Last week, I still needed about six months of service from my old beater of a 500 (98SE OS, natch) that’s floated FOUR years of writing. Yes, I still needed it when the cancer struck (a virus that was renaming itself as I chased it all over the hard drive) and sent me the route of a full reformatting and upgrade to 2000. To prep, I scoured the machine for crap to toss so that the .ftp up to my web server would even work – I have but 2GB of space. This accounts for the house-cleaning vibe of recent posts. Brand new material is coming soon.
It took me a while to remember what in the hell this was all about. Some back story: It is a little known fact of equally little importance that the Larry Flynt magazine umbrella made a sweep through the zine world of the early-to-mid 90’s, hiring up writers for dirty and frequently hilarious copy that usually landed in the letter and true story sections of Hustler and Barely Legal. Regardless of how you feel about porn, there was (and still may be) some seriously bent and ingenious writing in those pages, due largely to the odd crop of scribes hired over the past ten years. For instance, Aaron Lee, one-time captain of the brilliant Blue Persuasion zine, lived for years in the Barely Legal masthead. Well, “ingenious” may be pushing it, but the style was nothing short of wildly entertaining, peppering the expected narrative fuck-fests with ridiculous pop-cultural references. I once romanticized the notion writing this stuff, so, around three years ago, I was sent a record in the mail and this was the review granted. It was something on Drag City. Unsurprisingly, until tonight, it surfaced nowhere. I apologize in advance.
(WARNING: Contains adult content, poorly aged humor, and is written in a voice parodying the style)
Record That I Was Sent In The Mail
Right when I walked in the damn door I could tell it was going to be one of those days. I could smell it in the air. It was enough that bitch Clara had the nerve to ask me, at 4:25 yesterday afternoon, “Can you maybe put in some hours tomorrow? We’re way behind on loan verification.” So here I am, Saturday morning, trying not to stink like a fuckin’ three day old keg. I’ve been seeing this older dude who took me to see Fates Warning last night, and that was cool I guess, but I ditched him afterwards so I could go dancing. I’m not even going to get into the rest, but it was a late one. I sit down and I hear some shuffling in the cube behind me – It was the new guy, Brad. Brad looked like he was glad to put in some extra hours on a Saturday, probably cuz he didn’t spend all night drinking, crying, and dancing. Brad also looked like something else, like real damn good. He was kinda alternative, I guess, and I think that he liked to smoke out once in a while. He was wearing this hilarious t-shirt that had the Taco Bell dog riding a magic carpet or some shit, and I wouldn’t mind seeing what he looked like without that shirt on. I wheeled my chair over to his area and asked him if he had an extra pen (I was out of all my good ones, cuz Brenda was back from maternity leave, and I had been stealing all kinds of shit outta her cube). After he gave me one, he looked at me and said “Cool shirt”, which totally blew me away, I mean, I had just thrown this shit on about five minutes before I left my apartment. It was some band shirt that my ex-boyfriend left at my place, or some shit, I don’t know. Anyway, Brad was looking at me kinda weird and I was likin’ it something fierce, so I moved a little closer in his cube just to get the message across that it was cool and all. I was afraid that I stunk like beer or something, but that didn’t seem to bother Tim when he leaned over to kiss me right there in the fucking office!!! So we kept kissing, and speaking of the Bell, I could tell he was into it cuz it felt like he must’ve had a damn seven layer burrito in his pants, but I soon found out that that action was THE REAL DEAL. I had to think fast, cuz I can’t concentrate on getting’ some if we’re out in the open like this, I mean, that may be his thing and all, but I’m thinking lockable office and I’m thinking it QUICK. So I drag him into the Terrance Clantel’s office, who is the VP of sales and has a killer couch right in front of his desk (that I wouldn’t mind fuckin’ HIM on one day). We were really going at it and he was like ripping my bra off and shit but I didn’t care cuz I was getting’ worked up like a motherfucker. I mean, when he took his drawers off I could see some landing strips on his whiteys, but I was making so much act-right-juice myself that I was about to explode. So we started doing it, and what seemed before like a seven-layer burrito turned out to be more like a beenie weenie swimming for a lottery ticket in a jar of mayonnaise, but at least he knew what to do with it. I thought knew that we were fucked (no pun) when I asked for it “harder” and he thought that I said “bark” – so he starts barking like a fucking dog. Real loud. Right then, my supervisor runs in the room and there’s no explaining our precarious situation. I was so embarrassed that I just ran out of the office full speed, but Brad caught up with me and told me not worry about a job or nothing because his younger brother owned a Smooth Moves Juice Bar and needed help there. I hope I get my own key.
Do not skip ahead. Entry will NOT work without intro!
It was early 2000. My corporate IT position had lapsed into one of its vague phases, and I was happily dealing with a bounty of unsupervised free time. Already having a relationship with the prank call as a record-able, storable, file-able art, imagine my glee when presented with a new way of doing things. A friend suggested I check out http://www.call.com. At the time, the site offered an odd little free service. Once signed up with fake info, you could enter a finite amount of text into the application and the site, the site, would call any 10-digit phone number and play the message to the answering party through a (now archaic) text-to-voice program. It was untraceable through caller-ID. There was only one voice available, and you’ve heard it…..the creepy Stephen Hawkings-esque delivery common before (specifically on Mac OS’s) text-to-speech got fancy. Unsurprisingly, I embarked on a heyday with this little toy. I created a word document, and as the long string of boring afternoons gave it to me, I easily pasted the funny business into the application. Last night, in the middle of some computer cleaning, I came across the text file. It’s plausible that this entry will only be funny if the reader imagines an emotionless, out-of-date text-to-speech program reciting my nonsense into the phone. Oh, it might also be humorous if the reader imagines the recipient’s busy (or boring) day getting interrupted by this. Imagine those things. I had the program call a wide variety of people (including my Mom, co-workers as they sat in the next office, and ex-girlfriends) with any number or combination of the following messages. Free Just Farr A Laugh/Cimarron Weekend/Killed By Absurdity/U.S. News/True Experiences gift package goes to the first person who correctly identifies the band and song title for #13. I don’t care if you know the other messages that contain song lyrics; they’re easy (I suppose, hell, I have no idea). I nurtured a fantasy involving this type of program being used for interoffice communication – maybe even employee termination – and those messages are towards the bottom (complete with very dated and since used humor).
Note: In order to draw out any needed or absurd vocal emphasis, some crafty phonetic misspellings were in order. In addition, the program did not recognize many forms of punctuation, naturally, though I included some out of habit.
1. No Disassemble. No Disassemble. No Disassemble. No Disassemble. No Disassemble. This Is Number five from the blockbuster Short Circuit. This is number five from the blockbuster short circuit. No disassemble. This is number five from Short Circuit.
2. I was in the show Small Wonder. Do you remember me from the show small wonder. Small wonder was your favorite show. This is vicki the robot from the popular television show Small wonder. Do you love the show Small Wonder. I was in it help me. heelllp me
3. Hello. Thank you for finally picking up the phone. This is noted asstrow fizzizzist Steven Hawking. I am trapped under your house. Again, this is noted asstrow fizzizzist Steven Hawking. I am trapped under your house. I am the smartest man on earth
4. Hello! This is Max Headroom. Remember me. Probably not. This is Max Headroom and I need a friend. Max Headroom needs a friend. Please help. I live in space now, but my loneliness stretches millions of miles. Again this is Max Headroom and I need a friend
5. Hello! This is mamamamamamamama Max Headroom and I need a fafafafafafafafafafa friend I live in a coke machine now, but I have plenty of friendship to gagagagagagagagagagaga give. This is Max Headroom and I need help. Please rescue me from obscurity
6. Thank you for finally picking up the phone. Your being a real champ about this. I am a computer and I am calling to offer you a free trial run of science fiction erotica based on televisions Nash Bridges. Yes. free erotica based on TV’s Nash Bridges
7. This is Food Bott. I am on my way to deliver your hot lunch, but my stainless steel claws keep accidentally crushing your sandwich and your rice milk is spilling onto my `circuits. Oh No. I just dropped your lunch and my mechanical tread has crushed it
8. This is lunch bott.
I was trying to deliver your delicious sandwich and drink but Lunch Bott has accidentally dropped your meal and crushed it under my mechanical tread.
Lunch Bott has failed again. Lunch Bott is sorry that it is a failure.
9. RUFF RUFF RUFF RUFF. this is Max. the killer dog from your favorite horror movie Man’s Best Friend. Allee Sheedy helped me tremendously in man’s best friend. RUFF RUFF Should I use my powers to solve crimes, or to destroy you, RUFF RUFF RUFF
10. Bark. Bark This is chomps from dizzneys family adventure of the same name. My real name is C.H.O.M.P.S. which stands for Cay nine Home Protection System. Bark Bark Chomps was a box office failure. Please don’t let them turn me off. Bark.
11. Uuuuhhhh. I like that. You like that. Here’s another one. And another one. Uuhh Huh. You must be used to me spendin’ Uuuuhhh. And all that sweet wining and dining. Well, I’m fucking you tonight. Uuuhhhh. Here’s another one. And another one. Uh. Uuhh. Huh. Uh
12. If we cannot make believe, maybe we can make some time. Fuck so pretty you and me, erotic city come alive. We can fuck until the dawn, making love til’ cherry’s gone. Erotic city can’t you see, fuck so pretty you and me.
13. Sport the Waaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrhhhhhhh. Waarrrhh Suuuhhhhpaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhht. The sport is total war
When victory’s a massacre
When victory is survival
When this end is a slaughter
The final swing is not a drill
It’s how many people I can kill
14. Hello, this is darall, from the full length adventure film of the same name, or rather D. A. R. Y. L. which stood for Data. Analyzing. Robot. Youth. Life form. Did you cry when you watched my pathetic human emotions burst forth from the movie screen.
15. This is mamamamamamamamamamama. Mel tatatatatatatatatatatatata. Mel Tillis. I own papapapapapapapapapapa. this here amusement papapapapapap. park. And we are cacacacacacaacacacacacacacacaca. closed. Cannonball Run was a bababababababababababababa. Blast
16. There’s a meeting in my bedrooooooooooooooooom. So girl please don’t be lay ai ai ai ai ai ai ate. There’s a meeting in my bedrooobedrooobedrooobedrooo bedroooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom. So girl please don’t make me way ai ai ai ai ai ai ai ai eeeee ate
17. Excuse me madam. You’re standing still in a no parking zone. If you don’t get a move on that body, I’ll be forced to give you a ticket. So get with it.
18. No parking baby, uh, uh, no parking on the dance floor. No parking baby, no parking on the dance floor. Let me hear you blow your horn. Beep Beep. Beep beep. Beep beep. A ticket baby. Beep beep. Beep beep. Beep beep. No parking baby. Beep beep. Beep beep.
19. Hello, this is Edgar. I played the jealous home computer in the forgotten classic, Electric Dreams. In that romantic comic drama, or romantic dramedy, I fall in love with Virginia Madsen. I could have held and kissed her, but I had no arms or lips.
20. Hey Steve, meet me at the copy machine in ten minutes. Have you seen Bradley yet today? He really looks like hell. Makes you wonder what time he stopped drinking last night. Have you seen that funny beer commercial? Whaaaaaassss Sssuuuuuupppp
21. Hey Marilyn, I was just e-mailed a great joke. Here goes. Two women are hanging out. First woman says “I would do anything for a cigarette.” Then the second woman goes, “here’s an entire pack. Now stop fucking my husband.” How about lunch at Rafferty’s?
22. This is Sheryl in accounting, I experienced a problem when I tried to insert a honey bun into my floppy drive. My screen is blue, and contains confusing writing. I’ve also been using my c d rom tray as a drink holder. Is this a problem? Please advise.
23. This is Jim in the creative department, one of my interns just tried to scan a slice of cheese pizza. We have a project due this afternoon and need to get this scanner back up and running. Hey, did you guys see the Matrix, that movie about computers?
24. To whom it may concern in computers. The printer over here in the scheduling department has blown up. I been trying to print a current beanie baby price list off the enter net all afternoon, but the damn thing has just been saying that it’s warming up
25. To the I T department. What’s up nerds? I have been trying to buy the new G Love and Special Sauce CD off of the web, but the slot on the front of my computer will not take my credit card. Just e mail me, I’m about to bolt for the day. Cool beans, Ted
26. To the I T department. What’s up nerds? I have been trying to buy the new Fatboy Slim CD off of the web, but the slot on the front of my computer will not take my credit card. Just e mail me, I’m about to bolt for the day. Cool beans, Ted
27. To the I T department. What’s up nerds? I have been trying to buy the High Fidelity soundtrack off of the web, but the slot on the front of my computer will not take my credit card. Just e mail me, I’m about to bolt for the day. Cool beans, Ted
28. To Irene in Human Services. I just witnessed a recently terminated employee, Don Bradshaw, enter the building and empty a ziploc freezer bag full of live crickets into the fourth floor laser jet printer. Please call security immediately.
29. Michael, tomorrow morning we will need to do some update work on your security badge. Also, tomorrow will be a casual day for you. Actually, the rest of your time with the company will be casual dress. Please immediately train Tom on all of your duties.
30. Heaven on earth inside my sugar walls. Let me take you somewhere you’ve never beeeeeeeeen, I can show you things you’ve never seeeeeeaaaaaaeeiiin, I can make you never wanna fall in love agaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, come spend the night inside my sugar walls.
31. I can tell you want me, Maaaah ShuuuuugaaaahhWaaaaaaaaalls,Why don’t you, come inside, Maaaah ShuuuuugaaaahhWaaaaaaaaalls, uuuuueeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaeeeeeeaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiih, oooooooooh, come insiiieieieieieieieide, my sugar walls,
32. Hey Judy, my husband was faxed this adorable joke yesterday. Okay, here goes, Did you here about the five thousand ants that dressed up as rice and robbed the Chinese restaurant, oh shit, I fucked that one up. Are we still on for lunch at Applebees?
33. Greetings. This is late bot calling on behalf of your local video store to remind you of overdue titles. They are as follows. Blake Edwards A Fine Mess has been checked out for 428 days. Home Alone 3 has been checked out for 301 days. Thanks
See previous entry for description of theme. Must be familiar with cable TV.
Answers Next Round
by Andrew Earles
“Code of Silence”: Chuck Norris, Henry Silva  A Chicago police detective attacks a cocaine warehouse with a remote-controlled item called the Prowler. [101 minutes] Crime drama [R]
“Code of Silence”: Chuck Norris, Henry Silva  A stoic drug kingpin is sent over the edge when a Chicago police detective knocks over several barrels marked “cocaine.” [101 minutes] Crime drama [R]
“Code of Silence”: Chuck Norris, Dennis Farina  A Chicago police detective leads a motley band of every-men in an attack against a ruthless drug kingpin and his seemingly unending torrent of cue stick-wielding henchmen. [101 minutes] Crime drama [R]
“Doc”: Billy Ray Cyrus, Claudette Mink “Art or Death?” An ornery and unbridled artist insists on preparing for an opening, much to the chagrin of the straight-shooting Doc, who is treating the man for cancer. [60 minutes] Family drama [PG]
“Doc”: Billy Ray Cyrus, Ron Lea “The Art of Medicine.” An avant-garde artist faces depression after a successful transplant. [60 minutes] Family drama [PG]
“Doc”: Billy Ray Cyrus, Ron Lea “The Next Warhol.” The joke-slinging, casually attired Doc is forced to match wits with a cynical artistic patient bent on checking himself out of the hospital early. [60 minutes] Family drama [PG]
“Renaissance Man”: Danny Devito, Gregory Hines  A fish out of water substitute teacher contends with military school deviants. [129 minutes] Comedy [TV-14]
“Renaissance Man”: Danny Devito, Maurice Hines  Juvenile lost causes win over diminutive man who has been hired to teach them the ropes of life. [129 minutes] Comedy [TV-14]
“Renaissance Man” Danny Devito, Gregory Hines  An unemployed adman educates eight iffy Army recruits with Shakespeare. [129 minutes] Comedy [TV-14]
Answers Next Round, Second Round
by Andrew Earles
“Pootie Tang”: Lance Crouther, Jennifer Coolidge  An urban folk hero with a magical belt buckle saves youths with his anti-drug TV spots and stance against Corporate America. [70 minutes] Comedy [PG-13]
“Pootie Tang”: Lance Crouther, Jennifer Coolidge  Although he speaks an indecipherable language, a super-hero protects children from a mogul who encourages smoking and drinking. [70 minutes] Comedy [PG-13]
“Pootie Tang”: Lance Crouther, Wanda Sykes  Armed with an invented street slang that the public pretends to understand, Pootie Tang promotes clean living and publicly flogs a very undignified Robert Vaughn about the bare ass with a fantastical belt. [70 minutes] Comedy [PG-13]
“Cujo”: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro  A hysterical woman and her screaming child are trapped in a small car by a deadly St. Bernard for a very, very, long time. [91 minutes] Horror [R]
“Cujo” Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro  A frothing, killer dog disrupts the daily to-do’s in a quaint New England town. From the Stephen King novel. [91 minutes] Horror [R]
“Cujo” Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro  Bitten by a rabid bat, a huge dog traps a Maine woman and her young son in their Ford Pinto. From the Stephen King book. [91 minutes] Horror [R]
“Weekend At Bernies” Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman  Two guys party with their bumped-off boss at his long island beach house, and no one notices. [98 minutes] Comedy [PG-13]
“Weekend At Bernies” Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman  Two party guys cover up the fact that their boss is dead, and continue to live it up at his beach side paradise. [98 minutes] Comedy [PG-13]
“Weekend At Bernies” Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman  Under-motivated buds somehow manage to convince many people that the corpse of their boss is a sentient party host. [98 minutes] Comedy [PG-13]
Answers to first round: A, B, C,
Answers to second round: I forgot
Until the new Pazz and Jop results are made web-available, I’m going to post some unrelated nonsense to keep things moving. Like the header states, this is a piece of mine that McSweeneys.net rejected (there were a few – they only accepted one – you can read it by checking the very first entry on this site). Presented in original format as per the McSweeney’s Web Submissions Guidlines.
Two letters that Teddy Pendegrass will not receive.
by Andrew Earles
The “setting” is a confusing four minute late-night commercial for “The Best Of Teddy Pendegrass.” After the astronomical cost of 29.95 + 4.95 for shipping and handling is understood, the viewer is then instructed to send check or money order to:
3 Commerce Lane
Mobile, AL 36644
I have been a fan for some time and even went to a couple of your “Ladies Only” concerts when I was in college. DON’T ASK!! I was really surprised to find that you live in Mobile, Alabama. You must live on a boat. I bet you ride out into the beautiful gulf on starry nights. I live just right up here in Birmingham. I would drive down to visit, but I’m working a whole lot and I don’t like to put too much mileage on my car. I have a 1999 Oldmobile Delta 98. We usually take my husband’s car on long trips, but he doesn’t really like your music. I like it, but not enough to pay thirty-five dollars for two CD’s. I can go to Borders and get your greatest hits CD for 9.99. Why do you want so much money? Don’t you have enough? It doesn’t really matter, I’m still a fan, but jeez, no one’s going to pay that. Is that you talking on the commercial? Oh, and 19.95 plus shipping for two cassettes? I can tell you right now that no one who can’t afford a CD player is going to pay that much money for two tapes. I figured that you might want to know these things, they could help your business.
When I signed up for basic cable, I don’t remember checking a box that said “Yes, I want my enjoyment of ‘I, Detective’ shattered by a really long and really loud commercial for a singer that I don’t care a damned bit about. Maybe I’ll have time to finish reading “Shogun” while this commercial runs.” Nope. I left that one blank. Why are you on TV? I can’t even name one of your songs. Go to hell.