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Strove to find a way to punch people in the face by using the Internet.

8/30/2004

DIARY OF INDIGNITIES
Special Guest Indignities – An E-mail Chat with Todd
Ah, Todd. Father, husband, gourmand, raconteur... Pillar of the community. Todd's been one of my very best friends for more than a decade. Well, except for that one year he didn't talk to me after I banged his head into a wall a few times at a party... I had my reasons. Anyway, let's have a round of applause to welcome our special guest this week.

I was going to ask you about your biggest indignity, figuring it was the time you shit your pants in the video store, but I seem to remember you weren’t particularly embarrassed by that. Is this correct?

Oh, I was pretty fuckin' embarrassed alright. But since it was just me and Scott Adams, and he was my roommate at the time, I knew I could trust him to help me through the shitstorm. I had to ride all the way back home sitting on a plastic Publix bag so I wouldn't leak my bowel chowder onto his car. It's all funny to think about it now, and I'm pretty sure that Scott thought it was damn funny then, too. I think the funniest part is that despite my hellacious bout that week with a bona-fide, doctor-diagnosed intestinal virus, I just couldn't miss the big closeout sale for all those beat-up, old, used video tapes that I'm now fighting to get rid of on eBay. I hate them.

Did you turd it up and keep looking, or were you on your way out the door? Did you drip? Did anyone notice?

I was sizing up my haul just about ready to go, actually. (Man, you can really take that sentence in two ways when you think about it.) I had a stack of about 10 video tapes in my arms and I thought, "Well, one tiny little innocent fart couldn't hurt now, could it?" It could. And did. A burning hot deluge of butt soup shot out of my ass and went halfway down my right leg. Fuuuuuck. I went, "Pssst, pssst" to Scott and whispered to him, "Hey, remember what happened to Scott Huegel at the Spoke warehouse? Well, it just happened to me right now. Only worse."

Scott immediately recalled the Huegel incident, which as legend has it is as follows: Once, in mid-song during an intense, emo-filled practice by his band Spoke, Huegel let out what he also thought was an innocent little bottom burp that resulted in a single round turd rolling out of his shorts and onto the warehouse floor. The whole band stopped to a silence, and Jon Resh exclaimed, "What's that brother?" To which Huegel replied, "Dude! It's my shit." And walked off in humiliation. Now, whether or not it all happened exactly like that, I'm not sure. But I like to believe that it did.

Anyways, Scott agreed that we had to get the fuck outta there ASAP, so I cautiously walked up to the line to pay, trying to keep the mess all up in my ass region as best I could. When I got to the front of the line after what seemed like a year, I quickly paid for my stupid video tapes. I distinctly remember the clerk making a funny face as he must've gotten a whiff of the thunder from down under.

I managed to scoot out to Scott's car and that's when he wisely offered me the Publix bag to sit on. God bless him. When we got home, I shut myself in the bathroom for a half hour and cleaned myself up. I threw my jeans away. Anyone wanna buy some video tapes?

How does one "keep the mess all up" in one’s "ass region" anyway? And it didn't drip at all?

I just kinda got all clenched up and waddled when I walked. Thankfully, my jeans were very absorbent.

What videos did you get? Was it worth it?

Let's see: The Killer, Slam Dance, Gigantor, 8th Man, Re-Animator, Three O'Clock High and Inframan. I can't remember the other two. But yeah, at the time it was definitely worth it. Video tapes were cool, man.

Oh, I'd totally shit my pants for Three O'Clock High. So how does this stack against all the other indignities you've suffered in life? Anywhere near the top?

It's definitely up there, just because of the comedy factor. I've done a lot of other stupid things in my life that weren’t really funny, and don't make for a good story. Only a good ass beating.

What's the dumbest thing you've ever seen me do?

Damn, aside from you deliberately smashing flower pots on your forehead, that's a hard one. Anything really stupid would've most likely occurred while we were extremely loaded, so I don't remember. Most of 'em happened before I met you, as per your indignities of yore. I really can't think of any. Honest.

There were a couple times when you stupidly listened to me when you shouldn't have, like that one late winter night when I left that note for you on my front door in a drunken stupor, insisting that you stay in Scott's bed instead of going home. You thought something bad happened to me, so you stayed, and didn't plug in the electric blanket before you passed out. I came home the next morning and found you all wrapped like a cocoon in Scott's bed, shivering to death, eyes all bloodshot and hungover as hell, and ready to ring my fuckin' neck. You were like, "Well, what the fuck happened to you last night?" And I said something like, "Dude, I slept with that retarded Angela girl." The look on your face was terrifying. You shouted, "That's it?! That's why you made me stay here?! I thought something bad happened to you. Come here. I'm gonna fuckin' choke you. Come here." Or something like that. Anyways, you were pissed.

Angela? Are you talking about that teenage runaway girl who talked all fucked up after her tongue got infected when she let the piercer use a stud he had dropped on the floor?

Yeah, that was her. Bleh.

She was a catch, a delightful flower. But I don't understand the connection between sleeping with her and it being so important that I crash at your place.

I walked home from the club with her and her flask of whiskey, and by the time I made it home I was out of my head. But I vaguely remembered telling you that you could crash at our place if you couldn't find a ride home. I was sitting there makin' out with her, and then she suggested we go to her place to drink more, which sounded like a brilliant idea at the time. So we went, and I left you that note on the door saying to go inside and sleep in Scott's bed. For some reason, I made it sound really serious and important.

Well, it turns out that you ended up getting a ride to my house, and whoever was giving you the ride said that if I wasn't home then they would just take you to your house. When you got to my place and saw the note, you told them to go cause you thought you'd better stay and find out what was going on. That's why you were all pissed the next morning. Man, you were scary looking, and ready to kill me.

I was so, so cold. It was 20 fuckin' degrees, and I had an electric blanket that I was too drunk to figure out how to turn on. I'm surprised I survived.

Another thing I always found funny was when every time Scott and I came into your record store with some new Taco Bell treat for lunch, you always insisted on trying some, and always with the same results. You would take a bite, make this horrible grimace and yell, "This is fuckin' terrible!!! It tastes like chlorine!!!" Every time. No matter what it was, the new Mega Gordita Supremeo or Beef Huasipungo or Chicken Spanakorso or whatever, you always got all disgusted and shit and said that it tasted like chlorine. That still makes me laugh just thinking about it.

Chlorine? Ugh. I think Pedro was spunkin' up your burrito.

"Spunkin' Up Your Burrito" is my favorite Primus song.

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8/24/2004

DIARY OF INDIGNITIES
Even More Historical Indignities.
Age 7 – My mom schedules a doctor's appointment. I learn I'm to receive an immunization booster shot at this visit. Although I've never been particularly afraid of injections, I become terrified. During the two or three weeks prior to the appointment, I obsess over it, sweating and feeling nauseous at the thought of that needle entering my skin. I start having trouble sleeping at night, because I lie awake thinking of ways to escape. The day of the appointment arrives, and I become hysterical. My mother has to call my grandmother over, and somehow the two of them manage to force me into the car, crying and screaming. We get to the doctor's office, and I'm sticky with tears and racked with deep, troubling sobs. The doctor looks at me, smirks like I'm the biggest pussy he's ever seen and pulls out the needle. I turn away, feeling dizzy. He jams the needle into my shoulder without a word. It doesn't hurt — in fact, it doesn't feel like much of anything. I stop crying and turn to look at it as he injects the medicine. "That's it?" I think. "Why in the heck was I so worked up about THAT?"

Age 9 – Mom decides she can't live with "poisons" in the house anymore, so traditional methods of controlling fleas and roaches are out. For the roaches, we're now to use boric acid, a thick, white powder. Soon rows of this stuff line every windowsill and doorway in the house, clumping up with the humidity and collecting dirt and dead bugs. For the fleas, we place some sort of pungent leaves, many of which are still attached to their branches, all over our rugs and carpets. They soon turn brittle and brown. We leave them there. The few kids that were inclined to ever come over... Stop.

Age 12 – It's time to get a new bike. I decide I want one with a long front fork, like a motorcycle chopper. The
model I get is cherry red, with a big plastic hump in front of the seat that resembles a gas tank. I am stoked. Upon seeing my kick-ass new ride, pretty much every other kid in the world decides I am the biggest loser who ever lived. I regret my decision less than a week after getting the new bike, realizing I'm looking at least a year of bike-related abuse from my peers. Plus, the thing weighs, like, 1,000 pounds, and is a huge pain in the ass to ride. One day, I'm cruising along my street, and the glue holding the rubber handlebar grip gives out. The grip, along with my left hand, slides off, and I crash my face and right shoulder into the curb in front of a neighbor's house. I get up, dazed, and take stock of my injuries. My shirt is torn, my shoulder is scraped and blood is puring out of my face. The neighbor, a churchy type who's raking his front lawn as this happens, looks at me and says, "That's what you get for riding that bike."

Age 19 – I'm making out with a punk chick in a dark back corner of a bar. Even though I've generally held nothing but open disdain for the contrived, self-destructive side of old-school punk, doing something tough and sleazy seems appropriate, so I give myself a lighter burn. This involves heating up a disposable Bic for a minute or so and pressing the hot metal into skin. I jam the top of the lighter into my left bicep, instantly raising a blister in the shape of a happy face. Not wanting to be outmatched, my makeout partner hikes up her skirt and requests one as well. I burn a smiley face right on her tender inner thigh. She winces. My arm hurts. We now have matching smiley-face burn blisters. I wonder what the hell possessed me to do something so stupid, and consider throwing myself in front of a bus.

Age 32 – After going my entire life bumming rides from people or riding a bike everywhere, I finally get a driver license. Due to Florida law, this requires attending a mandatory three-hour seminar about the dangers of alcohol drug abuse, during which I get into a heated argument with a snippy 15-year-old girl about the best way to present our group project. I get my way, and the little snob pouts the rest of the class. A few weeks later, and I'm a licensed driver. "Why in the fuck did I wait so damn long to get my license?" I wonder. To this day, I still don't have an answer.

That's it! That's all of them! That's the end! No more indignities! Coming soon – the Diary of Triumphs!!! ...Not really.

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8/16/2004

DIARY OF INDIGNITIES
Meet My New Adopted Cousin, Anthony
Last weekend marked my lesbian mother’s 60th birthday. This was celebrated in her typical fashion, crazy.

I know, I know... Everyone thinks their parents are crazy. Whenever I say I was raised by a crazy woman and would’ve been better off with a pack of wolves, the response is an indulgent chuckle and a few patronizing words about how the details may change from family to family, but there’s a cosmic sort of balance at work that ensures everyone’s family gets an equivalent dose of the crazy and blah blah blah.

Well, bullshit. My mom is really, really fucking crazy. Years ago, at a previous place of employment, she stopped by my office unannounced, despite the fact I had specifically forbidden her from doing so. I wasn’t there, and a co-worker admitted to me the next day that it took a while before they figured out she was my mom. Everyone had thought she was some sort of lunatic bag lady or mental patient that had wandered in at random and started babbling nonsense at everyone. Unfortunately, they only misjudged the “random” part of that scenario.

Nothing I’ve written about her on this site comes anywhere near to accurately depicting the full experience of mom’s robust, distinctive brand of crazy. Every so often I sit down to write an entry about her, and invariably I black out before I can finish. The last time it happened I woke up several days later, naked and shivering on the floor in a puddle of my own urine. There was a 462-page document on my computer that consisted of nothing but the words I LOVE YOU, PUDDING, ONLY YOU COOL THE BURNING, typed over and over and over again.

Because of this, my friend Damien, who is a ventriloquist’s dummy I keep under the bed, says I should put off attempts at writing the comprehensive entry on mom until I can afford that shiny bucket of Xanax I’ve had my eye on… Damien gives pretty good advice (well, generally, but I don’t want to go into it), and he’s got a big knife, so I try to do what he says. Hence, this particular entry isn’t meant to offer anything but the tiniest glimpse into the whirling tornado of horror that is my relationship with the woman who 35 years ago pooped me forth from her ‘giner.

But it’s mom’s birthday, not mine. She’s rented out the meeting room and kitchen at the local Unitarian church for a party, and called me 14 times during the week leading up to it to ensure I’ll be there three hours before it starts “in case they need to move tables.” I show up reasonably early and find the other 20 or so assorted family members and friends she’s badgered into service, making up useless little jobs for themselves. Mom is nowhere to be found.

I’m enlisted to hang streamers, which give me chance to check out the many bulletin boards and dioramas and shit around the room. Of course, this being a Unitarian church, these things contain no discernable religious content. No, instead of addressing spiritual concerns, the place is positively wallpapered with posters, flyers, poems, brochures and macramé devoted to the modern liberal political agenda. I’ve always wondered where they indoctrinate people into the local NPR-and-a-Volvo-station-wagon brigade, and I guess it’s here... Oh, look. Canvas grocery bags with a picture of a tree on them. What a surprise.

All this doesn’t really have any effect on me, other than causing the same mildly deflated feeling I get when faced with any other brand of reflexive, partisan political or religious stuff. I manage to stop myself from correcting some bad science in a display designed to frighten children into caring about global warming, and continue hanging my streamers, making sure the loops are all uneven and shitty-looking in an obligatory display of juvenile passive-aggressiveness.

A few guests start to arrive, mostly Unitarians who feel duty-bound to show up, along with a few people that look like they know my mother from her medical support groups. For many years my mom has defined herself through various support groups, and they provide her with the bulk of her social activity. If it has an acronym, vague symptoms that can’t be detected by doctors that don’t use crystals or wands and gives you the opportunity to act all victimized and oppressed, my mom’s got it.

Her main deal is that made-up Chronic Fatigue Syndrome thing that went out of style like 10 years ago. Ironically enough, she’s absolutely tireless in her involvement with various Chronic Fatigue Syndrome support groups, and in a normal week expends enough energy to power a crazy-powered rocketship trying to rally support for her fellow not-really-sick Chronic Fatigue comrades.

Mom eventually shows up, a little late to her own party, but whatever. I walk outside to greet her and see if she needs help with the oxygen tank she wheels everywhere she goes. It, like her, is covered in balloons, ribbons, sashes, glitter and stickers. One might think this is to reflect the celebratory nature of her birthday party, but — Oh ho! — one would be wrong. She dresses like a cross between a rodeo clown and
Steven Tyler’s microphone stand no matter the occasion.

“Look! You can see my wings!” she says. She raises her arms and starts flapping her grotesque, flabby upper arms back and forth.

“Haaargh,” I say. My jaw clenches, exploding a back molar into a fine powder.

“I’m old! I have wings!” she chirps, and flaps herself inside while I try to fight off a panic attack. I wonder if any of those goddamn Unitarians have some beer or something stashed in the back of the fridge… Some organic microbrews or something… Fucking hell.

After a few deep breaths, I walk back in. My sister is chastising my conservative brother-in-law for writing “George W. Bush” on his name tag, which considering the setting is actually pretty damn funny. Especially for a Republican.

My sister’s new kid, just a few months old, is a beautiful little girl. But she has a little red patch of baby eczema or something on her forehead, and I’m compelled to devote the next hour or so to referring my niece as “baby jam head” and pretending to scrape strawberry jam off of her with a cracker. This mortifies a few guests, but shit — if I can’t get a drink during this ordeal I need something to get me through it.

But things get cranking and the party turns out to be OK. I enjoy insulting the infant, and the food’s good. It’s fun watching my shellshocked Southern Baptist in-laws stagger around, confused by all the Democrats and lesbians. When I concentrate real hard and pretend I’m not actually related to any of these people, I have little flashes of something resembling… Fun. This little soiree is actually one generous application of booze away from being a legitimate good time. Who would’ve thunk it?

My reverie is soon broken, of course. A crazy guy walks in and stands in the middle of the room, mumbling and staring around bug-eyed. This dude is obviously nuts, but a different kind of crazy than my mom, who manages maintain just enough of a tenacious, self-absorbed grip on consensus reality that we can’t really lock her up or anything. No, the new arrival is closer to what I think of as a classic street crazy, all google-eyed and twitchy and clearly just fixin’ to snap and start ranting or killing people.

This is disconcerting — downtown Gainesville is filled with wandering psychotics, and dealing with them when you leave the house is just another fact of life. I used to own a little record shop on what passes for our main drag, and garnered plenty of experience calming or pummeling agitated nutjobs and drug addicts as the situation warranted. But we’re in a fairly affluent, outlying section of town without a lot of foot traffic, so this guy’s appearance is extra disturbing. I mean, we’re set back from the road a ways, so it’s not like he was just walking by, saw people and decided to crash the party.

My instincts are to deploy my bum-hustling skills and toss him out, but I hesitate. He’s recently bathed and is wearing pants, so there’s the chance that he actually might know my mom from some schizo support group or something. Maybe the Unitarians keep him around for comic relief; what do I know?

A minute or two of this guy swaying back and forth and listening to his own synapses misfire and my sister goes over to talk to him, asking him how he knows our mom. A few vague, mumbled answers and it quickly becomes clear that he doesn’t know my mother, or anyone else there. I start walking across the room, assuming the next step is to ask the guy to leave. My sister just shrugs and fixes the guy a plate of food.

Shit. Feed ‘em and they’ll never leave.

The next half hour is kind of stressful. He’s quiet, and seems content to just mumble to himself and stare at things. Mom and sis say they don’t care if the guy sticks around, and tell me not to confront him. Everyone else is pretty much just ignoring him, even though he has a crazy person’s idea of what constitutes appropriate personal-space boundaries. I can’t relax, though — I’ve seen way too many guys like this just unexpectedly freak out, and keep having visions of what would happen if he lashed out and hit one of the kids or fragile, old liberals mincing around the place. The guy isn’t tall, but he’s thick and has big arms, and I keep seeing disaster. Potentially hilarious disaster, sure, but disaster.

So I shadow him, waiting to pounce in the event he goes ballistic. Every once in a while he whips around to see what I’m doing, and I quickly look away and act interested in the ceiling. We circulate through the party like this for some time.

Eventually, I get fed up. I tell my sister I’m going to ask him to leave.

“Wait, I have an idea,” she says. “I’ll fix him a plate of food to go, with the emphasis on ‘to go.’ He’ll get the hint.” Yeah, because crazy people are so good at getting hints. This guy is getting the hint the Pope controls all monkeys through the use of magical footrubs, and that’s about the extent of it. But a few minutes later she shoves a plate of goodies in his hands, points him toward the door and thanks him for coming.

He immediately turns around and tries to come back inside. I stand in his way. “Sorry man. Party’s winding down. You take care.” We stare at each other for a few seconds, then he turns around and walks off.

“Whew, that went alright,” I think. “I wonder if God would’ve been mad about me beating up a crazy dude in a church? Fuck it — God obviously hates me anyway, and I don’t believe in Him. Plus this isn’t so much like a real church as it is an issue of Harper’s come to life.”

I relax a little and have a glass of punch. I make fun of Little Baby Jam Head and start to enjoy myself again. Then I glance out the side door, and see the damn crazy guy again. He didn’t leave, but walked around to the side of the building. Fuck. And now he’s becoming more agitated by the second, whipping his head back and forth and yelping out random crazy stuff. I’m sick of this shit, and go to tell mom that I’m calling the cops.

Mom is having a conversation with her friend Susan, who’s some kind of Unitarian high priestess or whatever. I mention the police, and Susan looks at me with open disdain. “I really don’t think such steps will be necessary, Patrick,” Susan says. I notice other guests staring at me, shaking their heads. What the fuck?

Oh yeah — these people are rank-and-file NPR/Volvo liberals. They think I want to call the cops on the crazy guy because he’s black, not because he’s crazy. Being capital “L” liberals, they don’t actually know any black people, of course, and might even think that all black people act the way this guy acts or something. Regardless, they sure won’t miss a chance to act all patronizing to someone, so Susan tells me to stay put while she goes to talk to him and learn all about his needs and feelings.

Susan brings lets guy back in a few minutes later. “His name is Anthony, and he doesn’t have anywhere to go,” she says. This seems to satisfy everybody. Somebody slips Anthony 20 bucks, and you can be sure he really doesn’t have anywhere to go now. He might be crazy, but he’s not so crazy that 20 clams doesn’t brighten up his day. So Anthony’s part of the family now, and we resume our weird dance, where he walks around staring at things and startling people, and I follow him around and think about different ways to kill him, if the need arises.

The party eventually winds down, and guests start drifting out. Occasionally, invisible forces compel Anthony to follow folks out to the parking lot. He’s not menacing, but he’s damn weird, and a few people ask me to walk them out to their cars. As I’m still not allowed to directly confront the guy, our little dance becomes even more absurd.

When there’s just a few of us left, we start cleaning up. Anthony grabs a mop and starts attacking the floor with a zeal that’s quite impressive, if not actually very effective or thorough. My attitude softens a little. He seems honestly grateful we let him hang around, and wants to help out in any way he can. He seems less sinister to me now, and more like… I don’t know, just a lonely crazy guy who’s happy to stumble on some nice folks willing to give him money and cake. Shit, I reckon I’d be happy too.

We close up. Anthony helps me carry some leftovers and shit out to mom’s car. As she bends over to put a box in the back seat, Anthony takes a step back and starts openly checking out her butt. His google-eyes get even googlier, and a big smile spreads over his face.

I stare at this scene, barely able to comprehend the twisted wrongness of it all. Anthony glances over at me and gives me a big grin and a thumbs-up. It’s too much for me — I can’t speak or move. Anthony spends a few more moments gazing with open appreciation at my mother’s 60-year-old, lesbian ass. Then, without a word, he walks over to what I assume is his car, gets in and drives off.

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8/09/2004

DIARY OF INDIGNITIES
Fun with Science, Part 2
Girls are different from boys. First of all, there are the boobies, and the hoo-hah. Also, in my general experience, girls also seem to be a lot smarter than boys, if significantly crazier. Finally, there’s the whole masturbation thing.

Girls, assuming some of you actually read this crap, here’s the lowdown on male masturbation: for boys, beating off is the same as taking care of any other biological function. It’s no different to us than having a bowel movement or breathing. It’s one more chore hardwired into our anatomy, one of the parameters that define our gender — hell, our existence. Just something we need to do to function. Shit, as some of you may have noticed, the minute we have 15 free minutes in our schedule and access to a locked door we’re rubbing one out. And if we’re not, we’re at least contemplating it.

I only point this out because girls I know occasionally find themselves dismayed upon discovering their pet boy furtively knocking off a batch by hand. Or, even worse, uncover the dreaded porno stash (the modern equivalent of which might be the uncleared Internet Explorer History folder). This things can trigger strong reactions — moral disapproval, worry that a partner’s sexual needs aren’t fulfilled.

To these women, I say: Fret no more! Your boyfriend, son or husband is too inarticulate to say it, but the simple truth is that masturbation is not a sexual act. So relax, don't be so uptight. You wouldn’t get upset or morally outraged at finding a roll of toilet paper in the bathroom, would you? Well, unless that porno is really grisly stuff (the police can help you decide — you should always take all porno you find to your local police department, so they can take a look and decide if meets community and erotic standards), just lay off. We’re not crazy about tampons, you know? But we don’t make a big fuss unless one ends up in our box of Wheaties or something.

Frequency, though, is another matter. Much like pooping, male masturbation is generally performed once or twice a day. You’ll always find anomalies within any sample set, of course. Some dudes only whack it every few days, some four or five times a day. This is probably no surprise, but at certain times of my life (such as from puberty until, oh, about 20 minutes ago) I’ve tended to fall near the higher range of masturbatory frequency.

About 12 years ago, I was sitting around with a couple of girls, when one of them asked me if I was gay. (Note that this was a long time before I may or may not have drunkenly tongue-kissed George Rebelo, drummer for Hot Water Music, in exchange for sexual favors from really hot punk-rock girls, a one-time act that he enjoyed waaaay more than me, I’ll have you know, not that I’m at all insecure about that, or anything else, and shutthefuckupwhythehellarewestilltalkingaboutthisanyway?!)

“Nope,” I said. “Why do you ask?”

“Well, unlike the other guys I know, you’re not always trying to sleep with me, and I never hear you comment on the tits of every slut that walks by,” she said.

“That’s because, unlike a lot of insecure guys, I honestly like and respect women,” I said.

Which was, and is, true. Of course, what was also true was that I was working part-time, living in a house where my roommates were often gone for weeks one end and the owner of a giant stack of porno mags, and therefore beating off about nine times a day. So on the rare days I actually made it out of the house, my sex drive was somewhat dissipated.

The question got me thinking, though. I was always kind of a loner (and by that I mean “wholly unattractive to all women”), but maybe if I wasn’t constantly jacking off all the damn time I’d take more of an interest in girls and relationships and that kind of shit.

Right around this time, my friends in the band
Spoke were preparing for a month-long tour. At its culmination, the group was to record its first full-length album. Spoke’s guitarist and singer, Jon Resh, told me he was planning on abstaining from self-pleasure for as much time as possible before recording, perhaps even through the entire tour, with the idea that it would help his voice boom forth with stored-up masculine authority.

Hmmm. Who couldn’t use a little more masculine authority? And maybe I was missing out on that girlfriend stuff, too. There was only one way to tell, and that was to invoke our old friend, magic! Er, I mean science! And undertake an illuminating, educational experiment!

So I determined to last a week without playing with myself. If successful, it would be the longest I’d go without stimulation since I discovered I had a damn ding-a-ling.

The first day or two produced no noticeable physical effects. I did notice that I had more free time than usual, especially in the mornings and at bedtime. And I had a little trouble falling asleep at night. But it wasn’t like my testes swoll all up with unused man-goo or anything, and I figured I had this thing licked easy. Did someone say licked? That reminds me of a picture I have laying around here somewhere… Licked… Licked… Eaaasyyy… Lick it easy, so easy… Huh? Oh, sorry. Lost my train of thought.

On days three and four I started observing some distinct changes in my behavior. I took a shower, and got a haircut. Primarily, though, I noticed that I was suddenly very interested in what girls had to say. I would even call them on the phone and stuff. We’d talk and talk, and laugh. Just go on and on about nothing, really. Weird.

Also, occasionally I’d be struck by the nagging impression that there was something I was forgetting to do, like pay a bill or water the plants or something… Once I found myself trying to sort out this feeling while absentmindedly stroking an uncooked hot dog, and some teenagers laughed at me.

Days five and six were kind of a blur. My breathing was shallow and I was hopelessly distracted. I couldn’t tell if my voice had more manly authority than usual, but I did sport a perpetual hard-on that I sort of hard to tuck down in my jeans, making me walk kind of stiff-legged. Girls would talk to me, and I’d mutter and drool in response. I was excited by their exposed ankles, their rounded shoulders, their fingernail clippings, canes and wheelchairs. I found myself gazing wide-eyed and longing at a knothole my fence that I had never noticed before. On day six, a slight breeze blew across the front of my pants, and I shuddered.

Day seven came, and so did I. Vivid thoughts of sex were playing endlessly in my tortured mind. I was home, knowing my presence was unfit for civilized contact. Any contact with my body was unbearably overstimulating, so I was naked, restlessly pacing while mumbling and twisting my hands into strange shapes. I was sobbing and hyperventilating. It was rough going, friends, but my commitment to science was absolute, and I was determined to see the experiment through and last until the next morning.

Still naked, I lay on the futon in my living room, and turned on the TV. I was hoping I would find something, anything to distract me. Images of supple, glistening Jell-O caressed the television screen, taunting me. I noticed that Oprah had a set of big ol’ titties, and started imagining them free, bouncing unfettered in all their round, brown glory… It was real, so real. I could almost smell her womanly musk and…

“Okay,” I thought. “This is seriously getting out of hand. I need to get a grip on myself — er, maybe that was a bad choice of words — and settle the fuck down.” I changed the channel to something with nonsexy stuff like dudes and news, and took a few deep, cleansing breaths.

“I am a man, not a base animal,” I said to myself. “Yogis and monks fakirs and shit practice self control and rise above their urges. You don’t even believe in any of that metaphysical nonsense — you’re not going to let those mystical types top you, are you?”

Hell no. I hate those magical dickheads. I composed myself, reached down (hmm, bad choice of words again) and discovered an untapped well of self-control. Soon I found myself disassociated from the corporeal, almost floating on a plane that was… Well, I had always derided the word, but it was almost spiritual. I lay like that, naked and priapic, yet calm, for an undetermined amount of time. I felt enlightened, empowered and strong.

Then, absentmindedly, I reached down and scratched my crotch area. My wrist brushed against my boner, and I had an orgasm that I literally thought was going to kill me.

I’m not kidding. I saw spots, started to black out and seriously thought I might be having a massive heart attack. My entire body spasmed, each taut nerve humming and crackling with liquid electric fire. My eyes rolled up into my head. Digging my fingers into the futon mattress and gasping to catch my breath, my hips thrust forward uncontrollably again and again, while a thick stream of pearly untapped potential arced several feet over my head, landing on the floor with an audible glop. I screamed out in joy and terror while becoming one with all creation; all knowledge and life and the stars and planets whirled and hummed through each of my cells… I glimpsed the indescribable face of God. This lasted for only a few minutes, but it seemed like hours.

The jerks and involuntary contractions racking my body finally began to ebb. My breathing became deep and regular, and I was covered in a thin sheen of warm sweat. I couldn’t believe what I had just experienced — in a lifetime of adventure and mayhem, this was the most amazing thing I’d ever felt. You could rodeo-ride a nuclear-powered shark on the moon while eating a deep-fried Twinkie and getting a backrub from Molly Ringwald and it wouldn’t compare to the force, the passion, the... the… majesty. No words can possibly do it justice.

I made up my mind right there — I was going to masturbate just once a week from then on out. It was just too good, too intense. I was exhilarated. New vistas of pleasure stretched before me, and for the first time in a very long time I actually looked forward to what forthcoming days would bring. I was going to change.

I beat off again a few hours later, of course. It wasn’t the same. And the next morning, I whacked off first thing. I think I may have jacked off around lunchtime that day, too, and definitely sent myself riding off to dreamland on that reliable, sturdy ol’ steed of hand lotion and moist tissue. Pretty much the same as I’ve done every day since.

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8/05/2004

PIMPING SHIT
I never intended this site to be a typical "blog" (in fact, at first I initially intended only to use blogspot to dump my occasional freelance article or record review onto the Web, so friends could have easy access to them, in the event I ever actually made any friends), but I'm going to go ahead and do a typical "blog" thing here and use an entry to highlight a couple of offsite links.

These links pertain to a newly published book on Burning Man, which is that thing where hippies gobble drugs in the desert:

This is Burning Man

Author's book-related blog

Buy it at Amazon

The circumstances are special, you see. The author, Brian Doherty, is an old and good friend. And, importantly, he's the guy who kickstarted my writing "career" (such a priapic word, to describe such a flaccid thing). Though you'd never guess it from the blather on this site, writing is actually what pays my bills, keeping me awash in psoriasis cream and Zatoichi DVDs, so I owe him an enormous debt of gratitude that extends past even simple friendship (and, without getting too sappy I hope, that would really be enough).

Brian's a great writer, and a great thinker. He's incredibly smart in an approachable, human way. And I'm sure if I ever get around to reading his book it'll turn out to be chock full of illuminating anecdotes and sociological insight and shit like that, as well as naked ladies and violence (I hope).

So check out the site. Check out the blog (god, how I hate that ugly word). Buy the damn thing.

Oh, and Brian — if you read this, how about the next time you jack off some agent or publisher you put a little English on it while mentioning my name? I want to write a book too, Mr. Fancy Book Agent Jack-Off Man. Thanks!


8/03/2004

DIARY OF INDIGNITIES
Fun with Science, Part 1
In the modern world, where most folks are dumber than a fucking bag of rocks, science is little understood. Or, despite the innumerable benefits of science we experience throughout the day, even viewed with disdain and suspicion — how often have you heard the word used in a pejorative way? Yes, for many, “science” evokes misguided or even sinister goings-on off in some secret lab.

Compounding the problem are the hippies, mystics, graduate students in cultural studies, religious nuts and other such dipshits or charlatans who are fond of using the term to add a little authority to their chosen brand of made-up bullshit, referring to any vague discipline with its own jargon as a science and further degrading our understanding of its role and importance in almost every aspect of modern life.

In short, I find it useful to think of science as a process; a strategy that reduces the subjectivity inherent in the human experience. Of course, I also like to think of science as misguided or sinister goings-on in some secret lab, because that’s where you get zombies and weird powers and experiments gone haywire and other shit that makes movies with giant, intelligent sharks fun to watch.

Although I’d like to champion the former perspective here, I have a really short attention span, so if something doesn’t involve drinking, boobies or violence, I can’t be bothered. So, not having actually any aptitude for serious, tedious scientific study, I’m only qualified to champion the haywire-type stuff. Hell, maybe if some kid is reading this, he’ll start out interested in scientific mayhem and migrate over to the kind that involves bona-fide book-learnin’. I think that’d be great. You paying attention, kids? Don’t do drugs, stay in school.

So I’m a big proponent of looking around for the kinds of cool experiments one can integrate into everyday life, just to keep your personal awareness of science piqued. But this can be a challenge. For example, my youthful, innocent interest in homemade explosives can’t be recommended — these days, igniting a toilet-paper tube filled with scraped-out model-rocket fuel and black powder and other such lighthearted foolin’ around will get John Ashcroft to shitcan your ass faster than a Reichstag burns, and you don’t want to end up at the bottom of a dogpile in that damn Abu Ghraib. And I have an ethical problem with stuff like giving your dog bong hits, no matter how much he likes it, or how hilarious it is.

For these reasons, I think it’s good to start with experimenting with yourself. See what’s it’s like to drink a six-pack at 6 a.m. Look in the fridge — mint jelly, what’s that for? What does it taste like on a peanut butter sandwich? What happens if you add coffee grounds? Horseradish? But this is entry-level stuff. It’s all in good fun, but soon you’ll want to graduate to some more in-depth style inquiry.

One time I realized I had gone a whole day without eating or drinking anything but Yoo Hoo. “Here’s my chance for some top-notch science fun,” I thought, and determined to go as long as possible surviving on nothing but Yoo Hoo.

I lasted four days, quitting after the little dancing Yoo Hoo gremlins in my peripheral vision started looking at me with pity. For the first two days, I was giddy and chock full of sugary vigor. But by the end of my experiment I was dizzy, eight pounds lighter and was experiencing some strange gas symptoms… Or more of a wind, really… A cool, chocolately breeze that constantly blew out of my ass. Oh well, I regret nothing. Though the gremlins left after I ate some spaghetti, and I kind of feel like there was a missed opportunity with Bobo, the shy gremlin with the nice rack. Definitely some sparks there. Ah, Bobo. Do you ever think of me, I wonder? Do you ever long to once again feel the caress of my chocolatey breeze?

Next week: Fun with Science Part 2, where we find out what happens when I take a week off from stroking my wing-wang.

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