20 more friggin' brilliant ideas

(self-explanatory, I think)

1) Coin laundromats that double as slot machines, to reduce gambling addiction. It would take 25 minutes for the spin cycle to end and achieve payout, thus delaying instant gratification. Spot gaming addicts by how white their clothes are, while the phrase "I'm all cleaned out," takes on a fresh-scented double-meaning.

2) Instead of left-turn lanes, laughterin' lanes! Uncontrollable giggling accompanies every fatal car crash.

3) In our germophobic society, handshakes should be replaced by a universally agreed upon system of pleasant whistling noises.

4) A coffee-flavoured, tobacco-based hard liquor you inject in your forearm, as a slightly less powerful substitute for Facebook addiction.

5) A separate country for dyslexics, where each citizen has the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Hippo Penis.

6) A kindler, gentler Mafia, where 'taking care of stoolies' means more than taking a man's life; it means taking his family out for wings afterwards.

7) We could solve the scourges of world hunger and overpopulation simultaneously, with an admittedly controversial practice I call 'corrective cannibalism'.

8) Forget the concept of 'Give a Penny, Take a Penny'. I'd be elected President in no time with my proposed 'Give a Penny, Take a Sandwich' legislation.

9) Perfume lines that don't smell like fruits, or flowers, but smell like Historical Events. Calvin Klein's Normandy Invasion. Or a history book that actually smells like the Battle of Hastings. Or, if smell was the most important sense we had, then for final exams, you wouldn't write about a given topic—you'd have to smell just like it!

10) A Portuguese custard pastry so light it actually floats on air (if you call this a 'pie in the sky idea' I will shoot you).

11) A law that forbids lineups of any kind, for any situation that involves waiting—in favour of mandatory human pyramids.

12) A 1-800 help line for plumbers who are victimized by references to 'loving caulk', having 'a crack addiction' etc.

13) If cows were religious animals, then the 'Jesus cow' would be the one who invented vegetarianism.

14) To minimize litter in alleyways, call them Litter Death Zones.

15) Men should be able to brag about universally defunct skills in order to impress women. For example, my proficiency in morse code is second to none; my copper smelting is talked about in foreign countries, and I can skin a yak with my bare gherkin. Women should play along with this harmless delusion.

16) More Jedi in our armed forces, definitely.

17) To win more funding for space exploration, more astronauts need to return to Earth in space shuttles filled to the brim with astronougat.

18) The climactic scene in any movie should be called The Nutsgrabber.

19) Great TV show idea that's still a little ways off: Shark vs. Bark: Great White Sharks battle Evil Supernatural Trees, filmed in a giant floating arena, possibly a Jello-filled Zeppelin sponsored by the Discovery Channel.

20) Motorized glaciers!


Prospecting for semantics

(what you get when you delete 9 out of every 10 words:)


freedom underwear silence Cyril Crosby. Polemicize fissions. happiness is mortgaged the moat hollowed out. throwing abstracts at walls, piling on concrete, dumptruck bricks oh fascinating tricks.

College marvins collect colanders in pots. Stick with me that’s all I’ve got. vegetative, delirious, suckling on sticks, swizzle trouble rum meadow shacks. Taught by beavers and climbing a smokestack.

Mozart was a keyboardist, too many letters loud lengthy staccato beaten by his betters, Wolfgang, undress secrets, expect no applause until you sign upon the line!

symphonic nonsense music words, cymbal crash symbolic trash rat tat tat

young as the day you untied your tongue, numb stuporal syllabic centuries of sssh! Silence in the library , greedy stern mother, gentry mores and clucking crow.

Half a liter more, I’m half the leader I was, I was littering below!


Sunday morning coming down

Now I’m afraid of what Facebook might think. I’m self-censoring again, and I’ve started to drink. Or at least tend bar, I might as well, if I’m stuck here in the clink. I’ve got advice for every alcoholic, for the shiftless syphilitics, I’ve got the right diet for chubzos and the proper punctuation for the it's-greek-to-me acidics.

And yes - today I confessed, and that’s my confession, nothing left for this blog, I’ve lost touch with discretion.

I have so many projects on the go, if I stopped and focused then I’d have to go slow. And Mr. Peculiar is a no show? Oh no. Ergo, speed it up, pretend like you’re loco.

I miss everybody. Yeah though I see em each day. But we were special once and hard to pin down and I was lucky when you asked what am I doing on Friday. Now nothing’s a surprise, when I watch your every move, I’ve lost my drive to comprehend, analyze, pore through. Soon we’ll both die and the program will end, and you’ll finally feel loss electricity can’t mend. But suddenly suddenly that’s how fast it will end. Abruptness is the only crime, we adapt to Vesuvius if you give us enough time (and a decent pair of shoes).

Blues pour down, it always comes to this, Mystery mystery that’s what we’ll miss. The Borg is invasive and crisp and well-meaning me I’m spree-spending and hiding out by the cliffs. There’s a happy mob gathering blunt clubs, I’ve danced in disco clubs forty nights and worn down to the nubs. We all see now that we breathe the same air, misery loves company yes, but familiarity breeds contempt, and we’re simultaneously turbocharged and spent, equally miserable and ecstatic and so I'm borrowed for Lent.

I’m a man of few words, really I am, and this is the truth, in what I don’t say, so what kind of writer am I anyway.

Everyone has that nagging suspicion: Am I a hack? It’s an act of contrition. There is no easy out, no eraser of doubt and I’ve embraced this fact and that’s precisely what keeps bringing me back.


Flocculation! aka So this is what it's like to run a water filtration plant...

First ever FIAC 'guest cupcake', written by Charlotte L (thanks Charlotte!), in response to my March 15 post:

Jeremy woke with a start to the truck-backing-up sound of his alarm, jumping across the room to press snooze and then dragging his feet back across the floor and flopping back into bed. Twenty minutes later he was standing in his boxers and housecoat at the kitchen counter pouring boiling water over instant coffee in a salt-and-pepper mug with a chip across from the handle. He stood there with his eyes closed, still half asleep, holding the mug up to his chest, enjoying the warmth of the steam rising to his nostrils and the rich smell of the dark roast. He put down the mug and let himself fall into a chair at the small kitchen table. Slowly waking up, sipping on his coffee every couple of minutes, he thought about the day ahead of him:
How when he finished his coffee he would rush about his apartment trying to find the right shirt for his meeting, realising it was in the laundry and have to pick the next best one, ultimately feeling less confident not only because he wasn’t looking put together, but because the search caused him to be late even though he had given himself an extra fifteen minutes.

How when he finally grabbed his car keys from the bowl on the table in the hallway he would race downstairs, feeling that dreadful feeling of “I-know-I-forgot-something-but-what-IS-it?” but already being late not being able to do the slightest thing about it. Slowly freaking out in his head at how slow the traffic is, it must be slower than usual today, what is there an accident or something, it would be today, maybe it’s on the radio, god I hate talk radio, yes! Boston! Nothing gives you more confidence than grooving to Boston as you pull into the parking garage.

How he would walk into the plant, walk past Lyndsay’s office (“Hey Jer! Nice suit!”) and run a little to get to the other end of the building to meet with Mr. Peterson. Of course Mr. Peterson is always running late so even being 7 minutes late, Jeremy will still be 8 minutes early and have to sit in the reception area outside his office, with Gertrude humming nothing in particular while she files whatever files she files.

How he would sit and fumble through the monthly status report for Mr. Peterson and how Mr. Peterson would likely look about as half awake as Jer looks before his coffee and Jer making the mental note to bring coffee to the next meeting and Mr. Peterson clearly not caring at all about coagulation and flocculation and pH levels and how much lime was used this month as long as the job is getting done, Thank you Mr. Powell, I’ll see you next month, and how Jer cursed himself for being nervous every time he had to do this, like his job was a stake, like he hadn’t done this for the past year and 7 months.

How he would make his way back down the hall and stop for a cup of coffee in the break room and talk to Lyndsay about last night’s hockey game which she would know more about than he would but these conversations made him feel a bit more of a man and Lyndsay was a nice enough girl, but really could have been doing something more with her time than general reception for the plant.

How he would take off his jacket and hang it in his locker, replacing it with his yellowing lab coat and unhook his clipboard from its place up on the wall beside the door to the plant proper. How he would walk through the deafening plant, with its steam and its ducts and valves and how it was all so big that it would make him feel small and it was all so loud that it seemed like complete silence and how it was all very Zen. This was what he liked about his job: the solitude, the recording of data, the graphing of various chemicals and products and temperatures like some mad scientist plotting to destroy the world or, when he was in a better mood, a brilliant chemist saving the world. And sometimes he honestly believed it.

How he would get home and pry off his shoes and toss his jacket and tie over the chair in the hall. Twist the cap off a bottle of beer, with the satisfying hiss and the cool drink that made him feel more and less cool at the same time. He would turn on the TV and watch the news and decide whether to make dinner or order in Chinese. How he would pick up the phone and dial a number from the black book full of post-its and scrap pieces of paper and business cards and wait for someone to pick up. “Lyndsay?” he would ask. “Hold on just a minute.” a nasal voice replies. Silence. “Hello?” “Hey, you want to meet at the Brunny for a drink and a bite to eat? I thought we could watch the Leafs game.” Silence again. Some rustling, conferring with the roommate, then: “Meet you there in 45 minutes.”

Taking a last sip of coffee, realising his mug is empty, Jeremy is finally awake and has to get ready for work.


Nonsense Sermonizing

(I gotta do more of this!)

Omigod Sconfitter wallooned four pudgemuffins into a grangish grey Flexpool. It was Augustus 32, Year of the Yade. Deltavoid V Waxcollar was droopydrunk and brimstoned. He dangled a fist and bellowed, disneyfied his sermonizing, occlusions included, bombastardizations aplenty and befouled his flock with tactic unfit for happy dwarves and slabbed out the aforementioned undulating dreck.

By then Microeconecronomics had filtered to the tittletelligentsia, half-knackered with doom nuggets and drunk on pigeon-livered, duck-gizzarded bronchial eructations and horseradish greyneck.

Reverend Waxcollar exhaled insults instantaneously: “You scud! Pale movenpickles! Enemies of omnipleasance! Chad-dimpled democratizers, hiding half-chosen presidents and worse!”

Waxcollar heaved his totem and bangled the podium. The congregionals cooed twittery chattervanilla. “Far flung goulash,” he continued, “– what you will get. So it is, dreampuffs, kaleido-decadecisionery, all fake figments of the opiated opinionator. Clicked to the dicks and scrolled to the bowels – shut your macbooks and breathe afield freshivity.”

The crowd crowed; Waxcollar was looped to the gills, depillocked but unbowed. (Though if any were harrumphing it’d’ve been big loud beat-threats conking confidence hastifying rapid retreat.)

“Often ghosts mist up the mirrors,” continued the Sweaty Shamu. “Shamble away before whispering woe. I have eleventeen twenty-four packs of alcoholic advices – left to your devices your sinnicysm suffices.Will I tolerate this state of the inebriate? No, not unless the hour is too late. There it is. Checkmate!”

[to be continued, oh yes...]


sundry pelican notes

(polish squishy bits into shiny pebbles)

...You said "I am a gift to humanity and afraid for myself for that fact." Humanity doesn't treat its blessings kindly.

Give until you break. Why? There is nothing for you here. You don't need anything.

You use the same language I do, for thoughts that are too big. So we have these talks where you're the only one speaking, and I'm jotting it all down like a conversation with an overly interesting invisible man.

We were put here to do good, but I get stuck. I keep forgetting how to walk. Please help me. I am independent and proud and young, but be ready one day to answer my call for help.

It is easier to be sincere at the end of the day. Though, not enough has been done. But I'm tired of it anyway.

I don't know if a love explained is a secret ruined, or if a love explained is love that is permanent.

I am seeing a part of you that always existed come alive the first time. Nothing you do surprises me, because I've loved parts of you that you don't know yet exist.

Maybe it’s the music that funnels it out of me. I can’t call it ecstasy, I’m thinking too clearly, and I can’t call it peace, when I’m so desperately seeking something I can say brand new each time. I’m sorry for being quiet so long. If you only knew how tiring it is to try to contain all this.

A glow, I guess, a glow, not from alcohol, but maybe it’s the release. Collapsing on the ground afterglow. I am certain suffering has much to do with it. And being beat up so often, until you realize humility is strength.

There is release knowing you are completely lost. Being lost you are free. I am finding this out.


Thought of the day

The written word isn't being devalued. It's being revalued. It's changed from being like a diamond (in the Age of Gutenburg), to being like water. Incredibly high total utility, incredibly tiny marginal utility. Being a writer or editor will soon be like running a freshwater filtration plant - not glamourous at all but incredibly necessary. When pipes are everywhere, how interesting can running water be? And literature is like bottled water: refreshing for its utter luxury.

Everyone that is written (online) has universal currency, but no permanence. Stickiness is highly sought after. The scramble for fresh metaphors is more intense than ever. The alphabet is the most pervasive set of metaphors we have, but they are exhausted, mostly taken for granted.

...I have no idea what running a water filtration plant is like. Can someone write me a description? :-)


Age-based voting!

(either nonsense, or da bom)

I've figured out how to make young people vote:

Change the voting system from geographically determined ridings to demographically determined ridings,

We live in communities of our age-peers, do we not?

Take me for example. I'm 28. I am Cupcake Man, Arts and Science '01, Class of '97 etc etc. These are the groups that set the context of my development and adolescent reference points the Snorks and Transformers etc. Unfortunately my age group (people under 40) doesn't vote much. So our political views aren't represented, politicians ignore us, and we become even more disillusioned with the vote.

Me, I vote, I do, but the electable pool of political talent (stress on 'electable' b/c I'm cynical) I vote for often has little in common with me, b/c they are pandering across all age groups in my geographically-determined riding, usually pandering to older votes who often have nothing better to do with their afternoons than go out and vote (Good for those old people - voting is fun!).

I argue that with the internet, political views are becoming more age-based than community-based. Look at marketing surveys - do advertisers care what 'people in Toronto' watch on television, or do they care what males aged 25-29 watch? It's more the latter. And see how efficient marketers are at meeting the needs of these 'consumer voters'. Politics could be just as efficient. Under the age-based voting scheme, People aged 25-29 would have a certain number of representatives, based on total population.

Let's take Canada (ok I admit, Canada is a country, a geographical entity, so I'm compromising but we have to start somewhere and Canada is enlightened enough to listen), which has 32 million people. Let's divide that into 1000 seats, or 32,000 per riding.

If ages 25-29 make up 5 per cent of the population, then people in my demographic - ie those aged 25-29 get 50 seats, guaranteed. The only people who can elect those 50 seats will be people in my age group. Same goes for any other age group (maybe do it in increments of 5 starting at age 15). Our voices will be heard. You could then split it into male and female votes too ie 25 of the seats are determined by women voters, 25 by men. Now, you could still have political parties, and any politician could still run for any seat. 60 year old pasty white lawyers could run to represent '25-29' voters, if they wanted, but they'd probably lose to people who are more in tune with what 25-29 years olds want. All issues would be redefined based on age. People would think more about the future b/c the youngest demographic would be the most cherished AND have the most future votes. Woodstock all over again. Global warming solved just like that. It would get results, I promise you. Baby boomers might still throw their (more precisely allocated) weight around, but this more democratic citizenry would be politically engaged, ie would give a shit and be happier. Accidents of geography will be overcome by the internet. Once we achieve the blah-blah-blah global village (perhaps a long way off) and everyone has an wifi signal planted in their cranium, all national geographic boundaries will finally melt away and that's when I'm running for the age-based Web 2.0 Omniparliament!

Contrast with another idea - cumulative voting. Votes that pile up over a lifetime, like money! And then when you die they finally count. You live your entire life just to finally have your say...murder will be a thing of the past as it increases electoral unpredictability (erp, this is the exact opposite of age-based voting, but would prob be a lot cheaper to administer). Ok I'm gonna stop now.


More story bits...

A quail staggered to the counter and asked for a pitcher of prune juice. “This is how I stay in business on the telephone lines... You think I can just ‘blam blam’ like it’s target practise all day? But it ain’t that easy." The quail, named Dawson, was an avian prick with constipation problems...

[Then, a novella about telescopes!]

Vernon's Telescopic Pathos

A constellationist named Vernon opened his telescope-cleaning kit only to find the lens oil had been pilfered. "This can only be the work of Nancy the Clod," he thought to himself, and straightaway rang the polymer factory he had on speed dial.

“Jesse,” he said to the voice on the phone, “I need more Bimutex Silver Sheen. Like, this afternoon!’”

There was a spitting noise. "You gotta be kidding me Vern, the boss is gonna notice the missing cylinders."

“I know Jess. But Nancy took my scope oil, and I got XSZK1-Omega on the sked tonight."

"So what," said Jesse.

“So--I can’t afford another night like Foggy Tuesday. I’ll lose 10 more students. Remember what happened?"

A pause. "Ok, no Foggy Tuesday.... shit."

"Hit me, J. You know I'll be your bitch."

"Bitch-Who's who here? Come by the back and I’ll fix you with 750mL."

"Alright! Sunday night, Big Bop--cracker-shakes on me." And Jesse sighed and hung up.

Vernon’s partner, Gonga Gringo, a Papua New Guinean tracker who moonlighted in telescope viewing atop Mount Panorama phoned just then. “Hey, Vern can you go by the polymer place – Jesse’s got--"

“What you’re borrowing more polymer – what happened to the crate of ethylurethene Auntie Galicia got us for the solstice?"

"Borrowed by Ned Philadelphia to clean his GPS sextant."

"That wacko. You're both wacko. Christ, well Nancy snatched my Bitumex sheen again."

"Nancy. That hobag!" Gonga almost had to laugh. "I’m massively asswenched by these freaks stealing our 'scope oil Vern – it was never like this in the forest."

"Yeah, Gongs. But don't call her a ho-bag."

"Fine. Nancy no-brain.'

"Yeah, well I guess it takes a Foggy Tuesday to smarten us up bout how evil this stargazing can get."

Foggy Tuesday ruined Vernon’s outdoor seminar business for almost a month. It was the year of the Solar Flare, the night comet Flugelheim was streaking directly into Oberon, causing destruction that to astronomers was ballet. But no scope oil and a western fog- after a Monday of prismatic midnight skies-- scuppered Vernon's lenses and the astral dance went unobserved the next night. The veteran constellationists on the Tuesday watch filed a Motion to Impugn and Vern was nearly forced to sell his 900mm Magnum Andromeda in the ensuing scandal . He signed up at the community college to teach Historical Cosmology and for three weeks laid low. Thank god for Jesse and his polymers.

Nancy the Clod was really named Nancy Posie. She loved telescope oil, but didn’t own a telescope. She needed the oil to grease her bike cables. Regular lube didn’t work. she said. Nancy the Clod didn’t follow other people’s conventions. Just like her brother Deacon Noah. Deacon Noah had a python in his robe. No, not a molestation python. An actual snake.

Anyway Nancy the Clod was in attendance at the viewing of XSZK1-Omega. "Hi Vern." She was riding her bike.

"Hi Nancy," he said, but he was thinking you thieving slut.

Nancy and Vernon had had a 9-day relationship a couple years before. It was the year of the Solar Flare...

[unfinished of course... all astronomy-related terms are complete BS]


Common Law Rhetoric

There's a tired old rhetorical question used to explain why people should 'live together first':

ie Would you buy a car without test driving it?

A: No, that would be silly.

But the question above is wrong. The more analogous question is:

Would you drive around in a car for two or three years, for free, telling everyone you're thinking of buying that car, before possibly buying it?

A: No, that would be silly, and weird.

Just something that struck me while driving.

(And if it's a Mercedes Benz I'm choosing, I probably wouldn't worry too much about the test drive.)


Everybody just say 'ah!'

(lyrical runoff from a glacial gargantumumble)

Oh great Gonga, fresh from travails in southeast Tonga, long on anecdote and rhyming postcard poetry in pastels, delivering that 'oh it's gorgeous' transatlantic rote:

Mood music too singular to digest, too tight and interwoven to appreciate or undress, something so important riven to my chest. And she laboured lonely, but inquisited brief. Too bad her toned tetrahedral sketches can't be curled into a Christmas wreath.

Surrealism insustenant, frustrated by our ancestral covenant, Genesis chapter 1 asks too much, obedience demanded beyond the grave is unfair, rewrite the contract every six months, cuz I won't let a pile of bones make me their slave.

Cro-magnon Mensa, Dinosaur da Vinci, Coretta Scott meets Daniela Carinci. Smug syllables, pillows of thought indivisible, irreducible, repudiate the deuce, twisting the middle abdominal, until spell check and reality check ask me for a truce.

Half-pints for the children, pitchers for the men, peppermint spritzers for your spinster auntie who's about to toss her standards, sick of asking 'when oh when - my kindred soul, my best friend?'. Will everyone settle for less than glass slippers at midnight? (She goes home with the coachman at quarter past ten.)

Jittery teens scream their souls into text, fake friends frenzy feeds dyslexia, and what next: YouTube deliquents torch computer screens, not realizing why they seethe, until they can't find any more mystery in sex.

Bogged in bloggerrhea, Holograph hoaxes, too many performers disperse the audience, diaspora, poor us, so much to say and who will listen? Perhaps I'll build a time machine to impress the 18th century, that enlightened age, me scruffy and stuffy and puffed at my podium. Justly desserted, completely deserted, applauded by my best friend the monkey but oh yeah I'm certainly sage.


Old friend, new blogfriend

Congrats to my darling dearest Vanessa F for paddling off with her very own blogondola: Green as a Thistle. I'm so proud. Finally, she is saving the lions, instead of slaughtering them!


Hey guess what—

I almost forgot: today this blog is 3 years old! First ever post was here.

Aside from accidentally retiring on my 27th birthday, I have tried to remain true to my inauspicious yet completely self-important beginning.

After 3 years and 688 posts, I still get a kick out of hitting the 'publish' button. I still think it's hilarious that I get to publish whatever the frig I want. Sometimes I look through the FIAC archives and I am shocked, bewildered, heartened and besorrowed at the dragon-fire.

Whoever writes these cupcake things can't be mentally sound, can he?

I'm still dying to find out :-).

How will it end?

I have no idea!

Why do you do it?

That's easy - for the pelican man.

Who is the pelican man?

C'mon. You already know.

Um, ok... What's with the recent penchant for lists?

Hmm, I dunno. I came back from a Cayman Islands vacation in an extraordinarily refreshened state. I hope it's not just a Feb 2007 thing.

I think March 2007 will be just as fun. My goal is, as always: self-sustaining laughter following self-deprecating tears, tossing my party through the air on the wings of a pelican...