(Chorus)

Come with me to the Dogberry Sea

Where you shall not need a raincoat

Come with me to the cellar of the sea

Where you shall not want for a thing

For some folks wander and some folks wane

And some folks gutter the bend in the drain

But the best folks sink to the dregs of the drink

Where they can’t hear the pit-pitter-pat of the rain

 

(Verse 1)

King Cauliflower of Lower Dogberry

What a merry old King was he!

He hung (by their hair) all his wives in the square

And he threw all his sons in the sea

But the realm of Dogberry was old as the sand

And the laws were the lines on his bloody left hand

And the sun and the moon were his birthday balloons

And the ache in his back was a scourge on the land

So once I a-flew like the mockingbirds do

When they fly to their cousins locked up in the zoo

Yes, one day I wandered, a-slipped and a-squandered,

Where peasants jump high when the King says “A-choo!”

And me and the King, we went out carol-ing

And we sang to the peasants and strung ‘em on string

And we combed out our beards, us not being a-feared

Of the red-colored birds with their blue-colored wings

And we sang and we sang till the noonbells a-rang

And you know of the song we were singing?

Oh, the song that they sing when they raise up the King

With his orbs and his scepter a-swinging!

 

(Chorus)

Come with me to the Dogberry Sea

Where you shall not need a raincoat

Come with me to the cellar of the sea

Where you shall not want for a thing

For some folks wander and some folks wane

And some folks gutter the bend in the drain

But the best folks sink to the dregs of the drink

Where they can’t hear the pit-pitter-pat of the rain

 

(Verse 2)

In lower Dogberry, the people were good

And they did as their grandmothers taught them

They were all very kind to the deaf and the blind

And threw out the trash with the flotsam

But according to law, their only known flaw

Was lust for Iguana meat, bloodied up raw

And their druthers a-smothered their storied grandmothers

Who’d taught them to never go burning the shaw

Well, I came to town with a tuft in my crown

And I stirred up their peace and I threw their sin down

And I druthered their nethers with buggers and feathers

And I turned every smile to a gibbering frown

And I handled their baubles and drummed on their tables

And called into question their tellers of fables

And I sullied their bars with my telling of wars

And I covered their candles and flattened their gables

And when I was done, yes, I sat in the sun

On the outskirt of town where the sky was undone

Yes, the sky was a-blackened, the knots all a-slackened

And the tune that rang over the stubble, it rung…

 

(Chorus)

Come with me to the Dogberry Sea

Where you shall not need a raincoat

Come with me to the cellar of the sea

Where you shall not want for a thing

For some folks wander and some folks wane

And some folks gutter the bend in the drain

But the best folks sink to the dregs of the drink

Where they can’t hear the pit-pitter-pat of the rain

 

(Verse 3)

Well, old Jim Crispin had daggers for thumbs

He slept with his hands in a drawer

His bones were all chalky from bleeding malarkey

His typing was like a lawnmower

His wife was afflicted with plagues of the skin

From smelling his rot and from taking him in,

And she plied with her mother to pay to discover

A cure for her lover’s particular sin

So I told him I’d cure him for thirty a week

And his wife signed the papers and kissed on my cheek

But when I collected I said I expected

A bloodied-up dogsbody served on a pike

She ran to the ear of the King of Dogberry

(That man who by women has been known to tarry

And who as a judge is so willing to fudge

Any ruling for tossing his jewels to the prairie)

Well, long story shorter, Jim paid up his due

For a dagger-thumb kills so much quicker, he knew,

Then a man whole of body, all swarthy and ruddy,

With his heart on his sleeve and my foot in his flue

 

(Chorus)

Come with me to the Dogberry Sea

Where you shall not need a raincoat

Come with me to th’cellar of the sea

Where you shall not want for a thing

For some folks wander and some folks wane

And some folks gutter the bend in the drain

But the best folks sink to the dregs of the drink

Where they can’t hear the pit-pitter-pat of the rain

 

(Verse 4)

Well, rich men, they never go down to the tide

And they rarely step foot in the reeds

So when a rich man puts his shoe to the sand

You can bet there’s a corse at his need

And King Cauliflower, (not wealthy nor poor,

As the sky was his banner, the ocean his store)

At court had a man with a stain on his hand,

Young Philip, the potentate’s name to restore

So the merry old King disposed of the body

And buttered Phil’s fanny, unbloodied his bloody

And when he had won, the deed was undone

And the salt-watered soul was rechristened “Nobody”

Come the next summer, when Philip’s young daughter

Was fixed to be wed as her father had taught her

Well, here came the bride with a thorn in her side

With the bells all a-stilled, and the wine turned to water

The vicar was bribed, and the bellows untried,

The vows all unspoken, the dowry denied

And when the new missus bent over for kisses

“Nobody” kissed salt to the lips of his bride

 

(Chorus)

Come with me to the Dogberry Sea

Where you shall not need a raincoat

Come with me to the cellar of the sea

Where you shall not want for a thing

For some folks wander and some folks wane

And some folks gutter the bend in the drain

But the best folks sink to the dregs of the drink

Where they can’t hear the pit-pitter-pat of the rain

Marlboro Man here.

I’ve been roaming the open plains of Montana for fifty years now, all that time enjoying the rich flavor of Marlboro brand cigarettes. It’s not a bad life. I get to sleep outside, make my own schedule. And the good people at Marlboro give me as many cigarettes and flannel shirts as I want. My contract stipulates that I keep my mustache. Also, I’m supposed to “perpetually smolder with visible awareness of my own machismo,” whatever that means.

But the important part, the smoking Marlboro cigarettes part? I’d of done that anyway. Yessir. I just plain like Marlboros. How I got a job smoking cigarettes is beyond me. Pretty good for an old country boy.

Even still, riding around on my horse and smoking all the time can get a little dry. Sometimes I try and spice it up a little by doing a little, what do they call it? Market research? Just to razz the boys at corporate. And I’m happy to say that I haven’t found any other cigarette to compare with Marlboro brand.

Take this new TAMPAX brand. Nothing special there. I mean, if all them TAMPAX jokers can put out there is some pink fuzzy thing with a string coming out of it, well… I think I’ve made the right decision dancing with the one who brung me.

The packaging on these TAMPAX sure is awkward. Trying to get each one out of its individual wrapper while riding my horse is just plain difficult. And I’m not crazy about the appearance, either. Not to mention that medicine smell, which puts me right off. Worst part by a long shot, though, is the total lack of draw. I tell you, they barely burn! I had to inhale several times before I got a good cherry going. And then it just kind of fizzled. I’m not even sure there’s any tobacco in there. Was like smoking a…I don’t even know what. Some kind of medicine-smelling…fuzzy…

Well, I guess the company didn’t hire me for my way with words. Point is, I was not impressed one bit. For my money, Marlboro is still the best. They smell good. They taste good. And you ain’t gonna beat them by throwing some cheap perfume on some rolled-up cotton.

And I guess that’s all I’ve got to say about it. Thanks for listening to an old cowboy.

1) Fenwick-Barnes Syndrome, or ‘Metaphoraphobia’

Pathology: Extreme credibility; Inability to understand metaphor
 
Common symptoms: Fear of phrases like ‘It’s raining cats and dogs’ or ‘You’re driving me crazy’; Fear of Civil War Reenactments; Fear of puppet shows; Fear of team mascots; Fear of emoticons; Fear of Halloween; Fear of Kabuki; Fear of one’s mom using different voices for the different characters in storybooks; Fear of religion; Inability to understand bar graphs and/or finding them to be merely pretty
 
 
2) Osterhaus Syndrome

Pathology: Extreme gustatory sensitivity; Addiction to sex
 
Common symptoms: Experiencing uninterrupted state of orgasm while eating bag after bag of “Vinegar and Salt” flavored potato chips; Mouth sores; Halitosis
 
 
3)Ving RhamesProsopagnosia

Pathology: Inability to distinguish faces from that of actor Ving Rhames
 
Common symptoms: Not enjoying the films of actor Ving Rhames; Fandom of actor Michael Clark Duncan deviating slightly above statistical norm
 
 
4) Jameson Syndrome, or O.C.D. with Situational Anthropomorphization

Pathology: Compulsion to anthropomorphize everyday household objects
 
Common symptoms: Paranoia as to why the automan is always shutting you out; Separation anxiety whenever keys are misplaced; Staging funerals for worn out undershirts; Taking dishware back to the store where purchased for it to ‘visit relatives’; Allowing coatracks to ‘go on vacation’ to the attic once a year; DVD parades; Shoe-horn bar mitzvahs; Picture frame Quincenaras; Thinking the salt-shaker is a total asshole
 
 
5) Riggs Syndrome, or Puppy-Eating Disease

Pathology: Compulsion to eat puppies; Inability to understand the concept of ‘cute’; Moral ambivalence
 
Common symptoms: Favorite food being Puppy Tartare; Being the only member of the ‘Puppies Are Delicious’ fan club; Often bringing own lunch to work
 
 
6) George Foreman‘s Disease (no relation to the boxer/grill entrepreneur), or Amnesiac Akinetopsia

Pathology: Inability to visually interpret motion, i.e. vision is experienced like a series of “frames” rather than as a continuous film; Inability to experience the passage of time
 
Common symptoms: Belief that people on roller coasters are really over-reacting; Adding the sentence, ‘Did you get my last message?’ at the end of all emails; Believing IKEA to be a completely normal place; being terrible at boards games involving little plastic hour-glasses; Favorite sport: curling; Favorite book: Gravity’s Rainbow; Commonly misunderstanding of the lyrics, ‘I want to rock and roll all night / And party every day’; Having a hard time determining when ASAP is; Often missing the bus

I wonder, O My Beloved, if you know about the time before there was an internet?

True, it was a long, long time ago before reality television and Kim Kardashian. (Some people refer to this time as B.K.K.) Also, before Google and Foursquare and Yahoo. Well, there was a four-square back then, but it was a game that children played with a ball. A ball was a round thing that went, bounce! And there was a yahoo, but it was a thing that children said while playing four square. It went, yahoo!

But Google had never yet been conceived of in the wide world, and yet the wide world was better and wider for it. Because back before the Great Google, if people wanted to know something, they would ask smart people. Or they went to the library. The library, you ask? That’s where you sometimes get videos now.

But anyway, wouldn’t you like to know how the internet came to be? This is how that happened:

There was a teenager named Jenny. And like most teenagers, she knew a lot. But Jenny knew even more than other teenagers. And the reason she knew more than other teenagers was because she wasn’t actually a teenager but a grown up person who only acted like a teenager. She was in her thirties or forties, I think. But her skin was smooth and her brain as wrinkled as a teenager’s. And she would tell people all day long about the things she knew, even if they had never met her before.

She loved standing in subway terminals, because there would always be people standing around there as if just waiting for her to tell them things.

She usually ate Sugar Daddys when she told things to people. She would bite down and pull the brown taffee so her eyes rolled to the back of her head, chewing vociferously.

“The sky isn’t actually blue, you know…” Jenny said to no one in particular.

“What?” no one in particular said (foolishly). Perhaps this someone was a tall man in a suit, his eyes shocked, his hairline receding.

“The sky is not actually blue,” Jenny repeated to the tall man in the suit. “It only looks blue. Everyone’s eyes are blue on the inside. They see everything a little bit blue when they tilt their heads up to look. The prettiness of the blue sky is really just all in their head.”

“Are you sure?” said the tall man.

“Yes, I have a degree in skyology… Also, all the bands you like are overrated.”

She nodded her head, and the foolish man walked away, dumbfounded.

“Even U2?” he wondered aloud.

Bite, chew, chew, chew. Franny kept a bag-full of Sugar Daddys in her backpack, and she chewed them all day long and said Important Facts to anyone who happened to be standing next to her:

“Did you know that Woody Allen hates cheeseburgers?”

“It’s a known fact that some people find it very, very hard not to quote Lionel Richie lyrics.”

“How about gophers? I know all about them.”

“Anything that floats is just chock full of Molybdenum.”

Jenny was so knowledgeable that her renown extended from the subway all the way to the bus terminal three blocks away, where a Djinn named Al Gore bought his paper every morning. And one morning, the Djinn Al Gore overheard a confused commuter who had just been told by Jenny that goldfish make the best accountants. The commuter was screaming into his cell phone at his wife for her to rush to the pet store immediately. (As always, Al Gore was looking very important but never so much as to not incline his ear to an interesting conversation.)

“Goldfish? Accountants?” Al Gore said to himself. “I didn’t know that, and I’ve got a college degree!”

So he rode on a saffron cloud to the subway terminal to pay homage to the wisdom of Jenny the Middle-aged Teenager. Arriving, he said, “Tell me, oh wise Jenny… How do I achieve enlightenment?”

“Impossible… No one will ever be as wise as I am.” This was one of the facts Jenny knew.

But Al Gore the Djinn was determined to become wise, so he went home straight away and invented the internet.

And that is how the internet came to be.

Wheat!

By Nathan Pensky

Humor

Hey, you know what’s pretty fucking amazing without you ever really thinking about it? WHEAT! You could even say that wheat is, like, the BEST thing in the world. You can make cookies with wheat, bread, fucking biscuits… It’s awesome.

 

I mean, what else is there? Like, Rice? Corn? Corn is total bullshit. Then what, Quinoa? Fuck fucking Quinoa. Nobody wants to eat Quinoa. Might as well just rake your tongue across a piece of bark. And can you make beer with Quinoa? Maybe, but it’d taste like Mother Nature’s dick.

 

Like, just think how in movies when girls with blonde hair wearing sundresses are all running through a field to show how fresh and pure they are and shit. What kind of field do you think they’re running through? It’s a wheat field, motherfucker! If there was no such thing as wheat, that blonde-haired girl would probably be a 50-year-old prostitute running through piles of broken glass. And Amish guys who wear straw hats and overalls? They gotta have something sticking out between their teeth, don’t they? Fuck.

 

When it comes right down to it, wheat is the motherfucking Cadillac of grains. Just grind it and add water and bake it and you’re totally going to stay alive for at least a couple of hours. In fact, wheat is so fucking cool that I felt like writing a poem about it. Here it is:

 

Wheat, wheat, wheat is great

Wheat is the best grain in the world

Wheat is good in bread and cookies

Fuck you, rice

Fuck you, barley

Wheat is rad

The end

 

I might turn it in to a rap.

 

Go wheat!

[Picture of a man and a woman sitting side by side on a wooden bench. Both sit bolt upright with their hands on their sides. He wears a black wool coat and a white shirt buttoned to the top button; his hair is short and parted at the side. She wears a functional, brown housedress, a gray beret, and horn-rimmed glasses; her lipstick is thickly applied. Both stare straight ahead, unsmiling. Their expressions are severe and seem distracted by a loud noise. Behind them sits a square building with tall windows along one side. A single barren tree cuts an irregular line parallel to the horizon across the background’s further gray. The invitation is printed on undyed matte card stock. Translated from German, the block print reads:]

 

you are invited to the joining ceremony of

friedhold werner and ulrike schulthiess.

staatliches bauhaus, dessau

wednesday june 15, 1931

friedhold’s brother, gunther, will perform a series of tone poems in commemoration.

after, tea and borscht.

if you cannot attend, fold this invitation in half and send it back

unmarked in the enclosed self-addressed envelope.

indicate your attendance by doing nothing.

Hello, welcome to “Cooking with Dot… So Your Family Will Love You.” Because things just haven’t been going that well lately, have they? And whose fault is that? I’m your host, Dot Hanson.

Today we’re going to be whipping up a lovely Tourtière, which is a traditional French Meat Pie… Though really, it’s not a very difficult recipe, and you know your husband just loved that wine-poached Salmon you fixed the other day. Maybe he’d like that better? He works so hard, you know, and it’s not too much to ask that he enjoys a nice meal when he gets home. Or at least that you not nag quite so much. But the Tourtière is really a breeze. Just a quick pie crust a few mixes, bake it, and it’s done.

First you’ll need to place your lard in a bowl and add the boiling water to get it nice and melted. See how nicely it’s melting there? Okay, now add your flour, baking powder, and salt, and then mix it all together… You shouldn’t need a mixer. Your hands are strong enough from all the hand-wringing you do over your son, isn’t that right? A fat lot of good it does him, too. Why can’t you just leave your meddling out of his business, anyway? There, the dough’s almost ready.

Now just go to work with your rolling pin, but try not to flatten the dough too much. You will try too hard, won’t you? Like at the party the other day… How long did it take you to tell that story about the lady at the supermarket who couldn’t find currants for you? By the time you had gotten to the part where she asked if “raisins would be good enough,” it wasn’t funny anymore. Your husband certainly wasn’t laughing anyway… God, when he rolled his eyes like that, you thought you’d just die! But anyway, you should know how to make a pie crust by this point in your life, and all this rolling is making my head hurt. So let’s move on to the filling.

You’ll want to set your potatoes boiling first, with some salt, of course. But don’t forget to save the water when they’re done. And for God’s sake, try and time everything out, because you don’t want to be just hovering in the kitchen when your daughter gets home. Things are strained enough as it is without you “How was school”-ing her to death. Honestly.

Go ahead and brown the pork now, but please, not too quickly. The butcher was closed, so you had to buy meat at the market, and that cheap stuff needs extra care. Remember the look your husband gave you the other night, when he had to pick that piece of steak out of his mouth? Haven’t we cried ourselves to sleep enough for one week?

And of course I’m assuming you’ve been grinding your sage and your thyme and clove and pepper, and chopping your celery and garlic while I’ve been talking this whole time. Don’t tell me you’ve just been standing there swinging your arms? Well, that’s attractive.

When everything’s browned and boiled and ground, you’ll take your pastry out of the refrigerator  and mold it in a pie dish and add the toppings and then bake for 15 minutes on 450 degrees and then 30 more minutes on 300. And you can replace the pork filling with a pepper steak if necessary, depending on which one your husband likes better, and that requires only a few added ingredients – some chopped mushrooms and bell peppers and a cup of cubed Swiss cheese.

And there you have it. A cinch, really. But maybe you should just give that old meat pie to the neighbors and make something your family’ll actually like? I suppose it’s too late now.

Oh, but remember to brush the top with butter. The crispiness of the crust is the best part! And just think how the faces of your family will light up when they feel that little crackle. At least they’ll be distracted from the dessert that you forgot to make.

Dear, dear, what are we going to do with you? Here, I’ve got another recipe for you: A large glass of wine and a few hours flipping through the family album, dabbing at your eyes with a tissue.

This has been Dot Hanson, and you’ve been watching “Cooking With Dot… So Your Family Will Love You.”

Wow, nice one, Superman. I thought you were “The Man of Steel” not “The Man of Sucking at Ping Pong.” Ha, I’m just playing with you. You should see how your little curl is shaking right now.

But, you know, this really makes me wonder. If you’re supposedly faster than a speeding bullet, and I can beat you at Ping Pong, how fast does that make me? Like, faster than a speeding bullet from a gun that, like, itself is being shot out of another gun?

I bet you’d totally like to fly around the world to turn back time so you could redo that last shot, huh? Maybe next time you won’t put down your paddle to help some choking little girl. So lame. Unless you were just trying to give her pointers on how to choke. Because if you were trying to do that, then great job. I mean, you gotta be thinking right now that little Megan would’ve worked through that Cheeto. All about keeping your head in the game.

This is kind of like that time Lex Luthor weakened you by sneaking Krpytonite into that wayward baby carriage. (Oh yes, Lois keeps me well apprised of your exploits…) Then again, with the baby carriage scenario you ultimately emerged victorious, because Lex Luthor didn’t yet know that radiation from the Earth’s sun is what gives you your powers. So that part is different. The whole “emerging victorious” part. Seems like this time, nothing could save you from the Kryptonite of my vicious cross-over lob.

Two out of three? You know I totally would, but— I think I just heard Lois calling me from the kitchen. Really? You didn’t hear that? Well, ordinarily I would never doubt your super hearing. But kinda seems like you’re having an off day.

Calm down. There’s no reason to go all bizarro on me. I think you can give me this one thing. Because don’t even get me started on the way Lois compares me to you. You should’ve seen how she looked at me the other day when I couldn’t open a jar of pickles. Then again, I’m less about power than accuracy. Ping Pong’s really a finesse game, you know?

Tell you what. Why don’t you go visit the buffet and maybe later tonight, we’ll rematch. You’ve got the whole table to yourself now, so practice up. I’ll come check on you in a few hours, maybe.

There you go… All in the wrist. Be the ball, Kal-el, be the ball.


Mr. Leopold Bloom sat on the couch, legs akimbo, knees a bony promontory untried of clothing but the frayed bottoms of boxer shorts. Between such legs blared a rerun of Friends, Joey’s debauchery the teeth-pulverized pomegranate seed to Chandler’s sadsack oatmeal.

Sunlight slaked inward through smudged, unsmudged, resmudged glass and Mr. Bloom’s mind wandering between the television refractions. Two days’ unchallenged breakfast dishes stacked in unsteady layers between silverware and unread newspapers. Where is Molly? Where is Molly?

Away, Molly with the litheblack cat. The chipped floorboards a horizon, challenging. The wallplaster beyond, a cracked sky. A maiow opened tuna cans in Monday’s downward pinioned morning light. But this is Tuesday and where is Mr. Maiow, whose company in neutrality would be more and less a nuisance than that truthtelling? Four breakfasts and two tuna cans ago, and how strange an accusation of infidelity, being the veritas vos liberabit of his solitude. And cruel, cruel that she changed the Netflix password!

Time rising up from sleep’s cotton-smothered ululations, indiscriminate. An hour, a day. Friends played ad infinitum on that one cable channel. Starz? And the sunlight downward thrown from Phoebus’ crag admits no ticktock of rossrachelmonicachandlerjoeyphoebe.

Might as well start drinking, Bloom thought. Red Stripe, yes. But Budweiser is cheaper. An easy decision: Drink well til the cost means less the further in. Do we have any of those cheese crackers left? We.

He would ask easy questions to the sunlight.

The flap of bare feet on the living room floor startled him so a sneeze erupted the dust. Coffee table spaces between her magazines. Magazines unread. O but looking through the sunlight’s brief prism over that wasteland of clothes and blankets and pizza boxes. Molly’s mother’s afghan, where he slept. Onward!

The footflapped walk to the kitchen navigated by the sound of the television (Joey Tribianni, undone love remakes your liaisons!) through the dark sitting room, the bookshelves looming. Avoid the looking glass, her left underthings on the towel rack. Beers, as many as you can carry. Make true the minutes the sunlight would deny.

Bloom eschewed the bedroom light switch, also. The bed! And kicked an unidentified slipper. Whose, the slipper? The bedclothes strewn? Hers? Mine? Pussens walks on downy slippers, pads of animal skin, Bloom in crocodile moccasins.

The creak of the bedroom door spoke maiow, and Pussens. Sunlight through the hallway made a path of the world.

Suck, spoke the refrigerator like the sucking of a drain. The motor whirring. Don’t look at the dirty dishes, some hers. The armful of beer was unwieldy but for the shortness of the trip until her mother’s afghan enfolded him and milksopped the rossandrachel spillage, the sitcom catharsis.

Q: What do you get when you take an American expatriate living in Paris and cross him with a suicidal rodent?
A: Ernest Lemmingway

Q: What’s the difference between Bertrand Russell, Mary Shelley, and Alice B. Toklas?
A: One debated Wittgenstein, one created Frankenstein, and one a-bedded Gertrude Stein.

Woman #1: Why did Zelda Fitzgerald cross the road?
Woman #2: To “F” Scott Fitzgerald.
Woman #1: I wouldn’t “F” Scott Fitzgerald, but I Sherwood Anderson.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Erskine Caldwell.
Erskine Caldwell who?
Erskine called while you were in the bathroom, and you never called him back.

Faulkner? I barely know ‘er!

Sung to the tune of “Paint it Black”

I see a row of curlers and I want them taken out
My friends are on their way / I want them taken out

Sung to the tune of “Under My Thumb”

Under my name / Mom, this mail was not addressed to you
Under my name / What if this had been personal?
See it’s right there?
See how my name is there and not yours or Dad’s
The mail has come and
It’s under my name

Sung to the tune of “Let’s Spend the Night Together”

Let’s spend the evening together
Playing monopoly and eating Bagel Bites
It’s not weird because it’s Sunday
And you’re pretty funny when you’ve had a margarita

Sung to the tune of “Get Off of My Cloud”

Hey (Hey!) Mom (Mom!) / Get off of the phone!
I’m (I’m!) Still (Still!) on the goddamn phone!

Sung to the tune of “Brown Sugar”

Brown Sugar / You cook it on Butternut Squash
Brown Sugar / It’s good but really sweet

Sung to the tune of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”

I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag,
I was schooled with a strap right across my back,
But it’s all right now, in fact it’s a gas!
But it’s all right, I’m just kidding, Mom!
It was a gas, gas, gas!

4 boxes of condoms; 2 boxes of Metamucil tablets; 10 frozen pizzas

Scenario #1:

a)    Throw pizzas off freeway overpass

b)    Crush Metamucil tablets

c)     Spread Metamucil powder over floor like sawdust

d)    Unroll condoms over hands, pretending to be an amputee

e)    Dance over fake sawdust like fake dancing amputee

Scenario #2:

a)    Tie some of the condoms together, stretch across second-storey window

b)    Slingshot pizzas through window at annoying neighbor

c)     Save Metamucil tablets for when constipated

Scenario #3:

a)    Glue Metamucil tablets to face, pretending to have infectious boils

b)    Eat pizzas in fake self-pity over fake disease

c)     Blow up condoms into balloons

d)    Allow condom balloons to float out open second-storey window

e)    Contemplate own death, the existence of ghosts

Scenario #4:

a)    Put pizzas in oven, let burn, call fire department

b)    Snap condoms at firemen as they break down the door to your apartment

c)     Pop Metamucil tablets like fake uppers to feel important

 

6 boxes of teabags; 5 bags of corn chips; 1 bottle of scotch; 1 bag of ice

Scenario #1:

a)    Melt ice

b)    Make tea with melted ice (water) and tea bags

Scenario #2:

a)    Tape corn chips to the backs of your hands to fashion fake Wolverine claws

b)    Put genitals in bag of ice

c)     Make Wolverine-like grimaces in mirror in response to iced genitals

d)    Consider growing out sideburns

Scenario #3:

a)    Drink bottle of scotch

b)    Empty bag of ice in kitchen sink

c)     Urinate on ice to watch it melt

d)    Realize that kitchen drapes have been open

e)    Yell out window at neighbors, “Don’t think I don’t know you weren’t watching me!”

f)     Realize syntax of previous sentence was wrong

g)    Close drapes

Scenario #4:

a)    Stomp bags of chips into powder

b)    Put on ski mask, run up to stranger on the street, throw chip powder in stranger’s face

c)     Hide behind bushes while stranger wipes chip powder out of eyes

d)    Take off ski mask, walk up to stranger, saying, “Wow, I saw what just happened. Are you okay?”

e)    Make friends with stranger

f)     Pour tea and/or Scotch for new friend

Scenario #5:

a)    Make tea with Scotch

b)    Drink tea-Scotch

c)     Get sick, throw up

d)    Throw ice on pooled vomit

e)    Clean up ice-vomit

f)     Rethink life

 

1 Oxford shirt; 1 Seersucker jacket; 1 Panama hat; 1 box of lawn darts; 1 bottle of Teriyaki sauce; 4 tubes of petroleum jelly

Scenario #1:

a)    Smear petroleum jelly all over face

b)    Put on Oxford shirt and Seersucker jacket

c)     Hold lawn darts in both hands

d)    Pull down arms of jacket, pretending lawn darts are your hands

e)    Stab Panama hat with lawn darts, pretending to be pond monster attacking Truman Capote

Scenario #2:

a)    Get naked

b)    Smear entire body with petroleum jelly

c)     Put on Oxford shirt, Seersucker jacket and Panama hat with petroleum jelly still on body, also pants

d)    Fill mouth with Teriyaki sauce

e)    Go into crowded cafe and pretend to vomit Teriyaki sauce

f)     Fall on the ground and have a fake seizure, yelling “Unnnh!”

g)    As people start to crowd around to help you, get indignant about people invading your personal space

h)    Stand up, calmly order coffee

i)      Sit down, drink coffee, and read New York Times

Scenario #3:

a)    Stain Oxford shirt, Seersucker jacket, and Panama hat with Teriyaki sauce

b)    Consider selling stained Oxford shirt, Seersucker jacket, and Panama hat on Etsy

Scenario #4:

a)    Put Teriyaki sauce in bowl, step in bowl

b)    Make footprints with Teriyaki sauce all over floor and walls of your apartment

c)     Put petroleum jelly on lips to moisturize them

d)    Invite over a friend and stare unnervingly until he or she asks about the footprints

e)    Ask whether friend wants to play lawn darts

f)     When friend says no, give him or her the Oxford shirt, Seersucker jacket, and Panama hat by way of apology for being such a creep

Scenario #5:

a)    Sew Oxford shirt, Seersucker jacket, and Panama hat together

b)    Tie sewn together jacket, shirt, and hat into a bundle, with petroleum jelly and Teriyaki sauce inside

c)    Sit and stare at the wall for three hours

d)    Throw bundle off freeway overpass

In the annals of professional breakfasting, perhaps no name has sounded out quite like that of Richard Alpen. His appeal was unique, his influence on breakfast undeniable. Having earned the respect of luminaries of the field of professional eggs and baconing when his peers were still fighting their way up the rankings, Alpen expanded the International Breakfast Association into an industry force. His charitable work in the development of free facilities for children to eat breakfast under I.B.A. coaching is as notable among humanitarians as among advocates for the regulation of pancake size. Innovator, champion, loving husband and father of two, Richard Alpen was more than just a great eater of eggs and bacon. He was an eater of life.

Alpen started his breakfasting career auspiciously, winning five out of six I.B.A. Grand Slams in his rookie season, and making 1997 Egg and Toast Magazine “Man of the Year.” Alpen’s Eating Breakfast for a Better You motivational video series topped bestseller lists in 1998, and the film biopic, depicting his rise to breakfasting glory in the greasy spoon diners of Hoboken, New Jersey, won four statuettes in the 2002 Academy Awards ceremonies, including Best Song for Celene Dion’s ballad, “The Most Important Meal of the Day.” Experiencing a minor setback after releasing an album under the hip-hop moniker, M.C. Egg Whites, Alpen bounced back with a successful petition to the International Olympic Committee to include professional breakfasting in the 2004 Olympic Games. After his subsequent appointment as coach, Team U.S.A. won the silver medal for Eggs and Baconing and a gold for Toast Sopping.

Alpen wasted no time in silencing those critics who had speculated that Olympic coaching had softened his form. Upon resuming his professional career, analysts and fans alike agreed that Alpen’s egging technique had maintained the consistency and ruthless elegance of his brilliant early years. Due to stress injuries, Alpen originated a new fork-knife position in the second act of his career, a stance since coined as the “Curly-cue Crossbent,” a tines-down fork orientation with the opposing forefinger bridged over the dull edge of the knife.

A study done over several months in 2006 at the Motor Skills Initiative at The University of Toronto showed that Alpen’s form had actually improved compared with footage from his rookie season, his perfectly triangular bites as accurate and streamlined as ever with an almost robot-like efficiency to his chew technique. A 20/20 “Special Report” with Barbara Walters conducted in conjunction with the study showed the now famous slow-motion footage of Alpen cutting a piece of sausage, dipping it in the yoke of his egg, lifting the morsel to his mouth, sipping his coffee, and then tearing off an additional bit of toast, all in a fraction of a second and with a fluidity of motion not previously thought possible at such speed. In the televised special, the slow-motion footage was shown in split-screen alongside video of cheetahs bounding over the grasslands of the Serengeti. Additional trials in the study conducted with random degrees of difficulty—jelly added to his toast, syrup to his pancakes, even some loose grounds in his coffee, requiring picking of the teeth—showed little to no difference in IBA style points or Bites Per Second.

Alpen’s golden boy image declined somewhat in the post-Olympic years. Always intensely private, Alpen did his best to keep his wife, Jeri, and his children, Ethan and Jennifer, out of the limelight. But the 2006 publication of the unauthorized biography Egg on My Face sent shockwaves through the professional breakfasting community, giving light to revelations about his swinging bachelor past, a doping scandal centered during his college days from which he was eventually exonerated, and a salmonella accident on the compound of his New Jersey estate. These events shook the faith of even his most hardcore fans. Alpen’s closely guarded childhood history was also finally revealed, passages on Alpen’s formative years painting his mother as an obsessive who controlled every aspect of her son’s eating habits. During this time of public hardship, opposing fans at his away matches took to chanting “Over easy! Over easy! Do it again!” as a send-up of one particular passage from the biography where Alpen’s mother allegedly forced him to eat breakfast ten times during a 24-hour period. The man himself never responded to such taunts, though his trademark smile and perhaps something of his swagger were lost forever.

But Alpen outlasted his critics, bringing his professional career to a close on a wave of popular resurgence following the 2008 public television retrospective directed by Ken Burns, in which the director was granted unprecedented access to Alpen through a series of in-depth interviews. After retirement, Alpen took a teaching position at the Academe Gastronomique, where he had learned breakfasting methods with the French Masters and first competed as an undergraduate. His biggest collaborator at the Academe was his former teacher, Gaston Gourmagond, an Austrian master known for his radical views that breakfast should be motivated from existential hunger, an approach he called the Alienation breakfast theory. Alpen and Gourmagond would write a book together, entitled Unbreaking the Yoke: How to Bridge the Void With Breakfast, in which teacher and student shared equal billing defining what would become the “New School” of professional eggs and baconing.

In his twilight years, Richard Alpen enjoyed standing invitations at the finest restaurants in the world, though most days he could be found bellying up to his old table at the IHOP a block from his parents’ house. A steadfast man of the people, he believed the greatest effect of his celebrity was to inspire the egg-deprived children of his community. Every Sunday, his fans crowded around his table at his neighborhood IHOP to watch him eat eggs, the diner keeping permanent accommodations for a press line. His every bite was an event, and the last bit of egg-sopped toast from his plate was invariably met with rounds of applause and cheers. He always stayed after his performances to sign autographs or take pictures with his adoring fans, posed with his empty plate, brandished a smile and a thumbs up. And when the odd nay-saying bystander broke through the clamor of hero-worship with remarks like, “Aren’t you just eating breakfast?” he only shrugged and nodded his head amiably. Perhaps Richard Alpen was just eating breakfast. But his eating was like no other.

Richard Alpen was laid to rest on Tuesday at Lily of the Valley Cemetary, dead from heart failure at the age of 29.

Gentlemen, everyone knows the importance of your welcoming committee in Munchkinland. You’ve become nothing less than the Great OZ’s emissaries to the world, and your current advertising scheme reflects that. Maybe too well, in fact. DDB’s campaign has rehashed the Lollipop Guild welcoming routine time and time again. Always the little uniforms, the leg kicks, the state-sanctioned whimsy that put you on the map. Yet your sales have taken a turn and are now consistently beaten by Oh Henry and Clark Bar. Your friends at DDB have taken a household name and made it a punchline in the candy industry.

Clearly what works in welcoming little girls who’ve just dropped out of the sky doesn’t work in magazine copy. At some point you’ve got to ask yourself what the people of OZ are asking themselves every time they see those old fashioned ads. Is there really any shortage of whimsy in OZ? Are these little men really saying anything we don’t all hear ten times before breakfast?

Now it doesn’t make a bit of difference to me if you want to rest on your laurels and let the traditional image of the singing, dancing Lollipop Guild continue. It’s your legacy, and they’re your stockholders. If you want to just get by in your little world, then by all means keep doing that. But if you’re ready to stop singing and dancing and start beating Oh Henry, then you need a modern campaign for the modern Ozlandian, a message of comfort and nostalgia. This is an opportunity to show your customers a simpler OZ, a relaxed OZ, an OZ that doesn’t scurry around the ankles of the big people but brings them down to your level.

In the artwork here, you see a man, an Emerald City doorkeeper. He’s sitting in the grass, enjoying his Lollipop Guild novelty-size lollipop, staring at the sky. Why is the man so at ease? Not because anyone ordered him to, not because anyone sang a song. No, he’s sitting, enjoying his lollipop because he needs a break from all that. He wants to get away from the hustle and bustle, the Witches, the Flying Monkeys. He wants to feel like time is standing still. Lollipop Guild Lollipops can give him that. The copy reads, “When was the last time you stopped to smell the poppies?”

Let’s face it. People don’t enjoy lollipops because they taste good. People don’t deal with this unwieldy slab of candy because they want to have fun. You want taste, you’re gonna buy a Clark Bar. You want fun, you’re gonna buy Pop Rocks. No, the draw of the lollipop is that it gives you an excuse to slow down… Lollipops are sticky. You have to be careful with them. They’re food as a TASK in a world where adventure itself has become commonplace. People take their time finishing a lollipop, and when they do finish, they’ve regained something. They’ve regained themselves. People sit, they eat their lollipops, and they remember a time when they weren’t plodding down the yellow brick road at the beck and call of some old man behind a curtain.

You can keep running the same splashy, fun-oriented ads you’ve always run and keep getting beaten by Oh Henry and Clark Bar like you have for the past three quarters. Or you could remind your customers and your stockholders about a time when lollipops mattered in the Land of OZ. It’s up to you.

Anyway, I have another engagement. Pete can fill you in on the details. Good afternoon, Gentlemen.

Well, like, when there’s two runners on and the smasher clops up so it don’t even clear the podooshkas, and the millicent raises his rooker like, well, then the smasher is loveted automatic then. But not automatic-like because it ain’t automatic. The merzky millicent has to decide that the ball is “catchable,” or “could easily be caught,” because if not the skvater could drop it and then it’s as sure as you’re sitting there that we’ve got a double play, yeah? So some vecks would drop it on purpose so as to give themselves an extra chance, and that’s not fair-like so that’s why they made the rule. And of course this is only in a force play. When the hitter’s loveted, the runners would have to tag the podooshka before running same as ever.

But it’s all bollocks, innit? Because now we’ve got some millicant deciding for a place that should go untouched and always be horrorshow forever, yeah? All just for fairness. Who’s to say what’s “catchable” and what isn’t, viddy well? Never mind fair. No fairness in worldly eegra, but let the most horrorshow moodge win. Not let’s all hold hands until some doomsday kind of thing.

I say when the bloody rule comes into effect the orange between the dva runners and the smasher drat right there, hand to hand, like, in bloody ultraviolence. Let that decide. Yeah, the smasher’s armed with a shlaga, that’s right. But the orange between the dva podoshkas got the sharry, ain’t he? That’s if the millicent was right and the sharry was indeed “catchable” and all that. Let the orange between the dva podoshkas brosay the sharry at full speed right at the smasher’s gloopy gulliver. That would solve the contest right quick. Let the smasher hurl the shlaga end over end at the orange between the dva podoskas, bean him in the litso. Then we’d know who should be taking his podooshka, and who should be limping away to apply ice liberally to the bruised areas.

Not like there’s any lack of oranges in the world, is there? Course not. Maybe if you’re Derek Jeter or someone real famous-like, he could hire a moodge with some real yarbles to stay on retainer-like, someone to storm the bitva and shive away for him. And if it happens just so, please, Mr. Jeter, I offer my services. Could be a right poleszny moodge, right well bean a bollocker who can’t even tolchock it far enough a starry bodoochka could spit her ivories out so far, yeah?