Friday, September 17, 2010

In which Our Hero makes an exception for a righteous cause.

Now normally I'm not one for posting fancy-pants images and videos but I've come across something so absolutely delicious that simply feel the need to spread it everywhere, like an enormous pair of vaginal lips but without the fishy smell.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the incomparable Cee Lo Green.  You'll thank me later.

There's also a music video which is just as good in a different way, which you can find on YouTube.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In which startling developments are revealed while Our Hero waits for the Other Shoe to finish dropping.

Startling developments are startling!
Once again time and life have gotten away with me, which has prevented me from posting with any kind of respectable regularity.  Somehow I'm sure the blogosphere has not ceased to exist without my acidic bile spew for the past 11 days.

So many things, both good and bad (for once thankfully mostly good) have happened that it would be exhaustive to go over them all.  Additionally good news isn't nearly as interesting as bad or bizarre, so I'll just gloss over the big good fun things: my parents came to visit the weekend after Third Party's vile, wretched sire and screeching banshee beldam "graced" us with their presence.  The visit was the proverbial night-and-day deal, was an absolutely pleasant experience, and went a long way in repairing the psychic mauling TP's parents gave the both of us.  It doesn't hurt that we went out to dinner at Red Robin.  Jesus in a sidecar wearing a lobster bib, but those are some tasty burgers.

Following that, we receive word that two very dear people offered to sell me a spare car for incredibly cheap.  A 2000 Hyundai Elantra is worth about 2 to 3 times what they're asking for it, it comes from a good pedigree since they have mechanics in their family, and all it needs is an inspection and a new left front turn indicator light and it's good to go.  Furthermore, they're letting me put half down now and giving me time to pay the rest off at my leisure.

 I eyed them suspiciously when they told me the deal, expecting there to be some caveat somewhere that would involve me getting raped to sleep by dickwolves nightly for the next 12 months, but apparently there actually are good people out there in the world.  The car, in fact, is being brought over this evening for perusal and I'm looking forward to seeing if they are as actually forthright as I suspect they might be.

In a final recitation of what can be called "good news," I've decided to take my UK client up on the offer of more work.  Hopefully this will lead to me being able to phase out the transcription proofreading assholes, as they have become somewhat tarnished in my opinion of them of late; indeed, to refer to them as the most vile of used, dripping douche nozzles would seem an insult to the relative sterility of such a feminine hygiene product.  I'm tired of them either going days without sending me anything or trying to foist off on me poorly-translated files that take ridiculously long to proofread.  Not for $10 an hour, anyway.  The people who assign me work like that deserve the Special Hell, as Shepherd Book would say.

Finally on to the Fucking Weird section of our evening:  in a recent trip to the local Taco Hole, whereupon discovering they had once again gotten my regular order of 3 Meef Chewbaccas with a side order of Chili Chimps completely and totally wrong, necessitating a trip inside to the front counter.  While I waited for the fine young MTV viewers behind the counter to correct my order, I glance over to the bulletin board on my left where I find the most absolute bizarre business card ever:

D McGinty                                                                Birthdays * Funerals * Weddings
The "D" stands for "Awesome"                            Professional * Vindictive * Fnord 
Pentanthera Paracommunications                                                                                 610-906-2490 

So what in the holy hand grenade is up with this guy?  I'm including the phone number and email address here because, well, fuck 'im, he put his god damned business card up at Taco Hole.  If he doesn't want the free advertising he can leave me an email or a comment and tell me just what the shit he actually does.  Besides immanentizing the Eschaton.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

In which Our Hero realizes yet again that he's actually glad that can't afford a smart phone.

It's not paranoia if they are out to get you.
As I've mentioned before in previous work-related rants, I'm a freelance editor (also known as corporate whore) that picks up regular work for an audio transcription company proofreading transcripts for them.  Today I received a packet of work that, after doing some curiosity-fueled research, completely scared the ever loving shit out of me.

The file itself is similar to what I did a couple weeks ago where I slaved over 30 hours of retarded requests for penis jokes from that text message answering service.  I thought it was the same thing, but I was getting different style messages - less instances of "suck my big black cock" and more along the lines of email and text messages spoken aloud.  What I did keep hearing over and over again was the word "Vlingo," so I conducted an exhaustive bit of research (I fucking Googled it okay?  Get off my dick.  Jesus fuck.) and it turns out there's some company with a new smart phone app that has some pretty good text-to-speech recognition, judging from the raw file that I've got here in front of me.

Of course at that point I started thinking, "Holy shit, these are people's personal emails and texts!  Why do I have access to them?"  And then I figured out that this Vlingo company is obviously recording all the instances of people using the app on their BlackBerrys or their Droids or iPhones or whatever, saving whatever the person says and obviously storing it somewhere.

My Tinfoil Hat Senses started tingling, and I went and checked out the Vlingo website, where after some exhaustive digging I uncovered their Privacy Policy (I finally scrolled down to the bottom of the page and found it, like a god damned retard).

The second paragraph seems innocuous enough:
Vlingo never stores or keeps personally identifiable information on any user and never shares any user information outside of Vlingo for any reason. We do collect personal information to improve the service...
 Jesus Mary and Slowbro.  At least they admit it, even if they're not recording any personal information.

Then, I find another gem:
We collect and store the location of your handset only when you speak (which you can opt out of at any time through the Options screen of the Vlingo mobile client application). We do not associate the handset's location with your personal information. We do not know who you are when you use the location-awareness component of our service. We use this location information for research and development purposes and to improve your experience with the service.
 Great, now they're tracking my location too.  So they're pinpointing where and when I'm using their service, and what I'm saying.  At least you can opt out of it.  And what the hell are "research and development purposes?"  It's bad enough mobile phones have GPS trackers built into them already, but at least that has some survival use if you're lost in the middle of nowhere.  Then again, you probably have shit for signal anyway out there in Bumfuck, Minnesota or wherever it is you've gotten dumped after some crazed coyotes removed your liver and wrote "CALL THE AMBULANCE" on your chest in lipstick.

Do I really want some god damned company knowing where I am when I send filthy text messages to some fat bloated disgusting fursuit-wearing diaper fetishist I met on Craigslist last night looking to exchange "yiffing" for some free salvia?  Furthermore, is what I'm currently going through considered "user information?"  If so, why is it something I'm allowed to look at?  I ain't employed by Vlingo; as an independent contractor, I'm actually not employed by the transcription company either, technically.

Should I even care?  I mean it's just a job.  I should be working on it right now and earning some money that I can put towards buying some shitbox car so I won't be trapped here with two poo-eating dogs and their lovely owners all the god damned time.  At the same time I feel like I should be warning people about this Vlingo bullshit and how they're installing radio transmitters in my teeth so the Russian canine astronauts can communicate with me in the middle of the night, or whatever crazy paranoid people talk about.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In which Our Hero is rick rolled in the god damned bathroom.

Now that my bubbling ire has subsided in regards to a giant vat of cherry-flavored Rita's Ices currently languishing in the freezer downstairs (like toilet-clogging bowel movement, it was simply taking up too much space in my little mini-fridge), it's time to relate the horror show that was my weekend.

As I mentioned, Third Party's parents were here for an overnight, plaguing us with their nasty presences.  They left New York on Saturday morning, promptly sat in traffic for about 6 hours, and finally got here sometime in the late afternoon, nice and extra surly.  This is a remarkable feat, considering that TP's mother has the temperament (and the shrill Noo Yawk accent) of Fran Drescher high on motherfucking Angel Dust.

I got a free lunch and dinner out of the deal, which was nice but a rather high price to pay, considering how I had the distinct pleasure of tagging along while TP's meat head father completely ignores his shiny new GPS and gets us terribly lost on our way to their hotel to drop off their bags.  We got to take the fucking longest shortcut ever, through the wilds of former Pennsylvania railroad towns that have since degenerated into places even "the nigras" wouldn't be caught dead in.

We finally pull up to the goddamn Best Western in Limerick and, to my absolute horror, this is what fills my view:
Yeah, that's right.  There's a god damned nuclear power plant in the fucking hotel's back yard.  It just then that I suddenly remember that Three Mile Island is in Pennsylvania.

Well, weekend couldn't get any worse, right?  What could possibly be worse than spending the entire weekend with some shrill harpy and her devoted, balding, metrosexual manchild of a husband?

Well, after they'd gotten checked in, they decide to take Third Party shopping at the nearby outlet stores (again, with the fucking Pillars of Death in full view beyond the parking lot), where finally I'd had enough from ducking into overcrowded stores stuffed with overpriced crap and excuse myself in order to go to the bathroom.

Finally, peace and quiet.  I can get a few moments to myself, I think, maybe take a seat, read some graffiti, leave some of my own perhaps.  I choose the handicapped stall; I like the roominess.  It feels comfortable - it may very well be bigger than the room I'm renting upstairs at Chucklehead Estate - and I settle in for a nice 5 to 10 minute break.  I light some candles, put down a throw rug, hang my favorite picture of David Hasslehoff on the wall.  Of course, as soon as I really start feeling comfortable is when the boring, inoffensive pussy music being piped in over the speakers ends and something else comes on.

We're no strangers to love....

I blink, disbelieving, as the first bars of a new song shoot through my ears and bypass the cognitive centers of my brain and light up the part that handles incensed rage like a fireworks show.  

You know the rules, and so do I....

Even in the fucking bathroom, the one place I have that is completely and utterly mine even if it's just for a few minutes, even here, my god damned Fortress of Solitude, the Universe decides to troll me.  Hard.

Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down.... 

Fucking Rick Astley on the god damned loudspeaker.  Fuck my life.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

In which Our Hero tries to shove an entire quart of Rita's Cherry Italian Ice into his mini-refrigerator's tiny little freezer section

So I'm doing my best to stay awake and actually complete the work I've got pending for tomorrow morning when I hear a knock on the door at the bottom of the stairs. To my surprise, it's Little Miss Tripping Balls holding a giant quart of Rita's fucking Cherry Italian Ices, gratis, for both myself and Third Party, who is sleeping off the fatigue of having to deal with a weekend visit from their vile troglodytic parents.

What the fuck am I supposed to do with 12 pounds of cherry-flavored shaved ice? Is this some sort of god damned joke? I've got a fucking mini fridge. The freezer compartment is about the size of a stick of butter; these things were designed for dorm rooms for the love of Zombie Hipster Jesus (he was nailed to a cross before it was cool).

I wanted to dump it on her god damned head and wipe that smug fucking look off her face. Does she think we can be bought by god damned crunchy water with some red food coloring thrown in? I need at least 2 pints of Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream to even consider any favors. Hell, if she really wanted to get on my good side, maybe she could clean out the fucking sink downstairs in the kitchen that's teeming with mother fucking fruit flies because
of the rotting corn cobs and tomatoes and Flying Spaghetti Monster-knows what else rotting in the bowels of their plumbing systems.

White-hot rage burns itself out quickly, however, and I find myself embracing the annoyed apathy expressed by our good friend the bubo virgianus here:

I need to find my fucking Xanax.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

In which things get really fucking petty and more than a little creepy.

The last twenty four hours have been filled with a ridiculous amount of horseshit, but two things stand out as particularly effulgent beacons of fuckery that just must be shared, both of which revolve around Signore Flailing Retard and his wonderful fiancée leaving for the weekend to go to another fucking LARP.

The two of them left last afternoon at around 2 o'clock or so; I remember the time pretty clearly because I was working upstairs in my little Anne Frank Apartment at 1 when that chucklehead stuck his head through the door and bellowed that they were getting ready to go, and I was still banging away on my work assignment when his cock holster girlfriend did the same thing approximately an hour later. Normally the event of them leaving for a weekend is met with much rejoicing, even though we have to watch their two coprophagic little flea buffets, but there's already so much shit going on with me thanks to relatives coming out of god damned nowhere that it was just one more thing to do.

Still, the two of them are gone, and everyone seems to breathe a little easier. My relative shows up at about 3 and I give him a quick tour of the filthy locale before heading out for some free food, and on the way out I notice the Benefactor (Who Simply Does Not Give a Shit) seated not at his usual computer station but at his daughter's. I file it away in the part of my brain that isn't salivating at the prospect of food I don't have to pay for and don't give it a thought until my return later that evening.

The house is empty; as usual on a weekend any time after 5 PM, the Great White Beast of a pickup truck is parked, probably across three spaces, at the nearest bar. Knowing that the dogs have been in their little crate for a few hours, preparations are made for releasing them and letting them careen down the stairs, probably shitting the whole way, and I pass by Little Miss Tripping Balls' computer screen.

There I find the web browser open to a hardcore porn site, complete with bare asses and tits and giant sloppy cunts.

Now I know that Little Miss Tripping Balls isn't getting her rocks off from Signore Flailing Retard, since they're about as passionate a couple as a pair of dead god damned squirrels, but I highly doubted that she would take the morning and schlick her way to happy times in the middle of the day with her father 10 feet away from him. This means that Daddy's probably been cutting his coke with Occam's razor and decided to plop himself down in the chair his daughter was sitting in only a few hours prior, pull out his fucking dongle, and rub one out while amidst the accumulated garbage on the desk in front of him, which I know for a fact includes several pieces of mail where his daughter's name is prominently displayed.

So yes. 58 year old man sitting at his daughter's desk and chair and masturbating while ostensibly looking at porn but also his daughter's full name.

I can think of only one possible reaction:

The other thing, well, it seems absolutely paltry in comparison. Maybe because it doesn't involve implied incest. It does involve some direct bullshit from both cuntwrangling douchenozzles, however, in that I got a call this morning from a mutual friend. It turns out that Signore Flailing Retard had called this friend, who I will code-name The Mexican, and bitched to him about inviting myself and Third Party to dinner without inviting himself and Little Miss Tripping Balls along.


The Mexican and his wife, two awesome people with something like 14 children each, have been trying to make tentative plans with both myself and Third Party for a few months now. They've come out to Chucklehead Estate many times over the summer, their brood in tow, to use the pool, hang out, and unfortunately be pressed into slave labor from time to time by Signore Flailing Retard (they were noticeably absent until the late evening at the recent party, most likely to avoid that fate). They're pleasant, down-to-earth people, excellent cooks, and in general just a blast to be around. It helps that the Mexican's wife has some nice god damned tits, too.

We all met this summer, and Third Party and myself hit it off with them pretty damn well, beginning to develop a friendship between the four of us. Recently they invited us out to where they live, just across the border in the wilds of New Jersey, for an overnight stay, and we've been either postponing or rescheduling for a few weeks now, between having no reliable transportation and no money and a myriad of things that just make life fucking complicated, like trying to keep two dogs in a bathtub. Or two testicles in an asshole.

Apparently Third Party mentioned these plans to Little Miss Tripping Balls in passing, stating that it would be rather difficult for us to watch their little bastard dogs overnight if we go out to Mr. and Mrs. Mexican's hacienda sometime in the future. It got back to Signore Flailing Retard, and he placed a call directly to the Mexican to complain that both he and his lovely "girl"friend weren't invited as well.

I was informed of this earlier today by a puzzled phone call placed to Chucklehead Estate, informing me of the new development. The Mexican related the news to me, and I could envision him scratching his head in wry confusion. I simply informed him that our mutual friends were jealous about missing the opportunity for a free meal.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In which a massive amount of douchebaggery is distilled down to a few hundred words.

Once again it has been several days between now and my last update. Once again, I am thoroughly unapologetic; I've had other shit that needed dealing with. Some quick highlights from the past two weeks have been:
  • preparing for, attending, and then cleaning up from Little Miss Tripping Balls' birthday party
  • battling a flea infestation brought on by two neglected dogs and one neglected cat, neither of which belong to Our Hero
  • extended caring for said dogs and cat in light of the fact that Little Miss Tripping Balls, Signore Flailing Retard, and Our Glorious and Illustrious Benefactor (May His Blood Alcohol Level Never Exceed the Legal Limit) have all been out of the house for extended periods of time
Let's break these down, shall we? The day of my last post was the Monday after a middling-large social gathering to commemorate the eventful day when Little Miss Tripping Balls slid down her mother's vaginal chute into a pile of drugs and money, of which one or the other has she been steadily consuming since that date. There were several key players in attendance, along with several more who just couldn't be bothered to come all the way out to the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania for the privilege of having a shitty time. The farm was in relatively good shape, thanks to the ministrations of Our Hero and Third Party, who had been steadily maintaining the work done on the side patio in addition to the backyard pool and deck areas (despite the giant dogshit landmines everywhere).

Additionally there was a flurry of cleaning and preparation that had taken place that previous Friday when, after an indefinite amount of prompting and and encouragement from outside sources, both SFR and LMTB actually got off their fucking asses and cleaned their shit up and out of the first floor. Of course, their version of "clean" is rather laughable; all the loose pieces of personal property were trundled upstairs and deposited into their dumping ground on the second floor, a dog-shit encrusted room that used to also be their bedroom until they actually moved their bed to a smaller, adjoining room in some asinine bid for World's Most Stupid Couple. I think they're still in the running.

So the pool room was cleansed of all their ridiculous mess, and the shared living room and kitchen space was given a once-over as well. There was some work done outside in addition, such as the vile, reeking cooler hosed out and disinfected before being filled with cheap, evil-smelling beer and the pool cleaned within an inch of its life, but alas they cannot take credit for all of these things themselves; as people began arriving early for the party, they were actually put to work on these tasks. Can you fucking imagine? Later I discover this is why so many people arrived either later in the evening or not at all, as this kind of behavior has occurred several times in the past.

Another reason some people were reticent to come is because their two hosts would routinely, in addition to making their guests clean their filthy house and environs for them, also neglect to purchase adequate amounts of food and drink to actually entertain their guests. Well, in a stroke of altruism and goodwill that is surely forgotten by now, both Third Party and myself got together, pooled our resources in regards to food and drink easily purchased with government aided funds, and went food shopping for the party. We were determined to at least be able to offer some sort of recompense for all the poor assholes that got suckered into coming over for this noxious celebration, and since Signore Flailing Retard and Little Miss Tripping Balls now have no money since Il Benefattore (Lui Che Non Parla Italiano) took his credit card back from the clutches of his vapid little daughter. Hell, TP and I were even the ones who paid for her fucking birthday cake.

But that's neither here nor there; the actions weren't taken for her or her vile fiancé but for their guests, several of which are friends or at least people that don't deserve a slow, painful death. So we did a mitzvah, so what? No expectation of gratitude. Which was not really all that forthcoming.

Behavior displayed during the party was of the head-scratching variety, of course. The general demographics of the party broke down in two ways: close friends of approximately the same age, or newer, younger people known through some retarded LARP game both the Birthday Girl and her remora of a fiancé frequent once a month. The two of them spent the majority of their time with the teenagers over on one side of the house, while the adults were all gathered on the other side, as far away as possible from the kids. There was little to no overlap, save a frightened little boy or girl scurrying outside to grab something from the cooler (which was luckily placed in our demense). Occasionally our Host and Guest of Honor would grace us with their single or combined presence, but we were mostly left to our own devices. From all accounts, it was more preferable that way.

After the weekend was over and everyone had gone home, things went back to normal, of course; this means that the place was slightly rumpled and in need of being policed for empty cans, bottles, and cigarette butts. I personally had to rescue any perishable items from the cooler while there was still some ice left in there keeping it cold, as I wasn't about to let a full gallon of orange juice go bad. I knew that if I didn't pull it out of there and stick it in the fridge, we'd be buried in rot and filth by October when it's opened again for the next ridiculous party.

So as soon as that was done and taken care of, the next week and a half have been a constant struggle to contain and eliminate a massive flea infestation brought upon us by neglect: the decision was made to bring an absolutely wonderful indoor-outdoor cat upstairs and away from the dogs because both I and Third Party would continually find that he had terrible scratches and scabs from when the dogs would play with him much too roughly. As the cat weighs about 10 pounds and the dogs weigh around 35 pounds each, it was an easy decision on our part.

Unfortunately both he and the two dogs were teeming with fleas, which spread to not only any other animals in the area but also any human beings. This resulted in a massive expenditure of funds and effort in such things as two kinds of flea medication for cats, thoroughly vacuuming, cleaning, and linen-washing the contents the entire attic from top to bottom, and giving a bath to four cats.

Think about that. Four cats. Not all at once, thank God - that would have been absolute Bedlam - but one at a time, right after the other. It was a miserable experience, and not just for the cats. Only now have things started to show improvements; last night was the first time in two weeks where I hadn't woken up with my legs teeming with flea bites.

All of this effort could have been avoided by the owners of these God damned pets actually taking care of them, of course. The cat has unofficially been adopted by me and Third Party, so we're comfortable in seeing to his needs, even though he's not fixed yet and we'll have to figure out a way to pay for his neutering, but there's no way in Hell we can take responsibility for two very rambunctious growing dogs. We have been reassured time and again by their owners that the dogs have been given all sorts of preventative flea medications, and while that may be true, unless someone actively cleans the locations where the dogs frequently inhabit indoors, they can become re-infested and start the cycle all over again.

Guess who hasn't taken any efforts to clean the living room, where the dogs are constantly whenever they're not outside, looking for delicious chunks of their own shit to eat? That's right, Little Miss Tripping Balls and Signore Flailing Retard. I'm doubly sure that they haven't cleaned their living space on the second floor as well. This means that even sitting on the couch downstairs to watch television is an impossibility when you constantly feel fleas swarming out at you from the seat cushions.

The only solution would be to not go downstairs unless when absolutely necessary, of course, but not only does that make this little room up here into a prison, it's just not practical, especially since once again the dogs' "owners" have left for the weekend, leaving it to other people to care for the little abused bastards.

And I do mean abused; I had taken them outside Friday night so that they could urinate and defecate outside for a pleasant change when I noticed the fur had all been chewed and scratched off one dog's hindquarters, leaving large patches of exposed skin. Of course this was brought to my attention when he squatted down to expel his foul excrement all over the patio I had just scoured within an inch of its life, but I praised him for shitting outside, like a normal dog, and began to walk towards him to reach the long-handled shit scooper nearby.

He jumped up fearfully, his sphincter still clutching a half-deposited doggie log, and scrambled out of reach of me. He then squatted back down and released his putrescent load, all the while watching me warily, like I was going to rush him and beat him severely for shitting all over the place.

Like it had happened before or something.

It's times like these that make me wonder why I don't drink.

Monday, August 9, 2010

In which Our Hero is unapologetic for his ten day lack of updates.

The past week and a half has been laden with truly succulent fruits that, alas, have been ripe on the vine for much too long; the following shall be a recapitulation of the comings and goings of the beings that inhabit what I've just now decided to call Chucklead Estate.

What in the holy hand grenade have I been doing with myself recently? Well I encountered a truly heinous work assignment from a client last week that involved proofing thirty thousand lines of text, each consisting of an approximately 3 to 5 second audio file. It was about 30 hours of audio altogether. The less said about that, the better; suffice it to say that the client was a company that has one of those text message answering services. You send a text or leave a voicemail asking, "How many cocks can Dick Cheney take at once?" and some schmuck somewhere else has to come up with a witty answer before sending it back.

After perusing 30,000 audio files, the only god damned thing that stands out are the trends. Most often I saw questions about the fucking and/or sucking of cocks, asses, and vaginal orifices; the amount of tree cellulose a marmota monax could fling if such a creature had the ability; who Robert Pattinson was dating; whether Lady Gaga is a hermaphrodite; what Justin Beiber's phone number was; and how many god damned licks it takes to get to the center of some fucking hunk of crystallized candy on a stick.

This is what I did all week. Suddenly I found myself longing for the days when all I had to do was review the recorded inmate calls from Allegheny County Jail and listen to some fine upstanding citizen either constantly accuse his girlfriend of infidelity or beg for money from his 12 year old niece.

There were some bright spots of entertainment last week, however; one such shining example of how this place is a clearinghouse for the bizarre is how Signore Flailing Retard returned home one afternoon from the gun store with two new firearms in tow.

"But wait," you say, "what's so noteworthy about that?" What, indeed? I do after all live in a geographical location lovingly referred to as "Pennsyltucky" by those who are accustomed to an environment with less farmland and more teeth. Why would the purchase of a rifle and a handgun, both little .22 caliber peashooters, be so noteworthy?

Well first of all the firearms were procured in trade. SFR decided, in his infinite wisdom, to trade in the massive penis extender of an assault rifle he hitherto owned for the two smaller caliber weapons due to the fact that the AR-15 is not legal to own in the neighboring state of New Jersey.

For those who are mildly interested in its provenance, the AR-15 is the civilian version of the fucking instrument of death used by the U.S. military since that lovely 10-year police action in Southeast Asia, the M-16. It differs only from its military counterpart by lacking the ability to fire in a fully automatic setting, which means that you can only launch its massive ammunition one round at a time. Imagine your disappointment when being limited to throwing slugs the size of ballpoint pens downrange only as fast as you can pull the trigger. Quel dommage!

With that informational tangent now concluded, let us return to our regularly scheduled demonstration of towering intellect: Signore Flailing Retard traded in his giant bolt thrower for two little baby man guns because he plans to move with Little Miss Tripping Balls back to his home state of New Jersey sometime soon. Whether this is before or after living off the Federal and State government for a protracted period of time is not known to me, but The Plan is In Place.

The rifle is for him, of course; he simply loves the feel of its long, thick weight in his hands. He grasps it lovingly, caressing the barrel with the reverence of a convert. The handgun is for his lovely fiancée, however. This way he's not afraid to leave his house lest the wild Nigras of south Jersey break down the door and gang rape the lass at the slightest provocation, depositing their thick chocolate syrup betwixt her creamy vanilla thighs in an attempt to dilute the purity of the Master Race.

I will take this moment to relate some further information in regards to SFR: he was born and raised in a south Jersey trailer park. That statement is not hyperbolic; it is undisputed truth. His mother, in fact, still lives in the same trailer park, perhaps even the same trailer. From what I hear, it's quite lovely.

For some time before moving into Chucklehead Estate with Little Miss Tripping Balls (a day that will live in infamy), both he and she lived together in a separate trailer home, which they refer to in loving nostalgia as "their house." Now, go take a look in the mirror. Look at the incredulity on your face right now. You look that way because the idea of referring to a corrugated aluminum shipping container with cheap vinyl siding and a cable TV hookup as a "house" is about as logical as the thought of hammering yourself in the testicles with a ball-peen hammer until it starts to feel good.

This man has been riding a wave of bullshit for so long I honestly believe his wet suit is cutting off the circulation to his brain. Not only is he Grade-A 100% Shanty Irish trailer trash, complete with vociferous disdain for the Jews and the Nigras and Those God Damned Faggots (and don't let him get started on the Mexicans), he's got Little Miss Tripping Balls wrapped around his finger.

Well, he can pack up his shit and go trundling off to that horrible festering swamp of a state, and he can take his lovely fiancée with him. Undoubtedly he'll have her in the kitchen squirting out a new generation of prematurely balding potato-nosed IRA supporters in no time, despite their fervent claims to "not want to bring children into a world like this."

Do you know that moment when you hear something so stupid that you actually lose the ability to communicate in a reasonable manner? That moment when your medulla oblongata overrides your higher brain functions and makes your vocal cords seize up so that even if you were able to formulate a sentence in your head that could refute the immense willful ignorance of what you've just heard, out of self-preservation it won't let you?

Yeah, I spend most of my days just smiling and nodding.

Friday, July 30, 2010

In which our hero awakens with a headache and cottonmouth, without the benefit of a good time the previous evening.

I woke up this morning at roughly 7:30, my head pounding like a kettle drum and my tongue feeling as if it was a giant wooly caterpillar crawling about my mouth. I found this perplexing, of course, because I had done nothing the previous evening that would account for such physiological abnormalities - no drinking, no smoking, no fun of any kind in fact - so I merely stumbled downstairs in order to pilfer two Excedrin Migraine from the shelf above the desk of Little Miss Tripping Balls.

When I performed this nefarious act of larceny, I noticed that her computer screen had been left on, presumably all evening. Additionally it looks like she had been playing The Sims or some other such irrelevant refuse, most likely for hours at a time, instead of doing something useful like looking for a job or training her dogs not to either shit uncontrollably over the highly expensive hand-sewn Persian rugs her father had bought once upon a time or to viciously attack each other over the slightest provocation.

It's come to the point where I don't know what will set off these bouts of spontaneous homicidal rage with the dogs; I merely know that they are usually triggered whilst the dogs are in close proximity to each other. I've taken to only petting them when there is at least a few feet of daylight between them in order to avoid becoming collateral damage and getting my face torn off. This is frustrating because not only are they wonderful dogs taken one at a time, I'm the kind of person that routinely prefers the company of domesticated animals over people and I'm unaccustomed to being fearful of dogs. Every animal either I or my family has ever owned has been incredibly gentle and well-behaved, up to and including my parents' current 85-pound behemoth. He moves lightly for a rhinoceros, to quote Jim Butcher.

Adding to my frustration is the fact that these two dogs aren't mine. On the one hand, this frees me from any technical responsibility in regards to their general upkeep and well-being; on the other hand it bars me from any direct say in how the dogs are raised, trained, and treated by the two vile, soulless homunculi that are their "owners." I find it difficult to watch two perfectly good, loving, ebullient, highly intelligent dogs get utterly and completely ruined through neglect and mismanagement.

It's indicative of the both of them, both Little Miss Tripping Balls and Signore Flailing Retard. Shortcuts, neglect, lack of forethought, poor mental hygiene, whatever you wish to call it. Just like leaving the computer monitor on all night, letting the image of some vapid game burn itself into the LCD screen, not only are their acts wasteful but destructive to boot.

Another fine example of this behavior is Signore Flailing Retard's plans for the near future, shared with me a couple of days ago whilst I feigned interest in his ramblings. He's currently employed as an independent contractor for a tech services company (in other words, he's a fucking IT temp), and the contract with his current employer is up in a few weeks. As that contract ends, his plans are to apply for a loan from the government, co-signed by his mother, and return to school in order to gain his MCSE certification, a very long, very expensive course of study. School will be two 8-hour days, twice a week. While he does so, instead of working a part-time job to help pay the bills with the remaining 3 days of the work week like a normal, responsible human being would do, he'll be filing for unemployment benefits. Again.

Now I've done the work-and-go-to-school thing. I know how much it sucks. Hell, the stress of working 40 hours a week and then going to law school for an additional 20 probably contributed to my cancer diagnosis, but you know what? I fucking did it for two-and-a-half god damned years. I didn't go on fucking unemployment, taking bread out of the mouths of people who really needed the cash to help pay mortgages, or to buy food for their kids, or keep the gas tank filled so they could get to doctors' appointments because they're fighting for disability benefits. There are people in this world who need that money more than I do. That's something that Signore Retard just doesn't seem to get, and that sense of entitlement makes me want to start biting the heads off chickens in some sort of snarling, animalistic rage.

I've been on fucking Food Stamps. I know the shame and anger you feel at having to resort to a governmental safety net program. I also know the relief and gratitude you feel when you can go to the supermarket and buy food that doesn't consist of Maruchan Top Ramen and mustard. I don't wish that situation on anyone, but I do know that when programs like that are abused by people who can avoid using them by engaging in just a little hard work, it makes me sick to the pit of my stomach because somewhere, someone just got denied absolutely priceless help because the funding ran out. Especially now, when the unemployment rate is so god damned high.

Doubtless Signore Retard will make more money on unemployment than he would working some shit job down at the Gas'n'Sip cleaning the bird jism off car windshields. In that way it makes good financial sense on a microeconomic level. But what about the other 37.5 million people on unemployment in this country currently? If even 10% of those people did what this jackwagon was going, that's a huge amount of government funds being eaten up by selfishness.

Seinfeld can go fuck himself; there is such a thing as a truly selfless act.

Monday, July 26, 2010

In which positive news is relayed and passive-aggressive hijinks are praised.

I had a "business call" this morning at 9:30 with the UK banking guy. I feel my skin crawl at the sheer prospect of attempting to communicate in a cogent manner prior to 11 AM, so it was only by a supreme harnessing of my willpower did I not degenerate to pre-verbal grunts and other strange lizard brain rumblings; the Green Lantern ain't got shit on me.

The meeting was to discuss the possibilities of taking on more work for my intrepid internet marketing compadre across the pond; he wants me to increase the number of articles I re-write a week to around 25, bringing my haul to a lofty $100 weekly. Considering how the most time-consuming part of the job is finding articles of sufficient length to swallow, partially digest, and then regurgitate, I readily agreed. In addition he was interested if I would write email autoresponder campaigns, about one a month, for around $100 a pop as well. So apparently I'll be earning about $500 a month from this yahoo, which is more than double what I was earning currently.

Combined with my transcription proofreading gig, which could be as much as $250 a week if my handler would just quit jerking me around and send me pure proofing jobs, I could potentially earn around $1500 a month before taxes. Of course I'd have to withhold a portion of my own pay for Uncle Sam at the end of the year, but it's better than being out of work completely. Hell, making that kind of scratch, I could easily afford some shitbox used car in a couple of months maybe. Just in time to visit the more miserable members of my family circle that still reside in the great state of New York. Maybe for the holidays; there's nothing like a dose of passive-aggressive bullshit to teach you the merits of family members that don't live around the corner.

Not that passive-aggressive bullshit can't be highly entertaining. A story was related to me earlier today by A Third Party, whose name, gender, height, weight, eye color, hair color, skin color, ethnicity, religious affiliation, shoe size, sexual proclivities, and whether or not they were a member of the Communist Party will remain confidential in order to protect their identity.

Third Party was venturing outside to get the mail this afternoon when they encountered Our Benefactor (He Whose Name Must Be Said Reverently and with at least Half an Erection) outside. He had asked Third Party if Little Miss Tripping Balls had spoken to TP. TP said no; in fact Little Miss Tripping Balls seemed particularly frigid this morning (judging from the collection of sexual enhancement herbal supplements strewn about the living quarters of her and her fiancé, I'm not surprised).

TP made mention of this, and was graced with the following story: late last night after everyone had gone to bed, The Great Benefactor (Whom Even Chuck Norris Would Not Fuck With), in an inebriated stroke of genius, broke off from his current project (transforming a whole sockeye salmon into approximately 10 pounds of homemade lox) and ventured into the adjacent room to the kitchen.

This room, known colloquially as the Pool Room due to the full-size Billiards table that is typically covered with a mountain of detritus, is also known as Where Dog Shit Goes to Die. Prior to their current little shit machines, Little Miss Tripping Balls and Signore Flailing Retard were in possession of an incredibly old, sickly, bitchy little American Eskimo dog with dingy yellowed fur. The dog was old five years ago; it would constantly lose control of its bowels and proceed to shit absolutely everywhere. His favorite spot was the Pool Room.

The dog died in March. There was dog shit still in the Pool Room as of about 1 AM last morning.

I used the past tense there for a reason: apparently Our Magnificent Benefactor (Who Sparkles Even Though He's Not a Vampire) decided to gather up each piece of fossilized canine excrement he could locate and proceeded to tie a neat bow around each one with baker's twine. He then laid them lovingly upon the chair in which Signore Flailing Retard sits while he's using his computer as a tribute to the man's recently deceased pet.

"For some reason I don't think he was very appreciative," he then told Third Party, feigning hurt and bemusement. "I thought it would be a fitting memorial."

"Well," Third Party replied, completely deadpan, "that may be why your daughter seems a trifle upset this morning."

Sometimes I think I can really come to love that man.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

In which a week's worth of catch-up is played; the merits of Lynchburg Lemonade are touted; and plans are formulated to steal someone's inheritance.

Since last I pounded my thoughts into form down through my callused fingertips, through this high school computer lab-era keyboard, and out into the cloud of lemon-scented bullshit that is the Internet, there have been several events which may be
categorized (Jesus Christ I've been re-writing too many UK news articles) as "news," a word I find particularly vile and distasteful, like a mouthful of dogshit wrapped in an orange peel.

I am a certified run-on sentence specialist, licensed and bonded by fifteen states and three territories. Do not attempt this at home.

I needed time to recover after transcribing a five-hour deposition over the weekend. It completely destroyed whatever semblance of a social life that I possess, which consists mainly of trolling the Trade chat channel in World of Warcraft and looking for poisonous mushrooms in the backyard to eat. Throughout the entire process, all I could think of was the two-and-a-half years I spent, miserably, as a part-time law student. In a way I have my cancer diagnosis to thank for getting me off the hook in finishing that abortion of an educational experience, though truth be told I was so miserable and unmotivated that I wasn't long for that world, I'm sure: my grades were going down faster than Lindsey Lohan's cellmate.

But I object on the grounds that the anecdote is irrelevant to the matter at hand. I spent much of last week trying to return my mind and body to some level of equilibrium, just working steadily and trying to get some sleep. I patently refused to do any more transcription for that chucklehead that sent me that massive audio file; I told him it was just too damn long for me to do so and keep my sanity, so he sent me a batch of twenty 15-minute files, a collection of recorded prison inmate calls. I did one and immediately decided that I would rather lovingly place my junk in a box filled with rabid, starving wolverines with fetal alcohol syndrome instead of working on the other 19. So I sent them back and forbade the bastard from sending me any work besides proofing.

Still, I made about $300 over the past week and a half out of the deal, which will go a long way in paying off some back rent to the Benefactor (May His Penis Always Drag Along the Ground). His lovely daughter and her fiancé were gone again this weekend, which was rather pleasant despite the fact that the responsibilities of caring for their two rambunctious puppies was left squarely in the laps of those remaining behind at the farmhouse. As a result there was a disproportionately high amount of canine excrement and excretion sanitation being conducted on premises over the past 48 hours.

The upside of this was of course some time spent with the Benefactor (He Who Farts Raw Sunshine) sans the cooling influence of Little Miss Tripping Balls and the Flailing Retard. He's a rather remarkable man, though I find it hard to bring myself to trust him (or anyone for that matter, but that's a different therapy session). Still, I'll gladly be entertained by his inebriated rambling stories and anecdotes. In addition he can be quite an accomplished cook, even if he did burn the holy everliving fuck out of the french fries last night.

Still, the man is a connoisseur when it comes to alcoholic beverages despite his hyposmia (look it up). I sampled a concoction last night that I wouldn't normally have the courage to try; it was only in looking at the rascal's liquor cabinet and discovering such esoteric liquids such as "Triple Sec," whatever the shit that is, that I decided to try my hand at mixing drinks. Having some freshly-purchased lemonade in the refrigerator (which had just been cleaned by Those Left Behind this past weekend after deciding that Little Miss Tripping Balls and her lovely fiancé the Flailing Retard had left the god damned thing about as filthy as it could get before being declared a national health emergency), I pulled together the ingredients for a quite delicious cocktail known by drunks far and wide as the Lynchburg Lemonade. While I was at first reticent to drink anything that alludes to the act of stringing people up by their necks for the crime of being a darker shade of skin pigmentation than the local populace, it was worth the guilt. Perhaps the drink should be called the White Man's Burden.

So upon the conviviality fostered by good food and drink this weekend, the Benefactor (The Man Who is More Classic than Coke Classic) shared some stories of his past. The most riveting tale was in relation to the dissolution of his marriage between himself and the mother of Little Miss Tripping Balls. Apparently Mommy Dearest was unhappy living in a 250-year-old stone farmhouse situated on 20 acres of beautifully manicured property and had proceeded to open her vagina wider than the Grand Coulee Dam to the inhabitants of this fair town. She then felt so guilty about the fact that she had had more semen inside her than a nuclear submarine and decided to take it out on her puzzled husband by flinging a kitchen knife as hard as she could at him.

Thankfully she was so exhausted by the constant penis-pounding she had been receiving that the knife landed hilt-first, bouncing off her husband's chest and falling harmlessly to the kitchen floor. Suffice it to say that a divorce was pursued by both sides shortly thereafter. And I thought my last ex-girlfriend was crazy. Well, she was, but not so batshit insane as to attempt to murder me with a kitchen knife (she couldn't cook worth a damn).

So while there was no outside activity on the grounds this weekend on account of the National Weather Service warning that stepping out from under the shade of the porch would result in your face melting like Toht from Raiders of the Lost Ark, plenty of time was spent inside. That led to the camaraderie of cleaning out a vile, squamous refrigerator, which led to the simple joys of a shared meal and freely-flowing alcohol. I have the distinct impression that Our Great and Immortal Benefactor (May His Bedroom Be Always Clear of Dog Shit) is in need of friends and allies in his constant struggles against the forces of his daughter and her shithead boyfriend. And at the risk of appearing like a vulture slowly circling over the dying gazelle that is his love for his daughter, I'm wondering how easy it would be to displace someone in a certain person's Last Will and Testament.

Just, you know, as a hypothetical thought experiment.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

In which before and after shots of landscaping handiwork are showcased.

I'll be doing something a bit different this evening in that I'll be incorporating the dreaded Visual Aids into my post. This is usually the last resort of those who simply cannot think of something to write, but that isn't the case today; I simply feel that in order to fully understand this evening's discussion, the class simply needs to have the benefit of some slides on the overhead projector. I will also simply continue to split infinitives and commit other acts of violence against grammar and good draftsmanship at my leisure, so hold off on the hate mail and let's simply begin.

Over the past several weeks I have been participating in a landscaping project in an effort to placate the Benefactor (May His Soda Water Be Forever Effervescent). The following images are evidence of the progress the project has made.

These first two pictures are, believe it or not, after several days of initial brush clearing. Unfortunately the soil here is incredibly fertile, so leaving a brick patio unmolested for two weeks will result in the grass, that had been painstakingly pulled out of in between each and every vile clay rectangle, growing back. This will result in your handiwork being completely obliterated by all to see, much as it appears below.

This is, of course, bad for my blood pressure. What you are looking at is the brick patio just to the side of the farmhouse; the stone building in the background of each shot is what is apparently called a "summer kitchen." The two-floor structure consists of a large downstairs kitchen, complete with: massive stone fireplace; wood-burning stove; a non-functional weed whacker; defunct props left over from when Signore Flailing Retard and his beautiful fiancée Little Miss Tripping Balls ran their own live-action role playing game; two mountain bikes with deflated tires that belong to Signore Flailing Retard and his beautiful fiancée Little Miss Tripping Balls; several kittens; and weeds. Growing inside. In the shade. Inside.

The second floor consists of a Great Depression-era bedroom, complete with Lil' Orphan Annie bed and a pair of men's dress shoes that must be three times older than myself.

The following shots are from this morning, before work started. The state of the patio at that time was after another thorough cleaning and some deep weeding along the side of the summer kitchen, as is plainly visible.

Continuing around the patio to the right will reveal a concrete slab that had been completely overgrown with English Ivy and other vines, which I had broken my back removing the last time any serious work had been done. This is evidenced in the following pictorial spread.

And finally, directly across from the concrete slab, is the view back towards the main house, with the summer kitchen just out of frame to the left. To the right is overgrowth. The large white oblong in the background is a cooler that Signore Flailing Retard and his beautiful fiancée Little Miss Tripping Balls had neglected to empty out and clean the last time they had a major social event at the farm, for which I was in attendance.

That social event occurred this past January.

Now for The Reveal, as they call the final segment in Ghost Hunters. After the work was completed this late afternoon, the results are the following.

What's this? Is there a planter underneath all that overgrowth?

This is madness!

Madness? This is Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Here is the concrete slab behind the summer kitchen. Apparently it goes all the way back. It's still not quite clear yet.

And now one final shot of the overall look of the patio.

It's amazing what people can accomplish with the motivation of the abject fear of eviction at any moment.

Friday, July 16, 2010

In which the Emergency Undergarments are utilized.

It's laundry day.

More accurately it's I-should-have-done-laundry-two-weeks-ago day. What this means is that I've had it with needing to peel my vile, sweaty undergarments off of my stinking corpus and changed to my last clean pair.

These undergarments are the equivalent of Defcon One: if you go down any farther, we're all fucked. They're a pair of Christmas-themed red boxer shorts with a Bettie Page look-alike wearing a revealing Santa outfit and posing in a comically oversized martini glass. They also have a horrendous split down the front left leg from fly to inseam, and since I routinely seem to list to the left when it comes to my genitals, this means my nibbly bits just go flopping about, with no protection from the elements.

The rest of the garment is blessedly intact, however, including the seat of the pants. This is of importance because, in addition to resorting to my Emergency Undergarments, I have also had to resort to my Emergency Pantaloons, a pair of brown corduroy pants that have a terrible rip right at the back door entry. In addition, they're about five inches too large in the waist. This is because I've been losing weight since going on the Work For Your Rent Or You're Out On Your Ass diet.

The best part of this? My belt has become too large as well. Which means that unless I walk about the place with two handfuls of corduroy in my hands at all times, my pants will fall down. This will then expose my aforementioned nibbly bits to passersby. Considering how Little Miss Tripping Balls is about as sexually attractive to me as the idea of putting my johnson in a wood chipper, I'll be doing a lot of white-knuckle clutching. Or sitting. Sitting is swell.

Speaking of the LSD Queen, she had her charge card taken away by The Great and Powerful Benefactor (He Who Instructs You to Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain). This made for an incredible display of waterworks last night on her part as she moped and cried, which was accompanied by an absolutely masterful demonstration of my acting ability on my part as I pretended to give a cunting fuck. There was musical accompaniment by the Go Eat A Bowl of Dick Orchestra, featuring a complete contingent of the world's smallest violins.

This means of course now she may need to get a job to support her life of leisure. I hear that she's an excellent seamstress; perhaps she'd like to sew up a few holes in some undergarments for me?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In which the nefarious depredations of eyestrain are suffered.

New gig started today. Almost wrote "Sartred" today. Which is only ironic because it seems this freelancing thing really is a way out.

Of course I gave myself eyestrain. I'm proofreading audio transcripts, and my first job ever for these sadists was a four hour deposition about how some old bat got shit-canned from some evangelical Baptist school for not being Christian enough. Or something. So my eyes hurt, and my brain hurts. I'll have to pontificate about this more tomorrow. For now, rest. And maybe dinner.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In which the idea of tripping balls for three years straight is presented to our hero.

I found it absolutely impossible to sleep last night. I had been up at around 8:30 last morning and I had received very little sleep then, so I was looking forward to passing out at a reasonably bourgeoisie hour last evening; I went to bed at around 11:30 with the assumption that I could get some solid shut-eye and awake refreshed early in some semblance of a normal diurnal schedule.

I gave up on the prospect shortly after midnight. I got up and proceeded to squint blearily at my computer monitor for a solid three hours in an attempt to tire myself out sufficiently for bed. This was made more difficult by the door to the downstairs hallway miraculously coming open on its own again somewhere around 1:30 in the morning, which resulted in a mad dash to find an errant cat before he disappeared into the thick Pennsylvanian æther.

The door has routinely opened on its own for a few nights, now. I'm unsure what causes it. The weather has been terribly humid, causing the door to swell in the frame; it makes it exceedingly hard to both open and close securely. The previous tenants had devised some bizarre rope-and-pulley Rube Goldberg device to pull the door closed from the top of the stairs, but I soon lost patience with such an infernal contraption and dismantled it. The mysterious egress has been opening itself ever since, even after I tightened the latch hardware with a screwdriver.

It was brought to my attention last night, as I escorted a large cat back up the stairs, something that I had thought rather puzzling at the time that I fixed the door handle a few days ago: the door locked from the 2nd floor hallway side, not the side on the interior of the room. The room up here had been a bedroom for years. Wouldn't the lock be on the inside to ensure privacy for the person living up here? Why would the lock be on the outside? Have I stumbled inadvertently into some V.C. Andrews horror narrative where I'll be locked in one night? Are there indeed flowers in the attic? Do I even have a sister?

My paranoia was already running high when another tidbit was revealed to me by the forces of You'll Get No Sleep Tonight, Asshole: the daughter of Our Glorious and Benevolent Benefactor (May He Live Forever) shared, a few days ago, that from approximately thirteen to sixteen years of age she was completely out of her mind on LSD and only stopped when she started seeing trails when she wasn't high as a god damned GPS satellite. Little Miss I'm-Tripping-Balls used to live in the selfsame 3rd floor attic bedroom that Our Hero now occupies.

Jesus Christ, was she locked up here for those years as she gibbered and slavered, while Dr. Leary's magic potion coursed through the wrinkles in her pickled brain? Are there claw marks underneath the floorboards? Retaining clips for restraints in the closet? The prospect gave me chills; the idea of inhabiting a living space that I shared with a teenage Syd Barrett that, once upon a time, very well could have been finger-painting the walls up here with her own shit while her parents argued loudly about "just what the hell do we do with her" on the other side of a locked door tends to make my skin crawl.

Is it any wonder why I didn't get any fucking sleep? How do I interact with this woman from now on and not imagine her strutting about in this space dressed in a burlap sack with menstrual blood caked on her thighs and her eyes jutting off in different directions like a chameleon's? Furthermore, just what in the holy Hell have I gotten myself into?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In which our hero's first day as a corporate shill has unexpected consequences.

I woke up this morning, after a terrible night's sleep, to start my first day as a news copywriter for that UK banking client. I received a crash course in some bizarre occult mechanisms, studded with glowing sigils and dripping steam-powered gears known as Search Engine Optimization (oh wait, I've got to practice masquerading as a Brit, don't I? That should have been Optimisation).

It was all meta tags and keywords and all kinds of absolutely meaningless garbage. I feigned interest quite convincingly to the strange accent at the other end of the Skype call and was summarily let loose to do my worst upon the landscape.

Let me illustrate the actualities of this gig. I first trawl through RSS feeds until I find a suitable article on some sort of business banking news. Then I take it and re-write it, making sure to inject into its vapid, lifeless mass several pre-determined keywords to make it more attractive to Internet search engines like Google. After that I check that the drivel I've cobbled together can pass a plagiarism check by feeding it into a specialised (see what I did there?) website. Then, if it comes back clean, I re-post the bleeding monstrosity to my client's blog, where it masquerades as "news."

I'm supposed to do this two to three times a day, all for $60 a week. It works out to about 4 bucks an article, and it takes me maybe an hour all told from RSS search to final posting, so I'm working for roughly $4 an hour. This is deplorable, but I don't have to get off my ass in order to do it so I really can't complain that much.

There is an up-side to immersing myself in the UK business culture by reading all these news outlets, however. I've learned that people are fucking horrible monsters. I re-wrote one article today on how about one-third of British people going on holiday (oh my god! How authentic he sounds, you say!) are planning on borrowing the cash in order to do so. Now that's not terrible, plenty of people put skid marks on their credit card every time they go away, that's just common stupidity.

Then I read how 58% of them won't immediately be able to pay it back. Well, that dovetails into how bloody fucking stupid people are (wow, I'm getting good at this, aren't I? Pip pip, cheerio, and all that shit).

Then comes the kicker. Out of those people who are planning to borrow in order to go to the Isle of Wight or wherever else these assholes go (anywhere but the dentist, I'm sure), 13% of them say that they have to go away every year, regardless of what it costs. Their reasoning? Their neighbors have to see them going on an annual holiday.


I didn't think people were that awful. I actually believed that the only chuckleheads who pull that kind of bullshit are those independently wealthy jackholes that have a BMW for every season and who buy different dogs to match their outfits, not normal poor folk like your good ol' pal Doc Gonzo here. But here's Mr. and Mrs. Nigel and Mary Fishcunt of North London going off to fucking the Côte d'Azur every year and dropping 1200 pounds Sterling on little tchotchkes and overpriced hotel rooms so they can come back home to rub their melanoma tans and massive debt in their neighbors' faces.

Do you know the last time I took a god damned vacation? Do you have any idea the last time I've been out of the general New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania area? It was six years ago. I figured I'd might as well go to Vegas at least once in my life before I die since I was actively battling cancer at the fucking time. I've been trying to put my god damned life back together since, despite the flaming boulders of assfuckery I've had to constantly dodge ever since then. So don't tell me you simply must go on holiday despite the fact you can't afford to feed you or your vile offspring once you get back from Jamaica or Easter Island or fucking Singapore where you swam with the ladyboys and paid for sex from a great white shark. Get the fuck off my lawn. Bloody wankers.

Monday, July 12, 2010

In which our hero prepares to suck the golden teat.

I received another job offer this weekend.

That's actually incorrect; I suppose first of all, since I seem to be well on my way to becoming that particularly vile syphilitic whore known as the Professional Freelance Writer I must begin to use the proper nomenclature. I don't apply for jobs; I "bid for contracts." If I want to sound hip, I may refer to them as "gigs," but I think there may be a requirement of growing a Vandyke beard and wearing a decidedly effeminate beret before I can use the term "gig" without feeling like a pretentious asshole.

Also, and I may be wrong, but I think that I don't have employers. I think they may be "clients." This would go along nicely with the prostitution motif, so I believe this is correct. And somehow, perhaps through some lizard-brain preservation instinct, it just feels wrong calling them "johns" so I suppose I'll have to stick with the former.

That being said, I won a contract bid for a client this weekend who needs three health-and-fitness articles rewritten. The propriety of a house-bound shut in with the kind of skin pallor a vampire would be envious of working on a set of health-and-fitness articles is not lost on me. It would be like Michael Vick coming out with his own line of dog food. Nevertheless the gig (god what a hipster reject! Look at that, he called it a gig!) pays $40 for something I could do in a few hours, so I gladly took the work. I've already re-written two of the three required articles.

I also spoke to the $60 a week prospect this morning and was accepted as a UK banking news re-writer. Apparently this re-writing thing is the way to go in the advertising blogosphere; you take an existing article, put it into a wood chipper, drink the viscous concoction, and then shit out a cruel parody of the original article that will pass a cursory plagiarism inspection before filling it with SEO keywords and reposting it to a different blog. Like all advertising and marketing ploys, it's asinine, has no intrinsic value, and needs shlumps like me willing and able to do the grunt work for a pittance, people so desperate for cash that they'll fuck their own assholes on live television just for a hot meal.

Well I'm reaching for the lube right now, ladies and gentlemen; I suggest those of you in the first three rows use the plastic sheeting at the bottom of your seats. Yes, the ones left over from the Gallagher show last night. No, I didn't know he was still alive, either.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

In which six full grown people and a full can of gasoline cannot start a fire.

Late last night, Our Glorious Benefactor (Peace Be Upon Him) decided that, after slaloming home from the bar in his gargantuan white beast of a pick-up truck, he would enjoy it if we gathered up some loose cardboard moldering on the back porch and take it over to the fire pit where he burns tree clippings and other brush, as there was already a sizable haystack of the garbage waiting to be torched.

The healthy soaking we had received earlier that morning made this endeavor an exercise in futility. We studded the sodden pile of wilted leaves and branches with pizza boxes and other detritus until the whole mess loomed over us like some ominous fruitcake. This horrid abortion of wood pulp and chlorophyll was then doused with gasoline that had been sitting in its can since the Carter administration. We attempted to set the sad little pile alight, which resulted in singed eyebrows, a few spots on the nearby grass where some errant drops of gas had been splashed, and a complete lack of sustainable fire despite the massive quantities of accelerant.

These festivities went down at approximately 2 in the morning. Prior to that we had been drinking cans of beer (cans, for the love of a just and loving God, cans!) which had a decidedly salty taste to them. This was due to the actions of the future son-in-law of Our Great and Esteemed Benefactor (Upon Whom Be Peace), which for the sake of brevity we will code-name Flailing Retard. Signore Retard (let's be at least formal here), a college-educated adult male, decided to add approximately 14 metric tons of salt into the cooler where the beer cans were being kept on ice. His theory was that the application of salt to ice would melt it, dropping the temperature of the beer significantly faster than just letting the cans sit in ice alone.

The problem with this is that he added the salt while the beer was already in the cooler. Which means the majority of the salt landed on the god damned tops of the cans where the pull tabs are installed. Therefore anyone who wanted to sample the simple, backwoods pleasures of sitting down on the porch with their hand wrapped lovingly around the redneck's favorite use for aluminum had to first find some way to cleanse the top of his still-sealed beverage of all the crystals of sodium chloride that had become encrusted therein.

After chipping away the middle-school science experiment that had grown to seal the top of my chosen beverage, I reluctantly "popped the top," as those rustic folk with less teeth than sense say. I took my first sip of not-quite-cold beer and was immediately struck by the unique flavor having been imparted from a Morton's Sea Salt marinade. When it rains, it pours indeed.

For the love of all that is holy, drink your beer from bottles like a civilized folk. We didn't crawl out from under the oppressive weight of the Dark Ages to drink from unfashionable little slugs of aluminum. There's a reason the game is called "spin the bottle." Have you ever tried spinning an empty beer can in order to play some asinine reindeer game? Of course not, because you're not a Cro-Magnon. Show some class! As far as I'm concerned (and let this be the last word) you should never imbibe your alcohol from a container that you can't easily insert in someone else's anus. It's just not good form.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

In which I am soggy but unbowed.

There was a massive dose of precipitation this morning. My air conditioner leaks badly in humid weather so I've had to put a makeshift pan underneath it to catch its coppery tears. At 4 AM this morning it was half full, and I neglected to empty it. When I was awakened earlier by a phone call (a wrong number, of course), I found it nearly overflowing. I'd give you a guess at how lizard-like one's movements are when one is half-asleep with cats underfoot whilst transporting a full tray of reeking water to the bathroom, but there's no prize for getting it right.

At least the rain finally cut this beastly heat a bit, and while there is still some rain falling it seems like the worst is over. Would that were true with more serious matters. I did get a bite in my email this morning concerning a part-time job however. At $60 a week before taxes it is very part-time. But it's re-writing news articles from home over the Internet so I can't complain too much.

I'm hoping I get this job. Even though the $240 a month I'd be bringing in wouldn't quite cover rent at least I'd be able to give Our Glorious Benefactor something (see what I did there? Shades of Dickens. I told you I was over-educated).

I found him last night downstairs in the living room. He had his shirt off and he was perched at the kitchen counter like a gargoyle, clutching a precious glass of some sort of alcohol and blinking owlishly at everything. "Three sheets to the wind" was about three hours previous to my discovery of him keeping the counter top from floating away.

He was absolutely morose, like a man who has seen the end coming but knows he can't do anything to change Fate. Normally he's pretty jocular but more and more recently he's been in a terrible funk over what to do about his daughter. She--and her fiancé--have been milking him out of money and lodging for years without doing so much as the dishes in return (I learn this from him as I do the dishes). He's torn between throwing them out and burying their bodies somewhere on the property, and I can only think what depths of madness he's been driven to by them both that he would rather see his own flesh and blood out on the street than deal with her a moment longer.

I've been to some dark, ichor-stained places within my own mind. I've entertained conscious thoughts such as "if I can only figure out a way to drive off this overpass and end up crippled for life." But I can't even contemplate the Hell that Mr. Benefactor is going through right now.

It would make me feel terrible for him even if I didn't owe him any money.

Friday, July 9, 2010

In which our hero finds himself trapped in a strange land with no money, no car, and worst of all, no cigarettes.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
- Hunter S. Thompson
Things have gotten plenty weird. Think about this: when a man who identifies with Spider Jerusalem--someone who wouldn't blink at the prospect of crop circles appearing in cement--says things have gotten weird, you head for the god damned bunker.

I quit smoking roughly one month ago. Not out of any desire to improve my health or increase my lung capacity but because I simply couldn't afford it any more. The last $150 I had to my name, earned by selling my driven-into-the-ground car for scrap, had to go towards such vile necessities like buying food and paying rent.

Not that even I can afford to pay my rent in full. I applied for a dishwashing gig to the closest place within walking distance but apparently I can't even land that job. With no car, I can't get off the property any farther than that; even the local Turkey Hill is too long a walk. And without a job, I can't afford to buy even a used car (I should have called myself Yossarian). Luckily my landlord has been appreciative of all the yard work I've been doing around the property so he hasn't kicked me out just yet.

In the meantime I look for work online, trying the usual suspects like Craigslist and sifting through the scams and thinly-veiled prostitution advertisements for anything I can do from the third-floor attic room that I now call home. And I'm not even 100% Jewish.

So what do I do, ultimately? Well, what any other white, middle class, unemployed English major in search of the American Dream would do: I start another god damned blog. A single drop of chlorine in an ocean of piss, it's not nearly enough to make a difference to anyone or anything except maybe my peace of mind. "This will help me sleep better while I wait for my Welfare benefits to kick in," I tell myself as I dream of scouring the property for Jimson Weed to grind into a fine powder and inhale through a vuvuzela while I watch the World Cup.

My attorney once did advise me to drink heavily. I hope he's not about to ask for his retainer any time soon.