The Weekly Essay

It’s Another Story.

Coming Soon–Late Night With Chris Waldrop!

January 24, 1996

Folks, it has been one helluva week. Ever have one of those mornings when you think that nuclear holocaust would be an improvement?

That’s a depressing train of thought. Let’s get off that and go on with some funny stuff. Even at the worst times, we can find something good about civilisation, right? Admittedly when the first ape used a club and changed the course of evolution forever, the last thing he probably had in mind was strawberry Yoo-Hoo and Yugos.

I really meant somehow to lead up to something about society driving us to occasionally drink heavily (although I personally have cut way back on my drinking and sometimes a six-pack will last me as long as two days) because that’s what today’s bit is about. Enjoy it!


Drinker’s Fault Finding Guide

Symptom: Drinking fails to give satisfaction and taste; shirt front is wet.
Fault: Mouth not open when drinking or glass being applied to wrong part of face.
Solution: Buy another pint and practice in front of a mirror. Continue with as many pints as necessary until drinking technique is perfect.

Symptom: Drinking fails to give satisfaction and taste; beer unusually pale and clear.
Fault: Glass is empty.
Solution: Find someone who will buy you another pint.

Symptom: Room is spinning.
Fault: Somebody is spinning your barstool.
Solution: Vomit on person doing the spinning.

Symptom: Feet cold and wet.
Fault: Glass being held at incorrect angle.
Solution: Turn glass so that open end is pointing at ceiling.

Symptom: Feet warm and wet.
Fault: Loss of self-control.
Solution: Go and stand beside nearest dog. After a while complain to its owner about its lack of house training.

Symptom: Lap cool and wet.
Fault: Drooling on yourself.
Solution: Change position so that you are drooling on someone else.

Symptom: Bar blurred.
Fault: You are looking through the bottom of your empty glass.
Solution: Find someone who will buy you another pint.

Symptom: Bar moving.
Fault: You are being carried out.
Solution: Find out if you are being taken to another bar. If not, complain loudly that you are being hijacked.

Symptom: Bar looks like a circus.
Fault: You’re at a circus.
Solution: Go to a bar.

Symptom: Bar blurred.
Fault: You are looking through the bottom of your empty glass.
Solution: Find someone who will buy you another pint.

Symptom: The opposite wall is covered with ceiling tiles and has a fluorescent strip across it.
Fault: You have fallen over backwards.
Solution: If glass is still full, and no one is standing on your drinking arm, stay put. If not, get someone to lift you up and lash you to the bar.

Symptom: Everything has gone dim and you have a mouth full of teeth and dog-ends.
Fault: You have fallen over forwards.
Solution: Same as for falling over backwards.

Symptom: Everything has gone dim.
Fault: The pub is closing.
Solution: PANIC!

Freethinking: The Friday Edition

January 19, 1996

Have you felt neglected this week? Before you answer, ask yourself if you’re one of the people who works in the same office with me. If you are, then you’re probably not being neglected; you’re being avoided.

I mean it. I’ve got the restraining order to prove it. Oh, you may ask, "What restraining order?" Just make sure you’re standing at least two-hundred feet away when you do it.

Oh, and if you happen to be one of those people who does not work here in the same office with me, enjoy the following list. For some of us, it’s a real eye-opener. I always wondered why everyone looked at me funny when I did number 12…


MORE THAN FIFTY WAYS TO GET RID OF BLIND DATES
(and other social catastrophes)

1. At dinner, guard your plate with fork and steak knife, so as to give the impression that you’ll stab anyone, including the waiter, who reaches for it.

2. Collect the salt shakers from all of the tables in the restaurant, and balance them in a tower on your table.

3. Wipe your nose on your date’s sleeve. Twice.

4. Make funny faces at other patrons, then sneer at their reactions.

5. Repeat every third third word you say say.

6. Give your claim to fame as being voted "Most Festerous" for your high school yearbook.

7. Read a newspaper or book during the meal. Ignore your date.

8. Stare at your date’s neck, and grind your teeth audibly.

9. Twitch spastically. If asked about it, pretend you don’t know what they are talking about.

10. Stand up every five minutes, circle your table with your arms outstretched, and make airplane sounds.

11. Order a bucket of lard.

12. Ask for crayons to color the placemat. This works very well in fancier venues that use linen tablecloths.

13. Howl and whistle at womens’ legs, especially if you are female.

14. Recite your dating history. Improvise. Include pets.

15. Pull out a harmonica and play blues songs when your date begins talking about themselves.

16. Sacrifice French fries to the great deity, Pomme.

17. When ordering, inquire whether the restaurant has any live food.

18. Without asking, eat off your date’s plate. Eat more from their plate than they do.

19. Drool.

20. Chew with your mouth open, talk with your mouth full and spray crumbs.

21. Eat everything on your plate within 30 seconds of it being placed in front of you.

22. Excuse yourself to use the restroom. Go back to the head waiter/hostess and ask for another table in a different part of the restaurant. Order another meal. When your date finally finds you, ask him/her "What in the hell took you so long in the restroom?!?"

23. Recite graphic limericks to the people at the table next to you.

24. Ask the people at the neighboring table for food from their plates.

25. Beg your date to tattoo your name on their derriere. Keep bringing the subject up.

26. Ask your date how much money they have with them.

27. Order for your date. Order something nasty.

28. Communicate in mime the entire evening.

29. Upon entering the restaurant, ask for a seat away from the windows, where you have a you have a good view of all exits, and where you can keep your back to the wall. Act nervous.

30. Lick your plate. Offer to lick theirs.

31. Hum. Loudly. In monotone.

32. Fill your pockets with sugar packets, as well as salt and pepper shakers, silverware, floral arrangements… i.e anything on the table that isn’t bolted down.

33. Hold a debate. Take both sides.

34. Undress your date verbally. Use a bullhorn.

35. Auction your date off for silverware.

36. Slide under the table. Take your plate with you.

37. Order a baked potato for a side dish. When the waiter brings your food, hide the potato, wait a few minutes, and ask the waiter for the potato you "never got". When the waiter returns with another potato for you, have the first one back up on the plate. Repeat later in the meal.

38. Order beef tongue. Make lewd comparisons or comments.

39. Get your date drunk. Talk about their philosophy. Get it on tape, and use good judgment in editing to twist their words around.

40. Discuss boils and lesions, as if from personal experience.

41. Speak in pig Latin throughout the meal (Or ubber-dubber language, or just nonsense).

42. Take a break, and go into the restroom. When you return to the table, throw a spare pair of underwear on the back of one of the chairs. Insist that they just need airing out.

43. If they are paying, order the most expensive thing on the menu. Take one bite.

44. Bring 20 or so candles you, and during the meal get up and arrange them around the table in a circle. Chant.

45. Save the bones from your meal, and explain that you’re taking them home to your invalid, senile old mother, because it’s a lot cheaper than actually feeding her.

46. Order your food by colors and textures. Sculpt.

47. Take a thermos along, and hide it under the table. Order coffee, and fill the thermos one cup at a time, taking advantage of the free refills.

48. Insist that the waiter cuts your food into little pieces. In a similar vein, insist that he take a bite of everything on the plate, to make sure no one poisoned it.

49. Accuse your date of espionage.

50. Make odd allusions to dangerous religious cults.

51. Don’t use any verbs during the entire meal.

52. Pass the hat in the restaurant. Use the proceeds (if any) to pay the bill.

53. Break wind loudly. Add color commentary. Bow.

54. Feed imaginary friends, or toy dolls you’ve brought along.

55. Bring a bucket along. Explain that you frequently get ill.
 

Greetings, greetings…

January 2, 1996

I hope this installment finds everyone well and happy and probably a little heavier after the holidays, but now we can look forward to returning to more or less normal living for the next ten months and breaking all those New Year’s Resolutions we made.

Actually, I’m keeping one Resolution, one which I made while making the owners of that restaurant sorry they’d offered all-you-can-drink complimentary champagne. I resolved to send out something humorous to you guys as soon as I got back to work. Now that I’ve been here for four hours, I’m starting to feel guilty and thinking maybe this is one resolution I could keep.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday–and enjoy this guide to inter-generational conflict.


Generation X, Y, etc. Which are you?

If you answer mostly A, you’re a pre-boomer.
If you answer mostly B, you’re a Baby-Boomer.
If you answer mostly C, you’re in Generation X.
If you answer mostly D, you’re in Generation Y.

1) Who is the ideal figure of motherhood?
A – Eleanor Roosevelt.
B – Donna Reed.
C – Mrs. Brady.
D – Roseanne.

2) What did you want to be when you grew up?
A – Part of a nuclear family.
B – Someone who makes lots of money.
C – Living with your parents.
D – Living with your parents.

3) Music should be…
A – Melodic and romantic.
B – Annoying to your parents.
C – Annoying to your parents.
D – Annoying to your parents.

4) Sex is for…
A – Married couples who want to start families.
B – Anybody who wants to start a party.
C – Latex-clad partners in a labratory setting.
D – Watching on TV.

5) The scariest moment in film history was…
A – When the mummy rose from his tomb.
B – When the Blob chased Steve McQueen.
C – When the alien burst from the man’s chest.
D – When Freddy still would not die.

6) The most inspiring American is…
A – John Wayne.
B – John F. Kennedy.
C – John F. Kennedy Jr.
D – Beavis or Butt-head

7) I expect my retirement to be…
A – The golden years when I can look back on a happy, fulfilling life.
B – An opportunity to finally write my novel.
C – An agonizing slide into abject poverty.
D – A daily struggle to survive in a horribly polluted world.

8) America is becoming…
A – More impersonal.
B – More frightening.
C – More expensive.
D – More bogus.

9) The American Dream is…
A – A house with a two-car garage.
B – A healthy family.
C – Winning the lottery.
D – Touring with Metallica.

10) My college major was…
A – Business.
B – Liberal arts.
C – Secondary to my bartending job.
D – Something far, far away.

11) A good meal would be…
A – Meat and potatoes.
B – Vegetarian macrobiotic.
C – From a drive-up window.
D – Microwaveable.

12) My favorite footwear is…
A – Sensible shoes.
B – Earth shoes.
C – Converse high-tops.
D – Doc Martens.

13) I learned to drive behind the wheel of a…
A – ’53 Packard.
B – ’61 VW.
C – ’78 Pinto.
D – Sega.

14) The "woman"…
A – Marilyn Monroe.
B – Raquel Welch.
C – Julia Roberts.
D – Sheryl Crow.

15) The "man"…
A – Cary Grant.
B – Paul McCartney.
C – Eddie Vedder.
D – Bart Simpson.

16) Lost idol…
A – James Dean.
B – Jim Morrison.
C – Kurt Cobain.
D – Mario Bros.

17) My generation’s most unhealthy habit…
A – Smoking.
B – Smoking pot.
C – Smoking crack.
D – Moshing.

18) Fashion accessory best forgotten…
A – Double knit.
B – Bell bottoms.
C – Skinny ties.
D – Ridiculiously baggy pants.

19) The best way to spend a weekend is…
A – Playing golf.
B – Conciousness raising.
C – Mountain biking.
D – Internet surfing.

20) I remember where I was when…
A – The Japanese surrendered.
B – John F. Kennedy was shot.
C – John Lennon was shot.
D – O.J. took a drive.

21) Life changing movie…
A – East of Eden.
B – Easy Rider.
C – Heathers.
D – Home Alone.

22) Life-changing novel…
A – Catcher in the Rye.
B – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
C – Bright Lights Big City.
D – TV Guide.

23) Sports hero…
A – Mickey Mantle.
B – O.J. Simpson.
C – Michael Jordan.
D – O.J. Simpson.

24) Celebrity my generation would rather not claim…
A – Joe McCarthy.
B – Barry Manilow.
C – Vanilla Ice.
D – Barney.

25) Computers are…
A – Frightening and disconcerning.
B – Complicated.
C – Part of life.
D – My only link to the outside world.

26) The father is the one who…
A – Brings home the bacon.
B – Is attuned to his sensitive side.
C – Left years ago.
D – Holds the remote control.

27) My after-college plans…
A – Work hard to help build a strong America.
B – Take my pick of many job oportunities.
C – Take my pick of many low-paying temp services.
D – Would you like fries with that?

28) My generation’s most annoying fad is…
A – Nuclear testing.
B – Hula hoops.
C – Body piercing.
D – Unemployment.

29) The voice of my generation…
A – Walter Cronkite.
B – Bob Dylan.
C – Madonna.
D – MTV VJ Kennedy.

30) My generation’s biggest fear is…
A – Heart disease.
B – Getting older.
C – Collection agencies.
D – Things that suck

Bonus: Which generation said "Never trust anyone over 30"?
A – A
B – B
C – X
D – All of them.

Christmas Suggestions

December 20, 1995

Greetings fellow Freethinkers!

For those of you who are still reading, Merry Christmas! For those of you who will read this when you return, I hope you had a merry Christmas. Welcome to the new year. To my operatives in Sri Lanka, enjoy the Festival of Lights.

Are you having trouble finding the right book for that special someone on your list? Do you have trouble with people like me who’s birthdays come right at the worst part of the holiday season? (Pardon the shameless personal plug, but I officially hit the quarter-century mark at 11:53 today.) Or do you have children who have a hard time grasping concepts like "the Hood"? For the socially illiterate, for the gloriously politically incorrect, or for the people for whom the bargain book counter at "Everything’s A Dollar" is just too intellectual, I present the following list of suggestions. Enjoy it!


Top 26 Children’s Books *Not* recommended by the National Library Association

26. Bob the Germ’s Wonderous Journey Into and Back Out of Your Digestive System.
25. The Little Engine that Could Becomes intoxicated and Kills Civillians.
24. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’s Games of Revenge.
23. Peter Rabbit’s Frisky Adventures.
22. Dick, Jane, and Spot Wander into The ‘Hood’.
21. Clifford the Big Red Dog Accidently Eats his Masters and is Put to Sleep.
20. Valuable Protein and Other Nutritional Benefits of Things from your Nose.
19. The Hardy Boys, the Barbie Twins, and the Vice Squad.
18. The Tickling Babysitter
17. A Pictoral History of Circus Freak Suicides.
16. Charles Manson Bedtime Stories.
15. Daddy Loses His Job and Finds the Bottle.
14. Babar Meets the Taxedermist and Becomes a Piano.
13. Controlling the playground: Respect through Fear.
12. David Duke’s World of Imagination.
11. Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence.
10. The Boy Who Died from Eating All His Vegetables.
9. Legends of Scab Football.
8. Teddy: the Elf with the Detached Retina.
7. Tommy Tune: Boy Choreographer.
6. Joe Garagiola Retells Favorite Fairy Tales But Can’t Remember the Endings to All of them.
5. Ed Beckley’s Start a Real-Estate Empire with the change from your Mom’s Purse.
4. The Pop-up Book of Human Anatomy.
3. Things Rich Kids Have, but you never will.
2. Let’s Draw Betty and Veronica without their clothes on.
1. The Care Bears Maul Some Campers and are Shot Dead.

Which way did he go?

December 18, 1995

Chappy Chaunakah! Yes, last night the first candle was lit on the menora so technically it’s still the first day of Haunakah, at least until sundown. I guess with this group it shouldn’t matter too much one way or the other.

Some of you might be wondering if I’ve dropped off the face of the earth. Actually, I have. I’ve been abducted by aliens and replaced with a very lifelike robot who spends most of his time working.

Fortunately the aliens let me radio messages like this one through him.

Enjoy this forward, and I’ll be returning to Earth as soon as possible.


Why Dogs Are Better Than Men

Dogs do not have problems expressing affection in public.
Dogs miss you when you’re gone.
You never wonder whether your dog is good enough for you.
Dogs feel guilt when they’ve done something wrong.
Dogs don’t brag about whom they have slept with.
Dogs don’t criticize your friends.
Dogs admit when they’re jealous.
Dogs are very direct about wanting to go out.
Dogs do not play games with you — except fetch (and they never laugh at how you throw).
Dogs are happy with any video you choose to rent, because they know the most important thing is that you’re together.
Dogs don’t feel threatened by your intelligence.
You can train a dog.
Dogs are good with kids.
Dogs are already in touch with their inner puppies.
You are never suspicious of your dog’s dreams.
The worst social disease you can get from dogs is fleas. (OK, the *really* worst disease you can get from them is rabies, but there’s a vaccine for it, and you get to kill the one that gives it to you.)
Dogs understand what no means.
Dogs understand if some of their friends cannot come inside.
Dogs do not read at the table.
Dogs think you are a culinary genius.
You can house train a dog.
You can force a dog to take a bath.
Dogs aren’t threatened by a woman with short hair.
Dogs aren’t threatened by two women with short hair.
Dogs don’t mind if you do all the driving.
Dogs don’t step on the imaginary brake.
Dogs admit it when they’re lost.
Dogs don’t weigh down your purse with their stuff.
Dogs look at your eyes.
Dogs like your size.
Dogs do not care whether you shave your legs.
Dogs take care of their own needs.
Dogs are color blind.
Dogs aren’t threatened if you earn more than they do.
Dogs mean it when they kiss you.
Dogs are nice to your relatives.
Dogs obsess about you as much as you obsess about them.

How Dogs and Men Are the Same

Both take up too much space on the bed.
Both have irrational fears about vacuum cleaning.
Both are threatened by their own kind.
Both like to chew wood.
Both mark their territory.
Both are bad at asking you questions.
Neither tells you what’s bothering them.
Both tend to smell riper with age.
The smaller ones tend to be more nervous.
Both have an inordinate fascination with women’s crotches.
Neither does any dishes.
Both fart shamelessly.
Neither of them notice when you get your hair cut.
Both are suspicious of the postman.
Neither knows how to talk on the telephone.
Neither understands what you see in cats.

Why Men Are Better Than Dogs

Men only have two feet that track in mud.
Men can buy you presents.
Men don’t have to play with every man they see when you take them around the block.
Men are a little bit more subtle.
Men don’t eat cat turds on the sly.
Men open their own cans.
Dogs have dog breath all the time.
Men can do math stuff.
Holiday Inns accept men.

Friday, Friday, Friday!

December 1, 1995

Hello, and welcome to a glorious Friday. Since I won’t be here tomorrow to send this out, let me remind you that December 2nd is the date that, one-hundred and eighty-one years ago, one of our fellow Freethinkers passed away. Although the Marquis de Sade is not a name some of you will necessarily wish to be associated with, I hope we can all do to remember him in our own unique ways, especially since what follows has absolutely nothing to do with him.


In a Japanese hotel room: Please to bathe inside the tub.

In a Bucharest hotel lobby: The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.

In a Leipzig elevator: Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up.

In a Belgrade hotel elevator: To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.

In a Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk.

In a hotel in Athens: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.

In a Yugoslavian hotel: The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.

In a Japanese hotel: You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery: You are welcome to visit the cemetry where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant: Our wines leave nothing to hope for.

In a Hong Kong supermarket: For your convenience, we recommend courteous, efficient self-service.

Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop: Ladies may have a fit upstairs.

In a Bangkok dry cleaner’s: Drop your trousers here for best results.

Outside a Paris dress shop: Dresses for street walking.

In a Rhodes tailor shop: Order your summers suit. Because is a big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.

In an East African newspaper: A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers.

In a Vienna hotel: In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter.

A sign posted in Germany’s Black Forest: It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose.

In a Zurich hotel: Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.

In a Rome laundry: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.

In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency: Take one of our horse-driven city tours we guarantee no miscarriages.

Advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand: Would you like to ride on your own ass?

In the window of a Swedish furrier: Fur coats made for ladies from their own skin.

In a Bangkok temple: It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.

In a Tokyo bar: Special cocktails for ladies with nuts.

In a Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions.

In a Norwegian cocktail lounge: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.

In the office of a Roman doctor: Specialist in women and other diseases.

In an Acapulco hotel: The manager has personally passed all the water served here.

You’re Going to Hell

October 30, 1995

Here’s a little something I just happened to wander across in my aimless and strange meanderings. Funny, I can honestly say I haven’t done quite a few of these, but I guess one is enough to get you.


Why people are going to hell

Below is a little list I compiled a while back while arguing with a fundamentalist. He tried to make the case that the Bible condemned homosexuality and therefore, blah blah blah, I was going to hell.

This got me wondering…HOW MANY people are going to hell, anyhow? And for what? This curiosity led to the compilation of this list of exactly WHY people are going to hell.

This is not a definitive list, by any means. This is just all I could find in one afternoon.

YOU ARE GOING TO HELL IF YOU….

…eat fruit from a tree less than five years old. [Lev. 19:23]
…cross-breed animals. [Lev. 19:19]
…grow two different plants in your garden. [Lev. 19:19]
…wear a cotton-polyester blend T-Shirt. [Lev. 19:19]
…read your horoscope. [Lev. 19:26]
…consult a psychic. [Lev. 19:31]
…cut your hair. [Lev. 19:27]
…trim your beard. [Lev. 19:27]
…are tatooed. [Lev. 19:28]
…plant crops for more than seven years. [Lev. 25:4, Ex. 23:10-13]
…bear a grudge. [Lev. 19:17]
…collect interest on a loan. [Ex. 22:24]
…insult a leader. [Ex. 22:27]
…mistreat a foreigner. [Ex. 22:21, 23:9]
…spread false rumors. [Ex. 23:1] (Sorry, Pat Robertson!)
…drive a Mercury. [Ex. 23:13] (Look it up.)

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