant like her daddy, we’re going to take one of her lactose-induced diarrhea diapers to that lab, set it on the doorstep, light it on fire and run like the wind. As we sprint back to the minivan and haul ass away from the burning pile, I’ll explain to my daughter that she should never let anyone fuck with her.

Dipping

I went to college in Fresno, the raisin capitol of the world. Fresno rises up from the flat, agricultural badlands of Central California in a miasma of eyeglass-fogging cow shit, throat-searing Pabst Blue Ribbon burps and anus-torching welfare cheese farts. The city is enveloped by the pungent aroma of fresh animal dung steaming under the San Joaquin Valley sun, fostering a dire, depressed environment where the Klan still somehow feels welcome to prance around town in their long white dresses and dunce caps, denouncing Jews and African-Americans and homosexuals and Asian-Americans as second-class citizens. (Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen grown, ignorant men hopped up on crystal meth, walking down the street dressed as ghosts, claiming to be the leaders of God’s chosen race. If God were an unemployed forklift driver who sat around the trailer drinking generic-label tequila, watching NASCAR on pirated cable TV and wearing a snot-stained undershirt, these people might be right about that chosen people bullshit.)

Living in Fresno is an exercise in amateur anesthesiology. To pass the time until graduation, my buddies and I imbibed quite an array of foreign substances to make ourselves forget where we were. We ate pork rinds. We smoked clove cigarettes and, occasionally, pot. We chose from a selection of beers that the liquor store across Shaw Avenue from the dorms sold for $4.99-a-12-pack --- Natural Light, Meister Brau, Old Milwaukee and the inimitable Pabst. After your fifth or sixth can, you no longer cared that the stuff tasted like monkey piss.

Put the one indulgence I remember most fondly from my college days was chewing tobacco. Every Wednesday night was “Family Night” in Graves Hall, a mid-week celebration whereupon we drank beer, ate Domino’s pizza, watched porn and chomped on what we called the Graves Hall Combo: a big fistful of Beech Nut chewing tobacco wrapped around a wad of Big League Chew bubble gum. The first time I tried it, I nearly puked. The second time, I copped a healthy buzz. And from there, it was smooth sailing. I enjoyed it immensely, but I never had the courage to bring the tradition home with me to Southern California. Civilized people don’t do things like that and, as the saying goes, what happens in Fresno stays in Fresno.

I left Fresno 12 years ago this spring and have never been back. During that span, chewing tobacco has never touched my gums again. But yesterday, while watching the Super Bowl with my neighbors, Jeff The Yankee Fan pulled a tin of cherry flavored Skoal from his pocket and put a huge pinch in the left side of his mouth. Jeff is a Little League baseball coach. He has a big, bush goatee and ends each sentence with the word “brother,” a la Hulk Hogan, the wrestler.

“Hey, Jeff,” I said.

“Yeah, brother?”

“Lemme see that Skoal.”

“Right on, brother.”

He hands me the tin. I open it and take a big whiff. It doesn’t smell good at all --- imagine a combination of cherry flavored cough medicine and a pile of wet leaves --- but I’m curious. I take a small pinch and tuck it into the front of my mouth, between my cheek and my teeth.

The first thing I remember is the spit. When we used to “dip” in Fresno, we’d spit into an empty Diet Coke can (because if you swallow the saliva chewing tobacco produces, you’ll puke your guts out). Once, my dorm buddy, Bill, who used to brag to the girls that he shaved his pubes, mistook his spit can for a half-full can of soda and drank it. I’ve never laughed that hard again.

Jeff The Yankee Fan and I stood outside our neighbor’s garage, talking, spitting, watching the game, spitting, throwing a football, spitting. It was paradise.

In the second half of the game, Hot Wife walked over to where we were watching the game to say hello. We were talking and for some reason I simply cannot explain, I peeled back my bottom lip to reveal the moist, black blob of Cherry Skoal to her. The looked that washed over her face was a mixture of shock, horror, disgust and disappointment. She winced. Her mouth dropped open. And she said, “Is that chewing tobacco? Guh-ross!”

Jeff The Yankee Fan saw her expression and said, “Ohhp! You’re in trouble now, brother.”

And there ended my trip down memory lane.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Intersection 2: The Sequel. You’d Be Crazy Not To Read This.

One of the great things about recovering from a mental illness is the semi-regular opportunity one has to sit in the psychiatrist’s waiting room and try to deduce whether the other patients are more or less batshit than you are.

It’s fun because it’s simply not the kind of game people with other illnesses and ailments play. Would a man waiting to see his cardiologist scan the waiting room, wondering if perhaps the old guy across the room reading the four-month-old issue of Auto Upholstery Weekly has a more life-threatening aortal blockage than his? Do women waiting for their electrolysis appointment try to see if the other ladies in the room have fuller moustaches? Of course not. It’s just not done. But when you’re a looney, it’s somehow a comfort to know (or at least believe) that there are others in the room who are worse off that you (sort of the opposite of penis envy).

The first time I ever walked into to a psychiatrist’s office, I expected to find people banging their heads against the drywall or drooling all over the pages of Highlights For Children or quoting Jack Nicholson to the receptionist: “PUT YOUR HAND IN THE AIR, CHIEF! DON’T YOU WANT TO WATCH THE GAME, CHIEF?” But it wasn’t like that at all, and part of me was disappointed. In fact, the only real crazy person I saw that day was the psychiatrist himself --- a balding, sweater-wearing old man with a thousand-mile stare who talked in barely audible whispers and appeared to be simultaneously under the influence of a valium, Milk of Magnesia and Grey Goose. Needless to say, I found a new psychiatrist.

The new guy is of Middle Eastern descent and his receptionist has huge breasts. She speaks to me very nicely, in a practiced, polished, professional tone that seems to say, “If you’re severely disturbed and homicidal, I hope that my sexy voice and this up-close view of my enormous cans will convince you to walk away and kill someone besides me.” The waiting room is bright and spacious and loaded with pamphlets about antidepressants that contain happy, supportive phrases like “not feeling yourself lately” and “get back to being you.” This doctor, whom we’ll call Dr. Pakistan, seems to attract a more affluent mix of crazies and in the half-dozen times I’ve been there over the years, I always have a good time deconstructing the white-collar psychos and projecting various ailments and lifestyles onto them. It makes me feel better about myself to imagine that they are, in fact, certifiably wacko.

There’s a woman sitting next to the magazine rack. See her? She’s here seeking treatment for a unique kind of behavioral disorder --- the kind where anytime someone says the word “chicken,” she stands up, tucks her hands under her armpits like wings and begins to cluck. “Buh-kawk! Buk-buk-buh-kawk!” Such a sad, misunderstood woman. Dr. Pakistan’s Prescription: 95,000 mg. of Wellbutrin before bedtime (may be taken with or without food) and for God’s sake, stay away from all Kentucky Fried Chicken locations.

Oh, and see that man over there by the window? He’s here because he has trouble with childhood memories of his father, the kind of man most would describe as an overzealous Little League dad. He was pushed so relentlessly by his father to excel at baseball that he came to believe this was the only way he could earn his dad’s love. The man is in his late 40s now. His father died over a decade ago, but the man still walks around wearing a batting helmet. He had thick black lines tattooed under his eyes. And whenever he gets nervous, he begins to chant “Hey, batter, batter, batter. Hey, batter, batter, batter. Swing!” over and over again. Naturally, these issues have had decidedly negative affect on the man’s love life and his work as a librarian. Dr. Pakistan’s Prescription: 600 mg. of Zoloft eight times a day and start rooting for the Chicago Cubs (which would break just about any baseball fan’s enthusiasm for the game in no time flat).

And then there’s the man who is in with Dr. Pakistan right now, a man who likes to curse and make funny noises so much that he pretends to have Tourette’s Syndrome just so he has an excuse. Before he went in to see the doctor, he was sitting here looking for nudity in the January issue of Cosmopolitan, going, “Woop! Fuck it! Click. Click. You’re an asshole. ASSHOLE! Wooooooop! Fuck it!” It’s a nice show, but it gets a little old after 15 minutes. So now he’s in there with the doctor and I can hear his antics through the door. Dr. Pakistan’s Prescription: For starters, SHUT THE FUCK UP!

See? I’m not so crazy after all.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Are You Sitting Down?

OK, whoa. Hold the phone. What the fuck was that all about? You turn around for one second and I get all maudlin on your asses, talking about craziness and psychotropic meds and cute little babies sleeping in their mommy’s arms. You don’t come here for that. You come here for frank, honest, death-defyingly graphic discussion of projectile bodily fluids. So sorry. I now return you to your regularly scheduled hijinx and obscenity.

As a token of my genuine remorse for sidetracking us from the matter at hand (namely, colorful stories about gastrointestinal distress), I am prepared to reveal one of my most closely held secrets:

Sometimes I pee sitting down.

I know this is standard operating procedure for you fine ladies out there, but for men it is the excretory equivalent of putting your pants on over your head --- it’s just not the way we do things. God gave us these little hangie-down parts in the front of our bodies so that we could urinate while standing. We have the luxury of being able to scratch our ass and pee simultaneously. So why would someone purposely turn a cold shoulder to that capability?

In my case, it is usually related to a common condition known as “morning dick.” When a man has spent his dozing hours dreaming of his wife, a tarpaulin and an industrial-sized container of Cool Whip, it serves to figure that he will wake up with a kickstand. Generally speaking, he is not at full attention, but his hog is sufficiently alert and unpliable so as to make the simple act of urinating an exercise in futility. Any man who has ever tried to pee standing up with morning dick is in a position to describe one or more of the following scenarios:

1) He peed in his own eye.
2) He peed on his feet.
3) He peed at a sharp 90-degree angle, soaking the toilet paper roll hanging on the wall.
4) His pee shot over the toilet seat, over the tank and on to the framed, black-and-white photo of Paris in the springtime, redefining the French term “Eau de Toilette.”
5) He failed to muster the strength to pee at all (since peeing with even a partial a boner is like trying to shove a jar of Miracle Whip into your asshole).

Therefore, lest he spend his morning sponging his own urine from the walls of his bathroom, sometimes a man’s only recourse is to swallow his pride, sit his freshly rustled ass on the toilet seat (making sure to tuck his Johnson under the seat and aim the business end due south) and pee like a woman.

It is my own contention that the unwillingness of most men to follow this simple strategy is why the floors of most of the men’s rooms in bars and nightclubs are soaked with Coors Light piss. Guys are out there dancing, drinking, rubbing up against pretty women and getting all horny. Then they go in to take a leak, drunk and in ensconced in the male version of estrus, and there pee-pee make a sharp left turn at the urinal and ends up filling in the honeycombed-shaped holes in the rubber mat at their feet.

And why do you think the guys on Happy Days were always telling each other to “sit on it?” Could have been that Potsie and the Fonz were too horny and self-absorbed to take their business into a stall, preferring instead to shower the Arnold’s men’s room in their piss? One has his suspicions.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Intersection

Tonight I saw a man wandering aimlessly through a busy intersection. He was wearing filthy gray sweatpants and a weathered t-shirt, no shoes, and the thousand-mile stare of someone in severe psychological and emotional peril. He had nowhere to go, no idea where he was going and presumably no one to go to.

There was a time not long ago when I would have scowled at such a pathetic character, sneering him off as a nuisance impeding the flow of traffic and getting in the way of my very, very important life. I had no time for compassion; I would have forgotten him by the time I reached the next intersection and never thought of him again. But that is not the case any longer.

Almost six years ago, the advertising agency for which I worked succumbed to the dot-bomb. I had an infant son, a mortgage and a suddenly very fragile belief in myself. I spent the better part of 2000 trying to find gainful employment again, but to no avail. Eventually, the stress and pressure swallowed me up and I was diagnosed with clinical depression. There is no greater blow to one’s ego, no faster ride to the bottom than the moment someone tells you you have a mental health problem and hands you a prescription for Zoloft.

I remember the fear. I had no idea what depression meant. I assumed I was a pussy, that I was somehow deficient or unprepared. I was mortified, and I held my diagnosis close to the vest. I didn’t need the judgmental people I knew holding this against me, believing (as I did) that depression was merely a window into a deeper, more compromising imperfection in my brain or my character or my ability to function any longer in the real world. Would the pitfalls and disappointments of everyday life present challenges I was no longer fit to confront? Would I freak out? Could people see it on my face? It was uncharted territory for all of us and none of us had any answers.

There were times during my depression when I genuinely feared that I would spend the rest of my days in a psych ward (although I have never seen the inside of one and according to virtually every analysis I heard, my case was mild). I feared that I wouldn’t be able to watch my child grow up. I feared that my wife would be relegated to raising our child by herself. And I feared that I would end up like the man I saw hobbling through the intersection tonight --- alone, adrift, oblivious. Those feelings and nightmares were worse than any physical symptom.

But I was fortunate. I had health insurance. I had a home. I had money to pay for the drugs I needed. I had a child who gave me reason to persevere through the sadness and lethargy and the lowest lows I have ever known. I had a wife who gracefully juggled the very ominous trifecta of raising an infant son, bringing in money to pay the bills and nursing me back to good health. I don’t know how she did it and I have never found the words to adequately articulate my gratitude to her for that. I don’t know that I ever will.

I ultimately found my way back to normal (whatever that means), got a job and started rebuilding myself brick by brick. Then at about this time last year, it happened again. And again I found the same motivations to chug through the exhausting task of recovery --- my wife and my children and, to a certain extent, the weak-bladdered dog who inspires me to go to work each day so I can afford to replace the shag carpet she stains with her caustic urine.

Tonight, not two hours after I saw the man in the intersection, I saw my wife holding our baby daughter in her arms, singing her a lullaby. I watched my daughter’s eyes grow heavy as she fought sleep. It was the kind of moment that affirms one’s decision to persevere through the hard times. It was the kind of moment that erases from memory the dirty diapers and the vomit that looks and smells like blueberry yogurt and watching the same Barney video so many times that you find yourself humming “Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, Please Shine Down On Me” to yourself in the shower.

Still, I believe there is not such a drastic difference between the man in the intersection and the man at this keyboard. A lucky break here and there perhaps.

In Through The Out Door

My mother is a nurse, and for most of my youth her specialty was something called gastroenterology. In what was then quite a trailblazing medical field, her work involved sticking long, bendable probes --- most fitted with a tiny camera on the tip --- down people’s throats or up their assholes. These procedures gave doctors the power to see into the stomach, esophagus, colon, rectum and god-knows-what-else of the poor sons of bitches who had to endure the indignity of having their guts examined and the nightmarish possibility that someone mistakenly stuck the ass probe into their throat. Sometimes the doctors saw malignant polyps. Sometimes they saw esophageal erosion. And sometimes, presumably, they saw the as-yet-undigested remains of someone’s Denver omelet.

When the hospital where my mother worked expanded, we were invited to attend an open house, complete with syrupy red fruit punch and cookies plastered with colored sprinkles. My mother proudly gave us a tour of the unit in which she worked, and at some point I noticed a series of clear plastic jars sitting on a ledge near the window. I asked what they were and my mother told me matter-of-factly that they were foreign objects “rescued” from the bodies of patients over the years. The objects included:

• A yellow toothbrush
• A political campaign button
• A salami
• A quarter
• Enough produce to make a healthy salad (and with the aforementioned salami, we’d have the makings of an Anal Antipasti)
• A snow globe from the Swiss Alps
• A midget named Carl

Given that there would be children present, I assume the hospital brass made the wise decision to hide what I’m certain was an impressive stash of dildos, vibrators, butt plugs and sundry beaded accessories yanked from the poopers of sexual deviants who had waddled into the ER asking to speak to a nonjudgmental doctor. Still, I learned a valuable lesson that day and I’m moderately proud to report that I have never engaged in any manner of sexual hijinx that even remotely threatened to land me on a hospital gurney answering the question, “So, Mr. Evans, how exactly did the Louisville Slugger become lodged in your rectum?”

That said, there was one occasion when a foreign object did become stuck in my person. I was about six. I was playing in our front yard, by myself, and I found this really cool rock. It was tan, flecked with black dots and about the size of an unshelled almond. I remember inspecting it, admiring it. And then, for some reason I can’t explain, I was compelled to slide the stone into my right nostril. Don’t ask me why.

What followed were 15 of the most horrifying minutes of my life. As soon as the rock went in, I tried to get it out. I plugged my left nostril and exhaled forcefully, trying in vain to propel the rock from my nose. I put my finger on the top of my nose and ran it down the side of my right nostril, trying to slide the rock from the hole. I shook my head violently from side to side. But the rock wouldn’t budge.

I became panic-stricken, certain that the only way to dislodge the rock would be to slice my nose open. Furthermore, if my sister came out and saw me like this, she’d laugh harder than I did when our mom puked in her face. In my young life, there had never been a more horrifying moment than this.

I honestly don’t remember how I did it, but I finally extracted the rock from my nose. When I did, I exhaled a sigh of great relief and then chucked that little rock down the street as far as I could (lest it end up on display somewhere like a toothbrush or a shit-stained carrot). Then I ran inside and watched Bullwinkle.