Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Belly of the Beast

Posted on March 19, 2010


You know how in cartoons, they show the belly of a whale as empty and cavernous? It’s not like that at all. It’s actually very cramped. And wet. There’s a musky dampness to it, even with a dehumidifier running full blast. I’ve heard that the economy makes now a good time to move. All my friends are switching places, but I guess I’m torn.

Because, after a while, you get used to living in a tight space. Proud even. There’s comfort in all the little systems and workarounds. For instance, if I need the blender, I simply slide the desk chair over to the counter and pull a bin down from above the cabinets. Or, I move the hamper out of the way to get to the folding chairs in the back of the closet. And, I know my umbrella is always tucked into the baleen next to the trashcan.

Sure, I could break my lease and probably find more room for less rent, but would moving so soon be worth all the work I put into this whale? Laying furniture out was a huge process. I was literally on my hands and knees measuring the tongue to make everything fit. Forget feng shui; just getting it all in was a hassle. I had to take the legs off the bed to fit it through the mouth. The kitchen table is this ugly IKEA thing, but it folds down into a compact sideboard. Ultimately, I had to sell my tall bookcase, because it kept tipping over whenever we dived.

All that’s not to say I don’t like my place. Everybody who comes over finds it really charming, especially my college friends who commute in from McMansions. There’s a romanticism to it--the pink, fleshy walls, the thick shag taste buds, the constant undulation. I’ll tell you this, a whale is not a bad place to bring back a date. It’s right on the water, and the songs at night are so soothing compared to my last apartment above a fire station. I do wish it got a little more natural light, since the blowhole only opens for a few seconds every ten minutes or so. The trick was to angle mirrors on the mantle to bounce light up towards the large, dangling uvula.

I don’t know, maybe I should just bite the bullet and look for a new place. Every summer, the whale migrates north to gorge on krill, and thousands of the little things flood through the living room. I don’t mind the stains on the curtains, since they’re secondhand, but I have to keep my magazines in Ziplock bags. And, forget about suede shoes. Plus, it’s cold. If you see wall-to-wall blubber in a listing, take that with a grain of salt, because Arctic sea water is freezing. I would rather have a hissing radiator than blubber. Honestly.

So, I guess I’ve made my decision. I’m calling my landlord. Maybe. I’m eighty percent sure. The belly of the whale was my first place without a roommate, so maybe that’s what I’m in love with. I guess I could try for a studio in Morningside Heights. Sigh. I’ll probably just end up staying through the mating season.


Boggle Tournament

Posted on March 12, 2010

I’m sorry, but I can’t make it to your baby shower at the end of the month. I’ll be in Las Vegas for the National Boggle Tournament. I know, you’re thinking, “I didn’t know Andy was a champion-level Boggle player.” Well, I’m not. I’m actually more of what you might call a Boggle groupie.

“Groupie.” That’s such a weighted term. I guess I’m more of a Boggle supporter. I go and cheer on all of the players, not just some but all. Because, I’ve seen the hard work and discipline needed to reach that level of Boggle success. And, it is so sexy.

Woman or man, I don’t care. You reach that echelon of National Boggle Tournament, and I just get wet. I can’t tell you how many convention hall janitor’s closets I’ve crammed into with two, three, five Boggle champions at once. Just sucking and fucking until it all becomes a blur, and we can’t even spell two-letter words, let alone three- or five-letter ones.

Technically, I get back the night before your baby shower. But, believe me, I will be in no shape to attend. I’m usually walking sideways for a week after the NBT in Vegas. Last year, I went straight back to work and had to explain all the dice-shaped bruises on my neck.

So, again, congratulations on the upcoming baby! Let’s have coffee sometime, so I can see pictures. I’ll bring ones of my trip. Wink wink.



Posted on March 11, 2010

As an angry, militant vegan even I have to admit that that smells delicious. What is that, a roast? Brisket? Whatever it is, you are a disgusting barbarian for cooking it, but it smells amazing.

Don’t get me wrong; meat is murder, and the subjugation of our animal brethren is tantamount to slavery. At the same time, my nose is in heaven right now. Do I detect a little fennel? Maybe a few shallots roasting in the succulent beef juices? You, sir, are a gifted, heartless monster.

Have you ever looked into the eyes of a cow? Have you seen the love they have for their young? The calm consideration of the world around them? Only to be inhumanely shuffled through a corrupt, unhygienic factory farm system. Slaughtered and sent to your plate to be smothered with a silky burgundy wine sauce and what looks like crispy, pan-fried bacon. What? It’s crackled pork belly? You’ve got to be kidding me! That looks incredible. Oh my god, so crispy and rich. And horrible.

Really, I’m tearing up. I’m not sure if it’s for the tragic loss of that poor cow and pig or if it’s just the beauty of a job well done. Somebody should take a picture of that dish. It could be the cover of a magazine or maybe some pamphlet about avoiding the temptation to eat meat.

Speaking of which, I’ve gotta step outside for a minute and look over some statistics about chickens and their cramped cages. Because, I’m feeling pretty torn right now, and I … uh … is that calamari with lemon zest and a peanut oil breading? Uh, I gotta go. I gotta get out of here. Enjoy your meal. Wait, no, don’t enjoy your meal. I’m … bye.


Aww, Fudge!

Posted on March 9, 2010

Here’s the thing about my wife bringing fudge home from her trip: She doesn’t realize that fudge goes bad in a matter of hours. Minutes even. So, it’s important that I eat all this fudge as quickly as possible. Back me up on this.

If I don’t keep standing up, opening the fridge, and slicing off chunk after chunk of fudge, it’s just going to rot in there. And, then it might infect all the other food in our fridge. I already think the lettuce looks iffy. That’s why I had fudge instead of a salad for lunch. I’m just looking out for our health.

Who buys two pounds of fudge, anyway? I realize it was split up into several containers, intended as gifts for friends. But, I do not feel comfortable giving our friends rotten fudge as gifts. We won’t see them until 8 o’clock tonight, when the fudge will have turned terribly unsafe. Before that can happen, I promise to make sure all of this fudge is eaten and unable to hurt anyone.

There’s just so much fudge, though. I’m having a hard time getting through it all. Don’t get me wrong--I know it’s my responsibility to eat huge mouthfuls of fudge as fast as I can. But, my tongue is getting sore and my throat hurts, so I’m having to wash it down with can after can of soda. My teeth are making noises. Not good noises, either. Like horror movie noises.

Yet, I believe in myself, and I know I can do this. Thank goodness my unemployment provides me with the free time necessary to take on this project. And, thank god for this Gilmore Girls marathon to keep me company during the slog.

I think I’m keeping pace to have most of the fudge gone by the time Colleen gets home from work.  That’s important, because she kept trying to hide it last night. It’s as if she thinks I’m kidding about the danger this fudge presents if left to sit out, uneaten for the rest of the afternoon. I guess sometimes the greatest deeds go unappreciated. But often, that is the truest heroism, the most nobly duty. And, I accept that responsibility.


The Art Show

Posted on March 8, 2010


My thoughts on a recent art show.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


[Text of the above audio. Best if read in a thick German accent.]

This weekend, I attended the rather large Armory Art Show in New York, and I found myself pondering the same question that critics and art historians have been asking for decades. Yes, it is beautiful. Yes, it hangs on the wall. But, is it a vagina?

I know, I know, it is the most subjective of questions. I assume many of you have settled on the classic answer: “I know a vagina when I see it.” But, especially in the world of contemporary art, I think it is an uncertainty that demands further study.

Anyone can look at the established, canonical artists like Egon Schiele or Georgia O’Keeffe and see that, yes, this is clearly a vagina. But, what of the work of Jeff Koons or Takashi Murakami, pieces that mix artistic technique with brazen commercialism? Are these still vaginas? (In the latter’s case, I believe it to be a mix. Some work is vaginal, while other pieces are something else completely.)

Can a pile of spilt sesame seeds be a vagina? Is a statue of Scrooge McDuck a vagina? What about a video installation of man hitting his penis with a belt? Surely, we can agree that this is a vagina.

Some of you might scoff, “Tut tut, my five-year-old can glue a triangle of shag carpet to an American flag. That doesn’t make it a vagina.” Well, I think this brings up further questions rather than easy answers. Is the scenario, itself, a sort of meta-discussion on the role of vaginas and their place in our daily lives? Can anything be a vagina when seen through the perspective of an artist?

I don’t believe we can come up with a so-called “answer,” but the topic deserves deep, penetrative analysis. Every day, we must strive to dive face-first into our basic precepts of what is and what is not a vagina.


A Bad Peach

Posted on March 6, 2010

I ate a peach yesterday that I think might have gone bad. How can you tell when a peach has gone bad? Can I just describe to you what happened?

Okay, first off, the peach looked fine. It was about shoulder height and white, with brown spots. It had a nice, fine layer of peach fuzz. Except near the back, where it had a long tail. And, I guess it had some extra hair running down the crest of its neck as well. But, everywhere else—the haunches, the muzzle—had standard-looking peach fuzz. And, it wasn’t bruised, beyond one spot behind the ribs.

The problem started when I took my first bite. Don’t get me wrong, it was juicy and delicious. But, as soon as I bit into it, it reared up on its hind legs and tried to run away. I had to grab the peach by its peach reins and hold on for dear life. The damn thing tried to kick me, if you can imagine. A peach trying to bite and kick someone?

I finally got a hold of it, and I ate the whole thing. All the way down to the pit/saddle. I mean whatever it takes to get your five daily servings, right? But, my stomach is super upset today. I feel terrible.

I was wondering, do you guys think I could be allergic to peaches? God, I hope not.


My Superpower

Posted on March 5, 2010


I’m trying to decide which superpower I’d want.

Flying is out, because I think I’d get chilly. Also, my contacts would dry out. Invisibility seems cool, but I don’t trust myself to stay away from women’s locker rooms, and I don’t want to be that guy.

I’ve thought about the ability to morph into animals, but it gets so complicated. Do you keep your human brain so that you know how to turn back? Let’s say you do. If you turn into a hummingbird, how do you fit a giant human brain inside there? Is it just packed in tight?

Pausing time seems rad, but again, the cold thing. Because, heat is just molecules moving around, so if you freeze time, doesn’t that mean it’s absolute zero all around you?

What? No, I know I need to make up my mind. There’s just a lot to think about.

Yes, I know you’re a very busy genie. You’ve been saying that ever since I let you out of the lamp. Seriously, don’t rush me. I’m still not sure these gold cowboy boots and Six Flags tickets were the best first two wishes.

Man, I wish I knew which was the best superpower. SUPER STRENGTH! I got it, super strength! Genie, I wish I had incredibly useful super strength. Wait, what? What do you mean I already used my third wish? Where are you going? Genie? Genie, get back here! Don’t turn into a cloud of smoke without my super strength!


Stop Looking at Me!

Posted on February 27, 2010


Hey, weirdo, what are you looking at? I’m serious. What the fuck are you looking at? Stop staring at me. You think just because I’m wearing this chicken costume, I want assholes like you to stare at me? Just take the flyer and move on already.

Yeah, I get it, I’m hilarious--a grown man dressed up as a chicken. Ha ha ha, so funny. Ooh, look at my big chicken feet. Grow up, dude! Everybody has to put food on the table, even if that means doing this shit. Now, get a life and leave me the fuck alone.

Stop looking at me. Seriously, I am about this close to putting your teeth down the back of your throat. You think this is funny? You think I want to hand out these Popeye’s flyers? Stop smiling, asshole. It’s not funny.

I don’t care if you are three years old. Take your fucking teddy bear and get the fuck out of here. Stop giggling. There’s nothing funny about this. No! No, stop hugging me. I’m not Donald Duck. Stop it!

Lady, come over here and get your kid. Lady, please get your toddler to stop hugging me. And, here, this is a this coupon for a medium drink with purchase any three piece dinner.


[Author's note: In full disclosure, the ending of this was inspired by the true story of an acquaintance.]


The Curse of Money

Posted on February 26, 2010

Is money a curse? No, I don’t think so. If anything, I think that having money makes life easier. The poor look at us, the rich, and see wealth as a burden--more decisions, more land, more obligations. But, what the poor don’t know is that we enjoy the challenge.

The poor labor what? Thirteen, fourteen hours a day, scrubbing toilets and building clothes? And, what do they earn per day--fourteen, fifteen thousand dollars? My god, can you imagine? The interest alone on my fortune earns that in … now.

And, yet it is the poor who pity us. They look up at us in our ivory towers and must think it so lonely. First off, anyone building their towers out of ivory hasn't heard that this season is alabaster. Secondly, I could never be lonely. I have my tiny purebred dogs and my collection of Napoleon’s finger bones. And, of course, my unseen staff.

Still, the unwashed masses look at us and feel sorry for our hectic social schedules. I don’t think of croquet or yachting as chores. I think of them as simply another aspect of daily life, right next to having someone brush your teeth. And, if I didn’t escape from the grounds every now and then, I might go mad. Uncle Rupert certainly could have used a few moments away from the swan pond.

But, no, I wouldn’t give up my money if I had the choice. Because, I don’t think of it as a curse so much as a blessing. In fact, to anyone who thinks differently, I say spend a day in my dodo skin moccasins. I think you’ll find then incredibly comfortable. And, when you’re finished, please throw them out. I don’t wear shoes more than once.


Poor Werewolf God

Posted on February 25, 2010

Werewolf and Loki

Can God create a boulder so large that even He cannot lift it? What about the boulder god of the Wichawki tribe in Oregon? Can God lift him? I’ve seen drawings of the boulder god, and he seems pretty tough. Who would win in that fight? I mean, sure, God has a solid right hook and He’s light on His feet, but the boulder god has an amazing left jab, and he knows to work the torso in the first four rounds. I’d still put my money on God god, because I think that’s what Jesus would do.

Can God create a dog so fat that it can’t even lick its own crotch? Trick question. He already did. It lives across the street from me. It’s a beagle named Sandy, and it’s shaped like a beetle or a low coffee table. One time I asked its owner when it was due to have puppies, and she glared at me and wanted to know what kind of monster asks such a question. I told her a werewolf, and then I wolfed-out just a little bit. Y’know, I let my eyes turn yellow and my ears get just a little pointy. She had already turned around and didn’t see me, but Sandy went ape-shit. All dogs, even fat ones, hate werewolves.

Can werewolf god create a silver bullet so fast that even he can’t dodge it? Why would he want to do that? Sometimes I don’t understand werewolf god at all. He’s got everything he could want--immortal deer to chase, perfectly torn jeans, and a really nice bungalow right down the street from God god. I think werewolf god has gotten a little self-destructive since he started hanging out with boulder god. But, I understand that life is tough after your wife leaves you for the trickster Loki, Norse god of mischief.

Can God create a creation so creative that even He can’t recreate it? And, if so, describe it to me in detail. Because I want to surprise God for His birthday. What do you get Somebody who can create everything?

Can God create a pinball machine so complex that even the trickster Loki, Norse god of mischief, can’t beat it? One time I was in the upper peninsula of Michigan with my parents, and I saw the trickster Loki, Norse god of mischief, go to town on a pinball machine. It was at an old-fashioned family resort where the rooms looked like teepees, and the rec room had a pinball machine where the trickster Loki, Norse god of mischief, would hang out. He was so cool. I get jealous of people who seem so naturally  at ease with themselves.

Can God create a greeting card so sweet and sincere that even werewolf god’s wife would take him back? He is omnipotent, after all. I think He owes werewolf god one for all the times that werewolf god has taken care of God’s house while God was on vacation. God’s cat is four hundred stories tall, after all. And, even God had a hard time creating a litter box big enough for that cat. I mean, don’t get me wrong, He did it. God can create anything when He puts His mind to it.

Never forget that, God. I’m proud of You.


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