There are two things of which I am certain. The first: Death awaits us all. The second: The majority of human beings will end up saying at least a couple of words within their lifetime. When examined individually, neither of these events seems significant. A guy drops dead in front of you? Eh, big deal. It was bound to happen sooner or later. You hear someone speak? So what. Not surprising at all. Well, unless you're deaf. Then it'd probably be pretty shocking. Well, unless you're a deaf schizophrenic. Then you might not be too shocked by a disembodied voice.
Although...what if you were a schizophrenic who's been deaf since birth? Then you wouldn't even know what human speech sounds like. So if the voice of, say, Micheal Landon popped into your head one morning and started shouting things like "Chew on that baby's arm!" "Start a fire in the public library!" "Those dogs are laughing at you!" "Masturbate into an aquarium!" it would probably just sound like "Blaguhblagublah!". Also you wouldn't even know it was the voice of the dreamy-eyed heartthrob who played "Pa" on Little House on The Prairie and "Teenager Who Gets Turned Into a Werewolf" in I Was A Teenage Werewolf you were hearing, so the fear you feel wouldn't even be mitigated by the fond childhood memories that would've normally been conjured-up upon hearing said voice. Anyway, just some food for thought.
Celebrity last words!
The other alternative is to rely on idiotic folk wisdom like "you get what you pay for". But of course, whenever any reasonably wealthy person follows "you get what you pay for" to its logical conclusion they end up buying German cars, $7 bags of "organic" corn chips, and eight thousand dollar sets of Bose speakers simply because these were the most expensive options available to them at the time.
Anyway, here's a bunch of entertainingly-overpriced crap.
To whom it may concern,
I know letters like this are a dime a dozen, but I hope you’ll hear me out, because I've got an axe to grind, and I'm afraid I can't just let sleeping dogs lie. I know what you're thinking: My advice is about as welcome as a skunk at a lawn party. If it's not one thing, it's another! But make no bones about it, there's a method to my madness, and once the cat is out of the bag, you'll be thanking your lucky stars that I got down to brass tacks instead of fudging and mudging like a lost dog in high weeds. So let's run this up the flagpole and see who salutes it.
What if I told that written poetry was on its way out? What if I told you you there was another way to enjoy poetry? What if I told you that instead of READING words arranged on a page, you could rip a poem open, hollow it out, and wriggle INSIDE of it in order to literally EXPERIENCE the thoughts and emotions of its author?
If you're like most people, you'll almost certainly respond to these questions by screaming until your father runs into the room wielding a fire poker and bellows, "Sweet Christ! How the hell did you get into our house?! Answer me! ANSWER ME YOU SON OF A BITCH! Cheryl?...CHERYL! Call the police! There's a goddamn MANIAC in Katie's room! Jesus God, HURRY!"
That, or you'll just ask me to explain what I'm talking about. For simplicity's sake, I'm just gonna go ahead and assume you've asked the latter question so I can get started.
For example, I was able to come up with several fairly decent ideas a few weeks ago when I placed a rusted can of quintuple-filtered spray butane to my left nostril and held the nozzle open until the room began to vibrate and shriek and indescribable colors exploded all around me and my screams became muffled as the walls pushed in and in until consciousness failed me and I knew no more.
Upon awakening, I found myself entombed in a small chamber of pulsating, amaranthine velvet. Though I did not know it at the time, it was to be my home for the next several centuries. And although the pod was cheaply furnished and the lone bookshelf contained only a small rumpled-up stack of older Highlights magazines (in which most of the mazes and puzzles had already been completed...IN PEN), I was determined to make the best of a bad situation.
So while it is true that the endless I spent imprisoned in that were neither interesting nor eventful, I was able to spend a lot of quality time reflecting on my life, which in turn lead me to consider the human condition and eventually the very nature of existence itself. And while it is also true that none of this rumination ever resulted in anything in anything other than a drowsiness or a mild headache, I did end come up with a few pretty decent ideas for alarm clocks while I was in there.
So here are some of those.
Hope you like great jokes.
It has recently come to my attention that many of you view me as a selfish, emotionally distant, and frequently condescending jerk with little or no respect for the beliefs, traditions, or feelings of others. While I can definitely see how people may have arrived at these conclusions, I can assure you that some of them are almost certainly untrue. Untrue, and extremely hurtful. And although the lifetime of social and psychological torment I've suffered at the hands of my peers has blunted my emotions so thoroughly that slanderous accusations like these no longer trouble me, I still do not appreciate being made to hear them.
In any event, I'm not here to insult you by using this space to "tell you how sorry I am for the many cruel and hurtful things I've allegedly done to many of you out of disdain or apathy" or even to admit how I'm constantly "using feigned nonchalance and dry humor to keep everyone I know at arm's length so I don't have to deal with the painful feelings which inevitably arise in healthy 'two-way' relationships". No, I won't waste your time by apologizing for any of those things right now.
I'm here for one reason, and one reason only: To let you all know that I forgive you. Each and every one of you. And to prove it, I'm giving you all a gift: The gift of the good feelings which arise from doing something nice for another human being: Me.
But I will say that what my inbox lacks in hate-based mail, it more than makes up for in Inexplicable & Vaguely Troubling mail. I sure do get a lot of that. Well, maybe slightly more than "a lot": Approximately 96% of the email I receive is inexplicable & vaguely troubling. And while it's possible that this is simply another, significantly less effectual form of hatemail (i.e. "I'm gonna teach this jackass a lesson by sending him an insane email!), I really don't think this is the case. Far more likely is these people are either elderly and confused, blasted out of their minds on designer narcotics, simply psychotic, or possibly even all three.
Either way, get a real kick out of responding to Inexplicable & Vaguely Troubling emails, so I guess everybody wins. Well, everyone except the people who decide to read this. But if they do that, they've really got no one but themselves to blame.
Some people never learn.
As such, I feel I have a unique understanding of the skillset an old person must cultivate to survive in this fast-paced modern world of ours. So that's why I've decided to create a series of "How-To" pamphlets for Seasoned Citizens.
It's Funny You Should Ask What The Most Popular News Stories Were On The 10th Anniversary Of 9/11. It Just So Happens That I Have That Information.10.2011
But don't worry, this isn't political commentary or a somber, teary-eyed tribute to the victims of 9/11. Lucky for you, I have very little respect for arbitrary days of remembrance. It seems awfully silly to be "extra sad" on a particular iteration of a holiday simply because happens to be divisible by a nice round number. Also, it bugs me how successful most news outlets are at using milestones like these to squeeze a bunch of extra advertising dollars out of the public. I guess the point I'm trying to make is: People be gullible, yo.
Anyway, to summarize: I took some screenshots from a bunch of news sites on 9/11/2011 and if you suspect you might be interested in what other people were ostensibly interested in on this particular date, you might want to take a quick look.
You will find them listed below, in no particular order. Godspeed. (And just to clarify: These are not fake, nor have I edited them in any way)