Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Rogue Cop

Posted on August 19, 2010

Detective Special

Yes, I am a rogue cop who does whatever it takes to bring scumbags to justice. Yes, I play by my own rules. But, at least I have rules. Nobody acknowledges that part.

Here are my rules:

- I will never punch a baby. No matter what information it might know.

- I will only plant evidence on the guilty.

- I will always avenge the mob-related deaths of my informants within one week of said death.

- I will never own a car built after 1985.

- I will keep my stubble healthy through weekly conditioning treatments.

- I will hand in my badge and firearm at least once during every case.

- I will own only timeless, never trendy leather jackets.

- I will only sometimes plant evidence on my ex-wife's jerk boyfriend.

- I will grunt grudging acceptance of my new black and/or female partner.

- I will shroud my past in lonesome secret.

- I will refer to everyone by his or her last name.

- I will keep a photo of my estranged children next to my bed to provide some small point of empathy.

- I will drink all the time. That's a promise.

- I will use the c-word in front of priests but never nuns.

- I will roll my own cigarettes, which is not at all a silly affectation reserved for men who lacked a strong male presence in their teens.

- I will never play frisbee.

- I will strut. Again, that's a promise.


My Nose Has Been Stolen!

Posted on August 18, 2010

Holy crap, that old bastard stole my nose! Mom! Mom, are you listening to me? My nose has been stolen, godammit!

No, I will not watch my language! Jesus Christ, this is my nose we're talking about. He stole my nose--my only nose I ever got. Don't you care about your son's nose? Fuck.

Hey! What are you yelling at me for? Look over there; he's still got it poking out between his fingers. Look, he's flaunting it. That dirty goddamn thief. Give me back my nose, you old goat!

Ouch! You're hurting my arm, Mom! Lemme go! Let me at that old piece of shit! If he won't give back my nose, he's gonna get my foot in his ass. You hear that, old man? You give me back my nose if you know what's good for you.

What do you need my nose for? You can find quarters behind ears whenever you want. You're greedy; that's why, you old bag of piss. I don’t know what my grandma sees in you.

Mom, shut up for a second. I'm trying to get my nose back. Whad'ya mean, touch my face? I’m missing my— Hey! There's a nose there … The wily bastard must have switched out noses on me. He’s covering his tracks. Don’t you see? He’s left me with a fake nose. Everything smells funny now.

Listen, you old coot, you give me back my nose or I’ll poke out your fucking eye. Let’s see how you like losing an organ!

Stop trying to placate me with a goddamn Werther’s Original candy! I want my goddamn nose back. Don’t think I’m going to stand for this shit just because I’m five-and-a-half!

You’ll be hearing from my lawyer, Buddy! As soon as I get out of this car seat, you are in for a world of hurt.


My Autobiography

Posted on August 17, 2010

This Rakish Cad

Proposed titles for my autobiography:

To Thine Own Self Be Andy
Who's the Ross?
Rossin’ It
Handsome: One Man's Journey
Me, Myself, and Me Again
Doing It Andy-Style
Ross: Legend or Fact? Fact.
The Unauthorized Story of the Author
Andy, Finally
This Rakish Cad
"Tad Chipton" The Andy Ross Story
The Man, the Myth, the Andy
Pussy Magnet
Ross vs. Ross: The Internal Struggle
Mr. Professional
Andy Shoots Horses, Doesn't He?
Feeling a Bit Andy
A Ross Without a Thorn
Living La Vida Andy
Hello, God? It's Me, the Boogaloo King
The Story of the World's Classiest Cat Burglar
Ross: You're Welcome

It’s tough to choose, because a lot of these were already titles of my Broadway shows. Do I repeat myself? David Niven already used “The Moon’s a Balloon” for his autobiography, which is unfortunate, because that would have been perfect.


The Reducerator

Posted on August 16, 2010

Hello? I say, hello! Down here! Look down here, on the countertop! Can you see me? Yes, me—the tiny man standing on the clipboard. My name is Professor Arnold Ziff. It would seem that my shrinking ray finally works.

I’m so relieved someone has finally come into the lab! As you can see, I've managed to shrink myself to the size of a wine cork, which is marvelously exciting and the culmination of my lifelong research in the field of particle physics. However, because of my current stature, I'm unable to reach the "unshrink" button on my machine. Could you possibly do me the favor of unshrinking me, please?

I'm sorry to put you out. This is very embarrassing, especially as it’s due to my own oversight. It was only after I tested the Electron-Cloud Reducerator that I realized I'd placed the "shrink/unshrink" button at the very top of the device.

You'd think I would have learned a lesson from the many feature films about this very same predicament. However, I am a busy scientist with no time to watch such films.

I attempted to construct a makeshift ladder using chopsticks and scotch tape. But, as you can see, I've become comically entangled in that same tape. Thank goodness you’ve arrived before the laboratory’s pet cat awakens from its nap.

Now, on to the matter of unshrinking me: It’s quite simple. I’ve already used a paperclip lasso to change the machine’s setting to -0.145n with a neutron burst pointed along the q-axis. (That took quite a few attempts, I don’t mind telling you.) And, after a few days of living inside this styrofoam cup hut, I deduced that I could reset the Lorentz force to half its curve by reversing the electromagnet’s polarity.

So, with all that complete, all you need to do to return me to my natural size is press that green button labeled "unshrink."

Although, please be careful, as that the Electron-Cloud Reducerator is likely the greatest invention in the history of man. Anyone who possesses it would surely become an instant billionaire and hailed as a genius around the globe…

I see that you are now stealing the device. That is completely understandable. I simply ask, then, that you not slam the door behind you, as you might wake the…

Well, hello, Mr. Scruffles. You remember Dr. Ziff don’t you? Remember when I was tall and would give you kitty treats? Mr. Scruffles?


Low Key – August 15, 2010

Posted on August 15, 2010

Ein Stein


Avez-Vous Une Cigarette?

Posted on August 13, 2010

I apologize for the terrible picture quality of the following video. It's one of my first character monologues, and I think it holds up pretty well.

This comes from a 2006 performance at The Hideout in Chicago as part of Funny Ha-Ha, a terrific reading series hosted then and now by my friend Claire Zulkey.



The Worst Headache Ever

Posted on August 12, 2010

The worst headache I ever had was probably the time I got kicked in the head by a horse. Woof. That was a rough day. [By the way, never throw a surprise party for a horse. They hate surprises.]

The funny part was that the headache, itself, snuck up on me. You’d think it’d come on immediately after the horse punted my forehead. But, I must have been in shock. [Which is understandable, because it was shocking.]

I said to my friends, “Hey, guys, Captain Thunderbolt just kicked me in the head.” But, nobody saw it happen, because they were busy hanging birthday streamers. And, no one believed me at first. I specifically remember Catherine saying, “Are you sure? That doesn’t sound like Captain Thunderbolt.” [Which is true.]

Even when I showed them the crescent, horseshoe-shaped dent above my eyebrow, they were still suspicious. Mark tried to find a picture of me on his phone to prove the dent had always been there. [I should explain that I met most of these friends through Captain Thunderbolt. So, it’s understandable that they’d defend him.]

Anyway, right about then is when the headache hit me. It came on like a tidal wave. Everything went kind of pulsating red, and it felt like my brain tried to push my eyeballs out through my nose. The pain was so intense, I felt nauseous. [That might have been all the party mix I had eaten while we were waiting for the horse to show up.]

I found a place to sit down on a little stool in the corner. Well, I guess Captain Thunderbolt isn’t used to people sitting there, because I spooked him, and he kicked me in the head again. This time it caught me above my right ear. [He really clipped me hard that time. Full horse kick.]

Again, for whatever reason, no one saw. My headache got way worse. At that point, I was seeing spots, and I could hear a phantom calliope playing somewhere. I asked Cathy if she had some Aspirin, but she said she was busy cutting the special oats-based ice cream cake. [My idea, thank you very much.]

My headache was so bad I was having trouble keeping my arm from spasming. But, somebody reminded me that I was in charge of the piñata, so I pushed through the pain. There are whole sections of the party I don’t remember after that. [Which is too bad, because that horse knows how to party.]

Yeah, so yeah. That was the worst headache I’ve ever— No wait. Oh my gosh, I just remembered that that wasn’t my worst headache. The worst headache I ever had was when dynamite blew a rod of rebar through my skull and out the other side. That was my worst headache.

But, that one’s not really that interesting of a story.


My Art’s Meaning

Posted on August 11, 2010

Don’t get me wrong—I love being an artist. I love making art. I just wish I had more control over how it’s received. No one seems to understand my art’s deeper, disgusting meaning.

Everybody refers to my paintings as “pretty.” They like the bright colors. They enjoy the soft lines. Can’t they break through the façade to grasp my work’s off-putting and disturbing subtext?

Take for instance this piece titled “Dragonfly Picnic.” Yes, all the insects look chipper in their top hats and parasols. But, do you notice anything about the shapes of the lily pads? How about the look of fear in the ladybug’s eyes? There's clearly a relationship between the dragonflies and the willow tree that frightens the ladybugs. Did none of you study WWI Balkan History? If you did, you’d cringe at my scandalous take on “dragonfly/ladybug” relations.

Or, the piece called “Turtles First Bicycle.” People look at a turtle riding a Victorian-era velocipede and take it at face value. I’ve never once had someone come up to me to talk about the horrifying sexual symbolism, let alone my comments on the class structure of contemporary South Africa. I don’t get it; it’s all right there in plain sight.

Sometimes I wish I could just tell people my art’s deeper, icky meaning. But, that’s not what art is. Art is about the back-and-forth. It’s about an artist challenging the viewer to grapple with inferences and implications.

Yet, somehow, none of the families at this library art fair seem interested in being challenged. One woman bought my piece “Bunny Finds Its Pencil”, saying it matched the green in her daughter’s nursery. I must assume she failed to notice the allusion to the deep psychosocial scars left behind amongst a landmine-ravage Pacific Ring. Nor, did she realize by extension our culture's fetishizing of commercial products made by— Oops, I almost gave to much away.

I don't know. Maybe she did get all that, and she just wants to expose her child to complex, disquieting concepts at an early age. Some people are weird like that.


Types of Wrenches

Posted on August 10, 2010

The following is a list of types of wrenches in order of my favorite to least favorite:

Crescent Wrench – Adjustable, dependable, space-efficient.

Combination Wrench – Open at one end, with a ring on the other. You can twirl it on your finger.

Pipe Wrench – Grabs the hell out of pipes. You ain’t seen nothin’ ‘til you’ve seen a pipe wrench go to town on a pipe.

Ratcheted Socket Wrench – Makes an awesome “trtch trtch” sound. Also, you can pretend you know about cars if you’re holding one.

Monkey Wrench – Hee hee hee … monkeys … holding wrenches.

Lug Wrench – Good for taking out of your trunk to look busy while you wait for AAA.

Allen Wrench – Also known as a Hex key, because old Gypsy ladies cast hexes with them to make your IKEA furniture break.

Fire Hydrant Wrench – Would be the most awesome wrench ever if it didn’t get confiscated by the fire department every time I use it.

Spanner – Same as a normal wrench, but in England. Hey, Brits, learn how to talk real English already.

Spoke Wrench – Used by dirty bike messengers to fix their dirty bikes. Right before they knock the sandwich out of your hand at the crosswalk. Yes, the same $9.49 sandwich you just bought seconds ago. That sandwich.

Torque Wrench – Thinks it’s so cool. Get over yourself, torque wrench.

Box-End Wrench – My least favorite wrench. Probably because my wife’s lover killed me with one, and now I’m a ghost haunting his hardware store. I mostly just knock things over and make lists.



Posted on August 9, 2010

Tree Rings

Son, come over here and look at the rings on this tree stump. You can learn a lot about the life of a tree from its rings. Count out from the center, and each ring represents a year.

See here, that darker ring around year 22 means the tree survived a forest fire. And, here, where the rings are so skinny around year 34—that was probably a drought. Or, it could be the tree had just gone through a divorce and was trying to “get back out there.”

Notice how this ring has a pink tinge around year seven? That’s probably when the tree went through a Hello Kitty phase. Everything had to be Hello Kitty. And, here in the teens, where the rings are all banged up—that’s when the tree was getting into fights after school under the bleachers.

Look at this ring around year 13. See how it has a rougher shape and is thicker towards the valley wall? That’s the year the tree’s parents got divorced. That would explain the fights at school. But, this thick ring in the mid twenties. It learned how to love again. It met a nice pine in grad school.

Oh look, around year 29 the rings get super porous and then thin. That means the tree got promoted to Senior Manager. Good for it! I’m sure the tree busted its roots for that.

But, after that the rings get very light at cracked. The tree and the pine were starting to grow apart. That happens. I hate to say it, but I’ve never known things to work out between a birch and a pine. Different priorities.

Ahh, look. Just after its own divorce the tree decided to get artificially pollinated, and it had a sapling. It must have been hard nurturing a bud all on its own. That’s lovely, though.

Look at this ring—the really fibrous one. I’m pretty sure that means the tree met a tall oak at a single parents support group. And, they hit it off. Look how healthy and wide the rings get after that. But, the tree still loved its sapling very much, and it would never choose the oak over its sapling…

Honey, you get that this is a metaphor, right? I’m trying to tell you that Bob and I are getting married.

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