Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hey Joe

Hey. Joe Montana. You played professional football for 16 years. I'm guessing you've got a little more in the bank than I do. So you know what? YOU save Ellis Island yourself, you old bastard.

p.s. - Where's my Kansas City Chiefs playoff win? Dick.

Monday, November 26, 2007

House Rules

I stayed at Matt's while he was in Barcelona for the holiday. I arrived in his home to find the following note:
There are a few things, just simple tasks, I would like you to take care of while you stay in my home. I have prepared a short list. Please put a checkmark next to items you have finished so I can inspect when I return.

1. Don't fucking order any movies. I will find out about them when I receive my bill.

2. Please put the mail on the blue chair in the living room. Don't fucking read my mail.

3. You can eat anything you want, but I would stay away from any dairy products you might find in my fridge.

4. You can use my bed, the sheets are clean. When I say use I mean it is a place in which you can sleep, NOT fuck. Or anything that might lead to fucking in other parts of my house. If you want to fuck, do it on the porch or in the garage like the thousands of cats that roam my neighborhood. It is OK to fuck in the shower.

5. NO fucking parties. A few friends only, you motherfucker.

6. If you see a mouse, fucking kill it.

7. My computer is not for porn. Got it, freak. Do not fucking masturbate to images you might see on my computer.

8. My pistol is in the nightstand next to the bed. Don't fucking touch it. I don't want to come home to find your or someone else's fucking brains all over the wall. There are exceptions to this rule all of which I am certain you can figure out on your own. I trust your judgement.

9. The rifle by the front door is for raccoons and those fucking Seventh Day Adventists. Watch your fucking back because they are all over the place. It is basically silenced so don't worry about attracting any attention. All corpses should be put in the crawl space in the basement next to the hookers I have murdered.

10. Don't turn on the fan in the computer room. It will knock my fucking house down.

11. HAVE FUCKING FUN. I'll be in Barcelona. How's that feel?
He sent some text messages while he was away, while I was wondering why he had an HDTV but no HDTV channels:

11/21 7:24 pm

I'm in Minnesota. Not a single person here remembers you.

11/22 5:47 am

I'm in Amsterdam. I want to use the restroom. I walk in. There are 15 or so dudes in also. I notice a woman with a mop cleaning between occupied urinals. Weird.

11/23 8:11 pm

It's after three. Just getting in. Too much fish.

11/24 3:09 pm

You need to come to Barcelona. Saturday night is fucking crazy. If I never see another Japanese person it would be fine with me.

11/24 3:19 pm

Why do blind people wear sunglasses? Seriously, why. I am not being an asshole. Just noticed that every blind person I have ever seen was wearing sunglasses

11/25 5:45 pm

So I got into an argument in the customs line. This guy called me an asshole because I passed him getting off the plane while he was putting his two coats on.

I simply stated that only a stupid piece of shit would spend five minutes putting on two coats when everybody was leaving the plane after we all stood there for twenty minutes.

And also it's not as if we were going outside and also he was just going to have to take them off to go through security. The girl next to me said, "Game, set, match," and we all laughed and I called him a stupid ass. Did I mention I was tired?

11/25 6:46 pm

I met a girl from Uruguay. I told her you would bone her sans condom.

11/26 8:52 am

...I came home to a dead mouse in the kitchen. I gave it the finger.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Amazing Racists

For the second consecutive Thanksgiving season, Tornado slide will be the premier a destinaton for holiday-weary souls to relate embarrassing, awful situations involving their racist relatives.

My readers are few, but the competition should prove tremendous. I believe three -- THREE! -- readers will be spending part of their holiday in Oklahoma, the home of casual racism. (That should be on the OK license plate: "The Home of Casual Racism".) A previous winning story originated in Oklahoma: years back, before the blog, Jack Serpentine heard an Oklahoman's describe Donovan McNabb as "a humble Negro"... and the Oklahoman MEANT IT AS A COMPLIMENT.

Post your horrific tales in the comments. Prizes will be awarded for both direct and latent racism.

Early Favorites

[NOTE: Shawn would be higher, but I'm not sure if he will be visiting his racist grandpa.]

Jack Serpentine / V (Oklahoma) - 3:2

My Cousin Brian (Oklahoma) - 1:2

Bag / Sarah (Oklahoma) - 1:3

Shawn (Grandpa) - 1:5

Corinne (Bumper-sticker-conservative father) - 1:20

Barbara (German father) - 1:25

Heavy Underdogs

Matt (in Spain, alone) - 1:1000

Dougal (in Britain, being British) - 1:5000

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dr Jarvik Reflects

LIPITOR and Dr. Jarvik
A personal commitment

Having watched his father succumb to heart disease, Dr. Robert Jarvik dedicated his life to studying the heart.

Hi. You may have recognized me from the television. I endorse Lipitor. My name is Robert Jarvik.

The good people at Pfizer called me up some time back, and they asked if I would be interested in appearing in some Lipitor advertisements.

I immediately jumped at the chance, because I knew all about Lipitor. See, I'm a heart doctor. And I don't if it's rude to say this, but I'm very famous. Well, not Shaq famous or anything, but as far as heart doctors go, I'm really famous. I'm the Shaq of cardiologists. Instead of dominating the painted area of the National Basketball Association, I dominate the chestal area of the torso. The heart. It's inside the ribcage. A lot of people assume it's just to the right of center, but I assure you that the heart is smack flush in the center of your chest. If you made a line between your nipples -- if your nipples aren't crooked -- the midpoint of that line is where your heart is.

Gosh, I'm rambling about the heart now, aren't I? I apologize. I get excited when I start talking about the heart -- the whole circulatory system, really. My fascination with this area of medicine is linked to a critical time in my life. My father died of heart disease.

I'd like to tell you that his battle with cholesterol inspired me to study medicine and Syracuse and NYU, but that's only a half-truth.

I was a suspect in my father's death. Dad was a real fatty, but the authorities couldn't dismiss the possibility of foul play. The cops never considered my mother to be a "person of interest" in his death. Who could ever think that about Mom? Everyone in town loved her so much -- they still do! She's a sweetheart.

As a cardiologist, I should clarify that the previous statement is not a literal one. "Sweetheart" just happens to be a term of endearment that, coincidentally, includes the organ that I love so much. I love hearts, and I love my mom. Do you want a literal statement? Here it is: My mother has a good heart -- worn a bit from age, but a decent physical specimen. Her heart health is good. She doesn't even have to take Lipitor! She'll probably die as a result of her brittle bones.

But back to my dad, and back to the circumstances of his murder investigation. The police believed that I killed my father. Why? I'm not an expert on criminal investigation -- as I stated before, my specialty is the heart, and veins and ateries and so forth -- but I do know that detective work all boils down to motive. Motive and alibis. Opportunity. Motive, alibi, opportunity, and profiling. A lot of people would throw in "CSI", but in truth, that is just a means to an end. In heart surgery, the "CSI" would be, like, a scalpel. A scalpel is a special knife thing that we doctors use. For cutting. No, "cutting" isn't the right word. Slicing. That sounds brutal, doesn't it? But it's true! Like Shaq, slicing through the lane, I slice into ribcages. I am famous for it.

The detectives didn't like me from the start. They didn't trust me. Nowadays, people place a lot of trust in me. "Dr. Jarvik!" they say, "You invented the artificial heart! I trust you to operate on my blocked aorta!" Back then, no one would have said that -- and not just because I hadn't invented the artificial heart back then. No, the main reason why I was disfavorably looked upon was because I look like John Malkovich. They thought that was creepy.

Was it because people thought John Malkovich was a creep, and I was therefore a creep, too? No. In those days, the majority of Americans did not find Mr. Malkovich creepy. He wasn't in the public eye back then. His first major role came in the 1984 Oscar-winner "The Killing Fields". You will note that this was two full years AFTER I had invented the world's first permanently implanted artificial heart.

It's simple: teenagers that resemble John Malkovich look menacing, even if you have no knowledge of the acclaimed actor. Adults that look like him, I mean, fair game. Fair enough. I have to say, life as an adult, hearing people say, "Wow! Aren't you John Malkovich?". It's pretty cool. And yes, I have, on very few occcasions, just WENT FOR IT. I say, "Yeah, man, John Malkovich! Good to meet you? Are you a fan? Uh huh, yeah -- I've got to say, we all had a BLAST making 'The Man in the Iron Mask'. The crew was awesome, and it was REALLY REWARDING." I'm paraphrasing, but I have said things like that on occasion.

The cops thought I looked like a killer, and they had to follow their lead. My alibi was nonexistent -- on the morning in question, I was walking to school, alone. No classmate could vouch for my whereabouts. Even though my walk to school was through a crowded neighborhood full of stay-at-home moms (we just called them "Moms" back then), no witness came forward to say they saw me on the sidewalk that day. In those days, a lot of people would avert their eyes when I was in the vicinity, so this really wasn't a surprise.

They pushed me on the motive. "You always said you like his car," they'd say. "'Daddy, I wanna drive this vroom-vroom car real fast!' Were those or were those NOT your words, Robbie? We know you liked that car. Would you KILL for that car? DID you KILL for that vroom-vroom, Robbie?"

The interrogations went on for weeks before the coroner's report was finally released. Immediate cause of death: acute myocardial infarction. Back then, I couldn't understand those words. Now, as famous physician and inventor of the Jarvik-7 and the Jarvik 2000, I can say without hesitation that an "acute myocardial infarction" is, simply, a heart attack.

Of course, none of the police back home were cardiologists. Or famous. I can't help but think the police department should have consulted a heart doctor -- famous or not -- during that murder investigation, because it really is simple terminology for a physician to comprehend. One phone call, and they could have wrapped up that case and put a bow on it. Instead, with no additional evidence, the investigation went "cold". I was still a suspect, but they couldn't prove it. The distrust in the community was overwhelming. I was desperate to find a way to clear my name.

It hit me: reanimate Dad. Bring his rotting corpse back to life. Get Dad to clear your name.

Failing that: reanimate Dad. Bring his rotting corpse back to life. Distract the community with this unholy resurrection, and skip off to the Greyhound station with nothing more than the shirt on your back and a three-piece luggage set, packed to the seams with other clothes, food, and keepsakes. Take up residence on Easy Street in Baltimore.

Elementary School. Junior High. High School. College. Post-graduate work. Finally, I had created a device that could replace the heart, and I was ready to bring my father back to life, to once and for all clear my good name.

It was a long, terrible night at the cemetery. It took all of my strength to extract dad's cadaver from the cold ground. I lifted the lid of the ornate coffin. My heart was racing. My real heart, in my own chest, not the contraption in my knapsack that I planned to install in my father. And then, the body.

The body was not a body. It was a skeleton. All bones -- just like the ones you see in a biology classroom. No shit! The body had decomposed -- that egghead advisor at Syracuse was right after all. Without tissue to surround and sustain the heart, there was no way to bring Dad back to life. Not even with the Jarvik-7. I was disheartened. Not literally, though. That distinction belonged to my father.

But all isn't lost. My inventions have brought better health to others, garnered me fame, and restored my good name. Plus, I look a little like John Malkovich (see above). There's this Lipitor gig, for which I am handsomely paid. Yes, Mr. Robert Jarvik is doing just fine.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I just noticed that this photo from last month...

...owes a great debt to Mr. Jack Serpentine...

...all that's missing is some mild assault. Next time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Weather Channel Has Sound FX Now

Thanks, gang. The forecast never made much sense before I could HEAR the rainfall.

Monday, November 05, 2007

He Don't Use Magazines

"I don't like getting books as gifts. It always creates this weird pressure: You suddenly have to read some weird novel, because you know the person who gave it to you will ask what you thought of it. I don't want any gift that dictates my behavior."

--Chuck Klosterman
This is precisely why I don't subscribe to any magazines. They're like finding homework in your mailbox.

Coincidentally (if I were a writer for the Topeka Capital-Journal, I just would have misused the word "ironically", and would misuse it again before this post was over), the last book I received as a gift was authored by Mr. Klosterman.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bottom Line

Last Saturday I watched some television. Like most Saturdays, I took in a little college football before it grew stale, and proceeded to flip around. I settled on some reruns of "American Gladiators" on ESPN Classic.

I tried to focus on the challengers' efforts to breakthrough and conquer the gladiators, but my eye was drawn away from the athletic feats, toward the bottom of the screen, where college football scores scrolled on ESPN's "Bottom Line".

The Bottom Line used to be present only on ESPN2. It was a handy tool to have available in the burgeoning internet age, a device you could count on when you desperately needed a score update. Over time, it became more prevalent. First, it was added to Sportscenter. Then, it was added to all ESPN programming. When Disney bought ABC, ESPN and ABC's pooled their sports broadcasting efforts, and the Bottom Line came along for the ride.

I don't enjoy the Bottom Line. I see it as an unnecessary distraction from the game I'm trying to watch. I also see it as a covert attempt to make me work -- I'm reading and calculating spreads instead of doing absolutely nothing. Still, I do see how some college football fans prefer to be constantly updated while they watch the big game.

I do not, however, see why a channel devoted to the past would bother its viewers with up-to-the-minute scoreboard notifications. Take it from me, ESPN Classic -- if I'm watching a former high school football star aim a crossbow above a 'roided male named Turbo, I don't need a flashing alert to tell me that Wake Forest just kicked a field goal.