Monthly Archives: April 2011

Waiting Tables

Carl was about to about to snap. Being a waiter was taxing enough, remembering all the orders, sides, specials, the wiping, the cleaning, the prepping, the boring were all hard enough, but having to endure them while all the people in the room talk behind your back, was starting to grate on Carl. He noticed that every table would immediately stop talking as soon as he approached. That could only mean one thing in Carl’s mind: they were all talking about him. Carl would constantly check himself in every mirror he passed, in the blade of every knife he set on every table. He saw nothing wrong with his appearance. In fact, Carl secretly thought himself handsome. Carl had a big old crush on himself, a crush Carl thought he was hiding. He couldn’t understand what the people could possibly be saying about him.

‘Maybe they’re talking about how handsome I am, and how I am the greatest waiter ever,’ Carl wished. He looked for signs in the diners’ faces to see if he could read if their discussions of him were good or bad.

Carl came up to a new table of diners, a good looking couple in their twenties, and asked if they were ready to order.

“We haven’t got menus yet,” Doug informed Carl.

“That’s because I haven’t given them to you,” Carl said, distributing the menus he had forgotten he had in his hands. “Now are you ready to order?”

“We haven’t looked at them yet,” Anna laughed.

“Fine,” said Carl, “then, while looking at the menu, could I offer you some dessert?”

Now both were laughing, “No, thanks, we just need a minute to look,” Doug dismissed the waiter who was clearly having a bad day.

Carl walked passed a family who were waiting to give him their order, and headed straight for the kitchen. “Give me one t-bone steak, rare, side of fries and a salmon with a side of greens,” Carl told Mike, the dishwasher.

“I don’t care,” Mike didn’t even look up at him. He knew the waiter was nuts. Mike didn’t have time for crazy people.

Carl thought he’d try Roberto, the head chef. “Give me one t-bone-”

Roberto cut him off, “Punch in the order, don’t tell me!” Roberto was getting fed up of reminding this waiter how to order.

Carl punched in the order, then made a bee-line straight to the good looking couple to tell them their food was coming. He again walked passed the family of five, who were getting impatient with hunger. Hannah, the matriarch, waved her arms above her head like the signal of the shipwrecked. She was ignored by the waiter, who walked through the restaurant with tunnel vision.

The couple stopped talking as soon as Carl got to the table.

“You were talking about me, weren’t you?” Carl demanded.

“What? No. What’s…” Anna could only laugh.

“Your food’s on its way,” Carl told them.

“But, we haven’t ordered yet.”

“Perfect, let me go get it.” Carl didn’t wait for a response, turning and heading back to the kitchen, passing the family that were all waving their arms above their heads; Hannah whistled through her teeth, to no effect. “How’s my food?” Carl asked Billy the bus-boy.

“I dunno,” Billy kept walking through the kitchen door to make himself useful in the dining room.

Carl found his food waiting for him, took the two plates, and returned to give them to their rightful owners. But, Mr. Angeloni, the restaurant’s owner, stopped him before he could step back out to the dining room. “Who is this food for?” asked Mr. Angeloni.

“Table 23,” Carl knew his numbers.

“Kristen!” Mr. Angeloni waved over to the waitress, who promptly jumped to her boss’s command. “Take these plates to table 23,” Mr. Angeloni instructed the waitress, “you’re fired,” he canned Carl.

Carl couldn’t take it, falling to his knees before Mr. Angeloni, who had seen all sorts of reactions to firings. “Please!” Carl begged. “Just tell me what everyone’s talking about! Why does everyone stop talking when I get to the table?”

“So they can order, but, you don’t go to the table. There’s a family out there that’s been waiting forty-five minutes to order.”

“I know, I’m giving them family time. Their frustration with me is bringing them together,” Carl reasoned.

“Enough, good bye,” Mr. Angeloni handed Carl the rest of his pay, and waited for him to show himself out. Carl did, walking past the family who were devouring a bread basket, and the good looking couple, who were enjoying the very order they never ordered. They had asked Kristen how the restaurant could have known what they wanted, but Kristen could only shrug, wondering if Carl had magic powers.

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Latest News From Mars

I often watch shows I hate. I watch a lot of reality shows. I absolutely despise them, I can’t stop watching them. I probably hate TMZ most. It’s probably my favorite show. They had a report on some teen actor I didn’t know, and there was no story, just a report on her getting out of a salon and walking to an elevator. That’s it. The whole story was there must be a story because there were so many paparazzi following her, but they never said why. That’s it, paparazzi talking about paparazzi, that’s what we’ve become. If the media was an alcoholic, this would be like getting so drunk, you light your house and pets on fire while chasing your cat around trying to pee on it. This is rock bottom.

See, it’s not so much the story or the tone that drives me crazy, it’s that millions accept this as news. It’s not the message that’s dangerous, it’s the medium. By accepting this level of journalism, we allow them to get away with murder. They didn’t know why there were so many cameras following her, just that they were following her. And they didn’t know who the older woman was with her, “Either her assistant or mother, or both,” they speculated. That shit can be found out pretty easily.

Imagine this level of reporting during Watergate:

“Republican officials say they have nothing to do with the break in the Democratic Offices, and we at the Washington Post believe them.”

And we’re so morbidly two-faced in our reporting of suicides. We never report amateur suicides unless they trigger our imagination like a school shooting. And we’ll publish any blog about your helpful views on society and any photo of you posing with a gun, as long as you use it to shoot people. That lunatic down in Virginia was read more that year than Shakespeare.

And how they break the news into the sections: Sports, Business, Entertainment, Living, Politics, Crime; so why am I reading about so many murders in the Entertainment section? What are you saying, murder is entertainment? I’m sorry, when you go from famed producer, to psycho killer, you should stop getting press in the Entertainment section, and be put in Sports alongside OJ Simpson.

We’re too cool for ourselves. Flipping channels, I come across, “And next up, the latest news from Mars.”

Click.

Fifty years ago, that would have blown our minds. You ever seen Back To The Future? Remember how George McFly reacted to the Van Halen guitar solo? Imagine waking up fifty years from now finding your favorite song is elevator music. Imagine the world fifty years from now. The ending of this is entirely a reflection of you.

The Book of Genesis: The Soap Opera II

Announcer: When we last left off on March 5, Eve was tempting her husband, Adam to try the forbidden fruit that Mr. Satan had challenged her to try.

Eve: Go on, Adam. Stop being such an ignoramus.

Adam: I don’t know what that means.

Eve: Exactly. Take a bite and then you’ll know.

Adam: But, Father specifically forbade us from eating this.

Eve: So, then why did He put this tree in the middle of our living room? I mean, it’s like giving someone a couch and saying, here, don’t sit on it. It’s ridiculous.

Adam: Ok, give me the fruit.

[Eve hands Adam the fruit. Adam takes a bite.]

Eve: Well?

Adam: I think I’m a genius now. Oh my Father, I’m naked. You’re naked. We’re all naked. I’ve been conducting all my business in the nude.

[God enters the garden.]

God: Adam, we need to go over these pie charts. Hi, Eve.

Adam: Don’t look at my wife, Father! You made her naked!

God: Oh, Me. You ate the fruit.

Adam: You put covering around trees, but not us? What are you, some kind of peeping tom?

God: Who are you to question me? I made you!

Adam: Yeah, you made me naked!

God: You were made pure.

Adam: Yeah, purely naked! And her, too!

Eve: We want to renegotiate our contract.

God: What contract? There’s no contract! This is paradise!

Eve: Well, it’s time we made up a contract, cause, we feel we’re getting short-changed, at least I do, cause you didn’t give me one of those things he’s got dangling off him. Also, we want a five day work week. I mean, even you took a day off, but you expect us to be on call all the time.

Adam: Yeah, and what did you do with that day off, Father? You never said. Where’d you go? Who were you with?

God: I went golfing! Give me a break!

Eve: You went golfing while the entire universe was still settling? It still needed your oversight, but for you, the universe is an oversight, and you’d rather be out golfing! I’d say you neglected your duties and it proves you unfit to run this company.

God: What are you saying?

Adam: We’re saying that it’s time for a change of CEO.

God: You can’t fire me, I have full corporate share!

Adam: Well, if you won’t step down, then, we quit. We don’t need you to tell us what to do.

God: You don’t like it, then get the hell out of paradise! I built you this beautiful rent-controlled apartment, and the only thing I ask you to do is leave the fruit alone, and you eat it and now you think you know more than I?

Adam: I know that you need us more than we need you. Without us, you don’t exist.

God: What are you talking about? Without me, you don’t exist.

Adam: Call it a stalemate.

God: It’s no stalemate, I’m God, and you’re the dust I made!

Adam: Who makes dust? Exactly, you’ve got your priorities all out of whack, wasting company time on the production of dust. I think we have enough proof to go to the board and ask for your removal from CEO.

God: Oh yeah, who’s the board? I’m the board and I’m-

Eve: No, Father-in-Law, you are not the board, since we’ve been talking, there’s been a coup, and Mr. Satan has bought up all your shares and is currently sitting in the boardroom swiveling in the Chairman’s chair. You’re finished, old man.

God: Son…

Announcer: Will Adam sell his Father out for corporate greed? Find out in the next installment of The Book of Genesis: The Soap Opera!

UnEmployed Mascot Welfare Center

“It’s a mixed up world, when that racist looking Cleveland Indian mascot’s still working, and I’m here every day filling out forms trying to get any job,” complained Chief Noc-A-Homa. The Chief had been making this same complaint every day since 1983, when he had been unceremoniously crapped from the employ of the Atlanta Braves baseball team. The Chief complained to whoever listened, and those who didn’t. It didn’t matter, The Chief had nothing better to do. He knew he had no chance of getting picked up by another team and that he was doomed to spend his remaining days in the Unemployed Mascot Welfare Center.

There were a lot of Native mascots in the Center. There was the Indian Warrior who had been dumped from the Golden State basketball team, sitting next to Willie Wampum, who had been dumped by Marquette U. in the same year. They took turns riding the horse, Warpaint, that had been fired from the Kansas City Chiefs football team.

“Sure, they fire the horse, but keep the team name. Right, blame the horse. Blame the mascot your team sucks, come on!” The Chief raged to the walls. The walls answered in muted echo. “And why fire me? Why break up my marriage to Princess Win-a-Lotta? What did we do? You hypocrites! You’ve still got the Edmonton Eskimos and The Washington Redskins! I’m just Chief Noc-A-Homa! I’m the good guy! Princess Win-A-Lotta didn’t hurt a fly!”

The door of the Center opened and in shuffled the recently released mascot of Jazz College, The Shooting Junkie.

“Is this A.A.?” asked The Shooting Junkie. “I’m looking for a place to crash.”

The Chief didn’t think this burnt out shell of a man could be a mascot. “No, this is the Unemployed Mascot Welfare Center. A.A.’s across the hall.”

Suddenly The Shooting Junkie perked up. “There’s an unemployment center for mascots?”

“Yes, and give me an L!” The Chief waited for an L that wasn’t coming. He tried again, “Come on, give me an L!”

“L,” The Shooting Junkie mumbled. He wasn’t in the mood for giving Ls.

“Give me an, E!”

“E,” The Shooting Junkie humored The Chief.

“A!”

“A.”

“Give me a V!”

“V.”

“Give me an E!”

“E.”

“What does it spell?”

The Shooting Junkie hadn’t been paying attention. “Steroids?” he guessed.

“What? Can’t you spell?”

“Look, man, maybe you guys can help me sue Jazz College for breaking contract.”

“Contract for what, drugs? Are you some sort of lab experiment gone wrong? Did somebody spill you from a petri dish?”

“No, I’m their mascot. Well, I was, til they fired me. But, I had two more years on the contract.”

“Hold on. You’re a mascot? You actually represented a team?”

“Yeah, The Jazz College basketball team. I’m The Shooting Junkie.”

The Chief was stunned. He had always considered the job of a mascot to be honored and sacred. Though he berated and belittled them constantly, The Chief had great admiration for all his fellow mascots, for he knew the pressure and responsibility it required. Now he saw that any druggie dropout could be a mascot. “Well, it’s no wonder why they fired you, look at you! You can barely stand up!”

“Hey, brother, you shoulda seen me. I could shoot threes while shooting up, I was the real deal. Then they fire me cause of my drug problem, but, they’re the ones who gave me the drug problem. I mean, they named me, The Shooting Junkie, what did they expect? I mean, my God, I’m just hurting myself, what about that bastard, The Fighting Irish guy over at Notre Dame? That guy’s always looking to punch somebody; I’m peaceful, man. I shoot my baskets, shoot up some heroin, then pass out on center court, and the players have to play around me for the whole second half. It really gives home court advantage, cause, my guys are used to playing around me, so, it gives them the edge. Why’d they fire me?”

The Chief was filled with a rare sense of compassion and empathy for this poor shriveled up mascot. The Chief saw so much of his own story in the pleading eyes of The Shooting Junkie. “Get out, you’re not welcome here,” he said to him.

The Shooting Junkie stepped back at the force of the words. “Who are you to speak?”

“I am The Chief.” The Chief placed his hands on his hip, gun-slinger style.

The Shooting Junkie struggled to define reality from insanity, as he looked across the room at a horse playing poker with two men dressed in loin cloth, so, he was in no mood to fight a man who called himself, The Chief. “Ok, Chief, could you just point me to the window, I’ll fly home.”

“Use the door, it’s right there.”

The Shooting Junkie went across the hall to Alcoholics Anonymous and found a more welcoming environment. After finishing their twelve step program, he changed his identity from The Shooting Junkie to The Prudent Accountant, trying to get back into the mascot market. He found his new persona as difficult to find work as his old, so, eventually, after a series of failed job interviews, he gave up, built a cabin in the middle of the forest and started blogging.

Only to Find Gideon’s Bible

Best marketing campaign by a religion ever: Gideon’s Bible. Forget the Crusades, too bloody. The converted are no good to you dead. And forget the Mormon’s or Jehovah’s Witnesses; same problem as the Crusades, no one wants to be disturbed at home.

I am not trying to prove anything. Truth will prove itself. So, what are the Mormons thinking spending so much money to promote themselves on Youtube? Look, I’m looking for videos of guys getting hit in the balls, I’m not looking for God right now, ok?

Mormons, get off Youtube. Take a page from the Gideon’s Bible, and put your little book in the bottom drawer of the hotel night-stand and walk away. You’re just pissing me off coming between me and my favorite disco mix. And you’re not even selling the best side of your religion, you crazy Mormons! You’re showing me an image of some guy getting up to change diapers in the middle of the night, that does not sound appealing to me: be a mormon and change diapers! Why don’t you play up the polygamy side and show one of his ten wives getting up in the middle of the night to change diapers while the guy goes back to bed with his other nine wives? There’s a religion I could look into. It’s called the religion of porn and it’s downloaded way more than God.org.

With religion, better to go soft sell. The Gideon’s get this. Due to the very nature of people needing something more than themselves to give them meaning at times of desperation, religion sells itself. The people who get this best are the people of Gideon’s Bible. They’re so good, they even managed to get themselves into a Beatles’ song. It’s what Rockey Raccoon steps in to his room only to find.

Gideon’s Bibles are found in the bottom drawer of most hotel rooms cause they know they’re gonna be found by desperate people. Cause, let’s face it, if you’re in a hotel room, there’s at least a fifty-fifty chance you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing. Then you’re gonna feel guilty about it, go to the bottom drawer looking for hope, finding the Bible, and seeing it as a sign.

It makes it easier to deal with guilt when you know you can give it up at any time. Gideon recognizes product placement, the best place to sell your wares is not going to people’s homes. No, smart advertising makes the people come to it. And when you find it, you will forever associate Gideon with drunken midnight salvation.

Gideon knows how to run an ad campaign. A campaign like the Spanish Inquisition won’t work, especially if you don’t speak Spanish and you can’t answer any of their questions.

Como te jama?”

“What? sorry? I don’t speak Spanish! Please stop burning the soles of my feet! I don’t understand! Andale! Andale! Arriba! That’s all I know from Speedy Gonzalez! Please stop putting torches to my feet!”

If Hitler Had Written Star Wars

“Why the hell are you reading that? Are you turning Nazi?”

Tom closed his book on his thumb, keeping his place. “I’m curious,” he said.

Gil scratched his head, forgetting about the pizza they were about to order. “You’re curious about Mein Kampf? Don’t you know the story? Hitler’s crazy, starts the biggest World War and genocide ever; we go over and kick his ass; he shoots himself in his bunker, the end. Or, did you know we won World War Two?”

“Yeah, I know, but, I want to know the roots.”

“The roots? Oh, you’re reading that like watching the newer Stars Wars. Find out how Anakin Skywalker turned into Darth Vader.”

“I just read Hitler came up with Star Wars.”

“Shut up. That’s not-”

“It’s true! A couple pages back he told a story of a poor farm boy who dreams of traveling new lands, fighting against the Empire, the Jews, and bringing peace and prosperity back to his people.”

“That’s not exactly Star Wars. That could be-”

“There’s storm troopers, a Millennium Falcon and even a wookie.”

“Shut up, let me see,” Gil yanked the book from Tom’s hands, “where?”

“It’s a couple pages back. It’s written in German, though, I don’t think you’ll understand.”

Gil looked up from the foreign words. “You’re reading in German?”

“It was written in German.”

“I didn’t realize your German was that good.”

“It’s what I grew up speaking.”

“Are you kidding or what about Star Wars? Is it really in there?”

“I’m not joking. Hitler writes a parable about a young farmer who goes off to fight the Empire after receiving a message from a beautiful woman who turns out to be his sister, and he eventually comes face to face with the Emperor, who is described as this evil hooked-nose Jew who’s got all the power because he’s got all the money, and Luke, the farm boy, throws him to his death, along with help from his father, who had originally been his enemy. See, it’s a parallel story to the German people coming together, finding the true enemy, and destroying it.”

Gil had to sit down. “Holy shit, Hitler wrote Star Wars. How can I be just finding this out now? Why doesn’t everyone know this?”

“Well, there are a few differences, and people thinking George Lucas is Jewish stops them from thinking he’d rip off Mein Kampf.”

“Is he Jewish?”

“Who cares?”

“Holy shit. I have to hate Star Wars,” Gil was in shock. He thought of growing up sleeping under Empire Strikes Back sheets, sleeping on the face of Yoda. It was just too much to take.

“You don’t have to hate anything. I don’t. I still like Star Wars. It’s still Star Wars, nothing changed.”

“I’m Jewish, I can’t like Star Wars.”

“You have to separate the art from the artist. Two totally separate realities.”

“Not when the art is written as anti-semitic propaganda!”

“George Lucas didn’t make Star Wars as anti-semitic propaganda, he made it to tell an awesome story. Hitler was a failed artist; he never would have made the special effects. His description of light-sabers was wooden swords.”

“You killed my favorite movie for me, man. I wish you’d never told me. If there’s anything in there about Hitler writing any Beatles songs, don’t tell me.”

“I’m just kidding, Hitler never wrote Star Wars.”

“Why would you- you son of a bitch! I could kill you.”

“I just wanted to see your reaction.”

“What did you expect? You tell me Hitler wrote Star Wars, I stop liking Star Wars, so what?”

“I wouldn’t.”

“You’re not Jewish.”

“That wouldn’t have anything to do with it.”

“It does when you’re Jewish.”

“What does religion have to do with art? If anything, religion has done its best to suppress art.”

“You don’t understand the kind of feelings a Jew has towards Hitler. It’s more visceral for us. More personal. You can’t go there.”

“Alright, I won’t. Forget it. What do you want on the pizza? Bacon and pepperoni?”

“Sounds good.”

“Aren’t you supposed to not eat pork?”

“I’m not so orthodox, I can eat what I want.”

“So, you just pick and choose what part of Judaism you want?”

“It’s my life and I know Hitler is bad and bacon is delicious. Stop judging me and order the pizza.”

I Need You to See the Irony

I’m up way past my bedtime thinking about the news I watched before shutting off the tv and the lights. 33% of the news was on the weather. Since when is it news that it’s cold in Canada? 33% of the news on Canadian weather, but, not a second on anything happening in Asia or South America. Why should I care about Asia? It’s unseasonably cold outside!

But what’s keeping me up so late is thinking about an article I read today. I can’t stop thinking about the amount of people who failed to see the irony.

“Law enforcement said Friday they have multiple photos of [the killer] in a bright red g-string. Here’s hoping these photos never get released (although if they do, rest assured we’ll publish them.)”

Please tell me you see the irony so that I can sleep tonight.