A little-known underground cabal exists, a seemingly benign group of people from incongruous backgrounds scattered throughout the population in numbers that can only be described as "frightening". They spread their insidious message not with words nor overt actions, but with their gait; they are a continuing threat to both time & space, a nightmare of possibly-unintentional perception-skewing... They are the WalkFasters, and they must be stopped. Sure, it’s easy to brush them off as eager-beavers, these UpQuickers, but the sad truth of the matter is that they are forcing a unhealthy change in the general understanding of time vs. distance; these anti-dawdlers are speeding the whole world up one breezy, fast-paced step at a time. You can hear them from their vernacular: "I’m right on time," they say, glorifying their clock-minded astuteness; "I’m never late," they say, a smug satisfaction setting fire to the kindling of my lazy sauntering; "I’m a punctual person," they say, flaunting their aggressive early-birding, subconsciously prepping for the inevitable, where all WalkFasters eventually end up in the twilight of their lives - trapped in the endless-loop of mall-walking madness. I know of what I speak - they already count my girlfriend and my brother among their ranks...
[A black luxury SUV parks across three parking spaces and a gaggle of tittering teenagers emerge and walk past me towards the pizza place] Me:
You’re a fucking idiot. Idiot Driver:[stops tittering; looks at his friends to make sure he has an audience] What’s your problem, man? Me: My problem is that you’re a fucking idiot. [pause] It’s pretty simple, really. Idiot Driver:
Your mother’s an idiot. Me: [suppressing a laugh] Tell your dad I’m sorry about leaving those bite-marks in his ass last night. [The teens freeze, and then run into the pizza place] ... [A Big Shot tells a lady who is strapping her child into a car-seat to get out of his way] Me:Excuse me, sir, but I’m giving a seminar and I’m wondering if you’d care to attend? Big Shot: [ignores me as he tries to shove his bulk into his car] Me:It’s called, "How to Not Be an Asshole", and I think you’d really benefit from it. Big Shot:
[surprised; annoyed; curious; still wedging his square-block into a circular-hole] Really. Me:
I can give you step one right now. Big Shot:[playing along] Really? Me:
Yep. Big Shot:All right - what’s step one? Me: Kill yourself. Big Shot:[enraged but stuck halfway into his car] Oh yeah? [tries unsuccessfully to pull himself from his car] What’s the next step, tough guy? Me:
[pause] Why don’t you take care of step one, and we’ll talk about the rest later. ... [Three gregarious youths are playing football near my parked car; the ball squirts through a pair of hands that are frozen from playing in winter-weather and hits the front bumper of my car] Me: Nice catch. Slippery Hands:[gingerly retrieving the ball] Sorry, man. Me: [smiling] I’ll make you a deal: I won’t call the cops if, and this is a big if... [pause for effect] ...you let me show off my cannon. Slippery Hands:[relieved] Uh, sure. [I take the hard-as-a-brick, slick ball and pathetically wing the ball one-third of the way to his buddy] Me:
That’s POWER right there, my friend. Slippery Hands:[embarrassed for me] Um, yeah...seeya dude. [he scoops up the ball as he runs back to his friends; they laugh and continue their horseplay, and this one encounter alone equalized my karma from the other two]
Listen to disc 1, track 2 (aka "Static") off Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven, roughly coinciding the point where Godspeed You! Black Emperor state "World Police and Friendly Fire" (at least on the liner-notes) with Tuesday, November 27, 2007 @ 3:12pm in Hammertown, at the corner of Mohawk & Magnolia, and you will feel the swell of a high, powerful effervescence while watching garbage-cans and their disconnected frisbee-lids bound across your lane, a wall of caramel-coloured leaves brushing in on you sideways like you had entered the confines of a rotating hourglass, a once sunny sky suddenly slate-grey and preposterously looming like the terrible memory of some long-past misdeed, a cutting wind tearing into the umbrellas and slacks of peaceful old grocery-shoppers as they fight for verticality...you will be awe-inspired to feel awesome for the rest of your days. Do it now.
There’s no other explanation. She’s a cute country girl with a priceless but fading naïvety who knows more about raising cows than she does about raising hell...but don’t let that blue-eyed, sweet-cheeked veneer fool you - she is a motherfucking wrecking-ball to the olde Victorian house that is my computer. She is a filthy virus, a cancer, a plague of shorting circuits and system failures, a pestilence to the cyber-world that I am frequently cut-off from.
Neither of us understands it, but a moose on the highway doesn’t realize he’s dangerous either.
At least the girlfriend accepts that she’s a hazard...and though we don’t have the technology, nor the wherewithal, to fully ascertain or even grasp the reasons why, I do have my suspicions:
She is a robot.
This explains the accounting job, the relentless cleaning of all things house, the click-click-whirring glitches in her speech patterns, the unapologetic logic of her grocery lists, the startling efficiency of her days off...she’s a cyborg-refugee-starchild from a doomed planet of cyber-revolutionaries who hasn’t yet been assimilated by our woeful computer-technology, and for that I’m thankful.
For the many times my internet-connection has gone kaput after she’s left the den, however, I am not.
1. A lamentation with a twist of sunshine
2. An utterance both decrying and praising; an exaltation of short-lived disappointment.
3. A completely made-up word to un-ambivalently express my prowling frustration and limitless optimism: The tricycle I wanted with the big red banana-seat has been rented to someone else, but there’s a roller-coaster nearby? Vonderjah! I need an interweb-ticker telling me how many visits I’ve had in the same way I need a boot stuffed in my ass: not a lot, but better that than a harpoon. In obsessively checking my dwindling visits, I quickly become a slave to the myriad ways in which I could increase my traffic, a sucker for blog-directories that bring in as many new readers as I would myself by yelling off my balcony, a chump reciprocating links for no other reason than to display some half-assed cyber-community’s piss-poor logo...
Vonderjah; the time is right, after 4367 visits, to forego the tracking, to let the comments do the talking, to allow myself to mistakenly believe that millions upon millions of people are reading my shit, hour after hour, cutting and pasting the funniest bits to send to their friends/acquaintances/enemies like those morons who send chain-emails about how God makes one’s life complete, or picture-heavy displays of Bad Women Drivers/Redneck Ingenuity/Church Signs/My Cat Unraveling A Ball Of Yarn, or "send this to seven friends before you get hit by a bus and shit upon by Jesus"...
I’m going to write anyway - what difference does it make if anyone is reading?
Imagine you’re me. Take a look at the picture on the right, give yourself a big fat mouth, a mighty superiority complex, and a dynamic feeling for follicular fashion. Now, instill 15 years of mothers pulling their children away from you on sidewalks, of squinty-eyed parents asking where, exactly, you were taking their daughter on your date, of one particular mother, as you were leaving to get some ice cream cones, making you promise that you wouldn’thurt her daughter... Go ahead; I’ll wait. Good? Good. Now that you’re me, imagine walking into a coffee-shop with the singular intention of using the washroom, in this particular case a slightly secluded one-john affair, only to find a five-year-old peeing with his pants around his ankles when you fling open the door. What do you do? I’ll tell you what I did: I let out an "eep!", kept my hands where everyone could see them, frozen in the same pushing-motion I had used in opening the door, and backed slowly away from the washroom like it had threatened me, which, in a sense, it had. What I can assume to be this peeing-machine’s dad saw me backing away and went rushing in to see his son. The kid came out cheering - "I did it myself!" - but the father took a long hard look at me as he dragged his son past. I, of course, still had to use the facilities, so I masked my fear with a casual strut, did my business, and emerged with a fist-pump like I had just won the Super Bowl...I, too, had done it myself, but nobody seemed happy for me, as there was no laughter in the coffee-shop that day.
Brace yourselves, ladies & gentlemen - grab some cake, a handful of napkins for the mess you’re going to make, and maybe a glass of champagne; come, please, and celebrate this 150th pittance of nihilism with yours truly. Now, isn‘t this lovely? Can’t you feel the ambience? On to the show: The 150 Greatest Fictional Characters. Am I expecting arguments? Did this take me a solid week of research? Did my right arm just cramp up from excessive mouse-use? Oh, yes. Enjoy, as always, in increments of ten for easier reading: Ace & Gary
Akbar & Jeff
Mr. Blond Herman Blume
C. Montgomery Burns
Calvin & Hobbes
Eric Cartman Holden Caufield
Cool Hand Luke
Daredevil Alex DeLarge
JR "Bob" Dobbs
Victor von Doom
Barry Egan The Eradicator
Professor Hubert Farnsworth
Faust Felix the Cat
Tobias Fünke TS Garp
Groo the Wanderer
The Headless Horseman
Hellboy Ren Höek
John the Savage
Johnny the Homicidal Maniac
Charles Foster Kane Rabo Karabekian
Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore
Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski
Lobo Madman Magneto
Marvin the Martian
Ulysses Everett McGill John McGuirk
Randle P. McMurphy
Mentok the Mindtaker
Papa Smurf Det. Frank Pembleton
Pepé Le Pew
Bender Bending Rodriguez
Javier Rodriguez Rodriguez Vic Romano
Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero
Principal Cinnamon Scudworth
Phil Ken Sebben
Alan Smithee Snake-Eyes
Capt. Jack Sparrow
Leopold "Butters" Stotch
The Swedish Chef
Senator Howel Tankerbell Ted
Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog
Gen. Buck Turgidson
Vladimir & Estragon
Trent Walker Walter & Perry
Dr. John Zoidberg
T. Herman Zweibel
*There’s ONE female on this list - can you find her?
a bookmark misplaced
a receipt jammed in its stead
"I thought you saved my seat?"
it appears you were misled a place in line held fast
for when the going gets slow
unless the turn comes quick
then: "Adios, amigo!" a curious addition, this
superfluous at best
designed for 149
so it’s 150 and then some rest
Bella, one of my puppies, has a dirty crotch, and this would bring her great shame if she was capable of feeling that particular emotion. As it stands, however, she is not, and dislikes the cleaning of said crotch immensely, as does my girlfriend. "I’m scrubbing that thing like you wouldn’t believe," the girlfriend says, after the fact, "and it just feelswrong...like I’m some sort of pedophile." I mishear: "A petophile?" "What?" "Honey, that’s not petophilia; Bella’s three-and-a-half." Pause. "That’s more 'unwanted touching' between two semi-consenting adults." The girlfriend, once laughing, is now tired of me. I tell her that, if anything, she should worry about being charged with 'aggravated poochery', and she tells me that I can clean Bella’s crotch next time. Sigh.
It was like someone had clandestinely dropped a stick of dynamite in that kid’s pants. One second he was squealing "mom!" and demanding a snack, the next I was wiping goo off my leather bomber jacket and scooping an eyeball out of Suzie’s ice cream cone. The blood was EVERYWHERE! Pools of it sat dripping from the clutch-marks the kid had left in his mother’s dress, in the cup-holders of nearby convertibles...it even filled the finger-holes of my custom-made "Bad To The Bone" bowling ball, for god’s sake! My mouth was hanging open at the time of the blast, as Suzie was telling me an "incredibly unbelievable" story about Carol & Tom, our next-door neighbours, and I was miming my disbelief, despite the fact that said yarn was neither "incredible" nor "unbelievable". As a result, I found myself shooting little almost-vaporized bits of kid from between my teeth while I picked bone-splinters out of Suzie’s back. Despite the base-level grossness of spitting out human-gristle, I wasn’t three picks in before I realized that Suzie and I were speaking at a normal tone, that we weren’t competing for air-time with the wailing pleads of a child desperate for Heavenly-Hash. It was suddenly quiet for the first time all morning. Even the mother of the exploded child, immobilized at first, seemed to be standing a little taller after a quick bathroom-respite, no longer hunched under the psychological-weight of a child-sized bullhorn permanently set on "shrill". It’s a sad thing when a human life gets snuffed out, I suppose...still, it was nice to have a conversation at the ice cream store using my indoor-voice for once.
I threw myself across three unoccupied desks yesterday, leaving a jumble of faux-mahogany furniture and aluminum legs akimbo to extricate myself from...all to prove a point I was making that had nothing at all to do with what I was teaching.
Though the class enjoyed it, I fear I’m becoming a caricature, a cartoon-version of my already cartoonish self. As long as you’re willing to slightly hurt yourself, laughs in a large group are abundant. However, these pratfalls are the physical manifestations of my desire to get certain points across, regardless of how little importance said points may carry. In fact, the more mundane a point, the less it actually matters, the more I feel the need to make it clear... I tried to reference the dead baby with the twisted head and dead eyes who crawled across the ceiling inTrainspotting, but upon hearing that none of my sixteen-year-old students had ever even heard of the movie, I collapsed to the ground; this was not for their benefit, but because I wasn’t then able to get across the analogy I was making, which was, in and of itself, incredibly valid. How could referring to a scene from a film about heroin-addicted Scots to explain the perils of not making a blind-spot check not be valid? In my mind, teaching, like many things, is like playing baseball: if you aren’t worn out, filthy, and ready to fight the umpire by the end of it, you haven’t done your job. Suffice it to say, not a lot of other teachers share my philosophy...
Parking-lot pacing, I finish my cigarette and wing it towards a nearby sewer-grate, punctuating the perfect-shot swish with my usual dramatics: an over-exaggerated fist-pump signifying victory on all levels. I turn to see a troop, nay, a legion of teenaged-girls staring at me, their eyebrows raised, their contorted faces betraying their disgust at my exuberance. "What," I say, "you’ve never seen a feat of skill so breathtaking?" Silence. "It’s okay to be stricken," I continue. "I understand that you don’t get to see something so awe-inspiring every day." More silence...finally, one girl collapses into an "oh-my-GOD" that would have, were I fifteen years younger, made my nuts shrivel into Altoids. They, as a group, turn and begin their snickering, giggling walk away...one, on her own, turns back and spies me throwing her a brassy wink. She immediately relates this to her friends, and collectively: "EEEEEWWWW!!" Me, getting into my car: "Philistines."
Get in an empty elevator with a pepperoni stick. Step 2:
Munch quietly as a gruff, worn man covered in drywall-dust and monstrous finger-calluses gets on with a grunt. Step 3:
Finish your pepperoni stick in the silence of the elevator-ride. Step 4:Just before the door opens on your floor, look at the gruff, worn man and say, "I think I just ate one too many pepperoni sticks." Step 5:
Walk down the hallway to your apartment serenaded by genuine, tension-breaking laughter.
Thursday, November 2, 2000 - 4:35 am A splintered chair leg sits amongst the rubble of discarded lime-wedges and red wine-stained gouges in the hardwood floor; strawberry-daiquiri mix is vibrating as it slides down the unvarnished metal of the constantly-whirring ice-maker; the cheering of virtual Blitz 2000 fans is timed immaculately with the flickering images of a pirated porn-station on the big screen; the dull, fuzzy rattle of a broken-speaker is choking Eddie Vedder’s attempts at singing Nothing As It Seems while headlights of cars u-turning bathe the interior of the bar every fifteen minutes or so; the congealed remnants of a poorly-planned "Chili Night" litter the bathrooms with a pseudo-Mexican flavour, and the smoke I exhale seems to exude from every orifice. I am fully aware of how interchangeable these nights are, at this point. Days, weeks, months bleed into each other as a singularity, a frenzy of alcohol, incoherent conversations, and bad judgment-calls; I know the seasons based solely on whether or not I have to put the patio furniture away at the end of the night. Some, namely the management, have called into the question my "drink first, clean second" mentality...however, the five Jack & Coke’s I’ve imbibed at this point call it something completely different: Humanitarian Self-Indulgence. Is it more of a psychological-necessity for me to drag the stinking, rotted mop across the scarred bar floor, or would that time be better spent unwinding with a drunken bout of crack-machine strip-poker? Should I try to recoup the 30-some IQ-points I’ve lost this night by catching the early-morning news feed from Los Angeles, or should I refill the fucking ketchup? Please. ... Living the "high life" is easily romanticized, especially in retrospect, but as with anything that takes you high, you’d better get off before it crashes down. Last Monday, it apparently all came crashing down. I was not around for the Last Days, the drunken reverie, the looting, the physical end to that particular time in my life, no... I said my goodbyes to that lifestyle long ago. RIP
What do you think about the way JK Rowling handled the whole Dumbledore thing? Me:
Handled? Christian Housewife:
I mean, she kind of left us in the lurch with that remark. Me:Um, though I’m no fan of the Harry Potter books, I believe that all she said was that she always thought of Dumbledore as gay. Christian Housewife:
Yeah - Dumbledore’s gay now. Me:Now? Christian Housewife:Do you think that’s right? Me:
I don’t think that it matters. Christian Housewife:
All this time I had my children reading those books, and now, after it’s over, she tells us that he’s gay. Me:[failing to see the point]
Well, I know a lot of people who wouldn’t have let their children keep reading those books if we had known that.
Are you serious?
Christian Housewife:Well, now she’s promoting homosexuality.
Me:No she isn‘t.
Imagine an artist paints a picture of a boat but he titles it, "The Spaceship". Is he then promoting the exploration of space, or is he just calling a boat a spaceship?
How am I supposed to explain to my eight-year-old daughter what "gay" means?
Me:Some men like men more than women, and vice versa.
Easy-peasy, nice and breezy.
THAT’S fine, but tell me how I explain the sex part?
Why do you need to explain the sex part?
My daughter knows that guys don’t have the right holes...
Sure they do. They just happen to be useless for reproduction, that’s all.
When you teach your daughter that sex is for procreation, then gay sex makes no sense.
Right...IF that’s the way you’ve explained sex to your daughter.
You didn’t tell her that it was fun?
I don’t want her knowing that it’s fun!
Yeah, you’re right.
She’ll NEVER figure that out on her own.
[long silence follows; then:]
D’you think she has an inkling?
Me:True, but kids grow up so fast these days; maybe she’s figured out that to create the brood of brothers and sisters she’s surrounded with wasn’t quite the sacrifice that you, possibly, made out to be...at least not during conception.
She doesn’t know anything about sex.
Well, who’s fault is that?
She’s eight. Years. Old.
Yes, and you’re worried about gay men having sex.
She might as well be asking about erectile-dysfunction, as far as I’m concerned.
Christian Housewife:Well, THAT would be easy.
Experience rears its ugly head on that one, huh?
Oftentimes when I smoke, I pace. If I’m not pacing, I’m crouching like a gargoyle against a wall or some sort of lean-to in an effort to provide myself with lower-back support. If it happens to be raining, well, I continue my smoking & crouching, though I do so under a ledge...the same ledge, invariably, that others must walk under to avoid said rain. When the above scenario comes to life, I employ the Lean Back: I straighten my upper-body and they pass with a nod. What a wonderful façade. I’m creating no new space at all, of course, but courtesy is implied with the Lean Back; an incoming pedestrian must still trudge around me, but a wordless understanding is reached because I’ve at least acknowledged their presence...I just can’t seem to get out of the gosh-darn way, gosh-darn it! Of course, they’re all muttering about what a lazy asshole I am once they pass me, but for that brief second when we exchange smiles, I am the King of Courtesy. It feels good to help people...it really does.
Jes, I know ju are ad-miring ze eyebrowzsss, even weethout ze evidences of zere arch-ed beooooty; zese are, after all, joost wordzsss... Fear no, dough, az only SEEING ze eyebrowzsss iz like only HEARING ze fireworkzsss - a gross and inelegant undereztimation of the many senses zese eyebrowzsss teekle. Ju must FEEL zem, must roll around in zere dense, booshy love-a-liness to trooly grasp ze sensory-overload, ze com-fort...eet is like the voondrous hugging of a thousand pussy-weelows. Doonot be saddened, darling...one day, sooooon, ju will feel ze fainting-powair of zese eyebrowzsss an ju will drop as though felled by electro-shok; zen ju will be at one weeth ze eyebrowzsss, becose it will be doze eyebrowzsss that catch ju... Yesssss, and as ju fall een love, zey will catch ju and catch ju again, until zere is no more ju to be caught.
Wet, sloppy pseudo-snow makes me shitful with rage. I seethe and excrete waste-matter over those flaky, undecided drips of winter and their inability to define themselves. Make a choice, winter. For once in your goddamned, miserable, rotten life, figure it out and fucking stick with it. No, don’t hurry...we’ll just sit here, wet, and decide for ourselves whether or not to bask in the glory of your little floating wisps of doily-paper, or to shake our fists at the sky to languidly combat your bullying of the sun into hibernation. Don’t fret as to my pulsating sarcasm, please...take your motherfucking time.
I walk into the restroom of this coffee-shop I rarely frequent to find a man in his 40’s washing his hands in the sink and crying. And I mean crying. Gobsmacked, concerned, and a little frightened, I ask him what’s wrong...and in this little kid’s whimpering, sucking-in-air-while-trying-to-talk-and-sob-at-the-same-time voice, he says, "it hurts." I look him over - he’s holding his hand under the rush of water from the tap, just heaving fat puddles of water from his face, and I see no blood in the sink, no evidence of mangled digits, no anything but a middle-aged man with graying temples wailing like he caught his ankle in a bear-trap. "What hurts?" I ask him. "My finger," he moans, my sympathy waning ever so slightly. "I caught it in the stall door," he continues, motioning towards the offending door with his sloppy, glistening face. I lean in to take a look at this terrible injury, and he shows me an index-finger that all the markings of being squeezed...somewhat. It was summarily unimpressive, truth be told, and the man must have agreed, quickly explaining that it "looked much worse a second ago," as a way of justifying his over-the-top agony. "Mm," I said, nodding and making my way over to the urinal. "Tsk," I said, absentmindedly whilst peeing. "There’s danger lurking around every corner." And like that...he was gone.
There will be a time in our existence when air is revealed to be the cowardly, back-stabbing, glory-hog cousin of that goody two-shoes helium; The jingle-jangle of jingles jangles the nerves of even the most jingoistic; The term "cornerstone" was repurposed from it’s humble beginnings as sporting-slang for when the mob had cornered a heathen to stone; "Mind-warping" is caused by concentrated, if not constant, heat and endless sitting, much like a record...and, like a record, if the human mind is spun at 45 rpm, the warping will even itself out and fancy little harmonized melodies will emanate from the ears in chipmunk-voices because the human mind isn’t meant to be played at that high a speed; Sharks make better doors than windows - this cannot be said, however, for jellyfish, or, as they‘re known throughout the ocean, "The Slimy Windows of the Sea"; The tune of "Banana-Nana-Fo-Fana" was originally the opening-music for The Blighted Gorge, a shoddy, "blue" night club act from the ‘50’s that had entirely different lyrics: Die, Die, Doe Die
You might as well fucking die
My, my, you’ll die
Dead Due to the immense dislike of not only this song, titled "The Killing of Fear and The Harbinger of Retribution" but also their act-closer, "Ghandi Blew Hitler" (the music later becoming the backbone for "Summer Lovin‘" from Grease), they were chased from New York City and drowned off the Jersey shore...or so the story goes; Seribim u bonn valiswalstic jong-jong "hemoglobin" whazzy istism gimcrack jizzle-whut; There is evidence to suggest that one of Franz Kafka’s most notable works actually began as a story detailing forbidden love in a prison, changed only due to time constraints and the unfortunate discomfort of those he read it to - thus, "The Penal Colonoscopy" was reworked tirelessly.
You knew going in that the doctor’s office wasn’t the most painless of places to write - flummoxed mothers prying information/symptoms/something out of their sick children so they can give the doctor their armchair-physician’s opinion... Is it uncommonly hot in here or are you feverish? Is that girl’s voice horrifically jarring or are you hyper-tense? Is that woman hovering over you or are you paranoid? Fuck that. The thermostat is blasting hot air out of the vents like a jet-engine, that girl’s voice could crack concrete, and that woman is READING WHAT YOU’RE WRITING?! ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? Calm; calm down. Think of yourself as operating on one battery’s power in a two-battery system. The more effort you extend yelling at simpletons, the less you’ll have in reserve...which could most certainly make for one hair-raising drive home. Relax; think of your accidental foray into a poor-man’s sensory deprivation chamber, when you slid in the tub and found yourself submerged in bubbly-water but for your nose...remember? No noise, no nincompoops, no nonsense...just a welcoming placid bliss. Are you cool? Yes, the doctor stared at your tattoos when she rolled up your sleeve to take your blood pressure, but you’re 128 over 80, and that discovery was punctuated with a "perfect" from the doctor, so you’re good. Yes, she prescribed some anti-anxiety pills and asked that you get a cardiogram & some blood-work done, but they’re precautionary...so take it easy. And I mean that - no more of this 8-cups-of-coffee-a-day business, no more smoking like you’re hiding a coal-burning stove in your belly, no more speedballs shot into that overworked vein just below your left ankle... Wait. That’s someone else. Who am I talking to?
Hey, did you hear the one about that guy who checked himself into the hospital yesterday, complaining of dizzy-spells and a massive headache? The doctor told him that he was suffering from "exhaustion". "You‘re goddamned right, exhaustion!", the man exclaimed. "Was I exhausted before or after I spent three hours in your waiting room?" Ha, ha. After I turned down the IV, citing my irrational fear of needles and my alternately rational need to be at home, the doctor gave me three horse-pills that read "Advil" and I staggered back to my abode. Miraculously (or medically, in fact), my headache was gone; lingering, however, was the general, full-body fatigue that left me on the couch watching a blank TV screen after my A Mighty Wind DVD played out... WebMD ascribes "overwork, poor sleep, worry, boredom, lack of exercise," as reasons for fatigue, and check one to five...I’ve got the whole set! Add in unhealthy doses of dehydration and hot sauce, and I’m in possession of the whole Exhaustion Enchilada. I checked, though: the doctor tells me that I’m not neurologically crazy...which is one step away from not being crazy crazy, and at this point I’ll take it. With a side of Advil.