Folks? Hello, folks? Everyone, can I please have your attention for a minute? Then, I promise you can get back to bingo.
I seem to have lost a map I was carrying, and I was wondering if you all could look around your bingo tables for it. If anyone sees a map or scroll-like object, can you raise your hand and let me know? It is not a rare and ancient treasure map.
The map I lost was yellowed and a bit water-damaged around the edges. Kinda like a map that survived battles aboard a pirate ship and then centuries buried under a hearth in an empty rum bottle. It's not valuable or anything, so no reason to keep it for yourself. It just has a sentimental value. It was my ... great- ... uncle's.
Let's see, what else? The map I lost---again, just a perfectly normal map, nothing special---had a series of riddles written in iambic pentameter and salty Caribbean pidgin. By coincidence, the final riddle refers to a trading post that once stood upon the very site of this modern nursing home. Weird coincidence.
Anyhoo, has anyone spotted anything like that? Like a map that---once one toils for years solving the many complex riddles to find its true starting place---has a simple dotted line leading to a large "X" that implies buried treasure? I can't offer much of a reward for it, since it’s not worth very much. Just my gratitude and maybe a handful of precious rubies.
Oh, I see everyone is clearing out of the room, grabbing any tools or utensils at hand. I assume that’s simply excitement about afternoon gardening, since again, this map of mine is not a treasure map. Okay, okay. Let’s calm down, people. LET’S CALM DOWN!
AND, IF ANY OF YOU HAPPEN TO SEE THAT MAP … IF ANY OF YOU … Aw, fuck it! OUT OF MY WAY, OLD MAN!
- Hello? Is this Pamela?
_ Hi!! What’s up?
- Is this for sure Pamela?
_ Duh. Yeah.
_ Thought we had a date to sext an hour ago? Ha ha.
- We did. Ha ha. Sorry. Got tied up.
_ Ooh, “tied up.” Sexy.
- Ha ha. Would you like to start sexting now?
_ Absolutely! Sext me, big boy.
- Just to double-check: This is for sure Pamela?
_ Who else?
- Nevermidn. What are you wearing?
_ Don’t you mean “Nevermind”? Ha ha.
- OMG, your editing is so sexy!
_ Hold on…
_ Just Googled "OMG." Got it.
- Means “Oh my God” right?
_ Also, did quick research on sexting. did you know capitalization optional? ha ha.
- Had heard that somewhere.
_ feels weird, though.
- So? What are you wearing?
_ Work clothes. Beige shell. Navy pantsuit. Espadrilles. You?
- Same. JK [read: just kidding] ;)
_ Emoticons! Look at Mr. Savvy Sexter!
_ Ha ha.
_ My pussy is wet.
_ Too much? Sorry.
_ 1st time sexting.
- No, it’s good. Good job sexting.
_ Thanks. R U hard?
- Working on it.
- Wait… now yes.
_ Send me a pic?
- This is for sure Pamela??
_ Yes. Send me a photo of your big boy?
- Hold on…
- New phone. Sorry.
_ I’m touching my boobs for you. Pic?
- Searching online for phone manual …
_ Need help?
_ Tried Mac forums?
- Found it. Sending pic…
- Got it?
_ It’s OK. Forget it.
_ Taking off my trousers.
- NO WAIT! Not ‘til I figure out pic thing…
_ Ha ha. OK I guess.
_ Pussy getting less wet.
- Figured it out. Sending now…
- Got it?
_ What’s this?
- Pic of my “big boy”
- [Quote marks mean quotation. Not irony re: size.]
_ I think wrong pic.
_ Old lady blowing out candles.
- Whoops. Wrong pic.
_ Who is lady?
- Aunt who raised me.
- Love her, but distant & withholding.
_ Sorry to hear.
_ Send correct pic?
- Thought I did. Checking outbox…
- OH NO!!!
_ What?! R U OK?
- Pic sent. Wrong number.
- Need to call aunt right now.
_ No more sexting?
_ Everything OK?
_ Hello? It’s been 2 hours. U OK?
_ Going to bed now. See you at conference on 23rd, big boy.
- Pamela? Still up?
- Oh. Now see previous text.
- See you at the conference, sexy.
- I guess. For what?
- This is my first time sexting. I’m a little nervous.
_ Don’t be. You’ll be great, Sexy.
- So um what are you wearing?
_ A black sweeter and a par of red undies.
- What’s a sweeter? It sounds sexy.
_ Sweater. lol
- Oh right. LOL.
_ What r u wearing?
- A business suit, except no pants or underwear. Black socks.
- I mean, manly jeans and an old cotton t-shirt.
_ Ooh, that sound sexy.
- You mean “sounds” sexy.
_ right whatever
- And earlier, you probably meant a “pair” of red undies.
_ sure yup
- Which is sexy.
_ ooh yeah. real sexy
- Are we not capitalizing? Is that a thing?
_ Fine. Where are you? R u touching yourself?
- Did I make you mad? Sorry. Again, 1st time sexting.
_ Its fine. R u touching yurself??
- A little, but I got distracted by punctuation and grammar.
- Can we keep on top of that? Sorry. It’s just that I used to be a copy editor at the college newspaper.
- Also “it’s.”
_ Yes. I will try. Now, please, are you touching yourself sexually?
- Yeah. And it feles so good, baby.
_ WTF? R U kidding me? Feles? After yur grammar diatribe?
- That was just a typo. Sorry.
- Hello? Still there?
_ not mad. Just stepped away for a smoke.
- OK. Good.
_ wanna start back upp from where we left off?
- Oh, that’s OK. I finished up while you were gone.
- I have a thing for distant, withholding women.
_ women? Whadya mean women?
- Wait. Who is this? Pamela?
_ Pamela who? This is Patrick.. From raquetball.
- Oh, hey Patrick. This has been you the whole time?
_ yup. who’s pamela?
- Nevermind. Getting used to new phone.
- Still on for Saturday at 4pm?
_ yeah. reserved the court. who’s pamela???
- I gotta go. See you Saturday.
_ okay. talk Saturday, sexy.
How to pretend to save the environment:
- Save electricity and water by asking that your guests reuse their towels after swimming in the heated outdoor pool.
- Recycle plastic shopping bags by turning them into children’s crafts projects that you will then wait a week before throwing away.
- Buy organic vegetables flown in from Argentina.
- Immediately throw away any incandescent lightbulbs or batteries that aren't rechargeable batteries.
- Make sure to compost all the farm share vegetables that you let rot in your fridge.
- Bumper stickers. Many, many bumper sticks.
- Lobby to have municipal bus lanes turned into bike lanes so you can ride your bike on weekend errands.
- Only drink bottled water that promises to use 10% less plastic than previous bottles.
- Support corn-based ethanol.
[Whoa, this post got snarky. I don't normally go for such raw, on-the-nose satire. It's definitely not my best work.
But, you know when you see somebody, and you just immediately hate them? Like, something in the way they're smiling makes you want to smack that smirk right off their face? Well, I just saw this kid---maybe eight years old, a boy, shoulder-length hair, probably named Hunter---and I knew that he needed to be punched.
He was wearing a t-shirt that read, "I love the Earth because She loves me." And, something about the way the "S" was capitalized and the way he was appraising the room like it belonged to him, like he'd had too much positive reinforcement---it made me just hate that little kid so much! Self-satisfied little shit. He's going to grow up to be so horrible.
So, I just needed to get some passive-aggression out with this post. That way, I would no longer feel the need to hunt down this random little boy and shake him and shake him until all he cries and admits he's gross. It's probably best for all of us that I not do that.
Anyway, in general, stop buying so much stuff and flying so often. Also, find a way to reduce packaging materials and construction waste. That'll be a good start.]
Author's Note: This is the last Low Key I'll be doing for the site. It's been really fun revisiting these, and I'm grateful for The Apiary for carrying them on their blog.
I still love writing the puns, but drawing and coloring these takes a lot of time. And, I want to use that reclaimed time to do new, fun things, like hopefully more videos and audio pieces. Also, I'm kicking it into high gear pitching pieces to other publications. So... I hope you've enjoyed the puns. Maybe I'll pull together a book of them someday.
Perfectly valid reasons for my 12 most recent car accidents:
1) Texting my friend Nate about this awesome dog I saw, which was awesome.
2) The car next to me had a spoiler, which I assumed meant he wanted to race.
3) Putting on vampire makeup in the rear view mirror on my way to a Twilight-themed group sex thingy.
4) Driving home from a movie that had a car chase.
5) Really big sneeze sprayed my bowl of boiling hot tomato soup all over the windshield.
6) Not drunk per se, but definitely not not drunk.
7) Minivan ahead of me had a particularly engrossing episode of The Backyardigans playing in the back seat.
8) General rage.
9) Wife’s cousin on a Hooters billboard.
10) Driving a convertible and a sparrow flew into my mouth.
11) Had a crush on one of the EMT first responders.
12) Was practicing driving left-footed.
Pardon? You're asking if I think you look good in those jeans?
Well, when you were walking in them just now, there was a low boom-boom-ba-doom-boom-ba-doom jungle drums sound that appeared out of nowhere, and a line of business men all turned their heads as you walked by, and their heads morphed into giant wolf heads.
And, the wolf-headed men all made ah0ooooga sounds, and their eyes spun back like slot machine tumblers. And, then all the slot machine eyes landed on cherries, and the wolves' mouths opened up, and long red tongues rolled out to form staircases down to the sidewalk.
Then, ten little hedgehogs wearing bellhop uniforms emerged from the wolf mouths and descended down the tongue staircases, at which point they each tipped their little hedgehog bellboy caps and said, "M'lady!"
At that moment, cracks formed in the sidewalk, and a tiered platform raised up underneath you until you were about thirty feet above street level. And, the platform began to pivot as hundreds of swim-capped bathing beauties dived off in synchronization down into the awaiting pool of wolfmen drool.
That's when I realized that Tom Jones had floated in on a giant scallop shell, and he was singing a cover of Outkast's So Fresh, So Clean to you, but he had changed all the words to include details of your life. And, just as he got to the new part about "thighs like a peach beggin’ for a bitin'," the Navy's precision formation flying team, The Blue Angels, streaked by overhead leaving a skywriting vapor trail that spelled out the words:
I, THE GHOST OF FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT,
HAVE RETURNED FROM THE SPIRIT REALM
TO DECLARE TODAY
NATIONAL "THOSE JEANS" DAY!
So, yeah, I think you look pretty good in those jeans.
Not as good as the jeans that made a rocket ship get stuck in place during take-off, heating up the surface of the Earth until the North Pole turned into a cartoon thermometer with the mercury rising so fast that it popped out the top. And, then the Earth exploded into a billion trillion little Red Hots candies than swirled into a nebula shaped like your butt.
But, that other pair of jeans is in the hamper, so I think you should go with these ones you have on.
Anyway, good luck on your job interview, Honey. I love you.
When I first got cursed by the old Gypsy woman in apartment 3C, I told her, "Listen, old Gypsy woman, I'm not the one stealing your New York Times. I have an electronic subscription." Then, I brought down my Kindle from upstairs to prove it.
But, I can tell she's stubborn and doesn't admit to making mistakes. So, she refused to remove the curse. Plus, I'm not sure she quite understood what a Kindle was.
In the beginning I just ignored the hex, because I'm not superstitious. I mean, aside from holding my breath when I pass cemeteries and avoiding walking under ladders. And, the salt over the shoulder thing and a couple of others. But, I mostly don't believe in curses for the most part, mostly.
That's when weird stuff started happening in my apartment. Like whenever I'd play music, I'd hear this eerie, ghostlike thump thump thump from the floorboards. As if a restless spirit were dancing along with me. Arrhythmic, creepy dancing.
I went downstairs to ask the old Gypsy woman if she had heard the same noise coming from her ceiling, but she just slammed the door in my face. She must’ve gone back to her sweeping.
Then, the shower thing started. Whenever I’d take a shower, the water would turn ice cold. Like the coldness of death. Normally, I’d assume someone had coincidentally flushed a toilet in an adjacent apartment. But, it was happening every time I got in the shower. It had to be the curse!
More eerie things: On my lobby mailbox, a spectral mailing label appeared over my name with the word JERK in otherwordly, trembling scrawl. My front door wreath went missing. During one of my many parties, my guests found that shoes they had left in the hallway now had their laces tied in a jumble. Creeeepy.
I pleaded with the old Gypsy woman to lift the curse. “Please, old and scraggly Gypsy woman,” I pleaded, “Please remove this wretched hex!”
Well, it turns out that the old Gypsy lady is named Mr. Sol Hersheim. He’s one of those older men who, as they age, look more and more like an elderly Gypsy lady. Have you ever seen what Jackie Mason looks like now? If so, you’ll understand my confusion.
Once I figured all this out, the curse suddenly lifted. I brought Mr. Hersheim some cookies my wife had made, and I carry up his UPS packages from the stoop. The phantom icy showers stopped completely and my door wreath showed back up.
Every now and then, the ghostly thumping still occurs during my dance parties, but I’ve come to understand that that’s what you get when you live in an old building. I’d much rather have some mild haunting than a full-on curse.
Spring has arrived, bringing longer days and brighter sunshine. Which means you can finally see how disgustingly filthy your apartment or house has gotten. Geez, what have you been doing all winter? It looks like a bomb went off in here. Months ago. Is that a dust bunny in the corner or a gray tennis ball? Super gross.
Here are a few helpful spring cleaning tips:
- Dust from the top of the room down. Unless you’re some kind of goofus.
- You’re going to require more than a single sheet of paper towel. Budget at least three, unless they’re those weird half-sheet ones. I’m not sure what the math would be then … six, maybe?
- To get to hard-to-reach ceiling corners, limit your Match.com search to men over six foot five.
- Natural cleaning supplies like vinegar or baking soda can prove very helpful in creating frustration.
- Fresh shelf liners will make your silverware look even more tarnished by comparison, so avoid fresh shelf liners.
- If you’re worried about letting all the cold air out of your refrigerator while you clean it, simply climb inside and shut the door behind you. If you start to feel woozy in there, a nap should help.
- Lint rollers are great for cleaning dust off lamp shades. And, hydrogen peroxide should remove most of the blood.
- To keep your toilet clean year-round, simply eat bits on non-digestible, synthetic sponge every day, and the rest will take care of itself.
- This is a good time to replace the batteries in that fire alarm that always goes off IN THE MIDDLE OF COOKING ANYTHING, GODDAMNIT!
- Don’t skimp on a chimney sweep. The British ragamuffin ones have tuberculosis.
- Squeegees can be super helpful in cleaning your windows. And, free squeegees are easy to find, especially because---for some weird reason---people are always forgetting theirs at gas pumps.
- This is also a good time to check to see if the carpet matches the drapes. By which, I mean you should vacuum both.
- Clean the nest of cockroaches out of your toaster oven, by simply submerging it in a bucket of rubbing alcohol for three hours. (This may void the warranty.)
- A deep-sleeping Persian cat is a great way to dust aluminum blinds.
- When cleaning your many fine decanters and antique apothecary bottles, try not being such an uptight asshole.
- Beware the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. The dark arts are the Devil’s inroad.
- Melted candle wax on a mattress or upholstered sex swing can be removed by placing a brown paper bag over the wax and ironing it. The paper should absorb most of the re-melted wax.
So, there you go. Your cleaning adventure awaits!
For as long as I can remember, I've hopped around between different religions. I think it has something to do with my mother being a Catholic nun and my father being L. Ron Hubbard.
In my teens, I tried out Buddhism and Jewish Mysticism. Then, I got baptized a few times by both the Baptists and the Anabaptists. I handled some snakes. Standard stuff.
I tried Mormonism for awhile, because I thought the no drinking alcohol thing would help me lose weight. But, holy moley, those guys eat sooo much sherbet!
When I was twenty, I converted to Islam, which was great. They let me be a whirling dervish, because they said I was quote/unquote "super rad at spinning." That was probably my favorite up to that point. But, I get antsy, so I left.
I tried Baha’i, because I have never met a Baha’i follower who wasn't goddamn adorable. So friendly and smiley. And, that was awesome. Super happy as a Baha’i ... but…
When you get so close to perfection, it's like you can see the finish line up ahead. So, I decided to start my own religion.
It's only got a few guidelines, and they are as follows:
- We don't really have any dietary restrictions. Although, we do try to avoid olives and capers, just because they're gross. Also, if someone wants sun-dried tomatoes on a pizza, we insist on extra cheese.
- We only pray when we want a new iPad, or when we're late for a job interview.
- Our Sabbath falls on whichever day of the week is the sunniest. On that day, we hammock.
- We don’t believe in Heaven, but we do believe in Vietnamese sandwiches. So, close.
- We wear special magic underwear that makes our ass look great in these jeans.
- We do not believe in speaking aloud God’s real name, which is Henry F. Gunderson. OH NO!
- We believe in a strict separation of duties between the sexes. Only men shall perform card tricks; only women shall tie balloon animals.
- Reincarnation gets a solid “maybe” to “why not?”
- We do not believe in free will, as evidenced by this empty bag of potato chips.
- Our most sacred animal is the giraffe, because we thought we’d try to bolster its self confidence.
- We bury our dead in their most comfortable pajamas.
- We enjoy the occasional Agatha Christie novel.
Other than that, there aren’t many more rules to my religion---just another four hundred or so. But, most of those pertain to hammock etiquette. I’ll save that for a later post.