Just one a those spur-of-the-moment sketches that I toss off like used toilet paper. They're festooning lampposts downtown. Festooning is taking place. You know what that means: in just a few days, downtown will be infested with schlocky Xmas music 24/7 blaring from speakers on every corner. Isn't there something in the Geneva Conventions about this? How is this less excruciating than waterboarding?



So do you Europeans out there get TV stations from other countries? Is it like a big Tower of Babel? Do you have to watch old American shows like The Six Million Dollar Man? Or do you get more recent stuff like Mork and Mindy? Do you have to put coins in the TV to watch it? Ha'pennies and kroner and shekels and stuff? Do you all call it a "telly" or do just the Brits? Do you have color TV yet? Have you ever seen Katie Couric? Is she famous over there, or is she a nobody? Does everybody over there think she sucks too? Is there a European version of "Fear Factor"? Or would it bomb cause you guys already eat snails and parsnips and things? I'm just curious.



I realized just now that this isn't all that far-fetched. This could easily exist, maybe in Chicago, maybe designed by Frank Gehry on a bad day. Scary, huh, that the machines might have started creating sensible thoughts? Can you imagine what it would be like if a machine were President? It would have performed unbiased evaluations of intelligence reports on Iraq; would have calculated without prejudice the pros and cons of waging war there? Would rationally consider the ramifications of cutting moneys for the feeding and educating of the poor? My God, what a nightmare!


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I don't think it's physically possible for this to happen, but boy what a mess if it did! You know? If the earth shrank to the size of a soccer ball, where would all our stuff go? It would all just float away. And then where would we be? No stuff! But since gravity would get so weak, then we could fly. And if you can fly, who needs stuff?


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One of the few foods that have stayed on my hate list since childhood is eggplant. I like horseradish now, I like brussels sprouts, I can tolerate cauliflower, but eggplant. The name alone conjures up unspeakable horrors. Eggplant. If we had used the French word for it, aubergine , then maybe--no, I still would have hated it. That smell! I'm starting to gag right now just talking about it. It puzzles me how people can find it tasty. Like, what is it that's wrong with me that it tastes like something served on Fear Factor to me? Well. Dear Eggplant. If eating you is right, I'd rather be wrong.


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One thing you have to grant the spam machine, he's prolific. Have I already mentioned that I hate Sunday evenings? Okay, forget that one then. Um, made them lima beans. Used whatever condiments were on hand, so it turned out like a Bloody Mary with lima beans instead of vodka. Very interesting. Vodka would have helped.

A couple of posts ago, Laura suggested an Illustrated Poem Marathon. Anyone interested in that? Sounds kind of intriguing.


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On my way to lunch today, I was almost run over by a doctor. That gives the surface impression of a good news/bad news story, but the doctor in this case was Doctor Research, so the best he could have offered in the way of help would have been a quick recitation of the incidence of hit-and-run accidents in Norfolk among white males aged 35-54 as he sped by. Fortunately, my lightning-quick reflexes failed to fail me and I took evasive action, feinting to the left, then to the right, causing him to plow into some anonymous people of no concern to either of us, and as he was wiping off his fender we had a pleasant conversation.

Okay, the great majority of the above story is open to interpretation, and reasonable people could differ, as they say. But I stand behind the basic facts of the story, and although Doc claims that he was only pretending to run me down, I saw the Urge To Kill in his eyes. It's a moment that will live in my mind, right next to the time I was in the shower at the Y and my therapist walked in. Nothing will change the dynamic of a therapeutic relationship like you and your therapist seeing each other naked. This one, unfortunately, is absolutely true.


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Yes, I'm well aware that I got kind of Blechmanlike with the little guy in the wispy pelt. Consider it an hommage instead of a rip-off. I know I do. Blechman is one of my comic pen-and-ink heroes, along with Crumb, Sorel, Levine, Steinberg, Cober, Peck, Steadman, Herriman, Sempé, Justin Green, Panter, who did I leave out? Excuse me, whom did I leave out. This morning I cracked a tooth in half on a cherry pit. My teeth are turning to chalk. I never realized that's what would happen. Bummer. When are they going to invent replacement choppers? You know, like Black & Decker, take out all your teeth, replace them with a unit that contains nice metallic slicers and grinders, runs on a battery pack? Wonder how long it would take your tongue to look like a rat's tail? That would be fun on a date.