evious Notes



A bowl of corn, motherfuckers.



Is that an erection I smell?



I'm loaded with tumors darling, and I don't even know it.



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   The State of My Fat Ass
                                    February 2003
February 27, 2003

-- When I was a kid the people who lived on the other side of the tracks seemed foreign and exotic to me. By Junior High School it was the people who didn't live in our little town, then it was non-West Virginians. After spending years in North Carolina and Georgia I thought people who lived outside the South were different, and not in a positive sense.

Later it was people in countries other than America, then countries that don't speak English. Now, of course, I realize that the only really strange people in this world are the Belgians. Try as I might, I just can't get my arms around the Belgians. Strange, strange people.

-- Even though it's starting off with a bang (ahem), this is going to be an extra-shitty update, so prepare yourself now. I overslept again. I set the alarm for 5 AM, but didn't step down from my dormancy platform until 6:03. I don't like to sleep, but once I get going... I need one of those George Castanza sleeping desks so I can nap at work, and not allow it to eat into the important stuff. I might talk to my boss about that today, he's an understanding man.

-- Speaking of work, I've got some mild employment concerns. I won't bore you with the details, but there are talks of mergers and takeovers that could effect me. As much as I bitch about Scranton, I'd sure hate to leave here. Yeah, the people don't know how to drive, there's a high concentration of the unsightly, and it's not the friendliest place on Earth. But it's safe and quiet and cheap, and a really good place to set up a home base. We're within comfortable driving distance of NYC and Philadelphia, and more importantly, Cooperstown. They sell Yuengling on every corner here. If something would happen I'd probably have to go back to Burbank, and just like that I'd go from "highly-compensated" (you're like a doctor or a lawyer here if you make anything over $8 an hour) to fuckin' poor.

Toney's the worrying kind -- she doesn't drink enough -- and she did some checking of housing prices in our old neighborhood. Look at this shit. This the same house we bought in 1997 for $142,000. Same floor plan, same neighborhood, same everything. We couldn't afford to sub-lease the linen closet today. It's just insane. That kind of money would buy Hammer's house here; it would probably have a goddamn heliport. Plus, in Scranton I look like the lead singer of Bush; in southern California I'm the kid from Mask. It's depressing.

Hopefully they'll come to their senses and abandon their foolish merger ideas. I might send them an email, and explain how it would adversely affect us. I'll tell them about the Yuengling and the heliport and Mask, and they'll surely have a change of heart. Right?

-- I'm gonna trade in my little Toyota truck in the next few weeks, for something with 4WD and an extra set of balls. I need to be able to get around in this snow better, and would like to have something with enough muscle to pull a trailer. I'm kinda infatuated with the smaller SUVs. I'll probably end up with a 6-cylinder Chevy Blazer which, by the way, gets about the same gas mileage as a Ford Taurus. So there's no need to climb back up on your high-horse; just relax. 

Here's an interesting review of the model I'm considering, which may or may not have been written by Lucas.

Anyway, I was thinking about it, and I really haven't owned that many vehicles in my life. I tend to keep them for a long time, usually until they start flying apart on me. Here's a rundown of what I've driven to date:

1971 Chevy Nova I bought this off my uncle for a thousand bucks, while I was in high school. It looked like a hotrod, but wasn't. It had big chrome wheels and paint with little metal flakes in it. It sparkled in the sun, and was pleasingly redneck. The only thing it was missing was a horn that played "Dixie." It only had a 4-cylinder engine, but it looked badass and that was the important part. I should've lost my virginity in it, but I messed that up too. After I drove the hell out of it (often with a Mickey's Big Mouth in-hand) I sold it back to my uncle for four hundred dollars. He never felt I properly respected it. Grade: B+

1981 Chevy Luv This little pickup had been totaled and rebuilt by some body shop genius. I bought it when it was about three years old, and it only had something like 7000 miles on it. It may have spent some time at the bottom of a lake, I'm not sure, but it was practically in showroom condition when I plunked down the bank's four thousand dollars. It was a wise purchase. I drove it, with few problems, for years. I only traded it when a hole opened up in the floorboard, and mud would fly around the cab when I drove in the rain. I almost started sobbing when I said goodbye to my Luv truck. It served me well, and was a good friend. Sniff. Grade: A

1989 Hyundai Excel The first new car I ever owned. The shit looked like a Mercedes-Benz, and cost something like seven grand. When you turned on the air conditioner the motor would bog down and make sounds like a coal barge. Still, it was a fairly good car until the mileage rolled over to 100,000, then it just started falling apart. All of its vital organs shut down in quick succession. Great quantities of oil would fly out of the engine when I drove it, and I had to keep a case of Pennzoil in the trunk. When I traded it in I was standing on the car lot trying to cut a deal with the salesman, and a river of motor oil was slowly making its way towards us. That sort of thing can quickly erode your bargaining power. Grade: C

1993 Mazda Protege A good, solid, boring car. It was transportation, and that's it; a commuting capsule. I don't even remember many good stories surrounding it, except the time I puked out the passenger side window and ruined the paint job on the rear quarter panel. But that doesn't really have anything to do with the car, does it? Oh, and we were driving it when we went to a Christmas party in Atlanta, and the people over-compensated for Toney's vegetarianism (she's since reformed), and brought in a metric shitload of high-weirdness. After the party was over they gave us all the freak food and it was piled on the backseat, stinking up my car. On Route 20 near Stone Mountain, GA I began hurling Styrofoam containers of cous-cous and humus and shit like that out the window of our moving vehicle. It was it or me. But that doesn't really have anything to do with the car, does it? Grade: B

1998 Toyota Tacoma I've been driving this thing since December 1997, and have had not a single problem with it. It sucks in the snow, and has a pussy engine, but those are the only negatives. It does what it's supposed to do, and more, but it doesn't generate a huge sense of loyalty like the Luv truck did. It's served us well on both sides of the continent, but no longer meets our needs. So, fuck it, we're just going to toss it aside like a foster child with a smart mouth. Some teenager can drink beer and listen to Zeppelin in it, it's still suited for that sort of thing. A guy at the gas station asked me how I liked it the other day, and I said I had no complaints. I think that about sums it up. Grade: B+

I'll write a real update on Monday, I promise. Have a great weekend, folks. There's more snow on the way, and you can imagine my excitement. I'm like this woman now. See ya 'round. And remember to watch out for those sneaky Belgians. They're unpredictable fucks. 

February 24, 2003

-- Wotta sloppy, nasty weekend. It rained, almost continuously, and the massive piles of dirty snow are melting and turning our world into one big soggy mess. I generally like winter, but whoever orchestrated this one took things a bit too far, in my opinion. Somebody needs to ease back on the seasonal theatrics, Sam. Shit. Until this past Saturday afternoon -- February 22 -- we hadn't seen a blade of grass since early December. I documented the momentous occasion here. There's been a thick, hard snow-pack for weeks and weeks. Plows have created these towering ten-foot high mountains of snow at the end of every block, making it impossible to see if you're about to pull out in front of a heating oil truck or something. And now you can't take the trash out without getting soaked all the way up to your ass crack. It's disgusting. As with politics, I don't like radical extremes in my weather. And this has been one ball-busting Martin Sheen of a winter. Goddamn.

-- What's the deal with all these nightclub deaths all of a sudden? It's like India now. You always hear news stories about a bus going off a cliff in India: "1200 feared dead." Or: "it is believed the death toll may rise as high as 48 following the tragic choking incident in a New Delhi restaurant today..." It's bizarre.

I haven't completed my investigation yet, but the Rhode Island incident appears to be the cause of washed-up wank-metal band Great White, and their insistence on using tired and clichéd stage gimmickry that hasn't been cool since the fall of 1983. I'm not 100% certain at this point, but it looks to be completely their fault.

-- I saw this in the March issue of Esquire magazine, and thought it was excellent. It's from an interview with some guy who wrote a book claiming there is no liberal bias in the media. Here's the excerpt I enjoyed:

Esquire: As a liberal, who do you find more objectionable, Bill O'Reilly, Chris Matthews, or Rush Limbaugh?

Some guy: No question it's Limbaugh. He has an army. I think O'Reilly and Matthews are entertainers. I don't think anybody would follow the other two into the fire, but Limbaugh is different. The lack of civility that he demonstrates toward liberal politicians is really dangerous to the political public. I hate to say it, but I wish the guy would have gone deaf. I shouldn't say that, but on behalf of the country, it would be better without Rush Limbaugh and his 20 million listeners.

I love that. Rush is mean-spirited, so I wish he'd go deaf. Is that not classic? And perfectly in-character? It's like something off Saturday Night Live.

-- My Mom told me it was seventy degrees on Saturday in West Virginia, then it snowed several inches on Sunday. The end is obviously near. She also said that, to stay out of the snow, their batshit-crazy school teacher neighbor backed her car out of her garage and down her twenty-foot driveway to pick up her newspaper. After she swung open her door and picked up her paper, she drove back insdie and lowered the garage door. This a woman in charge of molding young minds.

-- Speaking of WV, remember the man who hit the Powerball lottery a couple of months ago, and lived a mile or so from my parents? Well, neighbors are starting to notice a few changes around his place.

-- I'm threatening to stick our dog Andy in the night deposit at the pound. He's getting crazier. He lays around on various couches most of the day, then every night around seven he loses his mind and remains crazed until eight-thirty or so. He wants out, then he wants in, then out, then in... He prances around and smiles and stares. It's very disconcerting, having a dog standing in the middle of a room just staring at you for minutes on end. Especially one that smiles. You try not to notice, but it's a pretty difficult thing to ignore.

Last night I was talking to my brother on the phone and Andy was standing about a foot from me, as still as a statue, looking directly into my face. It was freaking me out, man. I took him for a long walk in the cold over the weekend, to try to wear his ass out, but it didn't seem to do any good. Apparently it's just his nature to go out of his walnut-sized brain every night at seven.

Toney told me that when she was a kid Sunshine would occasionally let her and her sister adopt a dog, then in a week or so, when Mommie Dearest got tired of it, she'd make them take their new best friend to the pound and stuff it into the night deposit. Cold, cold shit.

And that's what I've been telling Andy: keep it up and you're going in the night deposit. Then I usually call him "shithead" or "piece of shit," or some other shit-themed name. Of course I know I'm wasting my breath; I'm sure I just sound like Charlie Brown's teacher to him.

-- I have a new way of dealing with telemarketers and it's so much fun I'm now hoping for calls from window salesmen and shady mortgage companies located off the coast of the continental USA. On Friday, during dinner (of course), I answered the phone.


"Uh, yes, could I please speak --"


"Yes, could I please speak to, um, Ms. Kay Jeffreys?"

"Is anyone there? Hello?"

"Sir, can you hear --"


"I'm calling for Kay Jeffreys"


Try it, it's great fun. Just act like you can't hear a word they say, and it leads to some very satisfying frustration and irritation. 

-- Toney and I were in Target on Sunday, checking out camping supplies (what can I say?), when a gigantic rambunctious family converged on the aisle. They were all talking at the same time and pulling stuff off the shelves and waving their hands all around. One second it was calm and quiet and the next it was like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. A little kid with teeth like a Garden Weasel screamed over the din, "Mama, what is this thing??" And the big Rose Bowl float matriarch answered, "Why honey, that's a butane lantren." That's what she said: "lantren." Toney and I calmly walked to the next aisle and buckled over in laughter. It was a moment straight out of a John Waters film.

-- Speaking of cold, cold shit, check out this article. Is this kind of thing really necessary? I feel like tracking down this old man and giving him a hug. Or at the very least, I could finish my novel and take some of the heat off of him.

-- I half-watched the Grammys last night, but I didn't see anything too horrible. What I saw was actually fairly entertaining, and it's no fun if you can't make fun of it. They kept teasing a "special tribute to punk legends The Clash," but I went to bed before it came on. Did anyone see it? I'm picturing the cast of Rent running all over the stage, belting out "White Man in Hammersmith Palais," or the gang from Riverdance vigorously stomping their collective feet to "The Guns of Brixton." Now that I think about it, I probably should've stayed up for that.

-- Finally, here are the movies I watched this weekend: Tin Cup, Mississippi Burning, The Rookie, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Again, none sucked enough to wring much comedy out of it, and none were outstanding enough to elicit any special praise. So, screw it. Oh, I did nearly cry during The Rookie; that's worth noting. When the guy was finally called up to the Major Leagues I very nearly broke down and started blubbering right there in the family room. And when he called his six year old kid to tell him the news, I was ready to bolt for the privacy of the bathroom. But I tapped into some inner reserve and was able to man-up at the last possible second. Close call.

More of this crap on Thursday...

February 20, 2003

-- I was complaining about my job to one of my friends recently, and he suggested I move back to Dunbar and get my old paper route back. I think he was getting tired of my incessant bitching; I could sense that if I didn't stop, his next suggestion was going to be, "Well, why don't you just commit suicide then?" But it got me to thinking about my years as a newspaper man: strapping on the big canvas bags of commerce, trudging through the rain, heat, snow, and ice to keep the community informed -- every day before dinner.

I was a very important figure then, especially to the elderly shut-ins. To the man wearing eyeglasses with one inexplicable darkened lens, I was a god, and to his neighbor who talked through a computerized voice box (and scared the living shit out of me), my arrival was the highlight of his day. Now that was job satisfaction. Nothing I've done since has come anywhere close to matching it. These days everyone just rolls their eyes when I show up.

I worked for The Charleston Daily Mail, and delivered their paper for a long time. Five or six years or something. Now that I think about it, I still had my routes (I had two, baby) until I was deep into high school, which was probably one of the many reasons I was so popular with the ladies. Back then I was six feet tall, a hundred forty pounds, wore glasses that turned dark when I went outside, sported Jiffy-Pop hair and the kind of fashions one might see at a retard rodeo. I collected baseball cards with a geeky passion, delivered newspapers, and tooled around in my parent's big green station wagon with the peel-n-stick wood panels on the sides... Oh, I had a lot to offer, in those days.

Anyway, I was thinking about my friend's snotty and very hurtful suggestion that I move home and take back my paper route. I don't think I could do it anymore. I don't think I have even that to fall back on. The record store where I worked is gone, the toll has been lifted from the toll bridge where I collected quarters for three years, and I don't think I could handle the newspaper business anymore. It's very troubling; there's no passageway back to my past, no way to retreat.

Oh, I could still tell you which houses get the paper seven days, six days, and Sundays-only (wonder if any of that's changed in twenty-five years?), but I don't think I could carry the bags anymore. I believe it would almost literally kill me to try to deliver a Wednesday Daily Mail to 120 houses spread over twelve blocks.

Wednesdays were the worst; the paper was stuffed with ads and they'd be so heavy your spine would almost snap off. It's a wonder I'm not a hunchback. And pride would never allow me to drive around in a car and deliver the paper like these pussies do it today. That's not even an option. I spit in their direction, the punk-ass bitches.

I don't think I could build a coalition either, like I did back then, to help settle disputes. We had a Sopranos thing going where we'd all band together and "take care of things" when one of us had a problem. For instance, I had a big fat piece of shit Jerry Springer woman on my route named Mrs. Bennett. It was like pulling teeth to get her to pay her bill, and it would sometimes balloon to a frightening total. Eventually I'd have to cut her off, and only then would she reluctantly pay up.

One time Mrs. Bennett owed me $16.25 (I'll never forget the amount), and flat-out refused to give me the money. She sent her tattooed ex-con loser snaggle-toothed son to try to intimidate me, but I refused to deliver her anymore papers. What am I, a complete dumbass? Sanctions had to be imposed. 

So we were at a stalemate, and neither would budge. I'd see her at the store spending stacks of money on beer and cigarettes and shit, and would become enraged. She was the definition of white trash. I think I actually hated her. Eventually I called in the coalition; there was nothing left to do. She wasn't living up to the obligations she'd agreed to.

A bunch of my friends and fellow paper carriers got together and drew up our plans. Later that night we converged on Mrs. Bennett's house, some in front and some out back. One of us gave the signal and we proceeded to blast every goddamn window out of her house with a collection of heavy railroad rocks -- the world's best rocks for throwing. The sound of glass breaking and lunatic caterwauling just kept going, for an amazing length of time. We tore ass out of there, nearly shitting our collective pants in laughter. And not a word was ever said to any of us about it.

I never got my $16.25, but I have a feeling it took a little more than that to replace ten or twelve storm windows. There was plenty of satisfaction in that fact, believe me. Plus, I can almost guarantee that she never gave future paperboys the kind of grief she gave me. Mrs. Bennett had been disarmed. 

No, I don't think I could bring that coalition back together today. I have a feeling there'd be a few Frances and Germanys in the mix in 2003. It would never work. I couldn't handle the big canvas bags of commerce, and I'd have no back-up, so I guess I'll just have to continue on with my irritating office job. At some point you have to accept the fact that you're too old for battle, and take that seat behind the desk. 

Fuck it.

-- This is my 250th update. I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of words I've devoted to this crap? Sweet Maria. What I lack in quality I make up for in quantity. You can't take that away from me.

-- A reader sent me this picture yesterday. It made me laugh, so I thought I'd share.

-- Another reader made a short film that I enjoyed mightily, so check that out too. Click on "The Man's Man Guide to Dating." And remember, no spanking!

-- Yesterday Toney told me that she was "shocked" at the number of Little Debbie oatmeal cookies I ate during an eighteen hour period. "It was the family size!" she hollered at me. I like sweetened lard, what can I say? I think everybody does.

-- We got over a foot of snow earlier this week, but I don't feel like talking about it. It's starting to piss me off.

-- If you haven't yet seen the court documents from the old Michael Jackson child molestation case, do yourself a favor and check them out. Highly entertaining.

-- And finally, NJGirl informed me that a talk radio station in New Jersey spent a big chunk of time yesterday talking about my Wal-Mart Game. She apparently heard part of it, and a harelipped woman called in to complain! I just received her email this morning, so I haven't had much time to investigate, but here's a link to a forum where they're discussing the show. If anyone has more information, I'd certainly be interested in it. Wonder if I could get a tape? More later...

Have a great weekend.

February 17, 2003

-- So, I was standing shoulder to shoulder with my brothers in lameness Thursday night, in front of the pitiful last-minute Valentine's Day card selection at the grocery store, when I caught a powerful whiff of something horrible. It hit me like a punch to the gut, and my air-pipe instantly pinched itself off, apparently thrown into some ancient rarely-used self-preservation mode. I've never attended an autopsy, but I think I now know what they smell like. It was the stench of manslaughter, and it was wafting out of the meat department a few feet away. The hottest scent of the season: Homicide by Calvin Klein. Then I heard the saw, or the drill or whatever the hell it was. And the chopping. Somebody was in the backroom going to town with a hatchet or some shit, and the disgusting funk being unlocked was amazing. I covered my nose with my hand, hoping to filter out some of the stink with my fingers. I looked around to see if any my brethren in half-assery had a reaction to what was going on, but they all seemed oblivious. The guy beside me was wearing a pair of misshapen high-water sweatpants with roughly a yard of Hanes briefs hanging out the back, and was clutching a stick of deodorant in his left hand. "These cards are brutal," he said, in reaction to my glance. And I just silently went back to flipping through the fancy pieces of paper covered in hearts and lace and foil, trying to find one that would appropriately proclaim my undying love for my wife. Then after I got that out of the way, I picked up some chips and a big jug of red Gatorade for myself.

-- We didn't get much of the massive snow everybody else received in this part of the country, but supposedly it's on the way. Thirteen or fourteen inches, they say, by sundown. The grocery stores were overrun yesterday with people stocking up on enough food to get them to spring -- of 2006. And I saw people wheeling handcarts of cheap Keystone beer out of the convenience store, in preparation for this month's Storm of the Century. How much you wanna bet it doesn't happen? The weather "experts" around here wouldn't still be around here if they were really experts. True experts, in any field, don't hang around Scranton very long. And that's the kind of attitude that makes me so popular with my co-workers...

-- But really, how can you not make fun of this place? Check this out, from today's paper. Scranton is the sarcastic bastard's utopia.

-- On Saturday I downloaded the top twenty singles of last year, as proclaimed by the Village Voice Pazz 'n' Jop Survey. Then I burned them to a CD, using my new handy-dandy burner. Well, only the top eighteen would fit, but you get my drift... I'm so excited. I've been getting acquainted with Avril Lavigne, Norah Jones, Nelly, and a bunch of other people I only knew from pop-up ads and Pepsi commercials. I actually like most of it, even the Eminem. I am the god of hipness.

-- I watched four movies over the weekend: The Limey, The Candidate, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, and Knockaround Guys. I liked them all, except The Candidate, which sucked the proverbial big one. I can't imagine anyone enjoying two hours of Robert Redford wringing his hands and acting all superior, because he feels a little deeper and cares a little more. Thirty minutes into it I felt like kicking him in the balls, and the urge was maintained throughout. Fuck dat.

-- The Candidate inspired me to buy this off eBay. And I might pick up one of these later. You'd never catch these guys feeling.

-- On Sunday we went to Wal-Mart, which is always an adventure. I'd never seen a retarded Mexican before, I didn't know they came in that variety, but I have now. He had his arms full of Star Wars action figures, and was making noises like a fax machine. I also saw a woman holding up a bra that was incredibly long; it must've had a six-foot wingspan, with straps like seatbelts. She was coughing with great gusto, directly into the left cup. I picked up a six-pack of socks and they came in a resealable plastic bag. Why?! Is it important to keep your unused socks in an airtight pouch? I don't get it. I'm not planning to take them deep-sea diving. An old man, roughly one hundred years of age, began chatting to me about the coming snow storm, while Toney wandered off for a moment. He said he'd talked to his mother in Philly that morning, and they already had twelve inches on the ground. His mother! The guy may have been a Civil War veteran, and he'd talked to his mother that morning on the phone! I'm picturing a spinal cord with a head, strapped to a recliner. As we made our way through the grocery aisles I once again found myself humming the Neil Young song "Welfare Mothers." It just happens, involuntarily, every time I go there. And if you think that's mean, you should've heard the insensitive remark Toney made in the produce section. She said that if the city of Scranton ever decides to levy an ugly tax they could pave the streets in gold. Now that's mean, not to mention accurate.

-- The eye doctor's office just called and canceled my appointment today, because of the coming snow. I'm kinda relieved; medical stuff makes me nervous. All weekend I've been imagining them saying to me, "Mr. Kay, I'm sorry, but it's your eyes... they're going to have to come out." Is that irrational?

-- If you need more proof that I am the god of hipness, let me tell you about the RV Show that Toney and I attended on Friday... It was in Allentown, which meant we drove eighty miles. Then we paid fourteen bucks to get in, and two dollars to park. Need more convincing? OK. We also found the camper for us: a Coleman pop-up deal with a twelve foot box. Yes, a twelve-foot box. Get off my back. The shit is nice. It has A/C, king-sized beds, a screened-room, etc. etc., and is relatively inexpensive. Someday in the near future we plan to buy one, and take it to Maine and Cape Cod and other places we couldn't afford under normal circumstances. I never could've predicted this would happen, but I still think it's a good idea, even after months of thinking about it. Jeff Kay camping... it boggles the mind.

Just for fun(!) we also checked out the big expensive tour buses. Hardwood floors, ceiling fans, a frickin' garage (I swear it's true -- they had a camper with a garage built into the back of it!), marble countertops, French doors on the bedrooms, and on and on. Pretty damn amazing. This is a couch with seatbelts, and here are a few of the features on a unit that costs more than our first two houses, combined.

-- Another bit of Nancy news: Sunshine told Toney (it's great having a spy in the house of soy!) that they were all at a restaurant last week, and a woman mistook Nancy's two sons for daughters. She said something like, "Oh, I bet your little girls already have themselves a few boyfriends around town, huh?" Quick, can you figure out why this innocent remark pissed Nancy off? Give it some thought... Yes, she was offended that the woman automatically assumed they'd be heterosexual. It wasn't that they were mistaken for girls. She was irritated that her two toddler boys were mistaken for straight girls. And if I know Nancy, she won't rest until her sons are assumed to be lesbians. A mother's work is never done.

But I'm done. I have more but, frankly, I'm tired of writing. I feel like hoisting my big butt slabs out of this chair and moving them to a chair in another room. You have to keep the circulation going in your slabs, you know. Holy crap, it's snowing like a bastard outside! Perhaps I was a little too quick to judge?

See ya on Thursday.


February 13, 2003

A few things:

-- I bought a CD burner in November, and it sat unopened in the floor of the bunker until last weekend. Lots of people told me they're easy to install, and I was fairly confident I could figure it out, but I kept putting it off. The thought of taking the cover off my computer box, and rooting around in there, intimidated me. It seemed a little like attempting surgery on our dog Andy -- it was something that just called out for procrastination. But last weekend I decided I'd finally do it, I'd bite the bullet and get it over with. The neglected box in the corner was starting to mock me, and call me some very hurtful things.

So, on Saturday I pulled out the fifty or sixty wires plugged into the back of the tower (how will I ever get them all back in the right holes?!), dusted everything really well, and made a big production of placing it in the middle of the family room floor. I then took the burner out of its box, gathered two or three different sized Philips-head screwdrivers, and prepared myself a nice cold drink. I think I may have even warned everyone to stand back: give me room!!

Yep, I couldn't figure out how to get the cover off.

I took out loads of screws, but it didn't make any difference. The shit was still as solid as a cube of steel. What the fuck?! It didn't take long before I was spewing a litany of obscenities, and waving my arms all around. This is one of the reasons I don't attempt anything like this -- I don't know what the hell I'm doing, and it pisses me off. I may as well just take my balls down to Mailboxes Etc. and have them packed away in Styrofoam. Sometimes I feel like I'm not worthy of male genitalia.

Toney suggested I check out the bulletin board at the library for local computer geeks eager to exploit pitiful human beings such as myself. I did that, but there was nothing concerning computer repairs. If I'd needed a pet-sitter, or a person to feed oats to my Alzheimer's patient, I would've been in luck. But no geeks. I checked out the bulletin board at the coin laundry too, but there was only a warning against washing horse blankets "or any other animal-related blankets" in their washing machines. Dammit. I had to get that burner installed; I was on a mission.

Somehow, from deep under the scar tissue, I remembered an obscure sign I'd seen advertising a computer repair shop in our little town, and I actually found it again. Amazing. I called the number and the guy told me to bring it in on Tuesday morning, and he'd install it for $25. He'd also install the software, he said, and show me how everything works. Fuckin'-A! Problem solved. Good ol' money, ya gotta love it.

I took everything in on Tuesday morning, and picked it up the same day on my lunch break. I was mildly concerned I'd go back and the shop would be empty, and there'd be no sign that anyone had ever been there.  Or worse, the cops would be waiting on me because of something scandalous found on my hard drive. But it was smooth sailing. The guy was very helpful and understanding of my dumbassery, and I appreciated it. I thought he got a little over-excited about the upgrades they'd apparently made to the software, but what do I care? What does it matter that he sounded like he was ready to mount and hump my tower when I talked to him on the phone later that morning? He did a fine fine job.

And that night I made my first CD: over sixty minutes of rare Payola$ music downloaded from the Internet. I am now technologically in 1998, and I couldn't be more proud.

-- Last week I asked Toney to make me an appointment with an eye doctor. I'm generally averse to all things medical, but I need to make a half-assed effort to take care of my eyes. They're not the greatest, and I worry that someday they might just stop working altogether. The glasses that blind people wear are kinda cool, but I don't think I could train Andy to be a seeing-eye dog. His passion for squirrel-chasing would surely get me run over by a heating oil truck, or something. No, I need to get myself a Scranton doctor, who can look after my dollar-store eyeballs. Blindness just won't do.

I have a feeling the guy here won't be anywhere near as cool as my California doctor though. That guy took casual to the next level. He was great. He not only wore Hawaiian shirts all the time, but during my first visit he gave me an exam I'll never forget. He had me sitting there with a gigantic piece of machinery pressed against my face, flipping different lenses into place, and asking how it effected my vision. He kept saying, "Is this better? How's this? Shitty? Is this shitty or better? And this? Shittier? Shittier or better?" It was like having Larry David for an optometrist. The guy here won't be anything like that, I guarantee it. I'm glad I got to live in California for a while. It's like a foreign country.

-- Speaking of California, I was talking to my boss on the phone earlier this week, just shooting the shit, wondering what might have happened to people who had left the company. He asked if I'd heard anything about an old man who'd retired three or four years ago, and I told him no, that he's probably just running his mail-order pickle business. "What the hell?!" he said. He didn't know the old guy ran a pickle business in his spare time, and this seemed to amuse him. "He looks like the kind of person who eats a lot of pickles," he said. I laughed and asked what he meant, and he said, "I don't know, he just looks like the type of guy who eats pickles and olives and nuts and shit." I don't know why I think that's so funny, but I do. How could a person look like he eats olives?

-- Nancy and Sunshine apparently got into a loud argument in a clothing store this past weekend, because Nancy wanted to buy her oldest son a skirt for his birthday. Yes, a skirt. Sunshine told her she wouldn't allow it, and this, of course, led to one of Nancy's high-horse speeches about gender roles and such. Sunshine reportedly put her foot down, and nobody ever does that with Nancy. Even the sales clerks were turning on her, over her plan to dress her four year old son in a dress and tap shoes, or whatever. She's used to getting her way, and I guess she just lost her shit over it. Excellent. Sunshine also told Toney that the birthday party was attended mostly by "bull dykes."

-- Check it out: Chris's gargoyle adventures were recently mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle. There were similar blurbs in papers in Dallas, TX and Providence, RI as well, and it all just blows my mind. To think, I used to play Wiffle Ball with the guy back before he became a national celebrity. It's only a matter of time before he's appearing in Pepsi commercials with Ludacris. Yowza.

-- You may call me a loser, but I look forward to this all year: the Village Voice's Pazz n Jop Survey came out this week! My inverted nipples are erect with delight.

-- I'm thinking about getting this for Toney's Valentine's Day present. What do you think? The winters are hard on her, and she might benefit from such a program.

-- If you promise to come back, I'd like to suggest a visit to Jennifer Bishop's excellent site Buttafly. She's funny and smart and a bunch of other stuff that makes me nervous. You've got five minutes, and I want you back here, goddammit. Don't make me stop this car.

And I think that'll do it. I'm taking a vacation day tomorrow, and Monday is President's Day, so I'm looking at four big days off, baby. Have a good one, yo.

February 10, 2003

-- It occurred to me this morning that in ten or twenty years the dial-up noise we hear when signing onto the Internet (zzzzhhhhh rrrrrr bong bong bong weeee...) will have become nothing more than another obscure trigger for pop culture nostalgia. On sitcoms and movies set way back in the uncomplicated days of the late '90s, characters will be shown sitting for an exaggerated period (as Stone Temple Pilots play softly in the background) in front of comically oversized monitors, waiting for the godawful racket to end. And we'll all laugh and laugh and laugh at how primitive and goofy we all were. It'll be like Pong and "Where's the beef?"

I sometimes look around and try to figure out what will seem strange and dated to future generations, and it's not a particularly easy thing to do. We're all creatures of our times.

A few months ago Toney and I watched Wall Street, which was filmed near the end of the Reagan era, I think. There's a scene where the super-rich Michael Douglas is walking along a beach talking into a wireless phone. I'm sure it was the latest technology at the time, and we were probably wowed by it. But the shit was as big as a loaf of French bread, with a huge, wagging Ron Jeremy antennae on top. We both busted out laughing at the ridiculous piece of equipment. It seemed military-like, and would probably require some sort of leather head-harness, if one were to carry on a conversation that lasted for more than twenty seconds. And I wonder how much airtime cost back then? Fifty bucks a minute? Good stuff.

I feel like everything has changed in the last twenty or so years. If you watch movies from the '40s and '50s life didn't seem all that different from the early '80s, when I graduated from high school. The fashions changed, but technology was roughly the same. Beaver Cleaver's house wasn't much different from the house I grew up in (except my Dad liked to showboat his flatulence). But the house I grew up in is way different than the ones of today. Microwaves, computers, cordless phones, 500 TV channels, satellite dishes, VCRs, DVDs, televisions that can be hung on a wall like a painting, TiVo, toaster-sized stereos that play little shiny discs... It's freaky. I'm only forty years old and I feel like I've lived in two different historical eras.

And in twenty years this whole weblog deal will undoubtedly seem as old-fashioned and quaint as the wild unsculpted pubes in the pages of 1970s Playboy magazines. And I'll get one step closer to achieving my dream of becoming a human punchline, like Erik Estrada and Twisted Sister.

-- There's a woman at my job who is dangerously addicted to signage. It started innocently enough with a "Let's Keep Our Workplace Clean" sign, or something harmless like that, but it apparently acted like a gateway drug and she's now clearly out of control. Every time something happens that irritates her (a frequent occurrence), she hangs up a new sign. Her workspace is overrun with computer-generated warnings against making personal phone calls and talking to her while she's making a call, various tips on when and how to turn off the lights, pleas to clean out the refrigerator more regularly, rules and regulations regarding the copier, one of those "51% sweetheart, 49% bitch" deals (she might want to check the calibration on that one), etc. etc. It's an amazing thing to behold. It would take ten solid minutes to read them all. I'm thinking about organizing an intervention; something has to be done. All signs point to the rapid onset of batshit crazy.

-- Toney made "white beans" one night last week for dinner. It's a West Virginia delicacy that she learned to prepare from my mother, and I love 'em. That was good, but the following night she made a 5-bean soup, and I spent the next two days feeling like the Underdog balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was a gaseous one-two punch of Biblical proportions. I had to walk around in a perma-clench all day Thursday and Friday, in a state of absolute misery. I'm just now able to relax my muscles a bit. I snuck off by myself a couple of times at work to vent the pressure valve, and nearly blew the paper towel dispenser off the bathroom wall. Never again. When you find yourself both shocked and frightened by your own bodily emissions, it's time to heed the writing on the wall. And I think the government should take a look at that 5-bean soup, I really do. I'm now convinced that, under the proper conditions, it would be possible to fart down a jetliner. I think I'm going to send Tom Ridge a letter about it.

-- I heard a news story on an LA radio station last week about an old woman being killed by stray gang-related gunfire. Apparently she was one of those legendary bad neighborhood matriarchs you see in movies and on Kojak re-runs, and people were pretty busted up about it. One guy they interviewed was on the verge of crying and said, "She was a hell of a lady. That woman could cook her ass off."

-- Toney and I were driving behind a car on Saturday, and at first we thought the driver was getting himself really worked up over his music. I wondered aloud if he was listening to Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes. We sat at a red light and watched him moving all around and flailing his arms. It was pretty funny, but nothing particularly unusual -- there's dumbasses everywhere. But then he kept doing it, even when he was driving. His head was jerking to the side, whipping and snapping, and he kept leaping around in his seat, practically moving over to the passenger side and back. His car would occasionally cross the center line, then shoot to the right and almost go up on the curb. What in the honeybaked hell?! We could see his silhouette inside the car thrashing around like he was caught up in a swarm of hornets. "I don't think he's dancing, I said, "I think he's got the palsy." Toney told me to go around him if I could; we were both getting a little nervous. Finally I sped past and we looked over as we went by. The guy practically had his knees against the glass in the driver's door, his face was all contorted, and the cigarette in his mouth was bobbing and weaving so fast it was almost a blur. (He was smoking too?!) I noticed the rearview mirror was knocked straight up and down. Shit. We checked the newspaper the next day, but didn't see any reports about massive death and carnage caused by a hospital escapee in a Honda.

-- Some people around the corner from us still have their Christmas tree up. They stopped turning the lights on a few weeks ago, probably out of shame, but you can still see the thing sitting in the corner of their living room. How goddamn lazy must you be? I'm both appalled and happy about it; every time I drive by there I can't help but feel a little better about myself. It's nice to have something to point to and say, at least I'm not that bad. I'm thinking about sending them a thank-you card.

-- It was an artsy weekend here at the Compound. I watched three movies: Ulee's Gold, Lone Star, and Igby Goes Down. All were excellent but, damn, I'm gonna have to rent a couple of Police Academys to get the taste back in my mouth.

-- I'm listening to the first Cracker CD right now and, man oh man, it sounds good. It's one of my all-time favorites, in case you're keeping score. "Can I take my guns up to heaven?"  It doesn't get much better.

-- The Michael Jackson documentary on Thursday was simply excellent. I don't want to spend too much time on it, since the whole world has weighed in already, but here are a few things that stood out to me:

He makes his kids wear Mardi Gras masks wherever they go -- big sparkly butterflies and such, strapped to their faces. It's like something out of an avant-garde European film. I mean, what the fuck?!

The oldest kid looks like Dennis the Menace -- straight blonde hair and the whole nine yards. This is the biological child of a black man? Call me a cynic, but I don't think we're getting the full story on that deal.

Michael now resembles an insect. He looks like he'd love nothing more than to suck a pint of blood out of someone's calf. He's a full-blown mutilated needle-nosed freak-man.

Toney said there should be "a special place in hell" for the women who turned over their kids to him, and I agree. They should all be roomies in the house of the devil, and Alan Dershowitz should be their apartment manager.

The King of Pop's youngest kid is called "Blanket"(?!?), and the scene where he's trying to give him a bottle will be burned into my memory for years to come. I don't think I'm a good enough writer to describe it, so I won't even try. But it was more disturbing than anything I've seen since my mother's brain surgery.

And the sight of Michael Jackson sitting in the top of a tree while wearing a thousand-dollar silk shirt will be pretty hard to forget as well.

I'm sorry, but the segment where the twelve year old kid was clasping Michael's hand and leaning his head against his shoulder was deep-dish gayness. The kid looked like a devoted wife standing by her man. I try to imagine my friends, at age twelve, holding a male pop star's hand and snuggling up to his shoulder, and it just makes me laugh. I'm thinking of Rocky and Daryl Hall, or Mark and the lead singer of Los Lobos. I'm laughing just typing the words.

I found it mildly disturbing that Michael was constantly wrapping masking tape around his fingertips as he talked, almost absent-mindedly. The freakiness of that man is deeper than the ocean.

One of my favorite parts was when the filmmaker was grilling Michael about the fact that he lets children sleep in his bed with him. He kept asking if he'd allow his kids to sleep in the bed of another man, and Michael was spitting and sputtering and trying to come up with an answer. Finally he said, "Sure. I'd let them sleep with Barry Gibb if they wanted to." I almost shit directly into my pants.

And I think I'll end it right there. I could ramble on and on, but I'll spare ya. I'll be back on Thursday, with a little Nancy news. I think there are laws against writing about both Michael Jackson and Nancy on the same day. So, until then... have a great week.

February 6, 2003

A few things:

-- It's already being taken for granted, but the Internet still manages to blow me away. Yesterday, at work, I listened to the morning show on Atlanta's 99X, a chunk of Neal Boortz's program, Colin Powell's presentation to the UN, an hour or so of an old American Top 40 show with Casey Kasem, a cooking show from 1938 (mesmerizing!), the 80s alternative station on Spinner, and part of Clive Bull's "call-in programme" from London. It's pretty amazing.

I'm old enough to remember when there was a channel on cable television that was nothing but a camera panning back and forth over a clock, a thermometer, and a barometer -- all day long, back and forth. We called it the clock channel, and I'm pretty sure it was in black and white; if you wanted to know the temperature or the barometric pressure inside the Capitol Cablevision offices in Charleston, WV, buddy, you were in luck. Hell, I even remember when every house in the world had an ugly-ass "aerial" on its roof, before they busted out with the cutting-edge clock channel technology. That's how old I am.

Now look at all the incredible coolness we have at our fingertips (and how nice and uncluttered the houses seem). The other day I remembered a PJ O'Rourke article I liked from The National Lampoon and within seconds I had it on my screen, twenty-five years after it was published. I know I probably sound like a hillbilly shitting into his overalls at the first sight of the amazing electricalized doors down at the grocery market, but it all still blows me away.

I think it's almost sinful not to screw around on the Internet for a few hours every day. I believe it's our duty to surf, and God won't be happy with us if we don't.

-- On a related note, I always get a kick out of the many countries listed in the webstats for this site. I don't really understand it, but people visit my little exercise in self-indulgence from seemingly every country on the planet. I try to picture a guy in Mozambique hanging out and reading about my stolen underwear, and it nearly makes my brain melt.

Earlier this week I saw a place listed called Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and I'd never even heard of it. I did a little research and, according to the CIA website(!?), it's located in "Southeastern Asia, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, south of Indonesia, about halfway from Australia to Sri Lanka." Population 632. It has a five-man police force, and the main source of income is from fishing and selling coconuts.

It's frickin' Gilligan's Island! I'm picturing a guy on an exercise bike, powering a computer constructed of bamboo and seashells, and another man sitting on a big rock reading about the time Rocky shit in a teacher's file cabinet in Dunbar, WV in 1980. It's too bizarre. If you live in Cocos (Keeling) Islands, or any other exotic locale, I beg of you to drop me a quick note. I'm an Ugly American, and I find all of this utterly fascinating; I'd love to know your thoughts.

-- Speaking of Rocky, he's started a campaign to try to convince me to attend a NASCAR race with him and Bill this spring. I'm not sure, but I think there are laws in several Southern states that disallow the three of us from traveling together. It's just too volatile a cocktail. He keeps sending me instant messages that say, "Just think: NASCAR, beer, and tube tops!" And I tell him he's forgotten hospitalization, incarceration, and divorce. Holy crap, if I were to agree to something like that, it would surely lead to disaster. At the very least it would replace the Shane MacGowan concert and my brother's wedding at the top of Toney's list of Terrible Things Jeff Has Done. On the other hand, I'd probably get some pretty good stories out of it...  I've never been to jail.

-- I bought a Three Stooges calendar last weekend for a buck, and hung it over my desk at work. It's pretty cool; this month they're dressed as policemen. The only problem is, Curly's eyes seem to follow me all around the room. No matter where I'm standing or sitting I look up and he's staring right at me, with those accusatory beady eyes. It's freaking me out.

-- Can someone please explain this to me?

-- I received an email yesterday from a person asking if I'd link to his website, which advertises an "erotic bakery." Generally I wouldn't go for something like this, but since it's a little smutty... 

If you find yourself in New York City, and in need of a vagina sheetcake or a giant chocolate scrotum, check out Kopp's Bakery! Same location since 1924.

And now that I've linked to ya, I'd like a little something in return, guys.  I'd appreciate it if you'd include this quote on your site: 

"At Kopp's you can have your cock and eat it too!" 

I'll be awaiting your reply.

I've got a bunch of other stuff, but I'm all out of time here; I couldn't get me fat ass out of bed this morning. I'll get caught up on Monday though. You can take that to the bank, mister. Don't forget to watch the Michael Jackson freakshow on 20/20 tonight. I'm psyched. There are few things more entertaining than celebrities who have gone insane. I'll be there, with my outsized sack of Lay's cheese chips, hanging on every surgical mask and apeshit syllable.

See ya Monday.

February 3, 2003

-- I was eating breakfast on Saturday and somehow managed to suck a sizable hunk of scrambled eggs deep into my windpipe. This touched off a violent coughing and hacking jag that I feared would only end when my lifeless body hit the floor. For some reason, as soon as my air supply became jeopardized, I sprang to my feet. Instincts told me it would be better if I were standing and straight-backed; primal survival techniques were kicking in. I had tears streaming down my cheeks and I imagine my head was rapidly changing colors, like a cartoon. It was scary. Every time I took a breath I could feel the egg wad vibrate in there, and I'd go off again. It was a vicious cycle: cough & hack, gasp for air, wiggle-wiggle, cough & hack, gasp for air, wiggle-wiggle... It went on for minutes. I couldn't get a handle on it.

And Toney just continued eating with a "here we go again" expression on her face, as if I'm well-known for choking on eggs. She acted like I was Jerry Lewis, and I had a water glass hanging out of my mouth again. I think she managed to ask if I was OK, while putting more salt on her hashbrowns, but that was about it. I'm lucky to be alive, and all I got was a half-assed, "Are you OK?"

Man, oh man. That life insurance policy we bought last year changed everything. Admittedly it might just be paranoia, but I think she was sitting there watching me choke and seeing a 2003 Dodge Durango slowly materialize. The guy at State Farm never mentioned the side-effects of being worth more dead than alive. He failed to inform me that once I signed on the dotted line my death could suddenly come to mean "heated bucket seats." It's like something out of an O. Henry story.

-- I don't have anything to say about the Space Shuttle explosion. There's nothing I can add. I'm Jeff Kay, and it's best to just accept the limitations that come with that deal. Expecting me to say something poetic and inspirational about such an event would be like asking the Dead Milkmen to write the score for Schindler's List. It's simply not advisable.

-- How come new jeans always have sand or something in the pockets? (This is more my speed.) I bought a new pair last week and washed them before I put them on, but they still had some kind of grittiness in all the pockets. What's the deal with that? The magnetic strip on my ATM card wouldn't work after I carried it around in those new jeans for half a day. The friction created by pouches of sand hanging off my ass is, I imagine, considerable, and the card was completely wrecked. Maybe I could get a job with local jewelers, load my pockets with precious stones and polish them by walking around the mall and eating a Blizzard? Maybe that would be the new rage, genuine mall-polished ass rubies? I can hear Joan Rivers now: "Vanessa Redgrave! Is that a string of Scranton butt-pearls you're wearing tonight?!" 

...I think I need some sleep.

-- I watched two movies over the weekend.

Sunshine State was produced, written, and directed by John Sayles, and is basically one of these types of films. A lot of it was compelling, but there was no resolution. That, I think, means it's smart; I just couldn't say for sure. I enjoyed watching it, but would've liked to see where it all led. Or are we to provide our own individual answers to that question -- something artsy like that? Ha! In my opinion there's a thin line between art and laziness. It's like only painting half your house, flopping down on the couch, and claiming it's a statement about the plight of oppressed women in Afghanistan. I was a little irritated by the way it played itself out, but I found myself thinking about it all day on Sunday. So, make of that what you will.

The Gathering Storm was better. It's the story of Winston Churchill during the years preceding World War II. He was alarmed by the activities in Germany, eventually becoming convinced Hitler's country was ramping up for war. But few people in Parliament wanted to believe him. He wasn't Prime Minister at this point, just another elected official with limited power.

They tried to ignore his speeches on the subject, then became openly hostile when that didn't do the trick. They called him a war-monger and crazy and stupid, and worse. They gave snotty counter-speeches about the horrors of war, reminding everyone of how many people could be killed, and citing opinion polls. Some said they'd rather give Hitler what he wanted, than to get involved in another brutal war. It was all doom-and-gloom, and hand-wringing, and naked political calculations. Then when Churchill began effecting public opinion, the appeasers in the British government resorted to cheap tricks to try to silence him.

Any of this sound familiar? It's easy, in 2003, to see how wrong the appeasers were, and how right Churchill was, but it's a little more confusing when you don't yet know the ending. The things they were saying in 1938, are almost exactly what they're saying now. Bush is now dangerous and dumb and itching for a war. Obviously the situations aren't identical, but they're pretty damn close. What are we to make of it all? If this were a John Sayles movie it would end right here, and we'd go off to a wine bar and discuss the implications over a lovely brie. Truthfully, I can see the attraction.

-- On a related note, Colin Powell (the man anti-war activist Harry Belafonte recently characterized as George Bush's house nigger, because he dared to have differing opinions) is being sent to the United Nations to lay out the US case for action against Iraq. Supposedly some of the information is so sensitive it will burn a few spies and informants, and shut down the flow of intelligence from them in the future. I guess they believe it's important enough to try to convince the nay-sayers. They didn't call and ask my opinion, but I think they're wasting their time. If Powell went to the UN and popped in a videocassette showing Saddam Hussien and Osama bin Laden using an atom bomb, with "Good Morning America!" written on the side in chalk, as a teeter-totter, Susan Sarandon would be on TV by sundown hinting that it was manufactured or doctored by "the current administration." So-called experts would study the video and point out that the direction of the shadows don't make any sense, and conclude that it's probably a fake. It's like the OJ Simpson trial, there's simply no convincing the people who don't want to believe. Why waste the time? As my fourth-grade teacher used to say, "Fuck 'em."

-- Here's the web home of the Jack Off to Joyce DeWitt Club, and a place where you can buy a bottle of Hung Wang, in case you're interested.

-- I sent out one of my email newsletters late last week, and a bunch of them bounced back to me. If you didn't get it, and think you're signed-up, please take a second or two to update your email address. I'm gonna clean up the list, and remove the bad addresses this week. If you aren't signed-up, what in the pan-fried hell are you waiting for?! Here's what the dispatches look like. Get on it, Jack. All the cool kids are doing it.

-- On Friday I stopped to get a haircut on my way home from work. My head was so heavy with a gigantic Bert Convy afro I could barely keep it upright. They seated me beside a teenage girl with long-ass hair. It was hanging in her face, and there was an intricate network of clips all over the top of her head. I couldn't really tell, but she looked like a hipster-chick. She was wearing baggy jeans and clunky tennis shoes, and was sitting pigeon-toed. Back before I became a burned-out old man I was quite the admirer of the hipster-chick. To this day a pair of Lisa Loeb horn rims raises my blood pressure a couple of notches; it's a personal weakness I'm not proud of... Anyway, when they whipped her hair off her face, I sneaked a glance, and I think I audibly gasped in reaction to what was hidden underneath. She was completely chinless; there was just a neck with a mouth in it, and her teeth were like rows of Rice Krispies. I think it was God's way of saying, "easy fella."

And that'll do it for today. See ya on Thursday folks.


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