Tag Archives: musings

Old Man in Captain Hat Talks About Tunnels

please ignore resemblance to an anus.

The following is fictional. I just wanted to write something about crawling through a tunnel.

It’s Wednesday night and I’m at O’Leary’s again. The best thing about this place is that the dim lighting covers up the filth and makes makes people look more interesting than they actually are.   As I finish my beer, I remember once again that I’m drinking alone.  I slap six dollars on the bar and reach for my jacket. From behind me I suddenly hear someone whisper.


I turn around and out of nowhere there’s an old dude sitting right there with a wonky eye and a captain’s hat. How had I not seen him before?

“Yeah?” I say, wondering what he wants. Had I dropped something?

“You ever go through a tunnel?” the captain growls.

“What?” I said. This was beginning to be a little strange.

“I said, ‘You ever get on your elbows and knees, down in the dirt and the grime, and crawl into the darkness, not sure if you gonna see the light again, and make your way like a worm through the belly of the earth?”


“Do you know what it’s like? You’re down there, in the endless shadow, and you’re alone. All you see is a spit of dirt in front of you where your flashlight shine from your mouth, one inch above you is the earth, and beneath you is the earth. You got nowhere to go but forward or back. The earth is swallowing you up. You just a few sorry square feet of matter down there, with all that earth about you. And you know in one second you could be gone.”

I’m not sure how to respond…I don’t feel that uncomfortable because he doesn’t even seem to be talking to me. Would he notice if I left? But then he goes on, apparently lost in a memory.

“And it don’t matter how good you are. Once you’re down there, the panic’s gonna come. You’re going to be halfway to the center of the earth, wiggling your bottom like a popstar, and sooner or later it’s going to hit you. Maybe after five minutes, maybe after an hour. It don’t matter none. You’re gonna wanna see the light. You’re gonna wanna stand up and shout out and see the sun and know life’s got meaning again because down in the darkness you don’t know what’s real. You’re gonna wanna smell a woman’s hair again, gonna wonder about your friends and family, if you got them, and more than anything, you’re gonna want space. But there ain’t no space. Not in the tunnel. And the more you think about it, the more unbearable the tunnel gets, till it seems it’s closing in on you, lowering itself little by little, trying to squish you out of existence. You can’t see nothing ahead of you, just more tunnel. You feel it’s never going to end and for a moment, you know you’d rather die than be in the tunnel for another second, where you can’t move, can’t breathe hardly, can’t hear anything besides your own scared breaths, touch anything besides dirt. And then you know that you’ve already died and you’re in hell itself. The tunnel becomes your hell, a personal hell. And you know you can’t go on, that you’re going to stay there in your dark, dirty hell and die the death of an animal. Your world is so small…so small….”

I just stare at him for a second while he looks past me. Do I say anything? Do I try to reassure him and tell him it’s okay? But once again he continues with no verbal notification from me.

“So after 25 years, I finally got me this captain’s hat and became a Christian.”

A few hours later, I realized my wallet, ring, and watch were gone.

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This Guy Sucks

Hey! You suck! 

There sure are a lot of problems these days. The way I see it, things kind of suck the whole world over. Here in Egypt, people are pissed off that life isn’t much better after the revolution. It turns out you can’t teach old scum bags new tricks and the old men who stayed in charge from Mubarak’s era are still good-for-nothing tax gobblers. In America, even though we are completely satisfied with our politicians, we are still constantly embarrassed by, among other things, the extravagant cost of higher education, pesky racial divides, our obesity, our impressive income inequality, and the fact we want to stay really rich but seem to have no money.

I could go on and discuss the pathetic state of our judicial system, the fact we’re losing our competitive edge to  developing countries whose foods we like, and the seeming illiteracy of the coming generation, but then I’d start to get sleepy from the sadness.

When confronted with all these issues, it’s hard to know who to blame. There are simply too many candidates. Do I blame Barack Obama, the Democrats, the Republicans, the Soviets, Europe, poodles, Mom, Dad…who? And I can’t blame something nebulous like “human nature” or the “capitalist system” or “greed.” That’s not nearly satisfying enough. I want a face I can yell at, an ugly mug I can jab at and say, “You suck!”

That’s why, for the past five minutes, I’ve been searching relentlessly for someone who can be the recipient of all our rage, some lame schmuck that can be the symbol of every inefficiency and injustice that exists. After minutes of intensely focused effort,  I think I found him. It’s this guy.

It’s all his fault! He did it! He decided to invade Iraq, Vietnam, and Cuba at great financial and moral cost to the US. It was him! He’s the one who has been melting the glaciers and strangling endangered species.  At night, while good Americans are at home with their families, reading their children bedtime stories, he’s out whispering into the ears of politicians and selling them his fancy new weapons and giving them ideas for how to use them.

He causes skin cancer! He stokes the fires of racial division! He made our educational system unequal! It was fine before he came along, but then BOOM everything was awful!

He’s why Americans are too fat! He’s why middle school girls dress like Ke$ha! He’s the cause of partisan conflict in the White House! He’s why Oklahoma isn’t Colorado! He’s why many Americans have their most intimate relationships with TSA officials! He made healthcare expensive! He created Valentine’s Day!

It’s his fault! I don’t care about the other issues. What will the stance of our future political leaders be on this guy? Will it be a resolute “Let’s get him!” or a pathetic “Let’s allow him to continue trampling our society and future.” Isn’t the answer obvious?

I say let’s get him and while we’re at it, let’s have a good yell.


photo credit: Ambro at freedigitalphotos.net

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The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

I want a magical forest filled with unicorns

I’ve taken naps at night for as long as I can remember—really hearty ones that last anywhere from six to eight hours. I don’t know much about what goes on during these night naps, but apparently I just lie motionless. The doors to my auditory, olfactory, and oral sensory headquarters are shut and padlocked and my capabilities at controlling drool levels are severely reduced.

If that’s not weird enough, I don’t even remember most of what I do for these periods of time. I’m pretty sure I just lie still, but I could also get up and squirt cheese whizz at the dog. Who knows? I have no control over my body during these dark gaps in my consciousness. It’s quite terrifying.

After waking up from one of these naps, however, sometimes I can kind of remember stuff from the great beyond I just sailed through. Most of it is dark nothingness with wisps of things I’ll never quite remember. Sometimes I think of ham inexplicably. Yet on the rare occasion, I remember a dream and catch a glimpse into the journey my mind sneakily made behind my back.

Dreaming, to put it simply, is amazing. There are endless possibilities of a sleeping mind roaming through territories ungoverned by reality’s mundane laws. The dreams don’t even need to involve hardware or flooring materials. That’s the beauty of dreaming: it’s limitless and free.

This is why I regret almost every single dream I remember. My dreams, far from being fantastic, are disgustingly boring and feel more like a poorly written office memo. Invariably I’m doing the exact same things I do in real life except for sometimes it feels “weird.”  My brain, as a dream-maker, sucks big time. Why can’t it create cooler things for me? Why am I not soaring to a floating feast where I sit in a barrel of spaghetti while eating ribs with Conan O’Brien? Why can’t I zap period clothing into existence and have the sickest privately owned collection of bonnets? Why am I not in the trenches with my best talking animal friends while we defend ourselves against an evil giantess that looks like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz?

They always say something is “the stuff dreams are made of” like it’s a good thing, but this clearly doesn’t apply to all dreams. Mine seem to be made out of dust covered toilet paper rolls, empty ball point pens, generic brand Cheerios called something like Happy-Oh-Nos and the stuff people give away for free on Craig’s List.

I would rather not even remember my dreams if it only means being depressed at my pathetically low dreaming horizon. I mean, I would like to see results from the 6-8 hours a night I put into these naps. All I want to do is wake up and not want to drop acid in order to make my dream life more interesting. Is that too much to ask?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that not all dreams are made of the same stuff, so if you’re buying some you better give the label a good look.

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Snotting Gold, Pure Gold.

As of last Thursday, I was graciously nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by one blogger known as Leo Rex.  With pride and a bit of trepidation, I now join the legions of bloggers who have also received said award. Though we number in the thousands, let us not forget the hundreds of thousands of bloggers who are still versatile blogger award-less. To these undecorated participants in the blogosphere, I say:

“One day someone besides your mother or father will read your blog, have a blog themselves, and decide to nominate you for this award. That day might not be soon, and we might be able to inject internet into our veins by then and have mandatory blogs that are monitored by the World Government, and these awards might even be handed out by that same government organization in order to keep up the illusion of free will and creativity, but the day will come, so hang in there.”

As per the award guidelines, I shall proceed to nominate some other blogs for the award and talk about myself. With further ado, here are the blogs that I nominate for this award. I realize that many, if not all of them, have received this award before and I’m not sorry for renominating them. They should know that I sincerely enjoy reading their blog and who cares if the versatile blogger award links pile up in their comment boxes like dusty term papers in the office of a professor who is having an out of state affair. Also, if you haven’t heard of them you might like them too.

1. Damp Squid-Recently fresh pressed. Well done, fellow blogging comrade.

2. The Good Greatsby: Getting the word out about this blog is like spreading news about Lady Gaga.

3. El Guapo: He writes limericks sometimes. You’ve been warned.

4. Linda Vernon Humor: Humor you can write home about.

5. The Life and Times of Nathan Bradley: I’ve found it good for the ha has.

6. @Grumpy Comments: Sunny D in blog form. Just kidding. It’s a grumpy-funny fest.

7. The Waiting: I hope her baby will be able to write as well as her.

8. Your Stupid Advice: Great for those times you want to be berated for asking the questions you were afraid to ask.

And now I get to shamelessly share facts about myself.

1. My first unrequited love was Conan O’Brien.

2. I only have 4 pills left in the course of antibiotics I’m taking for my ear infection.

3. When I lived in Denver, I would steal quarters from my Dad’s wooden fish bowl that he kept change in. I was only 4 or 5 but I felt guilty about that for a long time. This is my confession to him.

4. This might be a little gross but I like to watch the hair accumulate in my hairbrushes so I can see how much I’ve been shedding. When I finally clean it out it looks like a bird’s nest.

5. Sometimes I use my sister’s toothbrushes without asking/telling them. This usually happens when I don’t want to get my own toothbrush out after I get back from traveling.

6. I like to eat most foods with my little spoon. I try not to be possessive of it, but one time I saw someone eating with it and I had to suppress anger.

7. If I could, I would wear the same outfit every day. This outfit would include a helmet.

Thanks for the award, Leo Rex!

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Shame Eat With Ease!

Hi! Thank you for purchasing 8 oz. of Lynette’s “Seriously Chocolate” Homemade Fudge: Shame Eating Edition.

Through market research, we have determined that it’s highly likely you’ve considered not sharing this purchase with anyone. Right after you bought this butter and sugar brick, you may have been thinking about how much your spouse, kids, co-workers, or roommates would enjoy savoring its creamy texture and delicious chocolate taste. Then you started thinking about how much you would enjoy these same things, and how much longer you could enjoy it if you didn’t share. Hey, we’re with you there! We also think it would be lovely to sit and gobble this diabetes trap furtively like a woodland creature, discarding it before anyone you know sees you.

Just when you thought Lynette’s fudge couldn’t get any better, we’ve made it easier for you to shame eat and dispose of the evidence quickly and simply. For that reason, we’ve included a little plastic spoon right here in the container at no extra charge! By using a spoon to shame eat fudge, you can still retain some dignity and avoid a big post-fudge mess. Lynette’s recommended shame eating method is to drive to the nearest parking lot, make sure you’re mostly alone, and inhale the fudge-y goodness as soon as you park the car. If the weather is appropriate, Lynette likes to go to a different part of town and shame eat her fudge in a park while enjoying nature. We’re sure you’ll love it  too!

Currently we are developing a car-friendly way to devour fudge embarrassingly fast that doesn’t involve grubbing it with your hands and risking a stain on your work clothes or getting fudge fingers. If you’re interested in being put on our newsletter list, we can keep you updated on all the tricks we have up our sleeve to help keep you eating behind the backs of your loved ones. Just email us at eat@shame.org and we’ll put your name on our list.

Here at Lynette’s, we have always believed that you deserve complete privacy as you put away the treats you deserve. Thank you supporting our mission and happy shame eating!

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