Saturday, December 3, 2011

I Love the Smell of Eggnog in the Morning

Something I wrote for The WRIToracle in 2006

I Love the Smell of Eggnog in the Morning
Michael Frissore

(artwork by Amy Frissore)

The term “culture war” has grown increasingly popular in America over the last twenty-five years. Battleground issues such as abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, and the separation of church and state are just a handful of the hot-button topics in this so-called war. Political bickering, however, has become so out of control in this country that throughout December, for the last few years, a legitimate topic on many news and talk programs was – The War on Christmas.

The War on Christmas gets more intense every year. Last October Fox News’s John Gibson even released a book titled The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday is Worse Than You Thought. The main battle in the war is the saying of “Happy Holidays” in lieu of “Merry Christmas,” which, to some, is not only offensive to Christians, but it slaps baby Jesus right in the face. The term “Happy Holidays,” however, includes the entire holiday season, Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s, and also includes Chanukah. There are a cornucopia of holidays at the end of the year; so, “Happy Holidays” seems like the right thing to say.

There are other aspects of the war, but first let’s look at the combatants in the war. On one side is what radio host and Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly calls “the secular progressive” movement, which, according to O’Reilly, consists of liberals, atheists, the ACLU, The New York Times, The Washington Post and every other newspaper and magazine O’Reilly deems as “ideologues.” On the other side are O’Reilly himself, John Gibson, Jerry Falwell, the American Family Association, and many other conservative groups.

The defense of the War on Christmas has not been getting help from some of its conservative allies. sold “Holiday Ornaments” on their site this year, including one for The O’Reilly Factor; the Republican National Committee posted “Happy Holidays” at its message on its home page; and George and Laura Bush sent out “holiday cards” this year that made no mention of the word “Christmas,” an oversight criticized by the heads of both the conservative WorldNetDaily and the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

This war, or “jihad,” as O’Reilly often calls it, is the year-end battle in the overall culture war. O’Reilly says abolishing Christmas is part of the secular agenda, which also includes enacting “secular progressive programs like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, (and) gay marriage.”

Throughout December of 2005, O’Reilly hyperbolized daily on his television and radio shows about how serious the war on Christmas is. He accused both the town of Saginaw, Michigan and the Plano Independent School District in Plano, Texas of opposing “red and green clothing on anyone”; he stated that the U.S Postal Service had stopped issuing spiritual Christmas stamps; and he claimed that Ridgewood Elementary School in Dodgeville, Wisconsin changed the lyrics to “Silent Night,” forcing students to sing a secularized version. Each of these statements was later proven incorrect. It was cupcakes and napkins, and not clothing, that were not to be red and green; the USPS continued selling religious Christmas stamps, but did not print new ones for 2005 due to the planned stamp price increase; and, while the lyrics to “Silent Night” were changed in a school play, the main character, a Christmas tree, sung about his loneliness to the tune of the song.

O’Reilly also pressed his viewers and listeners not to shop at stores such as Wal-Mart, Target and Circuit City because they “refuse to acknowledge Christmas,” even saying that Circuit City doesn’t acknowledge Christmas because, “I think people from India own” the store. This statement was also proven incorrect.

O’Reilly went so far as to state that Catholic leaders were “MIA in the Christmas controversy,” just as they had been during the sex abuse scandal, adding, “If you don’t stick up for the baby Jesus, who are you going to stick up for?”  If O’Reilly doesn’t see the great difference between the Church sex abuse scandal and his yuletide war, he is as crazy as many people think he is. In 2004, on his radio program, O’Reilly said to a Jewish caller who complained because “Christmas (was) going into school,” that “if you are really offended , you gotta go to Israel.”

Meanwhile, this Christmas, as in every year, I was constantly surrounded by Christmas songs, from “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” to “Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey.” I amazingly escaped hearing Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song” and that “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel” song, the only two Chanukah songs I can think of. And every advertisement on television, while maybe never saying the word “Christmas,” was chockfull of happy little Gentiles wearing Santa hats and dancing around trees and nutcrackers while “Joy to the World” was playing in the background.

The issue has even gone to the U.S. House of Representatives, as on December 15, the House voted 401 to 22 for a resolution saying it “strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas.'' For, as Rep. John T. Doolittle of California said in his December 15 In The Know column on the House’s Web site, “The overwhelming percentage of Americans who celebrate this special time, which is after all a national holiday, should be allowed to do so without persecution by the self-appointed political correctness police.”

Wow! Persecution! Christians are being persecuted, all in the name of political correctness, a terribly trite 1990s term. And imagine, a resolution that “strongly disapproves” of something. That’s one powerful resolution.

Truthfully, it is absurd for anyone to expect a predominantly Christian country to not celebrate its biggest holiday. There are some people who have a problem with it. That doesn’t make it war. If a school decides to change the lyrics to a popular Christmas song to fit a character, or a store tells their employees to say “Happy Holidays” so as not to exclude any of their customers, it’s not war. It’s a creative decision in the former, and a business decision in the latter.

The O’Reillys of the culture war are very good at making mountains out of molehills. They take one small instance, sometimes a company or school, as in the case of the Christmas war, and turn it into a national story. Other times, as in the cases with former unknowns like Cindy Sheehan, Michael Newdow and Ward Churchill, one person can make a statement in favor of the “secular progressive” side of the culture war, and, overnight, become as much of a threat as Michael Moore. The best way to immediately make your name in politics today is to say something to one reporter that will wreak havoc with American conservatives.

But, while Christmas is over, there’s still more to be milked from the War on Christmas. Certainly other holidays can and will come under attack. We just celebrated New Year’s Day. Well, the Chinese celebrate a completely different New Year. Are they living on a different planet than the rest of us? O’Reilly, one of many who pushed for a boycott on France, might have enough reason to boycott China as well if we didn’t owe them so much money. We should at least boycott Chinese food.

What about Thanksgiving? The Pilgrims came to America in 1620 on the Mayflower to escape religious persecution, just like Christians are being persecuted in this country today, according to the Falwells and Doolittles. Some people call it “Turkey Day.” Maybe some people aren’t thankful to be living in the greatest country in the world. We don’t celebrate a turkey. We eat a turkey. Why don’t we boycott the country of Turkey? Perhaps Turkish prisons and Turkish taffy as well.

The same thing goes for Easter (Or perhaps it should be called “Ham Day.”). There must be schools across the country that aren’t having Easter egg hunts and are banning chocolate bunnies. When you refuse to acknowledge Easter, then you either worship Satan or you’re one of those secular atheists.

Halloween is a day everyone should like. It’s a pagan holiday, but it also has Christian connotations. Halloween is also known as “All Hallows Eve,” while November 1st is “All Hallows Day,” or “All Saints Day.” There are anti-Halloween people every year who turn their lights off all night and hide in the basement, while some give the kids crap like Necco Wafers, candy corn and pennies. If you don’t like Halloween, you’re just un-American. Move to a country that doesn’t have Halloween. There are plenty of Muslim and Central American countries that would welcome you.

Not a lot of companies give their employees Martin Luther King Day off. Some people call it MLK Day. Folks, it’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And if you’re not celebrating it, you’re as bad as the guy that shot him. And remember when “President’s Day” was called George Washington’s Birthday and Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday? You don’t celebrate Zachary Taylor or that philandering Bill Clinton. It’s about the father of our country, the cherry tree and “I cannot tell a lie,” and it’s about Lincoln freeing the slaves and wrestling bears and whatever else he did. And everyone should buy a car on this day. Those folks know what “President’s Day” is all about.

The patriotic holidays are surely vulnerable to war-like aggression. Memorial Day comes and some people don’t visit a cemetery like every American should. They don’t fly their flags at half-staff, but instead burn those flags. Why? Do they hate their country that much? The same thing goes for Independence Day. Let’s  boycott everything British on the 4th! We don’t speak English on that day. We speak Freedom. We read Freedom literature. Eat Freedom muffins. And put a little Freedom on it when we play pinball.

I can only stomach writing like O’Reilly speaks for five paragraphs so now I must stop.

The war on Christmas 2005 was thwarted once again. But next year, when Generals O’Reilly and Gibson lead the fight again, and a junior high school in New Mexico doesn’t have a Christmas Yankee swap; or a community college in South Carolina goes on “Winter Break,” rather than “Christmas Vacation”; or a company in California bans mistletoe and eggnog, and O’Reilly claims the war is on, when what really happened was that a temp got so drunk on the eggnog that he accidentally ate some of the mistletoe and died, you’ll hear about every little incident.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Victrola Poems

'Tis but a matter of nonsense, these poems doth written hath sleighed the beast of the white mountain, and eaten value suppers upon a giant mushroom, and shit.

I.              Rancor

                        the talking trees
                             the woolly mammoth
                                                a midget with tentacles
                                                      conducting –
                                                            a symphony

II.             Best and Boldest

It starts with men in white coats throwing cheese from a clock tower,
big bright sledge hammer noses sniffing me like a dog

III.            Brackets

I see five walkways
separating us -
three choo-choo trains
two staplers
a plastic shovel.
Six walkways.

IV.            Hot Dogs and Joe Satriani

weiner dog runs at me
to bite my liver spots
via the open window
he can smell the way
a hawk swoops down
then grab and eat him

V.            Letter to Lanny Poffo

We can have breakfast at Burger King and watch
old people punch each other in the face and
children pop the heads off mother dandelions
when the elderly are all dead, we will make like
bananas and split and I will make banana bread, that
night we will go to the same Burger King and heave
empty soda cups through the drive thru window

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Remembering Jonestown

Remembering Jonestown



It was 33 years ago today. Reverend Jim Jones taught the band to play. All 900 plus of them. And play they did.

November 18, 1978 was the day of the Jonestown Massacre in beautiful, sunny Guyana in South America. Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple took a little field trip – no permission slips needed – from California all the way down to Guyana to celebrate life, liberty, and the recent Yankees World Series victory (Especially Bucky Dent’s home run in that playoff game. I’ve always blamed Dent for Jonestown, that son of a bitch.).

These 900 people followed the man with the suspiciously plain name to the point of everyone’s favorite pastime – mass suicide. It was the greatest single, non-natural disaster related loss of American civilian life up until September 11, 2001. Unless you’re Al-Qaeda, you don’t mess around with Jim!

Jones – who, and very few people say this, was truly a go-getter – passed around li’l cups of what everyone assumes was Kool-Aid. Uh-uh. You hear people like Bill O’Reilly use the phrase “Kool-Aid drinkers” to describe those who blindly follow someone or something. But, no, it was a company called Flavor-Aid. Do you really think Kool-Aid would have survived that bad publicity? He comes crashing through a wall and there lies 900 bodies?

Flavor-Aid was the incredibly unlucky company whose product was combined with cyanide and enjoyed by Jim Jones’ followers. No, Flavor-Aid wouldn’t last very long after this day. Kind of like Ayds, the dietary candy that enjoyed moderate success until a certain highly-deadly disease was invented.

A total team player, Jones himself also died that day, but his legacy lived on, particularly in his 1990 co-founding of the neo-psychedelic band The Brian Jonestown Massacre, along with original Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones. This was, of course, after Jim left the band Jesus Jones when he a Jesus had a falling out.

So take a moment today to reflect on the story of Jim Jones - reverend, cult leader, man who had a town named after him. I mean, could you get 900 people to poison themselves to death? I don’t think so.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Buzz Years, Part II

Now is the time on The Unpublishables when we look at teenage drinking and ask ourselves, "Should the drinking age be lowered?"

Will 18-Year-Olds Finally be Able to Enjoy a Refreshing Beer?

August 22, 2008 

College presidents across the country are hooking up to debate an age old question: at what age does all hope vanish, only to be replaced with depressive and severe trouble drinking? Is it 18? Or is it 21? All anyone knows for certain is that ages 19 and 20 can just fuck right off. There’s nothing appealing about them.

Yes, here we go again. Should the drinking age in the U.S. be lowered from 21 to 18, the same age that a person can legally vote and enjoy a nice, refreshing cigarette? One female student told a reporter this week how crazy and “Oh, my God!” it is that she can die for her country but she can’t legally drink, as if the military even wants her, and her own mother wasn’t asking that same question 20 years ago when she was drinking and pregnant with her.

Apparently Whip-its and glue aren’t good enough for some students anymore. What li’l Barbie is forgetting is that the U.S. government doesn’t give two shits whether she lives or dies, as long as she doesn’t crash into a family of four along the way. So the only logical thing to do, if the drinking age is indeed lowered, is to then lower the age of military eligibility to 16, thereby maintaining an even playing field.

Ordinarily I’d be all for an 18-year-old drinking age. The more stories I hear about binge drinking and college kids dying from alcohol poisoning, the more fun life is for me. But what about the amateur bootleggers, the loser townies that 18 to 20-year-old students always turn to to obtain alcohol? What will they do without all their youthful friends? If these creepy people are no longer needed in our college cities and towns, what will this do to the delicate balance of academia? It could be chaos! Lonely, disgruntled townies murdering drunk students! And vice versa!

In movies, this is where that one person begins applauding slowly, and everyone else gradually joins in. Yes. This is why we need the drinking age lowered. Nothing thins the heard like large scales of excessive boozing. Depressed serial killers in the making relying on the pseudo-friendships of future consumption victims from September to May of every year now disenfranchised by the Man’s new law. New adults finding themselves with double the newfound freedom, being perfectly able to walk into any store and purchase an alcoholic beverage or 50.

So, college kids – drink up! Don’t wait for permission. Just do it! And place all your trust in that scary townie while you still have to. After all, we’re all God’s children, yes?

Monday, October 31, 2011

New Feature: The Buzz Years, Part I

My writing for The Buzz Media, done mostly in 2008, looks to be disappearing as time goes on. So I must now post the remaining pieces here to somewhat restore them. Here is something from August of '08 about a 10-year-old bullfighter.

French People Very Rude to 10-Year-Old Bullfighter


Michelito Lagravere is the coolest 10-year-old ever. Even cooler than Drew Barrymore at that age. For as adorable as little Drew must have been with booze on her breath and cocaine on her nose, young Michelito is at least twice as cute when fighting bulls. Yes, this Mozart-like child prodigy is causing quite a ruckus among animal apologists in France. It’s bad enough what we humans have been doing to these creatures, say the oh-suddenly-we-have-a-heart-and-a-soul French, but to endanger a child at the same time, that’s like bathing twice in the same week!

As for the great sport of bullfighting, it’s a winless debate, like abortion or midget tossing. There are no real answers regarding whether it’s right or wrong. Only God can truly say. Quite frankly, I think that if God didn’t want us fighting off these animals, He wouldn’t have made them so feisty when you wave a red rag at them. Maybe when these bulls stop terrorizing people in Pamplona every year, we’ll stop trying to fight them. And with the Almighty unwillingly to give us a verdict, I turn to the next best thing: Ernest Hemingway. And if the PETA types are saying Papa Hemingway was wrong about bullfighting, then they will have me to tangle with.

Regarding the little torero himself, apparently some people aren’t aware that Michelito is now 60-0 against these bulls. He’s murdered 60 of these things! Are their 10-year-olds anywhere near that good at football or soccer, sports that, by the way, are every bit as dangerous? Have they ever placed their fragile children on top of a horse?

Sure the young Lagravere has been trampled a few times, but who hasn’t? Not to worry. The young man’s father is a French bullfighter, and, if it’s in the boy’s blood, who are we to take that away? What if someone had taken the golf club out of young Tiger Woods’ hands? Or tried to keep Baby Jessica away from the well? It wouldn’t have been right.

So these sneaky French are now trying to keep the boy from competing by saying that the French labor code bars children under 16 from “jobs that endanger their lives, health or morality.” Well, good. Donate the money to some frog charity or to restoring Jerry Lewis’ films, or just let ole Dad keep the money.

You can’t tell a child to stop playing video games and get some exercise, then turn around and say, no, you can’t be fighting those nasty bulls either. Let Michelito Lagravere fight!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Brief Write-Up on

That's right. You may not give a rampaging shite, but NewPages is a pretty big deal and they like my horseshit even if you don't read it. Because, you see, my timeless story, "The Adventures of Root Beer Float Man" received a thumbs up from one Henry F. Tonn of the prestigious NewPages Web site. In case the link soon shits the bed, here's what Mr. Tonn wrote:

"I immensely enjoyed “The Adventures of Root Beer Float Man” by Michael Frissore, a humorous tale about a man with super powers such as being able to scream like a little girl, and who is dedicated to solving crimes, if he can correctly identify them. Frissore’s style comes through as the protagonist asks his boss for time off to investigate a friend’s death: “‘Well, you know, Sparky,’ he said. ‘You don't really work here anymore. I fired you three weeks ago. You have no training in journalism and you creep everyone in the office out.’” And so our hero sallies off to right the world’s wrongs."

There you have it. I'm great!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ben and Jerry Announce Schweddy Balls!

After announcing their new Schweddy Balls ice cream flavor (named after the overrated SNL sketch starring Alec Baldwin) the grizzly Vermont team plans to Introduce even more hideous flavors in the future, including:

Nut Sack Ripple

Testicle Toffee

Scrotum Swirl

Pistachio Pussy

Cookies and Crabs

Strawberry Syphilis

Green Tea Gonorrhea

Cotton Candy Chlamydia

Hepatitis Spumoni

STD: Strawberry Thinmint Drizzle

Heath Bar Herpes

Vanilla Yeast Infection

Marshmallow Menstrual Blood

Almond Anal Fissures

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Funny on Netflix

I tried to watch a number of stand-ups on Netflix and was somewhat baffled by my complete lack of enjoyment in them. Not that anyone should care about what I find funny. I have long known that my tastes in humor and the general consensus taste are completely different. So maybe I'm the asshole.

Case in point, when searching for stand-up specials to view on Netflix I know to avoid anything stressing a particular culture. For example, something subtitled "Red-Nexican" or called "Three Amigos" or "One Funny Hick-Spanic" will not be for me. Likewise "Pimpadelic" or "All Star Comedy Jam." Call me a racist. I just know I won't like it. And something titled "Laffapalooza!" I stay way the hell away from.

Thus I've put together my who-gives-a-shit likes and dislikes of current Netflix Stand-Up.


Whitney Cummings: Money Shot

I watched this when I saw that this comedienne has a sitcom or something now and I'd never heard of her. I thought I might like it because I'm not one of those who thinks women can't be funny. Sure, it's few and far between, and Sarah Silverman spawned a lot of dirty female comics thrown out there for you to watch if they're pretty, but many of them are indeed quite entertaining. In fact, why can't anyone give Nikki Glaser or Amy Schumer a sitcom?

But Whitney Cummings is Throw any woman you know on stage who thinks she's funny. She's People have told me I should do stand-up. Again, my opinion probably blows and holy shit, I'm watching her right now and I can't wait to turn it off. All right, moving on.

Bo Burnham: Words, Words, Words

Where did this motherfucker come from? He plays the piano, he plays the guitar, he has his entire set typed on the wall behind him. That last one alone is reason for me to wish he'd go the way of Richard Jeni. And he's fourteen! Yes, prodigy, you're handsome, and more than a little talented, but go fuck yourself. I can't watch this horseshit.

Nick Swardson: Seriously, Who Farted?

The rap intro alone pisses me off, you white shithead. I wanted to like this fella because he's been on Opie and Anthony, and most people they like, I like. And, I've heard his Pretend Time show is really funny. But he's Bo Burnham's older frat brother. His opening bit about how great drinking and partying is hurt my ears, eyes, and entire head. So if I watch Pretend Time and enjoy it I'll delete this from here. Until then, fuck you, Nicholas.

Dane Cook: Rough Around the Edges

I once thought Cook was funny. I think that was when he was stealing other, funny comedians' jokes. Now he's been called out on that and can't do it anymore, and he's no better than Nick Swardson.

Brian Regan: Anything

I feel like I'm really missing something here. I loved Regan when I was fifteen and watching every stand-up show on MTV and A&E and shit. But his act is still like that, and therefore still like every 80s television comic. And before you say it's because he's clean, Jim Gaffigan is clean and he's hilarious, so go screw.

Now, like you care, here is a list of stand-up specials on Netflix that I found fantastic:

Patrice O'Neal: Elephant in the Room

I wrote a poem called "Patrice O'Neal is a Funny Motherfucker" because that's what he is. I don't know what else to say except I met him once and he couldn't have been less interested in meeting me. Yet I still think he's one of the funniest people on the planet.

Bill Burr: Let it Go

You should watch and listen to anything Bill Burr. His podcast, this special, every damn thing. "Let it Go" is frigging brilliant.

Doug Stanhope: No Refunds

I wish Netflix had all of Stanhope's specials on Instant. Alas, we only have this one, which, like everything he does, is hilarious in the literal sense, not in the way everyone uses it these days.

Louis C.K.: Chewed Up

Same deal. Everything he does. His HBO show. His FX show. I wish all of his specials were available instantly. Holy Hanna in a handbasket, Louis CK is the funniest person alive. And I met him in 2007 and he was ridiculously cool.

Joe Rogan: Live

See the Bill Burr bit. Rogan's podcast is great, this special rules. He was awesome on NewsRadio. What more do you want?

Anything George Carlin or Eddie Izzard

You can't go wrong with anything by these two and Netflix has a lot of their stuff on Instant. Now go away.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dear Diary

This week I decided to make my blog a journal in lieu of posting some “unpublishable” writing or something about dead wrestlers or other such nonsense. Nobody reads this anyway. Thus, it might as well be a diary locked up in my drawer next to the unicorn stickers, Gummi Bears, and love letters to Justin Bieber.
This weekend we started looking at preschools for Alex. Really cute. I enjoy watching him interact with other kiddos. On Sunday we took him to a mall to see puppies and play on the playground, where he made faces at some little girls. Must let him know not to do that. Daddy knows from experience, this is not a good way to pick up girls. He may be way cuter than me, but making faces is universally scary.
Later that night we were somewhere where he got to play with more girls and his pants kept falling down and the girls laughed at him. So I went over and knocked both chicks out. Okay, I didn’t, but I wanted to as a warning to all future bimbos who might laugh at my boy.

Let’s see, Amy and I also had a clash of the titans between the film Mansfield Park, based, of course, on the “Stone Cold” Jane Austen novel, and “Live From the Compound,” the UStream program starring Anthony Cumia of The Opie and Anthony Show. Can you guess which side I was on? Anyway, I left her to watch the Jane Austen movie so I could watch Anthony’s coverage of Hurricane Irene. Then Amy said she wouldn’t come to bed until I stopped watching it. I mean, really! What kind of behavior is this?
Then last night we watched True Blood, and Amy said “This doesn’t happen in the books,” a dozen times.
I also had someone retweet one of my response to their nearly 8,000 followerrs:
mfrissore Michael Frissore
“@... Whoever said chris brown can't dance , get slapped!”.
Me: Must have been Rhianna and she must said it over and over.
Now, let’s get down to brass tacks, whatever the hell that means.
Opie and Anthony are on vacation this week. So, first, interested parties might be able to catch “Live From the Compound” all week on UStream. Second, I’m listening to podcasts at work all day, rather than half the day. One of the things I’ll be bringing you (minus Tuesday, I’ll be off with my boy) is the mighty podcasts to which I’m listening. Because it is that important. Here’s the lineup for Monday.

You Know What, Duuude? with Robert Kelly

Guests: Joe DeRosa, Bill Burr

The three comics bust each others’ balls with hilarious results.
The Monday Morning Podcast with Bill Burr
August 29, 2011

Bill gets chastised by hotel security for being too loud.
Jim Jefferies and Eddie Ifft Talk Sh*t
: “Co-depend Detox” -
Guest: John Viener (Family Guy, The Cleveland Show)

Jim Jefferies lines:
“Herpes is a gateway STD.”
“The door wanted to leave him as well.”
“He doesn’t know if he snores. No one has ever slept next to him.”
Mike and Tom Eat Snacks: Episode 22 - Snyder’s  Pretzels
Guest: Rob Burnett

Voted “The Best Podcast since Amos & Andy,” Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanagh welcome the former Late Show with David Letterman producer and Ed co-creator and his snack of choice. The result is a near fistfight between Mike and Rob.

Mike and Tom Eat Snacks: Episode 23 – Fig Newtons
Guest: Rob Burnett
Mike and Tom bring Burnett back to MATES headquarters for another hilarious, snack-filled episode. Mike and Rob try to mend fences. Fig Newtons will always get a Perfect 10 from me.
And that was it. Now I’m off to Wal*mart to buy Mum four boxes of Dreyer’s fruit bars – two coconut, two pineapple – then pick up Alex from G-Pa and G-Ma (their rap names).
If I write in my diary tomorrow it will be a miracle. Whip like. So, stay tuned for What I Listened to on Wednesday, featuring perhaps Kevin Smith, and more Bob Kelly, MATES, and Jim and Eddie!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Top O’ the Mornin’ Poems

Simply put, these are two parodies of poems that have appeared on this year, both by a guy named Topp.

Twitter Cinquain

She re-

tweeted my joke

about scientific

classification; so did Doug


August 25, 2011

I visited my doctor and he checked me for a hernia. I came all over the floor.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Unpublishable Short Story: The Atheists

It's not the greatest short story, and, sure, the ending is a bit weird, but this story is part of The Unpublishables because literary journals are primarily humorless, liberal douchebags.

The Atheists
By Michael Frissore

Erica sat on a metal folding chair by the river. A dozen or so of her college friends looked on as Martin stood before her brandishing a leaf blower - a Toro Ultra Blower Vac - with the word “Reason” written on it in red Magic Marker.

It was a beautiful spring day, perfect for Martin to perform his very first de-baptism. Erica happily volunteered to be his first subject, feeling that her own baptism as an infant was done sans her consent.

Martin, a senior, was the leader of a group of anti-religious students who started meeting and reading books about atheism. With some research Martin discovered that groups at schools around the United States were performing de-baptisms. He decided this was just what his group needed.

Erica, a freshman, was brought up by Catholic parents, though not terribly strict ones. While raised in public schools, she went through all of her religious education classes until confirmation, at which point she saw herself as free of religion. College had thus far proven to solidify that decision. Meeting Martin at a bar near campus moved her further from what her parents called “the Lord.” She now saw herself as a firm atheist.

Martin placed his left hand over Erica’s head, careful to not yet activate the leaf blower in his right hand, while, at the same time, keeping his dog Moe at bay with his right leg.

“Erica, my fellow non-believer,” Martin said. “Have you freely renounced the previous mistake made by your parents and accepted reason over superstition?”

“I have,” Erica said.

“Then I now pronounce you de-baptized.”

He flicked the switch on the Toro, knocking Erica off her chair and scaring the hell out of Moe. Erica laughed along with her new friends and looked up at Martin as if to say “Oops,” while Moe recovered and licked her face. Erica then rose to her feet, waving her arms in the air.

“I got de-baptized!” She shouted as her fellow classmates embraced her firmly and offered congratulations, some expressing how they couldn’t wait until their own de-baptisms.

“How do you feel?” one of them asked her.

“I feel so free,” Erica said, munching on a “de-sacrament” - a Saltine with peanut butter. “It’s so therapeutic.”

Martin then handed Erica her Certificate of De-baptism. She clutched it lovingly, held it against her chest as if hugging it then waved it triumphantly for all to see. Martin smiled at her celebratory gestures.

“Now you can use that certificate to petition the church where you were baptized to remove you from their baptismal rolls,” Martin told her.

“I will definitely do that,” Erica replied.

Her friends continued patting her on the back as they all walked to the train and then out for lunch. Martin thought about what a success his group had become and how wonderfully his first de-baptism had gone. He was very excited. There would be more ceremonies like this one, he thought, in the months ahead.

That night Erica returned to her parents’ house. Her mother, Sally, and father, Richard, were sitting on the sofa watching Wheel of Fortune. Richard was reading the paper as Sally knitted a sweater beside him. Erica let her purse drop to the floor and presented her certificate, doing a semi-dance in the process.

“I got de-baptized,” she sang.

Richard rose from the couch and threw his newspaper to the floor while Sally gently began sobbing into her own hands, nearly poking an eye out with her knitting needle.

“So that’s it, is it?” Richard said. “You just couldn’t wait to crap on something your parents and grandparents hold dear. Couldn’t wait to rid yourself, your body and soul, of our Lord and Savior, could you?”

“Oh, Erica,” Sally cried.

“You baptized me without my consent and now your mistake has been corrected.”

“You want to hear about a mistake, you smarmy little…” Richard began.

“No, Richard,” Sally pleaded.

“She’s gonna hear this, Sally!”

“I’m eighteen, Dad. I can do whatever I want. You’re not the boss of me.”

“We should have kept you underwater,” Richard said.

“Oh, that’s nice,” Erica said.

“Richard!” Sally cried.

“All we wanted,” Richard said. “Was to bring you up right, and because the cool bands and the cool celebs shun religion, we were jerks for caring.”

“Maybe you were, Dad,” Erica said,

“Maybe we shouldn’t have named you either. Let you choose that too. You’d have named yourself Hannah Montana.

“Whatever, Dad,” Erica said, leaving the room. “I have a party to go to.”

“And don’t expect any Christmas gifts this year since you don’t celebrate it because Jesus sucks, right? You can worship nothing but the intellectual superiority of being an atheist!”

“I will, Dad!” Erica shouted as she walked out the front door.

Erica went to meet Martin and the rest of the group for a party at Martin’s Christian friends’ house. Steve and Alisa were believers, though not regular churchgoers. They were having other Christian friends over and Martin couldn’t wait to “de-vangelize” to all of them.

Little did either atheist know that the party would not be nearly as well attended as they thought. Erica, expecting the gang who watched her de-baptism, was disappointed that it would be just her and Martin that night.

And Martin would be deeply upset when he found out that Steve cancelled on his Christian friends because he didn’t want to subject them to Martin.

Thus it was just Martin and Erica, alongside Moe, who walked up Steve and Alisa’s driveway. Erica, knowing that Martin’s intent was conversion, was uncomfortable that the atheists would be outnumbered. But that was what Martin wanted - the teacher and student, just the two of them against the Christians. Now that Erica had been de-baptized they could conquer Christianity together.

Steve and Alisa, meanwhile, prepared appetizers for their guests. Steve hoped to keep the night’s conversations away from religion as he always did with Martin. He liked the man. That was part of why he told his other friends not to come. He knew Martin had been waiting to preach his own gospel, and that his friends would hate him for it. He and Alisa could handle Martin and a handful of kids.

Before ringing the doorbell to Steve’s home, Martin addressed his companions.

“Listen, fellow atheists,” he said to Erica and Moe. “We’re going to convert some believers tonight. Wow them with facts and reason. Put an end to faith as they know it. Better wax up them crosses, Christians! Here we come!”

“I don’t understand why it’s just us,” Erica said. “What about strength in numbers? And why does the dog always come with us?”

“Erica, honey,” Martin said. “These are not questions you should be asking. You’re the apprentice. You should ask how many of these believers will come to our side.”

“Well, can I at least put this leaf blower down?”


Martin rang the bell and Steve answered, clearly expecting a bigger crowd at his door.

“Hello,” Steve said.

“Hello, Steve,” Martin said. “Thanks for inviting us.”

“Not a problem. Was that you yelling out here? Where are all your friends?”

“Couldn’t make it,” Martin said as they entered. “And where are your other guests?”

“Touch of the swine flu, I’m afraid,” Steve said. “I see you brought your dog though. And a leaf blower. Good thinking.”

“See,” Martin whispered to Erica. “Where is their God when the swine flu is about?”

“What was that?” Steve said.

“Nothing,” Martin said. “Just that you know how inseparable Moe and I are.”

“I don’t actually,” Steve said. “But welcome. May I take your lawn equipment?”

Erica handed the leaf blower over to Steve, who Martin then asked if they could keep it by the door in case they needed it.

Martin introduced Erica to Steve and Alisa and they all went to sit in the living room. There they discussed the weather, movies, and sports. Steve passed around plates of deviled eggs and stuffed mushrooms and periodically filled everyone’s wine glasses.

Martin waited for the right moment to state his purpose and thought the pouring of the wine was the perfect time to both do this and make a joke.

“So Steve,” he said. “Have you thought about serving wine not drawn from the blood of Christ?”

“What does that mean?” Steve said.

“Have you and Alisa thought of taking God out of your lives? Going from believers to non-believers?”

“Why would we want to do that?” Steve said.

“Well,” Martin answered. “We’re well into the 21st century, for Christ’s sake. No pun intended. The Best-Sellers List is filled with books portraying God as dead or not great. Don’t you want in on that?”

“Martin,” Alisa said. “I thought we had an understanding that religion would not be brought up at our gatherings.”

“Well, it’s been the elephant in the room, hasn’t it?” Martin said.

“No, it hasn’t,” Steve said. “We’ve gotten along great until you called me yesterday saying you wanted to unsave my soul.”

“I’d like to, if I may,” Martin said. “Begin with a quote from Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great. He asks, ‘How can we ever know how many children had their psychological and physical lives irreparably maimed by the compulsory inculcation of faith?’”

“Wow,” Steve said. “That’s a lot of big words there, Martin. But I’ll try to answer by saying that my guess is we can’t. At least not until we’re done tallying the psychological harm caused by video games and exposure to homosexuals.”

“See!” Martin said. “Hate speech!”

“That was a joke, Martin,” Steve said. “I love video games.”

“Hey,” Alisa said. “Who’s up for some Cranium?”

“I thought Christians believe humans don’t have craniums,” Martin said.

“Okay,” Steve said. “You know what, Martin? You and you latest victim should go.”

“I’m not a victim,” Erica said. “You can’t just judge us by our beliefs.”

“Isn’t that why you’re here?” Alisa said.

“We’re here to enrich you with reason,” Erica said.

“Yes,” Steve said. “Like it says on the giant leaf blower.”

There were a few seconds of silence. Steve and Alisa looked at each other as Martin pet his dog.

“I haven’t fully introduced you to Moe yet,” Martin said.

“Hello, Moe. Nice doggie,” Steve said, then adding, “Didn’t I ask you to leave just a minute or two ago?”

“No, wait,” Martin said. “Moe, say hello to the nice Christians.”

“What?” Steve said.

God is a lie,” Moe said.

“See!” Martin said. “Moe knows!”

“What are you talking about?” Steve said.

God is dead,” Moe added.

Martin put his hands out in a ta-da motion, expecting awe to fill the room. But Martin was the only one in the room who heard Moe speak. The others, including Erica, stared at Martin and the dog, who was just an ordinary canine to them.

“Moe is telling you that God is dead,” Martin said.

“Well, tell him to speak up,” Steve said. “Is this a Satanic dog? What are we dealing with here?”

Atheists don’t believe in God or Satan, stupid,” Moe said.

“Oh, he told you, Steve,” Martin said.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Alisa said as Steve made cuckoo clock sounds.

“We’re out!” Martin shouted. “Me and Moe and Erica are out of the closet as atheists and you can’t hurt us.”

“Please don’t group me with you and the talking dog,” Erica whispered.

Alisa got down on her knees and began petting Moe, who licked her face. Erica drank from her glass uncomfortably as Martin stared daggers at his dog as if willing him to speak to everyone.

“What a good doggie,” Alisa said. “All dogs go to Heaven, don’t they, Moe?”

“No!” Martin said. “Tell them, Moe! There is no Heaven! There is no God!”

Steve got down on the floor next to Alisa and rubbed Moe behind his ears and grabbed at his nose.

“Gosh, Davey,” Steve said while moving Moe’s mouth like a puppeteer. “I don’t know how you sleep at night thinking there’s a boogeyman under your bed and that you might die before you wake.”

“Stop mocking us!” Martin said. Erica and Alisa tried to hold in laughter, but could not.

“Prayers are retarded,” Steve continued. “And there’s no God, you stupid asshole. Now pick up my feces and let’s go play Halo.”

“All right, that’s it,” Erica said. “I’m out of here. Steve, Alisa, it was nice meeting you. Martin, we’ll talk tomorrow about your talking dog.”

“You mean you didn’t hear Moe speak? How is that possible? You’re a non-believer just as we are.”

“No, Martin. I didn‘t,” Erica said. “And I’ll walk home. I have some thinking to do.”

Erica exited the house, leaving Martin embarrassed and alone with the Christians. There was more silence as Steve and Alisa looked at each other, then at Martin.

“So,” Martin said. “I suppose you never heard it either?”

Steve stood up, placing his hands together as if praying, but more out of exasperation than prayer.

“Martin,” Steve said. “You can’t convince people with a strong faith in God that He doesn’t exist. That usually necessitates a history of priest molestation or having one’s cat hit by a truck. Any more than I could convince you that God does exist. You want God to appear like a noisy neighbor and be all, ‘Hello, I’m God. Got any sugar?’ What kind of supreme being would just show up all the time like Mr. Furley?”

With that, an enormous, bearded, human, but race-ambiguous, figure came crashing through the wall. Martin promptly wet himself and began screaming for his life.

“No!!!!! I get it!” Martin shouted. “I believe! I believe!”

Then he ran out of the house, straight into traffic, where he was hit by a bus and killed.

“Who was that?” the large bearded man asked.

“He was sort of a friend,” Steve said.

“And a bit of a crazy person, if you ask me,” the man said.

“Gee, Earl. Maybe it was the eight-foot bearded guy crashing through the wall that made him nuts,” Steve said. “What did we tell you about doing that? And what are you doing here anyway? We cancelled the party.”

“I wanted to meet this atheist of yours. I knew you were hiding something from us.”

“Well, he’s dead now and it’s your fault.”

“Oh, shut up, Steve,” Earl said.

“You know he thought you were God?”

“Well, he’s an idiot then, isn’t he?”

“You’re cleaning up this time,” Steve said. “Some landlord. Tearing through the walls constantly without knocking.”

“Look, they’re paper thin, these walls,” Earl said. “I’m gonna have them redone soon. I promise.”

I’ve heard that before, you freakishly-tall bastard,” Steve said. “Let’s go identify Martin’s body.”

Steve and Earl went outside, where a large group of people had surfaced in the street, leaving Alisa to do the cleaning up.

M Frissore

Monday, August 15, 2011

Other titles in the Laura Numeroff series

Other titles in the Laura Numeroff series that includes If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Take a Mouse to (School, the Movies), If You Give a Moose a Muffin, If You Give a Pig a (Party, Pancake)…

If You Give a Dog a Doughnut
If You Give a Goat a Grapefruit
If You Give a Newt a Nut Roll
If You Give a Hen a Hot Dog
If You Give a Shark Some Shortbread
If You Give a Fawn Fruit Loops
If You Give a Gnu G’navy Beans
If You Give Shrew a Shish Kabob
If You Give a Pig a Pork Roast
If You Check a Hippo for a Hernia
If You Give a Rabbit a Reach Around
If You Take a Duck to Dachau
If You Give a Woman an Engagement Ring
If You Give a Horse a Hand Job
If You Give a Fish a Fisting
If You Take a Grouse to Ground Zero
If You Give a Seal a Clubbing
If You Give a Bear a Boner

The Love Poem (Previously Published Horseshit)

The Love Poem

My name is Cecil and I have always hated poetry. The problem is my girlfriend's birthday is coming up, and she said, "You don't have to get me anything. Just write me a poem."

Ecch. Can you imagine that? So I went to a Starbuck’s, ready to write. I remembered an assignment in my high school poetry class to write a love poem. Mrs. Helmsley was none to pleased when I turned in the lyrics to the theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She considered it a step down, even from the first poem I handed in, which was chock full of profanities and graphic sexual images and got me sent to Principal Brewster’s office. I was a messed up kid.

Now I was again tackling what I long considered my archenemy, the art of poetry. For I was in love, and, though a part of me wanted to point at myself, laugh and shout names like “Nancy-boy” and “Precious,” I was now leaning toward the notion that this once-sissified craft had some merit. I mean, my grandfather once wrote me a haiku:

Every haiku
ought to have a suicide
note attached to it

This was the history I was dealing with. Writing a love poem was nonetheless a struggle. The occasions on which I had even said the words were few and quite long ago: to my mother when I was a child; the time I yelled “I love you, man!” to Nomar Garciaparra outside of Fenway Park; the prostitute in Amsterdam.

My gal, Jambalaya, had accused me of being emotionless, loving other, “more important” things more than I loved her, such as my car, my collection of bobble-head dolls, and Natalie Portman.

“Why can’t she see how much I love her?” I said out loud, forgetting I was at a public coffee house. “Why can’t she see,” I continued, much quieter, “that I’m not the other clowns she’s dated? Why is this poetry nonsense necessary? And why is there another Starbuck’s just across the street from this one?”

I stood up and, after disposing of the napkin on which I was trying to open my heart, shouted “Damn the love poem! Damn poetry in general! Damn…Nipsey Russell, or whoever writes these things! No wonder they all go insane!”

Finally, the manager approached me. “Excuse me, Sir,” he said. “Calm down, or I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

“Are you Starbuck?” I asked him, still hysterical, and now grabbing the man’s shirt and shaking him. “Why are there so many of you bastards?”

Panicking, the manager grabbed a triple venti Toffee Nut Latte and threw it in my face, causing me to scream violently and slowly begin to melt. The place emptied as my words became more and more incoherent, and the floor more and more wet.

The next day, newspapers and television were awash with stories of the “melting lunatic,” as experts debated whether poetry and coffee were perhaps a lethal combination. Many, including my loving girlfriend, said that the moral was that if love is strong in your heart, you won’t go crazy and melt on the floor of a Starbuck’s.

There were eight more human meltings that year. They weren’t all poets, and they weren’t all drinking coffee, but they were all named Cecil.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nonsense Poetries: A Case Study

Knuckleball the word “poetry” at any tool you see in the street and you will receive one of two reactions.

“Man, that’s deep. Deep, man. Have you seen my beret and neatly trimmed beard?”


“Poetry blows, you fruit!”

In this edition of Los Unpublishables, we examine how poetry was the cause of World War II; how the Beatniks were a just a gang of criminal, drug addicted, murdering hacks; and how peanut butter spread on a hamburger can be quite a tasty treat.

Example 1:

Seven Bryan Adams Songs Will Climb Into Your Children

Check it out
dozens of refrigerator boxes
will explode like a television penguin
with haikus and dirty limericks

Amid the flaming chaos
ostriches will raise their glasses
and drink to the fire,
shouting that someone buried their heads.

Now look here,
many of you won’t catch my drift
and you will stride into a pizzeria
of unending happiness.

Soon. Thirty-one flavors
of British comedies will perch
in jock straps
of Texas high school kids
and what they say is
a lot of Woohoo! and Yee Haw!
and LOL!.

Some will give themselves
breast examinations
and not realize that God
is in their breasts,
wash those breasts, wash them
be sure to get underneath.

Years later,
seven Bryan Adams songs
will climb into your children,
and try to get into the U.S. illegally,
some will get through,
others will be shot,
and they will see that
you can’t swing a dead cat
without beating a dead horse.

Psst. Buddy.
Tomorrow a teenager will
take off her clothes and
be crushed by an avalanche
of knock-knock jokes.

We will pile the dead
in a frog pond in
the middle of the city.

And mister,
she will not speak of it
if she knows what’s good for her.

Example 2:

Your Name Repeats Like Robert Reed AIDS Jokes

Your ring finger looks like
Megan Fox’s thumb
and all I see is it
tenderizing meat

I have this fantasy of
Gunther Dyhrenfurth raping you
with a German sausage

you eat pork products
and shit a wild boar
and tap dance in the shit

the audience shoots
pumpkins out of a canon

you in blackface
being yelled at by Al Sharpton

everyone walks out
but when you shout
“you dropped something”
they all turn around.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Facial Hair Extravaganza

In the tradition of the late, great poetries inspired by the wonderful literary journal Jed's Electronic Wheelchair, and the late great poetess Bo Derek, The Unpublishables gives you...Cancer.

What I say appears in a thought bubble.

Play keep away with me all you want to; it takes
a good razor to shave a moustache like Hitler.

I cup a handful of my former beard hair and pray
then I go to the mountain and spread it like ashes.

Next year, I’ll grow a ZZ Top beard
Next year, I’ll ask out that chick in Accounting.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Like bird shit hitting a windshield, so are The Unpublishables.

We travel back to 1999, where Kenny and Gus act silly and make dated references to Dawson’s Creek and Howard Stern. Because no one reads this anyway. Heil, Hitler!


Gus stood perfectly still, as he would for exactly one hour. It was distracting. I was trying to eat, but his stillness was annoying me.

"Gus," I said. "Why are you doing this?"

"To think of what it's like to be alive, Kenny," he replied.

"I see, and when moving, you're what? Dead? A cartoon squirrel? A box of Count Chocula? Help me out."

"You wouldn't understand," he said.

"Where did you get this idea?" I asked.

"From Charlotte's Web."

"What are you, six?" I said. "Charlotte's Web? Hey, I have an idea. Why don't you read C.S. Lewis and go hunting for lions in the closet?"

"You're mocking only proves my point," he said. "You don't know what it's like to be alive."

"Sure I do," I replied. "I get up, make coffee, listen to Howard Stern, go to work, have lunch, go back to work, come home, watch the news, have dinner, watch Boston Public and Ally McBeal, and go to bed."

"Oh, isn't that simple?"

"No, Ally's only on Mondays. So, on Wednesday it's Dawson's Creek, Thursdays, the Gilmore Girls. It varies. Variation rules."

"You waste your life watching television," he said.

"Right. Let me stand still naked next to you and live life to the fullest," I replied. "By the way, why are you naked?"

"To get the full effect, Kenny boy."

"Yeah," I said. "Hey, while I'm watching Dawson's Creek, I tape Ed. See, I'm living on the edge, you bastard. Put some clothes on."

"Fifteen minutes. You don't know what you're missing."

"I know," I said. "Instead of Charlotte's Web, I'll read Charlotte Bronte. Then I'll become an orphan and go to reform school in nineteenth-century England."

"You mock because you don't understand."

"And I vomit because you don't get dressed. Pervert."

"Look," he said. "Do you want to fool around or what?"

I thought for a moment and said, "Yeah, all right."

We went into his room and made ze passionate love all night long!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


In these editions of The Unpublishes we seeks surreal motherfuckerdry via the poetries, because poetries is the cures for all that assails us. Except cancer. We seeks to not never take la lucha libre too yahoo serious but we'll punch you in the belly laughs if you look at us funnily.

Three Poems...


Two Poems.

secs ual wyt choc lat )

so you tell me $$ you’d like to have sex
with ProvIdence, Rhode IslaNd +

I keep myself pressed against #@ yo ur leg until
you pun ch me

a dish, being raped by the spoon (Appendix B)

a cow never really jumped over the moon, did she?
Come on,
and a cat playing


I've long since retired, my son's moved away.
I called him up just the other day.
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind,"
He said, "Fuck you, Dad, I don't have the time.
You see, you're boring as fuck, and we're drunk off our ass,
and no one in your family has class, Dad.
So, please don't call again unless you have something interesting to say, motherfucker."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Little French Girl Plays Dress Up, People Lose Their Shit

There's a little girl causing quite a hubbub because of some allegedly sensual photos in the French version of Vogue magazine. Silly media outlets all over the place are interviewing experts in...child pornography, I guess, who are calling these photos "sensual" or "provocative," and even comparing the hullabaloo to when Brooke Shields was ten and relevant.

Of course the people appalled by these photos are women, or else gay men in the fashion industry, because actual heterosexual men don't find these photos sensual or provocative or sexy. In fact, put an adult model in the same dress, heck, even an adult-sized dress, and a hetero man says, "Eh. I'm gonna go look at some porn online." So get a hold of yourselves.

"Look at those sultry eyes titillating us just like Shirley Temple did." Shut up. There's nothing sexy about these photos. Watch Toddlers in Tiaras or that horseshit Dancing with the Stars show if you want to be appalled. This is a little girl playing dress up. I literally expected Shields in Pretty Baby when I heard about this story. Then I looked and thought Really?



They may not do it anymore, but a while ago I accused the producers of the inexplicable hit show Dancing with the Stars of being an unruly gang of pedophiles. Because take a show like DWTS, where they have sexy adult women and men dancing in all sorts of sexy ways, like Lambada-type shit. Then that silly goose Tom Bergeron says, "Okay, let's watch children do the same thing!" The ratings instantly sky rocket in the pederast demo when these children dance. It's some creepy-ass shit.

How does ABC get away with that, yet French Vogue is Gary Glitter all of the sudden? If these photos are supposed to inspire sexual thought, I'm an eighty-year-old man shitting in a bedpan and talking about when Lou Gehrig played.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The 27 Club

With the recent and unexpected (I mean, really. Who saw THAT coming?) death of English singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse at the tender age of 27, we were all left wondering whether she did it on purpose just to be in the 27 Club alongside fellow dead-at-27-rock-artists like Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain. Arguments began surfacing about whether Winehouse was even worthy to lick these artists' boots. Throw in blues legend Robert Johnson and Pete Ham of Badfinger, and some would say Winehouse better join some other club and beat herself over the head with it.

Winehouse apologists soon came to the rescue by saying she's at least as worthy as The Gits' lead singer Mia Zapata and Hole bassist Kristen Pfaff. Detractors countered by stating that, at best, Winehouse might belong in the 27 Club somewhere between Andrew Cunanan and the Elephant Man.

Amid all this bickering and me hiding in the closet shouting, "Mommy, Daddy, stop!" I thought to myself that if Winehouse had only pulled an Andy Kaufman or a Snooki during her short career, she might have been welcomed with open arms into professional wrestling's 27 Club.

Yes, professional wrestling, the pseudo-sport we only pay attention to when Hulk Hogan is relevant or another champion murders his wife and son, has a very prestigious 27 Club. Not familiar with it? Let's go to the ring:

J.C. Bailey

While Bailey's death might have been as predictable as Winehouse's, you have to wonder how Abdullah the Butcher has celebrated 70 years of life when little Joseph Carl Bailey Jr. went at such a young age.

Bailey wrestled for the IWA Mid-South and Combat Zone Wrestling, among others, and was known for being a bloody mess. Multiple barbed wire matches and light tube matches, and wrestling guys with names like Necro Butcher, Brain Damage, and Thumbtack Jack left J.C. with more than a few concussions. He died of a brain aneurysm in August 2010, and his brain is still expected to be donated to Boston University.

Russ Haas

If you're a wrestling fan you must surely be familiar with Charlie Haas, superstar of World Wrestling Entertainment and Ring of Honor Wrestling. What you may not know is that in 2001 the Haas Brothers were poised to take the WWE by storm.

Russ Haas, trained by the legendary ten-year arm cast wearing "Iron" Mike Sharpe, had a damn good career ahead of him until a heart attack in September 2001. It was the one three months later that killed him.

Masakazu Fukuda

If you can't tell, Fukuda was a Japanese wrestler, wrestling primarily in Japan. You can check out his match against Jushin Liger on YouTube.

In 2000, Fukuda collapsed unconscious during a match against Katsuyori Shibata and died a few days later from internal bleeding of the brain. That will almost always kill you.

Louie Spicolli

Easily the most known wrestler of the club, Louis Mucciolo Jr. wrestled under many names during his career, including "Rad Radford" in WWE, "Madonna's Boyfriend" in Mexico, and "Cutie Pie" in the UWF.

While he was known as Radford in 1996, a neighbor found Mucciolo unconscious after he overdosed on Soma and suffered a seizure. He survived, but WWE soon released him, what with the steroid scandal they were still getting over. He began wrestling as Louie Spicolli in Extreme Championship Wrestling later in '96, but still had the drug problem. After leaving ECW under bad terms in '97, he headed to World Championship Wrestling. His time there was short-lived as he passed away in February 1998 after again ODing on Soma and alcohol.

Ibem Seleem

Who the fuck was Ibem Seleem? Just a man whose real name was Charles Harvey who was driving through the beautiful state of New Mexico in 1939 and got himself into a car accident that killed him. That's who.

Yeah, little else is known about Harvey/Seleem. If wrestlers who died in the 21st century end up as media unknowns who are just names on a list, what the hell chance do you think Ibem Seleem ever had to be remembered?

And there you have it, the exclusive 27 Club of pro wrestling. Of course, with wrestling you have a death club for nearly every possible age. There's the 23 Club (Chris Cash, Emiko Kado, Shane Shamrock, Mike Von Erich), the 26 Club (Basil Bozinis, Kasavubu, DJ Rizz), the 28 Club (Art Barr, Kelly Tabor, Yuel Lovett, Billy Redwood), the 29 Club (Trent Acid, Lance Cade, Gino Hernandez, Plum Mariko, Bobby Shane, Chris Taylor, Lee Estabrook. Yeah, this is a good club), and the 30 Club (Rick McGraw, Jay Youngblood, Tony Nash, Giant Ochiai), just to name a few.

So, no, the 27 Club doesn't fascinate me. At least not nearly as much as the 12 Club, which features Heather O'Rourke, Nkosi Johnson and Sadako Sasaki.