Writing

An excerpt from my user manual

I don’t know if you can tell this just by looking, but I move my mouth through a process of mind control. The fact that you can’t tell this, it seems seamless, is part of the art; or rather, the magic of the act.

Up close I am life sized. This is explained in the manual, though I know no one ever reads instructional guides. But this is alright as I am also fully automatic. Please do not be unduly alarmed.

–This is an excerpt from my user manual. I know it is strange to mention the fact that no one reads user manuals in my user manual but it is a very meta user manual.

One all-purpose excuse for not having shown up

I’m sorry I did not make our scheduled appointment. My absence was unavoidable.
Our appointment, unfortunately, fell immediately after my earlier appointment with the Medusa.
I could not make our appointment because I had turned to stone.
I don’t like it anymore than you do.
Thank you for your understanding.

Yesterday I saw…

I saw a man with a giant afro. At a distance it looked like a giant cowboy hat. It is impossible to express the joy of this sighting.
Blame psychogenic alexithymia, if you must.

A sign at a rest stop stating “You cannot be forced into work” translated into many languages. Whoever hangs these posters are unfamiliar with the peculiarities of capitalism in society. Also they hang these signs over the sinks, showing they are unaware that 90% of men do not wash up in the bathroom. And that is another reason to avoid shaking hands.
Or perhaps they do know these things. I enjoy a good conspiracy theory.

I thought: “People don’t ride trains enough because there aren’t enough trains. There aren’t enough trains because there isn’t enough track. Society has gone off track.”

I ate at a vegan restaurant. I like to eat at vegan restaurants because they have a wider selection of food I want to eat. I ate at Papa G’s vegan organic deli. It looked like this:

Tempeh, corn, mashed potato with mushroom gravy. Papa G's Portland, OR.
Tempeh, corn, mashed potato with mushroom gravy. Papa G’s Portland, OR.

A cat tried to steal my love.
IMG_0708

Spontaneous Combustion and you (& me)

I have never seen anyone spontaneously combust, even though when I was a child they seemed to talk about this on TV regularly. I’ve never even walked into a room and had people say “You just missed it. There was a spontaneous combustion. Say, Clark, you’re never here when spontaneous combustions happen. If I didn’t know better, I’d suspect you were Superman.”

I hear spontaneous combustions used to be so common that Reader’s Digest used to run a popular monthly feature titled “The Lighter Side of Spontaneous Combustion.” It was a different age. Now we know that spontaneous combustion is not funny; and encouraging the average person to come up with a supposedly amusing anecdote about it is simply encouraging them to light someone aflame for fifty dollars and a national byline. And what publication would pay fifty dollars for an amusing anecdote these days? Perhaps combustion is on the wane because the death of print has taken the profit out of it. For exposure, of course, someone may do it for free. But print is dead. And in a visual medium people would suspect special effects, that is, foul play.

In addition, society has lost its spontaneity. All combustion must now be planned. There are city and county-wide burn bans. Burning requires a permit. Smoking is frowned upon. There are issues of air quality and global warming. Clothing is fire retardant, and so is the blood of the average person, through chemical absorption.

Today if you see someone burst into flames you can be confident someone started that fire, rather than standing there wondering whether that’s the sort of thing that “just happens” and then talking about your concerns to a documentary crew.

It is, I suppose, possible that these things do happen spontaneously and there is now a government coverup regarding them. It’s one thing to believe in spontaneous combustion, but quite another thing to believe in the government coverup of the same. If anything the authorities would rather you believe fires just happen than that someone is starting them. Especially if people are being burnt up by large corporations. Yes, sometimes fire just happens.

You and me
and a fire set by thee
and I’ll see you on the news tomorrow
Me and you
and a stormy hullabaloo
that’s one hot story to follow.

 

 

Insult to Injury

The US medical system has long claimed to be exceptional.

For example, every medical billing department has a team on staff to add insult to injury. They wanted to know if they could keep them under the new law.

And the answer was, “Yes, if you like them.”