Sunday, July 31, 2005

Somber


Click for larger image

My contribution to Photo Friday, subject: "Somber".

Lawnmowing Ruminations (or 5 Things I Know About George Jones)

  1. He made a lot of good music.
  2. He made some pretty bad music.
  3. He had an unfortunate love of the drink.
  4. He got a haircut every day.
  5. He mowed his lawn every day.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Friday, July 29, 2005

Coinage Contest: Unfabulous Edition

I would like to draw your attention to the following points:
1. The rise of the Metrosexual: The popular media has repeatedly and giddily heralded a new breed of man walking the face of the earth, the metrosexual, defined for our purposes, as an urban heterosexual man who has adopted traditionally gay grooming and lifestyle habits.

2. Newton's Third Law: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."
Using our own special brand of dubious logic we synthesize these two disparate facts and arrive at the following irrefutable truth:
In conjunction with the rise of metrosexuality, their must be, in rural areas, a corresponding increase in the number of poorly dressed, ill-groomed, decidedly unfabulous gay men.
I can hear your objections, "Surely, Mr. Slimbolala, your claims are fallacious! If this were true it would have been extensively covered in the press. The New York Times alone would have bludgeoned it to death with dozens if not hundreds of articles. This cannot be!"

I acknowledge the plausibility of your argument and would concede its truth but for one key fact. Metrosexuals have a catchy name. Their antitheses have none. Without a buzzword there is no buzz.

And this brings us to our current task. Give these poor, neglected people a name.
What is the appropriate term for a rural gay man who has adopted traditionally heterosexual grooming and lifestyle habits?
Remember folks it's got to be catchy. It's got to roll off the tongue. It's got to sell magazines, newspapers, and TV shows. There will be Straight Eye for the Queer Guy:
"Man, you gotta stop waxing your back. Looks like a baby's ass. Remember backhair is what separates the men from the boys... the men from the boys. And take it easy on those crunches too. Only kind of six pack a real man needs is a six pack of beer. Heh, heh. Hey, Hank! You heard what I said? I said, 'only kind of six pack a real man needs is a six pack of beer.' Heh!"
It's going to be huge, so make it peppy. Hip. Happening. Now.

Buzz, baby, buzz!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

"So a Beatnik Walks Into a Diner..."

While were on the subject of jokes, I just realized that my daughter's freshly minted cop-doughnut joke closely echoes my favorite (and, er, only) beatnik joke:
A beatnik walks into a diner:
Beatnik: Hey, lady, can I have a slice of apple pie?
Waitress: The apple pie is gone.
Beatnik: Dig it! Give me two slices!
I read it in a Zippy the Pinhead comic the better part of two decades ago, and I think it took me about a day and a half before I finally got it (until that moment I wasn't actually sure there was anything to get - I just assumed it was some sort of Dada, surrealist koan). Only because I had just gone through my Jack Kerouac stage did I ever get it at all.

I'm curious. Do you get it? Don't worry if you don't. The explanation will be revealed at some appropriately groovy and un-premeditated moment.

My Left Foot

I was riding on the bus (this was not recently - for better or worse it's been a while since I've taken the bus). Sitting across from me was an elderly man whose left foot had been amputated just above the ankle. On his right foot was, not surprisingly, a shoe. In his lap was, surprisingly, the other shoe.

This situation puzzled me. I pondered it for the entire twenty minutes I sat across from him. What was he doing? Where was he going? Was he disoriented? Was he keeping it as a memento?

Finally we reached his stop. He lopsidedly hobbled off the bus, still holding the spare shoe, crossed a parking lot, and entered... a prosthetics store.*

Ah.

Note: I recalled this story after stumbling upon this much more disturbing story about a missing foot.

* Somehow "prosthetics store" doesn't sound quite right. What do you call it? "Prosthetics clinic"? "Prosthetics depot"? But it really was a store, no window displays or anything, but definitely a private, commercial enterprise.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Slimbilogy

"Interactive bacon" and "euphemisms urinating" have bedded down in the seedy motel of my brain and spawned monster demon-child, Slimbilogy, the narcissistic and utterly inane study of word pairs which result in number one Google hits for Slimbolala.* Here are some examples: After that I got bored and stopped looking. However, if your life happens to be crushingly empty and you're looking for ways to fill the dreary minutes until you die, then, by all means, feel free to add to the list.

* This is closely related to the existing sport of Googlewhacking.

** "interactive bacon" doesn't technically meet our criteria since you have to put quotes around the pair for the desired result. However, since it started off this whole mess of nonsense, we'll give it honorary status as a "Slimbidyad".

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A Wasted Day Is a Wasted Day Is a Wasted Day

What I learned in all day "process" training:
  • "Process management is process management is process management."
  • "A fool with a tool is still a fool."
  • "We've got [something-or-other]* out the 'gump stump'."
  • The instructor had poor hygiene in high school.
  • "An apple is an apple is an apple."
  • "Configuration management is configuration management is configuration management."
  • The instructor didn't have his first beer until he was 25.
  • "Training is not training is not training."**
I'm not sure I was paying attention to the right things.

* Sorry, I was spacing out.

** That last one was a bit tricky. He kind of mixed things up on us there.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Butterbeer : The Gateway Drug

I was out with friends on a recent evening, the same night the new Harry Potter book was released. In the wee hours of the morning conversation turned to the many youngsters who were undoubtedly still awake at that very moment, sleepily marching through their brand new copies. We then discussed the numerous adults who were certainly doing the same thing. Finally, of course, we began to speculate on how many of those adults worldwide were using artificial substances, specifically cocaine, to fuel their all night Harry Potter binges:



The debate grew heated. Most granted that there was probably at least one, but argued that the total number must be less than 50. I argued that the total number must certainly be more than 50, perhaps much more. Eventually there was some shift in my favor, but, alas, we arrived at no conclusive answer.*

How many do you think there are?
a) 0
b) 1
c) 2 - 50
d) 51 - 1000
e) More than 1000
Place your vote.

* Strange, don't you think, that an idle conversation carried on in a bar by a bunch of pooly informed slobs in the middle of the night wouldn't arrive at a sound conclusion.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Tranquil



My submission to Illustration Friday, subject: "tranquility". Find peace where you will.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Birds, the Dogs, and the Bees

I was walking my dog when some neighborhood kids came up and began asking questions about her. What kind of dog was she? How old was she? Had she had babies? Etc. Then the conversation took a turn I wasn't quite prepared for:
"When a dog hops on another dog that means they're having babies, right?"

"Well..."

"Kind of, right?"

"Well... yeah... they're working on it."

"Mmm-hmm"
Of course, then I explained the importance of doggy-abstinence, the beauty of doggy-matrimony, and, as an absolute last resort, the necessity of doggy-condoms.

Friday, July 22, 2005

"Showered" With Internet Love

Sweet! We're also the number one Google hit for "euphemisms urinating". It's that quality Slimbolala content, I tell ya. Nothing but the best for my readers.

When will the love-fest end?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

"So a Cop Walks into a Doughnut Shop..."

My daughter has independently reinvented the cop-doughnut joke:
"Papa, do you want to hear a joke?"

"Sure."

"What if a police officer went to a doughnut store and bought two doughnuts?"

"That's pretty funny."*
I'm fairly certain she's never actually heard a cop-doughnut joke. Of course, like many children, she's interested in policemen, and the subject of doughnuts comes up often enough (Doughnut Fridays is pretty much the only part of my job she understands). But the random combination of the two?

This can only be explained by the collective unconscious.

* Ok, so it wasn't actually funny in a straightforward jokey-joke way, but it was still funny. More of a meta-joke.

Hot, Meaty, "Interactive Bacon" Love

I keep loving the internet, and it keeps loving right back. A recent comment on an older post points out that Slimbolala is currently Google's number one hit for "interactive bacon".* Hurrah! Let us raise our "interactive bacon" in celebration.

Now, an important announcement. With this milestone I have radically surpassed all of my most ambitious dreams for this project. Therefore, I feel it is time to lay down my keyboard and make room for the next generation of Number-One-Google-Interactive-Bacon-Hits. So with this post I bid adieu! Goodnight stars. Goodnight air. Goodnight noises everywhere.

Oh, wait. What the hell am I saying? I'm king of the hill, and I'm staying here. I'm not retiring. You're retiring, sucker! You can rip my "interactive bacon" from my cold dead hands! I'm on top of the world, ma! On top of the world!

Ciao.

Oh, and thanks for the tip, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous.

* I am rather curious how they discovered this.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding

For her birthday yesterday, we gave Louise her first bike (the Mongoose model, Butterfly Summer* edition). We snuck it into her room in the middle of the night and in the morning heard her excited exclamations from down the hall, "I'm so pleased!" (for whatever reason, my daughter sometimes talks like she's in a Victorian novel). We also heard little June repeatedly and excitedly call the bike a "hat", but Louise kindly explained to her that it was not, in fact, a hat.

In the afternoon we went to the park for a debut ride. Louise cruised along happily, dinging the bell the entire time (this was probably just as well - her steering wasn't so great, and it warned people that she was coming). All went well until we were headed back to the car, at which point she began to run out of steam. I gently suggested that if she wanted to conserve her energy she might consider not ringing the bell. This option was flatly rejected.

Eventually all of the bike riding and bell ringing led to complete exhaustion and a total meltdown. Louise made the rest of the trip back to the car on foot, still wearing her big pink helmet, sobbing loudly. The (remarkably heavy) little bike made the rest of the trip to the car slung over my shoulder.

All in all, though, I would consider the whole thing to be a grand success.

* The name Butterfly Summer strikes me as hilarious. Every time I see it I can't help but bust into a goofy faux-jingle, "Butterfly summer, going to last forever. Butterfly summer, I hope you never end..." sung in a wistful and sincere falsetto. Mongoose is kind of funny too. If she comes across any kids riding Cobra bikes, they're going to be in big trouble.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

From the "Overheard at the Coffee Shop: Subtle Distinctions" File

"I'm an observer of human nature."

"No, you're not. You're a prick."

Enlighten Me

Can somebody fill me in on those "office sweats" that ladies of a certain age sometimes wear to work? You must know what I'm talking about: those cheerfully colored, matching, knit-cotton-sumthin'-sumthin', two piece outfits dressed up with a comfortable but professional pair of shoes and maybe a nice necklace. You know.

They look comfortable. If I knew what to ask for I might get myself a set.

Hot, Hot, Hot

The heat index is going to be 109° today. In the words of the immortal Paris Hilton, "That's hawt."

Birthday Girl



Today my little darling is four.
"You're four today."

"Oh! But I'm not any taller."
Happy birthday, sweetie. I love you so much.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Float Like A Big, Fake, Liar-Liar-Pants-On-Fire Butterfly

My apologies for shattering your universe. I know that since you read the "Mohammad Ali / Levitation" story you've been in a metaphysical tizzy, lying awake at night, fretfully wondering, "Are the physical laws of the universe truly just a construct of human perception? Is there no cause and effect? Am I a slave to the fallacious confines of my own feeble mind? I feel so alone. So very, very alone. [sob!]"

Well, we can't help with the "alone" part, but we can put that metaphysical tizzy to rest with some brand-spankin'-new information freshly ripped from the gaping maws of Google.* Are you sitting down? Here goes. Mohammad Ali cannot actually levitate. Turns out, it's one of the many magic tricks he loves to perform just about any chance he can get. Take this account from the New York Times, for example:
He stood up to demonstrate a levitation trick: by placing his heels together and flaring out his feet he rose up on the toes of one foot: It looked, from behind, as if he were actually lifting off. "Allah has given me the power to fly," he declared. "I don't believe it." "You don't believe Allah can do that?"

"I don't believe you'd take his name in vain for a silly trick."

His face lit up and he said, "You're not as dumb as you look," then headed off to get some more tricks.
That crazy guy! Now, go get a good night's sleep.

* Special thanks to Slimbolala's resident Google-ologist, "Jeff".

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Drunk People Are Funny

People in bars are just like regular people except they're drunk. And that makes them even easier and more entertaining to eavesdrop on than usual. Take last night, for example.

There was humor:
"I'm not crazy. Mmm. [squeezes sides - sticks out tongue] I'm a tube of toothpaste. Mmm. [squeezes sides - sticks out tongue]"
conflict:
"Shut the fuck up, Frodo!"
observations on the human condition:
"All short people look the same."
tall tales:
"... four bunghole chicks in a paper bag..."
and wisdom:
"Real life is trippier than any drug you'll ever take."
So true, my friend. So true. The night life... ain't no good life... but it's my life.*

* Well, not really, but it's fun to visit.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Mime Performances I Would Rather Not See

  • The Endless Staircase
  • How To Make Cheese
  • A Tribute to "Hee Haw"
  • Prom Night Disaster (by Mimes Against Drunk Driving)
  • The Really, Really Windy Day
  • Elderly Shut-In: A Day In the Life
  • The Rape of Persephone*
  • Driving Through Kansas
  • The Incredible Shrinking and Expanding and Shrinking and Expanding and Shrinking and Expanding Invisible Cube
  • Terri Schiavo: In Memoriam
  • The Endless Series of Doors
  • Journey Across the Sahara
  • The History of the Crusades
  • A Guide to the 2005 Tax Code
  • Cambodia: 1976
  • The Endless Tug-of-War
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (A Reinterpretation)
Others?

* Thanks, "John".

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Pop Quiz #3: Brine Edition

Time for another pop quiz. This may be obvious for some people. I don't know. But since the last two were essentially impossible, I suppose that's only fair.

Look at this item:



It has lived in my head for many years (although it has never before seen the light of day). It has a specific name. This is my question for you:
What is the correct name of this item?
The first person to correctly guess the answer wins fame, fortune, and one free hour of psychotherapy.

Pencils ready, and... go!

Metropolitan



My contribution to Illustration Friday, subject: "Metropolitan". True, there are no skyscrapers or yellow cabs, but everything about her strikes me as quintessentially urban, so why the hell not.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Shame and Ignominy Soup

We just came across this recipe yesterday afternoon, but it has quickly become a family favorite.
Ingredients:
1 small child
1 large, orange dinner (the chunkier the better)
1 public kiddie pool
Feed the child dinner, making sure to really stuff them. Take them to the kiddie pool before they have a chance to properly digest. Allow the child to vigorously splash and play, ingesting large quantities of pool water. Continue the splashing and water ingestion until the child vomits. The vomit should be abundant and frothy with lots of floating bits. Now, notify the nearby lifeguard of the vomit-in-the-pool, and voila! Your "Shame and Ignominy Soup" is ready.

If you're brave, stick around watch the other kids cry as their peeved parents whisk them out of the pool. Also enjoy the annoyed looks from the staff as they drain the pool and scrub it down with bleach.*

Or do what we did, and hightail it the hell out of there.

* Actually everyone was very nice. The truth is that this happens all the time (although the offending solid matter more typically comes from the other end of the child). Also, this incident occurred right as it was starting to storm, so they were about to close the pool anyway. It would have been a lot worse in the middle of a hot and sunny Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Here at Slimbolala we're very excited to announce our new Slim-Buy-Lots-Lots line of gifts and merchandise, special items carefully selected to enhance your Slimbo-lovely lifestyle. Today's featured item:

The holidays are mere months and away, and you're stumped. The question? What to get that screw-loose nut-job in your life: Crazy Aunt Trudy, Weird Uncle Joe, that sociopathic bastard of a boss you've got. You know the one I'm talking about. They're miserable. They hate life. They hate your gifts. They hate everything. What does one do?

Well, fret no more. This year get them the "Psychotherapy Gift Certificate":



Buy them an hour. Buy them 100 hours. It's not just a gift. It's a way of saying "You're crazy, and I'm sick your crap."

Who wouldn’t love it?

Monday, July 11, 2005

A Return to Normalcy

Goodbye wind. Goodbye unseasonably cool temperatures. Goodbye slow and steady drizzle.

Now it's just effin' hot again.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

No Parking



The latest installment in my Small Metal Signs on Chain Link Fences series.

Spy Boy

We've been watching very good spy movies recently. This guy is probably a consequence of that:

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Whew!

You can't see it, but I'm doing a vigorous booty dance right now. This booty dance symbolizes two things:
  1. It is The Booty Dance of Joy and Relief - joy and relief that we appear to have dodged the bullet, and New Orleans will not be turned into a Giant Bowl of Death Soup.
  2. It is The Booty Dance of Sorrow and Concern - sorrow and concern for our coastal brethren to the east who certainly don't need another of these damn things. We wish you the best.
Let us all take a moment to booty dance together.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Best Name for a Hypothetical Latin / Gypsy Jazz / Indie Rock Band

Are you ready? Are you psyched? 'Cause here it comes:
¡Hola! Django
Get it? Get it? No? You're too old. Or I'm too unfunny. Or both.

Probably both. Good night.

Pack, Board Up, and Boogie

We've gone plum hurricrazy down here in Slimbolaland, closely following every turn of the storm, finalizing evacuation plans, and generally preparing to get the hell out of Dodge if the circumstances require it.

I know what you're thinking, though. "That's all well and good, but what happens if all of the adults go into a blind panic and drink themselves stupid? What will happen to the children?" A very reasonable question. Fortunately the good folks at TRAC have anticipated precisely this scenario and made a handy-dandy little kids coloring book giving the wee ones detailed instructions on exactly what to do (with lively illustrations depicting the preparations of the Mit-A-Gators)*. Here's the song. Let's sing along:



I feel much more comfortable knowing that Louise and June have it all figured out. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm heading down to the corner bar to "get ready".

Wish us luck.

* And that's good advice about the Granny. I can't tell you how many times we've forgotten her in the past.

Harrison

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Darth Dennis

After further reflection on the subject, I've decided that one of the problems with Cindy was the name. Who can be afraid of a Cindy? It simply does not connote terror. And Dennis has the same problem. Utterly unthreatening. We need a name that will really scare people, really make them crap their pants, or at the very least tie down their lawn furniture and fill their car with gas (upon further reflection, I suppose the pants-crapping really wouldn't be that helpful).

We can't do much about the Dennis part. That's already been decided by pasty-faced weather geeks holed up in some Dr. Strangelove-esque subterranean bunker who are undoubtedly too busy writing dirty limericks about the gals at the Weather Channel to bother coming up with any really good names. So no, we're stuck with Dennis. But that doesn't mean we can't embellish. As an initial offering I propose the following:
Darth Dennis, Damnable Deliverer of Detestable Death, Damage, Degradation, and Destruction
It's getting there but could still use some more adjectives and maybe a noun or two. Any suggestions? Once we're done, we can fire it off to all the major networks, and, before you know it, it will be tripping off the tongues of talking heads everywhere. And remember, this a public service, folks, so do it for the children.

Cindy

Here in New Orleans one tends to become slightly blasé about tropical storms and hurricanes. Certainly, most people take the threat of a big hurricane seriously, but we're rather casual about the "little" stuff. Tuesday, as Tropical Storm Cindy was bearing down on us, the general attitude was "business as usual". Few if any preparations were made. Life went on.

That attitude changed for most people around ten o'clock Tuesday night as the wind began to howl and sheets of rain pounded against the windows. Potted plants tipped over. Lawn furniture flew across yards. Branches began to fall and transformers exploded.

Wednesday morning people woke up groggy from a poor night's sleep to find a city which had been substantially affected, because, as we all suddenly re-remembered, a direct blow from a tropical storm is no small matter. Many people had no power. Traffic signals were out. Businesses were closed. Streets were blocked. And the local news was eagerly looping their favorite seasonal footage, a shot of some vehicle that some foolish person had driven into some flooded street somewhere which was now submerged up to its windows - a site as predictable as robins in the spring.

But in general, people made out O.K. Lots of folks were home from work. They were out cleaning up their yards, and chatting with their neighbors, tallying up the minor damage. It's our equivalent of a snow day.

Now we really are more or less back to business as usual, getting into the regular flow of things. But we're keeping one eye on Dennis.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

More Folksy Aphorisms

It would seem that my friends and loved ones are a veritable treasure trove of down home wisdom. Here's one from my darling Sarah:
"Well, I'm not exactly living high on the hog, but I guess you could say I'm living high on the chicken."
Amen.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Destiny and Me



From the SlimboClassics Collection™.

Proud Papa

In honor of this, the birthday of our great nation, I would like to offer the following anecdote:
Me: Congratulations on your new baby.
Co-worker: Thanks.
Me: Everybody's doing fine?
Co-worker: Oh yeah. Doing well. Well, he was a big guy, kind of rough on his momma, you know. A real seam-splitter. But she's recovering well.
Me: [stunned pause, quick attempt at recovery] Good, good. Glad to hear it. Well, take care.
Ay, caramba!