Thursday, March 29, 2007

I Don't Like Philadelphia

What's that you say? Thinking of going to Philadelphia, are you? Don’t even deny it. I can tell. With that slack-jawed look on your face, and dried, frothy drool pursing in your lip creases with palpable dreams of cheesesteaks and Fourth of July celebrations. Well wipe that disgusting slobber up – seriously, you're not a dog, dry crusty drool shit is disgusting -- because you know what? I bet you’ll hate Philadelphia. I said it. I hear those legendary cheesesteaks are only made from the sickest cows in Pennsylvania. And they don’t have to do it either. They actually lose money by using dying animal meat, they just enjoy making you eat sick cow in Philadelphia. And if you’re planning to visit there, I hope you’ve also fitted yourself for an unmarked grave and picked up an AIDS vaccine. THAT'S RIGHT. I JUST SAID YOU'LL GET AIDS IN PHILADELPHIA. You probably won’t find that out until after you leave Philadelphia, though, because Philadelphian doctors are only trained in curing mouth hemorrhoids, the most popular disease in Philadelphia.

What? Never heard such outrageous claims before? Come as a shock to you, yes? Well consult an encyclopedia, friend. It’s all in there. But you might want to do so outside of Philadelphia. Because if you even so much as make mention of literature in Philadelphia, even as a joke to say, “Hey, isn’t it friggin retarded to have books?” they’ll take your car and the virginity of your youngest daughter (or sister). And if they catch you reading a book in Philadelphia, well then god help you because then they really get mad and do vindictive things like injecting leprosy in your genitals and snapping the spine of your girlfriend (or book).

Old people are shot on sight in Philadelphia. You could ask the mayor of Philadelphia why that is, but he’d probably shoot you instead of answering. You see, Philadelphia shoots anyone that asks questions. No one is allowed to ask about anything they do there. That’s why they’re still allowed to stow their slowly-developing children in dungeons, execute them unceremoniously and feed them to locally-owned livestock in the form of a buttery spread, like a hummus, which causes them to lick the roof of their mouths all day.

It’s too late for this little boy in Philadelphia. Next stop: the glue factory.

Here’s a fun fact. Did you know that just living in Philadelphia will cause a woman to go sterile? It’s true. It’s debated whether the cause is from the high levels of pollution in Philadelphia, or just the fact that babies have innately stopped developing as an evolutionary defense mechanism. But you won’t see the Philadelphian ladies complaining. They’re just happy that the constant raping in Philadelphia won’t lead to offspring.

Now I’m probably not telling you anything you couldn’t find out in a trip-tix from Triple A. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hear it from somewhere outside of a travel service provider. Cause hell, no one told me that currency in much of Philadelphia was stolen car parts and that hospital patients’ bones were used to pave the streets. No, no one told me. I had to find that out for myself. Through a Philadelphian.

And no, Philadelphian detractors, this has nothing to do with me projecting anger over a falling out with a girl that happens to have been born in Philadelphia. Jennifer. We’re all way past that, and brutally disemboweled hearts have quickly healed. Besides she probably was just lying about her place of birth like they teach you to in Philadelphia, stabbing children with used syringes until they tell their first one. And it’s not like I’d do something so hasty as to lambaste an entire city of people solely based on a single encounter with a scathing, pointy-cheeked two-timing whore that once resided there (in some rusty, overpriced shack where they had to gun down household pets just to put food on the table, no doubt). That probably has little to do with it. Though it’s consistent with the behavior you’d expect from a city that eats its breakfast and lunch out of cancer patients’ bedpans. So you’ll have to excuse me for smiting the city for its open abuse of the elderly, rampant poverty, and raising its girls to be whores and named Jennifer. It must just be that Philadelphia is a shitty, shitty city.

But don’t tell the average Philadelphian. They’ll piss on your face for saying that.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ode to My Anus

I pulled a muscle in my ass today. It doesn't sound so bad to just say it, but when you've actually gone ahead and done it, it haunts you. I can't sleep, I can't walk up stairs, and I tried walking it off but that only made it worse. A pain in the ass -- who woulda thought, you know? I mean, you throw your back out and that's saying something. But being slowed down by a muscle in your ass? How can I even face the world?

I guess maybe this is just payback. I had it coming. All these years I haven't appreciated or even acknowledged the presence or support my ass has provided through the thick and thin, and this is the only wake-up call it is capable of giving. Well dammit, I'm the kind of man who recognizes when he’s misstepped (see any of my stories about this). I'm not too proud to step up and apologize. Even if it's to my own ass. So, ass, this is for you.

Ass, I'm a fool. I've neglected you. You clearly have starved for my attention, and what do I do? I look the other way. I'm so wrapped up in my business that I consider you an "inconvenience." I joke about you, label you as a punchline. I sit down really hard and I don't even feel bad about it. Occasionally I even close things with you. I know. Like I don't have hands. I make fun of proctologists and their choice of a profession that caters to the anus. I laughed at Uranus jokes, no matter how lame and grossly unfunny they were, just to feel more like everyone else. I cursed your existence, your purpose, and your stuuuupid crack. Oh and sometimes I sit on sharp things, and I know that can't be good for you.

Was it worth it?

I've been a royal asshole. No offense.

Forgive me.

I thought I was pretty hot shit. You know what that's like. I got so swept up in popular opinion, fart jokes, and Family Guy that I simply stopped taking you seriously. And that's where I was wrong. You may be "just an ass," but you're an ass nonetheless, god dammit. You are one of the top 50 most important body parts I have, and, yes, I'm placing you just above the coccyx for once. When was the last time I looked you square in the eye and said, "Hey ass, um, thanks for all that cushiony padding. It's been a long day and you really make me forget that I'm sitting on a rock hard surface"? When have I even mentioned that thing you do in khakis? You know, those dark, well-fitting ones that get me looks all the time. Yeah, those. It goes unsaid.

Ass, on behalf of myself and all of my 2000 parts, I’m sorry.

You may think I'm just writing this in hopes of a voodoo miracle, that placating you will cause the dull pain in my ass to miraculously subside. And, in fact, that's exactly why I'm writing this. But it’s also to apologize. Cause I went overboard. And now I feel your pain.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Women and Sports... That's Adorable

It's a shame to do this, but I'm going to split my audience down the middle right off the bat here. I was channel surfing yesterday, and ran into women fraternizing with my sports programming four times. Four times! I know what you're thinking -- awwwww. But it's not. Stop it. It's not cute, it's not cuddly, and when they're running around bases or jumping in the air to try to reach basketball rims, it's not like watching monkeys play with spaceships.

Not entirely.

You can vote and own property now, and your wages are right up there with the men, ladies. And you have all your W leagues springing up. Bravo. But what really gets me is women trying to report sports news.

Does she know what she's doing? Read the teleprompter, Leslie!

Throughout our sports reporting landscape, there has been an unmistakable epidemic. Women with microphones, telling us what they know about sports. I know. And they're not talking about athletes' new haircuts either. They're the ones giving us real time news regarding some of our favorite sports. Sometimes even from the field of a sporting event, reading us pertinent sporting information. Alright you got me, that one actually is adorable.

But no matter what kinds of backdrops or skirt suits you pick out, studio bigwigs, we know what's going on here. These women don't have a clue what they're talking about. They crinkle their brows and say phrases such as "I talked with the coach" and "After a tough workout today" when we know damn well that time was spent manicuring and going to Jamba Juice.

The gig is up ESPN, ABC, NBC, and Fox Sports. You put some hotties on the air to get a few male viewers aroused and now you just can't seem to get them out of the studio. You wanted to fire them, but they threatened to call you a sexist bastard and tell everyone how Sean Salisbury likes to show everyone pictures of his junk. And now you're stuck with them. They're behind the desk breaking down sporting events, when they don't even know what it's like to run with a penis. They're on the sidelines spouting bullshit stories about how the athletes train for games, like Monday Night Football's Sam[antha] Ryan, who gave us a dissertation last season which consisted of how LaDainian Tomlinson used to test his speed growing up by racing a dog. Way to take the game to new heights, Sam.

These sports girls are a different breed. They talk in a strange, deeper, more masculinely resonating tone. "W-wait, was that a man talking? It sure sounded like one. She must know as much as a man about athletic combat." In some cases they can't tell a TD from a Pro-V or a tight end from a split end. They stand in front of the camera, eyes wide and empty, and read their teleprompter notes, trying not to let their eyes wander Terrell Owens' pregame workout. Don't even try to tell me for a moment that Jillian Barberie even knows what NFL stands for. She's a woman, and a stupid woman at that.

Lisa Guerrero realized her talents were better served posing nude.

You can go ahead and put women in the newsroom. That's fantastic. They're primped and pretty and oh so pumped to become a strong female journalist in the real world. Thrilling. But how about keeping them reporting on the women's world of sports. There's probably a great deal of maternity leaves on the injury reports that beg for analysis. And we can leave real sports reporting to the people who understand it. Fat middle aged men.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Hunt

I am now partaking in one of the most appalling activities in all the world. I will WILLINGLY meet hoards of complete strangers in New York, look through their apartments, their bathrooms, and their kitchens, and imagine myself living there on a daily basis. Think that's better than cleaning out raw sewage or working on a turkey farm? Think again.

You haven't been where I've been, Mike Rowe.

The excuse for subjecting one's self to such misery? Apartment hunting. And it is as terrifying as it sounds, especially when you're looking to rent out a room, which means meeting your potential roommate every time you check out a room. Let me put it this way. Imagine every weird subway freak you've met in a city. Well... they've gotta live somewhere. And I'm finding it out more and more.

Nope... not that subway freak

The hunt began with a guy named Lee. Began innocently enough. Beautiful location. Basketball courts. Fantastic new building. Immaculate elevators. I was ready to accept anything short of a peg-legged drunk who raped children with his peg in hourly shifts throughout twilight hours. I got... something not very short. As it turns out, Lee is a man in his 60s, renting out a room of his apartment for extra money now that he's retired and never leaving the apartment. The room is completely furnished -- with a rocking chair, knick-knacks coating the walls, and and an old-people smelling comforter. Oh, and he doesn't need his own room. He'll be living in the living room, stationed immediately outside said bedroom. That doesn't sound horrible enough. How about this. Thousands more knick-knacks pouring out of every orifice of the bathroom and kitchen, including a Jesus nighlight and a Nazi swastika magnet on the refrigerator. Should I even bother to ask if it's okay if I bang gypsys here, or... ?

My next stop was at a 40 year old East Village apartment. This apartment had it all. Sixth floor walk-up? Check. The bathtub in the kitchen? Would I be pushing it to ask for the toilet to be in a closet? Done. Unfortunately, the owner doesn't want to share the one bedroom. He's got a sleeping bag and is sleeping in the hallway of the apartment. That shouldn't be inconvenient. And don't be weirded out by that quiet, intense stare coming from him, either. It's a sign of interest. He probably wants to decapitate you and fuck your neck cavity on move-in day. Touching.

The hunt continued with the viewing of the tiny apartment shared with a half-interested fat woman with walls painted a color exactly like the DVD cover above. She had a cat too, who from the looks of it was sharing a spot at the dinner table. By half-interested, I am being generous. The woman had her eyes glued to the opening ceremonies of a baseball game the whole time I was in her apartment and literally pointed me in the direction of the room without even looking up. Place smelled like baby corn juice.

And I can't forget to mention shady, blazed apartment owner. He's got a non-air conditioned room in Chelsea all right. He's also got a questionable accent and drops suspiciously homosexual advances. Oh and don't try to get ahold of him when he's not busy. Cuz he's busy then.

Yup, folks. That's New York.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Noise


Well, if you were me, it would be the sound of the ever-friendly roommate send-off you're getting in your final month's experience sharing a room with someone. There are reasons why people twitch or experience PTSD when recounting their dorming experience with roommates.

In my case, the roommate is loud as fuck. I don't use the word "fuck" lightly here. Please realize the gravity of its usage here. And I can't even explain why the volume seems to be turned up on everything he does. There's still a slight possibility there's a volume knob actually attached to him somewhere, and I can't yet say for sure that it doesn't exist. When he walks in the room, it sounds like he's throwing his feet at the floor (and bitterly, too, as if to constantly express his hate for his feet, his shoes, and the floor). When he closes a drawer, apparently he feels a part of the process is first removing it completely and throwing it as hard as he can against the set of drawers. When he eats, whenever he eats, regardless of texture, it crunches. We're not talking mild crunching either, no. We're talking Grape Nuts commercials crunching. We're talking about the room becoming the inside of the head of the guy eating Doritos in the Dorito's commercials and you can't hear ANYTHING but the constant crunching. I could go on... and I will.

When he eats cereal with his spoon and bowl at 7 AM, it sounds like he's chiseling tile. When he opens his (wouldn't you know it) velcro backpack around that same buttfuck hour of the morning, it sounds like Paul Bunyon ripping down a redwood. When he jerks off it sounds like Ruben Studdard doing a cannonball into an Olympic-sized pool of Jell-O. (Okay I made that last one up. But you get the idea.)

Don't be alarmed... he's probably just hawking something up again.

How does someone grow to be so loud? Was he introduced to objects on his way to college? Did he grow up in a vacuum? Was he raised by deaf-mutes? These questions will remain unanswered. But one thing is for sure: move-out day is only weeks away. But the recurring shaking-a-coffee-can-full-of-rusty-nails sound from when he decides to rearrange clothes in his closet? Ah, those will live on forever.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Street Joggers

There is little on god’s green earth that can incite more rage than this sight.

This guy is probably gay.

That’s right. I'm talking to you joggers. Cut that shit out. You know what I'm talking about. No, I don't want to talk about how good you feel after a good run, and no, I don't give a flying fuck what Omega-3s do. Look, you get in the way more than a divorced father with weekend visiting privileges. And it’s not just the driving thing. Note: I didn’t say it’s not a driving thing. They are my worst nightmare as a driver, and on more than one occasion I’ve envisioned myself hitting the gas at a stoplight and plowing over a thirty-something mid-sprint, knocking him clear out of his Nike Shox, embedding his microfiber shirt into the fender and feeling the bump as I roll over his shoulder-band iPod in the heart of its Enya playlist. But again, it’s not JUST a driving thing.

Look, the street jogger is a breed of its own. Pumping their arms more flamboyantly than I'm doctors would advise, and eternally in a state of motion, like at stoplights where they suddenly become Jennifer Beals from Flashdance. And they always make certain to plan their routes around the highest trafficked areas. You see, without an audience, the jogger can't exist. So... what are ya trying to prove, there, jogger? You know that gyms exist. It’s impossible not to be aware of their existence. They’re all over the place, and people talk about them in casual conversation. Many people go there, especially the ones interested in Omega 3s – and oftentimes to run. Jogging paths, parks, beaches, country roads, all of these exist as well, and are outstanding locations for jogging-oriented exercise. Needless to say, the jogger is aware of these options as well. No, it’s not a lack of awareness that leads the street jogger to become a blatant enemy to society and all that is right and good. It’s their biological make-up. You see, friend, whereas normal people such as you and I are stimulated every day by the usual life incentives of happiness, success, sex, love, candy, and jerking off, the street jogger is fueled by memories of their fathers hitting them in the face with an empty beer bottle or their mothers making love to themselves cause daddy never came home. You know what? Get over it, joggers.

The city equivalent to the jogger… the biker.

And don’t even get me started on the city biker, the city dweller's closest comparison to the street jogger. Let’s just say the next time I literally come in contact with one of these bikers – who only wants to be considered equal to a car when it doesn’t involve following traffic signals – the foot in his spokes that lands him jaw-first on the asphalt will let him know I say hello.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Coughing Bout for the Ages

My roommate doesn’t realize why he’s coughing. It's been going on for the last two months now and he honestly believes he’s sick. In fact, he's coughing because he leaves the windows open all the time and the cold air is irritating his throat. He likes the room really cold, and he goes beyond the rational means of getting it to a chilly temperature by letting an absurd amount of cold air flurry in constantly and especially during the night. So just to be clear, that’s the real reason.

Funny story. He can’t figure this out. Not a bright guy to begin with but there are certain levels of ineptitude that cause you to scoot back a little and observe. He’s had a sore throat and a lingering cough now for a full two months, and he hasn’t got a clue why. He thinks something's wrong with him. So over these last two months I have watched this ultimate roommate transform his entire lifestyle to cater to solving the mysterious illness with which he’s been stricken. First he began drinking orange juice, which I laughed at gloriously. Still trying to figure that one out, but I assume the idea was to pump up the Vitamin C levels. I watched on as this progressed to straight vitamin intake. Would his immune system fight back!? No. The coughs continued. Something was clearly still wrong. He moved on to drinking all of his fluids exclusively from a Brita Filter. Obviously his cough was originating from water-bred bacteria that could be trapped by his new filter, and had absolutely nothing to do with the 10 degree gusts of wind that whipped around the room in the middle of the night.

Dammit where's my Brita?

Needless to say, the filter defense did nothing to cure his now epic coughing. So my roommate began to change the way he slept. Perhaps he wasn’t getting enough sleep. Eureka! So he bought a blindfold and earplugs. The guy was steps away from purchasing a plastic bubble habitat. My favorite moment was when he asked me to kindly remove a pumpkin I had bought from the room because he felt it was “breeding mold. Cause I’m allergic to that, and I’ve been coughing a lot.”

So close...

So what the hell, Joey. Why didn’t you tell the guy it was the window that was causing him to cough? A very well-thought question. Well, sometimes you need to make decisions in life. I was forced to decide whether or not the situation could end up paying off in the end. Could this guy’s coughing bring positive results? See, now that doesn’t sound so bad. It sounds more like a business decision that way. It’s optimistic thinking.

Besides, I don’t like him.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The OTHER Other Simpson

Okay -- Ashlee Simpson. It's been long enough and this needs to be addressed.

What's the deal, Ashlee? Huh? You’re about as destined for stardom as a spray painted street performer who squirts wet farts on people. You wanted to go out and sing like your big sister. We gritted our teeth and bared it. You wanted to show millions how lame you are in your everyday life, so we gave you your own TV show. So what now? You're still here. What -- what do you want us to do with you? I feel like I'm watching the end of a second grade play where one of the slow kids stays on the stage too long just staring ahead at the audience. You're that slow kid, Ashlee, and the rest of us really don’t know where to look.

Boy this is awkward.

Here's why I hate Ugly Simpson. First there's the performances. My god, the performances. She leprechaun danced her way into oblivion on SNL, then got booed off the stage at the Orange Bowl. Seriously, consider that for a second. She was collectively booed by a crowd of 60,000 people. How many people in the world have been subjected to that degree of confrontational disapproval because of their voice? That's right, just Ugly and Roseanne. That's some sucking of epic proportions. Ashlee's taken more cheap shots than a college girl at a garage frat party. We as a country are overall pretty crummy at recognizing poor talent when we see it, but we all seem pretty on target when it comes to Ugly's lack of it.

But SHE WON'T GO AWAY. And this is the part that really gets to me. Ashlee, I know you watch how forgiving America is with stars like Kobe Bryant, who fuck up and then a couple years later leap back into our arms like a household pet. But there's one slight difference between you and them, Ashlee. They have talent. I know, I know, it sounds crazy. What the hell does someone need talent for when they have a last name popularized by an ex-athlete murderer and a well-breasted sister? But you need to have a redeeming quality for us to forgive the ridiculous entourage of failure that you conjure. So appearing on SNL a second time and making fun of yourself for sucking really only makes it worse at this point. You're a joke.

Gosh, if only I could, I don't know, be uglier.

And face it, the girl has had more image makeovers than a Backstreet Boy. I would like to think that I could simply change the channel when she came on TV, but at this point I don't think I can recognize her in time to do it. She had blond hair. Then she had that black clumpy hair that made her look like she belonged in a closet. Then blond hair again. Now a new nose. You know, Barbra Streisand went her whole career and didn't mess with her ugly nose out of fear of changing her voice. Guess that didn't really apply to you, huh. So you tell me, Ashlee. Where do you belong? Eh? What do I do with you? Looking all exactly like your sister now? Am I supposed to be turned on? Is that what you want? Because I am. But you still can't sing.