Sunday, April 26, 2009

Where my Pocky's at?!?

I've accepted that, by simple virtue of geography (I live in Texas, after all. Houston, mind you, but still Texas), I'm bound to run into some seriously, SERIOUSLY intensely Christian people at least a couple of times a week. It's just gonna happen. And it did, yet again, when a gentlemen decided to recite what was essentially a summary of the Book of Revelations at me. I was raised Catholic, and Catholic in the time-honored, New England lackadaisical tradition. As a people, we're not too big on the fire and brimstone stuff. I'm a heathen these days, but even as a kid, Hell was always a pretty vague concept; Something that happened, you know, over there. To those weirdo Christians. The ones with the tents. That, and we had confession, so we were pretty much guaranteed to avoid Hell entirely, so long as we renounced our evil ways on our deathbeds (a tactic I still plan on employing, just in case.).

However, there are a lot of serious Evangelical folks around these parts (Jerry Falwell and such); so, in the interest of getting to know my neighbors, I decided to familiarize myself with the End of Days the best way I knew how: By reading the Wikipedia entry on the Left Behind series of books. Fitting, as I view anything Kirk Cameron is involved in to be the inspired Word of God. (Seriously. On Growing Pains, his best friend's name was Boner. Boner. This was the mid-80's, and here we had a family friendly sitcom on prime-time that got away with saying "Boner" an average of 19 times an episode. Now that's either God or the devil, and either way, you better respect that fuckin' autoritah.)

Now that I have what may be accurately described as an intense and thorough knowledge of the Book of Revelations, I posit this question, in all seriousness, to those Evangelical Christians among us:

"The fuck?"

Now, I'm a skeptic and an agnostic at best, but I'm willing to accept that I don't know or understand everything in the universe. I'm even willing to accept the possibility of some form of Creative force that has operated or is operating within it. I mean, all this stuff is here, so it's not completely gonzo to consider. But this John cat, and by extension those who view his brand of crazy as something that even begins to approach the house that plausible rents for two weeks out of every summer, are fuckin' SURE of it. And they're sure they're sure. And they're sure they know EXACTLY how this merry-go-round is gonna come to a screeching halt, and which one of us poor fuckers is gonna lose his damn ice cream cone in the process.

I mean....the fuck? They can tell you exactly how and where Jesus is going to be coming back, holding a flaming sword and riding a my little pony of light and wasting all the bad, unbelieving, probably brown people, and how they're going to have carte blanche in the sweet ass luxury box in the new heaven and new earth. They can tell you exacly which mound of dirt in France on which the J-Dizzle is going to set up his house for the ultimate episode of Cribs.

You know...they just can't tell you which particular millennia...but seriously...any year now. It's a' comin'. Get your shit packed.

It's all a little presumptious, really. To think that we are not only the chosen species on this planet, but in the entire fucking universe full of a spajillion other planets, some of which are bound to have life on them that look WAY cooler than us in Ray-Bans.

Me, I prefer a little mystery. The way I figure it, we're all gonna find out one way or another what happens. May as well be surprised. It's like riding a roller coaster that may or may not be on fire...only you're blindfolded. But the ride to the top of the biggest hill is like a hundred years long. And you get to have beer and cheesecake along the way. And maybe you're like me, and you marry a pretty girl who's funny and weird and puts up with your shit, and then you get to ride together (I scream like a little girl on roller coasters, so it's nice to have someone who actually is a girl to blame it on); maybe you have a couple of kids. Maybe you invent something that makes life for other people just a little weirder and more interesting. Maybe you write a play or a book that a few people enjoy. Maybe you come up with the idea for Lost and make me stick with the damn show for 5 fucking years because I NEED TO KNOW WHAT THE GODDAMN SMOKE MONSTER IS!

And you don't know if when you get to the top of the hill if you're going to hit a bunch of clouds, or like 47 big-titty virgins or a bowl of chocolate pudding or what. But fuck still got beer and cheesecake, so you came out ahead. Just put your arms up and go "WHEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!"

But hey...If we are headed for a full-on, biblical, capital A-pocalypse, it's not all bad. As Patton Oswalt, my brother from another mother says:

"Here's the good news: in the afterlife, like in Heaven you'll be in the fuckin' VIP section of eternity! Cause everyone up there is like 'Hey, how'd you die?' And they're like 'Bus accident,' and 'How'd you die?' And they're like 'Fire ants.' Then they go 'How'd you die, man?' 'How'd I die? In the fuckin' apocalypse! Oh my God, it was awesome! I'm in the velvet rope section of eternity! You should've fuckin' been there man, fuckin' volcanoes came out of the ground and spewed menstrural blood into the sky, and then it formed into Avril Lavigne's face, and she recited the 'Good Will Hunting' screenplay, then the words turned into sentient razors and they bored into your flesh, George Bush was president and mediocrity held sway!'"

Sprinkle some fries on those cupcakes, fuckers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

You can pour Him over ice cream for a nice parfait...

I'd like to share with you a revelation I had while shopping at a hobby store with my wife recently: The world is fucking weird. And it's really, really funny.

Let me elaborate. In his 1999 album Mule Variations, the insanely talented Tom Waits included a track called "Chocolate Jesus." It's a sparse, gravelly, bluesy, funny little song about the titular candy product and it's one of my favorite songs of all time. When asked what brought about the inspiration for such a song, Tom related a story about a business venture his father-in-law had told him about, sort of a Christian version of the Lifesaver called, appropriately, Testamints. The idea was that they'd have these little breath mints that have a cross on one side and a bible verse on the other. You know, for those Sundays on the go...or maybe for when you're having both a spiritual crisis and a double order of garlic bread. Either way, you're saved and ready to hit the town in, like, literally 45 seconds. Good deal. According to Tom himself:

"So we just kind of took it a step further. You got your Testamints. What about your Chocolate Jesus? Melts in your mouth, not your hand. It is kind of direct. Drink this in remembrance of me. Someone might think it's blasphemous, but it's actually kind of a grassroots spirituality."

Tom Waits being the kind of weird, elusive smoke-being that he is, I always figured the whole thing was just another story to add a little extra madness and mystery to things. Tom does that sort of thing a lot, though there's usually at least a grain of truth to it all. Take for example the story he told about Sarah Bernhardt, famous French stage actress. As the story went, Sarah had her right leg amputated later in life and ended up performing Shakespeare in a little bar in the middle of nowhere. Strapped for cash, she supposedly sold her severed leg to famous circus entrepreneur and human/walrus hybrid P.T. Barnum, who then exhibited it in a number of traveling sideshows. The gag is that she was one of the most famous actresses in history, and at the end of her career, her leg was pulling in more money each night then she was.

Funny, yes. Twisted, yes. Weird as hell, oh yeah. True? Well, actually, kind of. Sarah Bernhardt injured her right knee pretty badly leaping from the stage at the end of a production in 1905. The leg didn't heal properly and over the years, infections took their toll and gangrene set in. She had the leg removed in 1915 and proceeded to have a pretty successful, albeit one-legged decade appearing in and even producing many more stage productions until her death in 1923. There were rumors a showman had offered to buy her leg, but she'd turned him down. Since P.T. Barnum died in 1891, and especially given his Houdini-like debunking of mediums and seances and speaking to the dead and the like, if he really had made the offer, it would have been even more super-awesome.

Undoubtedly, Tom heard the rumor someplace or another and decided to spin it into a twisted joke/weird ass anecdote to add to his oddball mythos during live performances. It worked, of course.

Given the evidence presented above, it should have come as no surprise to me when I saw, in the gumrack at the checkout counter of Hobby Lobby, the awesome sight of this:

God bless you crazy-ass Christians and your All-American enterprising spirit. I shit you not, dear readers, this is a really, really real thing. They have a whole range of products: Bible Verses Buttermints, Tangy Tarts Scripture Candy; even personalized Bible Verse Hershey Bars! That last one should come as a boon to all you passive aggressive homophobes out there. Too shy to attend a rally holding a "God Hates Queers!" picket sign while wearing a Budweiser beer hat? Just order up some fun-sized Hershey's Krackle with Leviticus 20:13 printed on them and hand them out to all the kids dressed up kind of faggy on Halloween! Here you go, Sparkly-Twilight-Vampire-Kid, here's a Mr. Goodbar for you...oh, and also little light reading material:

"If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

Burn in hell! :) Oh, lordy, but I do love dressing up for pretends!

Anyone interested in checking these wonderful little mouthfuls of insanity can visit the following link:

Testamints Products Page

If any of you order anything from them for a less-than-ironic purpose...please stay away from me. Especially in the grocery store. I swear, I can't go to Wal-Mart at 11:50 at night without being accosted by some preachy middle-aged lady in a cardigan with a bad hair cut, thrusting some pamphlet at me, telling me that Jesus can heal me, and that they'll pray for me. For those of you who don't know, I have cerebral palsy and as a result, I walk with a distinctive, limping gait. Look up spastic diplegia on Wikipedia. It's actually pretty informative. Also, if you've got some extra dough, donate a few bucks to United Cerebral Palsy, or maybe buy one of their neat little "Life Without Limits" wristbands. They're a little upbeat for my taste, but they do lots of good work for lots of different people. And they're a crapload more effective and caring than a pamphlet from Jesus at Wal-Mart.

Now that I think of it...I suppose getting accosted with candy is better than getting accosted with a pamphlet. Candy is candy, after all and Chocolate Jesus is bound to taste about the same as the Cadbury Bunny, when you get right down to it. Still, the 5 minutes it took me to fend off the Jesus lady and throw away her pamphlet right in front of her so that she cries a little means that it's now 11:57pm, the beer cooler is all the way at the back of the store, and they stop selling beer at discussed above, I don't walk so fast. So there's no way I'm making it all the way across a Super Wal-Mart in 3 minutes. Especially not loaded up with delicious, refreshing (hell, some nights downright sexually exciting) ice-cold Corona.

So much for "Drink this in memory of me." Thanks, Jesus.

Also, and somehow this is even more awesome, I saw a big chocolate cross in the Easter candy clearance bin the other day. Seriously, three, five years tops, they're GONNA add the little guy to it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Number one in the hood, G.

Remember a couple of years ago, when Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters came out? Wasn't that great? Didn't we all enjoy its zany hilariousness? I sure did. Anthropomorphic food products are inherently hilarious, and when you add about eight pounds of crystal meth, the hits just keep on hittin'. (Honestly, I love the show. It's surreal brilliance at its finest.

And remember, shortly before said film was released, when a bunch of Lite-Brites with pictures of cartoon characters flipping you off shut down a major American city for several hours? Yeah, that was great.

For those of you who don't know, Turner Broadcasting hired a bunch of advertising weirdos to do some guerrilla marketing in anticipation of the film. They created magnetic, light up LED boards with pictures of the Mooninites that other weirdo types were hired to place here and there in "hip areas" in and around Boston and a number of other cities.

They were up for several weeks. No doubt, a few people with off-beat senses of humor like myself, saw them, recognized them and had a chuckle. Most probably thought they were just some weird grafitti and thought nothing of it. One guy thought it was a bomb. AND THE WHOLE GODDAMN CITY FREAKED THE SHIT OUT. The police shut down traffic all over, called in the bomb squads and made it a whole theatrical production. And even after Turner Broadcasting called them and said "Hey, our bad. It was just this goofy idea we had. Totally our fault, but they're not dangerous at all," it took the city several hours to believe them.

I've only got a couple of minutes before work, so I'm going to keep this one short and sweet:

On behalf of the entire population of Massachusetts, I would like to definitively state that we are not all retarded. We know that cartoon characters aren't bombs. Thank you. Good night, and good luck.