Monday, December 24, 2012

DAY 91: DEPENDABLE DRIFT'S



MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, SEASONS GREETINGS, BELATED HANUKKAH, COOL YULE, SWEET ASS KWANZAA, and FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US!

FROM ALL OF US HERE AT "SHIRT OF THE DAY" (me and my wife), WISHING YOU LONG DAYS AND PLEASANT NIGHTS! 

BE AWESOME TO EACH OTHER, THAT WOULD JUST BE TITS.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DAY 90: REX KWON DO



Time has a way of slipping through my nimble and powerful fingers like the icing sugar I run my sweaty digits through in the bulk bins at the grocery store that you then sprinkle on your Christmas cookies. 

This is a busy time of year that I like spend in a drunken stupor to better cope with my dysfunctional relatives, and I have been remiss in keeping up with my posts.

So please accept this pathetic token gesture that was hastily slapped together last minute but I can now confidently state that I have fulfilled my festive obligation of getting you...something, albeit completely devoid of thought or sentiment.

I give you a completely outdated pop culture reference in a baggy and misshapen cotton housing. 

Take a look at what my wife is wearing, people. You think anybody wants a roundhouse kick to the face while she's wearing these bad boys? Forget about it.

Shapeless and irrelevant. 

The shirt, not my wife.

Miscreants.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

DAY 89: THE HULK


(Transcript of a telephone conversation between my delicate flower of a wife and myself from earlier in the week)

Ex-ter-min-ate!...Ex-ter-min-ate!
EX-TER-MIN-ATE!...EX-TER-MIN-ATE!
(that's my ringtone)


Me: (answering my phone) Thrill me.

Wife: Can you come get me?

Me: I can't, my wife should be home any second now to make me a turkey pot pie, it's too risky!

Wife: Ha ha, very droll. I think I locked my keys in my car.

Me: Are Lou Ferrigno?!

Wife: Wha...? Am I...? What did you just say?

Me: Are Lou Ferrigno?

Wife: Am I Lou Ferrigno?! Why am I Lou Ferrigno? You're Lou Ferrigno!! 

Me: Answer me...Are Lou Ferrigno?

Wife: What are you talking about?! I think it's going to rain...

Me: It's our new thing.

Wife: What is? You understand that I'm locked out of my car, right?

Me: Whenever we were going to say "Are you for real?" instead now we say "Are Lou Ferrigno?"

Wife: (Long pause)....sigh...my coat is in the car...

Me: Say it.

Wife: Grrrr...."Are Lou Ferrigno?!"

Me: No, that's my part, I already said that. Say your part.

Wife: Fine! "I'm Lou Ferrigno!" Satisfied?! Now are you coming to get me or what?!!!!

Me: Noooo. Whenever I say "Are Lou Ferrigno?" the correct response is "You bet your Bill Bixby!"

Wife: I'm freezing, it's getting dark! This isn't funny.

Me: No it's not....It's frickin' awesome is what it is. I just thought of it now. Pretty cool, huh?

Wife: Fuck...it's starting to rain!

Me: Really? Are Lou Ferrigno?

Wife: Seriously! Hurry up!

Me: BZZZZT! Incorrect! What do you say?

Wife: A-ha! I say I just found my keys in my purse Ass Clown, and you are a dead man!

Me: Oh. I take it there will be no turkey pot pie to be had?

Wife: "Oh" is right Cock Monkey!

Me: Are you mad?

Wife: You bet your Motherfuckin' Bill Bixby!



Sunday, October 28, 2012

DAY 88: HALLOWEEN 2




Good evening boils and ghouls! 

That mythical time of year is once again upon us, a month long tribute to all things mysterious, spooky, and all together ooky, culminating in All Hallowtide. The Night of the Hunter. Dia De Los Muertos: The Day of the Dead. That feeling of creeping dread, the ominous foreboding, the ball tightening disquiet....I love every second of it!

For those who know me, or have been following on here long enough to recognize my awesomeness, they know my ghastly glee is not grounded in the thinning of any veils or the solemn celebration of any Solstices. Unlike the capricious masses my affiliation with fear is not fleeting; for me everyday is Halloween. My excitement revolves around the fact that at this time of the year the rest of society embraces my world, accepts it and, albeit briefly, me.

During the Season of the Witch exploitive consumerism ensures I am blissfully surrounded by imagery normally considered macabre 11 months of the year: gothic castles and gargoyles displaying darkly beautiful architecture and sculpture; Creatures of the Night, what sweet music they make, so rare and exotic; the Undead, representing immortality and the promise of a better day, their impending apocalypse favourable to a world of punch clocks, mortgages and Honey Boo Boo. Halloween Specials litter the coveted Friday Night slot, reminding us that The Addams' were probably the most loving and functional family, Chuck needed to kick Van Pelt's blue frocked ass, and Fat Albert was really fucking fat.

Not everyone shares my passion for hot sweaty terror, even during this awesome Autumn Equinox. Their own personal demons and aversion to a case of the Creeps prevents them from enjoying the rush of palpable palpitations and cloying fear. In my world these are the Odd and Unlucky, the Freaks.

One such weirdo is my wife.

A beacon of positivity, she is one possessed of such constant cheery disposition that she can not fathom the desire to be terrified, to embrace The Dark.  It sickens me.

We were nearly not a We. 

There was almost no second date as the first was to go to the movies. More specifically a horror movie. On Devil's Night. 

At this point I didn't know she couldn't handle horror movies, that there was something wrong with her. Why she agreed to go I have no idea other than she must have been overcome by the sheer magnitude of my...awesomeness. What can I say, I'm a master wooer. I'm into wooing. I guess I woo.

I wasn't one of those cheeseball contrived lame-o's who thought taking a girl to a horror movie would make her crush her face into my heaving pectorals and cling tenaciously to my steel-like biceps as her terror mounted. No, my selection of the flick was more selfish than lecherous. I had decided that I was going to be Myself, not the Ideal First Date Version of myself, and well, that could only mean I'd end up upsetting her and never seeing her again, so I might as well pick a movie I wanted to see, and all the other people I could have seen it with I'd already upset.

As it turns out it was my bluntness and complete honesty that won her over and made her swoon. And she got so freaked out during the movie that she crushed her face into my heaving pectorals and clung tenaciously to my steel-like biceps as her terror mounted, which was pretty sweet.

We left the safety of the darkened theater only to discover that a thick and baleful fog had rolled into town. You literally could not see two feet in front of you. Misshapen shadows drifted in and out of the viscous brume. When I queried in a hushed tone "What was that?!" my date and future bride slapped my arm that she had attached herself too thinking I was trying to scare her, but truth be told I swear I could hear things moving behind that murky veil, vile things, slithering...scurrying.

We blindly fumbled through the lot in search of my car, which was parked in the farthest row away from the theater in a feeble attempt at exercise. Grey faces would suddenly lurch out of the even more grey miasma, only to disappear again just as quickly; sounds were thick and muted, unearthly and slightly unreal. Unseen Things would brush passed our shoulders, like a shark testing a potential tasty morsel. I was in my element and made a silent wish to the Elder Gods that this night would never end.

I eventually found my car by hitting the panic button on my keys.

The drive home was treacherous and slow, my headlights completely ineffectual. I didn't mind, in fact I was grinning from ear to lopsided ear as the beautiful woman beside me was clutching to my free hand and leaning as close to me as her seatbelt would allow. Suddenly she screamed in absolute terror, startling me from my doe-eyed revelry and making my earbulbs tremble. I slammed on the breaks and calmly enounced "Jesusfuckingchristwhatthefuckwoman!" as I am wont to do on occasions of unexpected shrill and piercing exclamations.

She was wildly gesticulating towards the drivers side window, her mouth agape in a silent scream as though the bellow she had just loosed had stolen the last of her voice. Her fear was both intoxicating and contagious and I was hesitant to follow her gaze. I slowly admired her slender arm, appreciating the  smoothness of the hollow of her elbow, noticing how the ultra fine and near invisible hairs on the appendage were standing on end, up to the supple wrist, and ending at the delicate and quivering finger that was wagging out my window. I didn't see anything at first as I was still drunk off the image of her perfect alabaster skin.

Wait...there...a darker patch in the swirling mist. Something was there.

Something big and lumbering. 
And it was coming closer. 
Getting larger and more defined.
It appeared to be a tangle of fur and legs. Lots of legs. And there was a clicking and scraping of claws on the wet cement. I didn't move. Not because I was unable to or frozen with fear, but because I wanted to see what fresh hell this was scuttling towards me. I needed to see.

My heart raced with giddy excitement as I envisioned some great demon-spawned arachnid inching its way towards my open window, or perhaps it was some mutated bear, hideously deformed through years of feeding on wildlife tainted by mutagens caused by industrial pollution. Oh god please let it be a giant mutated bear! 

The shadow slinked out of the obscuring fog and into full sight. My soulmate-in-waiting let out a sharp gasp. A grinning Christopher Robin-esque schoolboy in knee-high wellington boots and a blue and yellow Paddington bear rain-slicker emerged from the enveloping damp shroud. He was being lead by two standard poodles on rainbow striped leashes. The one on the left had a pink bow tied to its overly large and adorable head.

My date suddenly burst into tears. In between ragged sobs she said "Take me home. Now".

I told you I'd upset her.


To Be Continued...




Saturday, September 22, 2012

DAY 87: BSG-WTF?


I have always paid attention to the way people communicate, the language they use. I've found it to be an invaluable tool when manipulating those less awesome, and by those less awesome I mean everyone who is not me.

Language has always fascinated me. Just for fun I once translated an ancient Sumerian text I found in the Kandarian ruins containing bizarre burial rites, funerary incantations, and demon resurrection passages.  It was never meant for the world of the living. But that's another tale from the riverbank.

Sure, I make the rare erroneous grammatical and semantical submissions myself from time to time, usually spawned by the lack of sleep that comes with being a dashing playboy, but today's developing, and more alarmingly, accepted, vernacular not only sticks in my craw, but has a firm grasp on my goat.

I recognize that every generation has its own slang, man, but the following are 10 of the many that are just like, totally bogus:


1I HEART: Just as obnoxious in the written word as spoken. One does not HEART something, you can't NOUN something You VERB it. If it was a picture of the symbol of a heart, and it was before the letters N & Y would you say "I HEART"? If the answer is yes, "I Jam My Thumb Deep Into Your Eye Socket You". 

2. Ro-But: In reference to the electro-mechanical machine of humanoid appearance that I may or may not be building in my basement to assist me in the servo-crushing of my enemies and the ultimate goal of world domination. BOT...RO-BOT. There is no 'U', no 'uh', no 'but'. 

3. Shedule: If you don't recognize this word its because it doesn't exist. Its Schedule, pronounced 'skedule', just like it says in the dictionary you pretentious tweed wearing douche. With the drunken exception of schnapps, and schottische (a forgotten drunken Scottish polka, but who can understand those sweaty socks anyway), words starting with SCH are pronounced as a hard SK. The sheeming shitzophrenic shooner captain was on shedule. Sheesh, don't they teach you anything in them thar fancy shools?

4. For realz: The urbanization of the letter 'S'. This was long overdue. I can't tell you how long I've tripped over that cumbersome sss sound, or become tongue tied trying to pluralize a word. The groundbreaking shift to the letter Z in place of S is Nobel worthy. Ya boyz!

5. Punkin: Similar to # 4, the replacement of consonants to formulate completely unnecessary new words still recognizable to their simple origins makes you sound like a web-toed inbred. Examples include the double D in place of T's, such as Buddons instead of Buttons, Middens in lieu of Mittens; Birfday; Punkin...really? Punkin? Fuck you. Why switch out letters as you see fit, dropping others all together? Oh, because you were TRYING to sound like a mentally deficient 5 year old girl with a cold and a hair-lip. If you really want to sound like you have recently broken your nose, just keep it up Popeye.

6. OMG: Ah text-speak, how I loathe thee. At least I understood its original purpose. Words and sentences were abbreviated so one could keep up with the instant conversations being held via chatrooms or texting as the typing took time; what short hand was to dictation. But to have that necessity adopted into verbal communications is just fucking asinine. To hear someone actually say "Oh. Em. Gee", instead of "Oh my god" makes me want to hit something, like the face of the person saying "Oh. Em. Gee". What time are you saving? 3 syllables are 3 syllables. Seriously, WTF (note: in this form it takes longer to say than What The Frak)?

7. EPIC FAIL: I could write a diatribe the length of the narrative poem Beowulf on how this catch-phrase makes my blood boil, but I will keep it to the point. This saying is used both descriptively and grammatically incorrectly. EPIC is something impressive, majestic, vast, something of unusually great size or extent. The Grand Canyon is EPIC. Coming out of an ollie into a Darkside Grind with your gay-assed skateboard is not EPIC. Nutting yourself on the railing when said Darkside Grind goes awry, or simply tripping up the stairs after one too many brown bottle pops is not A FAIL. It is a FAILURE. And pretty freakin' funny because your pain makes me happy.

8. Miracle: While we are on the topic of misused words it's only fair that I educate you primitive screwheads on the perversion of the word Miracle when used in relation to Childbirth. This is completely diametric to the definition of a miracle. A miracle is something that surpasses or is contrary to the laws of nature and is attributed to a supernatural or unexplained cause. Something rare, an anomaly, maybe even thaumaturgic. There is absolutely nothing miraculous about childbirth. It is completely natural and commonplace. Approximately 500,000 babies are born every day. It has been occurring for literally millions of years, hardly a rarity. It's the one thing we were designed to do! After breathing, eating, tweeting, and copulating, its the most common and regular occurrence on the planet. If anything, its banal, boring, bourgeois. Stop trying to make it into something more than it is, which is mundane. Sorry ladies.

9. Axe: As in "Let me axe you a question". ASK. "Let me ASK you a question". 3 letters, 1 syllable! How difficult could this possibly be?! Holy living fuck you have to be some special kind of stupid to not be able to wrap your puny brain and tongue around this simple word. This used to be my number 1 linguistic peeve. Until very recently, when it was usurped by the disturbing prevalence of...

10. I know, right?No, no you obviously don't know, otherwise you would not be framing this as a question of uncertainty seeking validation. No sir, you do not know. Not at all.


These are just a few of the many examples that are like totally grody to the max, like bag yer face fer sure. The removal of these from our current lexicon would be like totally tubular. 

Bitchin', IKR?




Saturday, September 8, 2012

DAY 86: WORLD'S FINEST



I am truly a blessed man.

My wife and I are a perfect match for each other. Like two awesome superpowers of awesomeness. Partners. 

I know I am not an easy person to live with. I am riddled with neurosis and peccadilloes of specificity, not to mention my remarkable ability to limit our social circle through my ever-present and increasing powers of Bluntness and Misanthropy.  But she is incredibly patient and understanding. 

She gets me. 

I could go on and on ad nauseam about how beautiful and kind she is and about how ridiculously suited we are for each other, but I think the following exchange from earlier today as we observed The Highway Dance of the Self-Absorbed Assholes is a pretty good snapshot of why she's awesome, why I love her, why I married her, and why we belong together:

Wife: (Out of the blue) You're right. People suck! Everybody's an idiot! No one knows how drive, they're all douchebags!

Me: You had me at "You're right".



















Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

DAY 84: THE DARK KNIGHT



"I don't understand what makes a man hate another man, help me understand"
                                                                                                   -Depeche Mode


I've been thinking and talking a lot about the tragic shooting at the Colorado film premiere of the Dark Knight Rises. It has really got under my skin.

There is forever going to be a stigma attached to this film due to the tragedy that has occurred. This is unfortunate as there is no link between this movie and the events, or even cinematic violence in general and this psychotic individual. This was just another in a long list of violent crimes in a violent world.

The perpetrator was nothing more than a glory seeking sick fuck who knew this would be a media hyped and crowded arena imbued with pop cultural iconography that he could hitch his wagon to and be forever associated with.

Immortality through infamy.

I'm sure the small-minded and sensationalistic media whores will try to find correlation between the acts of a singular sick individual and the movies or characters in a feeble attempt to make sense of the world, or at least make it pop with more pizzazz.

But I don't want to go off on an editorial rant. This isn't about my distain of the media. And I definitely don't want to give James Holmes any more power through attention.

This is merely Exhibit 'R' in my growing case for misanthropy and the unfortunate necessity for personal social isolation. I don't even like to leave my house anymore unless necessary. Its not Agoraphobia, or a neurosis. Its self-preservation.

One is not permitted to go anywhere public to enjoy themselves, whether it be the darkened theater for a highly anticipated premiere, the food court of a crowded shopping mall after joyfully finding the perfect anniversary gift, or the simple pleasure of a coffee and an apple crumble on a first date at a Just Desserts, without threat of this violent sick world personally imposing upon the ridiculous notion of happiness.

A few hundred years ago this was a world where wars were waged in the name of God, and people were persecuted, tortured and burned at the stake as witches because of the color of their hair.

Look how far we have evolved.

Today we live in a world where wars are still waged in the name of gods, and trillions of dollars are spent on modern day witch hunts.

A world where a convicted serial killer is given a free education and then loosed upon the world, and freedoms are vehemently fought for for someone who brutally decapitates a stranger on a bus.

A world where a madman manages to smuggle an assault rifle, 40-caliber handguns, and a 12-gauge shotgun into a movie theater, yet I am threatened ejection from a cinema for bringing in my own bottled water.

I love the movies, the theater. It is a bastion for me. A place to escape from the terrors and senselessness of the world at large for a couple of hours. To me it is a place of innocence, a place of hope. A sanctuary.

But that's not true.

I cannot go anywhere because nowhere is safe, and nowhere is safe because everywhere has people, and people are disgusting and dangerous.

I know I may be rambling heavy handedly, but I feel such profound sorrow at the sickness of this crazy world.

A world that just doesn't make sense to me.


My heart goes out to the victims and their family and friends.

            

Friday, July 6, 2012

DAY 83: PLASTIC MAN



Eel O'Brien, aka: Plastic Man. Probably the one and only time White Sunglasses on a guy are acceptable, and even then it's a.....(wait for it....wait for it).....STRETCH!


And yes, and the question has been posed: "does EVERYTHING stretch"? 


The answer: "You are a huge nerd".

Monday, June 11, 2012

DAY 82: IRON MAIDEN


This one is a bit of a surprise, I know. 
You think you know what to expect by this point, and then huzzah! I hit you up with this. Its like enjoying pancakes at 2am at a 2am Pancake House you've eaten at a hundred times and after you've comfortably settled into a few reassuring bites discovering a short curly hair cooked into the batter of your flapjack.


Unexpected and unpleasant.
But its 2am and you are drunk and hungry so you keep going.


I do love music, all kinds of music, from all eras...Punk, Bluegrass, Rockabilly, you name it. I occasionally brush up on my German to Industrial and Shoot the Duck to Disco, but I've never really cottoned to Heavy Metal. There are some exceptions of course, as there is in all music except hip hop, the odd guilty-pleasure anthem here and there, but Metal just never really...moved me. 


I was, however, very much enamored by its imagery when I was a youth. I would sift through the racks at the local record shop for hours, all those glossy album covers beckoning me with promises of a world filled with pentagram emblazoned demons and buxom sword weilding barbarian women. 


It wasn't a religious or satanic attraction, although there might have been some residual underlying subconscious motivators there from my time spent in Catholic school...the horror...the horror...the nuns...


No, it was the Darkness Within that called to me. 


There was a period of my life when I was a Very Angry Young Man, full of rage and vitriol, piss and vinegar. Fascinated by all things creepy, I was particularly drawn to the iconic visage of Eddie, Iron Maiden's demonic mascot. Just look at him, the screaming, clawing, wild eyed living-dead embodiment of Fury and Angst, a veritable Hellion. 


That was me, circa 1985-86. 


A culmination of a series of unpleasant life events, combined with the simple fact of being an angst-ridden teenager resulted in an eruption of internal hostility and violence. I kept up appearances, all smiles and neon Ocean Pacific on the outside, but inside I was bitter, like a cookie made with mustard and vinegar by one of those mentally encumbered rugrats on Just Like Mom. 


There was an emotional Blackness that was growing in me that required an outlet. This manifested itself in sardonic and deprecating wisecracks unconditionally meted out equally pretty much to everyone within my line of sight, regardless of race, creed, age, sex, and, unfortunately, size. My cynicism knew no bounds, my derision unparalleled...and frequently drew unwelcome retaliation. Being verbally outmatched and outclassed caused many of the reprisals to take the form of the time honored tradition of fisticuffs, a primitive lashing out with fists. 


I could hold my own, but weighing in at a svelte 140 lbs, I experienced my fair share, and probably your share, of painful and humiliating public ass kickings. Being a fan of being devilishly handsome and having an acute allergy to pain necessitated attention to the art of rough and tumble and lead to the development these 5 Simple Rules to Pugilistic Discourse:

1) Avoid getting into a physical altercation: The best way to accomplish this is to simply not start one. And don't be a douchebag. By my incredibly astute observation most people struggle with the latter.



2) Don't start something you can't finish: Listen to Kenny and know when to walk away, know when to run. 


3) Finish it before it starts: Straight down the middle-- target the nose, throat, solar plexus, and nards. I made the mistake of teaching this to my delicate flower of a wife and she's not afraid to show me how the student has become the teacher.


4) Act Mel Gibson/Gary Busey bat-shit crazy: make your opponent question your sanity and think you know something he doesn't, he may reconsider.  


5) Turtle: if rules 1 through 4 have failed you fall back of an old trick I learnt from Navy Seals (the movie, not the real thing)-- curl tightly into the Fetal Position and wait it out.



Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez once told me that there can be only one; if both parties are going to engage in acts of savagery and barbarism, someone has to learn a lesson, and only one person should be able to walk away. I well and truly always want that person to be me. I have so much to offer you all. 


I am older now, wiser, even more handsome, and have been lucky enough to surround myself with people that shine so bright they pushed the Darkness back. I grew up, learned my lessons. There is something truly terrifying about losing control and embracing your primordial self. Something primal, base, savage. Looking back I shudder and my stomach gets a headache and my bowels get a little loose. 


I just wish I'd learned these lessons sooner than later and I could have avoided the embarrassing and tardy addition of rule # 6): 


Don't ever ever get into a fight with a 1 handed man: his stump is a weapon that will cause severe blunt force trauma, and you will never live down getting your ass handed to you by a guy who only has 1 hand.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

DAY 81: HAN & CHEWIE


A man and his Wookie,  pals, buds, inseparable, but they know where to draw the line, and they never tell each other the odds!

Here are 15 things that guys should never do that Han & Chewie have a really bad feeling about:

  1. Work out or go running together. Platonic sweating and compliments can get awkward
  2. Attempt the Kessel Run if you can't finish it in anything less than 12 parsecs
  3. Wear white anything (shirt excepted): pants, shoes, belt, sunglasses...I'm looking at you farm boy
  4. Wear Uggs, this really confuses and upsets a Wookie
  5. Upset a Wookie
  6. Go shopping together. Not for clothes, not for groceries, not even for a good Blaster
  7. Go to dinner where the host owns his own on-site Carbonite Chamber
  8. Narcissistically preen. Includes but not limited to Mani and/or Pedi, Teeth Whitening, consciously Accessorizing, and Guy-Browing (yeah, we had to have this one explained to us too). You ever try to wax a Wookie?
  9. Drop your shipments at the first sign of an Imperial Cruiser. Trust me
  10. Wear spandex when biking unless you are actually in the Tour De France. Or fighting crime. A bike riding crimefighter 
  11. Rely on hokey religions and ancient weapons
  12. Rooooowr wraaawr rowr (Translation: Watch Reality television)
  13. Date a chick who has been with her own brother...what has been seen cannot been unseen
  14. Refer to colors as anything other than their Primary names. Salmon is a fish, Fuchsia is a made up word, and Puce is just wrong
  15. Shoot second

Friday, May 4, 2012

DAY 80: X-WING FIGHTER


And on the 5th Day George created Star Wars.
And It was good.

Happy May The Fourth my fellow Nerdkind.
Yub Yub.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DAY 79: PONG






1975, we were still half a decade away from Pac-Man Fever, but not far enough away from The Hustle. We weren't the unplugged barbarous Neanderthals actually interacting with family and friends, armed solely with popomatic dice and Community Chest cards that the history books make us out to be.

Nope, we had Pong.
The home version, exclusive to Sears. 
Pong = 2 sticks and a square ball. 
Pong = Genius.  

The golden oldies were more challenging than todays' uber-realistic hyper-kinetic games. Those shiny new kids on the block are redundant or finished within a few days of mindlessly hitting the fire button. With Pong one could literally spend hours and hours "boop-bip, bip-boop-ing". And I did.

Hours and hours of laughter, always ending in violence. 

But despite all its sophistication and unconditional entertainment, the world moved on and Pong limped behind, like the lame gazelle at the edge of the croc infested watering hole. There was a new sheriff in town and his name was Space Invaders.

I remember my family driving my brother and I out to The Old Spaghetti Factory located in “The City” in '78 expressly to see this new video harlot pimped by Bally Midway that had stolen the affection away from our slightly wrinkled and corseted Pong. I was so excited my bladder shrank and there was no way I was going be able to wait for our order to arrive. I broke out the time tested Plan # 9 and tormented my father with incessant convivial chatter until he begrudgingly gave my brother and I each a dollar of his hard earned cash, making it known that he viewed both our youthful exuberance and this expenditure as Wasteful. 

I gratefully looked up at him in genuine appreciation as he ordered a very very dry Beefeater martini on the rocks with a twist, and coolly lit a John Player Special. Surely he must be reminiscing what it was like to be an excited goofy kid. He looked me straight in my overly large unblinking eyes that my cranium hadn't quite caught up to and said "Don't cause any shit for once", and dismissed me with a flick of his cigarette.

I bolted to the back of the restaurant, my heart racing, already formulating boastful recess juice-box banter in my head of my adventures with the Space Invaders, understanding what Columbus must have felt as he set sail from Genoa in the Santa Maria.

I rounded the corner and came to a halt, my Keds audibly squeaking.


There was a vast line-up of fidgeting smelly kids clamouring to play the solitary machine, necks craning, quarters grasped tightly in their dank white knuckled fists leaving indelible imprints of the majestic Canadian moose on their sweaty palms.


Like the Santa Maria I had run aground. 


There was jostling and jockeying a-plenty, pushing and shoving, whoops and snarls. An Italian breadstick was tossed into the air, slowly spinning crust over crust, and just for a second in the reflection of the stained-glass hanging light fixture, I swear it looked like a cylindrical space ship.

The air was rife with arabiata and nerdsweat.

Standing on my tiptoes to get a glimpse of these marauding invaders from space, I shifted my weight to what my wife calls my Crazy-Foot, and my perspective changed just enough that I noticed hidden in the shadows a hulking plain monolith. I tentatively inched towards it for a closer look.

There, next to this new Electric God, lonely and abandoned, was the now 3 year old antiquated and obsolete Pong.

Hello old friend. How've ya been?

Wiping the dust from its screen, I dropped a quarter into the coin-slot with an echoing empty clank. I swear I heard a sigh emanate from its microchipped bowels as the screen flickered to life.

There wasn't a gradual acclimation, it was an immediate response.  Muscle memory and nostalgia combined and I quickly became lost in my old friends house. I wasn't playing against the machine, we were playing together, in hypnotic tandem. Synchronicity. A couple of the kids who were becoming impatient awaiting their turn at The Future gravitated towards Pong & I, much like a crow does with something shiny. Then a few more defected, and their cheers, carried on the winds of garlic and oregano, brought even more still, until I was surrounded by a gaggle, a murder. 


I played for 90 minutes on 1 quarter and entertained the throng. I was on fire, I was gold, I was a superhero. 

A Pong playing superhero. 

I was startled from my revelry by the ugly abrasive sound of fat meaty knuckles uselessly hitting the thick glass playing field of the neighboring alien armada. The savage blood curdling hiss and stream of previously unheard profanities that ripped from the prepubescent player's throat signified a vacancy as his last laser cannon was destroyed by the quickly descending invading pixels.

The throng, MY throng, quickly abandoned me as they viciously fought to be the next in line to waste their fathers' hard earned money.

Turncoats.  

I realized in that moment that I was much like that old Pong machine, limping along the cruel crocodilian shores of progress, content with the simple things, the things that are worked for, the things that endure.

They say you can never go home again, and that may be true, but that doesn't mean you ever have to leave.

Figuratively of course, not like a 42 year old Italian boy.

Friday, April 6, 2012

DAY 78: FLAMINGO HOTEL


Sorry gang,  I haven't had a chance to update Shirt of the Day in a while. We've been pretty busy lately, and a bit run down. Work has this really annoying habit of being Work, a real pill, a classic kick in the balls...I mean if it was fun it would be called Play, right?  
The point being I needed a break, a vacation from my usual routine.
The good news is I had time to reflect and recharge, and I'm back with vim and vigor, just a-brimming with piss and vinegar.
For you.
Always for you.

Stay tuned.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

DAY 77: LUCKY CHARMS



If I see one more cliched stereotype of the Irish today I am going to become loud and belligerent, erupt into sudden violence, start a brawl with some strangers, then sit down and have a drink with them and sing songs I forget the words to at the top of my lungs.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

DAY 76: STORMTROOPER


The third biggest blue-camouflage-Stormtrooper-head I've ever seen, his giant blue camouflage eyes following me, judging me, asking the eternal question: 

Why?
Why do we wear this bulky armor if it doesnt protect us from blasters AT ALL?!

No, seriously, why?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DAY 75: FRANKENSTEIN



Someone once said to me "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade". I usually want to smash this type of Gump-inspired insipid idealism in it's dopey freckled face with a pillowcase stuffed with full cans of pop and sharp-cornered reality.  But when life did give me lemons, I tried to turn them into an opportunity to meet girls.

When I was 13 I received jumper cables for Christmas, which was a far cry from the science-fiction or Classic Monsters themed toys I had giddily anticipated. Not being able to drive let alone own a car for three years qualified this as a truly sucky gift, the said lemon of this particular anecdote. 


Fast forward eight years: I'm single, in no small part from still purchasing science-fiction and Classic Monsters themed toys, and I am wrestling with an autonomous and completely insatiable libido. In the trunk of my 1986 Chrysler K Car (known to many as Castle Greyskull), amidst the clutter of empty beer cases and a collection of ill begotten lawn ornaments were the very same Christmas jumper cables, lying in the dark like some lonely long forgotten subterranean creature that my eighth grade english teacher would have been strangely and overly excited about. In time I came to regard this dusty tangled bundle of rubber and copper as a lothario's boon.

To some of the fairer sex, the automobile is an ugly red-headed mechanical stepchild, to be loathed and feared. To others it is as elusive and mysterious as Common Sense.


Oh untwist your panties and put down your brightly colored gardening tools...I am in no way misogynistic. There are plenty of clueless men when it comes to car repairs, but I'm not concerned with a plight I can't exploit. To be honest, when I see my fellow Man with his car hood raised and a baffled look of desperation on his face I usually just pretend I'm on my invisible phone and walk rapidly past, tearfully and loudly saying something like "I can't believe she's dead...DEAD". 



No, I am not even remotely sexist. I am, however, a shallow opportunist. Having minor engine trouble is a serious problem for some gals, a mysterious world of plugs sparking, chambers combusting, and pistons pissing. The horror, oh the horror. I have no excuse other than I was 21, resourceful, and horny. Prompted by the impetus of my own glandular desperation I merely capitalized on this fear.

One day after work at whatever shitty khaki panted golf shirted banal job I was slowly liquifying my brain at 20 years ago, I stopped in the parking lot to assist a buxom coworker stranded with a dead battery. She was a real knockout, a traveler's fantasy: curves like the Nile, peaks like the Andes. So she obviously didn't know I existed up to this point. I got out of the car and strolled... no, wait...strutted, over to her car, smiled, and confidently told her to "pop the hood", as if I could 
immediately see the problem. 


I actually could immediately see the problem because I had noticed she had left her lights on when I had come back from a lunch of Pocky Sticks and Dr. Pepper at the comic-book store. 
4 hours earlier. 


I treated the engine as I might have a live bomb or escaped lion. With forced trepidation and practiced flourish I rolled up my sleeves, protectively held my arms out, and advised the young lass to "Stand Back". Gingerly taking the cables in hand as though they were a two-headed cobra I sharply cried another startling caution, "Careful!", causing her to squeal and jump back, her hands clutched to her ample bosom. I adopted an exaggerated look of worry as I carefully connected the cables to my live battery, and then made sure the unattached clamps "accidentally" touched, causing visible and audible sparks to fly, to the intended shocked gasps of terror. The procedure complete, I slid behind the wheel of her car, "just in case", and turned the ignition key. 


When her convertible Cabriolet squeaked to life her relief and adoration were palpable. It was only then that I introduced myself (another strategic move, in case I actually couldn't get her car to start), and offered to follow her home in the event of what I ominously dubbed an "Unexpected Electrical Relapse" that left her "stranded on a dark, lonely, back road". I just wouldn't be able to sleep at night with that weighing on my conscience.


She hesitated for a second, and then with a decisive giggle and a pleasing jiggle, agreed. I had actually not expected or anticipated this outcome, despite it being the desired one I had been working towards. 


In a show of appreciation the rest of the evening went much like a letter I had drafted several years earlier to Penthouse Forum: truncated, clumsily executed, awkwardly structured, and full of mistakes. 


I wish I could end this tale with something ironic that would please Rod Serling, such as in my carnal excitement I had left my own car lights on, but alas no. The embarrassing truth is that a few days later I overheard some of the other zombie/sheep hybrids I worked with comparing notes on my damsel in distress. Apparently this young lady had been very generous with her lemonade, but it was best described as a tad 'tart'.

As I sat fidgeting in the doctor's office a week later awaiting the results of some awkward and uncomfortable tests I realized that sometimes when life gives you lemons, its just better to go thirsty and dehydrate. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

DAY 74: 90210



Brandon loves Kelly. 
Kelly loves Dylan. 
Dylan loves Brenda. 
Joanie loves Chachi. 
And I love my wife for indulging my t-shirt fantasies obsession. 
No one loves Ian Ziering.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

DAY 73: INCREDIBLE HULK


10 Things I Do Not Like

  1. People
  2. Facebook. How many of your 458 "Friends" helped you move?
  3. The terms "Artisan" and "Rustic" when describing food. One is a carpenter, the other a cottage. Possibly built by the carpenter.
  4. Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock N' Roll"
  5. Parents who think they are their children's "Friend" or "BFF". Ask your kids what they think.
  6. The 1990's. Dark, dark days indeed.
  7. That feeling you get when your fingernails are just a bit too long.
  8. Cilantro
  9. Sarah Jessica Parker
  10. People
Don't make me angry Mr. Mcgee. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.