Bloat To Self
There came a startling knocking sound…
“That’s odd,” I grumbled to myself. “What the hell is that?” I looked around and it seemed to be coming from a mysterious object I had once named, at random, a “door.” Found upon the door was a piece of spherically-shaped metal which I brilliantly intuited could be used to pry the bloody thing open.
Gazing through the gaping portal I saw a most hideous thing standing on the go-away mat. “What the hell are you?” I gasped.
With an eerily familiar voice it replied, “I’m you from the future.”
My mind reeled. “How far in the future?”
“Tomorrow, to be exact.” God, it sure was ugly. It looked irritated and menacing, too. “Are you going to invite me in?”
Once inside it looked around the living room as if with the eyes of a child. “You’ll have to forgive me,” it said. “This sure brings back memories.”
By now I was feeling pretty damn irritated. My normal routine had been severely disrupted. “I’m feeling damn irritated,” I said. “You’re severely disrupting my normal routine.”
For a second it lost it’s composure. “Don’t you think I know that?!” it snapped ferociously. It took a deep breath and slowly exhaled then seemed to go limp in resignation. After an awkward silence, it finally continued. “I’m here to help you,” it said softly. “To help both of us.”
“Go on,” I barked.
“A few minutes from now,” it said ominously, “something is going to happen. Something completely out of the normal. Something disastrous. I’m here to stop it.”
Suddenly I noticed a gun in it’s hand. That’s odd, I thought lamely to myself. We don’t own a gun. What the hell had happened to me?
Bang. The gun went off. I fell to the floor while clutching my stomach in pain. He had shot our most prized possession. He had just shot our LCD 42″ flat screen TV.
“You son of a bitch! You die!” I screamed as I felt my life oozing away. “Why??”
“Poor little idiot,” he said, literally looking down on me. I couldn’t help but notice he was starting to twinkle, almost as if he was slowly dissolving away. He smiled.
He looked at his dissolving hand in wonderment. “It worked, it worked,” he said, forgetting the question that was currently pending on the floor. Then an expression of fear gripped his hideous face. “At least this time.”
His expression changed to one of resolve then went soft as if he had reached some sort of climactic decision. “What I’m about to say may end the space-time continuum as we know it, everywhere, everything, but fuck it. It might be our only chance.”
“Shut up!” he hissed. “We have very little time.” By now he was about fifty percent translucent, much like the time I had tried to Photoshop a profile image using a real picture of my own face.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” he said to himself, ignoring me completely. “I never watch broadcast TV. I never even turn it on. I hate the commercials. I avoid it like the plague. But I was supposed to be working. So, yeah, I guess that might be how it happened.”
He turned and looked me in the eye. “I turned on the TV,” he said. He was starting to scare me. “I did it on purpose. It was showing the CBS morning show. God help me, I don’t know why, but I watched.” I was stunned to see tears streaming down his face. “They called it ‘Note to Self.’ Oh God, why did I watch?”
He was almost gone now. He sparkled like a glinty trick of light and I had to lean and strain to hear what he had to say.
“Don’t do what I did. Don’t ever, EVER,” he hissed, “make the mistake of watching Note to Self. It’ll be the death of you.”
And with that, he was gone.
Dazed, I slowly got to my feet and swayed. Wow. What a trip. And what an idiot. How the hell was I going to watch anything with a bullet in my TV? And how the hell was I supposed to avoid doing real actual work?
More importantly, who was going to clean up that mess of ectoplasm where the bastard had been standing?
Who’s Sheetin’ Who?!
Let’s Do It Kroc-Style: Boom Like That!
History is written by the victors.
–Winston S. Churchill
I have this personal pet theory. It goes a little something like this:
What do I mean by this? It’s time for a tale of hungry dogs, drowning by garden hose, buxom secretaries, altered birth certificates and who’s car is parked next door.
Portland Restaurant Waiting Guide
Next up, on Iron Skillet Chef America our celebrity judge feels he’s entitled to share his opinions. Alloy cuisine!!! –Ed.
As a proud “native Oregonian” I’ve lived in Portland, on and off, since 1981. I’ve been to a few places to eat along the way. From food carts to neighborhood pub n’ grubs to world class cuisine, Portland has a veritable plethora of long waiting lines guaranteed to satisfy most any connoisseur of the latest trendy thing.
Voodoo Doughnut? I’ve never been. The line has always been too damn long. Who has that kind of time for a doughnut with bacon on it? My trick? Go to two different places, grab a doughnut from a regular place and a side of bacon from a diner. Voila! I call that Voodoo without the wait. When you’re downtown you’ll people toting around with their little pink boxes of Voodoo doughnuts as if to say, “Look at me! I did the wait!” Pro Tip: That pink box goes really well with plaid.
Tippy Toe: Life’s Ruinous Moments
Sometimes what starts out as a perfect and beautiful day full of optimism and hope can take a turn for the worse. Sometimes it only takes a few scant seconds.
I woke up first. Stealthily I slipped out of the covers like a ninja lynx. I tiptoed across the room. My wife was zonked and she needed to sleep in. With God as my witness I vowed to do my part.
On the bedroom doorknob hung the finest shirt that I owned. I have this annoying habit of putting shirts on knobs rather than hanging them up. It drives my wife nuts. I had worn it to a funeral the day before. My Sunday best consists of a black short-sleeved button-up shirt, the only blue jeans I own without holes in the knees, white socks and a pair of sneakers. Yep, that’s as good as it gets.
I wanted to keep noise out of the bedroom but I couldn’t close the door all the way because of the cats. They show great magic at doors that are closed to them and that would undoubtedly wake her up. So I gently nudged the door so it was mostly closed to help keep out light and noise.
In a good mood, I then proceeded to start my day. Little did I know it was already too late. The berg had already been struck. I just didn’t know it yet.
A few seconds later and my wife was up. What the hell?!
“What are you doing awake, my Queen?” I politely inquired.
“The cats were in the bedroom and they couldn’t get out.”
“But I left the door cracked just so that wouldn’t happen, my love.”
“Your goddamned shirt was in the way. They couldn’t get out.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“That’s not all,” she added.
I was filled with dread.
“They shredded your shirt.”
And, sometimes, that’s all it takes. Get out of bed and the hammer of life comes down hard and bone-crushingly shatters you, your dreams and even your shirt.
I looked at my watch. I’d been awake for 42 seconds.
A Link To Centuries
All I want for Christmas is a “no soliciting” sign. I had one before but a solicitor stole it from my door. I know because I was inside ignoring them when it happened. And, true story, they were selling for the company where I worked. Unbelievable.
In the meantime…
It was a Saturday afternoon. My wife and I were hanging out in the living room with the cats. I wasn’t wearing pants. Suddenly, there came a sound from the door. The cats ran away. The moment was lost.
You know that knock? The one that says, “Hey, it’s me.” It goes like this:
Knock knock knock knock knock knock.
I heard that sound and cocked an ear. “Who the hell can that be?” I gasped.
No worries. It was a just a salesperson.
Recently, after some Lebonese dinner across town, my wife said, “There’s an ice cream place only two blocks away. Let’s go!”
I was already full. Case in point: She was toting a box of leftovers but I was not. Mine had been crammed down my gullet. This scenario would soon allow me to put my advanced decision-making skills on display.
We walked into the shop and it was what I like to describe as “Portland cute.” The place was constructed to look post-industrial. This means concrete walls, vaulted ceilings with lots of duct work, lighting fixtures that hang all the way down from the ceiling and, of course, the pièce de résistance of the Portland eatery scene: the fake garage door. Those things are ubiquitous around here, perhaps even on par with the fedora and other trendy chapeaux.
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Storming The Castle
Once every lifetime or so I am granted the gift of insight. There’s a flash of light and suddenly I know something. The words that immediately follow the flash are generally pithy and pregnant with deep meaning.
“Holy shit! Fuck yeah.”
You can quote me on that.
Something like this happened to me the other day. And, my lords and ladies, it happened whilst my castle was under siege. It was a very trebuchet experience. I shall regale you with the tale anon.
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