Author Archive

You think I’m “Nuts!” I think I’m “Differently Advantaged.”

My airborne happy space. Why must it be off limits to me?

That I possess an avid interest in congregating near the forward lavatory of commercial jetliners cannot be denied. And because one person does not constitute a congregation, my peculiarity becomes all the more cultish. This quirk, this foible, this idiosyncrasy of deriving immense gratification in Proximal Flight Deck Loitering has been discouraged by flight attendants and Air Marshalls alike. But like my life coach always says, “There’s nothing I can do for you David. Not now. Not ever. Oh yeah, and stop with that airplane loitering sh*t.”  

Like most people with a socially unwelcomed interest, it came to me uninvited – I was born this way. So I like to loiter at the front of planes. So big deal. I know I’m harmless. Why should I have to convince you? Can’t you look into my soul and see that I’m not nuts. I’m just differently advantaged? Besides, my supposed trespass doesn’t pose a danger to anyone. And anyway aren’t Christians supposed to Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Well forgive away, and start with me. “I accept your forgiveness.” Read the rest of this entry »

“Heal Me, Video Solitaire. Heal Us All.”

Truth right there in Black & Red. Breathe easy. It’s all going to work out.

I’d heard the uncharitable whispers: “His brain is an unkempt mess” and “His thoughts are badly disheveled.” This pained me greatly as I prided myself on appearing both kempt and sheveled. Many of these sotto voce critiques of my wordiness were true: I was a walking trove of excessive verbosity. And when I was prose-doping (taking literary performance enhancing drugs), I became a towering trove of staggering prolixity. It was all mental masturbation giving me the illusion of control and masking a feeling of helplessness. Then again maybe I was being too hard on myself? Maybe I just liked to have fun with worms. See what I did there? You thought I’d say fun with words, instead I said fun with worms. What can’t I do? A lot. Because most of my grandiose ruminations don’t amount to a hill of beans. Or (as the prose-doping kicks in) don’t amount to a towering mound of staggering legumosity.   Read the rest of this entry »

Amnesia: A Story of Bewildering Reclamation

Quite a ghoulish cross to bear.

I was car shopping in New Jersey when I accidentally visited a Hyundai dealership instead of a Honda dealership – thank you very much GPS w/voice recognition. It was there, near the entrance to Hackensack Hyundai where I suffered an unexpected bout of amnesia. Amnesia in New Jersey is different. Instead of suffering from clinical memory loss you simply fuggedaboutit. And this is the story of my struggle (or mein kamp  for my German friends) in reclaiming my memories – at least what I think are my memories. See what amnesia can do? It can scramble your brains when you’d prefer them to be over-easy. And whether scrambled or over-easy, a nice side of bacon with your brains is very healing – whether it’s cured or uncured (the bacon that is and not the brain). 

Back on the Rails

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Unimportant – Aaron Unimportant. I come from a long line of Unimportant people. We were known as VUPs (Very Unimportant Persons). I don’t know why I’m even telling you this part of the story. It’s really unimportant. So let us begin my journey from forgetfulness to mindfulness where I travel from a blank slate devoid of any impressions to a full slate populated with numerous Post-it Notes. As you come to understand my calamity, it may all become quite confusing in a “Why-am-I-still-reading-this, kind of way.” Read the rest of this entry »

 It is what it is. Except when it’s not.

This is what it is? I don’t think so. My advice: Don’t settle. Go beyond so-called questioning authority. Be the answer and rest comfortably in knowing it’s never what you think it is.

We often rely on the bedrock cliché “It is what it is” to armor ourselves against IEDs – Idiotic Earthly Dilemmas. We need its unerring guidance to help us navigate through the mental minefield of wondering just what in tarnation is going on around here (italicized phrase should be read with a thick southern accent). To maintain some semblance of an equilibrium we humans need to be very accepting of our predicament and resorting to that age old explainer-awayer “It is what it is,” goes a long way to maintaining our stability in an uncertain world.  In times of stress a quick visit to the mental medicine cabinet for a handy dose of “It is what it is” often provides immediate temporary relief for minor existential pain. So what if it’s just a placebo masking the anxiety-producing effects of gnawing, insoluble challenges. This brings to mind the unlaunched man-child who finally realizes: “Jesus, I’ve got to move out of this basement for so many reasons. The first one is because the people living upstairs don’t even know I’m down here. Oh well, it is what it is.”

And as much as I belittle “It is what it is” I wouldn’t want to exclude it from our coping repertoire. It’s important to make some kind of informed decision and then act upon it. I mean we don’t want a lot of quibbling philosopher-Kings running around spouting-off, “Yes, but why does my toast burn when the universe knows I’d prefer it otherwise.” We don’t need that level of self-absorption. We need people to keep their noses to the grindstone so the rest of us can enjoy the freedom of going to a 7-11 at 3 a.m. for a Slurpee fix. Let us all stay engaged and directed. We know life is at its best when it’s uncomplicated, and saying “It is what it is” helps to keep it that way. Read the rest of this entry »

***The Academy is Losing It***

As movie demographics fragment, Uncle Oscar gets a makeover. But will we still be recognizale?

In a craven attempt to remain relevant, the beleaguered Academy Awards Show has endeavored to reposition itself after last year’s Best Picture fiasco. And in a process reflecting the same mentality that went into assigning the right number of life boats to the Titanic, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has announced some changes to this year’s awards show. As expected, the first order of business was to nominate Meryl Streep for 14 Academy Awards – this despite the fact she’s not been in any movies at all this year. There were other surprise announcements made at the slowly-arranged press conference. The press conference was slowly-arranged, so as to not have damning press clippings refer to it as “hastily arranged press conference.” The press event was held at the Lawndale Waffle House on El Segundo. It’s more newsworthy items are highlighted below:

 
1. The award for Best Foreign Short will be presented to a Napoleon impersonator.
 
2. Announced that Mr. Bob Hope will host this year’s show.
 
3. New category: Movies Unconnected to Kevin Bacon.
 
4. Martin Scorsese will be nominated for being Martin Scorsese.
 
5. Macaulay Culkin to accept Lifetime Achievement Award.
5.5 Jim Carrey to accept Lifetime Achievement Award, but only for his achievements up to 2005.
 
6. Hologram of Tupac Shakur to present posthumous Grammy to hologram of Henry Mancini – wrong on so many levels.
 
7. Telecast will be sponsored by the all-new Chevrolet Corvair: Rear-engined technology that’s safe at any speed.
 
8. La La Land nominated again. This time for Most Gracious Loser.
 
 
It is hoped these subtle changes will inject new life into a telecast that routinely pulled 40 million viewers, but now is seen by fewer than 108, and most of those from the Motion Picture Home for Retired Actors also located in Lawndale. In fact many of its inmates attended the Academy’s slowly-arranged 4 pm press conference because it coincided with the Chicken à la King Early Bird Special. 

12 Uplifting Internet Headlines

  1. Trump to Nation: I was just doing this to get attention. Now I’m stuck being President. Be careful what you wince for. 
  1. Elon Musk to Provide Free Flying Electric Umbrellas to First 100 “Mary Poppins” movie-goers.
  1. Flint, Michigan Getting its Spark Back
  1. Even if You Forgot the Question, Love is Still the Answer
  1. Bend, Oregon Getting Things Straightened Out
  1. Costco Surrenders to Popular Demand: “Alright already. We’ll remain in Christmas mode all year round now. We’ll be like a charming little Christmas village…in a big ugly warehouse,” says Mr. Costco
  1. Moscow, Idaho to Change Name to Trump, Idaho
  1. Shirley MacLaine to be Reincarnated as a Spunky Actress in Next Life: Wait Till You See What She Looks Like Then!
  1. Philadelphia, PA admits Mistake: Will Now be Known as Filadelfia. No word yet on Worcestershire, MA.
  1. Confused Internet Users Admit: So Much Time to Waste. So Little Time to Do It In.
  1. Grilled Cheese Better for the Heart than Once Thought, says Kraft Cardiologist Group
  1. Dogs are Really Just Saying Thank You When They Sniff Your Crotch. So are Husbands.

Top 10 Signs You May Have Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. You don’t think you have it
  2. You start a joke: “A rabbi, a priest and an atheist walk into a room”…and then you forget why they went in there.
  3. You thought the Ice Bucket Challenge would’ve cured it by now
  4. Sppeling detriorates
  5. You feel you’re in New Jersey all the time because you fuggedaboutit.
  6. You know it’s important to observe the first rule of Fight Club, but you just can’t remember it.
  7. You think you can make fun of it in a stupid little list
  8. You can only think of 8 reasons why you may have Alzheimer’s when you said you’d list 10.

Bear-tipping Craze Strikes Appalachia

Ursine-toppling Mania Grips Region as Hillbillies Invoke Unknown Constitutional Amendment: “The right to bear tips.”

Groggy bear emerging from den just begging to be tipped.

Fifteen miles east of Dollywood Theme Park, in the backwater hamlet of Intelligence Gap, Tennessee, Purvis Cooter is excited about Hickam County’s upcoming bear-tipping festival. Early on the rural community was in a quandary over whether to fund the festival or spend the money on electrifying the town. They chose the festival and now the annual jamboree is the town’s major source of revenue – especially since the Fotomat closed. As the sister city of Pamplona, Spain, Intelligence Gap has reformulated Pamplona’s annual Running of the Bulls and calls its version The Tipping of the Bears. In 2012 Chuck Norris kindly refused their request to be Grand Marshall. Chuck Norris doesn’t tip bears. He just points, and they go down. Read the rest of this entry »

Bonkers in the Bunker: Hitler’s Final Days

Young Adolf, seen here in happier times. Note absence of malice.

With the recent discovery of Adolf Hitler’s Berlin bunker diary, scholars and skinheads alike have been combing the pages for insights into why the charismatic German Chancellor and spawn of Satan unleashed such evil. His diary was unearthed quite inadvertently when Disney broke ground for a new theme park in Berlin called “Maus Haus”. The handwritten journal catalogues how Hitler’s formerly unshakable belief in Aryan supremacy, miraculously transforms itself into a muddle of anxiety, so that ironically, by the end of the diary he sounds less like the ruler of the Master Race and more like a kvetching Jew. The same accounting firm that supervised the Oscar voting process (PricewaterhouseCooper) authenticated the diary, so we know it’s legit. Of course verification was made easier because of Hitler’s telltale handwriting – he dotted all his i’s with little swastikas.

Historians wonder what motivated Hitler. They speculate on Hitler this, and Hitler that. What I wonder is why Hitler is always referred to simply as “Hitler” and never as “Mr. Hitler”, as in, “Mr. Hitler then decided to invade his neighbor Poland.” Wait! Oh I see why. Mr. Hitler humanizes Hitler. Historians want to eliminate the possibility of a buoyant and fatherly “Mr. Hitler” rallying his nation to find their greatness after the humiliation of WWI. But one can easily imagine a title-less “Hitler” fanatically leading Germany down an inglorious path of self-destruction. Maybe that’s why there’s no Mr. Genghis Khan or Mr. Vlad the Impaler. Read the rest of this entry »

John Jacob Astor: America’s First Tycoon

John Jacob Astor was one of the 5 richest Americans ever.

John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) was America’s first multimillionaire. He made his fortune in the fur business, which at that time, was an honorable and necessary profession. In those mean, frigid times before the invention of Gore-Tex and Holofill, fur didn’t mean murder; it meant survival. Astor was a renowned furrier and his witty wife Sarah would often quip, “Oh you’re a furrier alright. In fact you’re furrier than anyone I’ve ever seen.”

Astor was born in Germany and emigrated to the United States after the Revolutionary War. He settled in New-York City, which at the time was just Manhattan and not yet the 5 boroughs we’re so familiar with today. Astor’s monopolistic fur trading empire stretched from the Great Lakes into Canada and all the way to the West Coast, which at that time was not yet part of the United States. That concludes the book report aspect of his life, which at this point has not yet become interesting. Read the rest of this entry »