No more talk. No more posturing. No more filibusters and press conferences. America is broken. It’s time to cut through the rhetoric and take decisive action. Two weeks ago, I retreated to my woodsy cabin in the Montana foothills and mused upon the NINE greatest problems facing society today. When I emerged, I’d solved each. Both political parties and Rand Paul are welcome to adopt these solutions as their own. All I ask in exchange is an ambassadorship to Madrid.

1. The Energy Crisis-Starting tomorrow, hi-test costs $29 a gallon. Time to stop pretending our entitlement to cheap gas is anything but Manifest PetroDestiny. Within a year every car on U.S. roads will be either hybrid or electric. Hitchhiking will flourish, a development good for both Rutger Hauer and teen girls in denim cutoffs. The massive influx of cash will then be used to resurrect the national train system, bail out Schwinn, and make local bus fleets smell twenty-percent less like wino neck. GM will be ordered to cease production of any car getting under 140 mpg. And, hey, Solo Ponytail Mom, you still want to drive a pimped-out Chevy Carpetbagger twice the size of Peru? Fine. But it’s going to cost. The days of Highway 66 and the American love affair with glut-bucket internal combustion are over. Being a rapacious Escalade-dick in the face of an increasingly tan planet, toxic crayfish, swelter in Kamkatcha, and a reliance on the pumped sludge of Islamic fiefdoms is no longer acceptable. Hey, it worked for cigarettes. It’s the only stick we understand. Feel the sting. Love the sting. Ask for more.

SOLVED. NEXT?

2. Abortion-Fine, we’ll ban it. But first, every single evangelist, placard-waver, escort-boning congressman, and pro-life sniper in America has to adopt at least two (2) children each. No exceptions. When there’s not a single child in any orphanage, juvenile detention center, or foster home across the country, the wheels of legislation will begin to turn. The Pope will be sent a fruit basket. In the meantime, while the senate passes No Child Left Behind, Especially When There’s Still Space For Another Cot In Your Rec Room, the pro-life community, as part of a little-noticed legislative earmark, also has to legally embrace condom usage, mandatory sex education, and a refutation of “abstinence” as being anything but an early skills course on the most effective grip.

SOLVED! NEXT?

3. Institutionalized Privation-A new national holiday called “Hammer Time” will immediately replace Christmas, and last until Easter, which is now called “Mirror Day.” This four month bacchanal of Bacon Nog, Vicuna Wings, and Twice-fried Fry O’ Rhinds will be a last-throes celebration of empire, concluding with the moment-of-clarity admission that we, as a nation, have become the sweaty, Zubaz-wearing, imminent angioplasty at the global cocktail party. The rest of the world has long watched our Caligulan dissolution from afar, while hoarding subsistence rice and crude roofing materials, two activities that have kept them in excellent shape. Meanwhile, we’ve been on a downward slope since our uncles stopped yelling “Eureka!” in their basements, somewhere around the summer of 1959. And the bill is finally due. So our new national motto, to be immediately adopted on flags, bumper stickers, and all legal tender, is Sew Up Your Whiny Cake-hole and Fork It Over Already. In the first step toward a new Spartan outlook, we, the American people, are going to pay off the national debt. Together. Forget government, corporations, and massive international borrowing. We got this one. It’s only going to cost about forty-seven grand a person, for every single person in the country. Time to dig deep, bro. Fork that cabbage.

SOLVED! NEXT?

4. Overpopulation-Beaches are crowded, there’s lines at the bank, you can never find a good parking space downtown, and it’s hard to get a reservation at Olive Garden. And a lot of us, let’s be honest, don’t really want to be here that much anyway, whining all the time about this or that, insisting that we’ve been wronged or deserve better in some elaborate mental construction clear only to us. Therefore, congress, and by congress I mean Halliburton, will in one week’s time erect a national system of clean, well-monitored Suicide Booths. These iPod-equipped “transition centers,” existing in parks and malls and subways across the country, will be available for the irreparably peeved, catatonically bored, or unusually selfless to give up the ghost. Each booth will come equipped with a massive overdose of fine-grade Turkish Cialis, gratis. When all vitals go flatline, a chute will open in the floor. VIC’s, or Voluntarily Inert Citizens, will then be collected, trucked on specially equipped flatbeds, and spread out like mulch, in combination with seeds and a fine nitrogen-rich garden booster, to fertilize the arid deserts just north and south of the Mexican border. This will instantly transform that formerly desolate area into a verdant Eden. In ten years, the massive decrease in population, in conjunction with the newly blooming Texicali Arboreal Belt, a green parkland stretching from Tijuana to Brownsville, will permanently take care of both illegal immigration and drug violence problems. The rest of us, while sitting in an empty Tully’s, or being the only person at the cineplex watching The Last Airbender IV: Still More Air To Bend, can sit back and breathe in the clean, unleavened scent of solitary national pride.

SOLVED! NEXT?

5. Gay Marriage-Legalize it immediately. All those trying to restrain this inevitability of fairness and basic human rights will almost certainly be looked back upon in twenty years as pitiable self-loathers on the level of Orval Faubus, Carrie Nation, and Dennis Miller. So, yes, let gay couples across the country spend a year in a judgment-free orgy of nuptials, cake-cutting, tuxedo rentals, honeymoons, and sunburnt first-arguments. Let’s all send our congratulations, crock pots, gift certificates and unwanted advice on the components of a successful union. Then, on day 366, a bill will be passed declaring all heterosexual marriages illegal and void. Ooh, snap. You’re on the outside again, Elton. Enjoy that fondue set. Operating under the same theory, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will be immediately repealed. A month later, Straight Ask, Immediately Tell will be enacted, canning every serviceman who professes to engage in cross-gender relations, leaving us with a newly-formed and kickass All Gay Military.

SOLVED! NEXT?

6. The Destruction Of The Environment-Widespread use of chemical fertilizers is killing off microscopic dirt mites. Without dirt mites, nothing will grow. The bees are disappearing. Without the bees, nothing will grow. TGI Fridays is going out of business. Without fried ice cream, Zoloft loses its favorite enabler. Also, there’s a massive floating field of discarded plastic grocery bags in the North Pacific that has swelled to almost the size of Texas. Those bags are turning into trillions of nurdles, which are tiny plastic shards which will take 500,000 years to biodegrade, in which time they will comprise forty percent of the body weight of any remaining fish in the area. Without nurdle-free fish, we will be unable to order high-grade sushi. Without high-grade sushi and large bottles of Sapporo, no hipsters will ever get laid. Without the offspring of hipsters, the platinum baby stroller business will go bankrupt. Without properly pampered young Sophias and Gretas and Justins, fine arts programs in colleges across the country will be poorly attended. Without freshmen video production majors to fill screening rooms with shaky, poorly edited films about self-cutting and Oedipal nudity there won’t be any….wait a minute…just hold on a minute…more nurdles!

SOLVED! NEXT?

7. Creeping Socialism In Government-Last week, while waiting in line at That Chain Cafe for my usual quad Americano brewed so powerfully it tastes almost exactly like new car upholstery soaked in kerosene, I saw three different people wearing Che Guevara t-shirts, including the heavily ear-studded barista. It was an apparel ubiquity I haven’t seen since 1990, when every other person was wearing a Jad Fair shirt, Jad Fair being that era’s perfect alterna-musical choice, a direct fuck you to Stone Temple Pilots, yet still obscure enough to enable smirky condescension. While even the most innocuous of Che’s political dictates would likely condemn both nose rings and the wolfing of decadent pastries in a complimentary wi-fi environment, in revolutionary Jungle Rules circles, individual ownership of a nice new red shirt is probably punishable by death. So it’s difficult to imagine that the Ernesto Guevara of generalized collegiate esteem would be pleased his image now stands for profiting off t-shirts made in the factories of Mao-legacy China. Which either means socialism is a gateway to communism, just like marijuana is to acid, or that lazy iconography is indeed the thin red line keeping us all from harvesting turnips in collectivized farms across greater New Jersey. Hey, True Che principles vs. Dreamy Che revisionism is probably too much of a contradiction to expect one beefy XL Hanes to handle, but even the harried barista ought to be aware that chesting Che-face more or less implies: I wear, with this garment, the inherent contradiction that is modern consumer Left-ism, and by donning a mass-produced homage to murky political stances, which, ironically, this dead face would have especially despised, I reveal myself, ultimately, to have no convictions at all. Yes We Can! On the other hand, maybe it’s just a shirt. Maybe the barista intended to wear his favorite Master Of Puppets world tour ringer, but his girlfriend snagged it on the way to her economics class, and so he grabbed Che instead, with no investment whatsoever in certain overly-mythologized South Americans. Either way, I tipped him pretty good, and my four-dollar coffee rocked. In the end, isn’t that all that matters? Damn straight. Dude, do you have any Nutella-blueberry scones left? What do you mean, no? Hey, man, there is something seriously fucked with the methods of production and distribution up in this bourgeoisie shithole!

SOLVED! NEXT?

8. The Separation of Church and State-Just like Huey Lewis, who wanted a new drug, one that didn’t make him sick, make him stay up all night, or feel three-feet thick, this country needs a new, unified, mandatory religion. Clearly the Torah, Koran, and New Testament are all conveniently localized retellings of the same Abrahamic myths, with the occasional child sacrificing, resurrection, or riding of winged horses thrown in. Since all three religions are just cherry-picking one another’s conventions and rituals in a way that’s best suited to their particular tribes, why not meld them all into one monotheist, monolithic, Baal-renouncing superfaith? It’ll make the repeal of tax-free status for all churches easier to collect on, for starters. But what brand of uber-dogma would be strong enough to simultaneously meet the needs of those desperate for comfort in the face of the vast unknown, while simultaneously allowing us the relative certainty that clitorectomies and adulterer-stoning are indeed embraced by our omniscient creator?

Five words: Andre Agassi, Latter Day Saint.

SOLVED! NEXT?

9. The War On Terror-Terrorists don’t hate our way of life. They’re smarter than that. Terrorists use the spectacle of violence to either inflame or cow suggestible populations. Like, for instance, those being occupied. Or collaterally damaged. Terrorism is calculated theater. Killing terrorists, while feeling good in the short term, actually increases the sway they exert. There is no military solution. There are no number of corpses that will in any material way change the dynamic of fanaticism. Terrorism’s defeat, finally, will come in the viral adoption of our softness, primarily by exporting what we do best: apologetic rehabs, unwarranted celebrity, and internecine political paralysis. It will also come with the final grudging acknowledgment that the country that grows the best opium has always indirectly controlled the rest of the world. Therefore, the war on terrorism can be won by immediately ceasing corn subsidies, canceling the production of ethanol, and growing vast fields of poppies from sea to shining sea. Or at least from Ohio to Iowa. With a great marketing slogan, like we’ll chase the dragon here, so we don’t have to wait for the man there, within a generation we’ll evolve into a nation of saxophone playing, poetry composing, rug-lying bohemian artistes. Art equals random circumstance equals talented misanthropy equals an affordable apartment. And who doesn’t want an affordable apartment? Even Bin Laden wants an affordable apartment. Maybe if we deed him a nice little East Village pied-a-terre and The Complete Roxy Music, he’ll knock it off with all the angry cave prophesying and admit we were right about one thing after all: Image really is everything. And the Wrath of Agassi is eternal.

SOLVED!

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SEAN BEAUDOIN's latest novel is Wise Young Fool. His stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications including the Onion, the San Francisco Chronicle and Spirit, the in-flight magazine of Southwest Airlines. www.seanbeaudoin.com.

101 responses to “SOLVED. NEXT?”

  1. Zara Potts says:

    Cupcake (II),
    I am in awe of how your mind works! I was reading this and laughing and thinking ‘Damn! I wish I could think and write like that!’ Bravo.
    Also – Point 8 – Why don’t we start a cult? I wanted a compound but I think a cult would be better. I could change my last name to Guevara (Zara Guevara – awesome rhymage) and surely that would be a good first step?

    • Very glad for your laughing. Also, Zara Guevara is SO much better that Zarathustra, and Zarathustra is plainly excellent. And, yes, I think we should definitely start a cult. We just need 3 random things, like: Lobster, Castration, Tibet. Or, Apocalypse, hollowpoints, farmhouse. And then we can get started on a creation myth. This is going to be way better than a band.

      • Zara Potts says:

        Oooh. I like this better than the band AND the compound. This way we get to have a compound with the very best living quarters reserved for us cult leaders.
        I am going to stick a pin in the dictionary and come up with three things right now:

        1) Paella
        2) Ejaculate
        3)Orienteering

        This has winner all over it, right?

        • Paella is perfect! We can all wear little aluminum foil hats filled with ceremonial arborio rice and then have little porcelain shrimp gods affixed to the front…

    • Brian Eckert says:

      Zara, you totally stole my thunder for the idea of a compound. I’ve been musing on this for years now. I’ve actually been rounding people up based on the necessary subsistence skills. But I’m still trying to figure out what mine is, except for Emperor, of course.

      • Zara Potts says:

        I’ll fight you for that title… I want to be emperor. Or reverend. Or princess.
        Let’s start recruiting!

  2. Dana says:

    Oh my God. If you didn’t have a Frenchy last name, I’d soooo be writing you in for president.

    I still may.

    I laughed all the way through it — way too many funny lines to pick out a special favorite, but here are three:

    “Ooh, snap. You’re on the outside again, Elton. Enjoy that fondue set.”

    “Being a rapacious Escalade-dick in the face of an increasingly tan planet, toxic crayfish, swelter in Kamkatcha, and a reliance on the pumped sludge of Islamic fiefdoms is no longer acceptable.”

    “which, ironically, this dead face would have especially despised, I reveal myself, ultimately, to have no convictions at all. Yes We Can! On the other hand, maybe it’s just a shirt. Maybe the barista intended to wear his favorite Master Of Puppets world tour ringer”

  3. Becky Palapala says:

    I wear, with this garment, the inherent contradiction that is modern consumer Left-ism, and by donning a mass-produced homage to murky political stances, which, ironically, this dead face would have especially despised, I reveal myself, ultimately, to have no convictions at all.

    I want to kiss you.

    And buy you one of those Che caps with the red star on the front…with my credit card.

  4. Simon Smithson says:

    Holy McFuckhat!

    Way to bring the noise, Monsieur Beaudoin. From snarky ego-puncturing to realpolitik across the space of one raucous TNB essay…

    Bravo, sir.

    • Thanks, Simon. Man, Holy Mcfuckhat is really fun to say out loud. You can make a game of putting the emphasis in all different places. The people in the office next door think I have Tourettes.

  5. Matt says:

    Excellently done, Sean!

    But the people of Arizona demand you come up with a solution for the immigrant problem as well!

    • I humbly refer you to the bottom of point #4, Matt. But if what you mean to say is that the people of Arizona would likely find that insufficient and demand their own, more Draconian and further individualized solution, I hear you. I may have to huddle with noted libertarian J.D. Haynesworth on this.

  6. Don Mitchell says:

    All good!

    But it’s unAmerican not to have rankings. I’d say, #6 for the win, with #7 a close second.

    Number Six wins because of its extraordinarily liquid path from chemical fertilizers to nurdles. As in flowing.

    And because it’s the only solution I can imagine being spoken, perhaps chanted.

    Consider youtube, here. Could go viral.

    • I like your turning it into a horse racing analogy, Don. I feel like I just hit a forty dollar exacta.

      Do people just read their stuff into the camera and post it on youtube? And if so, does it work?

      • Don Mitchell says:

        I don’t think you upload to youtube from the camera — you have to pass it through a computer first. You capture from the camera to your computer, do minimal editing there (there are free apps, I believe) and then you upload.

        A savvy teenager can do it for you. You know this guy named Stan, right? He’ll handle it.

  7. Jeffrey Pillow says:

    You eat at Olive Garden?

  8. Greg Olear says:

    This is so so brilliant.

    Still more air to bend.

    Oh my.

    Beaudoin for President!

    • Zara Potts says:

      You should join our cult, Greg.

      • Greg Olear says:

        Only if I get my own tent. And my own poppy supply.

        • I genuinely appreciate it, Greg. However, my presidential aspirations are limited. On the other hand, All Powerful Cult Leader has, I think, a more enticing ring. Should I take on that mantle, tent distribution will be one of my first priorities. You may have to prove your fealty by spending the first few weeks under an old quilt before an upgrade to something with a zipper is granted. Either way, consider your poppy rations solid.

        • Greg Olear says:

          I can live without the tent, as long as the opium pipe stays lit…although it should be noted that my only exposure to an opium den is the video for “Down Under.” (My daughter thinks that part of the video is a birthday, because there are dim lights and candles, and then the lights come on, and everyone is happy).

      • Gloria says:

        Can I join your cult, too, Zara? Can I dance to the tambourine like I would in Slade’s band? Or is there no TNB Post Crossover allowed? ‘Cause I could pick a different job in the cult. Like, I could be the one that speaks to the press because I can do sane and rational really well – you don’t even know I’m faking!

        • Zara Potts says:

          Of course you can join the cult! I would love to have you there, Sister Gloria.
          I really hope we can call the land we eventually purchase in Australia – ‘Pottstown.’

  9. Henry says:

    awsome. until those suicide booths are built, can you solve my neighbor’s nasal problem? it sounds like a world cup party horn over there.

  10. Sophia, Gretas, and–Justins? Explain. Not once have I ever encountered a pampered Justin.

    The Wrath of Agassi ain’t got nothin’ on the Chang Gang.

    Peace.

  11. Art Edwards says:

    Sean,

    Would you please quit using my lyrics to prove your political points? This is the third time.

    Sincerely,

    Huey Lewis.

    P.S. You owe me 14 cents.

  12. el Detroit says:

    Beaudoin parle pour moi!

    (Extra points for the Half Japanese reference.)

  13. Joe Daly says:

    Dude, you look like Steppenwolf but you write like Public Enemy.

    What a ballsy piece! I kept looking out the window to make sure your brass pair wasn’t swinging over California.

    I like that you didn’t shy away from your opinions, which you backed up with equal parts intellect, humor, and bravado. To be able to point out hypocrisy doesn’t require much beyond trite outrage. But to expose hypocrisy well- addressing the underlying fears and proposing a solution, is a true talent, which you have showcased here.

    I will be keeping close tabs on the comments- I’ve got a feeling we’re in for a robust exchange of ideas here.

    And this was the penultimate “you have to laugh to keep from crying” bit:

    These iPod-equipped “transition centers,” existing in parks and malls and subways across the country, will be available for the irreparably peeved, catatonically bored, or unusually selfless to give up the ghost. Each booth will come equipped with a massive overdose of fine-grade Turkish Cialis, gratis. When all vitals go flatline, a chute will open in the floor. VIC’s, or Voluntarily Inert Citizens, will then be collected, trucked on specially equipped flatbeds, and spread out like mulch, in combination with seeds and a fine nitrogen-rich garden booster, to fertilize the arid deserts just north and south of the Mexican border.

    Reminded me of the Albert Brooks movie, Defending Your Life

    • Dude, thanks. Especially for the Public E comparison. Man, that’s a first. I need to go buy a huge wall clock and sling it around my neck on a knotted shoestring. Or glue on some chest hair and start acting like Albert Brooks.

    • Richard Cox says:

      False advertising. This is an ongoing bromance.

      • If a “bromance” is what happened during the 212 minutes of cinematic genius of “Harley Davidson and The Marlboro Man”, you’re onto something.

      • Joe Daly says:

        Coxy, stop mowing my grass and return to Slade’s article at once!

        But of course Sean’s now opened the “Bromance Movie” can, so here we go:

        My Top Five Bromance Movies:

        1. The Last Boyscout- Bruce Willis & Damon Wayans

        2. Shaun of the Dead- Simon Pegg & Nick Frost

        3. Blazing Saddles- Cleavon Little & Gene Wilder

        4. Tremors- Kevin Bacon & Fred Ward

        5. Midnight Cowboy- Jon Voight & Dustin Hoffman

        • Okay, this list is great. Actually, any list with Fred Ward on it pretty much has my full support.

          My Favorite Atrocious Bromance Movies:

          1. The Rookie-Clint Eastwood & Charlie Sheen

          2. Fled-Steven Baldwin & Lawrence Fishburne

          3. Stone Cold-Brian Bosworth & Brian Bosworth’s bloated and steroid-soaked former build.

          4. Flashpoint-Treat Williams & Kris Kristofferson

          5. Windtalkers- Nick Cage & Intercultural Sensitivity

        • Greg Hansen says:

          The best bromance of all time, I’m sorry to say, actually really sorry to say, was Lethal Weapon. Mel was something back in the day, funny, charismatic, and all around entertaining. Now after reading about his latest racist tirade, I wish I could go back in time, and erase every memory I have of watching his movies. The man is so goooooone over the edge. I realize now all that crazyness in his characters was really him! If you search your feelings and spend time reflecting on this, as much as I have, you will realize this is true!

        • It is true. It’s possible it’s both the best and worst at the same time. One unwritten law: All Buddy Movies Must Have Gary Busey In Them.

  14. Ben Loory says:

    just spent an hour and a half reading up on nurdles and the state of the world’s oceans… thanks for the laughs…

    • Cool, Ben. Yeah, those nurdles are real. It’s so insane it sounds like a bad joke, and yet….you’d think this might be an actual news story. The thing is, and this is even less of a joke, despite what Anne Bancroft says, the plastics lobby is one of the most powerful in DC. No one will touch it. The size of Texas!

  15. Richard Cox says:

    I’m there. This post is teh win. “Still more air to bend.” Awesome.

    But nothing can beat this line: “Without fried ice cream, Zoloft loses its favorite enabler.”

    Baaaahahahahaha.

  16. Uche Ogbuji says:

    They should fire the “you can thank me now” correspondent dude on Jon Stewart, and hand you the job. And I think you also just wrote the constitution of Zamunda.

  17. Gloria says:

    So motherfucking funny.

    Holy shit.

    I stopped while reading this – three different times – to email people and tell them to read it.

    The stuff about liberals? Brilliant. I say this as a card-carrying liberal, too. I’m just kind of embarrassed about it now.

    • Thanks for emailing it around, Gloria. Excellent of you. Yeah, it’s not easy to be liberal, let alone A Liberal these days, is it? Well, maybe it’s easier than ever, just not with a straight face.

  18. Brian Eckert says:

    Sean, I enjoyed this immensely. I more or less agree with you on most of these issues, and while your answer is sort of implicit in your initiative to grow opium, I’m wondering where you stand on the issue of broad-based legalization of drugs? I’ve recently had the epiphany that I am not, in fact, the liberal I once was. I think that my desire to be left the fuck alone to my own devices defines my political views more than anything else. And with that, I have begun to see the specter of socialism creeping in from every angle. That and really fucking fat people. Cheers bro, thanks for this one…

    • That’s an interesting question, Brian. I mean, theoretically I’m for legalization of drugs. Not only because the War On Them has been a colossal and hypocritical failure, but also because I generally see it as an issue of personal choice exactly along the lines of your wanting to “be left the fuck alone” as dictating your personal politics. Since I quit doing drugs 15 years ago, I feel I can take this stance without being accused of just wanting an easier way to lay around baked. Also, there’s the whole issue of The American Gulag that is our prison system, all the users pointlessly incarcerated, and how I see addiction as being more a medical than criminal problem….but, I’m not sure I think legalization would actually be feasible. First, which drugs? San Francisco already has medical marijuana dispensaries all over the place, and anyone can get a card to use them, so pot practically is legal there already. And it’s a mess. That’s just one drug in one city. Amsterdam is hardly a utopia for the people who actually live there. The Swiss experiment with heroin parks was a dismal failure….

      • dwoz says:

        Well…I think legalization is one thing, and enablement is another. There’s a natural balance between personal-private indulgence and public-commons infringement.

        This sort of strikes to the heart of the libertarian ideal…the issue of private benefit vs. externalized public costs. When the libertarians hold up the concept of the Commons as being a structural flaw, they really miss the point…which is that people DO congregate, they DO socialize, and there ARE civilized norms.

        I don’t really see any reason that the model that is used for cigarettes or alcohol can’t be made to function for drugs.

        The only thing that the current legal status does for drug use, is to make it more expensive. I’m sure corporate America can figure out a way to keep drugs expensive, in a decriminalized environment.

  19. Fan-fucking-tastic. I’ll be in America in a mere 20 days, and I sincerely hope your changes have come into effect by then. Don’t be one of those lazy philosophers… get these plans into action!

    • I think it’s doable in under three weeks, David. I just need to polish off watching my DVD set of season II of Scrubs, then finish my yoga classes, then read a few more pages of the John Irving novel I started three years ago, then practice making yakitori for my World Cuisines eating group, and hang out for a while in the humidor at my cigar club. After that, I’m all over it.

      Where you gonna be in the states?

      • David says:

        Excellent. I’m glad to see your priorities are in order.

        I plan on careening drunkenly across the United States between July 28th and a date that hasn’t yet been set, but which should be less than a month later. I’m starting off in San Francisco, staying a bit in Denver, and then attending a wedding in either Michigan or Ohio.

  20. Judy Prince says:

    I wanna know what’s in that woodsy Montana cabin, Sean.

    Your first Solution had me rockin’! I love it! And you just kept on. This bit is way hilarious: “The Pope will be sent a fruit basket. In the meantime, while the senate passes No Child Left Behind, Especially When There’s Still Space For Another Cot In Your Rec Room, the pro-life community . . .” HOOOOHaaaaa!!!

    OK, now I’ll give my laff-wracked stomach a rest and then finish the piece.

    You flarf!

    • No, you really don’t want to know, Judy. You really, really don’t. Suffice it to say it involves a hooded sweatshirt, an unruly beard, a broken typewriter, and white-hot anger at the direction of soulless technology. Oh, and pudding.

      • Judy Prince says:

        At least one thing’s clear, Sean: We both inhabit a woodsy Montana cabin, and we have the same causes for weird writing (though my beard’s slightly more ruly than yours)—-and most important, we cite pudding (the vanilla lumpy kind with the thick skin on top) as The Main Cause of weird writing.

        I’ve shifted, after my first reading of your post, to making peach crumble (also lumpy and with thick skin on top, but with the addition of nurdles) instead of pudding so that my weird posts and yours do not intermingle creatively.

        yrs in flarf

  21. Andrew Panebianco says:

    “I wear, with this garment, the inherent contradiction that is modern consumer Left-ism, and by donning a mass-produced homage to murky political stances, which, ironically, this dead face would have especially despised, I reveal myself, ultimately, to have no convictions at all. Yes We Can!”

    Goddamn splendid.

    On occasion I’ll go to the cafe at the local Barnes and Noble to do some work. One of the regulars is an older man – I’m talking mid to late 60s – who always wears a Che shirt (red on black), and a little black military cap with a red star in the middle of it. Across the back of the hat is a website… something like CommunistClothing.com.

    I call him The People’s Grandpa.

    Every time I see him, he’s hogging two tables into a little digital bivouac – he’s got a brand new macbook pro, a fancy cordless mouse, a fancy mousepad, and an iphone all assembled together. Then he sits there and checks his stocks online, while drinking five dollar cups of coffee. All. Day. Long.

    • The People’s Grandpa. That’s hilarious, Andrew. Yeah, I love those dudes handing out copies of The Daily Worker with a bluetooth headset the size of a Hershey bar sticking out of their Mao cap. I mean, you know, there’s no reason your average street corner Marxist shouldn’t have access to cutting edge wireless technology, but it just seems so comical. It’s like, shouldn’t you be showing solidarity by manning the cane fields outside Havana right now, instead of stuffing that bearclaw down your throat? I dunno. I am well aware that I am no less of a ridiculous contradiction than anyone else. Maybe I just take pride in being (presumably) less obvious about it.

    • Dana says:

      “The People’s Grandpa”! Heee!

  22. Ian Brady says:

    I’m not going to tongue stab your cloaca like the other sycophants but I will give you this: You’re alright for a Libertarian. Good work.

    • dwoz says:

      I’ve always thought that libertarianism would be the best ideology, if it wasn’t so utterly batshit crazy.

      Don’t even get me started on Ayn Rand.

      My favorite president was Roosevelt, who somehow managed to convince the shadowy Illuminati oligarchs that letting the general population have a mouthful of food once in a while, and an hour or two to themselves to eat it, would be a good idea.

      • Go ahead and get started on Ayn Rand, Dwoz. Lay it on me. Not a big fan of Howard Roark? I’ve always been an Ellsworth Toohey man myself.

        • dwoz says:

          I can sometimes relate to Howard Roark.

          A month or two ago, I showed a local builder the house plans I had drawn up, saying, “these are the house plans that I drew myself.”

          His reply?

          Mr. ContractorFiredOnTheSpot said “this is an architectural nightmare!”

        • Howard would have scoffed, jammed on his hat, stormed out of the building, and then gone home to slap Patricia Neel around some…

        • Uche Ogbuji says:

          Not much I have to say about fucking Ayn Rand that Wonkette hasn’t expressed better:

          http://wonkette.com/tag/pt-ayn-rands-adventures-in-wonderland/

        • Becky Palapala says:

          I find it tidy commentary that their criticism of Rand’s elitism relies on a (hopefully intentional) nod to academic elitism.

          Ma’at, man. Ma’at.

          I can barely stand the tao. I’m peeing myself over here.

        • That Wonkette stuff is so great. Except for the fact that the web design makes it almost impossible to read them sequentially. Still, a minor complaint. A hammer of Objectivist deadpanning of the highest order. And I love how it turns out that John Galt is Mackenzie Phillips. Or is that Sarah Palin? And, also, how Greenspan gets to play the Marty Feldman role….

    • Ah, Ian, I can always count on you for an embittered take on my digestive system. At least I’ve been able to count on it three times, since that’s all the posts I’ve done. “Alright for a libertarian” is fighting words where I come from, by the way. Or at least it is here on the hard streets of Seattle. Man, you better not fall and break your hip on the sidewalk outside my house and demand medical attention at group rates is all I can say.

  23. Slade Ham says:

    You should run. And if you need a vice-president… I’m not doing anything for the next several years or so.

    • Joe Daly says:

      The Beaudoin-Ham ticket would be one for the ages. I personally would like to spearhead the back office team dedicated to identifying and covering up all of the skeletons in both of your respective closets. We’d make the Warren Commission look like a lemonade stand.

      • Slade Ham says:

        Man, good luck. My closet looks like the Killing Fields of Cambodia.

        • Your availability is enticing, Slade, but I dunno, man. I was thinking something very Sarah P. if I have to go the vice pres. route. Hard to tell how you’d look in a skirt and hockey-mom glasses from your pic. But, hell, maybe you could pull it off. Nailing down the transgender vote first thing would likely be a wise strategy.

          Joe, you get to be Rahm. Better start cutting deals and eliminating rivals now.

        • Joe Daly says:

          Slade, I picture your closet as one of those deals where you sort of emotionally prepare yourself for everything, then you get in there, and it’s like a million times more horrifying than you could ever imagine. But you get through it, and just as you wipe the sweat off your brow and sort of say a quick prayer that you survived, another door opens, and you end up with your face melted like the German dude in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.’

          Which, assuming there’s some great stuff in there, would be worth the face melt.

  24. J.M. Blaine says:

    Your jibe
    is well-cut
    sir

    I heard Tony Campolo
    awhile back
    say something
    along those same lines
    about abortion
    & he’s an evangelist!

    I vote
    Absurdist Party.

  25. Thank you, Bosun.
    Or should I say boatswain?

    It would be nice to have Tony Campolo over for a few sidecars and talk shop.

    It’s a wise vote.
    Who are they running this year?
    Duchamp?
    Or maybe Charlie Sheen.

  26. angela says:

    awesome and hilarious. . .and scarily smart!

    my favorite line: “. . .make local bus fleets smell twenty-percent less like wino neck.”

    first i saw “wino neck,” which confused me, but then read the whole line and laughed and laughed like a maniac. 😀

    i’d vote for you.

  27. Irene Zion says:

    Okay, you made me look up “nurdles” too.
    I do like expanding my vocabulary.

  28. Paul Ollinger says:

    Palin/Beaudoin 2012! (or at the very least you could be her Secretary of Energy and implement the country’s new mandatory carpooling policy: Gas, Grass or Ass – Nobody Rides for Free!)

  29. Greg Hansen says:

    Sean, you have really gone to task with everything our beloved country holds so dear -adroit! I’m on wisdom overload, the revelations, the truth…. It’s like in that movie, A Few Good Men, where Jack is telling Tom, You want the truth, you want the truth, you can’t handle the truth! and Tom replies, I think I’m entitled to it. Although your Tom, and I’m not sure who Jack is, maybe Joe Daly?

    I think we as Americans are entitled to the truth about how our economy, our military, our government really works. Just because were entitled to it though, doesn’t mean we can handle it. Adroit Greg!

    The best hand grip, you should take your routine into stand up comedy! I think my two year old son has been looking for the best one since he could move his hands with in range. I wish he would give the thing a rest already, kind of embarrassing, when theirs company around. Actually it’s pretty funny.

  30. Marni Grossman says:

    I’m behind on my TNB reading but I’m so glad I took the time to go back and read. Because I found this! Hilarious! Brilliant!

    I laughed too much at this: “it’s hard to get a reservation at Olive Garden.” Wasn’t aware that reservations were needed at Olive Garden. You learn something new every day.

    • Excellent of you to go back and read, Marnie. Seriously….nah, you don’t need a reservation at The Olive. Actually, I don’t think so. To be honest, I’ve never eaten there. I walked in once with some other people, but it smelled so overpoweringly of parmesan that we all looked at each other and then walked out and went to Chevvy’s instead. Which is very fresh.

  31. […] SEAN BEAUDOIN for president! […]

  32. […] He also knows his politics — certainly no one can accuse him of claiming he can see a foreign nation from his front porch.  Not even Dick Armey, or some Internet troll.  Heck, he once edited a zine called Zapruder Head Snap.  In fact, he can pretty much solve every last crisis facing our great nation. […]

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