I’m a little bit drunk, and earlier tonight, I caught myself wondering if any of the authors I love have written something just a bit too honest about their craft while in a similar mind-state. Something not deleted in the light of day, or hastily revised or modified with post-scripts. I…
I rarely post my Cracked columns because, shit, I just forget. But not this time. Oooh, no. This time I surely will post a link to my latest column, “5 Bizarre Inspirations Behind Famous Movie Scenes.” Yup, I’ll totally do that…after I get some lunch.
Okay, back from lunch. Where was I? Oh, yeah! The column. Let me find the link…
About a year ago it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t been to the doctor in over a decade. I made all the necessary calls and set up all the appointments for various checkups and whatnot, including going to a lab to get some blood work done. While getting my blood drawn, I nearly passed out. Apparently, the sight of my own blood freaks me out. When my eyes make contact with the inside red stuff flowing outside of me, I immediately become pale, I break into full-body sweats, and come very close to passing out. In the words of my mom when I told her that this happens to me when I see my own blood, “you need to man up.” I agree, but that shit ain’t happening anytime soon. Case in point:
That’s my right thumb. I sliced off a large chunk of it last night using a mandolin — not the music kind; the kitchen kind. I love to cook, and kitchen gadgets, no matter how stupid, are an obsession of mine. I have a little motorized whipping thingy that’s supposed to be used for frothing hot milk for lattes. I use it for chocolate milk. How mandolins work is, you get the vegetable you want to cut into perfect slices, stick one end of it to a safety handle, and then run the veggie through the extremely sharp blade positioned along the body of the device. That safety handle is there for a reason: safety, I presume. But I don’t play by the rules. I needed carrots sliced for an Italian sausage soup. Why use a knife when I have a badass mandolin? Safety handle? Pfft! That will only delay soup-to-mouth gratification.
So, I sliced and sliced until I sliced off a chunk of thumb meat. I screamed “fuck” a lot, and blood gushed. I ran my thumb under the faucet, which made me scream some more, louder fucks. There was blood everywhere. It was a nightmare. Within seconds, all color vanished from my face. Like I had been splashed with a bucket of water, sweat covered me from head to toe. I felt faint, and, if not for my girlfriend using her body to squeeze me up against the counter in a way that in any other context would be grounds for a sexual harassment lawsuit, I would have collapsed.
When I nearly passed out during the blood test, the nurse (who very kindly kept her mouth shut and withheld all instincts to call me a pussy) placed a cotton swab soaked with rubbing alcohol under my nose. The sting of the alcohol grabbed the world by the shoulders and demanded that it stop spinning. As I was passing out after the mandolin incident, I stumbled to the couch with a paper towel firmly pressed against my thumb to stop the bleeding (it wouldn’t stop for a few hours). Somewhere along the way I told my girlfriend to get me some alcohol. This next part may seem like a clichéd joke but it actually happened: she grabbed a bottle of gin. I love that my girlfriend thinks I’m a badass action movie hero who drowns pain with booze straight from the bottle, even as the events currently unfolding before her eyes clearly show that I’m more the Damsel In Distress than anything.
She soon figured out what I meant, and the alcohol swab she stuffed under my nose leveled me out. She later checked the mandolin for the missing piece of thumb. She couldn’t find it, only some sliced carrots and a lonely slice of potato.
I hadn’t sliced any potatoes. That was my thumb chunk, so cleanly sliced she mistook it for an ingredient in our meal.
After a few painful hours in an Urgent Care center (made easier with some delicious codeine), I was patched up. I didn’t need any stitches because when you’ve got a chunk of you missing, there really isn’t much to stitch. They fill in the whole like it’s a pothole and tell you not to be dumb anymore.
I shouldn’t be writing this. I should have my right arm in a sling to prevent any further bleeding (doc said it could still gush blood for the next couple of days if I’m not careful). But the running theme here is not following directions, so, yeah. Type type type type type ajhdajhsaushdkahdjakshdkajdh look at me! I’m typing with my hand down as blood rushes to my thumb!
This is great. But, of course, I ruined it for myself by jumping to a dumb comedic premise after watching it: what if this is the only progressive thought this guy has? What if the rest of this speech is “The problem isn’t that Michael Sam is gay; it’s that he’s black.”
I opened the “L” side of my contact lens case and lo, what did I find? Nothing. Empty. Just a vacant pool of lens solution. “Damn it!” I shouted as I pounded my fist onto the bathroom sink. “I want a full, tri-county search party, NOW! Alive, dead — I don’t care! Just bring me that contact lens!” The officers scurried away to their respective duties at my command. When the bathroom was clear, I did one last search for anyone within earshot. I flipped over the screw top of the “L” side of the lens case.
There it is; “L” itself, one half of the infamous contact lens duo, all crunched up and folded under the lid. I peel it off and propped it on my finger.
"You know, I can get in real trouble for this." I slid it into my eye and looked at it in the mirror. Scratch that — I looked at myself in the mirror.
"Let’s get to work."
(Roll opening credits to my hit cop show “Regular Dude Who Imagines He’s A Cop”)
As I was sweeping ashed bricks of charcoal off my apartment’s balcony after a Forth of July BBQ, I felt bad about raining dirt, dust, and ashy stones on to the balconies below. But then I immediately rationalized it away by getting dangerously philosophical. This was my actual rationalization for being a shitty neighbor: “Does a mountain apologize for the avalanche that killed the animals below?” That’s crazy people talk.
It’s time for another look back at the start of my not-yet-illustrious writing career. Today I present to you an article originally published on the now-nonexistent ScenicAnemia.com on June 30th, 2009. It was written in response to Miracle Whip attempting to re-brand their jar of white goop as something that’s, like, totally hip and cool, you guys! Look at all these hipsters HAVING A FUCKING BALL in the commercial as they eat sandwiches with Miracle Whip on them, as if Miracle Whip were the go to sandwich spread for letting people know you’re apart of the hip new counter culture, sticking it to the boring old mayo-eating Man.
I was always proud of this article because, as arrogant as a sounds, I felt like I was one of the first people to jump on the “This ad campaign is fucking stupid” train. Man, that statement makes me sound awful, and yet, I still believe it, even in the face of coming off like an asshole. Weeks after I posted it, Steven Colbert did his take on it. His was clearly better than mine, but I felt a hint of pride with the fact that I beat Colbert to the punch. I’m pathetic like that. Anyway, here’s the article, grammar and spelling errors intact, both of which there are plenty of.
The other night I was just sitting around watching TV as I am one to do. Historically, everyone in my family has been a little behind the times when it comes to adopting new technologies. VCRs, Video game systems, CD players, computers, cable TV, cell phones, and DVD players were all things we got way after everyone else. DVRs-or, “Tivo’s” as people seem to generically call them — are no different. I still don’t have one and probably won’t for a while longer. Until that day comes, I’m going to have to continue to wade through an endless barrage of ads for products I’ll never use. Now, while I do maintain that we are currently within the golden age of television commercials, a lot of them - probably due to the sheer volume of commercials nowadays - suck things that are terribly unpleasant (dicks, for instance).
So as I sat through yet another commercial break waiting for my stories to come back, I saw a commercial that did something to me that few things do: it actually made me angry. So, what it that could have possibly made me angry? Miracle Whip.
You can watch the commercial here. [Note from 2013 Luis:No, you can’t]
Miracle Whip has a Facebook page. Fuck! Miracle Whip!
It has more friends than I do. Anyway, as you saw, Kraft foods is sinking presumably millions of dollars in to rebranding Miracle Whip; converting it from that white shit you put on lunch, to that white shit that will make you popular and get you all kinds of hipster pussy.
Miracle Whip - Sorry, man. But, you’re not cool. You’re goo. White, gelatinous goo. If you’re a white gelatinous goo, you can’t be cool. Nothing white has ever been cool other than Elvis, Bruce Campbell, Frank Sinatra, all the actors that played James Bond with the exception of Timothy Dalton, Han Solo, and Norm from Cheers. If you’re white and you’re not one of those people, or if your white and you’re goo, then I’m sorry, but no amount of shaky cam, indy rockin’ re-branding will ever change the fact that you’re nothing more than glorified egg yolks.
You’re Miracle Whip, start acting like it. Show me some mini vans and a rushed mom talking to the camera about how her shitty overweight kids are suffocating her sex life. Don’t show me, like a Kraft spokesperson put it in an interview with mediapost.com, people who “proudly embrace the flavor of Miracle Whip without apology.” Were Miracle Whip lovers driven underground? Cast aside by a society that just didn’t get it? Is Miracle Whip the sandwich spreadable version of Blade Runner? Nobody got it when it came out, but now it’s totally cool to love it?
No. It’s goddamn Miracle Whip.
As I just mentioned, the commercial is chalk-full of indy rockin’ tunes that attempt to grab the attention of young, disillusioned hipsters. The band you hear in the commercial is The Datsun’s. Listen up, Datson’s. I know why you named yourself after a shitty car company because it’s trendy and cool and ironic. I get it. But seriously, show some class and be picky when it comes to licensing your music. I’m not the type of person that gets mad when a band sells its song for a commercial or something. I’m not quick to throw around the words “Sell out” because I completely understand the ideas of artistic integrity and profit. I know sometimes there is a grey middle ground where you want to retain your edge while still being able to feed your kids. I understand that. But if there were ever a true definition of “Sell out” it’s having your song used to sell the low cost alternative to mayonnaise. Worse yet, a commercial that rebrands this low cost alternative to mayonnaise as something that’s anti-normal-social-conventions. Well, guess what? I’m still pretty much one of those guys. I’m probably in the Dautons’ target demographic, and I’ll tell’ya, the harsh reality of the situation is that the kids aren’t cramming Miracle whip in to their bongs. They’re not hiding it in their sock drawer. They’re not yelling, “You’re just too old to understand Miracle Whip!” at their parents. Its shit you put on a sandwich that makes it kind of tasty. That’s it. Done. If that doesn’t hammer the idea home to you guys, then perhaps this will.
You wrote a song called “Mother fucker from Hell.” Now, you are licensing your music for Miracle Whip commercials. See what I mean? You’re supposed to do that when you’re old and flabby and slowly losing relevance with the kids, not when you’re still in your youthful prime; touring the world and banging all kinds of young, global trim. No measure of “edge” will ever make that stigma disappear, Miracle Whip. But, don’t think of it as a stigma. Think of it as what you are. You’re not cool. Right now, you’re the 30 year old hanging out at the party of 18 year olds. Sure, a couple of the dumber kids might think it’s awesome that they’re partying with an older guy, but everyone else in the joint thinks you’re either a narc or some divorced suburban male that is trying to recapture the youth that was taken away from him after he got married way too early and already feels like his life is over.
Back in 2009-ish, Adam Brown and Ian Fortey asked if I wanted to write for a small site they ran called ScenicAnemia. The site doesn’t exist anymore, but in the site’s final days I used an HTML-to-PDF converter and saved some of my articles as they appeared on the site as PDFs, which was kind of like taking a screencap of an entire web page. I recently rediscovered them buried on my hard drive and I’m going to share them with you, little by little.
First up is an article originally published on March 24th, 2009. It’s titled “Douchey Doucherton.” Notice how I mention Myspace at one point. If you want something to be timeless, don’t mention technology in any way.
I copy and pasted it from the PDF, so the formatting might be a little weird.
Read this shit…
In my group of friends I am looked upon as “The Writer.” I’m that one that writes for Cracked and that other site with the name that no one can make heads or tails of. I’m that guy that made a few semi-entertaining sketches that have evolved in to inside jokes among the fellas of my inner circle. The one that writes screenplays that may or may not ever see the light of day. Of course, I occasionally get the ball-busting, “Yeah, why don’t you write that in your diary, ya’fag!” remark, but that just comes with the territory of being a human male who likes to write that hangs out with other human males that love insinuating that I cry while I write, and the only thing that can bring the tears to an end are vast sums of dick clogging up my orifices.
It’s a cool gig, nonetheless.
But, there are some responsibilities that tag along with the hefty mantel of The Writer. Every so often, one of my friends asks me to help them write a little something or other. It’s never an arduous task that I labor over for weeks, all the while questioning my association with this responsibility dumping fuck-stick. It is usually a small, menial project that I can knock out within an hour or less with maybe a revision or two a day later. I never expect payment because they’re my buddies and I’m just stocking up on favor returns for when I inevitably need some clueless foils for spear throwing practice or an extra body to make the cluster-fuck an even 48. Seeing as how I have no concept of time (and rather than getting the time-frame of the event wrong ) I’m going to go-ahead and say that over 1,000 years ago a friend of mine was arrested for street racing. I won’t reveal his name here, so let’s just call him “Douchey Doucherton,” a pseudonym he would have no objections to. Mr. Doucherton was riding along a busy strip of road that is typically loaded with police cars – marked and unmarked – hiding silently under cover of night, waiting patiently for street racers. Douchey came upon a friend of his that has been known to be involved in a street race or two. Their engines revved, their sticks shifted, and their clutches clutched. They were off. About 50 feet later they were spotted by the police and were promptly pulled over and sent to jail. Lawyers were brought in, and a court case ensued; nothing major, just a typical street racing court case.
After 300 years passed (again, my lack of awareness of time), Douchey is handed the court ruling, which I don’t remember. I think he had to do some community service or something, I don’t know. There is only one part of the court ruling that I do remember, though. I remember it because I completed this portion of the ruling for Douchey. Seeing as I was “The Writer,” Douchey asked me to write an apology letter to his arresting officer for him. After realizing that an apology from Douchey himself would most likely include the words “Pig,” and “Pussyshit- lips,” along with a proposal to perform suction on his genitals, a declaration of faggotry, and an invitation to settle the matter with a street fight involving landmines attached to their fists, I decided to do Douchey a solid and just write the damn thing for him. I’ve always fancied myself a decent writer, but I do have one glaring problem that I thankfully only have to confront once in a blue moon. Apparently, when I try to write something with a formal, business-like tone I come off as perhaps the douchiest man on Earth. I don’t know why, but I just can’t be academic without coming off like a condescending prick of galactic magnitude. Sadly, I realized this for the first time while writing the apology letter. I had the letter posted on my Myspace page for a long time simply because I thought the idea of me writing an apology letter to a cop for a friend was funny. It wasn’t until about 687 years after the fact (maybe only 2 years, but, really, who the hell knows? I don’t) that my friends began to take notice of the letter. They all, in near unison, agreed that the prick levels of this letter were off the charts; that in whatever building the charts were located there must have been a group of lab coat sporting science-types tossing down their beakers and Bunsen burners while calling the President and demanding that he enact marshal law before the marauders feed on the sweet innards of children. Is the letter really that douchey? I don’t know. I’ll leave it up to you to decide. Below is the actual letter I wrote for the cop that arrested Douchey Doucherton some 4,000 years ago…
Dear Officer, On (date you got arrested) I, “Douchey Doucherton”, carelessly broke a law that resulted in not only the suspension of my license, but in the revoking of my free will to operate an automobile. Before this date I saw the act of street racing as a thrill whose ramifications would harm no one. I was wrong. Since then I have learned that street racing is not only harmful to myself, but to others around me.
Within the long duration of time that I have not driven an automobile I have come to realize that during that portion of my life I took the privilege of driving for granted. During this time I acted as though I were above the law and would never be caught in the act. Again, I was wrong. I am now fully aware of the fact that the only people that can even be considered “above the law” in anyway are those that enforce it. With that being said, allow me to apologize for any belligerence or hostility that I may have exuded during this very dark segment of my life. Each day that I see my car sitting idly in my drive way I regret ever getting behind the wheel with the intentions of street racing. It was a decision that has left a permanent mark on my record, as well as a permanent mark on my life. On a final note, I would like to thank you. Thank you for putting an end to my self-destructive patterns. If it weren’t for you stopping me that night I may have continued with my ways and may have wound-up within a far worse situation then I was. I can only be thankful as I am now able to swallow my pride and allow this entire situation act as a lesson to me; something that I could look back on not with regret, but with admiration as it was a Turning point in my life.