Assorted musings on buffet dining, Johnny Depp & other nauseating things

July 10, 2013
By

This morning I was reading a news item about a Golden Corral restaurant getting busted for storing meat next to a dumpster. Really disappointing, as I used to hold chain buffet dining establishments in such high regard, especially those named after a place to store cattle. The thought that there could be dumpster germs on the soggy, greasy “food” that’s been sitting under heat lamps for hours, sneezed on and fondled by countless grubby fingers… well, that’s simply inexcusable. Honestly, if I were being forced to eat at Golden Corral or any of the similar, interchangeable feeding troughs that make America #1, and I didn’t have a cyanide capsule conveniently tucked away inside a false molar, I’d pray that some dumpster flies buried their hatchlings inside my meatloaf, because at least then I’d be getting something vaguely resembling nutrition.

Hey, remember that movie where Johnny Depp wears a bunch of makeup and acts quirky? No no, the other one. No, the other other one. God, I love that movie! Johnny Depp has his own island, but I have no idea why, because unless it’s located inside Tim Burton’s asshole, he never seems to be on it. It’s a real shame that new movie where he wears a bunch of makeup and acts quirky didn’t do so well at the box office. This could end up dealing a devastating blow to Johnny’s career, as he now might only be able to demand eighteen or nineteen million dollars per picture instead of the usual twenty. I hope the movie studios have finally learned their lesson and don’t try to release the next Johnny Depp quirky makeup movie against a cartoon about talking yellow baby dicks.

The people who occupy the same general area as myself at my place of employement (in a more respectable line of work, one might refer to them as “colleagues”) decreed long ago that the only acceptable topic of discussion in the office would be sports. Usually basketball, and usually the Los Angeles Lakers, but any subject that involves sweaty, muscular guys moving some sort of ball or similar object back and forth for several hours will do. On rare occasions, a non-ball-related sport will somehow find its way into the incredibly heterosexual conversation, such as MMA fighting or ice skating. The other day, however, I returned from a bathroom visit (partially to relieve myself and partially for the peace and quiet) to find five or six of my coworkers huddled in a circle, talking about cockfighting. Not as in “morality and ethics of” but “active interest and participation in.” Specifically, the elder statesman/I.T. guy regaling the others with stories of the various cocks he’s invested in over the years. Good to know they’ve expanded their horizons beyond just balls. I can only imagine that if child sex slavery ever becomes a sanctioned sport, they’ll be having regular arguments over which country has the cutest little boys (no homo).

My week away from work has served as a depressing reminder of how much more shit I can get done when I’m not chained to a desk for eight hours a day. I’m normally up and about by 5 a.m., although on the weekends I might occasionally sleep in until 6 if I’ve been partying particularly hard the night before. Benjamin Franklin might have been on to something with that “early to bed, early to rise” shit. I do feel somewhat healthier (but nothing a hearty Golden Corral breakfast couldn’t fix), and while the wealthy and wise parts haven’t kicked in yet, I’m sure that’ll be any day now. It’s always funny to see people’s reactions when I tell them about my bed/rising habits. It’s invariably the same response I assume I’d get if I said I had the decomposing bodies of the local high school cheerleading squad stuffed in barrels in my basement (which is ridiculous as I live in a second-floor apartment). By the time most people under 70 are just rolling out of bed, I’ve already sucked down two pots of coffee, drawn three pictures and made breakfast. On the other hand, when the aforementioned cool people are out at the bar doing Jäger bombs or tequila bombs or PBR bombs or whatever bombs are in these days, I’m in bed like a total loser, having weird dreams about jetskiing with Syd Barrett. Then again, those people are mostly annoying assholes, so I’m struggling to actually see a downside here. Fortunately (for me, maybe not so much for you), writing on my “blog” provides a little bit of creative release during the hours when I’d normally be staring at my computer screen with my eyes glazed over and drool trickling out from the corner of my dumbly agape face-hole while the Office Sports Nut waxes poetic re: his eternal, unrequited desire for Kobe Bryant. So, there’s that.

A quick status update regarding my pathetic stairs injury: Now, when I sneeze, it feels less like getting shivved in the side by a rival gang member in a prison yard and more like getting kicked in the side by a weak donkey. Thanks again to everyone for the cards and the flowers. You guys are the best!

Haiku Friday

July 5, 2013
By

Bombs bursting in air;
All of the best fireworks
are made in China.

Buenos días mis amigos. I’m back at work today after a desperately-needed week off, and boy does it suck. Well, actually, considering that quite a few other people are off today, including the boss and the guy who is physically unable to exhale without some Lakers-related words spilling out of his mouth, I guess it could be worse. Small blessings. Plus, it’s Friday. And I don’t have any STD’s. Amen.

I know you’re all chomping at the proverbial bit to know how I spent my time away from this soul-suffocating Gulag that pays my bills. Fortune smiles upon you this day, for I have prepared a magnificent bulleted list to illustrate the activities in which I was primarily engaged during the past seven glorious, work-free days:

• Sweating
• Eating mangos
• Being in pain as a result of falling down a flight of stairs like a god damned moron
• Sweating
• Watching episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
• Turning 34
• Working on a super-secret art project
• Refreshing the Google News page to see if Nelson Mandela died yet
• Sweating
• Showering
• Sweating

Christ alive, it’s been ridiculously humid here in Beautiful Southern California(TM). I’m one of those weird assholes who actually prefers the warmer months. but that doesn’t mean I enjoy sauteeing in my own sweat. Or anyone else’s, for that matter. Keep your gross fluids away from me.

As stated above, I did have a bit of an accident last Thursday morning. Whilst heading down to the subway platform to catch the train to Pleasure Town (work), the section of my brain that allows me to successfully navigate that incredibly complex human invention known as steps short-circuited and I took a spill that an ’80s surfer dude or Ninja Turtle might describe as “way bogus.” Doctors are for dorks and rich people, so I diagnosed myself as having a fucked up left wrist, a scraped left ankle, and a bruised left rib. Basically my whole left side got banged up all to hell. Thankfully, I have two sides, and my non-left side was all “sup.” I got up, brushed myself off and continued on my journey because I am a tough, manly man. That plan lasted about four hours, then I was back at home putting Band-Aids on my boo-boos. My destroyed ankle and blood-soaked sock did make for a pretty effective visual aid when I told my supervisor I needed to leave work early. I’d already scheduled time off for the three days before July 4, but I guess my little foray into “freestyle walking” was Jesus’ way of letting me start my vacation sooner. Thanks, buddy! I am feeling significantly better today, thanks for asking.

So, let’s see, what else… oh, right, I got older on Sunday. B.F.D.

The largest wedge in the nonexistent pie chart representing how I spent my time off would be a pretty blue one that says “Working On Secret Art Project.” Because I did a lot of that. I can’t tell you what that is yet, as that would negate its status as a Secret Art Project, but with any luck it’ll be finished sometime within the next couple of weeks. I’m kind of excited about it, but you’ll probably think it’s stupid. Jerk.

Anyway, that’s enough telling you things about me for right now. Bye.

Love,
Meathead

Cerebral laxatives

June 26, 2013
By

It’s been a rough few days. I have this gnawing urge to write something, anything, but all that comes to mind is a mushy blob of useless non sequiturs. And, you know, that’s fine for a while, but eventually there has to be some kind of point to it.

To be honest, I have no clue who, if anyone, actually reads anything I put up on here. Back in “tha day,” as the hip urban kids say, I wrote lame jokes about the Seven Mary Three, or Three Doors Down, or maybe it was some other one-hit ’90s band (sorry, it’s been a while). In those halcyon days, I’d get a fairly respectable number of page views, at least compared to your average Home Improvement erotic fan fiction web portal. Then again, maybe I’m underestimating the popular demand for typo-ridden fantasies involving Tim, Wilson and a glory hole. Either way, if someone were to inexplicably make a bar graph showing the amount of traffic I used to get versus what I get now, it would probably resemble Yao Ming standing next to Verne Troyer. Make that Verne Troyer buried up to his neck in sand, and give Yao a chair to stand on. Not that I’m bitter, mind you. On the contrary, I’m filled with the everlasting love of the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m just making a point, I think.

Of course, judging from the occasional e-mail and/or tweet that gets lobbed at me, the practical thing for me to do would be to go back to writing all about Matchbox 20 (that’s the one, right?), which I’d gladly do in a hummingbird’s heartbeat if it weren’t for one teensy-weensy problem: I’d rather dive tongue-first into Paula Deen’s crusty, racist asshole than go back to that shit again. The art project I’ve been slaving away at for the last two and a half years, while roughly five hundred thousand percent less popular, is infinitely more rewarding from a personal standpoint, because A) I’ve always been an artist first and a joke-writer a way distant second, 2) my musical tastes, among other things, have changed considerably over the years, and D) devoting my free time to propping up someone else’s ego just isn’t all that appealing to me anymore.

I have to say, though, that putting so much time and energy toward visual art has altered the way I think. Before, organizing my thoughts into coherent subjects was relatively easy; now my mind seems to be cluttered with junk, as I stated at the beginning. I went from Norman Rockwell to Jackson Pollock. Free association is fun sometimes, but it should be a vehicle to get to someplace better, not a crutch to lean on. So, regardless of who is or isn’t reading, I’m going to make more of an effort to write about actual things on here. Like Paula Deen’s asshole.

Love,
Meathead

Leave that diphthong in the backyard

June 25, 2013
By

At the wheel of a gelatinous Camaro, speeding toward a metaphysical telephone pole. Hard right, soft left, bluebirds in the mirror, T-boned by a sunbeam. Bellyflop on the moist pavement at ninety m.p.h. Bootlegged good times, black market memories. I remember the shapes your mouth would make when you said “lyme disease.” I remember when you told me to punch you in the head, and I wish I could do it again. Everything happens when I’m waiting in the car.

A perpetually shattering Herbie Hancock CD lent to a perpetually shattering mind. Everybody’s leaving, just some are going a lot farther away than others.

Tongueflowers in a grumbling greenhouse

June 24, 2013
By

I wrote a bunch of shit, something about a black hole stretching Paula Deen into cotton candy, a bipolar secretary named Debbie, and kicking over Vespas in Mecca, but then I deleted it because it fucking sucked. Some days I guess I just have nothing to say, and other days less than nothing. Fuck it, I’m just talking to myself anyway.

Snap, crackle, pop

Haiku Friday

June 21, 2013
By

NBA Finals
Weeping and gnashing of teeth
The moon turns to phlegm.

You coming over to watch the big game? Are you? Are you coming over? I just unwrapped my new 418″ liquid crystal 3-D HDTV and 900′ tweeters and 75-ton subwoofers! Are you coming over? The big game, bro! Cold Doritos and terrible beer! Breeewwwwws in the fridge and girls! Girls in the freezer. So are you on your way or what? I just got my tongue tattooed with the logo of my third-favorite team GO SKIDDERS and I think it might be infected but THE BIG GAME!!! To-nite!!! My jaw feels weird

The skull of Michael Jordan rests on a marble pedestal in the center of the court, bathed in a solitary crimson spotlight. The stadium is awash in eerie silence, save for the faint, distant bleating of goats, The crowd waits. Suddenly, a door at one end of the court bursts open! Out comes LeBron James, swinging a gargantuan golden hammer above his head. The spectators remain still as LeBron performs an ancient ritual dance to appease the gods. At long last, he reverently approaches the pedestal and raises the hammer high in the air. The longest of pauses, then an ear-shredding shriek as LeBron brings the hammer down, shattering the skull into a cloud of dust, rattling the fillings of the nobodies in the nosebleeds. The house lights turn on, the crowd goes crazy, the gods are satisfied. The big game will proceed.

Shit yeah, dawg! Game ON!!! Pass those Rold Gold brand pretzel cubes over here. Hey, you like Natty Ice? You fucking better, or I’ll slit your fucking throat, you queer! Ha ha just kiddin’. But seriously, there’s some over in that cooler over there. Yeah, that weird lookin’ gold box with the angels and shit on it. My buddy Phil found it at a yard sale and got it for me as a gag, but the ladies seem to dig it so fuck it, right? Just uh… use that oven mitt there when you open it, for some reason everyone who touches it falls over dead. Fuckin’ piece of shit. OHHH FUCK did you just see that?!

Team A sits in a circle on the slimy parquet floor, passing around a deflated basketball. Each player rips off a chunk with his teeth, chews it thoughtfully, swallows, then hands the useless blob of rubber to the teammate on his left. When there is no more Spalding to masticate, the team bursts into tears and the coach burns his clipboard. Meanwhile, the four surviving members of Team B have formed a barbershop quartet and are singing a happy little ditty about eczema. I love this game!

Oh, dude, uuggghhh I think I ate waaaayyy too much custard. Hand me that conch shell would ya? Fuck I always end up doing this during the Finals. That’s why my wife left me and my kids don’t have– aauuuuggghhhfffppt oh man that was so nasty bro GO BOILERS YEAH BABY!!!! UH!!!

For you celebrity watchers out there, take a gander up at the Diet Pepsi Jumbotron… there’s Jay-Z staring at his hand, smiling… come on, do something… come on… do– what the hell? Oh my god, what is he doing?! Cut away! Cut away!!! Hey kids, there’s Justin Bieber, making out with Jack Nicholson! Woah, hubba hubba! Selena’s not gonna be happy about that!

I don’t like the way you’re looking at me, dude. I invite you over to watch the big game and you disrespect me like this? If the lower half of my face wasn’t being devoured by bacteria I’d kick your god damn face in. Hey bro, can you toss me that can of Easy Cheese on the table? No no, the bacon flavor. Yeah. Thanks bro. I’m gonna give myself a cheese enema

We’re now in the Rattlesnake Round… these diamondbacks have been provided courtesy of Gold Bond medicated powder… Ohhhhh, Lamar just got bitten, he’s out… down goes Goldstein…

WOOOAAAAA! Did you SEE that?! Holy shit! Yo, can you call 911 for me? I think I’m having one of those, what do you call it, cardiac arrest, that’s it. Thanks WOOOOOAAAAAAAA!!! GO FLAPJACKS

Well, looks like everyone’s dead folks. We’re gonna wait for the official confirmation from the EMTs, but I’d say the big game’s over, final score Sloths 116, Backpeddlers 0. I love this game!

WHAT THE FUCK!!! NO!!! THAT’S BULLSHIT!!! THE REF TOTALLY BLEW THAT CALL!!! I’M GOING TO MURDER MY ENTIRE FAMILY!!!! Cool bro well anyway thanks for stopping by to watch the big game with me. I’m so lonely. Hey, you want a couple warm brewskies for the road? Sweet. Okay, now GET THE FUCK OUT

Double-parked in Atlantis

June 20, 2013
By

Dunking my head into an icy tub of brown noise, the outside world skitters away like busted cockroaches under a refrigerator and extraneous thoughts are canceled out by their own mirror images. I’m squarely in the center of the Baltic Sea, supine on a chunk of particle board the shape of Lincoln’s pre-assassination cranium. You’re there as well, even though you desperately wish otherwise. I offer you a piece of Melba toast and you call me a Stalinist.

1. Where did the particle board come from?

2. Was my offer of Melba toast genuine?

3. Where is Aunt Ruth?

——–

A hot pink Prius, driven by [REDACTED], rolls down a quiet suburban street on a Sunday morning. We’re in the back seat, seated on either side of the bullet-riddled corpse of a very famous lounge singer. This place feels like Ohio, but deep down I know it’s really Tennessee. “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins is blaring rudely from the cheap speakers. I can tell this song is like fire ants underneath your skin. “What alleviates the pain?” I ask you with my eyes. You slip me an UNO “Draw Four” card, as if I’m supposed to know what that means. As the song approaches its climax, it becomes obvious that the car is accelerating. Up ahead, a few hundred yards away lies the reason: an astoundingly unnecessary yellow and black striped stunt ramp. We each grab on to the nearest chilly wrist of the grinning ex-lounge singer and the UNO card turns to ash. “Get ready to soil those leisure suits!” shouts [REDACTED], boiling with authority. The car hits the ramp at an awkward angle, sending a Hello Kitty hubcap spinning hysterically in a roughly north-northwesterly direction, neatly decapitating the mayor’s wife as the mayor cuts the ribbon at the grand opening ceremony of the city’s newest sludge factory. Time itself is sludgy as we sail through the air in this rented automobile, rotating upwards and backwards and sidewards and in directions hitherto unknown to mankind. “TEN EIGHTY!” booms a deep, Bea Arthuresque voice from the jagged clouds. “FOURTEEN FORTY-FOUR! INDY NOSEBONE! FUNKY WINTERBEAN!” [REDACTED]‘s face is stretching and bubbling like hot taffy. “Can we stop for Taco Bell after we land?” you inquire. What the hell… I can’t believe you sometimes.

1. Has the rental agreement been violated? Why?

2. How long did it take for the mayor to get over the loss of his wife?

3. Where is Aunt Ruth?

——–

We’re having a pleasant stroll through a park in Chernobyl on a brisk autumn afternoon. I’m wearing fashionable cotton pants and a red sweater embroidered with four bison and the date of my death. You’re wearing a hot orange military uniform and a cardboard mask with the face of Darius Rucker. We’re about three-quarters of the way through a stilted conversation about postage stamps when you notice a group of children playing on a rusty merry-go-round nearby. You suggest going over to say hello and I strongly advise against the idea. Ignoring my advice, you traipse giddily toward the kids with your arms in the air. I take a seat on a filthy park bench and extract a kosher hot dog from my pocket. I take a tentative bite, unsure whether the flavor and texture have held up since I stole it from the school cafeteria in the fourth grade. Realizing my fears were unfounded, I continue to chow down as I watch you being torn limb from limb like finger bread. Afterwards, I brush the crumbs from my sweater and head down to the movie theater to watch Days of Thunder.

1. Does eating a kosher hot dog make you a better person? What about two kosher hot dogs?

2. Will Scotch-Gard protect your soul from nuclear radiation?

3a. Would the events described above have unfolded differently if the children had seen every episode of Get Smart?

3b. Where is Aunt Ruth?

Someone’s gotta oil Occam’s nose hair trimmer; might as well be you

June 19, 2013
By

These gas station harpsichord strings are a grade-A ripoff. Looks like my plans to form a 17th-century R.E.M. cover band are going to have to go on the back burner for now. In the meantime, I’ll just put on this brand new vintage fedora and pretend to shoot heroin at Starbucks.

Last night I coated three female donkeys in Hollandaise sauce. I used to ride the school bus with your old lady, you know. One morning, whilst boarding that bus, I accidentally touched her hand. She never spoke to me before or after that. I think she lives in Phoenix now.

Do you hear those crickets out there? Did you know God has a name for each and every one of them? They’re all named Shaniqua. Don’t worry, they can’t hear us.

There was this men’s restroom in Phoenix… the line of urinals must have been over ten miles long. Anywho, I was in there reading about platypus mating rituals on my BlackBerry when I noticed I had been urinating on a wadded up piece of paper for a good fifteen minutes. Naturally, I picked it up and uncrumpled it to see what it was. Turns out it was an amazingly detailed sketch of a shirtless Chris Farley with a vagina for a mouth. A festive parade of maggots was marching out of one nipple and back into the other. Tears of blood were streaming down his cheeks, and a speech bubble had him saying, assumedly in a terrifyingly alien, gutteral voice: “INFO-WARS.COM.” I scurried to the nearest post office and mailed the piss-drenched drawing to Highlights for Children Magazine with the title “Picture of my mommy, by Toby age 6.” And wouldn’t you know it, those assholes actually printed it, right next to Goofus and Gallant even. Ha ha ha. But seriously though, my mother is dead to me.

Hey, do you believe in leprechauns? Yeah, me either. I was just curious. That reminds me, I was housesitting last summer for this leprechaun I know who lives in Maui. His name’s Larry. Well, one night I got plastered and, long story short, I was wearing a Batman costume and I locked myself out because I forgot the security code. So I burned the place down. When Larry got back from Ireland, man he was piiiissed. He probably would’ve murdered me if I hadn’t blamed the whole thing on David Bowie. The sad thing is that he used to be a huge Bowie fan but now he hates that motherfucker.

What? Oh, no, the donkeys are fine. I rinsed them off. Come on, I’m not a psycho. But I did just score twenty gallons of generic steak sauce, if you’re not busy tonight. But first I need to swing by the swap meet and buy some socks. Would you believe I’ve never once bought socks in my entire life? I’m serious! Ha ha just kidding, I’m just messing with you. I buy socks all the time. Sometimes even two or three times a day. I’m known ’round these parts as “Señor Calcetines.”

Well, if you’re not going to talk, I guess I’ll go ahead and blow my brains out in a pickup truck. It was a pleasure meeting you. My name’s Carl.

~ The End ~

“A MAN WHOSE NAME IS NOT REALLY CARL TALKS TO A STATUE OF RONALD McDONALD”
by Meathead, age 6

Dracula’s Suzuki has funny buttons

June 18, 2013
By

You’re on an airplane.

>> I’m on an airplane.

You are seated by the window.

>> I’m seated by the window.

It is a beautiful day.

>> It’s a beautiful day.

The pilot is giggling on the intercom.

>> No.

The pilot is giggling on the intercom.

>> I said no!

The pilot is gigg–

>> For fuck’s sake, Linda, I said no! No no no!

——–

Frank snapped off his headset, ripping out a chunk of his luxurious long blonde hair in the process. He shoved a hamburger hand into the folds of his military jacket, retrieved something resembling half a cigarette, and slid it gracelessly into the corner of his crusty mouth.

“This was your idea, Frank,” whispered Linda. Linda was a starfish.

“The hell it was. I hate airplanes. You know that. You know!”

The Cosmic Custodian shoved a silken hand into the folds of time, retrieved something resembling Frank, and slid it majestically into the corner of its face-vortex. Trumpets, angels, etc. A cowboy dragged across the stony plain.

Do it right.

——–

You are on an airplane.

>> I am on a air plane

You are seated by the window.

>> I seat by window mmmm

It is a beautiful day.

>> pretty

The pilot is giggling on the intercom.

>> why

——–

“Frank.”

Frank did not respond.

“Frank, the pilot would like a word with you in the booth.”

The pilot was glaring at a dead fly on his otherwise perfect stack of raisin pancakes. He invests in stocks. Bets against the yen. Ooooh, drives a late-model Mercedes. And this little bastard who dines on shit all day thinks he’s superior?

The metronome on the desk sputtered to life, the lights fizzled out, and the pilot receded along with his ruined breakfast. Frank was all alone on the stage, faking his way through a saxophone solo under a flaccid yellow spotlight. Smoking paper airplanes sailed past behind him. No one wanted a word with him now, or even just a letter.

At the bar, a woman in a rust-colored evening gown punctuated every high note with a thunderous belch. Enormous floppy tongues wagged approvingly from the ceiling. Good crowd.

——–

–ling on the intercom.

>> The pilot is giggling on the intercom.

You’re walking toward the cockpit.

>> I’m walking toward the cockpit.

You pass through the angry flight attendant and the angry beverage cart.

>> Sure.

The curtain is throbbing.

>> The curtain is throbbing.

You are now delicately pulling it away.

>> I am delicately pulling it away.

You see OH GOD

Forty sobbing beneficiaries adrift in a scorched balloon

June 17, 2013
By

Last night I found myself gliding aimlessly over all conceivable aspects of a chihuahua manifest and spread out in the form of two-dimensional rhododendrons as far as my compound eyes could see. Some were rotating, watching, some would growl when I came near. “If I were on acid,” I thought, “I’d be freaking out right about now.” On second thought…

Naphtha 6, my spirit guide, was gently but firmly nudging me back onto the cobblestone path. She only communicated in insinuations, which trickled down a translucent violet tube from 1977. Occasionally the tube would get a kink somewhere around 1982, but an employee at the Reagan White House was kind enough to straighten it out while on a smoke break (on condition of anonymity, of course). Technical difficulties aside, though, Naphtha 6 was a good spirit guide. Much better than that you-know-what Brenda.

Naphtha 6 was thirsty, and wanted a pomegranate Slurpee. The usual. It seemed as good an excuse as any to boogie out of this creepy dog garden. Besides, I was secretly in possession of a steadily expanding suspicion that this was someone else’s dream, and I wasn’t feeling up to being shot right at that moment, gun of life or otherwise.

We began calculating the direction of the exit when one of those fuckers bit down into my squeaky rubber leg with its tiny bullet teeth. My shadow shattered into a million wet butterflies and Naphtha 6 couldn’t stop laughing. Oh man, the pain was dazzling. Some jacked-up version of the Serenity Prayer sprayed itself like bloody graffiti onto my cortex and was immediately powerwashed away by the amygdala, and I was sure we’d never get out of there. Well, I wouldn’t, anyway. Naphtha 6 was never there in the first place.

Joe Biden was leaning against one of the outlying cinder block neural blocks, sporting a slick, cherry red faux snakeskin jumpsuit and casually unspooling that green cassette of the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication I accidentally left in his car twenty years ago. Classic Joe. As soon as I noticed him standing there, he grinned, vaporized his Aviators with a fingersnap, and sashayed on over. “Troubles?” he inquired.

“My leg is ruined and I need to split before the Brahma notices me.”

Joe stared at me as if I’d just audibly passed gas (which I had). “Buddy, pal o’ mine,” he said, putting a friendly tentacle around my shoulder, “These blocks are freakin’ Legos, man! The dogs are salamanders and most of them are dead! Just step on over!”

The loud pop of satori rang across the universe and crackled at the edges. The man-thing was right. I could leave anytime I wanted.

I chomped on that time tube and tore it wide open. I could feel Naphtha 6 writhing in those bellbottoms like a freshly salted slug. Ga ga goo ga; ga ga goo ga gah. Oily rainbows of artifical thought gushed from the frayed opening and in just a moment… a river. No boat. There’s supposed to be a sailboat. Where is the–

I turned just in time to see Joe withering away like a burnt matchstick.

“This world ain’t always what it seems, bro.”