It’s Friday, you guys. And, it’s Rapture’s Eve! If you’re smart, you’ll gather with friends tonight, order a pizza and spend your last few hours laughing and having fun. But you can’t have an end-of-the-world pizza party without jokes! Feel free to use one of these.

  1. What do pizzas and the Jersey Shore cast have in common?
    It’s fine to slice them up and leave their remains in a box in the trash.
  2. What’s the difference between an M Night Shyamalan movie and a pizza?
    Pizzas are good.
  3. How is being a delivery pizza like dating Chris Brown?
    Eventually you get shoved in a box and thrown into a car.
  4. What’s the difference between Sarah Palin and a pizza?
    One of them would make a great president. The other one is Sarah Palin.
  5. Why is a pizza better than Elizabethtown?
    Everything’s better than that piece of shit movie.
  6. How are a pizza and a Dave Matthews Band CD alike?
    You should never put either one in your CD player.
  7. What’s the difference between a new baby and an old pizza?
    One goes in the garbage, the other one goes in the fridge.
    (or) You can’t have sex with an old pizza
    (or) One came out of your vagina, the other is a baby*
  8. What’s the difference between a pizza and my pizza jokes?
    My pizza jokes can’t be topped!
  9. A pizza walks into a bar. Bartender says, “Fuck off, Donny! I told you to get out!” The pizza knocks over a chair as he leaves.

*Props to/apologies from Matt Tobey for those alternate punchlines.


When two staggering drunk ladies are mad because you’re not as drunk as them and they ask you to catch up, so you drink more…..that probably means you were already too drunk. (Things they don’t teach you in elementary school, lesson #1.)

So I drink from my flask and the staggering Jasmine intrigues me. I’m her honorable man, the man of chivalry, walking the drunken girl home. She drops her purse and wallet. I pick them up and give them back to her, while salivating junkies stare at the wallet on the sidewalk and wonder if I’m a fast runner. We are in the Tenderloin. It’s my duty to protect this girl, this flower, this woman of intrigue.

I met Jasmine at last call and I scooted to the stool next to her and we talked. She ordered three drinks for her friends, but her friends were already outside. Don’t drink those, I said as she picked up the first one. It was like a junkie telling another junkie they need to cut down on their smack use.

She told me that she got her masters degree in history.

History and philosophy degrees are my favorite degrees. They turn me on. Breasts work as well, but tell me you’re in human resources or business management, and my penis shrinks back into my scrotum. History degree? Can you rub that degree on my ass while we kiss?

Jasmine needs pizza and her friend walks with us. I’m just dropping you off and going home, I say. I like this drunken lady, she’s going to law school. She’s smart and sexy and I want to spend time with her. When we’re both sober. I will come for you and tomorrow you’ll remember me: the gentleman, and the author who kissed your hand at your apartment door. I give my mustache a twist and wonder to myself about the chance of the relationship progressing to the point where I might acknowledge her in my next novel.

Her friend Camille walks with us and seems like a decent lady….I don’t mind that she’s with us because I could seem a bit menacing. I’m okay with it. Girls have to help girls and they don’t know that I’m the last person on earth who is threatening or will take advantage.

I’m still trying to figure it out. This single stuff. The dating stuff. There are some girls I date and there’s no romantic connection and I feel guilty about it. Like I have to break up an engagement.

That’s baggage from my religious past and I’m finding out that it’s okay to hang out and be friends if the dating doesn’t work. I suck at this stuff, but I plunge into the deep end and feel the rush of the ice-cold waters without regard for rejection. Getting phone numbers. Having fun.

It’s like I hit a homerun out of the ballpark. Yet I can only run to second base, and then drift into centerfield somewhere. I lay down on the lawn and dream of meeting a girl who will stick around for a while. Someone where the chemistry just clicks and I know exactly how much milk to put in her coffee. Then, she tells me where I left my pin stripe pants.

Camille is with us and I know that in order to woo Jasmine I should make an effort to be friends with her friends.

Jasmine and Camille tell me to drink more. And I pull out my flask and drink more and they are satisfied. I always bring a flask when I go out. It’s a great way to save a little money while walking to another bar, or an after party….pull out the flask and take a big swig. [Look out for police, they don’t like that.]

I drank and try to catch up with the honorable Jasmine and her drunkenness. My Dulcinea. Later I realize I was already caught up and drunk, I just had a better handle on it. We stumble and I love her hair. And her glasses. And I love our potential.

We get to her apartment.

I start to drop to one knee and go to kiss her delicate hand good night but she pushes me through the door.

I tell Jasmine and Camille that I host a radio show. (Drinks with Tony). Camille asks me to interview her. She insists. And Jasmine plops down on my lap. She has runs in her leggings and all of a sudden Camille’s continued pleading for an interview does not irritate me when Jasmine puts her arms around my neck.

How would you interview me? Camille insists.

Jasmine sits on my lap and it’s like going to first base. I make it to first and the ball continues to sail out of the ballpark, so I appease Camille’s need to be interviewed.

What are you into? What am I interviewing you for? I ask.

Camille responds by asking me to ask her to take her shirt off.

Ask me to take my shirt off….Camille gets adamant, she insists and I’m role playing my real radio show so I tell her, well, I’m more of a Craig Ferguson than a Howard Stern on the radio.

What was I thinking? I love breasts.

It continues and Jasmine rubs my inner thigh, then grabs my crotch and we kiss and kiss while my fake radio show guest waits for me to ask her to take her shirt off.

Camille finally gives up and stumbles onto one of the loft beds in the apartment. Jasmine’s tongue finds my tongue and my hand finds her nipple. The other nipple makes its way out of her shirt and my hand rubs up her thigh until I put light pressure on her vagina, under her skirt and over her underwear. She moans and I pull down her shirt. In a moment of modesty I ask if we can retreat to the bathroom where Camille won’t see us.

We kiss and kiss and clothes come off. She has a bush of hair between her legs. Another reason to really get to know Jasmine. She doesn’t trim the lawn, and I love the running my fingers through the grass.

After about an hour of exploring each others’ areas that don’t see too much of the sun, I give her my information….everything, phone number, email, Facebook, shit, I would have given her my social security number if she asked for it.

I want a tomorrow with you. I want an outdoor kiss across a table at a cafe with you.

Are you staying, she asks. But there’s only one room in her studio apartment and Camille who only wants an excuse to undress for me was on the bed. I decide to go home.

Jasmine walks me to the door. Naked. Her milky white skin in all of its glory.

What was great was she wasn’t planning to get lucky that night. Her legs were stubbled. That made me more excited. Sometimes women are out to get laid and all they have to do is point.

You.

If the man she points to says no, then…

You.

If she has to point to more than three men, the earth will tilt off its axis and we’ll all float to Mars.

It’s been more than a week and she still hasn’t called me. Maybe she blacks out when she drinks and woke up wondering why she smelled like sex. Maybe she found the paper with my information on it and went, oh, his name was Tony, and tossed it in the trash.

I slutted up. My Don Quioxite turned into Eros. Into a Johnny Drama situation from Entourage.

I still want to meet her again. Fully clothed and we can talk.

Bask in the humor and the embarrassment and fun of our drunken oopsie.

I’m just trying out this sex thing like the animals we are.

My post apocalyptic religious cult belief system is finally squashed. A messy divorce after 13 years of marriage, forgiven. And still, I look for the one.

A one.

When two staggering drunk ladies are mad because you’re not as drunk as them and they ask you to catch up, so you drink more…..that probably means you were already too drunk. (Things they don’t teach you in elementary school, lesson #1.)

It’s been six months now since my latest root canal was started, and the painful procedures, the crowning of the tooth followed by its de-crowning, followed by an endodontist’s re-evaluation and an encore performance of the root canal, have proved more disruptive and distracting than even the upstairs neighbor’s teenage kids playing Rockband all afternoon.

Bachelor Party

By Rob Bloom

Humor

I haven’t showered in three, maybe four, days. Not that I have anything against showering. It happens to be an activity I engage in regularly and one I encourage others to do as well (hear that, NYC taxi drivers? Yeah, YOU, the ones whose cabs smell like a combination of feet, spoiled cheese, and the dirty water left in the vase four days after the flowers have died).

Anyway, there’s a perfectly good explanation for my shower hiatus: I’m a bachelor again. See, my wife Julie has gone on vacation with her friend Allison to Sarasota, Florida. The reason for this (the vacation, not Allison who, from what I understand, is quite lovely this time of year) is that Julie’s job provides her with ample vacation days and by “ample” I mean “enough for her to accomplish something great, like building a spaceship or acquiring a taste for caviar.” My job, on the other hand, provides substantially less vacation time, as well as strict criteria regarding said time, namely “vacation cannot occur over consecutive days.”

So Julie took off for Sarasota while I stayed behind to assume various bachelor duties, such as ensuring the survival of the Trans Fat economy. It’s not as easy as you’d think. With the health kick our country’s on, the supermarket is filled with products that say things like “Fat schmat!” and “Made from cardboard!” (WARNING: May cause anal leakage). The whole ordeal makes it very difficult for a guy like me to find bachelor-appropriate foods, such as:

* Wings
* Beer
* Beer-flavored Wings
* Neon-orange crunchy things
* Any product with artificial coloring, ingredients that have been processed a minimum of twelve times, and that when consumed, I actually feel myself getting fatter.

In other words, I’m looking for the foods from my first bachelor run. Back then, I was living in a Georgia town called Smyrna with my buddy Steve. Now that was a bachelor’s apartment! Steve and I had it all, starting with the two essential bachelor food groups: beer and Doritos. For additional sustenance, we’d frequent the neighborhood restaurants that met our strict dietary requirements of a dollar menu and drive-thru window.

Our philosophy towards food (“Who needs utensils?”) was complimented by our philosophy towards cleaning (“What’s that?”). Cleaning was something we just didn’t do. Instead, we adopted the bachelor-tested philosophy of letting our dirt work for us. For example, what’s the point of folding and putting away laundry when you can just as easily let it pile up in the corner of your bedroom, where it can flourish and grow, eventually morphing into a surprisingly comfortable chair where a bachelor can sit and engage in a number of activities involving beer, Doritos, and the scratching of a certain body part exclusive to bachelors. Naturally, this cleaning philosophy was also applied to the bathroom or, as we referred to it, “The Experiment.” This room, particularly the “sink,” “shower,” and “toilet” regions, was home to several different species of insects, mold, and other live cultures, all of whom were far more active than we were. Though in all fairness to Steve and me, these creatures had way more legs than us.

Now mind you, we didn’t not do these things because we were lazy. On the contrary, laziness only had, like, 10% to do with it. The other 95% was simply because we didn’t have the time or math skills. Truth is, the life of a bachelor is complicated. It’s also pretty darn hectic (what with foosball tournaments and Twilight Zone marathons) and therefore requires some heavy-duty time-management skills. Besides, you’d be amazed how productive a bachelor can be when he doesn’t waste time engaging in trivial activities like cleaning or looking for a job.

Speaking of productive, I’ve been mighty busy myself the past few days. Take Saturday, for example.

8:30 AM. Wake up. Eat a slice of cold pizza. Go back to bed. 

11:45 AM. Shuffle to couch. Fall asleep 20 minutes into Will Ferrell movie. 

3:05 PM. Can’t decide between Mild and BBQ wings. Weigh the pros and cons of both while drinking a beer.
5:40 PM. Wake up surrounded by several empty beer cans. Detect foul smell in the house. Embark on detailed search of the premises to find the source.

5:41 PM. Doritos break. 

6:01 PM. Remember I never decided on flavor of wings. Take a break to figure it out.
8:25 PM. Finish wings (why choose one flavor when you can get both?). Notice smell has gotten closer. 

9:10 PM. Suspect the smell might be me. 

9:39 PM. Think about showering.
10:18 PM. While flipping through the channels, find documentary about the Nathan’s hot dog eating competition. Decide showering can wait.

As you can see, I’ve been involved in some very important activities! Unlike Julie who, every time we talk, tells me she and Allison are doing “girl stuff,” which I can only assume means shoe shopping, painting each other’s toenails, and watching Lifetime.

Anyway, it’s been a lot of fun reconnecting with my bachelor self, but between us, I’m looking forward to my wife coming home. I might even shower for the occasion. If I have time, of course.

There’s a certain way you talk to Georgie if you want results, and by results, I mean cooperation, I mean if you want to avoid a black eye, or if you don’t want him fleeing out the basement window when your back is turned, or biting your thumb off at the knuckle, or throwing one of his celebrated fits in the pizza aisle of QFC, or pushing you through a sliding glass door.

For a ten-year-old with the adipose cheeks of a cherub, speckled blue eyes and a heart-shaped mouth, Georgie can be a holy terror.

Georgie’s problem is that he knows exactly what he wants at any given moment. In this respect, you might call him lucky.

The doctors have another name for it.

Georgie likes lists. Detailed lists, lists like roadmaps, invariably leading to his desired destination. Talk to Georgie in lists, and you’ve got a chance.

“First, Georgie and John the Boss go to school and see Miss Deb. Next, Georgie and John the Boss go to library. Georgie picks out one video. One. How many videos does Georgie pick out?”

“One video.”

“Good. Next, Georgie and John the Boss go to the—”

“No go to! Cheese pizza!”

“No, not quite. First Georgie and —”

“No first! Cheese pizza!”

“Almost. We’re getting to that, I promise, but first—”

“No almost! Only cheese pizza!”

“But—”

“Noo! First Georgie have cheese pizza!”

I said you had a chance, I didn’t say you’d succeed.

Ist2_465490_cheese_pizza_on_white_b


Then there’s another way I talk to Georgie, those times when he’s stationed like a mushroom in front of the television in a dead-wall reverie, entranced by Sacred Planet or Springtime with Roo, his speckled eyes wide, the crust of his pizza scattered all around him on the soiled carpet like a fairy ring, dried tomato sauce caked to his face.

Those times when he’s not wanting.

“Georgie,” I’ll say. “What if we all went about screaming and biting every time we didn’t get what we wanted? What then? What if John the Boss decided to escape out the window? Who’d buy you cheese pizza, then? Daddy Serge? What if your mommy never came home? What if Vera and Willie never came home? What if one day I just up and quit being a caretaker because, you know Georgie, I never wanted to be one in the first place, never wanted the black eyes and the bruises and the nine-hundred-and-forty-three dollars a month, never wanted all the shouting matches with Daddy Serge, never wanted to give Willie my old shoes that weren’t really old, talk to sweet humble Vera in closed quarters and wonder why she smells like fish, why everything smells like fish, never wanted to buy cans of dog food for someone else’s dog, or buy a used refrigerator for someone else’s food, never wanted Daddy Serge to accost me down at Doc’s on a Friday night and force me to shoot vodkas and look into his steely grey eyes as they cut me to ribbons, and tell him for the third and fourth time just what it is I see in Georgie, and why it’s not weird for me to take such an interest in someone else’s boy. What then, Georgie?”

Georgie’s not much of a listener, though.

Lists, maybe. Details, yes. But only on his terms.

When I talk like this, Georgie only shushes me.


I am many things to Georgie, he just doesn’t know it. To Georgie, I am only John the Boss, purveyor of cheese pizza, provider of details, chauffeur, keeper of the coveted library card.

Georgie does not know, for instance, that I am Walt Disney, or Sterling Holloway, or Shir-Kahn, when every afternoon like clockwork we phone Walt Disney Studios in Orlando, Florida (same phone number as me, go figure), and I duck down into the fetid air of the Federov basement, where Tolstoy has just finished fouling the floor, and whimpers sharply like a wooden gate on its hinges. And with my cell phone I proceed to personify Mr. Walt Disney himself (who sounds exactly like John the Boss with a slight echo), enumerating the minute details of the Federov family trip to Orlando that will never happen, because last summer became this summer. Already this summer has the look of next summer.

And in between lay a lot of cheese pizzas and a lot of yelling and biting.

But mostly a lot of lying. Because the only thing there’s not a lot of is money.

Cheese pizza costs money.

We won’t talk about library fines.


Says Daddy Serge: “Orlando, Florida! Ha! Focking bullshit! All za time, Orlando, Florida! Fucking cheese pizza! Who pay for cheese pizza? Georgie pay for cheese pizza?


Federov_basement


But never mind Daddy Serge.

“Well, first,” Mr. Walt Disney of Orlando, Florida says, “Georgie and Mommy and Vera and Willie and Daddy Serge will come to visit me and my family at—”

“No Serge! John the Boss!”

“Very well, John the Boss. Georgie, Mommy, Vera, Willie, and John the Boss will come visit me at Walt Disney Studios in Orlando, Florida. We’ll have pizza and sodas for lunch.”


Wd

 


“Details, details!”

“Cheese pizza. And Pepsi cola. Icy cold, with little dew drops racing down glass.”

“What glass?”

“The kind that’s fat on top and skinny on the bottom.”

“Next!”

“And after lunch, we’ll go to Universal Stu—”

“No, no Universal Studio! MGM studio!”

“MGM Studio. And then to Gatorland for—”

“No, no Gatorland! Next to Sterling Holloway’s house!”

“Yes, yes, Sterling Holloway.”

Sholowayweb


Here, Georgie produces a rendition of his own, the aged Disney announcer at the end of two dozen Winnie the Pooh tapes. “Beloved voiceover talent Sterling Holloway. Voice of Winnie the Pooh, Kaa, Amos the Mouse, Cheshire Cat, and many more of your favorite Walt Disney characters.”

As far as I know, Sterling Holloway is dead as a stump. But it might please his ghost to know that he’ll never have a bigger fan than Georgie Federov. Never. Georgie has destroyed countless Winnie the Pooh tapes in the name of Sterling Holloway. So many in fact, that his library card is on probation, a point of violent contention in recent days, which has resulted in a broken rearview mirror and some soiled underpants (his).

First, he deftly breaks out the little plastic window on the middle of the tape. Next, he stuffs the tape in the machine. Next, he forces his sticky fingers into the slot of the VCR and manipulates the little spools, accounting for five busted VCRs (all used or donated) in the past three months. But Georgie achieves his desired result. Sterling Holloway’s Winnie the Pooh arrives in a warbled underwater tenor which Georgie refers to as “slow motion camera.”

I am often forced (by virtue of Georgie’s hair-raising decree), to speak this language myself for hours on end.

No, no, Slow motion camera! John the Boss say, ‘Walt Disney Studio presents’ with slow motion camera. Again! With slow motion camera!

Some evenings I come home hoarse.

My waning moments in the Federov homestead are always the same.

First, Willie and Vera arrive home on the bus. Willie is slump-shouldered under the weight of something besides his backpack. And Vera, God bless her, always clad in some hand-me-down dress with a floral pattern or fraying beadwork that’s tired at the edges from mending. She totes three dirty book bags and a used clarinet.

She’s got a song in her heart in spite of everything.

Next, someone invariably leaves their shoes in the hallway, their book bag on the kitchen table, tracks mud in the dingy foyer, or commits some other transgression which never fails to escape my notice.

Next, Daddy Serge arrives home at dusk, his truck headlights sprocketing the treeline as he rounds the corner.

Next, the truck door slams with a little too much reverb.

Next, squishy footfalls up the muddy walkway.

Next, four clomps on the sagging steps.

Next, Daddy Serge’s grand entrance. With drywall in his hair, sounding and smelling like three beers, he issues his standard one word greeting to Georgie—Out!, before berating the offending boarder like a drill sergeant for whatever shoe, bag, or musical instrument has strayed from its station.

Next, the questions: Why your mozzer not here? Why all za time she is late?

And last, John the Boss takes flight in his dented red Suburu wagon with three hubcaps. Down and around the bumpy driveway. Into and away from the gathering darkness.

Always with a sense of relief.

 

At dusk Georgie likes to shut his grimy curtains with pizza crusted fingers and squat in the corner on his tired mattress under the window. He turns off the lamp and holds his transistor radio right up to his ear and tunes it in between stations so that it hisses and crackles like a theremin in hot oil. Here, in the half-light, his speckled eyes are at their widest, his little red lips are parted slightly. But when I ask him what he hears, he only shushes me.