Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Nephew's Action Story (with Explosions)

Yesterday, I got a letter in the mail from my nephew. He wrote me a story. Here it is, with photos.

An Action Story! 
by Grant

The war started as killing guys.

But one day everything exploded.

Everyone died.

But then a boxer came.

But then World War 3 came.

The boxer stayed alive but everyone didn't.

So a helocopter the boxer had but he had a friend to.

So his friend and him fought until they both died.

The end.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Tale of Lies and Face Wash: The Prequel

My morning face cleansing routine.

I won't keep you in suspense any longer! Here is the super awesome prequel, which I'm told by critics is better than Prometheus!

Ten years earlier...

The president of the Clean & Clear corporation and the president of Neutrogena were set to have a secret meeting in their top secret tree house behind the Johnson & Johnson corporation.

"You know what I hate?" asked the president of Clean & Clear.

"What?" asked the president of Neutrogena.

"I hate it when people have clean faces!" said the president of Clean & Clear.

"Me too!" said the president of Neutrogena.

"I have an idea!" exclaimed the president of Clean & Clear. "Let's make a top secret plan so that everyone in America has super gross and greasy skin."

"That's a great idea!" said the president of Neutrogena. "I'll help you with it because we're best friends."

"Cool!" said the president of Clean & Clear.

The next day, the president of Clean & Clear and the president of Neutrogena went to see their other best friend, the president of Hellmann's.

"Hey, Hellmann's president," said the two best friends. "Do you want in our secret plan?"

"What is it?" asked the president of Hellmann's.

"We want everyone in America to have super gross and greasy faces!" said the president of Neutrogena. He was so excited, he peed a little.

"What!?" said the president of Hellmann's. "That's literally the best idea ever! I'll help you!"

"Neato!" said the president of Clean & Clear, high-fiving his two very best friends in the whole world.

"Hey, everybody!" said the president of Hellmann's to his entire workforce. "Do me a big-time favor and start putting that mayonnaise in these containers instead! And put some mentholated smell in it too."

He showed them some tubes that said "Clean & Clear Deep Clean Cream Cleanser" and "Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser."

"Why should we?" said an employee.

"Because we're going to give everyone in America gross and greasy faces, and there isn't a thing you can do about it, buddy!" replied the president of Hellmann's.

"Okay!" said the employee. 

And the workforce took off bottling mentholated mayonnaise in the misleading face wash containers.

"This is so much fun!" giggled the president of Clean & Clear.

"I know!" chortled the president of Neutrogena.

"We are the funniest heads of corporations ever!" snickered the president of Hellmann's.

Within a week, everyone in America had super gross and greasy faces. The three friends looked out on America and chuckled nefarious chuckles at the people and their extra clogged pores and shiny foreheads. The plan was working perfectly!

But there was a downside, as there is with any nefarious plan to give everyone in America gross and greasy faces.

One day, while the president of Clean & Clear, the president of Neutrogena, and the president of Hellmann's were sitting in their top secret tree house, they got a visit from the president of the Pam cooking spray corporation.

"I'm the president of the Pam cooking spray corporation," said the president of the Pam cooking spray corporation. "Let me in!"

"What's the password?" queried the president of Neutrogena.

"I don't know!" said the president of the Pam cooking spray corporation. "But I am very, very important in the field of cookware greasing, and I'll get really mad if you don't let me in."

"Fine!" said the president of Clean & Clear. He opened the door.

"What do you want?" asked the president of Hellmann's.

"What's the big idea with giving everyone in America gross and greasy faces?" the president of the Pam corporation asked.

"We thought it was funny. And what does it matter to you anyway?" asked the president of Neutrogena.

"I'll tell you why it matters to me! My sales have gone down down down. And worse, some famous chef discovered that face grease is ten times more slippery than Pam cooking spray. And now everyone is greasing their cookware with their faces," replied the president of the Pam corporation.

"That's revolting!" said the president of Neutrogena.

"Tell me about it!" said the president of the Pam corporation. "Last night I ordered an omelette at my favorite restaurant and I almost barfed my guts out and died."

"Gross. I can't believe you ordered an omelette," said the president of Clean & Clear. And then there was an awkward silence for five minutes.

"Put it right, or else there will be heck to pay!" said the president of the Pam corporation.

"What are you going to do about it?" asked the president of Hellmann's.

"I'm super good at intimidation is what," said the president of the Pam corporation. "I'm part of Big Oil after all."

At this, the three best friends and corporate heads laughed and laughed.

"You should be the president of comedy," said the president of Neutrogena.

And at that, the president of the Pam corporation left very upset, wiping tears from his extremely greasy face.

"Next, I think we should make ranch dressing shampoo," said the president of Hellmann's. And that is where the story ends because I'm bad at writing endings when my face is this greasy.


A Tale of Lies and Face Wash

Total dick.

The label said, "Deep Action Cream Cleanser." And I said, "Really? Because I've been burned by face wash labels before. They say 'deep clean,' and then I wash my face and afterward it still feels like I fell face first into a vat of french fry grease."

"Oh, ha ha ha," the label said. "You're such a kidder. Read right here. It says, 'Deep Action Cream Cleanser removes dirt, oil and make-up deep down to the pores as you wash. Its oil-free formula won’t clog your pores and a special cooling ingredient leaves your skin feeling refreshed and clean.'"

"Okay! I totally believe you, Clean and Clear! Let's do this thing!"

I paid the required $7.99 and took my new friend Deep Action Cream Cleanser home. "This is going to be awesome," I said. "I can't wait to feel that refreshed and clean feeling that you promised me."

I washed my face excitedly. And afterward, my face felt like the underside of a funnel cake.

"Hey! My face feels super greasy, you lying jerk of a face wash!"

"Mwahahahahahahaha! You fell for it again! God, you're so gullible!"

"CLEAN AND CLEAR!" I shouted, shaking my fist at the heavens.
To be continued....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A War of Wills With My Horrible Downstairs Neighbor

My neighbor and me sharing some quality time.

Three years ago, I moved into an apartment by myself. It was a huge step for me because I had never lived alone, and although I had never experienced living alone, I knew it was exactly the right decision for me. Because 1) walking around the apartment in your underwear, as I like to do, is awesome and 2) 99.9% of roommates you find on Craigslist are CRAZY. And I couldn't take it anymore. I realized that it's worth the extra money to live by yourself in a smaller space when you aren't afraid of waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of your roommate playing the trumpet or using your vacuum cleaner attachments to tidy her pubic hair.

"Ah," I thought when I moved in. "Finally! My own space where I can make a giant mess, and no one can stop me or complain about my dishes or my cat being an asshole or anything else."

The best part was that I got a reduced rent for "as long as I wanted to live in the building" because of some issues with the boiler. And since mine was the only finished apartment at the time, I would have the building to myself for two months. It was amazing. So quiet and so dark at night, it was like sleeping in a giant Isatoner slipper. (Or at least what I imagine that would be like.)

And then Bull Moose Ejaculator moved in downstairs.

I call him Bull Moose Ejaculator because I'm positive that the sex noises that came from his apartment sound exactly like the Alaskan wilderness during mating season, minus the pleasant chirping of birds. Plus, he snored loud enough I could hear it through the floorboards.

So, this was the exchange, I realized. No more crazy roommates, but now I had to deal with loud neighbors and thin walls. But I tried to remain positive. At least I could lock the door between myself and those vexing me.

Eventually, I got used to Bull Moose Ejaculator. When I heard the bed downstairs start creaking, I would just put on some David Attenborough and fall asleep on my couch to the sounds of nature. And I had grown up around my dad falling asleep in the middle of movies and snoring over all of the dialogue, so BME's (as I lovingly nicknamed him) snoring became kind of a comfort to me.

When he moved out at the end of the first year, I must admit I was a little sad to see him go.

And then a new neighbor moved in to take his place. We will call him Asshole Shitbagginson. And that is where the story really begins.

On the night Asshole Shitbagginson moved in, I woke up at 2 AM to what I can only describe as Johnny Cash shouting into my ear while banging on a trash can with a stick made of angry cats. And while I love Johnny Cash, it seemed excessive. The next morning I called my landlord to ask him to politely request that the neighbor to keep his music down. "Sure, sure. I'll talk to him," my landlord said. A few days went by and the music persisted.

I finally went down to the neighbor's apartment and knocked. It seemed rude for me to not just go down there, introduce myself, and explain my situation. Maybe he wasn't aware of the thin walls. He seemed normal. And nice. And shocked that he had offended my tender eardrums. "It won't happen again," he said. The next morning at 6:30 AM, I woke to, "DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER LOVE? AFTER LOVE? AFTER LOVE?" And I was like, "Seriously, Cher?"

It seemed odd that Asshole Shitbagginson was not only listening to his music loud again after agreeing not to, but also doing it clearly out of spite. When I knocked on his door again, he didn't answer. I called the landlord. "Sure, sure. I'll talk to him," he replied and then left for an unannounced month-long vacation, where he would not have access to a cell phone.

After a month of unreturned phone calls, I just gave up and accepted that my downstairs neighbor was a shithead. He listened to his music at top volume all day and into the night. He shouted into his cell phone. He stumbled around his apartment like a cart horse with a broken leg, slamming cabinets, moving furniture, possibly jackhammering. "You get reduced rent," I reminded myself and put in my earplugs.

But then, one night when I was using my Wii Fit, during one of those brief periods when I decided to take up working out, I realized that the weird banging noise I was hearing over the TV was the sound of my downstairs neighbor pounding on the heating vent that connected our apartments, clearly trying to get my attention. Unbeknownst to me, I was being the loud shithead on this occasion. Embarrassed, I got off the Wii Fit and tiptoed around the rest of the night in what I hoped was an apologetic way. But I couldn't help but feel that, considering the noise he made on a regular basis, couldn't he give me a free pass to be slightly loud once in a while? Apparently not.

It was a few months after that incident that I was getting ready for work one morning when I noticed that Asshole Shitbagginson had not listened to anything but Adele's "Someone Like You" for several days. "That poor, loud, rude bastard," I thought. "Even he is not a stranger to heartache." I almost felt sorry for him. This went on for a month.

On the day it finally stopped, I was somewhat startled when I was awakened at 7 AM to Johnny Cash. His Adele period seemed to be over. Could it be that Asshole Shitbagginson had found love at last? The next day I heard a woman's voice coming from downstairs and realized I must be right.

A week later, I was sitting on my couch editing a manuscript about eating disorders (as I often do) when I began to hear shrieking. Had someone run over a howler monkey in the street outside? It didn't take long to realize that the shieking was Asshole Shitbagginson's new girlfriend. "OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD!" she screamed for hours and hours and hours. "Sweet Jesus Christ on a Cracker," I said aloud to no one but my cat. "If you're going to fake an orgasm for longer than ten minutes, have the courtesy to put a pillow over your face." My cat flopped over on the floor and tried to lick her butt in response. The next day, through the vent in my bathroom, I heard the unmistakable sound of balls slapping against wet ass as Asshole Shitbagginson treated his new lady friend to some romantic shower time. "OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD." Would it ever end?

I put down the riveting manuscript and called my landlord again.

"Sure, sure. I'll talk to him," said the landlord.

As their relationship grew and they spent more time together, I began hearing conversations like this:

Asshole Shitbagginson: WHAT?
Asshole Shitbagginson: WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE?
Girlfriend: WHAT?
Asshole Shitbagginson: I SAID WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE?
Girlfriend: I'M PEEING.
Asshole Shitbagginson: WHAT?
Girlfriend: I SAID I'M PEEING.

It seemed fitting that somehow the loudest man on Earth had found what appeared to be the loudest woman on Earth. I would have been happy for both of them if they had managed to not be the biggest assholes alive. If this were a fairy tale, it would end, "And the loudest man on Earth and the loudest woman on Earth moved to Siberia and no one ever heard from them again." But it's not.

At some point during all of this, I lost my assertive nature. I don't even knock on the door anymore when the music gets loud. I just pound on the floor with the hammer I keep under my coffee table. And Asshole Shitbagginson, true to form, shouts up, "WHAT?" And turns the music louder.

There will be no conclusion to this story until one of us moves. And I'm not going. So for now I will conclude with, "Sure, sure. I'll talk to him." And then just not do anything.