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08/01 Direct Link
Come to the Bacchanalia, she said.

Will the wine flow freely, I said.

There will be Coke and Diet Coke, she said.

Will there be ample room for the orgy, I said.

There will be no orgy, but there will be a game of Twister, she said.

What you are inviting me to is not a Bacchanalia, but a lame-ass party, I said.

There will be pleasures, of a sort, she said.

List the pleasures, I said.

She listed them:
* Coke
* Diet Coke
* Twister
* Fresh fruit plate
* Watch Jason play Xbox

God, I hate this modern life, I said.
08/02 Direct Link
The dog's barking presents several problems.

bowowowowowowowow!

First, the barking presents a problem of volume, since the din has shattered the early-morning tranquility I had been enjoying. Second, the barking presents a veterinary problem. I am afraid the prolonged vocalization will give the dog a sore throat.

bowowowowowowowow!

Third, the barking present a problem of communication. What, exactly, is the dog's complaint? Fourth, the barking presents a problem of responsibility. Will others, as I do, harbor a secret wish to harm the dog? Should I act on that wish, try to protect the dog, or stay in bed?

bowowowowowowowow!
08/03 Direct Link
STEAMED DUMPLING SUDDENLY LOVES A CERTAIN WRITING PROMPT:
(but has to split the resulting entry into two parts, dang)

an entry about liver medicine and what so-and-so ate for breakfast

I break the fast with draughts of Famous Grouse
and thus eschew the standard morning fare.
The stench of Scotch soon permeates the house
and hangs there in the heavy, humid air.
The bottle empty, I begin to clear
Her plate and cup, still there from last night's meal.
I then drink down my last twelve-pack of beer
To see if it improves the way I feel.
08/04 Direct Link
I polished off the Scotch, the beer, the gin--
Love unrequited brought me to this state.
“Breakfast of champions,” I think, and grin,
Although I'm starting not to feel so great.
My heartache's cure becomes my liver's ill;
My liver's cure is in a yellow pill.

---

* Actually, I have only once in my life started drinking before 5:00 p.m., and that was a watermelon-champagne cocktail at brunch. Everyone was drinking them. It was pretty good, too, although a “watermelon-champagne cocktail” sounds pretty girly now that I think about it.

* I am Beowulf! I will keel yo' monstah... (right!)
08/05 Direct Link
Animals under stress exhibit compulsive, repetitive behavior.

I once saw a bear in a cage who spent his days shaking his head back and forth. People threw garbage at him and left food just out of his reach. He ignored them.

I once saw my boss banging his head on his desk. “Here is your spreadsheet,” I said, and left him to his banging.

I once saw a co-worker snapping pencils in half and putting them back in the pencil jar.

I saw another bite off all his fingernails.

When I get home I have to take fifteen showers.
08/06 Direct Link
A CATECHISM

Q: What is the chief end of man?
A: Pass. Next question.

Q: May I have a chickpea samosa?
A: You may, but in five minutes you will only want another.

Q: If I obtain her consent, may I lie with woman?
A: You may, but in five minutes (or thirty or sixty) you will only want to lie with her again.

Q: Will nothing satisfy?
A: Aquinas says GOD is the Sole Satisfier.

Q: Well... shit, then. What should I do this afternoon?
A: I don't suppose it matters. I think we might all be completely fucked.

08/07 Direct Link
“BY COMPARISON” (1)

I heard a story about a man who was dealing with all the exact same problems that I had. The difference was that he handled his problems differently.

His method of handling of these problems (that we share, remember) is to cry a lot and whitewash the problem and throw money at the problem and eat too many cookies and smoke too much crack and blame his parents and kick his cat and threaten the president and write terrible, angsty poetry.

I suddenly became the coolest guy in the world by comparison -- the wise, mature, enlightened duuuuuuuuuude.
08/08 Direct Link
If you really want to see them in action, go outside on a Friday night. These new models are bigger and shinier, and they have more accessories than you're used to seeing. Their scalps automatically ooze hair gel when it's needed, and they have cologne sprayers located behind their ears so that they constantly smell nice. They're programmed to smile and give funny, insincere compliments at the right moment, which is a nice feature.

Naturally, the women are all crazy about them, and they'll sit around and sulk rather than go home with something else. How many would you like?
08/09 Direct Link
“BY COMPARISON” (2)

She wouldn't date him, she said, because he was grubby and apparently ate corn chips for breakfast.

He stood there, hurt and silent, for a full minute. His plan to approach morning commuters at the bus stop and ask them out was starting to look like a bust. He nodded at the woman and sat next to me on the bench. He offered me a corn chip. When I declined, he placed the crumpled, greasy bag between us.

Bitches!” he shouted. “Superficial goddamn BITCHES!”

I liked him because he made me look like a “catch” by comparison.
08/10 Direct Link
The cicada buzzes in the end of summer, that season of heightened self-consciousness, and I am not sad.

In summer the girls go by in their short shorts and the sweet, jewel-like fruits glisten with pesticide in the market aisles. On clear nights crowds of impossible youth and radiance and vigor wander the streets in search of dissipation, and car stereos thump out a rhythm of heat and sweat and sex.

Summer is a time of painful beauty and smooth, unscratched surfaces and cruel teasing aspiration and unattainable pleasure, so when the cicada buzzes I am not sad.
08/11 Direct Link
I sought solace in poori and papadum and pakoras and papri. The aloo tikiya gave no comfort; the chana saag gave no consolation.

Even the ka-chori (the inscrutable, the indescribable, whose very name gives cheer and succor to so many) could not lift my spirits.

All these fried treats and more, and all of their associated chutneys, putnis, and raitas did I purchase, and all of them did I eat. But truly, “the pleasures that come from the world bear in them sorrows to come,” and through my gluttony I came to grief.

(Seriously, though, try the sampler platter.)
08/12 Direct Link
“'A Puppet in Every Home'. That is my wish and my fondest dream. Every home can use a puppet, even if they don't know it. There are the usual children's puppets, oven mitt puppets, and so on, but we're working on some very exciting models for larger markets. There's the emotional release puppet, the companionship puppet, the self-expression puppet, the therapy puppet. Our boys have developed an amazing deconstruction puppet. The religious puppet has potential.”

“You aren't afraid people will find Puppet Jesus blasphemous?”

“When I'm the international puppet king I'll call the shots, don't you worry about that.”
08/13 Direct Link
She spent the better part of the pre-dawn hours climbing the mountain.

The first sliver of the sun became visible just after she reached the summit, and she wasted no time setting up her tripod.

She began to perform some motions that vaguely reminded her of the yoga or tai chi she had seen on television infomercials. She paused in what she considered a particularly cool-looking pose, and waited to hear the camera click.

*click*

Silhouetted against the sunrise overlooking the waking city, she smiled -- one of those photos was going to look great on her Facebook page.
08/14 Direct Link
Politeness is now the only thing holding us together. A phone call is a phone call, and a phone call must be returned.

Politeness is a weak glue for holding two people together, and a poor substitute for friendship. Now we'll just leave a few perfunctory voicemail messages, perfectly timed so that we won't actually have to talk to each other.

I recently realized you've been waiting for this moment for months. I'm sorry for being so dense. It has finally sunk in, and I'm prepared. There is no good way to do this. Let's get it over with already.
08/15 Direct Link
“My pappy drank J&B, and I drink it too.”

The marketing executive stopped the tape.

“This is what we call brand loyalty.”

The professor closed his book.

“This is what we call a decent business presentation.”

The student turned to the girl next to him.

“This is what I call a boring lecture.”

The jock protagonist burst into the classroom with a keg.

“This is what I call a party!”

The man on the plane closed his laptop.

“This is what I call a stupid movie.”

The 100Words reader hit the 'back' button.

“This is what I call RIDICULOUS.”
08/16 Direct Link
Steamed Dumpling is on his couch watching an old movie. He's eating popcorn and drinking a screwdriver -- he really likes the combination of popcorn and orange juice.

He picks up his notebook and scribbles something. In his scribbling, he has compared love to war. Tomorrow morning he will be embarrassed by what he has written, but for now he has his movie and his popcorn and his screwdriver and his godawful simile, and he is content.

[A friend asked me to sign up at twitter.com, and I said no thanks. You know why? What you're doing right now is BORING.]
08/17 Direct Link
Brick #137

He always left his door open, so that when his girlfriend called and left a message, I could hear it. Her messages were wonderful -- unaffected and full of genuine love.

I really liked her. We all did. We wished she lived closer to him so that they could see each other more often. She took the time to learn our names and she always chatted with us when she came to visit.

When he got home, he listened to the first few seconds of her message, deleted it, and went out to do something with his other girlfriend.
08/18 Direct Link
- Ho! What goes on here?

- Reading a book.

- To what end?

- The filling of my hours.

- As a child you were told that books were you friends, were you not?

- Schoolteachers are notorious liars.

- I submit that you are reading to escape reality.

- “Reality” defined as the paying of creditors, polishing the sink, deodorizing the carpet, competing for attention at parties, serving purées to infants.

- Correct.

- Which activities are, in fact, also an escape from the real reality?

- Correct. It is a game.

- Effects of which game include nausea, insomnia, and persistent heartburn?

- It gets better every day. Join us.

08/19 Direct Link
being a dude is rad as hell

I stood outside Hannaford, a model of good posture. The bus was late, and I was alone with my thoughts. They were gloomy.

I was poor, lonely, and under-employed. I was feeling low.

At that moment, a woman drove by and stopped at the red light. She wore an extremely low-cut... something, and I was treated to a long and lavish look at her magnificent cleavage. An idiotic grin swept across my face and I instantly forgot my problems. My brain shoots me some great chemicals when I see cleavage, apparently.
08/20 Direct Link
Go to the park if you want to engage in cliché.

If you are a dog, frolic and play with a frisbee.

Elderly couples: hold hands and watch the sunset.

Children: ask your father if you will see the turtle near the pond today.

Fathers: reply that the turtle may be hiding.

Lovers: picnic on a blanket and serenade each other with a small guitar.

These things have been done.

The park is not the only place for cliché. You can always go to Nicaragua and drive an ambulance for the revolutionaries. You could fall in love. You could suffer.

08/21 Direct Link
Earl van Spiny came into my life about a year ago, after I told a friend that I was thinking about getting a pet.

Two weeks later I helped her move some furniture, and she gave me Earl, an aloe vera plant. He was a cheerful shade of green, and he lived in a little terra cotta pot.

I never figured out whether she gave him to me because she didn't think I was ready for the responsibility of taking care of an animal, or whether she just thought a pet aloe plant was a good match for my personality.
08/22 Direct Link
Melville was feeling depressed, so I thought I'd take him to a party.

I introduced him to a few people and left him to mingle on his own. Naturally, I spent the evening hiding under a table. I kept an eye on Melville and noted his progress.

10:30 – He is chatting. I cannot tell from this distance whether or not he has “turned on the charm.”

10:55 – The girl in the green dress touched his arm!

11:15 – There is an awkward silence. She looks bored.

11:16 – Melville alone.

11:17 – He has joined me under the table. He is still depressed.

08/23 Direct Link
“There was a time when I thought your behavior at parties was strange,” he began, handing me a gin and tonic.

“'Who is that guy, hiding under the table? Who does he think he is?' These are the questions I asked myself once upon a time, before we met.”

He gulped down his drink.

“But now I think I'm beginning to understand. You may have something here.”

We watched the party from under the table, and noted the progress of the participants.

By the end of the night, six other people had joined us. The party was deemed a success.

08/24 Direct Link
Goin' down to Price Chopper feelin' bad,
Goin' down to Price Chopper feelin' bad,
Goin' down to Price Chopper feelin' ba-aa-aad!
Don't wanna be treated this-a-way.

Goin' where the mustard is on sale,
Goin' where the mustard is on sale,
Goin' where the mustard is on sale-aa-aale!
Don't wanna be treated this-a-way.

Your two-dollar kale is wilted and brown,
Your two-dollar kale is wilted and brown,
Your two-dollar kale is wilted and brown, Lord Lord!
I ain't gonna be treated this-a-way.

--Traditional American
(new lyrics by ME)
08/25 Direct Link
RETRACTION

The entry of the twentieth was full of factual errors for which the author apologizes.

It is the official opinion of this feature that the past and future are illusions, and that there is only the eternal present.

Therefore, every minute, every action, every frisbee caught, is a unique and unreproducible self-contained event.

If one can live in the present without referring to the past or thinking about the future, one is truly living, and the thought of anything being cliché will become absurd. Go to the park on a late summer afternoon and discover this for yourself.
08/26 Direct Link
We gathered around a pizza to say goodbye to our summer intern, but everyone, including her, was more interested in my crazy eating habits. Who doesn't like pizza?

But, see, it was her goodbye party, so I kept trying to turn the conversation back to her.

“Tell me more about archery,” I said.

“OK, but... what if the cheese came from a goat?” she said.

Later I overheard whispering in the office.

“...not enough protein...”

“...can't be healthy...”

The summer intern noticed the effect this had on me. She offered to run upstairs and buy me a bag of candy.
08/27 Direct Link
There are people who sleep in the park at night. Sometimes they wake me up with their screaming.

Lately there have been more of them, and their screams have been angrier. It's 3:00 a.m., and the guy who is screaming right now has a voice like pure evil. He is furious about something, and has been screaming about it for almost an hour.

In my imagination, he looks like the guy who lived behind the dumpster in Mulholland Drive. Terrifying.

I won't be able to fall asleep until he does.

I might be ready to move out to the country.
08/28 Direct Link
I was online, chatting with a friend. She used to write some pretty interesting short stories back in the day, so I asked her for an idea for my 100 words for the night. I was expecting... vampires, or a police officer who deals drugs in his spare time. Here's what she gave me:

“How about a guy who has four arms and three nipples, but he still lives a normal life?”

I sent the following emoticon:

:|

She sent the following back:

;p

Steve had four arms and three nipples, but he somehow still managed to live a normal life.
08/29 Direct Link
My subconscious is hilarious.

I've mentioned that I'm pretty broke, right? This weekend I've splurged a bit more than I should have on some unnecessary stuff.

So last night I had a dream that I was in this really cool tea shop, and the old man who ran the place and I had a good chat about tea and the supplies we need to drink it. I ended up spending $200 on a pair of special tea-drinking shoes, and $50 on a tea-carrying fanny pack-type thing.

Sometimes I wake up laughing because my dreams are so funny.
08/30 Direct Link
It was a conference, so of course there were lots of little ice-breaking activities so that all of the participants could get to know each other.

They're paying us to sit around in a circle and bullshit each other, though, so I played along.

“Tell us something most of your friends don't know about you.”

My mind went blank, and the people to my left started talking about playing the harmonica and enjoying romance novels. I still had nothing when it was my turn, so I told the truth.

“I'm pretty good at picking things up with my feet.”
08/31 Direct Link
I can't complain

Where the watermelons grow

Back to my home

I dare not go

for if I do

somebody would say

“Welcome to REAL LIFE

DOWN BY THE BAY!”


I paid my bills

I fed the birds

I didn't start a fire

In spite of the urge

For if I did,

My mother would say,

“make it stop make it stop make it stop make it stop

DOWN BY THE BAY!”


[I'm writing this entry while talking to my parents on the phone.]


That's why I say,

“Chew off my leg! Chew off my leg!

DOWN BY THE BAY!"