Elizabeth Taylor’s Ring Gets A Surprising New Owner

[Headline, Huffington Post, 01/06/12]

First, I deplore the use of celebrity gear in voodoo rites. I wish that I had a nickel for every star who has died of lung cancer because some voodoo newbie didn’t know what he was doing.

Second, I’m sick and tired of standing by the Two-Buck Chuck in the Trader Joe’s on Vine and watching Brad Pitt’s cargo pants walk past on the legs of some pimply teenage trash cruiser. Stars used to donate their clothes locally. Now they ship them off to Cameroons or Dhalijalibab because some young woman wearing Angelina’s silk blouse seems to think that this gives her license to get up in Jolie’s grill and express herself on whatever crazy obsession of the moment.

By the time Elizabeth passed, her ring was her only remaining possession. Long before, you could walk down Sunset and spot the outlines of one of her famous bras, only partially filled, under some young student’s Hollywood High T-shirt. The town has become Vulture City. Certain stars, and I’m not naming Gwyneth or Jennifer, now buy stuff and hand it over directly to their fans, just to try and buy a few precious moments of peace.

Having said this, I know a guy who knows a guy who can get you pretty much whatever you want, as long as you’re willing to pay the freight. Let me know.

WATCH: World’s Scariest Roller Coaster?

(Huffington Post, 11/21/11)

Coaster Rules:

You must be at least one or two years old to ride. That is, you must be old enough to scream Help!

Lactating mothers: we do not recommend breastfeeding your child during the ride.

Not recommended on this ride: false teeth, toupees, glass eyes, falsies, wooden legs, wheelchair cases, crutches, comical hats, clutch bags, loose brooches, heart transplants less than a week old, anyone afflicted with the jimjams, fantods, hysterical blindness, the screaming meemies, neuritis, or neuralgia.

Please use the seatbelts that we provide. If you insist on standing up at some point during the ride, remember to refasten the belt when you sit down again, assuming that you’re still in the car.

If, when your coaster car reaches the very, very top, you decide to opt out of the ride down the other side, please step out onto the platform provided up there. Hold tightly to the handrail once you’re out, as the wind at that height can blow you right off the structure.

If, after the first circuit, the cars come through and your seat is empty, another ticket-holder will be allowed to take your place. If you show up later, having somehow survived your fall, you will not be given a free ride.

We are not legally required by State, County, or Town ordinances to provide you with statistics relating to the safety of this ride. This includes any information regarding fatalities.

No firearms, even though the Constitution guarantees your right to carry one, or more. If you’re going to be pig-headed about it, at least put the safety on.

Please do not eat during the ride.

If the individual seated in front of you does eat, we advise you not to attempt the Heimlich maneuver, at least while plunging downwards at speeds that will exceed 100 mph.

Do not smooch your sweetie on the ride if you are wearing braces, which can become like flashing knives on the whiplash curves.

We’ve given up on all our rules about vomiting.

Most important: Have fun!

My Life As A Mime

We lived in Flatfield, Iowa, next to a grain elevator. I was playing in the backyard with my mom when Silo #67 blew. It was one of those corn-dust explosions. The concussion ruptured my mom’s’ eardrums. My dad was standing outside the company headquarters at the time. He lost his eardrums too. In that moment, my parents were rendered deaf as a couple of scarecrows (as we used to say there in Flatfield).

My drums were spared because at the critical moment, I had my fingers stuck hard in my ears, to block out my mom’s scolding after I had soiled the sandbox. Unfortunately for me, whirling metal flak from the silo removed both of my hands at the wrists, which were cocked up in a way to support my fingers in my ear holes but which also inadvertently presented clean targets for the bladelike projectiles.

My fingers remained in my ears, but I could still hear my mother’s cries of dismay, even if she couldn’t.

Being a tough farming family, bred over the years from hardy immigrant stock, my mom and pop and I healed up and went on with our lives. Flatfield was set out on the plains where every farm had someone on it missing a digit or a limb, the toll taken by harvesters, axes, and the like. My parents learned signing for the deaf; I learned to use my new hooks. As I could not sign without articulated fingers,  I took up charade-like gesticulating as a way of communicating with my folks.

Thus began my lifelong career as a mime. Through mime grammar school, mime middle school, mime high school, mime summer programs and tutoring, mime college, and mime graduate school, all paid for with state and federal disability scholarships, as well as a few shekels chipped in by our local Lutheran church, I took as my major “Make ‘Em Laugh.” Counselors urged me time and again to consider the dramatic side of miming, but I felt that my greatest challenge lay in generating giggles and guffaws using only my hooks, my stumps, my wits, and my God-given talent. My parents supported me fully in this, although they were rarely able to figure out just what it was that I was trying to tell them.

Throughout school and thence out onto the street as a busker, I faced one relentless enemy, the mercy laugh. It was always present, merciless (as opposed to merciful), a specter that haunted me. Or does that metaphor even make sense? I credit my strength of character for my early successes as I struggled at school against those awful sympathetic titters. Children can be cruel.

Out on the street with my diploma in my hooks, I took up professional busking at the top, on 12th Street and 3rd Avenue. Few mimes, even the best of them, dared face those stoney financial faces heading to and from their labors in mahogany-lined offices, those investment bankers so used to screwing their fellow Americans (pardon my French) for a living.

I could handle the flinty hearts, but I couldn’t take the sympathy. Even those fiscal gnomes bathed me in it. In no time, I found myself retreating to 42 Street and then, as the weather grew colder, to 75th. Finally, I reached rock-bottom, miming on 102nd and Baldwin for a couple of homeless winos and a bankrupt dope fiend. The authorities found me in the gutter, covered with the Style and Home & Garden sections of the Sunday paper.

I began my rehab at the center on Soldiers Island. The staff fitted me out, at taxpayers’ expense, with the latest in new and improved hooks. I performed for the vets there, who were returning from the war in pieces. Amputees of every description. No need to worry about sympathy from this group.

And among them, an Army babe missing both her arms. Helicopter crash. She had a great laugh and a great body, what was left of it. I couldn’t wait to get my forearms around it. Plus, she discovered that she had a little thing for mimes. A lot of the servicemen around were hitting on her, but in addition to my profession, I had my proficiency with prosthetics going for me. After all, I’d been using hooks all my life. Inez (for that was her name) had further to go, needing arms as well as hooks, but she was a trouper, always ready for a laugh and a little bump and tickle.

Rehab complete, we moved in together, on the other side of the river. Inez  went back to law school and I started working the terminal-children wards at hospitals around the city. I got a lot of laughs from the kids and the staff with my hook-and-balloon act. Hooks popping balloons by accident never gets old. Neither does accidentally sitting on your hook, or a little innocent toilet humor, wiping with the hook.

We married, Inez and me. We had a couple of kids and as they grew up, it was good to have someone with hands around the house.

Lady Gaga Forgot Her Pants Again

(Huffington Post headline, 11/14/11)

Why does this rate a headline?

Dame Edith forgot her lorgnette for the opening at Epsom Downs. Now that was news.

I’ve forgotten my pants a time or two when going to work, but all that got me was a good spanking on the bare bottom by my boss, Mrs. Pregfort.

Colonel Smythe forgot a delivery of trousers to one of his battalions during the big war, but as he also sent them into a sector that he thought was safe but that was in fact the location of the Bosch high command, whence not one man returned alive, the fact that they had no clean pants to change into was rendered moot.

God Himself is said to have forgotten to take into account Man’s increased carbon emissions in this, the Late Industrial Age, so that the Supreme Being must now sit and watch helplessly as his children boil like lobsters in a pot, before He goes out and gets started on Earth 2.

The worst lapse occurred, according to scripture (refer to the Pseudepigrapha), when Satan was carrying out his revolt against Heaven. He planted a bomb under God’s throne, but in the confusion and tumult occasioned by the uprising’s inception, he and his lieutenants forgot to light the fuse.

Dog Calms Crying Baby

Headline in the Huffington Post 11/13/11.

Congratulations to Dora, a hound.

The baby had been crying for a long time (check the Guiness Book of World Records for details). Having broken that record, the family now wished to go for the “Animal calming crying baby” record. Points are awarded for how long the baby has been at it, the age of the baby, the length of time required for the animal to do the trick, and, of course, the animal’s species.

In the running, a chimp (disqualified because it had been lobotomized), several dogs, a litter of kittens, a porcupine (parents arrested for child endangerment), and several animals, also disqualified on the basis of Dr. Kravitz’s reseach, which shows that children falling silent in the face of a roaring lion, a slavering, growling wolf, or a hissing cobra, are not in fact being “calmed.”

Dora is known to have hated the incessant squalling. She could see the secret measures taken by Mom and Dad to keep the infant howling. She did not approve. For one thing, her doggy ears are more sensitive to a baby’s screams than are those of parents whose senses have been dulled by alcohol and heroin. She considered tearing out the thoats of these two addicted child-abusers, but Dora comes from a long line of well-trained hunting hounds. Not for her the easy (and fun) solution.

What were her options? Licking the caterwauling baby into submission? Offering her  nine canine dugs to little Kyle (number of dog nipples varies and is not necessarily an even number)? Bringing the child a snack, such as Gerber’s Sweet Potatoes? Learning how to operate the family entertainment center so as to play the youngster some Raffi? Surreptitious threats (throat-tearing again)?

Dora, who was originally rescued by a monastic pound and trained by its acolytes, was well-versed in the art of canine communication with the Devine. Dog prayer, in other words. As is well-known, all dogs go to heaven; not so well known is that they have an open line to the place. Few use it because few are so intelligent and hand-trained in the Catechism as a monkish (or in this case, nunish) hound.

Dora knelt, on her knees feeling rather like a sheep, and prayed that the little monstrosity would first, clam up, and second, be carted off by Child Protective Services to a decent home. She also asked for a dispensation regarding the parents, whose lives she held in her paws, especially when they had just fixed up and were nodding. God granted the first two wishes but denied the third. It is not deemed Christian that a pet murder its owner, even with cause.

Why teen sex films and teen sex movies are important

What are the best teen sex movies? What are the best teen sex scenes? Who are the hottest teen stars in teen sex scenes, in teen sex films? Why is this important?

I read somewhere that “teen sex movies” is a most-googled search item. I’m publishing this post to see whether anyone comes to read it as a result of a search-engine referral.

I wouldn’t bother, but three of my posts are titled Why sex at the movies is bad for teens, Why teen sex at the movies is so over, and Best Teen Sex Movies.  Search engines send readers to these posts, in spite of the fact that there must be a billion intertube pages about teen sex movies. Why my blog? It’s too late to track referrals to these posts from the beginning, so I’m starting fresh with this one.

I’ll return in a while and see which, if any, search terms brought readers to this page. Or, if absolutely nothing happens, perhaps I’ll just delete this post and slink back into the shadows to figure out some other way to do a little blogger whoring.

Later: Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. I check the search-engine terms used to reach my blog and find such as the following:

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What amazes me is the fact that there are a quazillion sex sites desperate for page hits but no, all these searchers, using all these search terms, are sent to my miniscule blog. Strange. (I will say that when I googled “wooled movies sex,” my blog didn’t seem to be among the top listings, although somebody found it in there somewhere… Whoops! Adding that sentence now puts me in the top five for the search.  Silked movies sex. Cottoned movies sex. Just in case.)

I mentioned channel 553 in a post, and I do come up second out of 7,880,000 hits for the search “sex channel 553,” which someone tried.

Perhaps I’ll delete all of my posts containing the word “sex”. Or just do a global change from “sex” to “Jesus.” No, wait. Then I’d get a whole new crowd of desperate surfers.

Otherwise, what we have here is just a blog page of disappointed readers.

Reality Show: Funerals

You may have been to one or more funerals (though I hope not). You’ve seen a million of them on TV and in the movies, and they’re all the same. Whereas weddings are all over the place, themewise.

This reality show, which I wrote, is now in pre-production. It’s called “Design a Funeral.”

There are five contestants:

– An interior designer

– A birthday clown/magician

– A wedding planner’s assistant

– An embalmer

– A lounge singer

Each week the contestants are provided with a funeral theme, venue, and budget and must each stage their own version of a funeral. An actor’s corpse is provided in the interest of verisimilitude There are five themes and the shows air every other week.

The themes/venues:

1. Public Pool – The pool is rented as for a big birthday party. The guests assemble at the bottom of the deep end, breathing via scuba equipment. The coffin is secured to the bottom of the pool. All oration is performed with the mouth uncovered to the water, so that it just sounds like burbling talk sounds, thus eliminating the most annoying aspect of funerals. When that’s finished, the coffin is loosed and floats up to the surface, symbolizing ascension to heaven, as all look up through their goggles. Later in the year, the mourners return and throw flower bouquets into the lanes during lap swimming.

2. The 101 – The hearse, and limos abreast, and more limos ranked in three rows behind, cruise down the 101 at the height of rush hour, at the four miles per hour typical at that time. The fleet brakes to a stop, creating instant gridlock behind and a maddeningly clear freeway ahead. The mourners jump out and the pallbearers extract the coffin from the hearse. A few quick words are spoken, hard to hear over the blare of hours and the shouts and curses of hundreds of frustrated drivers, crazy in the L.A. heat. The coffin is bourne over to the concrete divider to the left, and quickly shoved/tossed into the HOV lane heading in the opposite direction. The coffin is easily manipulated because it is made of paper and contains only the ashes of the deceased. Vechicles in the HOV lane quickly reduce the coffin to paper fragments and the ashes of the deceased are ground into the asphalt for a mile down the road. Later in the year, the mourners return and, car-pooling so that they qualify, cruise down the HOV lane scattering flowers through their open windows as they go.

3. Rock Concert – The deceased is brought to the concert, with a mourner on each side supporting him or her under the armpits. He/she isn’t too heavy, as his/her internal organs and so forth have been removed. He/she is going goth. He/she, at the proper time, will be projected into the mosh pit to surf. The mourners will return later, after the drugs have worn off, and try to find the body.

4. La Brea Tar Pits – The mourners will assemble behind the back wall of the tar-pit attraction at 2 A.M. on a weekday, with ladders and grappling equipment. They will scale the wall with the body of the deceased and gather inside at the edge of the hottest, deepest tar pit. After a few words have been spoken, about the  origin of the tar pits and the animals that have been trapped and perished in them, a metaphor for modern life, if I may presume, delivered by a bribed young employee who does the tours there, the deceased will be weighed down, if necessary, and consigned to the tar, there to be entombed until excavated and put on display at some future time. The mourners will return on the weekend to enjoy the pits as paying customers.

5. Wedding – The corpse in its coffin will be conveyed to the largest, most traditional wedding being held during prime time in the L.A. area. When questioned at the door by the wedding planner and the father of the bride, the mourners will claim that they have in fact reserved the church and that the Catholics have double-booked the chapel just to make an extra buck. Or the Jews, if this is a temple or synagogue. An argument will ensue. The bride will emerge. There will be tears. She will ask why the groom isn’t out there sticking up for their marriage. She will go in search of the groom, who will be discovered with the maid of honor. Meanwhile, the coffin will have been bourne in to the apse, if that’s the word I want. Bourne in to wherever the priest or rabbi is waiting, and put down. The cleric will be told to deliver a eulogy, at gunpoint if necessary. All the bridal floral wreaths and other flowers will be confiscated and bourne away with the coffin, which will be fit somehow into the trunk of the Just Married car, half of it sticking out in back. A red handkerchief will be tacked onto it for safety. The car will drive away (rice, no; tin cans on strings, yes) and once it’s out in some neighborhood, the coffin and its contents will be ditched on a front lawn and the mourners will all go to the beach to party. They will return to the church at some later date to sit listening to the sermon and then will put buttons in the collection basket.

Inappropriate Viewing!

I was about to watch some silly movie last night when it struck me that millions are now suffering from the Japan catastrophes and war in the Middle East. This gave me pause. No man is an island, even though at the time I was sitting alone on the couch with nothing but a bottle and a bong to keep me company. I felt a sudden jolt of energy as I realized that my caring and concern could make a difference to others! Instead of that silly movie, I rewatched Earthquake (1974) and Hell is for Heroes (1962).

Dog movies

I don’t have a dog. I hold no brief against dogs, mind you, but if I’ve got to watch a dog movie, I prefer that it be one about a guy who has turned into a dog, so that it’s actually more a  guy movie than a dog movie. Beyond The Shaggy Dog (1959) and its remake, I don’t know what my choices are with this, but it’s what I want.

If  it must be a movie about an actual dog, I’ll settle for the following:

– A big, rabid dog like Cujo (1983).

– A dog that’s the spawn of Hell, like Beefy in Little Nicky (2000).

– Goofy or Pluto

– A zombie dog. Blood Creek (2009) has zombie horses. There must be a movie out there with a crowd of human zombies and their dogs – humans and dogs alike having gone to the dogs. A sexy female weredog would also be acceptable.

– A talking dog, as in Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008).

Best would be a movie in which a cat, not a guy, turns into a dog. The owner whistles. The dog does not react. The owner shouts “Here, Spot! Come!” The dog does not react. The dog holds its tail straight up, weirding out the owner. The dog pads over to the sofa and stretches up to claw the cushions with those big black doggy claws. It keeps its tongue in its mouth.

No, wait. I’d rather go with a movie in which a monkey, not a cat, turns into a dog. The dog shows its teeth in a grin. It chatters. It eats a banana. It abuses itself.

Or if it’s got to be a movie about a real dog, maybe it’s a dog who turns into an octopus. A giant octopus, say, that pulls itself up onto the Golden Gate Bridge, and then along the bridge’s fast lane into the city, where it lifts all eight tentacles at once and pisses on a hydrant.

“Saw” Redux

Checked out a pile of books at the library yesterday, including “Mr. Wolf and the Three Bears,” by Jan Fearnly (Harcourt, Inc. Copyright 2001). Forgot my rule: avoid children’s books with “fear” in them.

On the couch with the two- and three-year-old grandkids, reading.

The Mr. Wolf story: nice wolfe and his grandma prepare for a visit by the three bears. The wolves cook up some treats (after carefully washing their paws): sandwiches for momma bear, using recipes from a magazine article; cupcakes for poppa bear, using a recipe from a tv cooking show; a birthday cake for baby bear, using a recipe from a cookbook; finally, an added treat, required by the plot if not by logic, using a recipe from the intranet. Then the wolves clean the house, make party hats, etc., etc.

The bears arrive, but uh oh. The annoying Goldilocks has tagged along. She hogs the food, opens all the presents, and is in general a bad-mannered nuisance and pest.

Finally, it’s game time. Hide and seek. But, says Grandma Wolf, no one is allowed to hide in the kitchen.  The game drags on a bit as it seems to take grandma a long time to find everybody. When she has done so, it appears that Goldilocks has left and gone home without even saying goodbye.

From the text:

“Never mind,” said Grandma. “She’s gone now, and I’ve made us a special treat to celebrate.”

She disappeared into the kitchen…

[Next page]

…and emerged with a great big beautiful pie, all golden and steaming hot from the oven, with a buttery, crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth crust right on top.

[Picture of Grandma Wolf bringing out a huge pie.]

“Grandma!” cried Mr. Wolf. “You made a pie after all! Where did you find the ingredients?”

[Picture of the three bears and two wolves all licking their lips as they eyeball the  steaming pie on the table.]

“Oh, you never know what you’ll find in the kitchen when you’re playing hide-and-seek,” she said, smiling. “Happy birthday, Baby Bear!”

[They put four candles on the steaming pie. Baby bear is delighted. Grandma Wolf sits back in her easy chair with a big grin. Her white apron has remained spotless.]

My grandkids look at each other. They look at me.

“So, Grandpa,” they say. “What’s in the pie?”