Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Hipster's Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
No one was stirring, except for old Klaus,
Who wasn’t as old as he first appeared.
It’s just that he wore a bushy Civil War-era beard.

The stockings -- knit with wool from free-range, grass-fed sheep --
Were hung by the chimney cleaned by a local, fair trade chimney sweep,
Next to natural soy wax, sea moss-scented candles, 
By the fire of reclaimed wood cut with an axe with an old growth Douglas Fir handle.

The kids – Piper and Bowie – nestled in their futons ‘neath old vintage sheets,
With Urban Outfitters tube socks covering their feet.
And Mama in her Christmas sweater, which was ironically ugly,
Waited for the professional cuddler to come over and hug her so snugly.

‘Cause Klaus was busy blogging about organic vegan soup,
While sipping egg nog in a mason jar (made from free range eggs from   backyard chicken coop).
When out in the street there arose such a melee,
Klaus leapt from his chair, dropping his ukulele.

Away to the window he flew, quite dismayed,
And snapped up the vintage yellow window shade.
“OMG! It looks like an elf or some giant pixie
Just crashed his hybrid sleigh right into my fixie!”

Then from the fireplace came a sudden whooshing sound,
And down the chimney Hipster Santa came tumbling down.
He had pasty white skin, and a beard white as snow,
And a red fedora, perched atop his head just so. 

A pair of black-frame glasses sat high on his nose,
And he wore red skinny jeans that fit like panty hose.
On his neck was an artisanal star tattoo,
And he wore a cardigan from American Apparel, or possibly J. Crew. 

Said Klaus: “But where are your reindeer? Have they all gone lame?”
Hipster Santa just shrugged. “They were harming the planet with all their methane.
Dude, I’d love to stay and talk about fighting The Man,
But I’ve got to review the snack you left me: gluten-free macaroons and PBR in a can.”

“Here,” he said, handing Klaus a gift from his messenger bag.
“You were naughty this year, so your gift is a drag.
No ironic t-shirt, no thrift-store deep-v.
Instead -- ‘cause coal’s bad for the planet -- you get a Nickelback cd.”

And then, with a whoosh, Hipster Santa was gone,
Back up the chimney, and out onto the lawn.
But I heard him exclaim, as he started his sleigh,
“Merry Christmas to all, in an ironic way.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's a Wonderful Police Blotter

The movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” as told in the police log of The Bedford Falls Sentinel:

May 20, 1928

     1:37 p.m. Police were called to the 600 block of Main Street, where a caller said a pedestrian was causing traffic to back up. Violet Bick, 21, was cited for causing a public disturbance.

     11:28 p.m. A caller reported a male and female singing loudly and throwing rocks at the windows of an abandoned building in the 300 block of Sycamore Street. When police arrived, they found only a female, naked and hiding in some hydrangea bushes. Mary Hatch, 18, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.

June 1, 1932

     9:16 p.m. A caller reported an intoxicated man creating a loud disturbance on New England Street. Officers investigated and found William Bailey, 60, passed out next to some garbage cans. Bailey was arrested and charged with public drunkenness.

     10:01 p.m. A caller reported a large crowd gathered in the 200 block of Genesee Street. Violet Bick, 25, was cited for causing a public disturbance. 

October 25, 1932

     11:25 a.m.  Police responded to a report of an unruly mob gathering at the bank. The mob was dispersed with tear gas. No arrests were made.

     8:37 p.m. A caller reported trespassers in the Old Granville House, 320 Sycamore Street. Police arrived to find a newly married couple, George and Mary Bailey, had taken up residence in the building, which had been condemned in 1925. The couple were cited for trespassing and warned to vacate the premises immediately. 

December 24, 1945

     5:12 p.m. A woman in the 300 block of Sycamore Street called police and reported that her husband was being verbally abusive to her and her children.

     6:02 p.m. Henry F. Potter, President of the Bank, swore out a warrant for the arrest of George Bailey on charges of misappropriation of funds, manipulation and malfeasance in connection with $8000 in missing funds from the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan.

     7:15 p.m. Nick, the bartender at Martini’s Bar, called police to report a fight. An arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Welch on charges of assault and battery.

     7:23 p.m. A caller reported that an intoxicated man had crashed his car into a tree which his grandfather had planted, on Bridge Street, and then fled on foot in the direction of the toll bridge.

     7:29 p.m. A woman in the 300 block of Sycamore Street called police and reported that her husband was missing.

     7:45 p.m. A caller reported seeing two men jump into the canal from the toll bridge.

     9:02 p.m. Police were called to a disturbance at the Dreamland Dance Club. Violet Bick, 38, was arrested and charged with soliciting.

     9:21 p.m. A cab driver, Ernie Bishop, reported that a man “who was bats” and claimed he had gotten some bad liquor had run off without paying his fare in the 300 block of Sycamore Street. Bert the Cop responded and followed the man into an abandoned building. An altercation ensued, during which a second suspect, who claimed he was “an angel, second class,” bit the officer on the wrist. The two suspects escaped on foot.

     9:39 p.m. A caller reported that a “loony” had come to her residence on New England Street  and claimed that she was his mother. The woman told the man to leave.

     9:50 p.m. A caller reported that a disturbed man, possibly intoxicated, had accosted an old maid outside the public library. The man had claimed that the old maid was his wife, then chased her down Genesee Street and into a nearby establishment, where she fainted. Bert the Cop responded and attempted to apprehend the suspect, but the man punched the officer and fled on foot. The officer then fired several shots across the crowded street at the fleeing suspect, wounding two bystanders before pursuing the suspect in his squad car. 

     10:20 p.m. Several business owners reported a man running down Main Street cheering and yelling, “Merry Christmas” at various buildings.

     10:22 p.m. Henry F. Potter reported seeing fugitive George Bailey running past his office at the bank. He said that Bailey yelled “Merry Christmas” to him before running off in the direction of Sycamore Street.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Message From a Pardoned Turkey

Hey, Mac, ya got a nickel? Buy me a drink and I’ll tell you my tale. It goes like this: Why me? Why am I so lucky? Lucky. That’s a laugh. Millions of turkeys, carved up and served for Thanksgiving dinner from Weeki Wachee to Wabasha, and here I sit. Alive. Pardoned by the President. He picked me, pal. Me! Not Rhode Island Red or Wishbone Jones. They were my friends. I saw ‘em get the axe out behind the woodshed, heard Jonesy’s cries for help, and I did nothing! He got it right in the gizzard. I coulda done something. I coulda pecked that crazed farmer’s blasted eyes out, but no! I just stood there, gobbling like an idiot, while my friends were murdered. Every one of them. Tommy. Gobbler. Gravy Train. Kowalski. Even Sergeant McStuffing. Dead. All dead. Except me.

(He slams the empty shot glass down on the bar).

Sure, I’ll have another. I’ll always have another. But not Butterball Johnson. He’ll never have another, or peck at another speck of cornmeal. He was my friend, and he’s dead. They took his giblets, Mac. His giblets! What kind of sick bastard does that?

So, why am I here? What’s so special about me? Is it the color of my snood? The shape of my wattle? I need to know why that’s not me up on the table, all greased up like a Kardashian with my butt stuffed full of breadcrumbs. They got the axe and I got the golden ticket. Sent to live on a farm in Virginia, with all the other pardoned turkeys. Living our days in luxury, all the feed we could eat, acres and acres of soybean as far as the eye can see. I should be grateful, right? Content. But at night, when I close my eyes, I can still hear Wishbone screaming. I tell ya, I couldn’t take it! So I flew the coop, hopped a freight west and I been lammin’ it ever since. Ridin’ the rails.

They called me lucky. That’s a laugh. Fate sneaks up and puts the finger on you, and that’s it, brother. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, why Kowalski’s on the table floatin’ in gravy with his drumsticks hangin’ out, while I’m alive and free. Yeah, I’m free all right. Free bird! 

Hey, where ya goin’, Mac? Don’t you wanna hear the rest of my story? Mac? Ah, screw it. Bartender! Gimme another.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Ballad of Thomas Crapper

Today is World Toilet Day, which was created by the World Toilet Organization to draw attention to the fact that 2.5 billion people around the world are still pottying like it's 999. That's right -- they're looless. Which stinks, in more ways than one. It's actually a very serious public health matter. So, to celebrate this flushtastic day and the work of the WTO, we've composed a little ditty honoring one of our heroes, Thomas Crapper, the 19th century English plumber who was instrumental in bringing the flush toilet to the masses.

Contrary to popular belief, Mr. Crapper did not invent the flush toilet. This is crushing news for humor columnists and third graders everywhere. So, as much as we’d love to make wisecracks about Crapper inventing the toilet, we’ll have to settle for the other toilet-related stuff he actually did develop, like the ballcock. Nothing to work with there! But even though Mr. Crapper didn’t invent the flusher, he did much to increase its popularity and to promote sanitary plumbing. He was even hired to supply royal privies for Prince Edward (later King Edward VII), and George V. So Crapper fans have reason to be flushed with pride after all.   

A toast to Mr. Crapper on World Toilet Day, sung to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies theme song. Enjoy!  

The Ballad of Thomas Crapper

Come and listen to a story about a man named Tom
A poor plumber’s apprentice who could barely get along
Then one day he was sittin’ on his can
And up from his brain come a genius plan.

Idea that is. Automatic valve. Ballcock!

Well the first thing you know ol Tom’s a sanitary engineer,
Started selling toilets with a seat for your rear
Said, “Crapper’s Valveless Water Waste Preventer’s where you oughta pee,”
Then he got a job making toilets for the Royal Family.

Windsors, that is. Royal thrones. Majesties.   

Now it’s World War I and the Yanks are over there
And in old London town, the whiz kid’s name was everywhere
Printed on the toilet tanks for everyone to see
Was the name T. Crapper from the town of Chelsea.

England, that is. Jolly good. Bad teeth.

When the doughboys returned to the land of all their kin
They brought somethin’ back from the place where they’d just been
Anyone who had to go, gentleman or flapper
If you asked where they went, the answer was, “the Crapper.”

Thomas, that is. Set a spell. Take your shoes off.

Y’all come back now, y’hear?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Quentin Tarantino's "It's the Great Pumpkin, Jackie Brown"

Samuel L. Jackson as Charlie Brown
Pam Grier as Lucy
Robert DeNiro as Linus
Bridget Fonda as Peppermint Patty
Michael Keaton as Pig-Pen
Lisa Gay Hamilton as Charlie Brown’s little sister, Sheronda
Robert Forster as Max Cherry, Cherry Bail Bonds
Chris Tucker as Snoopy

Scene I

Halloween night. Lucy, Charlie Brown, Schroeder, Patty, and Pig-Pen are all in costume, trick-or-treating.

Lucy: I got 5 pieces of candy!
Schroeder: I got a chocolate bar!
Patty: I got a quarter!
Charlie Brown: I got a Glock, motherfucker!

Scene II

Charlie Brown is raking leaves in his yard. Lucy enters carrying a football.

Lucy: Say, Charlie Brown. I’ve got a football. How about practicing a few placekicks? I’ll hold the ball, and you come running and kick it!

Charlie Brown: Look, bitch. My ass might be dumb, but I am not a dumb ass.

Lucy: Oh, come on, Charlie Brown. I’ll hold it steady.

Charlie Brown: You just want me to come running up to kick that ball so you can pull it away and see me land flat on my back and kill myself.

Lucy: This time, you can trust me. See, here’s a signed document, testifying that I promise not to pull it away.

Charlie takes the document and reads it.

Charlie: It is signed! It’s a signed document! I guess if you have a signed document in your possession, you can’t go wrong. This year I’m really gonna kick that football.

Charlie Brown runs toward Lucy, but at the last second, Lucy pulls the football away. Charlie screams as he kicks at air, landing on his back.

Lucy: Peculiar thing about this document. It was never notarized.

Charlie Brown stands up, frowning. He is humiliated.

Charlie: Woman, damn.

He takes out his Glock and pumps two bullets into Lucy’s torso.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Game of Thrones, The Musical

Game of Thrones season is over, and fans are going into withdrawal. So we’ve mashed the HBO hit with a classic musical to bring you …

Westeros Side Story

The action opens on a playground in King’s Landing. The Lannister gang – Jaime, Joffrey, Tyrion, Cersai, Lancel, and Lord Tywin, are sitting around snapping their fingers. They rise as one and begin slinking across the playground, snapping fingers in rhythm. Suddenly they begin leaping and dancing, yelling “Lannisters!” as they pirouette in time. 


The Starks – Ned, Catelynn, Robb, Jon Snow, Bran (carried on the back of the giant, Hodor), Rickon, Sansa, and Arya -- fingersnap their way up a nearby alley. Suddenly they, too, begin leaping and dancing, yelling, “Starks!” Skipping and twirling together in choreographed rhythm, they cross the street.

The two gangs come face to face across an empty lot. The Lannisters fingersnap their way to the Starks. Lord Tywin begins slowly snapping his fingers in Ned’s face.

Tywin: Beat it!

The two gangs begin leaping and dancing at each other, before the Lannisters, twirling and pirouetting, chase the Starks out of the empty lot.


Robb Stark sits on a concrete wall watching as Joffrey paints “Starks Stink!” on a tenement wall in huge, white letters. Robb leaps down to the ground as several Starks encircle Joffrey and begin fingersnapping at him.

Joffrey yells, “Lannisters!” and five Lannisters come running to his aid. Another rumble begins as the two sides taunt each other with jazz hands.


The Lannisters are alone on the playground.

Joffrey: I say we rumble! Chop chop!

Tywin: Cool down, Action Boy. The Starks want a piece of this world too. And they’re real down boys. Now what’s your mood, Lannisters? 

Joffrey: I say go-go, daddy-o!

Jaime: I say mix!

Cersei: I say sock ‘em!

Tywin: Okay, cats, we rumble!
When you’re a Lannister you pay your debts like a man
From your first cigarette till you get shot with an arrow while you’re on the can.

Joffrey (singing): When you’re a Lannister you’re top cat every time
But at your wedding feast better not drink the wine

Jaime (singing): When you’re a Lannister you’re the swinginest mister
You get a shiny gold hand, and you get to shtup your own sister!

(All together, fingersnapping)
When you’re a Lannister, that’s why we get the big bucks
We’ll fight white walkers and dragons and armies of eunuchs…

To be continued... (or maybe not)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

What If Godzilla Was One Of Us

With Godzilla stomping the box office and once again scorching everything in his path with his radioactive breath, we decided to honor the King of the Monsters by rewriting Joan Osborne’s 1990s hit “(What If God Was ) One of Us.” With all apologies to Ms. Osborne, here goes:

If Godzilla had shame, because of his breath 
Would you offer him a mint even if it meant your death
If you were faced with him and his atomic halitosis
That could turn you to ash with just one kiss
And yeah, yeah, Godzilla’s breath stinks
Yeah, yeah, Godzilla’s breath reeks
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
What if Godzilla was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us?
He’d be all cramped riding on the bus
Trying to make his way home
From his job answering phones
At the call center in Nome

If Godzilla had to sneeze
He’d accidentally fry some guy
Who just happened to be
Sitting in a seat nearby, and then he would be
Feeling stupid and remorseful and filled with self-loathing
And all apologies
And yeah, yeah, Godzilla’s life stinks
Yeah, yeah, Godzilla’s life reeks
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
What if Godzilla was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us?
He’d be all cramped riding on the bus
Trying to make his way home
From his job answering phones
At a call center in Nome
Back to the ocean all alone
Nobody callin' on the phone
'Cept for the Pope, maybe, in Rome
Or someone else who randomly rhymes with phone
Like maybe this Osborne singer Joan
Or our old friend Fred Flintstone
Or maybe even Sharon Stone
Or someone from The Game of Thrones

And yeah, yeah, Godzilla’s breath stinks
Yeah, yeah, Godzilla’s breath reeks
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
What if Godzilla was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us?
Instead of eating people on the bus
He has to act all serious
When the boss comes in the room
Hoping lunchtime comes real soon
Just trying to listen to his iTunes
On his little white headphones
Just trying to make his way home
Nobody callin’ on the phone
‘Cept for maybe Franchot Tone