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


Employee Productivity Report for Sept. 24-28: Patrick Hughes

"Don't call me Andie-Poo."
"Why not? It sounds cute."
"I don't like having 'poo' inserted anywhere in my name."
"I don't like it!"
"C'mon. Andie-Poo."
"No! What if I called you Patty-Poo?"
"I'm OK with that. I'm secure in my masculinity."
"If you call me that I'll... I'll..."
"You'll what?"
"I'll fix you with a stealthy gaze."
"A... What? A stealthy gaze? How is that a deterrent?"
"Shut up."
"I mean, depending on how stealthy you make it, I won't even notice."
"Shut up!"

"You know what group is known for their stealthy gaze? The ninja."
"The ninja are very stealthy in all aspects of their lives, Andie-Poo."

"The eagle is also renowned for its stealthy gaze. It fixes its stealthy gaze upon hapless prey."
"Please shut up."
"But it's biology!"

viking cyclops
"What are you drawing? What is that?"
"I, um, I started on a Viking, to illustrate how a gaze could be fierce and stealthy at the same time, and the Viking reminded me of the dread Cyclops, because they, uh, both lived during the Mesozoic era. Anyway, when you're talking gaze, you gotta have Cyclops in there. That bitch ain't nuthin' but gaze."
"Don't say the b-word."

"Possibly the only creature with more overall gaze than the Cyclops is your Crawling Eye Monster."
"Please stop this."
"Crawling Eye Monster, Andrea. Steeeaaalthy gaaaaze."
"Crawling. Eye. Monster."

"Some people mistake the gaze of the frog for sleepy, but in actuality it's quite stealthy."
"I'm not talking to you."
"Look carefully and you'll learn, Andie. Stealthy — not sleepy!"
"You're going to get us in trouble."
"I learned about the frog's gaze from television."
"I told you — I'm not talking to you!"
"If it's on television it must be true."

"Finally, we come to the narwhal. Feel the power of its stealthy gaze. See how the crab flees? Sure, he doesn't want to get poked with that tusk, but he's not exactly a fan of the narwhal's stealthy, stealthy gaze, either. You know?"
"I hate you."
"I'm just trying to impart some hard-won wisdom here, Andie."
"I hate you."
"I'm reaching out here."
"I hate you."
"Stealthy gaze!"
"I hate you. Patty-Poo."


My old pal Brian Doherty reviewed Diary of Indignities in the Hit and Run section of the Reason magazine Web page.

His positive comments on several aspects of the book hit me hard, for a few reasons. First, and most simply, he's a valued friend. He's also extremely smart, and a talented writer and journalist — his books Radicals for Capitalism and This is Burning Man carry my strongest recommendations, and receiving accolades from someone whose brains and craft I respect so much is deeply gratifying.

In addition, Brian's advice and guidance on navigating through the scary carnival haunted house of publishing has been of immeasurable worth in helping me stave off rubber werewolves and evil clowns.

Finally, Brian provided me both encouragement and column space during his tenure at the Independent Florida Alligator, and because of this is absolutely 100% to blame for every word I've ever written. Anyone who's ever spent more than a few minutes on this site knows I can't relate much in the way of success, but I consider the Diary of Indignities book to be a high-water mark. It never would have happened if not for Brian.

What else? Hmm, well, he's also kind of a dick sometimes, and not exactly the dude who's going to say a bunch of nice things about something he considers sucky, so I reckon I can take his review at face value. Unless he's getting soft in his old age. What are you, Brian, like 50 now? Do me a favor — if the passing eons have eroded your dickishness and made you all nice, don't tell me. I'll take happy illusion over the cold grey underpants of reality any day.


Sleepy Dave and the upstanding hoodlums at Anthem Tattoo have come through for me once again, helping me ensure my life remains wholly surreal and absurd:


Nice bruising, huh? That part of my arm is as pale, delicate and juicy as fresh mozzarella cheese. Good thing the rest of me is double-tough and manly! As far as you know.

Some no-fun-havin' pee-hole asked me, "Is that band actually that big an influence in your life that you got a tattoo of them?"

It took me a minute to come up with an answer, in part because I was trying to sort through the stupid Zen-koan-ass logical problem embedded in the question, but also because I never really thought of Life Influence as being a natural predicate to tattoo design. So in response, I explained how I hate symbolism and meaning, and generally in life instead favor things that are funny and awesome.

I guess this separates me from the clientele featured on shows such as L.A. Ink and Miami Ink (and I do enjoy both programs just fine). Every goddamn tattoo you see on those shows is so fraught with meaning I expect the skin holding 'em up to implode under the metaphorical load. It's always, "This tied-up naked lady represents female empowerment," or, "In Mayan culture a one-eyed frog with bat wings symbolizes wisdom," or, "This way whenever I look at my tattoo I'll always remember my dead baby." Holy shit, are you really in that much danger of forgetting your dead baby? I mean, I'm pretty sure I'd do a fine job of remembering Devo without my (totally sweet) new tattoo.

I think the prevalence of this attitude is a detriment to the tattoo industry as well. It's just putting too much pressure on people. If you don't have a dead baby to remember, you just can't compete. I can't tell you how many times people from all walks of life have told me, "I'd love to get a tattoo, but I could never decide on a permanent design." There are two important aspects to getting tattoos these folks overlook:

1. You're allowed to get more than one.
2. You should just pick something on the spur of the moment* and get on with your life. Decide quickly and live with the consequences, like the fabled samurai warriors of yore.

You want to be like the fabled samurai, don't you? They knew how to have a good time, back in the days of yore.

*Unless it is a "tribal" wad of ugly lines arranged into an armband or scribbled all over your lower back.

What else? Well, thanks to everyone buying books and leaving such nice reviews. I'm not real good with sincerity and feelings and all that horseshit, but I do appreciate it. And like I said before I'll be doing my first reading and book signing dealie Saturday 4 PM at Criminal Records in Atlanta, where metal band Withered will also play. I'm also not real good in front of people, so you should show up just to see what happens. Will I get the vapors and faint? Totally freak out and go nuts? Wet myself? All three? Life offers nothing but possibilities, my friends.

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