Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Wishes, explained

Addendum: A truthy explination
Greetings (insert name):

You might be asking yourself, “ Why is this Yule Tide missive so delayed?” What a perfectly rational and astute question! Why don’t you take a reflective moment to reward yourself for such clever thinking. Go ahead; you deserve it bucko!

Now, if you are anything like me, you may have already made certain assumptions and deductions…biased no doubt by outdated facts and irrelevant historical data from the author’s life. Some lesser minds than yours might even believe the culprit to be Matthew’s habitual faux pax of procrastination. Fortunately, this conclusion is erroneous.

You see, this past year has been one of triumph for Matthew Bulman. Yes, in 2009, your (circle applicable) son, brother, nephew, grandson, uncle, father, husband, lover, ex-lover, client single handedly marched into battle against procrastination. Using a preemptive strike in the American fashion, Matt fought and slayed this nagging, gnawing, cowardly foe. While some go their whole life without addressing this rival, Matthew has taken the initiative and gone into bloodly battle, ripping entrails from its spine, slaughtering this creature (and anyone in the way) against the wall to assure its death one thousand times over. Procrastination just cried like a little girl. And Matthew stood there laughing, victorious, warrior-like.

It was classic! And very proactive.

No, the real culprit in this delayed letter is the Australian Postal Service worker, known locally as the Postie (pronounced Post-Tea). He is your typical Australian: white man with a mustache, about 6 foot 2 inches high… which, admittedly, is an awefully big mustache. But it is a different culture here, and the sun does strange things to people.

Now, if you stay on top of the news like Matthew does, then Kristen may also have informed you of the recent local postal strike that she read about in the news. And while this strike is serendipitous for Matthew, slayer of procrastination, it is also the real scapegoat in our current, untimely Christmas exchange. It is also to blame for your lack of presents this calendar year! We’ll just carry them on board our checked luggage, where they will be safe, when we fly back this June!

Sure, we might be tempted to hock a lugey on the ground and yell, “Fooey,” towards the postal workers of the world. Especially since there are children involved. But you know what I say? I say, “Never let your children accept packages from strange men with mustaches, and society will be safer in the long run.”

And I also say pray for them. Or, if you don’t feel like being a victim, pray against them. The important thing at this time of year is prayer…for these are the prayoffs and there’s a lot at stake in future contracts.

And, finally, I invite you to consider the other side of the coin in our Holiday exchange. Call me an optimist, but I just might be tempted to consider that this letter is not so late for 2009, but early, for 2010.

Huh, leave it to your proactive *Addendum: A truthy explination
Greetings (insert name):

You might be asking yourself, “ Why is this Yule Tide missive so delayed?” What a perfectly rational and astute question! Why don’t you take a reflective moment to reward yourself for such clever thinking. Go ahead; you deserve it bucko!

Now, if you are anything like me, you may have already made certain assumptions and deductions…biased no doubt by outdated facts and irrelevant historical data from the author’s life. Some lesser minds than yours might even believe the culprit to be Matthew’s habitual faux pax of procrastination. Fortunately, this conclusion is erroneous.

You see, this past year has been one of triumph for Matthew Bulman. Yes, in 2009, your son, brother, nephew, grandson, uncle, father, husband, lover, ex-lover, client single handedly marched into battle against procrastination. Using a preemptive strike in the American fashion, Matt fought and slayed this nagging, gnawing, cowardly foe. While some go their whole life without addressing this rival, Matthew has taken the initiative and gone into bloodly battle, ripping entrails from its spine, slaughtering this creature (and anyone in the way) against the wall to assure its death one thousand times over. Procrastination just cried like a little girl. And Matthew stood there laughing, victorious, warrior-like.

It was classic! And very proactive.

No, the real culprit in this delayed letter is the Australian Postal Service worker, known locally as the Postie (pronounced Post-Tea). He is your typical Australian: white man with a mustache, about 6 foot 2 inches high… which, admittedly, is an awefully big mustache. But it is a different culture here, and the sun does strange things to people.

Now, if you stay on top of the news like Matthew does, then Kristen may also have informed you of the recent local postal strike that she read about in the news. And while this strike is serendipitous for Matthew, slayer of procrastination, it is also the real scapegoat in our current, untimely Christmas exchange. It is also to blame for your lack of presents this calendar year! We’ll just carry them on board our checked luggage, where they will be safe, when we fly back this June!

Sure, we might be tempted to hock a lugey on the ground and yell, “Fooey,” towards the postal workers of the world. Especially since there are children involved. But you know what I say? I say, “Never let your children accept packages from strange men with mustaches, and society will be safer in the long run.”

And I also say pray for them. Or, if you don’t feel like being a victim, pray against them. The important thing at this time of year is prayer…for these are the prayoffs and there’s a lot at stake in future contracts.

And, finally, I invite you to consider the other side of the coin in our Holiday exchange. Call me an optimist, but I just might be tempted to consider that this letter is not so late for 2009, but early, for 2010.

Huh, leave it to your proactive (circle one) son, brother, nephew, grandson, uncle, father, husband, lover, ex-lover, client, Matt, to be sending things out so early! What a guy.


Lots of love to you and yours, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Karate Man Dojos

Karate (karot-tay) is an ancient martial art; man is an ancient martial warrior; dojo is an ancient Japanese word. On their own, each evokes fear in the throats of one’s enemies; yet combined these elements unleash the raw power of a thousand focused monkeys.

Sensei Tang has been a Karate Man since the 1970s. As pioneers Bruce Lee, Sonny Chiba and black guys with Afros moved west to Hollywood, Tang went against convention, moving east to Okinawa. Here he learned the secret striking ways of Okinawa’s notorious Monkey-Cobra Gangs. Then, in 1980, Tang returned home fully trained, exploding onto the American scene at Karate-con.

Karate-con is the world’s premier full contact Karate Championships held each year in Colorado. Over six brutal days, Tang’s lethal strikes liquefied the internal organs of his opponents. With skill and precision, Sensei Tang killed four men in the ring and a cougar that happened to encounter him outside his motel. Tang then ate the whole cougar, entrails and all, to instill fear into his final opponent. Who was this opponent? None other than a hitherto unknown Chuck Norris.

The world title battle against Master Sensei Chuck Norris lasted eight long hours. Thunderstorms threw lightning and the earth’s plates shifted as each competitor harnessed and unfurled natures forces upon the other. So much blood was shed that each competitor required four illegal blood transfusions to continue to the end. Tang eventually won on points, though admittedly Chuck Norris was simultaneously fighting off terminal cancer. It is still known as the classic battle amongst karate men the world around.

In 1981, Sensei Tang retired from competition and set up Karate Man Dojos. Never have the warrior’s key elements been combined into such a lethal fighting force as Karate Man Dojos. Learn to karate chop. Learn to karate strike. Do you want to kill a live bear with your hands? Sensei Tang will not only teach you how, but he’ll put you to the test with regular cage-matches against animals you’ve never even heard of (black belts, only).

2010 will bring about thirty years since the Tang karate-con revolution. And he again has acquired the taste for blood. This year, he plans to mark his dominance by closing the fist of his empty hand upon government. Sensei Tang is now recruiting students for group attack missions. Power will be gained. Honor will be won! Become a Karate Man! Take your place at Karate Man Dojos before a Karate Man finds and takes his Karate stance on you.

Don’t be a pussy! Join today!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Student Squeegeeist, inc.

Summer work? Why not become a Student Squeegeeist!


Do you have the courage to take back the streets from the homeless? Are you tired of seeing hard-earned, tax-free dollars go to the same methamphetamine fuelled squeegee man day after day after day? We certainly are! That’s why this summer, Melbournians everywhere will be getting a clean deal from their local squeegee man... or squeegee woman as it may be.

It’s Student Squeegee (SS), incorporated.

The SS is an honest to goodness mom and pop-style Corporation. We are currently screening candidates across Melbourne and allowing them to get in on the ground floor of this fantastic business venture. For a limited time only, you too can buy into your very own SS franchise!

Each franchisee is supplied with an original SS uniform, water pistol, cleansing solution, squeegee and bum-bag...worn in combination, this is an impressive package that brings honour and a sense of dignity back to the profession of squeegeeing. Each corner is then rented to the highest licensed bidder at an affordable, hourly rate.

Will John Q. Public choose the helpless addict who has lost everything? Or will our clean-cut, big jawed Aussie Students win the day? Once the SS is unleashed on the public, we plan to let good business sense, hard work, and the market sort out who gets this tax-free money. Yet our aggressive marketing campaign combined with help from the local police authorities will likely tip the scale in our franchisee’s favour, ensuring that we keep less qualified squeegeeists off the streets!
But wait, there’s more. Each franchisee’s cleansing solution is lye-based...and recent changes in legislation allowe licensed SS franchisees the right to fend off their territory should any thug try to move in on his or her turf. A little lye in the face will go a long way!

So, if you have what it takes to earn big dollars this summer, which you can then spend on a drug of your choice, like alcohol, then call the SS, inc. today! Operators are standing bye to send you your free franchisee brochure. Call now!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Your Double Choc Chip Buttercake Destroyed my Family

Dear Mr. Woolworth,

Greetings. Though we have not yet officially made one another’s acquaintance, my loyal frequenting to your residence in Preston affords us a certain familiarity with one another’s intimate habits and idiosyncrasies, the kind usually reserved for family. And as I write to you, I still consider our relationship primarily to be one of brothers as opposed to one of business. My family enjoys daily your fresh baked products, and my eldest son, Wooly, even carries your name! (Christ, Woolworth, my kid was most likely conceived in your parking lot!)

Thus, I assure you, it is following much hesitation and great contemplation that I write to you regarding the Double Choc Chip Buttercake purchased from you on Sunday, November 22, 2009, at 2:16pm.

For $4.97, it certainly did seem to be special! At prices so low, one could be tempted to label the manager “special” (that is retarded, or at least hypo-tarded); for how could a regular gent give his bakehouse items away at these rates and still afford to pay his employees an honourable wage? I was ever so close to the purchase of two of these tasty treats, you devil! But, at 480grams, I carefully calculated, considered and decided against the purchase of a second lest gluttony get my family into further trouble.

You see, Woolworth, we were to be celebrating Lurleen’s release from the detox and rehab unit at Galliamble. Such a festive occasion happens only every few years. Lurleen’s most recent triumph over a powerful, cough syrupy agent certainly warranted the pomp and circumstance of cake. And, your establishment being the one of first choice in our family, I quickly gathered the seven of us into the Ute before shooting over to Preston’s bustling shopping-district store.
Your classic choc buttercake was selected for several reasons:
1-The aforementioned price, perhaps set by retards, or hypo-tards
2-The guarantee which labelled the cake to be” full of choc chip pieces”
3-The nostalgic and titular label of, “Classic,” which is always a selling point in our family
4-The quality assurance stamp... your store in our has been known as the Safe Way
5-Wooly, the favourite kid, chose it

Over the next few hours, while patiently awaiting Lurleen’s probation officer to finish debriefing, we salivated over your bakehouse Double Choc Chip Buttercake, which promised to be classic choc buttercake full of choc chip pieces. We gathered around and little Wooly read aloud the ingredients, savouring in each delicate, vital part of the whole. A debate sparked when mention of the ingredients Emulsifiers 322 Soy Lecithin, Raising Agents 500, 341, 450, and Whipping Agent 471 were questioned. What were they? Chinese, no doubt. Or, if not Chinese, might they have come from some other land of numbers? Did robots rule this magical land, and, if so, was their king a good king? We went on and on like this until the officer dropped Lurleen off, which promptly ended debate and started the family into a side-splitting version of “For he’s a Jolly-Good Fellow,” where we replace certain words to the tune and sing, “For She’s a Jolly Good Alco...let’s hope she doesn’t get high, hey!”

Lurleen blew out a candle and lit a cigarette, and then gave a speech where she pretended to hate us. We calmed her down and Wooly got a knife, several plates, and some forks.

I watched the favoured child, Wooly, attempt to slice the classic choc buttercake full of choc chip pieces. I instructed him to carefully follow the serving size suggestion, whereby he would cut the cake into 1/8ths. TO MY AMAZEMENT, THE CAKE CRUMBLED before my very eyes. I smacked him one and told him to be careful. But, alas, it was of no use. Crumble, crumble, crumble. Furthermore, my less liked children saw the whole debacle unfold. I don’t know where you come from, Woolworth, but I do not consider crumble to be part of anything CLASSIC!

The youngest of my progeny may not have noticed, and, sure, the elders would have had their memory wiped from the sheer shock of the experience. But the majority of us saw the whole affair.

Wooly, greatly ashamed, stormed out of the house and watched a vampire movie. Today he explained that he no longer embraces Christianity; he claims to be a vampire, and his religion is a blood thirsty one. I explained the similarities between that and Jesus’ whole “blood into wine speech”, but Wooly is deaf to reason. I now consider him dead to me.

Lurleen is on the cough syrup again. She’s quite ordinary and mean.

The pressure got to me, too. I am usually the formidable rock of the family. But, I admit, I had a mental lapse and resulted to violence against several appliances around the house. Some of the more clever devices, like the computer and the plasma T.V., have informed the authorities. I now fear that robots may attack at any moment.

There was a time, Woolworth, when your products’ were of a quality and standard unparalleled. They were the protons which we negatively charged electrons orbited around. Your bakehouse products literally held our family together; today, my family is crumbling to pieces because of them...

Sure, I ate the cake... I ate it all by myself before I pummelled the TV. But I did not enjoy it! And though my arteries are still sluggishly pulsating with your product, I plan to find alternatives to my atherosclerotic old ways. Rest assured, I will consider alternatives next time I enter your store (tonight).

Am I angry Woolworth? Hardly. I am, however, greatly disappointed. You can do better. I’ve seen it before. My family has seen it before. Our community has seen it before.

In short, I suggest you do away with the robot king's products and numbers. It is unaustralian.

Until then, Woolworth, kind regards to you and yours, sir.


Sincerely,
Mr. Customer

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An Awkward Exam

It was awkward, alright. There were four of us stripped of our shirts and wearing only footy shorts in the exam room with the teacher.

My partner, Richard, was noticeably nervous. After three years of chiropractic school, we’ve come to accept our exams will be strenuous, but achievable. Each of us reacts differently to high pressure situations, though there are some general signs and symptoms... Spine hunched, breathing shallow and quick, we are ruled by the “Lizard-Brain” during the sympathetic dominance of these fight or flight situations. Richard, however, had had one unique reaction to stress. He had what we chiropractic students call, in scientific terminology, “A Raging Boner.”

It was as though someone replaced his morning vitamin with Viagra. And, to his credit, Richard was blessed by the creator with quite the endowment. I kept going cross-eyed and, as we stood in the middle of the room, I almost wanted to hang a hat on the thing just to keep it under cover.

I went through the usual procedural assessment in front of the teacher. But I had to alter my position in space because of this wily beast. I increased my circumference when I circled to get around him. It was as though someone injured a limb and I didn’t want to exacerbate it.

No one acknowledged the boner. It really was the pink elephant in the room that no one dare speak of...metaphorically speaking.

I instructed Richard to lay on his stomach on our chiropractic bench, and as I palpated his back, I hoped to all hope that he would settle down. Perhaps blood flow would return to parts of his body that would have greatly needed it by now.
Alas, when he turned over to lay on his back, the creature was off to the side. Though you could no longer hang a hat on the thing, it was still a cantankerous creature noticeably protruding over top the right hip. I sighed a little bit of relief. Then, when I saw my next test question, I got nervous.

I will need to digress for a moment to explain how slap-stick it got in the last few minutes of my exam. There are certain techniques chiropractic employs for patients who require low-force treatment: the elderly, the frail, the acutely painful patients. One of these techniques is known as “Blocks” or “Wedges”. These are highly effective in realigning the often twisted hips and pelvis. These blocks look like larger versions of door stops, covered in foam and material, and they are then placed under the patient’s hips, one per side. With Richard on his back, our teacher wanted me to demonstrate how I would hypothetically place the blocks underneath a patient...but, for the safety of my classmate’s spinal alignment, I was instructed to lay the blocks on top of this patient.

The left block stuck like a magnate to Richard; the right block, however, I fumbled to the ground several times over after my vain effort to lay on a rounded, moving surface. In front of the teacher, gritting my teeth and squinting my eyes, I again slowly lay the wedge on Richard’s chubby penis. The block quickly toppled to the ground like a failed Jenga move. Again I tried, and again and then again, fumbling the block before I looked helplessly at the teacher.

Richard broke the silence and said to the teacher, “I think he’s a little nervous.”

I am not sure if he meant me or his penis.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Oil Money Family

The Oil-Money Family: Cast of Characters

Mom Oil-Money, an overly protective mother
Dad Oil-Money, a wealthy oil baron
Jimmy Oil-Money, their 16 year old son
Dr. Griswald
Hugo, a bear puppet
.........................................................................
Scene: Dr. Griswald’s office, A Paediatric Chiropractic office, Monday Morning

Dr. Griswald: Hello, Oil-Money family. What can I do for you today?

Mom: (Hysterical) It’s our Son, Jimmy! He can’t move his neck.

Dad: (smoking cigar) He’s our adopted son.

Jimmy: My neck hurts. Can’t move it this way (towards right). And now I have a headache!

Dr. Griswald: Well, Jimmy. What happened to bring this about?

Jimmy: I…(interrupted)

Mom: (interrupts) We don’t know! He’s in terrible pain. Help us Dr. Griswald. Money is of no concern.

Dr. Griswald: (stroking beard) Yes, rich people’s children do seem to have the worst type of pain. It’s true. Now Jimmy, do you know anything that might have brought this incident on?

Mom: He just woke up with it!

Dad: He’s adopted. Could that have caused it?

Dr. Griswald: Did it wake you from your sleep Jimmy? Or did you get out of bed and notice it this morning?

Jimmy: This morning…when I got out of bed for school. I was playing football last week and I got hit from behind. But nothing else weird.

Mom: (concerned) Football, Jimmy? You know we don’t allow you to play football, Jimmy. You’re too precious for football.

Dad: Fifteen thousand Dollars…just for the paperwork!

Dr. Griswald: Did you hit your head, notice any pain, lose consciousness or vomit at the time?

Mom: Oh, vomit, gross…we don’t allow that in our house.

Dr. Griswald: Mam, I’ll need to hear the answers from your son. Sir, if you could restrain your wife so that I can hear it from your son!

Dad: (Puts a sack over mom) Our adopted son.

Dr. Griswald: What about it Jimmy? Did you hit your head?

Jimmy: No.

Dr. Griswald: Can you point to the neck pain? What about the headache? Is it on both sides of the head or just one side?

Jimmy: both sides of the head hurt. I can’t turn my head this way (towards the right). And I feel like i’m getting the flu.

Dr. Griswald: (Puts thermometer in mouth) Have you noticed any rashes on your body?

Jimmy: (Shakes head, but only to one side). Can you put your feet together and close your eyes? (Rhomberg)

Dr. Griswald: (Removes the thermometer, which indicates no temperature) Jimmy, can I get you to take your shirt off and sit on the table here? (palpates neck, scm and trapezius, which reproduces pain) Is there any pain there, (tapping neck)? Go like this (flexion, extension, lateral flexion, atlanto-occipital rotation). Is this painful at all? (Performs Jackson’s compression, maximal compression) Follow my fingers, Jimmy (six positions of gaze) Now lay down...(performs kernigs test..) Any pain with that?

Dr. Griswald: (Now addressing parents): Well, guys...I don’t know what your problem is, Jimmy.

Mom: (Mumbles from underneath sack...) But Dr. Griswald...you’re the most expensive and best Dr. there is...can’t you do anything?

Dad: do you think we’ll have to return him?

Dr. Griswald: Please, let me finish Mr. And Mrs. Oil-Money. I don’t know what it is...but I bet I know someone who does (winks at them).

Hugo, the Bear puppet: Hi there Jimmy...I’ve been overseeing Dr. Griswald’s entire assessment and it seems like you’ve got a torticollis with assosciated subluxations. This is the cause of your neck pain...Hardy-har-har...grrrr!

Dad: Jesus, man!

Dr. Griswald: He’s good, isn’t he!

Dad: You know... he’s adopted, not retarded.

Hugo, the bear puppet: What we are going to do is...PIR, which is a type of stretch; then, some massage and you might even get an adjustment!

Jimmy: I don’t want that man touching me.

Dr. Griswald: (ruffles jimmy’s hair) That’s ok, little fella. I won’t touch you. Dr. Hugo is going to do the procedure...

Hugo: (Finishes treatment)

Family: Thanks Dr. Griswald!

Dr. Griswald: Don’t thank me! Thank the bear!

Family: Thanks, Hugo!

Hugo: My pleasure...see you tomorrow! And don’t forget to settle up with the secretary out front, because we don’t take accounts here!

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Funny Glossary G

Gabby, gabbier, gabbiest, gabble, gadget, gaggle, galaxy, galoshes, gambit, gamer, gamma ray, gander, gangling, garbled, gargantuan, gargle, garner, garret, garrote (Spanish method of execution by strangling), gasket, gauche (socially awkward), gawp (stare stupidly), gazebo, gazette, gazillion, gazump (raise the price of house after verbally agreeing) gecko, Geiger counter, gelignite, genital, genitals, genuflect, gherkin, gibber, gibberish, giblets, giant, giggle, gimcrack (showy but cheap), gipsy, gist, gladiator, glisten, glitter, globule, globular, glockenspiel, glory, glorious, gloriously, glue-sniffing, gnarled, gnash, gnome, gobble, gobbledygook, goblin, goggle, goner, gorilla, gormless (stupid), grampus (dolphin like mammal), grandiloquent (using pompous language), graphology (study of handwriting), grapple, gremlin, griddle, griffin, grizzly, groggy, grumpy, gulp, gumboots, gumption (resourcefulness, courage), guppy, gurgle, Gurkha, guru, gusto, guzzle, gyroscope

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Funny Glossary F

F
Fahrenheit, fable, fabled, fabricate, fabulous, facetious, facility, facsimile, facts of life ( details of sex and life), factor, factotum (a person employed to do all sorts of work), fairy penguin, falconry, falconer, fandango (lively Spanish dance), fang, fantasia, farad (unit of electrical capacitance), farinaceous (containing starch or having a starchy texture), farrago (jumbled mixture of things), fart, fascinate, fascist, fast, faun, feast, feat, fecund, feral , ferret, ferreted, fetus, fetuses, fettle (state of health or spirits), fey (whimsically strange; having the ability to look into the future), fib, fickle, fiddle, fiddle sticks (expressing annoyance, disagreement), fidget, fierce, fifth column (group secretly helping the enemy), fillip (something that adds stimulation of enjoyment), filthiness, fin, finagle, finger, fingering, fission, fisticuffs, fizzle, flab, flabbergasted, flagon, flambe, flapjack, fleck, flick, flicker, flog, floozy, flounder, flummox, fluoride, fluvial, flux, folly, fondle, fontanel (membranous gaps between bones of a baby’s skull), footsie, fop, foreskin, forger, forked, fornicate, fortissimo, fortissimo, FORTRAN (programming language for math and science), fortress, fortuitous, fortune teller, fossick, foxhole, foxtrot, fracas, frangipani, frankfurter, frankincense, frazzle (exhausted state), freckle, French Letter (condom), fritter (piece of food fried in batter), frogman (underwater worker), frolicking, frolic, frolicked, frowzy, frump (dowdy, old fashioned woman), frumpy, fuchsia (ornamental shrub with hanging flowers), fuddle (cause to be intoxicated or confused), fuddy duddy ( old fashioned person), fulcrum, fundi (expert or boffin), furlong (unit of length equal to 220 yards), furlough (leave of absence), fusty (stale smelling)

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Funny Glossary E

earnest, earthen, earwig, ebony, echidna, eclectic, ectoplasm, effete (powerless), effigy (image or likeness of a person), Egyptology, ejaculate, electrolyte, elephant, elephantine, elf, elves, elfin, elision (omit from a spoken word), elixir, elk, elocution (speaking clearly in public), embezzle, embezzlement, embezzler, emporium, encumber (hinder or impede), enema, enfeeble, enigma, ensnare, entangle, entice, entropy (lack of organization), enumerate, epileptic, epistle, epitome, eponymous, equilateral, erotica, erroneous, ersatz (made in imitation), erudite (academic knowledge), erupt, escalope (thin sliced meat), escapades, Eskimo, Esperanto (universal artificial language), espionage, ether, ethnic, euphoria, eureka, evacuate, evict, evoke, exact, exalt, excavator, exhale, exhilarate, exhume, exile, existential, exodus, exorcise, exorcism, expand, expel, experimental, explore, extemporize, extinct, extrasensory, extrasensory perception, exult, eyrie (nest of an eagle)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Funny Glossary D

Dabble, daddy-longlegs, dado, daffodil, dag (dried dung on sheeps rear), daguerreotype (photograph on chemically treated silver), dainty, daintily, daiquiri, Dalai Lama, put a damper on, dandle (move a child on one’s knees), damsel, dandruff, dander, dangle, dangly, dapper, daredevil, dash, dastardly (wicked and cowardly), dasyure (small marsupial) data, datum, data capture, dative, date, de- , deacon, deadbeat, dead reconing (method of establishing one’s position using distance and direction travelled), dawdle, dazzle, debacle, debasement, debateable, debauch, debauchery, debonair, debrief, debunk, decagon, decahedron, Decalogue (10 Commandments), decanter, decapitate, decency, decibel, decimate, decoct (extract the essence of by boiling), decoction, decoder, decoration, decoy, decrease, decree, decrepit (weakened or worn out by age or long use, decry, deducible, deduct, default, defrock, deft, dekko, delectable, delectation, Delphi, delphinium, delude, deluge, de luxe, demented, demi, demise, demobilize, demote, den, denim, dental floss, dependency, deplete, depopulate, deport, desicrate, desiccate (remove water from), desperado, destroyer, detail, detect, detergent, deuterinium, devil, devote, diabolical, dibble (small hand tool used to make hole in ground for seeds), diarrhoea, dice with death, dicky, dickies, diction, dictum, diddle (swindle), didgeridoo, dig, digging, dug, digger, digit, digital, dignity, dike, dildo, dilettantism, dilettanti, dill, dilly, dimple, ding, ding dong, dinghy, dingo, dinkum, dinosaur, dipthong, dipper, diprotodont (marsupial), dipsomaniac, diptych, dirge, disarray, disavowel, disk, disciple, disco, discus, dish, dish up, dislodge, dismantle, dispatch, dispatch rider, disrobe, distaff side (female side of the family), distort, ditch, dither, ditto, ditty, divine, divining rod, divulse, dixie, dizzy, docket, dodder, doddery (moving unsteadily), dodecagon, dodecahedron, dodo, doff, dogfish, dojo, dollop, dolomite, dolphinarium, donga (steep sided gully created by soil erosion), donkey, donkey jacket, doodle, dorba (stupid, inept), doubly, double agent, double whammy, dove, doxology (short hymn of praise to God), drabber, discombobulate, defenestrate, doze, dragon, dragoon, drake, dram (small amount of strong alcoholic drink), drastic, dribble, droop, droopy, drizzle, dromedary (camel with a single hump), droplet, drone, drongo, dropsy, drubbing, druid, duck, duckling, ductile, dungong (whale like mammal of tropical waters), dugout, dumdum (soft nosed bullet that expands on impact and causes serious wounds), down in the dumps, dumpling, dunderhead (slow witted person), dungarees, dungeon, duodenum, dwarf, dwarfs, dwarves, dwell, dweller, dwindle, dynamite, dynamo

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Funny Glossary C

Cabbage, caber (tree trunk tossed in highland games), caboodle, cackle, caecum, cake, calliper, callow, camber, camcorder, camembert, camiknickers (woman’s undergarments consisting of kickers attached to a camisole), camp, campanology (the art of ringing bells), campanula (plant with blue flowers), canal, cancan, cancer, candela, candelabrum, candy, canker, cannibal, canny, canoe, canoodle, cantankerous, cantata, canteen, canter, canticle, cantilever, caper, captor, carat, carbuncle, carburettor, carcass, careen, cargo, caribou, cark (die), carnage, carnie, carotid, carouse (merry drinking party), carp, cartoon, caryatid (supporting column in the shape of a female figure), cashew, casserole, castle, castrate, casuistry (reasoning that is misleading or overly subtle), cathode rays, catnap, catacomb, cataclysm, catafalque (raised platform), catapult, caterpillar, cattle, Caucasian, caulk, cavity, cellophane, cellulose, centaur, centilitre, cephalopod, cervix, cesspit, chafe, chagrin, chakra, chalice, chalk, chambermaid, chamber pot, champ, chomp, chant, chap, chaplain, chapped, char, Charleston, chassis, chatter, cheap, cheapskate, cheddar, cheep, cheeseburger, cheesecake, cheetah, chestnut, chewy, chicken, chickpea, Chihuahua, chimney, chimneysweep, chimp, chimpanzee, china, chinchilla, Chinese, chip, chipmunk, chirp, chit, chitchat, chitterlings, chlorofluorocarbon, chockfull, chock, chop suey, chortle, chowder, chow mien, Christ, chromosome, chronometer (timepiece accurate in all conditions), chubby, chuck, chuckle, chuffed, chug, chummy, chukka, chump, chunk, chunky, chutney, CIA, cinnamon, circumcise, circumference, circumflex, circus, cirrhosis, cirrus, cistern, clack, clam, claim, clad, clammy, clammier, clammiest, clan, clang, clanger, clangour, clank, clap, claptrap, classic, classy, clatter, clavicle, cloven, climax, clench, clink, clinker, clitoris, clobber, clockwise, clog, counter clockwise, clog, clone, cloud, clown, cloven, cluck, clunk, clutch, clutter, coagulate, cob, cobble, cobra, cock, cockade (feather worn on a hat as a badge), cockeyed, coefficient, codger, coitus, coition (sex), coital, colander, coleslaw, collywobbles (nervousness), colony, colonize, colossus, combat trousers, comeuppance, comet, comical, commando, commode, commodious (roomy), commodity, communicable, commuter, compact, competitor, compile, complex, complicated, compos mentis (sane), compose, compost, compote, compound, compress, compute, concentric, conception, conch, conclave (secret meeting of cardinals to elect new pope), conclude, concoct, concoction, concrete, concubine, concupiscence (lust), concur, concussion, condom, confound, conducive, confabulation, confederate, confetti, conga, congeal, conjugal, conjugation, conjuror, conk, connubial, conquest, consonant, constable, constipation, contact, contender, contort, contortionist, contra, contraband, contraction, contradictory, contraption, contrary, contrariwise, contusion, conundrum, conurbation, convector, convivial, convolvulus (twinning plant with funnel shaped flowers), convulse, convulsion, coo, cookie, cooper, copper-bottomed, copulate, corpulent, corpuscle, correspondence, corroborate, corroborative, corset, cosmonaut, cosmic, costermonger (one who sells fruit and veg from a barrow), cotyledon (first leaf of a plant embryo), couch, cougar, counterattack, counterblast, counterpunch, coven (meeting of witches), covenant, covet, coward, coyote, crab apple, crabbed, crack, cracking, cracker, crackle, crackling, crafty, cranky, cravat (man’s scarf), crawfish, crayon, cream cheese, creep, give someone the creeps, cremate, crest, cretin, cribbage, creek, cricket, crinkle, cripple, crisp, croak, crocodile, crockery, crock, crocus, cromlech (circle of prehistoric standing stones), crop up, crosscheck, cross-eyed, crossword puzzle, crotchet, crotchety, crouton, crowbar, crown prince, crucible, crucify, crucifying, crucified, crucifixion, crumb, crumble, crummy, crumpet, crumple, crunch, crust, crustacean, cryogenics, crystals, cubic, cubbyhole, cubbing, cube, cuckold, cuckoo, cucumber, cuddle, cuddly, cudgel (short thick stick used as a weapon), culottes, culprit, cult, cultivated, cultured pearl, cumbersome, cumberbund, cumuli, cuneiform, cunning, cupping, cupola, curb, curd, curio, currios (rare unusual object, collectors item), curly, curmudgeon (bad tempered person), curtsy, cushy, cussed, custard, cuticle, cutlery, cut-throat, cyclotron

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Funny Glossary B

Babel, baboon, bacchanalia (wild drunken party or orgy), bacon, badger, baffle, balaclava, balderdash (stupid talk), ballyhoo (exaggerated fuss), baloney, bamboozle, banana, bandy, bane, banjo, banshee, barbarian, bark, barrow, bask, basset hound, bastard, baste, bathos (sudden ludicrous change in speech or writing from a serious subject to a trivial one), battle-axe, bauble, bazooka, beagle, beast, bedevil, beep, bellow, benediction, bequeath, berg, berserk, betrothed, bewilder, bibulous (addicted to alcohol), bigamy, bikini, bingo, bison, bizarre, blackbutt (australian eucolypt tree with hgard wood used for timber), blade, blarney, blizzard, blob, bloodsucker, blotto, blunder, blunt, blurt, bobbie (small ball of material), boffin (scientist or expert), boggle, boloney, bonanza (sudden good luck), bongo, bonk, bonsai, booby, booby trap, boogie, booth, boron, bosh (empty talk, nonsense), botulism (severe food poisoning), bourbon, bowdlerize (remove words regarded as indecent), bowel, bowl, bramble (prickly shrub that produces blackberries), brandish, bray (of a donkey, utter its loud harsh sound), brazen (bold), breeches (trousers just below the knees), breed, bridle (head gear for controlling a horse), brisket, broccoli, brontosaurus, Brussels sprout, buccaneer (pirate), buckle, bucket, buffalo, buffoon, bulimia, bumble, bumblebee, bumpkin, bumptious (offensively self assertive), bungle, bunion, bunkum (nonsense), bunyip (legendary monster in swamps and lakes), buoy, burble, burp, burrow, butter bean, butterfingers, buttermilk, buxom, buzzard

The Funny Glossary A

Abacus, abolone, ablative, abracadabra, accost, acrid (pungent, bitter), acuity, adenoids, adhesive, advance, aeronautics, afoot, agile, ahoy, akimbo, albino, alligator, alloy (mixture of two metals), almighty, almighty almond, alpaca (Peruvian llama), amalgamate (combine or unite), amanuensis (a person who writes from dictation), ambidextrous, ampersand, amuck, anaconda, angel, angina, ante, antibody, antiperspirint, antiquity, antler, aphorism (short, clever statement that expresses a general truth), aplom (calm self possessive) apoplexy (stroke), apricot, aqualung, arithmetic, assassin, assemble, astral, astrolabe (an old instrument used to measure planets), athwart, aurora, autosuggestion, avocado, awkward, award

Monday, June 29, 2009

Stuck in the Middle

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU

Kristen and I dated for about eight months before I asked her, “Would you like to move in with me?”

Previously, the most romantic thing I had said to Kristen was, “I love you, so you will have to trust me on this one and get in the car boot. No time for questions.”

Of course she said yes; first to the car boot and second to the apartment.

We planned, talked, and awaited the special day where we made the necessary trip to Ikea, playing house.

I knew right away Kristen was the one for me. “I like Zen,” she said over our first cup of coffee. “It’s amazing and at the exact same time, not.”

This is both a koan and a joke, which brings a flutter to my heart when I recall its simplicity.

For I am both a chiropractic student and an English enthusiast, and she is a kinesiologist; being alternative medical practitioners apparently unites us against general medical practitioners, though Kristen is a little more progressive than my relatively conservative stance, which divides us at times. We end up in the middle, quibbling.

For example, Kristen is anti-medical establishment, anti-drugs, and anti-antibiotics.

“Anti-antibiotics? Slow down. Does that mean you’re for antibiotics?” I asked her.

“No, I’m not. I’m not for antibiotics; they destroy the normal flora of the gut and create dysbiosis and imbalance; I’m anti-antibiotics.”

“But that’s a double negative,” I pointed out. “Besides, antibiotics have done a lot of good for humanity.”

“Well, I don’t believe in double negatives, then, either. The English language moves onward and upward, and humanity needs fewer doses of antibiotics lest we create super-bugs, completely resistant to any type of innate immunity.”

“Wait a second. You can’t not believe in double negatives; grammar won’t permit. And you just admitted under certain circumstances you do believe in antibiotics.”

“Yes I can not believe in double negatives,” she stamped and crossed her arms. “It’s just difficult to express. Besides, you don’t believe in God.”

She had a point there. As an agnostic, I don’t fully believe in God. However, I had a means of expressing it clearly. Which is why I’ve decided, if ever I need to accept an award and give a speech in public, I’m going to take one moment to thank God for the opportunity, and another, equal moment to thank the Big Bang for the opportunity.

But back to our quibbling.

One fine evening after dinner, I was practicing on Kristen my adjusting. Chiropractors manipulate the spine, adjusting it. Quite safely, too! However, I am not yet a chiropractor. I am a chiropractic student. And we were in the middle of the semester, half way through my five-year degree.

I set up her neck and moved with a quick impulse into her neck. Just then, and completely unrelated to the adjustment, Kristen’s nose started to bleed.

We have learned much during our course. Our most recent lecture was on Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency, or VBI, a type of stroke. There are contra-indications to adjusting, and in a rare but worst-case scenario, sudden neck manipulations could potentially cause a stroke like condition. There is a greater likelihood of being hit by lightning than there is of chiropractors causing a stroke. However, I am a not a chiropractor; I am a chiropractic student. Just that moment I lived Pope’s maxim, “A little learning is a dangerous thing.”

“Oh, God. There’s blood everywhere.” Kristen walked to the bathroom.

The sight of the blood made me recall the lecture about stroke. No one ever spoke to me about nose bleeds. What could it mean? I became light headed and slid my back down against the wall. My head ran to extremes, wondering if I killed my girlfriend.

“You’ll be ok…you’ll be ok.” I sank my head into my hands and then wrapped my arms around my back, rocking back and forth in the middle of the hallway. “You know you’ll be ok.”

“I don’t know. It’s bleeding pretty heavy!”

“I wasn’t talking to you!”

(The End)
PS. Her nose has stopped bleeding and she has recovered just fine. However, I am seeking psychological treatment.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Applications for Beards

I’m not impressed by your beard, Jimmy. Sure, the others are talking. With great gusto they say, “Hey, have you seen Jimmy lately? He’s growing a beard!”

But there is no merit in it.

Sure, there was a time when a bearded face meant something special. Before computers perhaps. In their crude workshops, the greats of ol’ yore must have toiled for lifetimes to carve out the possible geometries…the mutton chops leading to the friendly mutton chops, bridged only by a moustache running under the snout…the soul patch reincarnated as the chin strip…the balbo…the goatee…But in the digital era, a beard practically grows of its own accord. The mathematical permutations have clearly reached their limit. Your meagre effort hardly deserves plaudits.

Pride is your sin.

If you really want to impress me, Jimmy, don’t grow a beard on your face; you find a way to grow a beard on something unique, something besides yourself.

Because I swear to God almighty I will curse the ground you walk should you broach our next conversation with the pride laden sentence, “I am growing a beard.”

But should you change your wayward tendencies, perhaps our friendship can be salvaged. Complete the sentence, Jimmy. What I would like to hear is something like, “I am growing a beard on this pig.”

Or perhaps think bigger than one mere pig. Dream big! Perhaps you will say, “I am growing an entire field of Beards…a crop which when harvested will bring great benefit to the people of Earth.”

To which I will respond, “WOW! You truly are growing a beard!”

For benefiting humanity with these new applications for the beard is a topic of conversation I would like to have.

I will further investigate the subject with enthusiastic questions such as, “Tell me about your bearded pig, Jimmy. What does he eat? Have the ethical implications been considered? For in the down turn of a free market economy, we must be careful to apply our learned lessons: things like hospitals, schools, and bearded pigs must be regulated by the public sector lest laze fare capitalism run rampent! For all should have access to the newer applications of Beards.

Copyright by Matthew Bulman
2009-05-05

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chucklebelly

Prelude

The great wave of pomp and circumstance surrounding Melbourne’s Comedy Festival has peaked, its roiling climax crashed into a packed Town Hall. The hot air of laughter floats away, like a balloon once tethered to an etherized audience, disappearing in the night. Left behind are the tears from chortling masses, who, in the coming days will attempt to translate that past April’s experience to friends…friends who now wonder if there was ever anything funny at all during the Comedy Festival. “I suppose you had to be there,” is the amateurs’ only punch line.

Meanwhile, the comedians silently scuttle to their clandestine homes throughout the seas. Our aim is to follow the trail of the comedian; track his claw marks in the sand and get to know his gritty side while the tide is waned. We will crawl to his lair and see where the spectacle is born, where the jokes are smelted, and the craft is honed. And perhaps we can get to the belly of the beast, the Great Chuckle Maker Himself, and see what makes him tick.

The Devil’s Workshop is the breeding ground for Melbourne’s comedy soul. Each Tuesday in North Melbourne, smoke billows like stardust from cigarettes in the night as nervy comedians line up along Errol Street. For here is an old Melbourne haunt, The Comic’s Lounge, hugged by tram tracks, liquor stores, shady lanes, libraries and shops on the outside, and dripping dead silent with red velvet drapes on the inside. This night, from 6pm to 8pm, a new breed of comedian nervously shuffles through these doors, trudges up the steps and walks to the precipice of the stage. He is then welcomed by arms of encouragement from the Devil’s Workshop, comedians all. And when the new soul grabs the mic, blinded by a spotlight, he speaks into what seems to be a void.

But what to say?

Jokes are a good start for a comedian; the workshop points this out. As atoms build molecules jokes build comedy. And though the answer is simple, the art is hardly easy. There is great toiling work in the belly of comedy. And at the workshop, men and women tinker with words, topics and bits, chewing through the offal, spitting out gold. And how one gets to that gold is the stuff the workshop is made of.

The Devil has three acts.
Act I

“Welcome to your new addiction.”

And rest assured, Stand Up is the crack cocaine of the comedy industry…once having experienced the rush, a marked change occurs in the brain. There immediately ensues an attachment to the thrill, a devious addiction to the craft.

The Devil then asks, “Did anyone have any gigs over the past week…how did it go?”

While the successful comedian’s battle cry is a phrase we have all heard, “I killed them. I slaughtered them. I murdered them all,” it must be remembered that beginners attend a workshop. More often than not, “I died,” is the honest response. And honesty is a must if one is going to survive all of this carnage.

“What went wrong?”

The self-appraisal is often inaccurate. It requires moxie. It may have been a lack of confidence on stage. Poor material is another factor. Hack material yet another chink. Often, for the beginner, it is a matrix of all three. And the new comer to the comedy circuit has a tendency to summarize these factors with the soothing coo, “The crowd sucked. They were terrible.”

But it is never the crowd. There instead exists a cancer of the comedian’s soul that will need to be cut away with time, effort and experience. The truth is within the routine.

Voices around the room chime in and new gigs and open mics are announced.

“Spleen on Monday’s is pretty hot right now. It’s on the top of Burke Street, see Karl Chandler, Steel, or Pete Sharkey after the show to book a spot. “

“The Local in St. Kilda on Monday’s is pretty hot, but play your cards right and get introduced by someone who she knows…Janet McCloud won’t let just anyone up on her stage.”

“Vibe is cool on Thursdays…big crowd.”

When the room draws silent, the fun starts.
Act II

“Who wants to get up and work new material?”

Get your hand up early. For anyone can take the stage during the workshop. Yet the comedians hesitate early in Act II. They are, after all, creatures of procrastination who work much better under a closing deadline and the delayed effects of alcohol.

Almost always, one familiar with the circuit will grab the mic first. What are his jokes made of? Opinions and observations, essentially.

“If a Chicken breaks its collar bone, does it get to make a wish?” Neil Sinclair asks the audience.

“Sometimes, I shit on the ground and then jump straight in the air to impersonate an exclamation mark!” delivers Don Tran.

“I used to take LSD. But I had to stop because I learned the hard way that I can’t handle the sound that certain colors taste. And now I have an allergic reaction to purple,” says another.

Life is hard, weird, scary or stupid…and these observations and opinions create familiar tension in us. We identify. We follow the comedian on the journey, which is his chosen topic. For Stand Up is an open expression of an artful opinion, where one seems likely to be controversial, but ends up being quite harmless. Once we recognize this harmlessness, the tension is broken in us and we laugh.

The wise amongst the Devil’s Workshop attend a session before attempting any jokes; the bold tend to grab the microphone first chance they get; and very likely, the most talented never say anything at all. The fear grips their talent by the throat and throttles anything funny before it can bubble up. Lacking that boldness, the talented cower back home to remain the funny friend, husband or coworker: the amateur. Forever saying, “I guess you had to be there.”

Yes, boldness more than talent separates the successful comedians from the wannabes.

For while much of humanity avoids public speaking at all cost, lest they be judged, ridiculed or laughed at, the comedian’s sick and inverted ego consciously seeks out this experience. It is a rare one indeed who can recreate the environment of familiar laughter for a group of strangers upon demand. Especially early in the comedian’s career. It requires a willingness to be judged as bad, and then withstanding that judgment under the scrutiny of a spotlight. A calloused skin develops. It is a type of cocoon that will allow the comedian to undergo metamorphosis. This requires years of development.

“Anyone new want to try it?” The Devil tempts the fresh souls. For no one enjoys their first go. But, like every addiction, the first willful experience is your entry price.

A common mistake is to vehemently attack controversy. Vulgar, crude, misogynist views are expressed. Abortion, Christianity, Islam are attacked. The average man’s sense of humor fails to mature past thirteen.

“I don’t want to sound like a racist, but…” there almost always follows a misattributed cultural reference and a raunchy accent. The first jokes are often offensive.

There is complete freedom of expression at the workshop, though one attempt at censorship was once loosed upon an unsuspecting soul. Word escaped that a television crew would cover the workshop, and comedians came like cockroaches to visit the Devil. Simon Palomares, attempting to resurrect his dying career, openly censored a new comedian for being a misogynist. It was a terrible abuse of power in a sad attempt to grab the camera’s attention.

The comedian’s are left to develop their own material as they see fit. Some are given tutelage by the more experienced. Yet trial by fire is the best administer of justice for the new performer.

Since its inception, the craft remains basically unchanged: one comedian, a microphone, his material and the audience. The feedback is direct and immediate. The crowd’s faces may glow in the comedian’s essence; contorted into a geometry of laughter…this is when the skull’s muscles contract at their corners to let the chuckles bubble out. Alternatively, a face called grimace is displayed in silent bewilderment, abandonment, or vicarious embarrassment.

Yet always, if a comedian is worth his salt, he’s plunged into his chest, ripped out his metaphorical heart and presented it to all who care to watch it burn. Please understand that Stand Up Comedy is the realm of courageous philosopher and not for the fool hardy clown.

Act III

“Please put your hands together and welcome to the stage…” each week, the Devil invites a seasoned comedian to share their professional experience. Some familiar topics are covered…writing new material, delivery, stage craft and gigs. They point out the pitfalls.

“Don’t tell stories that go nowhere.”

“Know your material.”

“Get to the gig before you have to go on, and feel out the stage, the crowd, and the microphone.”

But, as Fox Klein points out, it is in the doing that one understands the craft. “Here, up on the stage is where you learn. There’s no secret to this.”

First and foremost, get gigs.

Though we can study and view the ghastly, weird spectacle-with a-microphone from a distance…though we can weigh him on scales for scientific prodding and inspection from all angles, we immediately reach our limits. For no matter how well we poke, prod, ponder or quantify…from a distance we can only describe that creature, the Stand Up Comedian, as a sallow, bug-eyed beast. Lost in translation to us is his experience as a performer. For it is in the doing that one understands the craft. And it takes an odd combination of the twisted ego to be driven to say to the world, “I am funny, and I am going to be funny, on my own, in front of that crowd of strangers over there…right now!”

This savage grit is distributed sparsely amongst souls by the Great Chuckle Maker Himself.

And at the end of Act III, the Devil raises his arm's like Nixon and shouts, “That’s the end of The Devil’s Workshop! Tonight’s show starts in thirty minutes. Come and see me if you want to book a spot.”

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Funeral Wishes

The Final Will and Testimony of Mr. Matthew Bulman:

1) I'm dead. That's why you are all hearing this Will and Testimony read by my crack team of attorneys at Saw, Hunter and Moore. Snacks have been provided; and I might take a moment to suggest the Cotswald Cheese by my good friends at Beemster, who make a choice spread of cheese-cracker combinations for funerals and other occasions. A healthy but balanced chunk of your inheritance has gone to the assemblage of today's snacking spread, as was my wont, because...I'm sure my children can attest to this...I always was a fan of snacks, nibbles, and bite sized morsels for the mouth.

2) About your inheritance...specific directions follow, so please listen carefully. The instructions will be read aloud once, after which the word "Go" will be shouted, while simultaneously the directions aforementioned are consumed by a ball of fire, forever lost.

A) First and foremost, it is my explicit wish to be with a woman, sexually, one last time. Though my corps is dead and lifeless, I have taken certain steps...certain medical steps... to ensure that rigor mortis would set straight certain necessary accouterments for the act. The finest medical team available was assembled to enable this little frivolity. Once again, a healthy but balanced portion of your inheritance has been spent on this little assemblage. She can be any woman...A previous lover, a necrophiliac, or a prostitute, though the latter option does deduct from your sizable but balanced inheritance just a little bit more. The specific details matter not; just get it done.

B) I then wish to be with a man. I assure you this will settle a little curiosity that has pestered me throughout life and will now be settled in death.

C) Then, I would like the three of my children and I to picnic. We will reenact certain fond memories from childhood. Someone will push the little one, Kimmy Bulman, over into a pot of honey, which will prompt her to retaliate with a saucing of some sort. Kimmy, being the youngest, will get to choose her sauce, though I am certain she remembers her dear father's preference for chutney.

Later, perhaps, my children will sling a rope around my arms and hoist me upon a tree; meanwhile, having taped a glove to my hand earlier, we will play catch! Though, once again, the necessary medical steps to ensure that provisions A and B are followed to the letter of the law may cause undue embarrassment. Perhaps taping down my erect penis will cause less of a scene? I don't know. The specifics matter not...I only want us to seem as natural as possible to the passers-bye.

D) Lastly, I wish to be put to rest in a non-traditional fashion. All too often, the precious land with which we could use for the growth of agriculture or the raising of stock...both, I might add, contributors to the wonderful snacking industry...this land is all too often set aside as burial grounds. Similar to those who are cremated, I, too, wish to be scattered amongst the waters and grasses of my favorite parklands; however, I do not wish to be cremated. No! I will be scattered, unburnt, throughout Fairmount Parks. A limb to each child to do with as they please. Specifics matter not. Just so long as I am set aside in the soil, grass and water back in my home town of Philadelphia. And to you, my dear honey-bunny, Kristen. My poor, widowed, wife...to you I leave my head. It is my final resting wish that you place my head at Flinders Street Train Depot, Australia. My favorite sight on Earth! I specifically ask that you place my head looking South-West, toward the Eureka Towers. And, if you don't mind, please do so at 5:30pm to commemorate our initial meeting way back in June of 2008.

As for your inheritance...after the last of my remains have been scattered, you can return to the attorneys at Saw, Hunter and Moore to receive your land and assets so long as you provide photographic evidence that my wishes have been carried out to the letter of the law. Each of you has received a sizable sum of money, in excess of several million dollars, minus the few frivolities aforementioned and a few, previously agreed upon pennies to our good friends, the attorneys at Saw, Hunter and Moore.

Go with God, my progeny. Go with God, Kristen. Enjoy the Cottswald cheese, and remember me with each bite into a cracker. Go!

Warmly in Death,
The Beloved Mr. Matthew Bulman

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An Apology

To members of the media, as well as those individuals and families currently affected by the sexually transmitted virus known as HIV:

I would like to express my most sincere apologies for raising the farcical premise that it is my desire to be known as, "Bulman: the opposite of AIDS." As it was pointed out by the recovering-heroin-junky-homosexual (RHJH) sitting in the front row of the comedy venue at last evening's Triple J RAW comedy competition, "Mate, AIDS is not a laughing matter."

Touché.

And while some comedians might like to point out that, "The opposite of 'not a laughing matter' should obviously be a laughing matter," I am not going to travel down that path. Simple mathematics would prove this true, but no, I will not go there sir.

(And, if I might digress, as the previous sentence has forced a grammatical conundrum or faux pax or crisis to its issue, I would like to point out that the RHJH has forced me now to enter the realm of double negative usage and abusage, which is my bane. Endgame, sir! How does one not-not use a double negative to express that one is anti-double negative? Shall I be pro-double positive and multiply by (-1)? I simply can not, and will not not-believe in double negatives. They are too powerful in this realm of experience known as Earth. Yet, this remains another debate for another time.)

And, although it is true that I would like to build people's immunity to viruses, pathogens, and sickness in general, I am in no way in a position to belittle this terrible, sordid and dirty affliction.

So, please, Mr. RHJH, sir, accept my apologies. I will recapitulate for you the grossest of my offences:

"As the carrier of the virus known as the opposite of AIDS I would spread a lot of love...as though it were my moral obligation to fuck randomly, and in a seemingly half-hazard fashion, all who cared to live. I would recall that I did it for the people. And though controversial for certain, and perhaps persecuted for my techniques, I often would shout to my Father, 'Forgive them! They know not what they do!' The plebeians could never have guessed that I contained a penis that quite literally ate AIDS. But, when my penis ended up in the National History Museum, future generations of children on school trips would surely be told the story of its magical powers of healing. 'Bulman: he was the opposite of AIDS."

But for all of this, I apologize. Live comedy no place for satire.

Forgive me, Sir.

With warmest regards,

Matthew Bulman
The comedian no longer referred to as the opposite of AIDS

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The ABCs of Goldfish Tending

Whether you raise them for pets, food, or to harvest their natural Omega-3 oils, Goldfish tending today has been revolutionized by one maverick scientist’s methods. That man is Dr. Teitler...Dr. Neil Teitler.

Dr. Teitler's scientific techniques for the ancient art of Goldfish rearing incorporates hitherto unexplored territory. For years, it had been a noted phenomenon that Goldfish die in their natural environment: the bowl. Dr. Teitler had the gall to ask the hard questions: Would Goldfish die in other environments, too? Bleach, Sewage, Joy Detergent, Vaseline...because of his seminal work, "10,000 Goldfish interactions with non-H2O environments," we now know the answer. Yes, Goldfish will die most other places outside of bowl environments, too.

As a food source, Goldfish are ready to break new culinary ground. Underestimated in both their nutritional value and mouth watering delight, Goldfish have come into their own these days. Teitler's experiment with fish number 8,571 not only proved that Goldfish will die when encountering sizzling olive oil, but when pan fried with almonds and some butter, they are simply glorious to the palate. That's right, your fat pet might be the delicacy you've been unexpectedly waiting for...especially if you've been using recreational drugs!

And Teitler was also the earliest to explore fire, air, metal, and cinnamon as possible environments for Goldfish. Though unsuccessful, the techniques he incorporated helped to develop some of the more interesting fish-oil extraction techniques so often taken for granted today. After all, it was during these experiments that Teitler proved unequivocally that Goldfish can survive strapped down to a metal plank, so long as they are hosed occasionally. This has proven most valuable for harvesting their Omega-3 oils sold in health shops to consumers like you and me across the globe.

Having explored the world of Goldfish tending ad nausea, Dr. Teitler has moved on to other creature's culture of death and dying. Look for his upcoming work to be published in the journal Nature: "Monkey Torture: hitherto unexplored avenues of research."

Saturday, February 28, 2009

To the 6 year olds in Ms. Bulman's Class

Dear Children:
Thank you for your lovely cards, letters and drawings. It was by far the best gift I received for my 30th Birthday. Thank you.
Some (emphasize "some", Ms. Bulman) of you are excellent artists, and I've even put up on my apartment walls your best efforts. So keep drawing...it made my day!

There were many questions that were raised in the letters, and here is my attempt to answer them:

Question: Happy Birthday?
Answer: Yes.

Question: What is your favorite color?
Answer: I like the color blue. I also like red and orange, but blue is my favorite. When I was your age, I liked green the best!

Question: What color are you?
Answer: I am white with yellow teeth. I have blond hair and blue eyes. I have lots of freckles that are brown and a black one that needs to be checked by a dermatologist.

Question: Do you like?
Answer: Yes, I like...but do you mean "like-like", or just "like"?

Question: Do you like to play?
Answer: Yes, I do like to play. I play with my girlfriend, Kristen. It's like tag.

Question: Do you have any pets?
Answer: Yes, I recently started tending to Goldfish. My first Goldfish, Leroy, was a Red Capped Oranda goldfish who lived from December 18th to December 28th 2008 before going "elsewhere"; I then brought three heartier friends, Mr. Twitch, who is a fan-tail goldfish; Huckleberry Finn, who is a Lion Head goldfish; and Sarah (Theresa, please pronounce her name as, THARAH, as she has down syndrome and is unable to pronounce the letter "S"), who is a Pearl Scale goldfish. Sarah has a large head with padding like a helmet. This protects her from injuring herself on the bridge in the aquarium. I love my fish!

Question: How are you today?
Answer: Very well, thanks.

Question: Are there Panda Bears there?
Answer: No, they are in China.

Question: Can you buy me a Koala Bear?
Answer: I'm afraid not! Beyond the logistics of getting a critter that size into my luggage and through customs, I'm afraid I could never afford one on a student's salary.

Question: What animals have you seen?
Answer: Kristen and I went to see penguins down on Philip Island, recently. They are the world's smallest penguins. Very cute. I have also recently seen snakes, bats, kangaroos and a blue tongue lizard...all while running along the trails. I live near a river, called The Merri Creek. It is very low right now because Australia is a very dry land...mostly desert...and the area I live in is suffering a bad drought. This sometimes causes fires, and the animals and plants have evolved to survive fires. Kangaroos will run right through a fire rather than attempt to out run the fire. And the trees, called "Eucalyptus" or "Gum Trees", have adapted to survive bush fires and drought.

Question: What is your favorite elf?
Answer: Dopey? (He's a dwarf, but I don't really have a favorite elf...)

Question: Do you know how to play the didgeridoo?
Answer: No. I'm afraid I would look rather silly trying so I don't think I'll ever bother.

Question: How are you?
Answer: I am fine.

Question: Can you count to five?
Answer: Yes, usually.


If you have other questions, please let me know and I will do my best to answer them.

Take care!

Matthew Bulman

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Power of Wow!

Our gilded age of war and depression simply calls for a new, flashier philosophy. And Jim Huggins...whose picture book, The Power of Wow!, was recently featured on Oprah's Book Club...may be just the savoir our era calls upon.

As Huggins's Philosophy puts it, "Zen is both AMAZING, and at the exact same time, not. And to master something that is both AMAZING and not amazing simply takes too much time. This has been the age old conundrum. My philosophy solves the time problem, doing for Philosophy what microwaves did for the culinary arts. I pack into ten minutes a day what years of Zen meditation fail to provide: Doses of pure Happiness."

Too good to be true? Perhaps. But, according to Huggins, perhaps not. The Power of Wow! argues, "Confusion abounds in our information age. In the beginning, there was only The Bible. People went to one source for answers...it mistakenly led a lot of people to Damascus...Thus, age old debates were solved, not as Father Farry suggests in his seminal paper, Rocks, Paper, Scissors: how age old problems used to be solved, but instead by what is revealed in the archaic linguistic phrase rarely stumbled across today, "Let's Bible it!"

Huggins continues, "Google came along and fucked everything up. Now, arguments are solved by the phrase, "Let's Google it!" It’s virtually the same, “Let’s Bible it!” pattern. And, while millions of answers are provided, happiness eludes us, war abounds, and the economy sinks further into despair. The Power of Wow! teaches you how to get your happiness before others get it. And, how to keep that happiness for yourself into eternity. Let's see Google do that!"

Huggins explores deep philosophical enigmas, and The Power of Wow! provides many pictures to explain them. There is even an answer to the age old question, "Is it appropriate to pray while masturbating?" Though controversial, Huggins writes, "If you are masturbating, first, and you happen to think of God...this is acceptable since we should be encouraged to maintain union with God in all of our activities. However, it remains inappropriate during prayer time to masturbate; our full attention should be dedicated to the act of prayer at those moments."

The Jim Huggins’s The Power of Wow! Pack comes complete with picture book, quote of the day, 60 day supply of happiness placebo pills and an honest Huggins guarantee, "My book offers you solutions, quickly...we're not going to offer you empty promises like so many others. I won't show you how to make all the money in the world...but I will show you how to make enough to buy happiness."

The Power of Wow!, vol. I, 200pp, plus XXXI-page introduction; indexed; $18.99 is available from Venal & Sons publishing house.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Raw Round 1

I'm on the internet for the first time in my life...My first raw appearence. Not the best delivery of my material, but flattering. http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/triplej/comedy/2009/MelJan10_MathewBulman.mp3

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Creepy laughs on public transit

One of my bigger fears in life is that I will come across as a creepy character when we meet. It could be on the train or tram, brief encounters with flashing eyes, or breathing too heavily in the supermarket amongst the beef-steak tomatoes next to fresh lettuce varieties. My anxieties and fears compound matters and deep seeded Fear may well be the cause of the clichéd "self fulfilling prophecy."

But what happened on the train yesterday surpassed what my fearful imaginings could ever have conjured. This was the realm of the Devil's conspiring.

For my creative craft, Stand-up Comedy, I have a recording device that doubles as an MP3 player. It can record both my voice and MP3 files, which I can choose to listen to with headphones or via speakers. And I was quietly listening to Mitch Hedberg on the train with my headphones.

Sometimes my friends and I record odd sounds or conversations, one liners from movies we like. Once, my mate, Bill, recorded heavy pornography unbeknownst to yours truly so that when I thought I'd be listening to a new comedy act, filthy porn played instead.

But none of this mattered on the packed train before the incident unfolded.

I was lost in my Mitch Hedberg world, chuckling aloud at intervals proportional to his laconic delivery. Then, all of a sudden, the fear kicked in. I perceived that no one else could hear the comedy that brought me so much audible glee. And I realized, "Wait, this looks creepy." And I chuckled at the realization that I shouldn't be laughing out loud to myself in this public arena.

So I panicked. Standing up to pull the recording device from my pocket, I instead accidentally pressed the skip button. Just then, Bill's porn started to play. This startled me; my jerked head was enough of a force to pull the headphones out of their socket, and a high pitched, low quality voice was heard screaming, "Fuck my dirty pussy."

It was loud enough for the passengers to assume that I had been laughing to myself...all the while silently listening to pornography on a public train.

Just as I became a creep in front of all the other public trainies eyes... an antagonist more loathed and less acceptable than the first time smack-head who pukes his guts out on the Epping line...just then, I dropped the recording device under a seat. The seat was blocked by a pram, inclusive of mother and child.

And as the train pulled up to next depot, a policeman entered, while I asked the mother to move her pram so that I could retrieve the device. With impeccable timing, the child in the pram tweaked her head and asked the natural question, "What does fuck my dirty pussy mean?"

Weather she asked her mother or the police officer is a debate up to some speculation. But I am assured that it will all be settled in court.

Dick the Horse

Like a Confederacy of Dunces, the masses all too often back the wrong names at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. We get lured into the comedy tent and find ringmasters and clowns, passing by the real gold that Melbourne was built upon just beneath our feet. This year at the comedy festival, if you want to convulse with laughter rather than grimace and wince at hackneyed has-beens, check out DICK THE HORSE productions.

Having launched his comedy production company, DICK THE HORSE, ADAM HILLS is in a unique position for a comedian these days. Earning accolades in the UK, Canada, the US and Australia alike, the “Spicks and Specks” host is now extending his focus to fostering the talent of others. And we will all benefit!

Why will we all benefit? Let us remember to include Stand-up Comedy under the heading of Show Business; and Show Business is both a compound word and a complex arena. There are venues and halls to be hired, tickets to be sold, posters printed for promotion, radio commercials, and light technicians to be paid…the financial burden alone can crush the creative energy from a comedian before he or she even takes the stage. Meanwhile, talentless hacks and waning has-beens garner financial knowhow and steal the spotlight from the lifeblood of comedy…the new creative talent, who remain waiting in the undergrowth, hoping somehow to breakthrough.

Thanks to HILLS’ production company, there are at least two fresh acts stepping into the spotlight at the 2009 Melbourne Comedy Festival. DICK THE HORSE shows are have been specifically selected and stamped with approval.

ADAM VINCENT is rearing to break through this year. Quirky and sardonic, VINCENT is a personal favorite of comedians around the local circuit. He pulls chuckles out of your mouth like a dentist pulls teeth; it hurts, but it’s for your own benefit. He illuminates the darker side of comedy and provides insight into depression, suicide, homeownership, marriage and success. VINCENT recreates for the audience his skewed view of life, which is like walking through a door marked pain, and when you get to the other side you find laughter that hurts so good it makes you cry. And ultimately, it’s delivered with compassion. You must see ADAMLAND by ADAM VINCENT! You will feel the laughs the day after.

HANNAH GADSBY is the second act scooped up by DICK THE HORSE. Why? Because she is a natural talent. Only three years into her career, GADSBY humbly has amassed a stockpile of Critic’s Choice awards and festival accolades. Imagine her nonchalantly piling trophies in the boot of her car, and turning around as the biggest comedy circuits on Earth beg her attendance. And she accepts these scenes with a Chaplinesque simplicity! Calm and dry, GADSBY maintains a dignified poise on stage as she recounts with wry wit her Tasmanian childhood, where she grows up, “A little bit lesbian and accident-prone,” with a slightly homophobic mother, misogynistic and distrustful of physicians. KISS ME QUICK I’M FULL OF JUBES is GADSBY’S return to the Melbourne Comedy Festival after winning last year’s coveted Moosehead Award, and being deemed Triple J’s RAW winner in 2006. See her show it will make you guffaw.

Go ahead. See something new this year! You laughs will be deep and hearty, and in a few years’ time, you can brag that you saw them before they got big.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Differences I now know

"Let's Talk Strine." There are the subtle linguistic things...for example, I noticed how all of your Mexicans speak Chinese. Of course, this makes ordering a taco quite the predicament. And one early situation with Chinese-break dancers nearly came to blows because I thought someone would surely nun chuck me. Boy did I feel foolish when I realized that perhaps my thorough understanding of eastern culture...based entirely on 1970's Bruce Lee films...was inadequate.

Then there are the stark differences, including my favorite thing about Australia that can be found in St. Kilda...and I'm not so sure if it is the quality so much as the purity of that town's heroin is second to none! So, when mum calls to ask how my trip to Australia is coming along, I can honestly reply, "Golly-Gee, Mum. On the whole, it's great! The heroin is here is exquisite, but you can't find a decent taco anywhere!"

Then, of course, there are the cliché linguistic differences. In particular, there is the rising inflection that so many comedians talk about...most cultures only ask questions with a rising inflection, but Australians question that technique by making a statement with it. "Fair Dinkum, mate?"

Of course, I now understand that Fair Dinkum is a, "filler phrase." It's not even a rhetorical question. But the rising inflection is confusing for the newly acquainted to Australia. For many months I somehow presumed you were asking me to be on some type of Panel of Dinkum Judges. I assumed the Judges of Dinkum determined if something is Fair or Unfair Dinkum. Boy, was I red in the face when I learned the truth. I now know that every Dinkum is a Fair Dinkum!

"Yeah-nah," and "Look" are two other Australian "filler phrases" that can confuse the newly appointed Judges of Dinkum. I assumed "yeah" to be colloquial for "yes" and "nah" colloquial for "no." I couldn't have been wronger. "Yes" and "No" are words that mean the opposite of one another, clearly. "Yeah-nah" means, "I don't want to say yes and sound cocky nor do I need to say no at this moment in time so I will just waste a sentence with a word that means nothing at all but keeps conversation flowing."

"Look," on the other hand is confusing as a "filler phrase" because of its positive/neutral connotations in Australia. In the United States, sentences that begin with "Look..." usually end badly. For example, "Look...we need to break up..." or I've often heard it used as such, "Look...Mr. Bulman, the court rules in favor of the prosecution and you are not to come within 50 feet of her known whereabouts."

In Australia, "Look..." is used if I ask someone where the supermarket is...and it's harmless. "Look, mate, you want to go down this street and make a right and go through the car park. You can't miss the Safeway. G'day." Because I've been conditioned to it's negative connotations, including the sound of police sirens, I often ran away at the start of the sentence. I've stopped this now.

Thanks, affirmative and neutral "Lookers"...These are some of the differences I now know.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tactical Argument

Tactical Argument

Have you ever argued with someone when you know you will lose because you don’t have any "facts"? And while wisdom would dictate that you should concede, you get sucked into the debate and make it very personal. Before you know it, you can’t stop arguing because of one fact that you use as a trump card: You are better than them.

So, being crafty, you decide to use some tactics…intimidation and aggression are the first line of defense. You say something choice, both heavily opinionated and laden with self-righteousness, “Look, I don’t who you think you are, JUDGE…”

The word “JUDGE” will do funny things to a person. It tends to bring you back to reality, and, somehow, the courtroom. Reminded that while you may not have any facts, the prosecution does. Their facts are called “evidence’ and are referred to as Exhibit A, B and so on and so forth. Furthermore, these facts manifest as witnesses and videotape.

You immediately adjust your tactics, reverting from a passionate spirit to a misguided form of logic. Certain that you can use the evidence against them, you say, “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, while the prosecution would have you believe that I am standing there… “Naked”…in public… you can clearly see from Exhibit A that I am wearing shaving foam smothered on my balls.”

The phrase “shaving foam smothered on my balls” will do funny things to a person. Met by the courtroom’s silent, empty stares you once again adjust your tactics…both of them. You seek refuge in humor.

“I’ll tell you what…if you could have been there to hear the laughter coming from my friends, it nearly drowned out the screams of shock and horror coming from the children.”

About now it slowly dawns on you that you might never teach kindergarten again…so you decide to move to Australia and pursue stand-up-comedy. It really is the same old story, isn’t?

***I use the previous story to answer the question, “So, why did you move to Australia?”

Artist Bio

Like a circus-trained monkey on fire, Matt Bulman is complex and glorious to watch. A surrealist comedian, writer and humorist, Bulman combines science with linguistic-comedy to create a post-ordinary word: "sciomedy". It is a colloid.

This man is a graduate of Temple University, Philadelphia, where he acquired a B.A. in English and a heavy drinking problem. Though successfully returned to sobriety, he has been unable to return his English degree. And, do to unforeseen economic conditions and climate change, the world's English companies currently have a hiring freeze. Therefore, Bulman performs stand-up comedy, and his style is an amalgamation of Steve Martin, Mitch Hedberg and Arj Barker compacted in a blender with Steven Hawking and his legion of body-robots. He currently performs around Melbourne, gigging regularly at The Local, Spleen, MIB and The Comic's Lounge.

Bulman's writing employs some of the very best nouns and adjectives into permutations that are highly interesting to watch. Fans of Woody Allen, Edward Albee, S.J. Perelman and Kurt Vonnegut will hopefully like Bulman, too.

He aims his satire at the religion of science. He currently questions our medical leaders, particularly Drs. Parkinson, Hodgkin and Alzheimer; all supposed healers who have chosen to name diseases after themselves, never the cure. In fact, Bulman can't think of any cures named after scientists. If he discovered some disease or virus, he would only name it after himself if it were something positive, like a virus that ate AIDS. That way, when future generations remembered him, they could say, "He really built up our natural immunity to things; Bulman was like the opposite of AIDS. He did a lot of good pro-bono work in Africa by having casual intercourse in a seemingly half-hazard manner...saved a lot of lives!"

Bulman's work can be read on his regularly updated blog: http://thebulmanblog.blogspot.com/ and he can be contacted for gigs at Matthew_Bulman@yahoo.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Acceptance Speech

Acceptance speech

If ever I win an award, something where I receive accolades and recognition in a public forum, I will surely have to give the following speech:

Thank you! Where do I begin.... well, first I'd like to thank God, without whom, according to some sources, there simply never would have been a beginning.

And just in case there is no God, I'd like to thank the very loud noise, bang, without whom, according to some sources, there simply never would have been a beginning.

And furthermore, I'd like to thank mythology and the art of story telling, without whom, surely, we would have neither religion nor science, let alone the linear narrative structure known as a beginning.

"Tonight, I dedicate this ___________ Award to all of the Homeless Children of (insert local city name) and the world at large (Nod, say, "Thank-You", and await applause. When applause comes, say, "Please, I don't know why you are clapping. They are homeless. That hardly deserves plaudits.") This is for you Tiny Timmy, Jamal and lil' Kimberly! And I'm donating a full...1/3rd of the money that would ordinarily go to tax to a tax-shelter named for them!

While traditionally it's been said that humility is the only quality which one can't boast about, I'd like to break from tradition tonight. The word hero is often bandied about, Willy-Nilly, and while I don't want to call myself a hero, I do want to acknowledge those who use that language to describe my actions...especially all of the work I do with the homeless children of (insert SAME city name...get this right!) and the world at large.

And while you might be thinking, "This humble hero is pretty special, and I can see why we'd give him the _____________ Award rather than some other schmuck like (Insert name of competitors and colleagues who are real pricks). And to those of you who describe me heroically, I say to you, "I'm no hero...Tiny Timmy, Jamal and lil' Kimberly are the real heroes here...and their story must be told to the world (bite fist, choke, and feign tears). Which is why at the Tiny Timmy, Jamal and lil' Kimberly center, we are going to be adapting from my novel, "Homelessness, the musical," a version suitable for cinemas across the country. And we will use REAL homeless children in the filming of Homelessness, the musical. So get ready America. Tonight we begin a new chapter in our story, together...to eternity... (Slowly walk backward, waving to silenced audience as you depart stage left).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

Kristen smiles as I pivot around and behind, blindfolding her as I say, “Ok, now get in the trunk of the car.”

“What?”

“Reeeelax,” I say, still circling around her and wrapping her torso in my arms. “Do you trust me or not? Now get in the trunk.” I gesture with my head to suggest a matter-of-factness about the request.

“Ohhhhkayeee.” She is understandably nervous. We met three weeks prior, and I recently explained to Kristen only that our Valentine’s Day would require a swim-suit. I could understand her trepidation, but this understanding was overruled by what I had recently downloaded from “how-to” manual for dating from the www.wildadventuredating.com. In this users manual I learned that women, in a primal sense, require a sense of adventure! So I tactfully prepped her for a beach-holiday so that the impact of our canoe trip would really gob-smack her.

So the trunk of my 1985 Honda Civic pops and the air-pump windscreen makes the steamy, Back-To-The-Future sound one instinctively associates with a Delorian.

“Aw, fuck-me!” I often swear when I neglect the obvious in life.

“What is it?” She reaches toward her blindfold as if to remove it.

“No, don’t look. You’re just going to have to trust me.”

What happened is that yours truly forgot to unpack the trunk. A set of wrenches and a tire iron and some genuinely clanky, metallic junk is now making an awful racket as it piles up in the blacktop of the parking lot. She was straight lipped and tense in the shoulders, but like the good Christian trooper that she is, she doesn’t budge the blindfold. I don’t know how romantic it seems. It’s starting to cross over to the realm of creepy. But I continue lest time get the better of my plans garnered from the internet.

You must believe me that there are no ill feelings here. I am not trying to injure, neglect, or harm Kristen. I just want to surprise her on our white water canoe trip. It’s not far from home, and I’d like her to giggle as she recounts the story to her friends later that week. And it would force her to say, “So he blindfolds me and says, “Now get in the trunk of the car.””

And I think that is a genuinely, funny sentence.

Besides, I figure, I am just driving around the corner to the Fairfield Boathouse. Five minutes…tops… and we’re laughing about it! But the motorcycle cop sees me make an illegal right-hand turn prior to the train tracks and I am forced to pull over.

I’m not nearly about to spill the beans to the motor-cop. “Guess what I got in the trunk, officer? Nope. Not even close, sir! Guess again…it’s a BODY!” Hardly an option.

We make it out of the cop situation ok. Nervous, but ok. Poncho hops back on to his motorcycle and drives away.

Kristen is noticeably disturbed by the time we get to the Boathouse. The summer sun compounded by extra-time in the trunk allow the heat to build up something suffocating and awful. That steamy sound of the Delorian is now punctuated by Kristen’s creative swearing. She erupts from the trunk and is kicking my tibias and swinging her right fist into my left humorous.

“Do you think this is funny, Matt? It was like a sauna in there!”

I try to smile and make a joke of the situation, “Where’s your sense of adventure? And who told you that you could remove your bandana? It’s going to ruin the surprise.”

Kristen starts to walk away and I chase after her.

“Look, it was a joke that went wrong Chiquita. I’m sorry. You can put me in the trunk of the car for 20 minutes to get even.”

She starts to come around, and her stern face cracks with a smile and the tension is released with laughter. “You’re fucking loco, you know?” Kristen is not Puerto Rican, nor am I. But with the bandana around her forehead and her swim-suit on…her wild, flailing punches as I try to calm her down…my low-rider, second-hand, sparkly-polished 1985 Honda Civic…all followed by a kiss in the sun…we could have been Puerto Rican together and it would have somehow made sense.

After a brief embrace I say, “Are you ready for your Valentine’s Day adventure? Trust me, you’ll like it!”

We walk down to the boathouse and rent a red paddleboat canoe. I don’t listen to the instructions the man gives to me. He is saying, “Paddle up-stream, if you go down stream you will quickly hit rapids that are not suitable for beginners.”

I nod confidently, affirming instructions that I have not digested. We set the two-person canoe into the water and kneel down in the more easily than I anticipated. We paddle down stream. “This is going quite well,” I think to myself.

“NOT THAT WAY, MATE.” The boathouse man is waving his arms.

Assuming that I initially grasped the paddle incorrectly backwards, I say, “Thanks, Mate!” I then flip the paddle around and tell Kristen to do the same. “We must have put the paddles in backwards…doesn’t seem to do too much differently, though!”

The roar of water is barely audible, heard like a trickle in a different room, and I say to Kristen, “Are you excited?”

“Are we going the right way, Matt?”

“Yeah, it’s just ahead…you know Kristen…I brought you here because you’re special- “

“-Matt,” she interrupts, “I think we were supposed to paddle up-stream.”

“No, we’ll go with the current to warm up the muscles…” I rotate my traps and delts backward, shaking my neck like a pro-boxer. “If we paddle up stream right away we might strain a muscle since our upper-bodies aren’t used to paddling.”

“But-“

“Kristen, trust me…” we round a bend in the river and the canoe gains velocity. I speak more loudly, “Kristen, as I was saying, I brought you out here to tell you that you’re special. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you.” I’m looking over my left shoulder as I speak, neglecting the sight ahead.

I have to speak much more loudly now to compete with the small waterfall ahead. I am shouting, “GETTING TO KNOW YOU HAS BEEN SUCH A SWEET PLEASURE.” A warm and genuine smile peaks through my lips, and, still swiveling back to glance at her, as if to kiss her gently with my lips, I yell over the roar of the rushing water, “I LOVE YOU KRISTEN! I’M FULLY IN LOVE WITH YOU AND-“ I glimpse the small waterfall ahead of us and panic.

Ten meters in front of the small waterfall, I’m forced to scream, “I LOVE YOU, BUT WHEN I SAY PADDLE, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PADDLE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT! GO FOR THE HOLE.”

According to the local papers and the police report, we did everything wrong. Kristen attempted appropriate navigation toward the hole. I seemed to counter-paddle, forcing us sideways toward the small, highly-unmanageable waterfall. Boy, we must have looked rather silly as we toppled sideways over those rocks!

There are moments I remember…certain boulders against my head, others in a specific area of my spine, which I later learned is called the, “Lumbar Region,” made known to me from the helpful doctors at the local Emergency Room. And Kristen, who threw her arms around me to end that Valentine’s Day in a warm, loving embrace as she swam us to the riverbank’s edge.

There is nothing sweeter than awakening to your lover’s puckered lips on Valentine’s Day…then vomiting water as you gasp for the first fresh taste of oxygen...According to the very same helpful Doctors at the local emergency room, what I now refer to my second-birthing experience occurred only, “Seconds prior to permanent brain-damage.”

I’m told by the authorities that Kristen is doing quite well these days, and I am, “Not to contact her, or come within 50 meters of her known whereabouts.” The Judge has made it very clear that one more infringement would carry serious consequences.

To this I replied, “Relax, your honor, do you trust me or not?”

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My first sexual experience, a story

Once upon a time...my first sexual experience involved vast quantities of alcohol and a heavy girl named Sarah. I remember chatting her up as I cracked open a can of cheap beer. She was friendly, and I must have thought her to be very comfortable and fluffy-looking...Like a Muppet.

I asked her, "Why aren't you drinking? Are you, 'On the Wagon?'"

"No," she replied, and then without skipping a beat, added, "Lithium."

"OH! My Dad's on Lithium," and we were off and chatting. We smoked cigarettes and then groped each other, kissing and rolling around a wet grassy patch upon a suburban hill. She manipulated herself upon me and I was the lucky recipient of a crude handjob. I then spent the night vomiting.

She owned a car and drove me to different parties where neither of us were really welcomed; I was inevitably drunk; There were many handjobs; I always puked.

At 16 or 17, I often denied having any memory of the situations; only occasionally was this the truth. A more enlightened view is that I was powerless in any attempt to avoid her, handjobs, or the drink. On several occasions I even awoke from a blackout where vomit and semen covered the sheets. It was a real chicken-or-the-egg debate in my head...

Many years later...as my beer became cheaper and my vomit seemed to be more more accepted by my female companions, I dated another girl named Sarah, the 2nd. I feel horrible about my behavior during my relationship with Sarah, the 2nd, especially in regards to its ending. I am not proud of this, but I left her after I learned that she was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

Fair enough. I should not have been fucking a retard. I realize this in hindsight. But hindsight, really, is 20/20. And I feel as though I did the stand-up thing: I got out of there as soon as I learned that she was pregnant. I recall with great clarity that I said to her friend, "No way can I be a father...to that thing!"

So, I went right up to Sarah, the 2nd, and told her, "Tharah!" (because she did not have the "thpecial" ability to pronounce the letter "S") I said, "Tharah, it's over!"

And then I ran away.

THE END

Monday, February 9, 2009

Serendipitous genetic mutations

I remember with perfect clarity turning to a classmate, Tim, and saying, "There is nothing this neuroscience teacher can fail to teach me that I couldn't fail to learn on my own."

I am not particularly adept with science. And, sure, some of my classmates in medical school can remember more "facts" than me. But when it comes to reproducing those same facts in a slightly different order or, perhaps, completely reconfigured...I'm your man.

I first began to question my future medical career while debating the fundamental elements in organic chemistry. Several classmates backed carbon as the universal element which bound together many of human-kinds molecular back-bone; I had to pipe in, "Woh...aren't we all forgetting about the universal power of the little forgotten element called FIRE?"

The remark was welcomed with smirks, but I was asked to leave when I started to shout at our Chemistry professor, calling him, "A Sorcerer of black-magic."

I passed Chemistry, though I hardly ever believed in their spells and alchemical equations.

I did not have such luck in Physiology, where I answered one of the final essay questions, "While much is yet to be understood about the renal system, we can safely say that the kidneys, quite simply, work by magic."

And I formed certain hang-ups against Anatomists and Physiologists, whose discoveries revealed an inherently pompous nature. I imagined, time and again, the scenario that led a coworker to proclaim aloud, "Golgi! You might be on to something with your apparatus!"

Yet the moment I realized I might have to find an outlet for my mind's creative flights of fancy arrived during a radiology lecture. Our teacher made it quite clear that legally and morally, we should take great care to ensure that a fetus or neonate should never be exposed to Gamma Radiation. Yet it occurred to me to employ the scientific form of skepticism.

"Jo," I said. "What would be the likelihood, in strict percentages...so to speak...that exposing a child to Gamma Radiation could cause him to run with lightening-speed, achieve super human strength or powers of flight?"

Shortly thereafter I was asked to leave medical school. But once again, I draw on that epiphany uttered to the more adept classmate, Dr. Timothy Leary, "Sir, There is nothing they could fail to teach me in medical school that I couldn't fail to learn on my own."