Posts Tagged ‘Teh Goofy’

To entertain you, I’m going to post this little piece that I wrote about famous poets, and the kinds of jobs that they had before they became famous poets.  I anticipate that it is the first of what will soon become my “McSweeney’s Rejection Collection.” (more…)

(Alternate Title: “What My Father Wonders”)

From the look on his face, I can tell my father has something on his mind.

We’re drinking our after-dinner coffee, really strong stuff that, after two cups, sets my tremors off something fierce. We’ve been blithely conversing, throwing a few jokes around. Then, during a lull in chatter, he half-frowns, half-smiles, and starts off a new conversational topic by saying, “I was wondering…no, this isn’t the start of a joke.”

He has to start a lot of conversations like this.


For Your Entertainment

Posted: September 26, 2008 in Braak, Politics
Tags: , ,

God, can you guys doubt that I love you?  I’m risking my JOB doing this!

Behold!  John McCain’s invincible Martian Lizard-Man tongue!

Over on the Smoking Gun, they’ve got a full-sized version of this flyer, that the League of American Patriots has been passing out in New Jersey.

The League has been getting a lot of flack for this flyer, which states pretty unequivocally that they think that people shouldn’t vote for Obama because he’s black, and being black, he will naturally cause our HIV infection rate to increase.

I think that they deserve a little credit though.  I mean, no one has been saying anything about THIS poster, that they’ve also distributed:


Monsters! (TQP0085)

Posted: September 16, 2008 in Jeff Holland
Tags: , ,

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about fiscal responsibility.

Nah, just screwing with you, let’s talk about….Monsters!


-St. Paul Minnesota

John McCain was found standing over the body of a dead drifter in his hotel room, yesterday. According to the hotel staff that made the discovery, McCain’s hands were covered in blood and it looked, “like he had eaten the man’s face.” An alarming action like this could certainly cause trouble for the Senator’s presidential campaign, so it’s little surprise that his media relations team was quick to respond.


Glamour, in the Old Days (TQP0077)

Posted: August 19, 2008 in Braak
Tags: ,

While digging around in the periodical archives of the Bodleian Library (sure, that’s probably what happened!) I found this old issue of Glamour magazine, from back in 1868.

I guess this is how they rolled, back in those times.

Admittedly, a weird one today, brought on by the good people at Penny Arcade. They ran this comic strip:

And sadly, this had a remarkable amount of resonance to me. See, since I was a kid, I’ve had a tendency to imbue inanimate objects with a certain amount of personality.

We had two different sets of silverware in our drawer when I was growing up. And when I’d set the table, I’d make sure the older-model forks, knives and spoons got set alongside the newer ones.

Even at the time, I knew it was lunacy. I was 13 years old, so technically, I knew better. I knew silverware didn’t have feelings, per se, but dammit, they were old. And as far as I was concerned, they had earned their due.

So yes. Teenager who had a bit of fellow-feeling for neglected silverware. Shut up.

Fact is, it ventured a lot further back, to Schoolhouse Rock.

Schoolhouse Rock is the reason I remember my five times-tables, but not my six. Five had an awesome, jazzy song to go with it, while six was pretty forgettable. It had a direct result, as the first time I got caught cheating, when Ms. Guiser quizzed me and I had a cheat sheet for 6×6 and up cleverly hidden in my palm – and god, did I have a crush on Ms. Guiser. I think you could trace a lot of my psychological issues to my feelings of disappointing Ms. Guiser…anyway.

Eight was downright suicidal to listen to. “Figure Eight” is a beautiful song, when you’re in your twenties. But I first heard it when I was a child, and it made me want to slit my damn wrists even then. Thanks a lot, ABC, for making me turn 8 on its side and see it “as a symbol for infiniteeeeeee.” (That was a bit heady for me, when I was just trying to learn the damn times table. Now you got me pondering the unknowables of the universe….)

But even by that point I’d already figured out the personalities of the Big Numbers, 1-10. And it was all based on their look. That’s right. Even as a child, I had a certain aesthetic feel for numbers (which sadly, did not result in any kind of intuitive math skills). Here is how they broke down for me then, and honestly, how I still think of them today:

1 – He’s first. He’s number 1. Slim and simple. It’s a good place to be and he knows it.
2 – 2 isn’t in the spotlight as much, but he’s a stronger utility player than 1 could ever be. After all, in multiplication, 1 just disappears totally – it’s all about the other guy now. But 2…look at all the stuff that happens when you multiply by 2 – and he’s there like half the time. 2 is pretty high-profile. But he’s not cocky about it, because any ego he has is tempered by the understanding that everyone pays more attention to 1.
3 – The weird uncle of the group. Every time 3 shows up, the discussion’s about religious rituals or random deaths. 3 would like to be friendly and mainstream like the 2 and 4 he’s surrounded by, but…there’s just something…off…about 3.
4 – Sturdy and reliable, but not what you’d call interesting. Family units and car tires. This is what 4 is. Not a lot of pizzazz.
5 – 5 is a stud. Look at it – half sharp angle, half smooth curve…5 is the Cary Grant of numbers (and, as mentioned, also the most up-tempo “School House Rock” song).
6 – A dopey chubbo who will never fit in. 6-12-18-24-30-36…if Scrabble were played with numbers, this would be a bad Scrabble hand. And standing next to 5, 6 knows he’s never going to be picked first to go the dance. But I may be biased, since I tie 6 in so thoroughly with a formative childhood trauma.
7 – In a better universe, 7 would be as cool as 5. But there’s just something visually wrong with it. It might be that it’s an angle-number like 5, but facing to the left like curved 2 and 3. Something unusual about 7. But that could be appealing to a lot of people. 7 is probably really popular with college-age math students.
8 – All curves, 8 is a sexy number. Much like 4, 8 is sturdy, but there’s an elegance to him that his “little brother” can’t pull off. Plus, if you get an 8 out of 10, what do they call it? “Respectable.” Can’t go wrong with 8.
9 – As the comic implies, 9 is seething with jealousy and resentment at not being 10. So close. Soooo close, and yet, it will never be 10. You’d hate 10 too, if you were 9.
10 – 10 doesn’t even think of himself in the same class as those lower digits. 10’s kind of an asshole, but you really do need him, so what’re you gonna do? Use twice as many 5’s? I doubt it. The 5’s just not into that, baby.

What does all this mean? It means respect the numbers, man. There’s a poetry in mathematics.

And in sequence – as I see them, at least – there are also frightening, soap opera-ish personal conflicts going on with each of them.


Of course! It’s so obvious to me now. See, if you look closely, you can see the work of the freemasons all over the – wait, did you hear something?


Attention, misguided readers: Please ignore the previous post. The author will be indisposed for some time. Getting…help. Yes, that should do nicely. “Help.”