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Archive for the category “Musings”

Crab Cakes

Today I’m going to share some of last night’s dream with you (all).

You guys ready? Got your oneirologist hats on? Because that up there is essentially what we’re up against.

Last night, the second half of my dream featured an evil killer robotic crab.

I had somehow gotten my hands on this old broken down killer robot crab, which everyone knew was involved in a bunch of murders a few years ago, but it was completely inoperational (which apparently isn’t a word, but should be). It was all burnt and blasted; it looked like it had been exploded because all that was left of it was basically just the body [combat chassis] with a single claw still attached.

Anyway I had found the blueprints to complete a piece that would plug into the arm of the claw and make it (and just it) operational. I knew it was risky but I was super curious and dumb, so I constructed the crabclaw component. I kept trying to fit it into the slot in the arm, but it wouldn’t fit. I tried jamming and squeezing and changing angles, but nothing worked. Then I sort of gave up and just set the piece on top of the crab’s arm where it should fit, and that section of the arm opened up all by itself and eased the component into the slot, and then it *clicked* in and voila! It was in there.

That should have been the exact point where I said “Nope” and resmashed the robot to back to robot Hell, but instead I said “Sweet!” and I went to sleep.

When I woke up (still in my dream) I in Vanessa’s bed (score) and the crab was gone (fuck). I looked under the bed and there it was (whew)…eeeexcept now it had all its legs back.

It reconstructed itself while I was sleeping because of course it did, it’s an evil killer robot crab, remember? I was lucky it didn’t slice my neck up while I was sleeping. It was just sitting there perfectly still, so I reached under to grab it. It came alive! GAWWW I dropped it and it scuttled away, so fast!

Vanessa’s still sleeping in the bed that the killer robot crab is under right now, so now I have to wake her up, and somehow calmly explain that A. There’s a killer robot crab on the loose and B. THAT IT’S RIGHT UNDER YOU RIGHT NOW. I tactifully omitted that C. It’s my fault.

So I wake her up and tell her and she doesn’t believe me, and then all of the sudden I’m not next to her in bed anymore, I’m across the room (it’s a dream), and I reach under the bed to try and grab the crab but it flexes all its gross little robot legs and I sort of fling it away and Vanessa screams and the crab scurries down the hall to the bathroom. Mission accomplished!

I’m in the bathroom now, I can see the crab behind the radiator, so real quick I grab it by its butt. To anyone who doesn’t know, that’s the safe spot where you can grab a crab; their little crab claws can’t reach all the way around back.

But a robot crab’s claws can.

So it’s flailing around with all its legs and then WHIRRR the big claws reach around completely backwards and nip me! So I drop it again and then there’s this cat that just wants to investigate/play, but I know the killer crab will kill it just as soon as look at it, so I push the cat away and say GET OUTTA HERE and the cat looks like its feelings are hurt, but it leaves.

Then just the crab and I are in the basement. The crab is crawling all around and over these rusty old pipes with its little metal legs tink tink tink tink tink just like at the end of Arachnophobia.

I keep reaching for the crab but it either avoids me or gives me little nips whenever I come close to getting a solid hold on it. That might not sound like much but trust me, the whole ordeal was super scary. So finally I figure out how to catch it, and because it’s a dream, all of the sudden this giant pile of red string is in my hands. The next time the killer crab is running down a pipe, I toss the entire pile of string on it!

It tries to run away, but gets hopelessly tangled up instead. I lift the whole squirming package up by some of the string and hold it away from me. The crab is going apeshit but I can see it can’t get out anytime soon. I’m about to start swinging it around over my head and then SMASH it on the floor but just before I do, it starts trying to bargain with me!

It talks at me with the voice of James Spader (and a sincere thanks Age of Ultron for having him voice-act a robot; such a solid fit). It says “Wait don’t smash me, instead, hook me up to the internet.”

Obviously I knew this was a terrible, terrible idea so I said no, and then it was like “Why don’t you have a bite of the cake I made you?”

And I looked and I saw that, in addition to mostly reconstructing itself over night, it also made me this fresh yellow crab cake which was sitting right there (which if you think about it, is like a terminator making a cake out of people).

Even though I was dreaming and even though I had already made some really dumb decisions so far, thankfully I wasn’t that dumb.

“Uhhhh no way, we both know what will happen if I eat that cake.”

And you know what killer robot crab James Spader answered me back with, without even missing a beat, and in a disgustingly smug voice?

“I don’t know what will happen.”

I knew he was totally goading me on but for a second I thought to myself, “Man, I should take a bite and see.” but then I realized it was exactly what he wanted, so I decided to smash him on the ground.

But then I woke up.

That means that a killer robot crab voiced by James Spader is still out there in my subconscious, prowling around, scurrying God knows where, reassembling himself, plugging himself into the internet, and almost certainly baking more deadly crab cakes.

I can only hope I am wiser the next time I face him.

In Canada, There Are No Accidents

I’ll be delicate; for all I know some of you are Canadian.

Haha just kidding I barely ever get views from Canada.

It’s been really popular in the past fiveish years to make fun of Canadians. For their smugness, for their weird smug accents, for their excessively smug politeness and for their general international uselessness. Canada bashing has become so popular at this point that it’s basically 1/5 of the show How I Met Your Mother. I’m not just saying that because I’m jumping on a bandwagon; I think How I Met Your Mother has really waned in the past few years. Anyway, since 2006 I’ve been to Canada maybe five times on business, and I’ve met a ton of Canadians.

Were do Canadians and I stand? I can still remember one of the first conversations I had right after my plane touched down in Ontario and I was leaving the rental car garage:

“Excuse me, do you know where there might be a Dunkin Donuts around here?”
“You mean a Tim Hortons?”

Uhhhhh no motherfucker, I meant a Dunkin Donuts. Tim Hortons doesn’t take Visa (or didn’t in 2007) by the way, so watch out if you’ve got no cash and you’re running late to your presentation.

tim hortons
Pictured: the poor man’s Dunkin Donuts

Their paper currency looks and feels like knock-off Monopoly money. If you watch their news for an hour you’ll realize that about 70% of it is actually US news, because apparently nothing happens in Canada. Honestly, I’m sitting in Ontario watching current events that unfolded earlier that day – in Oregon. Get your own news you hacks. Same with their sports channel – it’s basically it was all US sports with the exception of hockey.

Quick, name a Canadian celebrity who actually still lives in Canada. Exactly.

They sit above us, condescendingly reporting on our news, begrudgingly watching our sports, judging us [mostly correctly] for being fat french fry-swilling, gun-happy Americans, yet their society feels and acts like a watered down version of ours.

Also they call water “hydro” and when they say the letter “Z” they actually say the word “Zed”. Like if I asked a Canadian to spell the word “Zoo” they would say “Zed, Oh, Oh”. You smug bastards.

But I’m not writing this to just bash on Canadians. This post is devoted to what they’re doing right, besides being our hat.

Canadians fucking hate accidents. They hate accidents like Republicans hate illegal immigrants, like the Taliban hates a chick driving a car, or like Judd Apatow hates me for lifting that joke right out of Knocked Up. Canadians hate accidents like killer whales hate their trainers, except Canadians hate accidents openly. Don’t believe me? Check out some of their PSAs I saw while I was up there.

Now, I saw these around five or so years ago so this is long overdue – I can only hope they’ve gotten even crazier since then.

And be warned, these actual PSAs that I’m about to show you are a little graphic…and extremely hilarious.

Kitchen Accidents

Fucking yikes! There I was in ’07 or ’08, just sitting innocently alone on my Ontario hotel bed probably scarfing a Subway (ahem, Tim Hortons) sandwich watching the American news, when they break for commercial and that insanity smacks me right in the face. The transition from pseudo-polite newscasting to balls-out graphic violence in under a minute caught me completely off guard. I let out a nervous chuckle, chewed my way through the next few [normal] commercials, and resumed watching the news.

Construction Accidents

AHHHHHHHHH!!! Fucking what the fuck?! This one wasn’t even that guy’s fault!

  • Special effects price tag for showing innocent, hapless construction worker getting just absolutely rocked by a fireball: $200
  • Special effects price tag for showing innocent, hapless construction worker’s rag doll body falling lifelessly down the side of the building: $80
  • Special effects price tag for having lifeless rag doll body of innocent, hapless construction worker collide perfectly with the cab of passing dump truck: priceless

And what’s with that closing line “There really are no accidents”. Uhhhhh, yes there are, haven’t the people in charge of these PSAs ever stubbed their toe before? Anyway, let the carnage continue!

Factory Accident

C’mon Canada, I know you hate accidents but now we’re just getting silly. There is no way that guy would be that calm after getting simultaneously crushed and speared by iron spikes, especially if he knows it’s the supervisor’s fault all along for not reporting that broken shelf. Your blood lust for exterminating accidents is making you sloppy – I mean at this point that guy is basically a talking zombie. Pull it together eh, PSA?

*Author’s note: As you can see, I’m having to dig deeper and deeper into the internet to find these as individual videos. A few enterprising individuals have already made compilations of these five PSAs all lumped together into one video, but I want to give you each one separately if I can. They all have their own unique, albeit drastically unnecessarily violent flavor. Ok, on to the next.

Retail Store Accident

Again, Canada, you gotta be careful when you mess with the reasonable suspension of disbelief while undertaking your ultra violent quest to make the world a safer place. I mean it’s awesome, but I connect a thousand times more with the uninjured coworker’s look of disbelief than I do with the woman who smashed her way through that glass table and then calmly resurrected herself to talk about the dangers of accidents. Also, zombie-boutique worker is right. She shouldn’t have reached over like that! According to Canada you got what you deserved, sucka!

Electricity Accident

Oh Canada, oh Canada. After politely flirting with the premise (as is your wont) you’ve finally lost it and gone full-on zombie. What’s more disturbing to me than the notion that the guy speaking at that funeral is responsible for that zombie’s death is the fact that no one at the funeral is freaking the fuck out that someone just rose from the dead to sorrowfully yet politely accuse his former boss of negligent homicide.

*Author’s Note: Sorry, had to use the full version of all five of these PSAs lumped together into one video – the electricity one is the last one and I couldn’t find anywhere else on the internet.

A Parting Word
Canada, you may strive to emulate American society using only the most embarrassingly fake politically correct cookie cutter versions of our societal norms. You may continue to unapologetically copy our sports and news. You may revel in your love for beer and maple syrup, and that’s actually kind of awesome (no sarcasm there). You may misuse proper English and speak fluent French (ugh) in certain provinces, and know with absolutely zero uncertainty that Tim Hortons will never, ever be equal to Dunkin Donuts.

But even though there are a lot of things I don’t like about you, that doesn’t mean I won’t give credit where it’s due, and goddamnit do I respect the hell out of these PSAs.

Blowing God’s Mind

This post was designed to blow the mind of the divine. Mortals, proceed with caution.

We all have different goals in life, and many of them exceed the world of the living. Some people are hellbent (ha!) on proving or disproving the existence of one or many God(s). Others want to live forever or actually be God, which personally I think is just a tad bit egocentric. Maybe you’re working on a painting or a project or a thesis, or learning a language or trying to quit smoking or trying to quit smoking businessmen’s genitals for crack money, but odds are most of us have a fantasy desire for a little something extra right? As you no doubt have guessed, I do too.

Me? I want to blow God’s mind.

‘But you can’t!’ – you ignorantly reply – ‘He knows everything, He’s God.’ Walk with me child, and I will teach you my ways.

Really, it all boils down to the age old paradox first presented by The Simpsons in 2002, episode 11 season 13: “Could Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that he himself could not eat it?” Haha just kidding, the Omnipotence Paradox has been around since probably the 12th century, but since this is 2013 America, I’m guessing that many people hadn’t ever thought of it until they saw that Simpsons episode. But I digress.

Could God microwave a burrito so hot that he himself could not eat it? – Fucking, YES. He’s God. He can do what He wants and that includes burning Himself because He got too greedy and goddamned forgot to wait a minute before the burrito cooled off sufficiently. If that couldn’t happen, that whole situation – the burrito, the microwave, all of it – couldn’t exist in the first place. Man makes mistakes and we were all made in God’s image, were we not? He probably just makes less. I mean come on, didn’t He go to college and learn that lesson like everyone else? And God, just so you know, that goes double for hotpockets – they always feel cool enough on the outside but then you bite into one and the second thing you realize one split second after noticing how fucking delicious it is that your tongue is terribly burnt and that you won’t be able to taste anything with it now for the next few days. Good one God, now you have to wish yourself a new tongue or rewind time and wait patiently like a person with some manners for once.

I, being the one true Lord God and impervious to Earthly pain, need not wait an adequate amount of time for this delic – HOOOOLY FUCK THAT’S HOT!

I, being the one true Lord God and impervious to Earthly pain, need not wait an adequate amount of time to enjoy this delic – HOOOOLY FUCK THAT’S HOT!

Whoops, got distracted again. Talking about the Almighty eating burritos gets me fired up! 

So anyway, now that you’re in complete agreement with me that it’s possible to blow God’s mind in the first place, I have finally figured out how to blow God’s mind, and it’s your lucky day because I’m about to share that with you.

First, imagine you’re God. It’s easier for some I’m sure, but even if it’s hard give it a shot – you may never get this opportunity again. You’re God. You can do anything just by desiring it. You know everything that’s already ever happened, anything that could ever possibly happen, and everything that could never happen, and you could change all of it yesteryear just by thinking it if you wanted to. You know omnithing(TM), you are infinitwhere(TM), and your beard (or ladybeard, depending on your sex) is bitchin’. Are we all on the same page now?

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Today I will create a psychedelic cosmic blue hole, and then finger it.

Now my Gods, you begin to understand. You hover above a throne (or cloud or pile of models – whatever you want to hover above) of incalculable power. You are everything you ever wanted or could ever want. Everybody poops but you. Now what?

Maybe in the morning after breakfast, you stop time and create a new reality populated entirely with delicious, mobile semi-sentient tacos. At first they worshiped you and prayed to you, and for a time it was good. A millennium passes. Over time, they become greedy and adulterous, and start worshiping golden cheddar cheese and false idols of chimichangas. You decide it is time for a cull. Having already flooded one planet and being only mildly amused with the results, in your infitine wisdom you settle on a more dynamic approach. Taking the form of a 30ft tall Tyrannosaurus Deus Rex complete with fully functional upper arms and opposable thumbs, you equip yourself with an infinite appetite and instantly explode into their reality. And you feast. You hunt down the choicest tacos in packs, and individually. You herd the spiciest sinners into groups and manifest walls around them, trapping them. You bite and roar, chomp and gorge in such a way that new verbs for ‘massacre’ are created amongst the surviving taco-folk. You can never tire or grow full, and each taco is tastier than the last. Your divine judgement razes the taco reality to the brink of absolute nothingness. But eventually, you grow accustomed to the taste of their meat, the scent of their salsa, the crunch of their shells. You have eaten millions and though you’re not full, you’ve had your fill of this fantasy. You blink the taco reality from existence and restart time, and go about your day.

That was fun, maybe tomorrow you do it again, but with little ice cream sandwiches. Or beers! Maybe next time you’ll take the form of Robocop or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man but with an immunity to flame. Maybe you’ll create an entire world fully populated with the sexiest aliens you’ve ever dreamed up.

You can do whatever you want forever, or just imagine the outcome and experience how it would have felt to do it without ever having to hover away from your pile of models. There are like, millions of different kinds of foods and probably millions of different forms of Destructors that you can take – the combinations and possibilities are practically endless! Practically.

Remember, you’re God. You’re going to be around for a long, long time. Eventually, you will run out of options. Since you’re God, you will already know this within the first billisecond of being God. Perhaps even within that very first billisecond, you’ve already lived through all of those realities and fantasies in your Godhead. Only an infinity-trillion years left to go; now what?

Eventually, you may come to terms with the fact that after several eons, you will create and likely have sex with everything that can be banged, and that you will eventually become bored. What then?

The only answer will be to intentionally limit your own ability to simultaneously process infinite stimuli. Like putting the blinders on a horse so that it can only see what’s directly ahead of it, or breezing through a video game on the “Easy” difficulty first so that you can get extra replay out of it later by playing it again on “Hard”. If you think about it, it’s actually a lot like microwaving a burrito that’s so hot that you can actually get burned – just to know what it feels like.

:O

So you’re a few infinity billion years in, and you’re playing all the games you can think of that involve sensory deprivation, one after the other. I get it, the burden of everything ever is probably pretty heavy. Maybe you’ll play the Taco people reality again, but this time give yourself just little arms so it’s more challenging to eat them as they flee for their delicious, sinful lives.

Maybe you’ll temporarily restrict your ability to see all things at once. Maybe you’ll say, “For the next trillion years, I wish to see/understand/be only half of the things.”

HALF the things!!

HALF the things!!

This is where it really gets interesting. Over the infinite ocean of time, you will eventually limit your senses and play every game you can ever think of, and more. And why not, you’re God. Still with me?

And so it came to pass that I thought of the thought that would blow God’s mind.

You are focusing on spheres of space-time, literally tiny little 3-D bubbles of the universe, one sphere at a time. Perhaps you select cubes or maybe spheres of area, each one about the size of a beach ball. One by one, you limit your infinite perspective to one tiny little bubble at a time, and watch the contents of each sphere as it progresses through a millennia. Imagine picking a bubble of area the size of a beach ball and making a force field around it, and now turning into a kind of crystal ball – you want to see every single event that’s ever occurred within each and every sphere in existence, one sphere at a time. Just to watch every single event that transpires inside one little bubble as it progresses through all of time – then do it again and again and again to see how all of them connect to each other. Imagine picking some random area the size of a beach ball in the middle of the Atlantic and watching everything that happens within that bubble from ‘start’ to ‘finish’. Every time a little fish or a big fish or hopefully a goddamned (Medamned?!) shark swims by, imagine the excitement! Some areas would contain more ‘action’ than others – think of a sphere on the inside of a mountain just watching stone slowly change versus a sphere that just so happens to be positioned at crotch-level at a sweaty Brazilian nightclub in the 70’s.

And the best part is, eventually you’d see everything; how all the spheres interact with and influence each other, how they all bleed into each other, and how they all combine, over time, to weave the brilliant tapestry that is the reality that You created.

Eventually you’ll see everything – every single event (or non-event) that’s ever happened everywhere – but piece by piece, that’s part of the game. It’ll be like putting a 4-D (three dimensions plus time) puzzle together, only little bubble of space-time at a…time.

Eventually you’ll come across me.

Eventually the sphere you select will contain my brain, even for the briefest flicker of time. What’s 10 minutes when compared to a tiny sliver of infinity? But you’re God, so you dig deeper. You want to understand every single atom in every second of every sphere, no matter how much it may disgust you (remember, this is my brain we’re talking about).

Now because you’ve intentionally limited your own perception, you’ll have no warning. You won’t know what you’re walking into. I’ll pray for you, God.

Because eventually, you’ll come across me thinking up the concept of this game.

Cataclysm_Protocol_1140x900_by_Ballistics343

Cataclysm_by_Zueuk

mind-blown-lauren-schwind

tool_trippy_mind_blown_2592x1728_wallpaper_Art HD Wallpaper_960x800_www.wallpaperhi.com

These are all the best images I could find for something that could come close to illustrating what it might look like when God’s mind inevitably explodes. Clicking any of them will link you to the real artists, who deserve the credit.

Maybe, after another infinity, you’ll be able to reconstruct the frayed atoms of your own consciousness back into something that resembles a thought center responsible for operating all that is. Then, once you can form solid thoughts, try another thousand or so years of rehab eating Taco people to get you back on track.

By that time I should be long dead, maybe even serving as like, one of your angels or something, so I figure I’ll be safe from any retaliatory wrath. I mean it’s not like I disobeyed you or anything right? I just followed my dreams, like you would have wanted. Plus there’s already one devil; you don’t want to go through the trouble of making another one do you? But here, just in case…

Forgive me Lord, for I knew not what my mind might do [to Yours]. Also, let this serve as an eternal reminder to let those burritos cool off for just a little bit longer.

I love You.

Eat Bath Salts, Fight Demons

CAUTION: IMAGES IN THIS BLOG POST MAY BE HILARIOUS TO SOME.

I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.

We’ve finally done it. The US Navy has finally found a way to positively identify the demons who walk among us. All we have to do is snort some bath salts.

Thanks to this utterly ridiculous PSA, normal citizens like you or extraordinary citizens like myself now know the crucial tool we need to go forth and combat the evils who walk freely among us, disguised as men or fairly hot girlfriends. One sniff, and you can embark on an hours-long quest where you’ll identify, fight and hopefully slay these demons that dare to step foot into our plane of existence. Still out of the loop? Well load up your crossbow, smelt some silver bullets and get your pimp slapping hand ready while you watch this PSA brought to us by the only nationally recognized demon hunting force in existence, the US Navy. Don’t worry, you’ll have time to do all those things as the video is six fucking minutes long. Haha just kidding, all the good parts are over by two minutes, but still.

demon hunters

Click, if you dare to venture into the perilous world of demon hunting…

Just one sniff, Boatswain. That’s all it takes to transform from a skinny sailor into fucking Van Helsing. One sniff, and you and your a little-too-intense eyes will be out the door on a mission; to find and destroy the demons that infest the world of man.

As you emerge from your apartment the world may seem blurry, but that’s only because you’re seeing how it really is for the first time. It is in no away abnormal to vomit up all the coffee you drank this morning over the side of a railing while making the most ludicrously fake puking noise I’ve ever heard, like our hero does at (around 40 seconds in). It’s just your bodies way of preparing for the upcoming trials it will soon face. Maybe next time, try not to sound like such a pussy though.

Your hunt will take you many places, but ultimately you will be drawn to a location where demons disguised as humans congregate in secret. Of course, I refer to your local bowling alley. Upon entering do not be distracted by offerings of free french fries; they were put there only to slow you down. OK, maybe just eat one real quick (0:46), then keep walking until you find your prey. You know they’re close. You can feel them here; this place reeks of an unholy presence. You should wait until you can zero in on one before you make any moves and hey, you’re already in a bowling alley. Why not pick up a few spares while you wait for your new demondar (that’s like gaydar, but for demons) to fine tune itself.

Give your lovely girlfriend a kiss on the lips, but don’t listen to any of her shit (0:53). You cannot be distracted. Now you can feel the demons closing in from all around you, but you can’t yet tell from where. You need a weapon. Grab one of these sweet bowling balls and finger deeply it until your enemies make a move (0:59).

It's all part of the plan, trust me.

It’s all part of the plan, trust me.

They’ll show themselves any minute now, you can feel them approach. Any second now (1:06)…

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

demon hunters3

THE TIME IS NOW, ATTACK!!! (1:11)

RIGHT IN YOUR DEMON FACE

RIGHT IN YOUR DEMON FACE

HA! Bet you didn’t see that coming, demon! Lightning fast, you initiate combat. Wow, that demon went right down; these bath salts must have infused your backhand with the power of God himself! Fear my wrath, demons!!!

Now flee this place before others arrive (1:13). You need to regroup and gather your strength for the coming fight. Back at your apartment, you’re finally safe. Ah, your roommate (1:18). Have you got a story for him, wait, what? Oh God, not him too. DEMON!!!!! 

demon hunters5

Don’t look into his eyes, don’t look into his eyes, he’ll cast a spell on you, don’t, don’t…no…

Taken by the demon’s spell, you fall unconscious.

You awaken in a hospital surrounded by demons. LET GO YOU FIENDS! GET THEE BACK! (1:35).

demon hunters6

They’ve got you tied down to a gurney, no doubt preparing you for hours of torture ahead. At least the dubstep in your head hasn’t stopped yet, so you can partially tune their foul language out. Let me go, demons! They begin sticking needles into your skin, and things fade to white (1:55).

You wake again to an empty room. The demons have gone, but you’re still strapped to this gurney. You make one final, desparate attempt to free yourself, but the noise rouses the demon guards. They flood into the room to restrain you. LET ME UP, COWARDS! you scream. FACE ME ONE ON ONE AND DIE BY MY RIGHTEOUS HANDS! But it’s no use. They tighten the straps further and inject you with poison. As you feel it coursing through your veins, you have but one regret. You wish you could have slain more demons.

You tried. Valiant, fallen demon hunter, rest easy. Someone will avenge you.

And Now a Note of Seriousness
There are many messages the US Navy might be trying to impart on us viewers, but all of them will be hard to nail down. One of them might be that demons are all around us at all times. Perhaps another is that if you sniff bath salts, everyone around you will appear to tranfrom into demons. Another might be the important lesson that demon hunting is a solitary trade, and demon hunters will be shunned by modern society. Yet another could be that modeling a public service announcement almost scene for scene around the video for ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ by Prodigy is somehow a good idea or that nobody would notice. Who can say?

Is sniffing bath salts a bad idea? Yes. Will it make you trip balls? Probably! But falsely dangling the prospect of demon hunting right in front of my face like that is a pretty terrible thing for the US Navy’s psychiatry department to do. I’ve been dreaming about hunting demons my whole life; fortunately I’m old enough now that when I see this video I know it’s rubbish. But what if I took it seriously? I’d love to slay me some demons, and this video proves they’re out there! I’d plow through a mountain of bath salts just for the chance to exorcise one minor demon.

You do an admirable job of protecting our seas and enforcing maritime law, US Navy. Why don’t you stick to that instead of going out of your way to mock my dreams of demon slaying.

Would you be the monster?

Would you be the monster?

WerewolfTransformationsLead-thumb-550x321-33801

vampire-fangs

the-fly

your mother

It doesn’t matter how, but there may come a day when you realize that you are actively turning into a monster.

Maybe it was that smooth talking European man with the snazzy suit and voluminous hair. There was something about him that you found irresistible even though you’re not into dudes. He lead you into a booth in the back of that much-too-quiet nightclub to “show you his dark secret”. Even though you know this Toadies lyric and also that you yourself have used this actual line on a girl in college once, you followed him and sat with him in the dark. You remember a sharp pain in your neck, and then nothing. Now you’re awake, alone in your own bed with two nice neat little puncture wounds in your neck. The light stings your eyes like mad, and God are you thirsty. So thirsty. You’re so thirsty that you’re horny, and you’re horny enough to drink the hell out of something.

Interview-With-The-Vampire-photo-9

Or maybe it was that wild, slavering furry humanoid wolf-like lunatic that chased you relentlessly through the Scottish moors, pinned you down and raked chunks of flesh out of your back before it was chased away by some hounds. The villagers carted your tattered body back to town; your wounds were so grievous that they bandaged you up merely as a formality while they prepared a plot for you in the local cemetery. But somehow, you recovered in record time; within a week you’d defied the local doctor’s dire estimates. Now you feel great; maybe even a little stronger. So what if the gypsies keep cursing you and telling you to kill yourself, they’re just superstitious. It’s the end of the month now, and it’s nighttime. You can’t ever remember loving the dark this much, and wow is that moon bright! It’s so bright that you feel like you’re getting taller! So bright that the hair on the front of your palms (what?!) is standing on end. Did you always see the world through a layer of red? Were you always so full of hateful rage that you want to eat necks? You can’t remember, but for fuck’s sake are you hungry!

wolfman-tp_0001r-590x319

You are this close to perfecting actual physical teleportation! The test results have finally stabilized, and the trial runs all worked perfect at a molecular level. Now for the first real test – living tissue. Getting a government grant could take years, and you just can’t wait that long. You’ll just set up one simple little trial; what could go wrong? Pod A over on this end of the studio and pod B at the other side. You’ll run the sequence, step in, and just math yourself right through the fabric of space-time in a milli-instant. Think of the gift you’re giving to science! The preparations are done now, all systems go! Gingerly, you step into pod A and FWAP! An instant later you step out of pod B, feeling fit as a fiddle. Think of what you’ve accomplished, and all for beloved science! After a few minutes, you realize there may have been some unforeseen variables. The program tells you there was a fly in pod B at the same time the teleportation sequence ran. Oh well, you must’ve absorbed it as nutrients or something, no biggie, people eat hundreds of bugs by accident over their lifetime. But a few days later your skin starts to peel off as your hair, teeth and fingernails fall out. To eat, you now regurgitate acidic vomit onto donuts and slurp up the sugary goo that remains. As you type a follow-up report by holding a pencil with your new nose/proboscis and jabbing it into the keyboard, you debate on whether or not to include this in your findings.

Fly 2

Or maybe you wake up and you’re metamorphosing into a giant beetle for no reason (thanks for that, Kafka).

The point is, you are physically turning into a monster. You haven’t fully turned and you still have your mind. Maybe once you do turn all the way you’ll lose it fully, but who can say? I can’t, but at this point you’re still you, and you’re aware that what “you” are isn’t going to be human for much longer. And regardless of what the varying folklore might say, let’s pretend there is no cure.

So whatcha gonna do about it?

Five years ago I’d know my answer. “I’d kill myself immediately”, Past Bello says with full confidence. “I’d kill myself before I fully changed and before I start killing other people”. Past Bello was so confident, but oh so wrong! What a righteously one-sided lens you used to view the world, young me! Don’t be such a square! Sure, some people might definitely, definitely will die, but is that any reason to throw away this tremendous opportunity you’re being offered? You’re doin’ it all wrong!

Look at it this way: Life, (or in your case, literally a monster or freak mutation) has given you this wonderful gift, and you’re just going to squander it?? How selfish of you! Just take a look at your arms! Maybe they’re paler now, or hairy or chitinous or covered in someone else’s blood or all of the abovebut I sure bet they’re a whole bunch stronger now! You can bench 500lbs, isn’t that pretty sweet? Great, now try jumping as high as you can! Oh, what was that? You just leaped onto a rooftop? You can effortlessly walk on the ceiling? Oh, you can goddamned fly now? And you want to give this up?? Don’t be such a selfish asshole!

“But the innocent people.” Past Bello reminds me.

Fucking what? The who?? Past Bello, I suddenly feel the urge to rip your throat out of your neck and eat it. In another day, you won’t even be a person, did you ever think of that? You’ll be more than a person, better than a person, better than any person’s ever been before. There are people out there who would kill for this opportunity, and now you’ve got it! By not killing for it, you’re going to dishonor all those people’s dreams! Can you live with that? (this question holds a lot more weight now, seeing as how you may or may not be immortal).

And how do you know they’re all innocent anyway? What’s innocent, can you even define ‘innocent’ for me? Oh, now that you’re half-monster you’re suddenly a perfect arbiter of humanity? I’ve been alive for 30+ years now, and I know plenty of dicks. Tell you what, if you only want to kill ‘bad’ people, go clean up Wall Street. Eat some evil politicians or smoke some big tobacco executives. Liquify an oil barren, how’s that for irony. Go slay the West Baptist Church, haha. Just because you’re a monster now that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have any fun! Don’t lose your sense of humor, Sir Fangs-a-Lot! Look on the bright side of things unless of course you are a vampire, in which case stay away from the bright side of things always.

“But killing all those people…won’t I go to Hell?”

25 year old Bello, you are a pussy. First of all, how do you even know there is a Hell? What, you’re going to tell me that the exact moment that the other werewolf was ripping chunks out of your back, God paused time, came down from Heaven and showed you a contract? Well now you’re doubly screwed, because your only real other option is to commit suicide, and deities usually frown on that too. Even if you lock yourself up in a room until you eventually die from starvation, are you sure you could even get in anyway? Is there a Heaven for mutants? Your DNA got fused with a housefly’s; what religion covers that in their literature? You’re not even technically a human anymore; can you even commit murder? If a shark bites my leg off and I die, the shark didn’t murder me. It’s not going to shark Hell. The fucker ate me, because that’s what sharks do, they eat things. And now that’s what YOU do! Think of the freedom!

Just because you’re turning into an unnatural killing machine you’re not suddenly owed a religious epiphany anymore than the rest of us are. Maybe there IS no God and you’re just like the rest of us, except now you can fly or puke acid or you’ve got a bitchin’ set of claws. Why don’t you use ’em while you still can??? Go feast on all the stars of the food network just for the joke of it. Go fillet Bobby Flay!

All I’m asking is that you be true to yourself, is that so bad? Don’t deny your true nature, and I’m not talking about the old, weak, crappy, human version of you. Maybe a month ago you were good at tax tables or table tennis. Maybe you could play the flute somethin’ fierce. Maybe you enjoyed writing or art. No one begrudged you for pursuing your passions then, did they?

So what that your talents now include being able to rip all the limbs from a human torso in under 30 seconds, or liquifying a man’s flesh and drinking it in order to harvest the energy necessary to lay several hundred eggs? Why should you make yourself feel guilty for binge-drinking an entire family? Your victims should feel honored that they got to witness you, a true living legend, in action! Go do humanity some favors and show them the possibilities!

You’re looking at this all wrong! You’re super fast and super strong; for all we know you could even be immortal! If you feel too lonely, you could even make yourself a partner! Don’t get mopey or depressed, you sad bear. Maybe go gnaw on a circus clown, that’ll perk you right up!

Calling all wolfmen, vampires, mad scientists and supernatural monsters with supernatural, communicable diseases! (No zombies please – I can shamble, moan and overeat just fine already). I think I’m ready to receive the wonderful gifts that you have to offer. I respect your tremendous power and I’m ready to use it truthfully, artistically even. Won’t you give me the chance?

I think I’m ready to be the monster.

Spaced Out

How many of you have thought about being inside a star cruiser engaged in an interstellar dogfight with space pirates or maybe some nasty aliens, when all of the sudden, HULL BREACH?!?

The cold merciless nothingness that is the vacuum of space approaches, and it’s only a matter of time before it washes over you. Probably just a few milliseconds in fact. But what exactly will happen to your tender, pink little bottom when you get sucked out into the endless infinite – raise your hand if you’ve ever wondered that! Well, I reread that last sentence right now, and just looked over and saw my own hand was raised, so clearly I need to write this post at least for myself if for no one else. Someday Space Ensign, your grandchildren will thank me.

Maybe you’re not even worried. Maybe you think your ship’s woven plasteel spidersilk armor is too thick, or your forward deflector shield batteries are far too powerful. Maybe your ship is equipped with a ton of extra spacesuits or lifepods. Maybe a hull breach has never once happened before in the history of the United Space Exploration and Domination Federation, and you think the odds of it actually happening to YOU are infinitesimally low. Oh really? Go ask a survivor of The Challenger explosion how big of a shield that sentiment will create when it really starts to hit the fan

Also you’re dreadfully out of touch because this shit happens all the time, and hit the fan it will.

Starship Troopers
Starship being blown in half

Star Wars
(I couldn’t find an image of General Grievous being sucked out the window)

Star Trek, and for that matter probably anything with ‘Star’ in the title
A hull breach in Star Trek

Alien, Aliens, Alien Resurrection

Alien getting sucked out of airlock into deep space
Alien queen getting sucked out of airlock into deep space
Alien hybrid being sucked through a hull breach

2001: A Space Odyssey
Dave in deep space, after explosive decompression

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Author Dent and Ford, moments before being sucked out into deep space

Total Recall (sort of)
I know this doesn’t quite fit the criteria but I like to include this image where I can

Haha, but all eye-popping aside, haven’t you ever wondered what would really happen?

For you sleuths, here’s the “real deal” link that I am basically summarizing:
http://www.geoffreylandis.com/vacuum.html

For my regular audience I’ll sum that up into the relevant categories, without all that messy accurate ‘science’ getting in the way of our fun.

So, back to my scenario. You’re on the bridge inputting coordinates minding your own businesses, when all of the sudden you hear a horrifying metallic crunch, followed by the bloodcurdling screams of your crewmates, followed immediately by a deafening WHOOOOOOOSHHHHH that seems to somehow get louder while simultaneously silencing everything else in the room. There’s an intact spacesuit hanging on the wall five feet behind you, and you have seconds left. Let’s examine what possibilities you have to look forward to!

1. How much time do you have to repent for an entire lifetime of sin?
Very little you wicked man, very very little. Once the vacuum hits you, which is almost instantly, the best estimates place the number of seconds you have left at somewhere between 5 and 12. After that, your body essentially shuts down and you pass out. Whether or not you get 5, 8, or a dozen seconds to say the five million Hail Mary’s that would actually be required to cleanse your soul depends on a variety of factors.

2. What’s a Hail Mary? What can extend my lifespan by even a single second? I’d like ALL the seconds please. 
There are some simple things you can do to help to gain a few extra moments of regret. If you’re moving, standing, or actively doing anything, your time decreases to around eight seconds. Getting all excited like a rookie and having an adrenaline rush will shorten it even more. Just mellow out, duuuude! Sitting calmly in your seat and not exerting yourself as the vacuum pleasantly rolls over you will net you maybe three or four extra seconds before you pass out, probably forever. Use them wisely; that’s maybe enough time to give your C.O. an emphatic middle finger right before he explodes.

3. Wait, will we actually explode? 
Maybe! Well to be honest no, not in the traditional sense. That would be kind of cool though, to go out with a bang like a meat marshmallow in a microwave, but sadly our bodies just don’t react that way in a vacuum. However, if you try to get cute and hold your breath, you’ll probably get the pleasure of experiencing what’s referred to as ‘explosive decompression’. This is when your lungs rupture internally due to the pressure differential of the gas in your lungs trying to work itself out faster than your puny lung tissue can accommodate. For this reason, it’s probably in your best interests to not be anywhere close to me during a hull breach in deep space. I plan on immediately and forcibly emptying all the gas that’s inside of me – as quickly and as thoroughly as I can. And I do mean all of the gas; if there was ever a time where it’s permissible to ‘lose the gamble’, this is it.

4. “Lose the gamble”…do you mean fart so hard that you shit yourself? 
Yep.

5. If I pass out, what would happen to my body? Would it freeze solid? 
Nope. It would essentially remain unchanged, forever and ever, so pick your last expression wisely.

6. Wait a minute, how do you know any of this? 
Because of mad, or at least what I assume to be very angry scientists. A few people have actually been exposed to vacuums or near-vacuums before, and they were all crazy bastards. There are basically two types of exposure; full-body and partial body.
6a. Full-body
As with all types of exposure, full-body is much more serious, haha. If you pass out in a vacuum (5-12 seconds), you can probably last about a minute in your passed out state, but after that you can’t be revived. So like, if someone pulls your gasless floating body into a lifepod or something and repressurizes it in under a minute, you’ve got a fighting chance of waking up to someone’s mouth over yours. Over 90 seconds though, and float on buddy, float on.
6b. Partial body
Partial exposure actually isn’t half as bad as I thought it would be, but I’ll admit I based this on the end of Alien Resurrection.

So, let’s say you got to your suit on time and you’re all sealed up when you get broadsided by those plasma torpedoes. Unfortunately, the idiot standing next to you didn’t come to the party prepared, and uses his 5 seconds to claw at your suit like a jackass. Shit, he’s ripped a seam and now your suit is losing pressure!

It’s actually not the end of your world, if the hole is small enough. There’s even a decent chance you can simply plug it up with your own skin! I’d always thought that this would cause your entire body to be sucked through a hole that’s the size of a dime, (again, Alien Resurrection), but it seems like it doesn’t work that way. Your skin will plug the hole. It will probably hurt a little. That section of your skin will bleed out into space a little bit, but your actual blood will end up sealing the hole. This has happened in real life, but that time the hole was 1/8 inch large. I’m guessing that if it’s larger, like two or three inches, you might actually end up watching pieces of yourself spray out into space for a few seconds while you get to make a wish. It’s like you’re an inverse pinata but filled with organs instead of mini snickers. Boooo.

Still want to go to space? Of course you don’t. But now at least you can call bullshit on when people’s heads explode in the movies because they get caught in a vacuum.

This guy was a governor.

Skeletons and Drivers

What if all people are are skeletons?

Skeletons walking around our own little lives; ghosts moving about and occasionally interacting with each other. Skeleton you, Skeleton me.

Self contained units pursuing self contained goals, individually defined for each unit. Crossing paths randomly, almost uncontrollably, like plankton floating past one another in a vast ocean of possibility and time. Wave as you pass me by, or don’t. The current will keep us moving along on our separate paths. We think we know where we’re going and where we’re going to end up, don’t we. What a pleasant thought.

But we don’t control the current. The water could be cold or warm, flow fast or dry up. We all live in the same ocean, we’re subject to the unpredictability of savage tsunamis, rogue tidal waves and even droughts.

We skeletons mill about as best we can while the ocean of life swirls around us, incidentally guiding us according to no particular plans or designs. We future fossils interact with each other when the tide is right; when the circumstances dictate. At the end of each day though, we each really are only our own set of bones.

I know because my bones have their own goals, and yours do too right? Our bones are independent of each other’s; my bones have broken in ways yours haven’t. Maybe yours haven’t ever been broken at all. Your skeleton is going to walk in its own direction regardless of what mine does. Maybe our skeletons are even different; maybe you’re missing a rib or I have an extra pinky toe. How would you ever know? Even if you did, it wouldn’t affect your bones’ slow march, slow drift towards their future.

There is freedom to be found in absolute independence, but how sad and isolationist this viewpoint is. Unless…

All these skeletons’ individual viewpoints must come from somewhere right? Where do these goals that we all silently (or loudly) pursue come from? Not from bones.

What if all people are are drivers?

You can operate a car, but that doesn’t mean you are the car, does it?

Aren’t our bones, our skeletons more like cars we’re driving to get where we need to go? And who decides where we need to go, our bones? Our skulls aren’t empty; we’re not all just mindlessly motoring around. Well, maybe some of us are but that is not my point.

If this dented, beat up chassis of mine is a car, there are hands on the wheel somewhere in there. And if there are hands steering, that means they get to decide what direction I go in, doesn’t it? Somewhere, there’s a hand on the wheel and a foot on the brake. Someone’s keeping an eye on the speedometer and, if I’m lucky, regularly changing the oil. I’m not drifting along like a leaf in a river. This limited edition ’81 whip is not ghostriding. I’m not suspended in a current of life that I have no control over. I choose my path, and I can choose to either wave or give you the finger as I pass by yours. And guess what, if you wave back, we just might start down a new path together!

Maybe that means we’ll go grab a burger and a beer sometime. Maybe we’ll watch a movie or become friends. Maybe we’ll become bitter enemies immediately or slowly over time, as you get to know me better. Perhaps you’ll comment on this post and I’ll thank you and we’ll never meet each other or interact ever again.

But regardless of what ends up happening, our paths change and intertwine, even if ever so briefly. This can’t be because our skeletons just accidentally bumped into each other. For as long as we’re driving in the same direction, for an hour or a year or a decade, we’re sharing the same stretch of road. This is by choice.

Just because we as a species haven’t figured out how to control reality, that doesn’t mean that we’re helpless and unable to pick our own paths, even if the pathway is constantly changing under us.

Whether you pick the path less traveled by or the path of least resistance, or whether the ground falls out from underneath you, where you go is up to you, and that is my point.

So polish your chassis, rest your bones and check your oil (heh). If you feel like getting complacent, drift along for awhile until you refuel, but don’t take too long. There’s lots of highway out there to tear up.

How to Spend Immortality

A. Bello’s Log: Day 11,316

The sun rises yet again. I open my eyes and emerge from blissful R.E.M. into full consciousness, like I have every day since the beginning of time. I’ve walked this world for an eternity, and my plan is working flawlessly. I am immortal.

So far I’ve been here forever. My experience stretches eons. There was nothing before me and there will be nothing afterwards; as far as I’m concerned the multiverse began with my first memory and will never end, just like me.  After well over 11,000 consecutive days of life, I’m more than confident of my perpetual existence.

And I’ve taken steps to ensure my continued satisfaction in this world.

I have hobbies and interests to pursue, and it’s a good thing I have infinite days because I still have lots to do. There are countless skills to hone, there is infinite knowledge to harvest and cull. My current to-do list is daunting.

I’ve got books to read.

I’ve got level caps to reach and treasure to find.

I’ve got beers to drink, bacon to eat.

I’ve got old techniques to master, and new ones to learn.

I have movies to watch (still).

I have projects to finish and themes to complete.

I still have upgrades to make to my combat chassis. The robot legs are still en route from Japan though, so I don’t have a picture yet.

It really is a good thing that I’m so immortal. I’ll probably need an entire day for Inception alone; four hours to actually watch the movie, and 20 more to piece my shattered mind back together afterwards.

But just for argument’s sake, what if I was already say, 1/2 or even 1/3 of the way through my remaining days, wouldn’t that be absurd? Topping off at 333,948 sunrises really isn’t that much when you think about it; it’s not even a million. I have too much to do, and that’s only counting my current to-do list.

People can tell me that I’m wrong and that time I need to prioritize, but why should I? Why settle for just mastering a few skills when I can be an ace of all trades, if I stick with all of them long enough? What about the billion other topics I still know nothing about? Flying a helicopter? Learning Chinese? Playing piano? Women? For Christ’s sake I still have to beat Dark Souls.

But I have all the time in the world.

Don’t scoff! I’ve been right 11,316 times so far and tomorrow will be 11,317. The odds are in my favor!

Blind Courage

I’m driving home from work through Watertown center, and as usual it’s a clusterfuck.

For those of you who don’t live near Watertown here’s a quick Legend: Red means the areas that are typically high in traffic:

Right when you get off the highway, it’s sort of a rotary but not really. And then when you get past that you get to deal with a five or six-way intersection. It’s like whoever originally designed the layout of these streets didn’t know what to do, so they threw two balls of string into a propeller and modeled the intersection around what happened after. Every other motorist who drives through there is either a Watertown center N0Ob who ends up in the wrong lane by accident or they’ve long since ran out of fucks to give and simply ignore the lane/turn restrictions. Want people to use their turning signals when they turn? You’re in the wrong state, bub. Getting through there unscathed without crashing or pulling some jackhole out of their car and beating them to death right there on the sidewalk in front of everyone deserves recognition.

Thank you, thank you.

My rage sidetracked me from my own point, which is that once you finally get through those two gauntlets, one’s natural reaction is generally to speed away like a cursing-sailor-bat-out-of-Hell and not look back. And that’s where I was, speeding away mid-curse about a quarter of a mile from that nexus of chaos, when I saw something remarkable.

An old blind man just walked right out into the busy street.

” -shitwhoring cockpriest wwwhaaatttt!?”

No seeing eye dog, no helpful human guide. Ironically he was about 100ft away from a crosswalk, but it’s very debatable whether or not he knew that. Just a cane with a little ball at the end of it and a pair of tan slacks that I’m assuming were filled with two titanium bowling ball sized testicles. The cars on the other side of the street all saw him and stopped way back like good little drivers; I theorize this is because they were going towards Watertown center instead of away from it – they were not yet enraged.

The drivers on my side though…one of them stopped a little too close for comfort, maybe just 10 or 15ft away from this guy as he slowly, brazenly made his way to the safety of the sidewalk across the street. What was going on inside this guy’s head?!

The truth is probably a little sad. Maybe this man has no family, or none who live super close by. He’s out and about which is obviously a good thing in itself, but I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around what I saw. Since I was a little kid, “Look left, look right and look left again” has been drilled into my brain when crossing the street. This has actually saved me from getting hit by a car at least once (the “look left again” part. That car would’ve nailed me). But how do you cross a street when all you see is this?

I know I know, just because he had the stick and the glasses it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s 100% blind; it’s possible that he could see light or shapes, but I saw this guy and he wasn’t like, looking at anything. I believe he was completely blind. Now from what I understand when you lose a sense, your remaining senses get heightened, which actually sounds super cool in premise. Again, cars are whizzing along this road at at least 30mph, so even people like me can hear them.

But how might they sound to a person who can’t see?

It’s empowering to see someone with a physical hurdle like that to not cow down to it and be a victim. My friend Erin knew a girl that was blind and on the swim team, which I think is freaking insane. I’ve smashed the top of my head against the wall when I was on the swim team and I can see – that shit hurts. Talk about someone facing their fears.

But these are cars man! CARS! The road is full of them, and each one of them is at least a ton of hot metal and plastic barreling down the street fast enough to launch you into the air. All it takes is one idiot who’s not paying attention, fleeing from the traffic horror that IS Watertown center, and it’s lights out (I apologize) for you. That cane is not a force field; if you get hit all it will do is snap. Shouldn’t you maybe wait until you can hear that the street is empty? Maybe hang out by the corner and press the ‘Walk’ button? I guarantee you’ve got a meticulously detailed mental map of the entire town in your mind that far surpasses even my best mental map of my favorite Halo level.

I’ve only ever heard of one thing that matches that, which is when a blind dude I knew in college took shrooms and freaked out and ran out alone into the blizzard of ’04. Taking shrooms in the blizzard of ’04 is probably risky enough by itself, but you went and tossed being blind into mix. What kind of visuals would someone who’s blind even have? I should also mention that I didn’t like this guy because he had a reputation for feeling up girls who lived in the dorm, one of them being my girlfriend at the time. He got away with it too, because you can’t hit a blind man.

I want there to be a safer solution for this man, but I guess it’s also likely that he’s been employing his “Step out into the street any damn time I feel like it/They will stop” method for years and he’s still here, so what do I know. Sir you are a daredevil, a source of inspiration and a living, breathing reason for me to be uber-aware when driving through Watertown, all rolled into one. But just be a little more careful so you STAY that way, for Christ’s sake. Dumb and Dumber quotes aside, there are a lot of bad drivers out there.

Listen left, listen right and listen left again.

Karmic Injustice

So, this has been making the rounds on the internet:

It’s pretty funny, not hilarious but pretty funny. I won’t lie, chuckled. I’ll buy that some people laughed out loud. I wonder, does that make us bad people?

Unless you’re a sociopath or a robot who calculates when laughing is appropriate in any given social situation, most of us don’t think about laughing. It’s an emotional response that we have little control over, like crying at the end of Terminator 2 or letting your mind wander a little while leafing through pictures of the U.S. women’s volleyball team. We can’t help it!

If you laughed out loud at that image up top, you may have felt a little guilty afterwards. Like ‘Oops, even though that’s a joke, it’s essentially mocking the people in those Sally Struthers commercials that the tv railroads into us at Thanksgiving while my poor gullet is pulling overtime trying to digest an amount of turkey breast that could feed any three impoverished families in Africa and my uncle farts up the upstairs bathroom. I think I should feel bad for laughing at it. Is the bathroom free yet?’

It is Karma that instills this fear in us, this doubt. The general belief that “If I do good, good things will happen to me. If I laugh at the thought of half a kid riding half a bike, I’ll get a flat tire on the way home from work tonight.” That’s Karma friends – but it’s not fair!

The other day I overheard a person (who I don’t particularly care for, but whatever) talking about lawn care. At first it was so boring I wanted to evaporate so I didn’t have to listen to the whole story, but then it took a turn. Apparently the story teller was pushing the lawnmower along, la la la la la, and then splatterhouse they ran over a giant pile of dog shit. This created a shitty shitstorm of flying dogshit that got everywhere – all over their feet, the interior of the lawnmower, the lawn, etc. Now Karma, you dickhead*, this is where you need to pay attention.

*google spell check picks up ‘google’ as a spelling error…but not ‘dickhead’.

Feeling the immediate desire to burst into a fit of mocking belly laughter is NOT to be weighed against me on the scales of karma! Had I not been at work that’s exactly what would have happened, but I used a herculean amount of effort to suppress my natural reaction. And that’s my point, it was a natural reaction. I’m just as guilty and just as blameless for wanting to laugh at that as I am for liking the color red.

If it was me who took a shit on that lawn, then come get me Karma, I definitely deserve some cosmic payback. If, when the humor of the situation finally dies down inside of me like a week from now, I truly feel happy that they got caught in the poop explosion, then maybe I’m a little bit of a badguy here. But just innocently laughing at something because it’s organically funny can’t be held against me! You see it in stand-up comedy routines or roasts, when someone tells a particularly vicious joke and hooks the audience into laughing for a second before they all figure it out, and then there’s a collective “Ohhhhhhhh.” They’re afraid of Karma!

Karma, I know you’re listening because you watch us all, all the time. I don’t need you to be a softy or a good guy. I’m not asking for favors and I don’t want you to twist the rules. It’s not your job to wipe and powder my bottom and tell me it’s different and special from everyone else’s (thanks for that, Wes Mantooth). I’ve made mistakes, I make mistakes and I’ll continue to make mistakes in the future, I’ll take everything I’m owed, good and bad, and I’ll take it like a champ.

But if you want me to believe in you, you have to be fair.

Internally, I can laugh at any joke I want, just like I can like any color I want. You can’t hold the things against me that I have no control over. Plus who knows, maybe she had it coming.

Sometimes shit happens.

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