Wednesday, March 30, 2011

THE UNPUBLISHABLES, PART III: HUSH, LITTLE NAZI

In Part III of The Unpublishables, we visit a nonsensical conversation between Jamison and Hush, and reaquaint ourselves with the lovely star of Three's Company and Dallas, Jenilee Harrison.










HUSH, LITTLE NAZI

"When one flew east and one flew west, a hush fell over the cuckoo's nest."

"Excuse me," a man said. "Did you say my name?"

"What?" Jameson replied. "No, I didn't say your name. I'm rehearsing a play."

"A play?"

"Yes," Jameson replied. "It's called 'The Beer Hall Putsch'. Now go away."

"'The Beer Hall Putsch'? What is it? The sequel to 'Springtime For Hitler'?"

"Now, look here," Jameson demanded. "What is your name?"

"Hush."

"I will not hush, damn you. What is your name?"

"It's Hush," the man said.

"Your name is Hush?"

"Yes," Hush told him.

"As in shut the fuck up? That kind of hush?" Jameson asked.

"Indeed," Hush confirmed again.

"You mean as in the Deep Purple song and the Gwyneth Paltrow film?"

"Damn it, yes," Hush said, clearly annoyed. "What the hell is your name?"

"The name's Milano, Jameson Milano."

"Of the Pepperidge Farm Milanos?" Hush asked.

"Of course not, you fool," Jameson said. "Now let me get back to my play."

"Your play about Hitler?"

"It's not about Hitler, you simpleton.”

"Now, listen," Hush said. "I happen to know a little bit about this Beer Hall Putsch."

"I'm not listening to you," Jameson said.

"In 1923," Hush started, "Adolf Hitler attempted to overthrow the Bavarian government in Munich. He entered a beer hall, fired a pistol towards the ceiling, and announced that he was revolting."

"He's not the only one."

"Shut up," Hush continued. "Along with General Ludendorff and three thousand troops, they marched through the streets of Munich and were met by police gunfire. Sixteen men were killed and Hitler was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison, where he wrote Mein Kampf. He was released nine months into the sentence."

"You're a loony," Jameson said.

"I beg your pardon?"

"You're a wacko," Jameson reiterated. "All this Hitler lunacy, it's very unhealthy. Do you know who else was obsessed with Hitler? Charles Manson. The Trench Coat Mafia. Jenilee Harrison."

"What?" Hush objected. "Jenilee Harrison?"

"It's why she left the Los Angeles Rams, Three's Company and Dallas. She was forced out. She and her nazi propaganda."

"You're a bloody liar," Hush said. "It's not true."

"All right. Maybe not, but I had you going."

"Bastard!"

There was a moment of silence.

"So, you're name's really Hush, then, is it?" Jameson asked.

"Yes."

"Like 'Sweet Charlotte' and 'Hush Little Baby,' that's your name?"

"What's wrong with my name?"

"Oh, nothing, Shut Up," Jameson replied.

"What are you, telling me to shut up?"

"I'm not," Jameson said. "I'm calling you 'Shut Up.' Can I call you Shut Up?"

"No."

"Piss off?"

"No."

"What about Shhhh?"

"No, no," Hush said. "Now hold on. How could this play not be about Hitler?"

"Oh, we're back to this again, are we?" Jameson said. "It takes place in a pub, a beer hall."

"But what about the putsch?" Hush pointed out. "A putsch is a secretly plotted and suddenly executed attempt to overthrow a government."

"All right," Jameson said. "All right, you've got me. You finally got me. I'm a nazi. And for a few shekels, I'll show you my swastika tattoo, but I must warn you that I could be arrested."

"You're a nazi?"

"Ah, yes," Jameson continued. "Glorious white power. God bless bleach, Casper the friendly ghost and crack-cocaine. May you put salt and sugar on every single thing you see, kiss an albino, and have intercourse with a polar beer during a blizzard. Hitler, God bless you, you Aryan bastard, wherever you are."

"You're completely insane," Hush said, running away

"Insane with love for the master race!" Jameson shouted, watching Hush
run with fear. And Jameson carried on, practicing his lines for the play.

Now, my kind reader, you may have been offended by some of what you read here. I can assure you that neither the author nor our friends Jameson and Hush subscribe to any of the beliefs of the Nazi party. Those who contributed to the telling of this story hold no feelings of prejudice against any group of people. Except the Swedes. None of us like them very much at all.

And Jenilee Harrison? A wonderful woman with no affiliation to the Nazis whatsoever. For, as everyone knows, it was the guy who played Mike, the bartender of the Regal Beagle, who was the neo-Nazi hatemonger.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Short poem, four haikus

Doth Fly the Unicorn Around



my head



until I tell him

You dothn’t fly;

that’s Pegasus.





HAIKU!




Supercali-fragilistic-
expialidocious
are you.


A two year old
laughs at the mannequins
No one hears them cry


From years of writing
I can tell you that the pen
is not so mighty.


What if Popeye
orders spinach while
at a restaurant with Olive?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Long Blue Boomerang Arrives This Spring





My new poetry chapbook "Long Blue Boomerang" will be published by Heavy Hands Ink Press in May.

Here are links to some of the poems that didn't make the cut when I was putting the chapbook together:



“The Bright Side”

An ode to my son about Thomas, Caillou and Barney.



“This Train is for Cockfosters”
“A Night in Amsterdam”

After trips to London and Amsterdam



Five offensive haikus



“Liar”

A parody of a horrible poem I read online recently



“Winter Chill”

Same as above

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rediscovering My Argument with Atheists

Atheists piss me off. Not all atheists. Two of my best friends are atheists. But the growing culture, and, yes, cultlike religion of what is referred to as “the New Atheism” and “atheist chic” is what gets me.

In my online writing I used to attack the right on a regular basis. Just look HERE, HERE, and HERE.


But it’s when I attacked atheism that I got the most shite. And I love it, of course. I first wrote something about New Atheism in early 2008 and submitted it to my liberal editor at the time and had it rejected after multiple rewrites only to have Defenestration take it almost immediately.








Then I started writing for a site called Up My Own Ass (now The Buzz Media). In October 2008 I wrote a piece attacking Bill Maher and that story received the lowest rating of anything I’d ever written on that site.

Someone named "Troo" wrote:

Ok, this post is tagged “funny” WHY, exactly?
Cuz, like, it sure as hell ain’t funny!
It also reads like the writer is a devout Xtian, frankly.



To which I replied:

You’re absolutely right, Mr. Troo. Cuz that anal sex bit, like, has devout, like, Xtian written all over it. Not that I know what, like, an Xtian is.

This would have been, like, much funnier if it had said something like, “Xtians are stupid! Xtians are stupid! Xtians are stupid!



In July 2009 I read about “debaptisms” and had to write another piece for UMOA. Well, that bastard got more comments than anything I’ve written EVER. It’s still getting comments. I checked yesterday after months and was shocked at the interest, both for and against.

I read this piece again today and stand by it, even the barbed wire baseball bit, which was both a salute to extreme wrestling and a veiled reference to the Cross.

I’ve entered all of these with humor. I’m certainly not a religious scholar who can take you into a secret room inside a building and show you were God’s been hiding. But, man, do atheists get pissed off.

If you're too lazy to hit the link, yet are still reading, I will excerpt it here for you with some of my favorite bits:


God, I Hate These Smarmy Atheists!


“Authors such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are the L. Ron Hubbards of this new cult. And, yes, it is a cult like any religion because now atheists, in lieu of minding their own vapid beeswax, are holding conventions and are even trying to reverse their own baptisms.”

"Yes, the Dawkinians are holding debaptisms, these hilarious, Andy Kaufmanesque geniuses."

"Ceremonies in at least states four states (mainly at douchey liberal colleges) have washed that holy water right out of these adorable little creatures’ hair via, of all things, a hair dryer. Yes, a hair dryer, presumably one like what Princess Vespa carted around in Spaceballs, will undo all the hurt and pain that that nasty Christening brought you way back when. And the dryers, according to the article, are marked “reason,” because nothing says reason like having some robed imbecile unbaptize you with a home appliance when any decent clergyman would stick that thing in this broad’s twat sideways."

"At these debaptisms, waitresses also serve “de-sacraments,” consisting of crackers and peanut butter, because an atheist’s gotta eat. This reporter is quite saddened to think how many times he’s de-sacramented himself over the years. Good thing only Ritz and Skippy truly have the power to take away the light of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit."

"Will a Hello Kitty hair dryer give these sardonic fuck sticks back the love their fathers never gave them? Only God…oops…I guess no one knows. Would a giant fan completely erase these fuckers’ memories of everything from that first confession to when they shit their pants in the third grade?"

"Some say that every one of these assholes should take the beating that Jesus took, and I personally would like to give it to them with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. That’ll make you forget the moment your crying parents held so dear, you sniveling little babies. Just because Daddy didn’t buy you the cell phone you prayed for or because a priest patted you on the head in a somewhat suggestive manner doesn’t mean you should mock religion until you need Him again."

"Said Jennifer Gray in this article (and believe me, I’ll never watch Dirty Dancing again, you bitch), these ceremonies are “a chance to laugh at the silly things I used to believe as a child. It helped me admit that it was OK to think the way I think and to not have any religious beliefs.”

"Little Jennifer’s summer is booked solid with ceremonies exorcising Santa Claus with a curling iron, the Easter Bunny with a coffee maker, and the time Uncle Paul buried his manhood in her with a shovel."

"These dopes, like Gary Mueller, are even petitioning churches to remove their names from baptismal records because they were baptized without consent. It’s rape by baptism! Why not get de-circumcised too, you fruit?"




This led to some of my further comments, such as:


“…it’s the mocking and assumption that all believers are idiots to which I object. And true, one can’t escape God in one’s every day life any more that, say, Hannah Montana. But atheist do have that Nazi word that replaces “Bless you.” And, hey, everyone uses debit cards now. So atheists don’t even have to look upon those filthy, God-loving green things…Anyway, I was due for a rant against something and the smug atheist is my favorite target lately. God love ‘em”

“Attacking religion is old hat. It’s like attacking racists or thalidomide babies. Everyone does it now. If you want to be absolutely wacky you have to attack the non-believers, Jesus taught me this, plus a few card tricks. The Pope said it himself – “Attacking zealots is for queers.”

"...other than telling a smarmy douche atheist he or she is a dick for making fun of my beliefs, I don’t give a tenth of a shit whether you believe, live or die. If I could point at God and say, “There. See?” then what good would a thing called faith be?

New age atheists have not only turned atheism into its own religion, they’ve turned the argument over God’s existence into a Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. So I can only chant, “Atheists suck! Atheists suck!”

"Look, the Bible was written by dinosaurs. Everyone knows that. And Richard Dawkins may have been the best host of The Family Feud, nearly edging out the guy who hung himself in a mental hospital, but he and his thoughts on God can go screw."




I guess the moral is there are few atheists with a sense of humor. Or maybe I'm just not funny. No, that can't be it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

THE UNPUBLISHABLES, PART II: PROFESSOR WAGSTAFF’S ENGLISH LESSON

PROFESSOR WAGSTAFF’S ENGLISH LESSON
by Michael Frissore

What I didn’t need after three hours in the library was the commotion I came home to. Troy was complaining about a book he had to read for his Irish-American Literature class, Jeep-Jeep was reading aloud to me the dirty parts in James Joyce’s Ulysses that I highlighted for him, and the neo-Nazis Troy hired to fix our refrigerator were here.

“Ah, Professor Wagstaff,” Troy said.

“Pinky, Baravelli, how are you gentlemen this evening?” I replied. It was a stupid game Troy and I played to confuse Jeep, pretending we were characters in Marx Brothers films, in this case Horse Feathers.








“Professor,” Troy said. “You will never believe the crap I have to read for this stupid class. Tell me, what are the two main classifications of books?”

“Fiction and non-fiction,” I said.

“Okay,” Troy said. “Would you believe this piece of garbage is both? She dances between fiction and non-fiction. I just want to grab her and say ‘Pick a section of the book store and stick with it!’”

“Is Jeep reading Joyce?” I said, distracted. “How cute! Where’s the gay erotica we gave him?”

“Uh, nowhere,” Troy said. “I certainly didn’t take it. But listen…”

“Hey Professor,” Jeep said. “This ‘Ulysses,’ by Joyce Brothers…”

“No, Jeep,” I said. “I told you it’s James Joyce. Remember, he wrote ‘The Cat in the Hat’ and ‘The Joy of Sex?’”

“Ich dien weir!” one of the Nazis said. Don’t expect any translations from me.

“Whatever,” Jeep continued. “It’s hilarious. Like there’s these whores, and they say to this guy…”

“Jeep,” I stopped him. “It’s a twentieth century classic, yes. But, please.”

“But,” Jeep said. “Okay, then there’s a picture that this woman, Mrs. Bellingham, has with a ‘partially nude senorita,’ right? ‘Practicing illicit intercourse with a muscular torero,’ whatever that is. She says some guy implored her to ‘soil his letter in an unspeakable manner,’ and to ride him and ‘give him a most vicious horsewhipping.’”

“Shocking,” I said. “That’s just the kind of filth the potato famine caused.”

“Okay, hello!” Troy shouted. “What about me? This nut calls this an autobiography then all of the sudden admits after each chapter: Sorry, this is just a literary orgy of bullshit. Me and my husband caught malaria. Oh, wait a minute. I mean killer bees attacked my parents. She says it was nearly impossible to sort out the guesses and the partially remembered from the unquestionably real. Isn’t there some sort of medical diagnosis for that? They ought to get the net and straight jacket and sentence her to writing fairy tales.”

“Hey, hey, hey,” Jeep stepped in.

“Jeep, shut up!” Troy yelled.

“Honestly,” I said. “The two of you are like children.”

“Listen to this,” Jeep said. “’Did he not lie in bed,’ blah blah blah, ‘gloating over a nauseous fragment…’”

“Jeep, not now, please,” I said.

“What?” Jeep said. “But the nasty harlot!”

“Professor,” Troy said. “Professor, uhhhh…What was it?”

“Wagstaff!” I said.

“Professor Wagstaff,” he continued. “She says ‘We awoke weeks later in the living room.’ She then corrects herself with, ‘It could not have been that long.’ Well, then why the hell did she say it in the first place? Just say ‘We were sick for about two weeks,’ or ‘We didn’t wake up. We died?’”

“Troy,” I said. “Baravelli, that version of the book is like a second edition. She probably felt guilty about all the stuff she said about her family in the first one.”

“Oh,” Troy said. “Well, it still sucks.”

“Admittedly,” I replied.

“This guy Boylan, right?” Jeep said.

“Eureka! Die Zauberflote!” Again, the Nazis were being really loud.

“He holds out his finger and tells Lenehan…”

“Jeep,” I said. “Let’s not make this NC-17 in front of the Nazis, okay?”

“Gluckliche Reise!” one of our repairmen said.

“Then,” Jeep continued. “Boylan tells Bloom he can put his eye in the keyhole and…”

“Jeep!” I said.

“But, he’s with this chick,” he said.

“It’s his wife, Jeep,” I replied. “Boylan is with Leopold Bloom’s wife, Molly.”

“Yeah?” he said. “What a stupid name, Leopold. Anyway, then Leopold thanks him and asks if he can bring some other guys and take pictures.”








“Hapax Legomenon!” I wondered exactly what training these Nazis had.

“Uh, excuse us,” One of the Nazis, a guy named Kool, said. “We’re gonna have to blow this up completely.”

“Uh-huh,” I said. Then he just left before I could say anything else.

“Hoi Polloi!” The other Nazi, Simon, said.

“Are they speaking Greek now?” Troy wondered aloud.

“Hey,” Jeep began again. “Do nude statues have, like, you know, like…Why can’t I say dirty words?”

“Because we have guests,” I told him.

“Hey,” Kool came over and said. “Could you guys keep it down, please, seriously?”

“Can I read the part about the tremendous big red brute?” Jeep asked.

“No,” I said.

“What about when she compares men’s and women’s…”

“Can I field this one?” Troy said to me, then turned to Jeep. “We have guests, Jeepathan.”

“Jeepathan?” Jeep didn’t like this name for some reason. “Come on, the hat rack?”

“No,” I said.

“The wretch behind the tree?”

“I’m confiscating that book,” I said.

“No, don’t, please?”

“You should give him American Psycho,” Troy said.

“If he behaves, maybe,” I said.

“Okay,” Kool said. Apparently the Nazis were done for now. “We need to confer to our boss as to whether…”

“Whether,” I said. ‘Whether’ is sufficient.”

“Confer to my boss whether any papers need to be signed. Some guys only need a verbal agreement.”

“You mean an oral agreement,” I correct him again.

“Okay,” he said. “That’s disgusting.”

“A written contract is a verbal agreement,” I said. “Verbal simply means with words. And I’m sure you meant confer with your boss, not to him.”

“All right,” he said. “Do you want my help, or not? Now, he once told me about a place on the other side of town.”

“All this for a fridge?” Troy asked.

“Am I talking to you?” Kool seemed upset. “All I can tell you is that it has some of the most unique people…”

“Excuse me,” I said. “Unique means without like or equal. Most unique is incorrect. See, there are no degrees of uniqueness.”

“Listen, schmuck,” he said. “You’re gonna be walking in a unique way if you don’t shut up. Now, if we can utilize this facility…”

“I’m sorry,” I interrupted again. “But I have a problem with the word utilize. I have an English professor who always says ‘Don’t utilize utilize; use use.’ And I grew up on the word facility meaning restroom. So, utilizing the facilities, to me, simply means taking a leak.”

“Look, Professor Bucket Head,” Kool went ballistic. “Do you have any other corrections? Do you want to edit my film class essay on Hattie McDaniel? Question my use of semi-colons? My spellings of its, there, and your? My non-use or misuse of hyphens? Not enclosing a comma within quotation marks when it’s followed by an attributive phrase? Among or between? Farther or further? Will you please diligently check my work for me? My God! I’ve split an infinitive! Slap me. Please, I deserve it. Hit me. Go ahead.”

“Jeez,” I said. “Sorry.”

“Juss schtop mit ze kaos!” Now Simon was going nuts. “Me und my brudder hav und schtatemet! Gar schone schpiele schpiel, und tanzen und singen der luft balloons! Schtick to der blitzen und vant to hobnobben!”

“Good Lord,” Troy said. “What language is that?”

“Est der job uf me und mein brudder! Dos clammen udderweise art mistokken und wir haben die dumkofs schtifled! Die muss be kilt!

“Chief?” I said, playing another game with Troy to break the monotony.

“McCloud!” Troy replied.

“I schplitz on dem und der mutters! Meine mutter est der betwedden en der mornen!”

It was then that the refrigerator exploded, which was nothing that we hadn’t come to expect. The Nazis sent us a bill and threatened to break our legs and rape our pets if we didn’t pay it. The three of us moved to a school out of state under different names, hoping there weren’t any neo-Nazi organizations there. I couldn’t believe that I was only in college and I was already on my second identity.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Go at the French on The Buzz Media

From The Buzz Media - August 2008


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!



From The Buzz Media - December 2008


Study Explains French Rudeness






The medical journal Who Gives a Shit? just released a new study that says the cleaner that people are the less judgmental they tend to be. This fascinating study, the fancy doctorin’ folk say, finally reveals why people bathe, why the homeless are such dicks, and why Shakespeare invented the term “cranky ass.”

It also explains why Pepe Le Pew was such an asshole, and sheds light on the famous Peanuts episode in which Pig Pen kicks Linus in the nuts and cuts off two of Charlie Brown’s fingers.

The study could also bring the world together as one, but, when asked whether a greasy Italian or a Puerto Rican are more likely to be judgmental, the study’s maker uppers would not comment.

In fact, they were quite rude about it. Disgusting, filthy bastards.

One psychologist poses the example of a juror who washes his or her hands before delivering a verdict judging the crime less harshly than the slob sporting messy, grubby dick beaters. This may be true, as we all remember the famous sponge baths given to the O.J. Simpson jury by the defense in 1995.

But it is the long-misunderstood French who benefit the most from this important study. That their trademark lack of hygiene and their patented rudeness have been discovered to be connected might begin to make outsiders pause before making fun. We might soon find out that the cleaner a person is the less likely they are to surrender to the Nazis.

So hug a Frenchman today. Look him in the eyes and say, “I understand, Pierre. I understand.”

Then wash yourself thoroughly. Check your pockets too. I don’t trust those frogs.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nearly the Best of Flak Magazine

Let's look back at what was a great literary zine, Flak, with two of my stories that we published back in 2008:


The Neverending Story Meets Contemporary Grown-Up



Recently I saw The Neverending Story for the first time since childhood, when I adored it. It's the story of Bastian (Barret Oliver), a middle schooler reading the story of Atreyu (Noah Hathaway), a child warrior sent to fight The Nothing. I remembered Atreyu, Bastian and the scary wolf G'mork. I remembered wanting to ride Falcor the luckdragon as he flew through the air of Fantasia. But there was a lot I didn't remember, so I was excited to relive this beloved 1984 classic again.

One of the things I had forgotten about The Neverending Story was how pretty and girlish Hathaway was as Atreyu. Like in a Lacey Chabert-during-the-later-years-of-Party of Five kind of way. I was a little disturbed by this. Hathaway could not have been more than 12 when the movie was filmed, and he spends almost the whole movie with his shirt slightly open to reveal his bare, hairless chest. When the movie ended, I went right out and bought the book to see if what I saw as a bizarre pseudo-pedophilia in the film is evident in the book, and it isn't. Now, I'm not saying the filmmakers are pedophiles who took a nice children's story and turned it into "Atreyu's Homoerotic Adventure." But I can tell you I wasn't the only one giggling during the showing.

More







The 2008 Veepstakes


It's Decision 2008 time, and in perhaps the most heavy hitting presidential showdown since William Taft-Fatty Arbuckle in 1912, we have Arizona Republican Senator John McCain vs. Illinois Democratic Senator Barack Obama. Both candidates are energizing, but also quite controversial. Votes for either men run the possible risk of us losing a president while in office — McCain to death from old age; Obama to a bullet fired by a crazy, racist assassin. Therefore, selecting the right vice-presidential candidate is oh, so important for these two competitors. So, let's look at the candidates and who their choices should be.

MORE



Thursday, March 17, 2011

THE UNPUBLISHABLES, PART I: THE ADVANTAGES OF BEING IMAGINARY

In Chapter One of THE UNPUBLISHABLES we meet Cuthbert, imaginary friend extraordinaire.









THE ADVANTAGES OF BEING IMAGINARY

by Michael Frissore



I met my imaginary friend Cuthbert when I was five years old. He wasn’t a giant rabbit like Harvey, or a pain in the ass like Drop Dead Fred. He was just a regular guy who would keep me company and protect me. Whenever I was forced to go somewhere I didn’t want to go with my parents like church or Aunt Cindy’s house, or someplace that scared me like The Fabric Place or Anderson Little, where my dad bought his suits, Cuthbert would always be there with me.

Once I started school, it was hard for me to make friends, being as shy as I was. As long as I had Cuthbert, it didn’t matter. Some of the kids thought I was strange, always talking, seemingly, to myself, but it was Cuthbert, who followed me everywhere.

As I got older, my parents became worried. At eight, they thought I was too old to have an imaginary friend. He was never imaginary to me. I knew that, just as the rest of the folks on Sesame Street finally saw Snuffleupagus, eventually my family would see Cuthbert.

When I entered my teen years, however, Cuthbert disappeared. I didn’t notice it at first, but once I did I became quite depressed. I guess he thought I didn’t need him anymore. After a while, I was okay with it, and I was even able to live a normal high school life.

When I went away to college, I became depressed again. I made friends, but I began to miss my family, especially Cuthbert. I wondered where he was, who he was with now.

One Christmas, a time of the year I became most depressed because Cuthbert loved Christmas, the whole family went to see my sister Angela’s school play. It was a horrible play with absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. It was these weird kids singing weird songs, and it seemed like the longest night of my life. They opened with the operatic song “Who Broke My Window?” from those old Mormon commercials:



OLD MAN: Who broke my window?
KID: Telling the truth isn’t gonna be easy!
OLD MAN: Glass everywhere you look!
Who broke my window?
KID: Why is my stomach all nervous and queasy?



He wasn’t the only one. I couldn’t help it. I just vomited right there on the floor. Then I saw, out of the corner of my eye, somebody offering me a towel. It was Cuthbert. I couldn’t believe it. Like old times, when I needed him most, Cuthbert came back to me. He would make the rest of this fiasco of a play tolerable. When they did Joe Dolce’s “Shaddup A You Face,”



It’s a not so bad
It’s a nice a place
Ah, shaddup a you face!



We began throwing things towards the stage and carrying on loudly. My parents gave me the “What are you doing? Are you evil?” look, but I didn’t care. When the play closed with “The Ballad of Casey Macphee,” sung by Cookie Monster on “Sesame Street,”



Through, through, through
He got the train through



Cuthbert and I lost it, and were told not to come back for the spring play. When we got home, my parents cornered me and asked me if Cuthbert was at the play. I told them he wasn’t and went on my merry way upstairs. Cuthbert and I talked. He said I needed time to grow on my own, and now that I’ve done that, we can be together again, like Elizabeth and Drop Dead Fred.










The whole family was over to celebrate Christmas that night. We had a great time, Cuthbert and I, getting reacquainted. I told him that the one thing troubling me is why. Why do I have this gift, when, apparently, other adults do not?

As I turned around to explain my epiphany to Cuthbert, I saw that, in the excitement, Uncle Matt has passed out and knocked the bookshelf over, and it smashed Cuthbert on the head. Cuthbert fell, and I rushed over to him, worried as hell. Like Tom the cat always did when Jerry did something sinister to him, Cuthbert got up, brushed himself off, and was just fine.

“Are you all right?” I asked him.

“Right as rain,” he said.

“That was a nasty bump,” I told him.

“It’s okay,” he replied. “I don’t get hurt or bleed, my hair doesn’t muss; it’s one of the advantages of being imaginary.”










Cuthbert was quoting the character Tom Baxter in Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo. Cuthbert always did like Woody Allen. I knew I’d never have to worry about ole Cuthbert. He would always be there, always in perfect health.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mountain Climbing: Five Years Later: Still Tired

Five years ago a group of writer assholes trekked up a mountain in New Hampshire.
This is their story.



(Originally appeared on TheWrit.org in 2006)








Dirty Laundry

By Michael Frissore

Mt. Major, New Hampshire, April 2006

We, that is - some of the WRIToracle staff members, gathered to climb Mt. Major in Alton, NH. The wordplay in this being the first WRIT Summit and that we were climbing to the summit of this silly mountain was cute until the moment I realized – Holy crap, I actually have to climb this thing!

I had somehow gotten lost from the group. There was actually no “somehow” about it. I became winded and collapsed into a pile of mud while the rest of the WRIToritians continued up the mountain. It was then that Rita, Mt. Major’s weekend cleaning lady, approached me. She was an older woman, a bit filthy and carrying a giant sack over her shoulder like Santa Claus.

“Dirty laundry,” she said.

“What?” I responded, standing up. But she knocked me back down with that big sack of hers.

“Give me your dirty laundry,” she said.

“This is all I have,” I said. “I’m wearing this.”

“Well, take this bag,” Rita said, dropping the sack at my feet. “Get the filthy clothes of those friends of yours and bring them to me.”

“Um…” I began, but I looked up and Rita was gone. I looked inside the bag: nothing but bunny slippers and white housecoats.



I stood at the bottom of the mountain, still holding the big bag, and waiting for the rest of the WRIToraclitians to come down. The first down was Jonathan, president and CEO of The WRIToracle.

“Hey, Jonny? I said.

“Yeah, Friz?”

“Could you do me a solid and find a nice, secluded spot to change out of those nasty clothes and don these adorable slippers and this robe?”

“What?”

“Oh,” I said. “And then give me your dirty clothes so that I may present them to Rita?”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“And can you get everyone else to do the same?” I said, handing the sack to Julian. “I really gotta pee.”



When I finished doing my business I met the other WRIT writers in my slippers and robe. Geoff, Suzie, Mary Ann and Phoebe, as well as Jonathan, were all dressed the same way.

“Uh, Mike?” Mary Ann said. “Explain?”

“No time,” I replied. “Give me your dirty laundry and let’s get out of here.”



We arrived at Jonathan’s house, where we recorded the WRIT Summit CD, a collection of readings by WRIToracle staff members. Jack was on hand to record our poems about dreams, birds, mothers, road trips, Adam and Eve, and, yes, dirty laundry. When it was my turn I went in and read my demented little flash fiction pieces, doing them each in one take, like Ed Wood. “What? Did I belch during the last line of that one? Whatever. Move on.”

When all the recordings were completed and Jack replayed each piece, all we could hear was:


Kick ‘em when they’re up
Kick ‘em when they’re down
Kick ‘em when they’re up
Kick ‘em when they’re down


Exactly nineteen tracks of the same Don Henley song, “Dirty Laundry.” Jack and I stood listening in amazement when Rita came up the stairs and into the room.

“Hello, boys,” she said. “Hey, this song is as relevant today as it was twenty-five years ago.”

“Hi, Rita,” I said. “Here’s that laundry you asked for.”

“Thanks, sweetie,” she replied, grabbing the bag from my hand. “Nice slippers. You both look ridiculous.” Rita laughed, lit a match, set Jacks’s equipment on fire and disappeared.

Jack and I looked at each other and ran down the stairs, shouting, “Fire! Fire! This is not a drill!” Jack grabbed a fire extinguisher from the kitchen and went back up to put the fire out, but it was too late. The WRIT Summit recordings were lost.

Or were they?

Yes.

But, wait.



A year later, as if by magic, the recordings were found by Jonathan himself, somewhere between New Hampshire and the country of Colombia, and restored. And, if you listen closelyyou can hear Rita shouting for that dirty laundry, none of which any of us ever saw again*.





*That was my favorite Red Sox sweatshirt, Rita. I want it back.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

THE UNPUBLISHABLES TO DEBUT VERY SOON!





The Unpublishables is a series of flash fiction pieces Frissore has written over the course of time, often dating back to 2000. They are stories he is convinced no journal will take. They are incomplete, they are flawed. The are unpublishable. Except here on Frissore’s horseshit little blog that no ones reads.

The Unpublishables series will debut soon. Like you care. But here’s a tentative listing of the stories.


THE UNPUBLISHABLES

EASTER/PATRIOTS DAY
the ADVANTAGES of BEING IMAGINARY
PROFESSOR WAGSTAFF’S ENGLISH LESSON
the NEIGHBORHOOD
PERFECTLY STILL, circa 2000
HUSH, LITTLE NAZI
the GRANDFATHER CLOCK
FAST FOOD GETAWAY
KITTY POO BAGS JOHNSON
FANFIC RICK
SIFTING THROUGH my CHILDHOOD
SEXY CHAIR

Poetic Satire Given Up On

We forget which recent elimae poem this is a parody of. Who cares really?

Autumn came and went. Winter came and is still sleeping in the spare room. Then the nightmares start. Slip ‘n Slide, sharp stab of a rock underneath. The telegraph clouds. Finally, a text message: married the deli guy, new condo, get to steppin’. The nightmares start. Every night, twice on Sundays, the nightmares. And the bed shrunk like beds do when you’ve put them through the dryer. I dried it I was out of clothespins and it was raining. On the boombox: Bat Out Of Hell. Get to steppin’. Married the deli guy. Nothing looks like itself. Then liturgies: pretend to do semaphore with the blinds. Lock the door and swallow the key. Don’t step on the crack or your mother gets raped by Hells Angels. Foot broken now, flat like a pancake. The fear of kickball. The mailman arrives. Suave, crooner, probably won American Idol one year. He doesn’t have a song to sing today. Offer him a drink. He sips and passes out. Forgot about that. Amazing how long rufies keep. Must I live this way. High noon, clocks frozen. Get up, stupid.

The Early Sessions, Part II

In our continuing efforts to bring you the complete prose of uber-matador and jailhouse heartthrob Michael Frissore, today we present two short pieces originally published by a dead and buried journal called Tryptych Quarterly in 2007.
XOXOX









Sin Was Crouching at My Door

I was watching Francesco and Guiseppe count my huge piles of money, when there was a knock at the door. Guiseppe got up to see who it was, looking through the peephole.

"Hey, Boss," he hollered. "It's sin."

"Guiseppe, my boy," I calmly replied. "What this organization does for the money you're counting isn't for you to moralize about. Just answer the door."

"No, Boss," he said. "It's sin crouching at your door."

"Sin?" I said. "Which one?"

"What do you mean, which one?"

"I mean gluttony, lust, wrath. Didn't you see the movie. David Fincher directed it. It's very good." I was growing impatient.

"Look," Guiseppe said. "Who am I, Bishop Fulton Sheen? Sin is crouching at your door. Only this and nothing more. You want I should take him out or call Master Li Mu Bai?"

I had to think. Sin had been crouching at our door off and on since my right-hand man Salvatore had murdered Jade Fox for stealing the Green Destiny from my personal collection, and for killing Panfilo, the former carnival barker and high school guidance counselor who just happened to make the best eggplant parmesan in the city. Once Salvatore got the Green Destiny back, he was murdered by Joel Cairo, the rat who stole the Maltese Falcon from the family months before and sent us a killer whale telling us of Salvatore's demise.

"Hey, Boss," Guiseppe shouted. "Sin is still crouching at your door.
Quoth Guiseppe, nevermore."

"Hey, Boss," Francesco said.

"What?" I said impatiently. "What is it?"

"I want you to hit me as hard as you can."

"Shut up, Francesco," I said. "Guiseppe, let him in."

"Seriously, Boss?"

"Yeah, come on," I said. "Let's get this over with."

Guiseppe opened the door to two men pointing guns at our faces.

"Gentlemen," one of them said. "I'm Detective Mills. This is Detective Somerset. You're under arrest for five counts of stealing from a motion picture. And one count of stealing from a classic poem."

The carted us away, and we were later sentenced to be burned at the stake.


THE END


XOXOX











Cup of Warm Love

"May I have a cup of warm love, please?" Mortimer asked Cecil, the man behind the counter, who looked quite displeased about this request.

"Pal," Cecil said, "Why don't you get out of my coffee shop with that kind of talk, huh?"

"Sir," Mortimer replied, "I just want a warm cup of love."

"Look," Cecil said sternly, "I don't take kindly to guys coming in here propositioning me while wearing only Misterjaw boxers. Where'd you get those, by the way? They're quite fetching."

"My mom made them. Listen, I want a cup of warm love and I want it now!
Now! Now! Now!."

Mortimer, a 32-year-old man, was now officially throwing a tantrum, nearly naked, in the middle of a busy coffee shop. Cecil flew over the counter like one of the Duke boys over the hood of the General Lee to calm him down.

"Hey, hey, buddy," Cecil pleaded. "It's just we're all fresh out of love right now. You know how busy it gets on the weekends. You see that woman over there?"

"Yes," a teary-eyed Mortimer replied.

"She got the last warm cup of love."

"She did?"

"Yeah, so maybe if you go across the street to Starbuck's, they'll have some love for you."

Mortimer stood up and dried his eyes, but, instead of walking out as Cecil had hoped he would, he walked towards the woman. Mortimer stared at this woman, as if recognizing her. She seemed familiar to him. He was sure she was an actress or a model.

"Excuse me," he said to her. "Did you purchase the last cup of warm love?"

"Yes," she replied, "and I'm gonna pour it all over your crotch if you don't go away."

This threat excited Mortimer and he sat down next to her.

"What's your name?" he asked.

"None of your frigging business," she replied.

"Wow, how do you fit that on a name tag?"

"I don't work at a place where I have to wear a name tag. I have an education."

"You look familiar," he said. "Are you an actress?"

"I don't know," she said. "Do I seem to be acting like I want you here?"

"Aren't you Katharine Hepburn?"

"Yes," she said with an impatient smile, "and the guy behind the counter is Spencer Tracy; so I'm spoken for."

"I knew it."

"I'm not Katharine Hepburn, you idiot. Put you glasses and some clothes on and go away."

"You're not?" Mortimer said. "Well, then you're Claudette Colbert."

"What are you, ninety?" she said. "I'm just a girl sitting in front of an ass telling him to piss off, all right?"

Mortimer started to cry again before noticing a large group of children entering the store, followed by a man in a bunny suit.

"What's that?" he said.

"Whatever it is," she replied, "go bother it and leave me alone."

"Why are all those kids crowding around my hallucination?"

"Dude, tomorrow's Easter. That's the Easter Bunny."

Mortimer ran towards the children and began pushing them out of the way, shouting "Get away from my hallucination!" until angry parents wrestled him to the ground and the police arrived.

Mortimer spent six months at The Azalea House, a special kind of prison, with his giant rabbit hallucination and a cellmate he thought was Margaret Dumont. While in prison, he studied law and politics, and, when he got out, ran for mayor of Gardonia, a small, fictional town in the Northeast. He won by a landslide, but was arrested for parading in victory, naked, through the center of town. Thus ended the story of Mortimer, King of the Cheez-its.

THE END

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Early Sessions

Flash Fiction, Sudden Fiction, Bedazzlement Fiction, Etc.


[One]

The Old Vitamins
(Originally published in The Cerebral Catalyst)

"The old vitamins, please," a customer requested.

I hadn’t worked in the pharmacy before, and didn't quite know what I was doing. There were pills all over the place, but one bottle was labeled "Old Vitamins." I handed these to the customer. He paid for them and left. Ten minutes later, the pharmacist asked me where the "old vitamins" were. When I told him, he turned white. He informed me that Mr. Reynolds used "old vitamins" as a euphemism for the Paxil he was taking for his anxiety disorder. I had given him experimental "Old Vitamins," which, if taken properly, will make him 120 years old by nightfall. You'd think they'd come up with a better name. And who wants to age that rapidly anyway? But it wasn't my problem; I didn't really work there. I punched the pharmacist in the testicles and ran.




[Two]


“It’s almost over”
I heard this as I entered the kitchen. Gus had his head in the over again. He was determined to die, but always a failure. He was like Neil from The Young Ones, if I may use an obscure British sitcom reference.
“Gus,” I said. “Stop it. You can’t go this way.”
“If it was good enough for Sylvia Plath, it’s good enough for me.”
“Don’t be selfish. I bake things in that oven. I can’t bake where your head’s been.”
“All right,” he replied. “Then I’ll go start the car in the garage.”
“No, you can’t do that either.”
“If it was good enough for Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, it’s good enough for me.”
“Well, first of all, Audrey Hepburn didn’t die in Sabrina. She was Sabrina. It wouldn’t have been called Sabrina if she died in the first ten minutes. Secondly, that’s my car in the garage, and if you touch it, I will kill you.”
“Why? Why won’t you let me die?”
“Because there’s so much to live for.”
“Like what?”
“I’m sorry?”
“Like what?”
“Like flavored coffee, and two more Star Wars prequels, and new episodes of Felicity come April."
“That’s hardly worth not killing myself.”
“And it’s a sin.”
“Yeah, so is gluttony, but you keep baking, don’t you?”
“Look, you want to die? Fine.”
I stuffed him in the oven and served him that night to some friends who came over. It was a delightful evening and everyone asked for the recipe.



[Three]

I Don't Remember

"I don't remember, Sir," I said weakly.

"Who am I, Peppermint Patty? I'm your mother. Don't call
me Sir." She was going ballistic. "Did you eat the lemon
meringue pie?"

I knew I had exhausted "I don't know" in the previous
interrogations. She's a nut for those stupid Family Circus
cartoons. "I don't remember" seemed to suggest there was
something wrong with my brain. If temporary insanity worked
in a courtroom, "I don't remember" just might work on my
mother.

"I don't remember."

Nope. Up to my room again. No innocent until proven guilty
in this courtroom.



[Four]

I STILL DREAM (OF SQUIRRELS AND DANDELIONS)

Mitch and I sat on the front porch, drinking glasses of Country Time and watching a family of squirrels take over the yard.

“Do you know,” I said. “that I can’t remember the last time I actually had a dream?”

“You mean like a sleeping dream or an MLK kind of dream?” Mitch asked.

“Sleeping dream.”

“Well, I still dream,” he said. “I dreamed last night that I was Rocky.”

“The boxer or these little bastards’ flying cousin?” I asked.

“The boxer.”

“Marciano or Balboa?”

“Balboa,” he said. “I love those movies. Don’t you?”

“Not really, no,” I replied. “And you’ll never convince me that that frigging movie should have beaten ‘Taxi Driver,’ ‘Network,’ and ‘All The President’s Men’ for the Best Picture Oscar in ’76. Who were you boxing?”

“Jesus.”

“You were fighting Jesus?” I said. “The man died for our sins.”

“It was a dream,” he said. “It’s not like I jumped him in an alley and took his wallet.”

“Yes, but it means something,” I said.

“All right, shut up, Freud.”

“No, you shut up.”

“Hey,” Mitch said. “That squirrel’s eating a dandelion.”

“Yeah. Check this out,” I said, grabbing a dandelion. “Mama had a baby and its head popped off.”

“What are those squirrels doing?” Mitch asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. “They’re coming to us. They’re usually not this friendly.”

“Uh, dude, they look pissed.”

Mitch and I were then mauled by the vicious pack of squirrels that had been quietly living in the yard all summer. Someone once said that there’s nothing more boring than hearing about someone else’s dream. Boring, yes, and perhaps deadly when mixed with those pesky little yellow flowers growing on the lawn.



[Five]

"A hundred bucks?" Nigel asked.
"Haven't you got anything smaller?"
"Look," Trevor replied. "I've got two fifties, but I'm using those."
"Oh, brilliant. You mean, you don't have any ones?"
"Now, look here. It was your idea to go camping. I said 'Smashing. You bring the lavatory paper. I'll bring the bug spray.'"
"Well, who brought the food, then?"
"We don't have any bloody food. That's what the two hundred was for."
"By the way, why did you bring American money?"
"It's all I had." They went about their business.
"Oh, look," Nigel said, pointing. "A hundred bucks."
"That's never a hundred," Trevor said.
"About fifty, maybe."
"Well, it won't matter in a minute, will it?"
Then an angry pack of deer stampeded right through them, killing them instantly.




[Six]

A man, who was the spitting image of Paul Lynde, floated about fifty feet in front of me. He was wearing a turban and beige bikini bottoms. But then, maybe he wasn't. I had been drinking. He yelled something to me. I could not hear him. I tried to read his lips. It looked like "brain." I she questioning my intelligence? Has he found a human brain in the woods? Does he want to discuss the dog from Inspector Gadget? Perhaps it's "plane" or "plain." Is he Herve Villechaize or am I passing out bags of M&Ms? The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain? I turned my head and, for a brief second, heard "Train!" It was far too late.

The Lenten Season

Originally published by HeavyGlow in 2006.








Jimmy said he was going to give up searching for aliens for Lent. It was either that or give up his peeping, but, with it getting warmer, and considering what Jimmy calls our “hot new neighbor,” that was not a valid possibility. Everyone in the family had to give up something. I was giving up candy; Mom suspended her embargo on “that disgusting sexual act” with Dad; and Dad, as always, gave up cigars. That he never once smoked a cigar in his life was not The Lord’s business, he always said.

Lent was never a good time of the year. Worse than giving up something, was not eating meat on Friday. Mom was a strict enforcer of this rule. Every Friday at school was pizza day. My brother and I were the only ones who answered “Plain” when asked if we wanted plain or pepperoni. Our mother would call the school and ask to speak to one of the lunch ladies to make sure we didn’t eat a single piece of pepperoni. It may not have been so bad if they had other toppings. We’d beg the lunch lady for some mushrooms, black olives, even anchovies.

Then there was having to go the church on Ash Wednesday and get those ashes rubbed on our foreheads. Our parents always wanted us to keep clean, but always wanted those ashes on our heads and wouldn’t let us wash them off. The ash thing always confused me because that one time we got a hold of the gold container on the mantelpiece and there were ashes in it and we dumped them out and stomped on them and threw them at each other, our parents grounded us for two weeks.

Last year our parents told us there wasn’t an Easter Bunny. I asked them what the purpose of Lent was if there’s no Easter Bunny, and why had they been lying to us. Dad said something about Christ dying and being resurrected, which, after hearing about the Easter Bunny, sounded just as fishy to me. After dinner I asked my grandmother what the Easter Bunny had to do with Jesus dying on the cross. She said Pontius Pilate was actually a 6-foot white rabbit and he killed Jesus. Then, and I remember her words exactly, she yelled, “You won’t see it in Mel Gibson’s snuff film, but it happened.”

I was very distraught over this, so Mom had my Uncle Dennis take me to the mall to see the Easter Bunny. Uncle Dennis liked malls and he had just gotten his license back after, like, his fourth DWI. I was excited when I saw the phony rabbit, but Dennis ruined it by yelling at all the kids to get away from his hallucination. So, this year, I hope Easter is more about Jesus and baskets of candy and less about family members punching guys in bunny suits and getting tazered by mall security.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blasts, Perhaps Bombs, from the Past: Part II

Remember MySpace? I don't either. But I did find something I wrote about MySpace.com, the former Facebook and Twitter, that appeared on a now-defunct Web site called The WRIToracle. God bless.









The Most Dangerous Site on the Internet: Are Your Children at Risk?
By Michael Frissore

MySpace.com, the planet's most popular social networking site, calls itself "a place for friends" - but 14-year-old Judy Cajuste and 15-year-old Kayla Reed made MySpace friends and were murdered by them. Doesn't sound very friendly, does it?

In response to these tragedies and others, MySpace last year made it so that 14 and 15 year olds' profiles are automatically private and unattainable to anyone over 18. Sixteen and 17 year olds can fend for themselves. But will this stop Internet predators? There are many users on the site listed as being age 100 or older. So all a predator has to do is call himself 14, "pimp out" his page with whatever teens find cool nowadays, use "LOL" a lot, and he can commence with his predatory shopping like a pedophile in a candy shop. Then all he has to worry about is that buttinsky Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC.

My suggestion, which News Corporation, the Rupert Murdoch-owned company that bought MySpace in 2005, will never take, is to make users register at MySpace headquarters in California, submit a birth certificate, and then give them a background check. Maybe then the addictiveness of MySpace won’t be so appealing. You’ve got those long lines at MySpace HQ, like at the DMV or the sex offender registry, and these guys might think twice about registering at all

For kids and predators alike, MySpace is like an addiction, so addictive that some refer to it as "MyCrack." In fact, in a poll I personally conducted, 75% of users told me that MySpace is indeed more addictive than crack. That’s three out of four, and the fourth person responded, “Maybe chewing tobacco.” And if you think that News Corp. is ever going to offer a MySpace support group or negative re-enforcement tools for parents, like electroshock, you’re a fool.

And MySpace could be just as dangerous as crack. So much so that someone started MyDeathSpace.com, a web site listing just about every MySpace user who has died, whether from murder, a car accident, or autoerotic asphyxiation. And it is filled with user profiles. Most of the deaths aren’t necessarily related to MySpace, but it has led some to ask: Is there a MySpace curse? And by some, I mean me. Will we all soon be dead from this site? Everyone from that freak with the default photo of his anus to MySpace kingpin Tom himself? How many people have to die from MySpace? How many funerals does joke-stealing comedian Dane Cook have to attend? This man has over a million friends, for Pete’s sake.

Among those listed on MyDeathSpace is 17-year-old Josh Ballard, who posted his suicide note as a bulletin on MySpace just before actually committing suicide. There's a fine "How do you do!" You're filling out some silly survey, answering what your favorite month is, your favorite venereal disease. Then you get a
bulletin: your friend's going to off himself.

Is MySpace sending messages to teens to kill themselves a la Judas Priest? Sure, it’s only one suicide thus far, but at one point only one person had thrown himself off the Golden Gate Bridge. In five years teens could be R. Bud Dwyering themselves live on MySpace as hundreds of their friends watch.

Who knows, really, how many murders and suicides are linked to MySpace? It’s only been in existence since 2003. So you can’t link it to the deaths of Chandra Levy, JonBenet Ramsey or the Branch Davidians. Believe me, I’ve tried.

But American teens are fighting back. In June of 2006, a 14-year-old girl who claimed she was sexually assaulted by a 19-year-old user sued MySpace and News Corp., seeking $30 million in damages. Well, good! Sue the Internet! Sue Al Gore for inventing it in the first place! Sue the company that makes the digital camera, scanner and PC she used to put her pretty pics up! This lawsuit is still pending and similar suits have been filed since.



Predators aren’t the only problem. MySpace is also filled with whack job celebrities, like Dane Cook, Paris Hilton and the guy who played Pedro in Napolean Dynamite. Is a celebrity with a MySpace profile someone you want your children idolizing, perhaps contacting?

Your child could be in contact with people like Kelly Osbourne, daughter of bat head-biting, Satanic singer Ozzy Osbourne; Anthony Cumia and Jim Norton, two of the three members of The Opie and Anthony Show, a program taken off the air in 2002 after it ran a contest during which contestants had sex in a church; and former Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee. Do you want your kids being friends with this
element? Do you want your children attending a pool party at Tommy Lee's house? I don't think so.

Heck, if MySpace was around when I was a teen, I probably wouldn't be alive today. I escaped Halloween razor blade candy and peer pressure of everything from cigarettes to heroin, but this MySpace might have been the end of me. The next thing I'd have known, I'd have been in a crawlspace wondering what the thing scurrying across my leg tastes like and perhaps have been the founder of MyCrawlSpace, on which children being held prisoner can trade survival tips online.

Still think MySpace isn't filled with sick people?

Last year, 16-year-old Katherine Lester flew to the Middle East after having tricked her parents into getting her a passport in order to be with a 20-year-old man she met through MySpace. Are terrorists infiltrating MySpace to get to our children? To recruit for al-Qaeda, or so some Sultan can put little Katherine in his harem? Maybe. A search for the name "Osama Bin Laden" yields over 800 profiles. Could Bin Laden possibly be found via MySpace?

There are also over 1,300 users with the name "Adolf Hitler." It’s all very nice to be fascinated with Hitler. Everyone from Charles Manson to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold has been at one time or another. Even Hillary and Hayley Duff admire the Fuhrer, someone told me, but I might be confusing them with Prussian Blue.

The point is, keep it off of sites that children visit regularly. Remember when eBay first banned Nazi and serial killer paraphernalia from being sold? Everyone was like, "Great, where am I gonna get a John Wayne Gacy snow globe now?" Now, years later, who misses it? MySpace, or perhaps MeinSpace, needs to police their site, like eBay does, and get rid of these numbskulls, all of whom come up in the Hitler search:



"ill kill you bitch": This is a 47-year-old user in Arizona with a picture
of a kitten firing a semiautomatic rifle out of a window. Here’s a guy
we need to keep an eye on.

"Jesus LSD": This 17-year-old's headline reads, "I did it for Dahmer." He
belongs to groups called "People Who Had Sex With Alan Sbisa's Mom" and
"USDM: United States of Death Metal."

"Goatwhore": A 16-year-old whose page is filled with swastikas and
references to Satan. This is what America’s youth has come to.

"Tyler"
: Listed as 69 years old (LOL!), his "About Me" section reads, "i am
a version of Hitler, but much more retarded and dont have any nasty jew blood
in me... and i love telling people they suck at life."
Well, who doesn’t, Tyler?



Finally, there's Adolf Hitler himself. His profile song is an actual WWII Nazi marching song. There are photos of him and other Nazis, as well as a Hitler "About Me" section. Hitler's "Top 8" friends include bin Laden, Idi Amin, and Joseph Stalin. And a look at Idi Amin's "Top 8" includes not only Bid Laden, Hitler and Stalin, but Genghis Khan, Fidel Castro, Satan and Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

I myself received a friend request from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Who knows if this was the real Jesus, since a search for the name "Jesus Christ" produces 8,060 hits? When the real Jesus comes back to Earth, how will we know which MySpace URL He's using?

So our children are at risk, but, if you think that being a MySpace user over eighteen makes you safe, think again. Several 18-30 year-old women I have spoken with have been contacted by the twisted element of this popular site.

Crystal, 28, of Massachusetts received the following message twice from a man whose profile is chock-full of marijuana references:

"wow pretty girl u have the body of a goddess and the eyes
of an angel they r so amazing and gorgeous they sparkle like
diamonds with a smile that is so beautiful it lights up the sky
everytime u smile hun it puts the moon stars and the sun 2 shame hunny
bun i luv 2 chat and become friends if its alright with u sweetheart"


That's poetry. A little e.e. cummings, a little Prince, and a whole lot of someone any right-minded person would certainly want to avoid or possibly call the police on.


Alison, 25, of Tucson, AZ was subjected to this message:

"hey there gorgeous little Diva tell me babygirl.. WOW your
very sexy ...whats up u sexy sexy babygirl...how r u? i just
had to send u a message.. do u think u could handle something
like me sweetie.......hehe... u seem cool as fuck..."


Sir, you had me at "sexy sexy babygirl." This touched me because this is amazingly close to how I proposed to my wife. And, "cool as fuck," that's a simile you just never hear in poetry anymore.


This same gentleman then described himself:

"spikey dark brown hair and eyes... pierced nipples..celtic
cross tattoo on my right arm, very easy to get along with...kick
back. wild..FREAKY ... KINKY....SWEET guy"


This guy sounds like a lunatic. Do you want freaky, kinky men with spikey brown eyes contacting your daughter?

Finally, Sarah, 30, of Philadelphia, gave me a veritable goldmine of messages she has received, which eventually made her delete the photo of herself that was attracting so many of MySpace's freaks:


"Also please ignore the sick joke my assistant has played on
me of adding everyone she can with barely any clothes. I
only talk to maybe 5 people on here. I just don't have the time
to delete all those supposed friends."



His assistant? What is he? A magician? A mad scientist? Rule number one of MySpace female hunting: lose the naked broads, up with the puppies and kittens.

Here’s another one from Sarah:


"I would never hurt a woman. That goes ageist my morals."


I guess that’s why he lives in the City of Brotherly Love. This is unedited, by the way. These are all unedited, which means that if your child somehow avoids the mouse click of a deranged pedophile psychopath, he or she will almost certainly receive a message or friend request from a complete imbecile. Just read Crystal’s and Alison’s messages again. There isn’t a period or comma to be found, and no capitalization whatsoever. And just look at the spelling: “Hunny,” “luv,” “alright,” using “it’s” incorrectly.

Sure, most of Sarah’s perverts have at least something in terms of a knowledge of grammar, but “ageist morals?” I’ll give you a million dollars if you can find an E in the word he’s trying to use.

Not only that, but “I would never hurt a woman?” What kind of intro is this? “Date me and you won’t have scratches, bruises and black eyes to explain to your co-workers.” Unless your profile contains photos of Ike Turner and Jason Kidd with captions saying, "He knows how to treat a woman!" why would you introduce yourself this way? Hell, why not just type:



Dear Sarah,

What’s the first thing a woman does when she gets out
of the battered women’s shelter?

The dishes, if she knows what’s good for her.
LOL!

Love, Bob




So, parents of youngins of all ages, keep your kids safe by keeping them off of MySpace. If you want them to make friends, put them in an after school program, maybe the glee club or Mathletes. Perhaps they could join a church group or volunteer at a retirement home. Because this MySpace is the devil himself, and it will get your child. It may be a harmless oaf typing with one finger to a 25-30-year-old woman. It may be a loveable pedophile, like Michael Jackson or Peter Lorre in M, asking your child to come ride the Ferris wheel in his backyard. Or it could be worse. There are all types on MySpace.

Unless you want an easy $30 million in cash from a major corporation. Then, by all means, have all your children post profiles.

Blasts, Perhaps Bombs, from the Past: Part I

I was inspired to copy a writer friend o' mine and post things I wrote long ago but are no longer online on my stupid blog. So here is the first installment, "Notes on a Video Training Course," originally published on a Web site called The Cerebral Catalyst in 2006.



Notes from a Video Training Course
by Michael Frissore


For two weeks there were posters all around my company’s four floors and three wings with a Roy Lichtenstein painting with a crying girl saying, “Nobody told me EROC training could be fun!”

That’s because it can’t.

EROC is a group that accredits healthcare companies like the one I work for. Don’t ask me what it stands for; I don’t know. Every year we have to have some kind of training to keep our accreditation. So this year they thought they’d spice it up.

And yippee, indeed. They spiced the ad up, anyway, but the video begins with the president of the company (we’ll call it THC) and some broad talking. About what, I don’t know because I’m busy shouting, “Shut up!” really loudly in my head.

When they finally finish, some awful 70s music brings us to the hiring process at the company. A sea of white faces appears on the screen surrounding one black woman. So, I figured, they must a gonna be a hirin’ her. But, no! They hired Colleen! The smiley white chick!

Thankfully, at orientation, Colleen is joined by two other new hires: Robin, another Caucasian gal, and Carl. In Carl, with his some kind of African accent, we have our black. He looks like a much less freakish Dikembe Mutombo.

Colleen and Robin talk a bit about “confidential information,” and then Carl gets on the microphone. Carl’s voice starts off normal, but gets really loud, then even louder. Carl doesn’t know how to use a microphone. Someone told him to speak up, and he went overboard. Carl is a douche.

Robin then goes on about the “values” and the “vision” of the company. She feels proud about THC’s values and their confidentiality. “I even get a laminated card,” she says. “I think I’ll put it up at my desk.” You do that, Robin. You do that.

She concludes that, “It seems THC does everything the right way.” Robin’s a good girl. But then Carl comes back, shouting, “This is Carl,” as if he grabbed the mike from Robin’s adorable little hands. Shut up, Carl.

Robin, undaunted, tells us that, “Next week I’ll have even more learning.” I’m sure Carl could teach her a lesson.

So far: Fun? No. Hilarious? Yes! And, by the way, we don’t hear from Colleen again. She must not have worked out.


For the next portion of the video, we move to the Data Center Tour. We get more of the same music, which reminds me of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood or ads for trade schools. Or perhaps the PSAs from the 80s that appeared during cartoons, like the “Do a flip for breakfast” ad. Remember that? Anyone? No?

Anyway, Greg from IST, a fascinating man, discusses the “password policy,” of changing passwords every 90 days. Piss off, Greg.

A Chinese guy’s face appears on the screen, but he has Robin’s voice, which freaks me out. She talks about the IST project manager, who, I suppose, is the Chinaman. “He told me about blah blah blah,” Robin says, “then he grabbed my ass.” She takes her complaint to Human Resources, who tell her that, as a new hire, she should shut her gabby mouth.

Nonetheless, this Robin, she loves learning. I myself have learned that there are a lot of hot broads at THC. Either that or we’re so ugly they had to hire actresses.

We then follow Robin as she tours Quality Management. Apparently Carl didn’t work out because we don’t see him again either. Through Robin we learn what happens when a doctor does something to breach his or her contract, and whether he or she can appeal. Perhaps the most fun about the job is finding out a particular doctor has been dealing prescription drugs or molesting patients while they were under. But, by far, Christmas at THC comes when we find a doctor who was caught with child pornography. We don’t want these quacks in our network, mister! Robin agrees.

“It must put people at ease that THC is looking out for them.” THC is kind of like Bill O’Reilly, except it doesn’t cry about the ACLU or sexually harass staffers.

The music in this video is like The Transformers, it shows up every fifteen seconds. I soon start writing lyrics and dancing to it.


We move to the next video, where we immediately see little camera whore Robin peeking at us while a meeting is being filmed. We meet super hot Nicole (Do these chicks actually work here?) and I start adding “hey heys” to the music. Tim, in the cubicle next to me, yawns loudly.

Robin, who will one day become president of THC, appears again, with her dopey smile and glazed over eyes. She looks like a new cult member. Drink the Flavor-Aid, Robin. Good girl. Now put these Nikes on, grab a knife, and cut off the testicles of the gentleman to your left.

At the end we get a whole list of credits, but this is only the first half of the training. We also have to fill out an evaluation. I click “Agree” for every question because only psychotics “strongly agree.” They also ask two very important questions:

Q: What did you like most about the video?

A: The Music

Q: What would you do to improve the course?

A: More cowbell.


Part two really sucks compared to part one, but we do meet another hottie named Jennifer Smith. She’s a member who is very impressed with THC for some reason. We watch her search for Dr. Fine on the company’s web site. She even spells the doctor’s name out loud (“F-I-N-E”), so she doesn’t get confused, the poor thing.

“This is pretty cool,” she says. Get a life, Jennifer.

She doesn’t find Dr. Fine, but she can nominate her as a provider online. “That’s great!” Jennifer says. The truth is that members will, instead, call us bitching that their doctor isn’t on the web site. A customer service rep then tells the member to kill him or herself.

By now I’m almost on the floor laughing. We find out that Dr. Fine is a Negro, so, when her application is reviewed, it is checked and double-checked for a criminal history. Soon enough, Dr. Fine becomes a THC provider.

As the next video begins, I am scatting over the music, in both senses of the word.

We meet Finda, who is in my department and has some kind of accent. She receives a provider’s application and pawns it off to a handsome, strapping gentleman who is kind of boring until you hear him say, “Should I…,” and then it cuts off. A THC production, ladies and gentlemen.

Dr. Fine comes back, declaring, “I think I’m going to like working with THC.” Think again, Doc. Wait until she finds out that reimbursements will put her on a pay level with her Guatemalan housekeeper, or that a confused temp has terminated her contract out of nowhere. See you in court, Doc.

As we near the end of the training, we meet Alinta in customer service. She’s another Noisy Nancy on the mike, and she’s talking to the bloated head of Wayne Newton from Dr. Fine’s office. We hear the pleasant sound of typing upon a keyboard as Alinta fixes Dr. Fine’s issue. The bloated head of Wayne Newton sings “Donka Shane,” and disappears.

And then it just ends. Hello! Where’s the fun that was promised us?

Perhaps next year.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The New York Times Loves Child Rape: News at Eleven

The newspaper business, popularized in many Hollywood talkies in the 1930s, has been in a steady decline since the turn of the century. This dive can be attributed partly to something called "the Internet," where young people of the 21st century view pornography and upload photos of their bowel movements.

And it's because of this so-called "Internet," and the "Internet Age," that 21st century consumers - at least 42,000 of them - are perhaps too stupid to read news stories.

Case in point, New York Times writer James C. McKinley Jr's "Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town" from last week.

The story is about the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl last November by 18 men, ranging in age from junior high to 27 years old.

Despite McKinley and the Times using adjectives like "vicious" to describe the rape, and "lurid" to define the cell phone video taken of the assault, the writer stands accused of quoting townspeople, including Sheila Harrison, who said, "These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives," and questioned the girl's mother for letting her walk around such a bad area in make-up and older-girl clothes.

The story prompted Shelby Knox of change.org to start a petition to make the Times apologize for "blaming a child for her gang rape."

Read that again. Go read the story, then read the "blaming a child" part. I'll wait.

Okay, done? Now get this. Knox was successful! Forty-two thousand people filled out her horseshit petition and got the Public Editor of the Times to say the story "lacked balance."

Balance! In a rape story! Knox requires quotes from people who say, "This is awful," and "Poor, poor girl." Knox and the other 42,000 sheep might find this hard to believe, but we know rape is bad! Times readers especially know that rape is an evil, evil thing, and this girl went through, and will continue to go through, hell. We don't need McKinley to tell us this. We're not children ourselves.

By the way, he does mention in the story that local churches held prayer services for the victim. I suppose that doesn't count.

I may sound harsh here. But let's start with Harrison, the one person who would and could speak about this vicious crime. I don't think McKinley quoted her to blame the victim. When a little girl gets gang raped The Accused-style, a reader is left with a lot of questions. And none of them are, "Is rape even bad? I mean, seriously?"

Neither McKinley nor Harrison are saying that, dressed as she was, this girl had it coming. It doesn't explain the unexplainable, but it sheds light on what a messed up section of town this is. Why was the girl there? Why did she dress like that? These are good questions, and don't necessarily point the finger at the victim.

And Harrison's "These boys" comment isn't sympathy for the devil, it's "These sick bastards have to live with this now."

That said, how the hell is McKinley responsible for anything Harrison says? Since when does a rape story need an asterisk stating that rape is bad? This whole "fair and balanced" garbage has gone out of control. Next thing you know a report about a despicable child molester will need to be accompanied by comments from someone who is pro-kid touching.

The elements of reporting is give the facts, quote some idiots, and submit it to your editor. You don't need statistics about rape or public service announcements under your byline. Rape is terrible, and, if you rape, you're not a good person. We know that, Mr. McKinley. I'll Google the rape stats later.

Again, I will state here that this was an awful, awful thing that happened. And a female, whether 11 or 111, is never to blame, but read the story again and, for once, don't get reflexively angry and start petitions. When The New York Times gets accused of something like this, it really is a sign that we're all doomed, and not just people living in Cleveland, Texas.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Nest of Haiku

dried apples and figs
and, for fuck’s sake, you just will
not shut the fuck up



you point and show me
the first snow of winter; I
ask to see your tits



no longer lovers
the crabs that you gave to me
have now gone away

Pupper Shows: The Hilarious Short Story Collection

Featuring...


“Heckle” (decomP, USA, 2008)

When a boy named Heckle’s father explodes and his grandmother takes ill, he is adopted by kindly Italian organ grinder Giuseppe and his performing monkey Frances.



“Grandpa & Me” (Gold Dust’s Solid Gold Anthology, UK, 2009)

A teenage boy’s grandfather elopes with the Boogeyman only to return wondering where his birthday present is. The boy is joyous over his grandpa’s return until a showdown with the infamous General Tso outside a Chinese restaurant.



“Q.Q.’s Barbershop” (Sein und Werden, UK, 2009)

Q.Q. runs his barbershop from a whiskey bottle on the kitchen counter of four college students. It’s not an average day for Q.Q. as he must deal with the students’ refrigerator problem; Bernie, the misfit nuisance outside swinging a dead squirrel; and the escape of the nearly naked man from his broom closet. It all leads to a battle of Q.Q. and his woolly mammoth versus Bernie and his squirrel.



“Dinner at Wither Port” (The Oddville Press, USA, 2009)

It’s an awards ceremony at the Wither Port Mental Clinic. Honorees mix with the patients and the meal includes Spaghetti-O’s and baby seal. This season’s honoree, Dr. Snidely Milano, gets more than he can handle from the attendees.





Puppet Shows is looking for a publisher, as is the new collection, Where Have You Gone, Mr. Myspace?

Michael Frissore
mfrissore@hotmail.com

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Poetries. You know you like poetries, f***face.

And poetries you shall have........


"You can lead a horse to water,
but if you try to have sex with him,
he will fuck you up"
- Michael Frissore, 03/01/2011



Untitled, or It Smells Like Old People Up In This Muthaf**ka



I have more money than you, he said
I’ve had more money than you, she said.
Once I took an entire steak and just threw it away, he said.
Once, she said, I crashed a Mercedes and just walked away to go buy another one.
Each of them was wearing a blue, sequin suit, performing a puppet show for the elderly with their bare hands.
When the show concluded they each produced a pair of scissors and began snip snipping the clothes of the old people.
An orange-haired woman drank from the glass her teeth sat in.
He made up a dirty limerick about the woman.
They kept making up limericks until the woman cried.
An orderly pushed the orange-haired woman out of the room, but turned her around so she could spit upon her tormenters.
They laughed hard at this one.
My stars, did they chortle. They guffawed and snorted. When the laughter ended, he said, knock-knock jokes. Light bulb jokes, she said. What’s the difference between jokes, he said. Puns, she said.
They told them, punctuating each with, Get in the coffin!
An old man sitting in the corner yelled, Show us your tits!
I’ll have you know, he said, that she has breast cancer.
The old man said he was sorry.
Ha! he shouted, spraying the old man with a bottle of seltzer. She doesn’t have cancer.
One the way home they argued over which old lady was probably sexier in her prime. They walked along the street discussing in detail what old lady vagina must look like. They laughed at each other’s comments until she said something about his grandmother’s cooter. He punched her in the face. She fell, held her mouth, and adjusted her beret. He apologized and they agreed to add some domestic violence humor to their act.






The Alphabet



A.
Think you can slip out the back door
Make a parable of tortoise, shell, soup
And you will be prepared for Seinfeld, sweetie
Love is the capturing of compressed gas
Pretend you’re heavily petting a salamander
Poets flap their arms and crash into churches
You’ll live to rue this day. I’ll make sure of it.

B.
She was just tap dancing on the Equator
How did your pants explode, sugar
Did you enjoy a six-foot hoagie with me
Towards the back of the magic bus
She could see what was coming – a cake
We all got hit with the same club
The tortoise is shelled in the soup

C.
I imagine the top of the mountain is fantastic
You have perplexed her; thou doth hath leprosy
These itty bitty crumbs, giving her mouth to mouth
She really wanted to don a luchador mask
The tortoise circled the soup stuffing shells
She’s been whistling Dixie since college
We all just shook our head and said what the hell

D.
It was venomous, hot on a biscuit
Brothers assisted sisters in loading the dishwasher
I accidently made sixty copies of the same photo
The shell for a soup of tortoise
The spinal paste, the cookie sheet in quarantine
She punched a paparazzo right in the mouth
Cookies crumble; that is because the reaper jiggled

E.
Fuck this.





Funky Like a Monkey

I saw a guy in beer goggles
and a pink Members Only jacket
with beady eyes and a chinchilla coat
with a rainbow painted on it
screaming at the leaves.

I had to punch him I couldn’t help it
I gritted my teeth and closed my fist
I rolled my hands like Dusty Rhodes
He went down, selling like a champion

And for my showmanship the parking meter
whispered to me in a soft gentle voice:
“THAT WAS A GOOD SHOT,”
and A is for arctophile.

Well, I screamed, A is for
abattoir, abortion, abiotrophy, anomphalous,
and act like a man—
and if I had been an autocoprophagist
I would have given him a taste as well.