Monday, December 19, 2005

Paper Sack Lifetime Will Return

But not until after the first of the year. It's the holidays, and 'the holidays' is a good blanket excuse for not taking care of things, just like 'car wreck' and 'chicken pox'. Personally, I just write 'it's the holidays' on all bills that I receive in the month of December and I suggest you do the same. You may find yourself freezing in the dark with no phone service, as I often do, but I promise a general feeling of warmth in your heart which you can then use to toast marshmallows or those very small cocktail wieners.

Should you be so kind as to return with the new year I hope to bring you the same mess of words and poorly used punctuation that you've come to expect. Until then, I wish you all a very happy holidays and a completely non cynical, hope renewing New Year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Man's Teeth Ruined By New Kittens

A man in a bookstore yesterday told his friend that he was having to get caps put on several of his teeth as a result of the two kittens he had recently adopted. He said that when he was petting them he unconsciously ground his teeth together because they were so 'damn cute'. After a couple months with the cats he said that he started noticing that his teeth were very sensitive to hot and cold. A visit to the dentist revealed that he'd ground an entire centimeter off his front teeth and nearly flattened his incisors. Not only was the procedure going to set him back significantly just before Christmas, the man said that his dentist had suggested that he wear a mouthpiece when playing with the cats in the future to protect his teeth.
The friend asked if the man was going to get rid of the cats.
The man seemed surprised and said he wasn't even considering it. He'd only hurt his teeth because he loved them so much.
No point in having a perfect smile, he said, if you don't have anything to make you want to use it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Improvements To Our Debate Program


We here at Public School 315 are always looking for ways to improve not only the inner city students in our care, but the opportunities that we have to offer those students. Thus, it is with great pleasure that I'm writing to tell you about some exciting changes we've made in our debate program.

Traditionally debate has lacked a certain cache among students in inner city areas, with interest lagging far behind other activities like basketball or football. And the disinterest is not just restricted to students, but their parents as well, many of whom have failed to show up for, or remain conscious through, our various debate events. And perhaps most importantly, even our most successful debaters have told us that on the whole, the experience has been less that positive. It seems they've been honing their argumentative abilities while other students are increasing their physical skills, and so when an 'argument' breaks out in the halls, debaters often find themselves winning the discussion and yet losing blood.

To address all of these shortcomings we've decided to take an 'if you can't beat them, join them' approach and are offering two new courses this year, Greco-Roman Debate and Lincoln-Douglas Boxing. These exciting new classes will offer students the opportunity to improve both their bodies and their minds, and train them for the types of 'debate' they're most likely to face in the real world. Not only will students be able to effectively take either side of difficult issues like migrant worker policies or nationalized health care, they'll be able to knock a few teeth loose while doing it. We're also hoping that this will greatly improve spectator appeal and help bring in not only parents, but allow us to build a paying fan base of people who might otherwise ignore educated discourse were it not fused with the bone shattering violence that seems so popular these days.

Should this approach prove successful, and we think it will, we're hoping to extend it to other unpopular subjects and activities that we think might benefit our students, such as Hip-Hop Calculus, Gang Sign Foreign Literature, and Professional Athlete Ideation Physics.

Sadly, because of the economic and cultural conditions in our neighborhoods many of our students see their options as limited and they lack the hope to truly aim high. It's our belief that by offering them new opportunities that combine familiar activities with beneficial content we can co-opt the violence and apathy that has marred our campus, and use it to educate students in spite of themselves. We'll be putting that theory to the test this Monday night with a fifteen round, bare knuckle exhibition that will see two of our best Lincoln-Douglas Boxing prospects try to deliver well thought out arguments before their opponent's blows impair their ability to form coherent sentences. We hope that you'll not only join us, but encourage your young ones to give thought to signing up for this exciting and change embracing new class.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Quantum Leap - The Never Seen Finale (w/ Ashlee Simpson)

So listen, Sam, Ziggy says you've leaped into a girl named Ashlee Simpson. Yes, I know, the voice is incredibly annoying. Try not to talk. We're still working out the details, but we know that she and her family were part of an ugly little period in history where completely vapid individuals with no discernible talent were successfully marketed to a brainwashed public. We're not sure exactly what happens, but Ziggy says it doesn't end well. I have no idea why her name is spelled with two e's. Ziggy says her father was most likely a complete jackass

Sam, Sam, just calm down okay? We have a plan. You're doing a show called Saturday Night Live this weekend and, what? Oh, apparently a show that was popular in the late 20th century until every decent member of the cast left. It was canceled in 2006. Anyway, you're supposed to perform live in front of the country. So? So Ziggy says that if we sabotage the performance and reveal your complete lack of ability then the country might finally wise up to the Simpsons and let them fade into obscurity before there's any harm done, and with any luck, you should leap. Ziggy says something called Milli Vanilli was successfully stopped when people discovered that they lipsynced all their songs, so we pull a similar stunt on this Saturday Night Live and Bingo! Ziggy says there's a 74% chance that you're out of here. How should you react? I don't know, just do the most ridiculous thing you can think of. Dance a hoe-down maybe. Just make sure that when you walk off that stage everyone knows you're a complete and total fraud.


Well, we're not sure, but, ah, it looks like it might have backfired. Ziggy says that now, not only do you not fade away, but that your next album outsells your first. How? I have no idea. We've got the most sophisticated computers of the future working on this and we still haven't cracked it. Sam, please, just stop. That voice is like a drill in my temple. Besides, Ziggy says that maybe by showing people you're not only untalented but an incredibly awful person as well we can get them to stop paying attention to you and hopefully we stop Ashley from doing whatever this awful thing she's supposed to do is. Well, I know it sounds like a stretch, but we're planning to have you attack an employee in a Canadian Mc'Donalds and let the whole thing be caught on tape. Of course you can. Sam, Ziggy says this may be your last chance to leap, so go all out, really try to come across as the kind of person people would line up to hit over the head with a heavy object. I don't want to freak you out, but Ziggy says that if this doesn't work, well, a lot of people are going to get hurt.


I'll be straight with you, Sam, Ziggy says it looks bad. You haven't made a dent in this girl's popularity. If anything, she's getting stronger. Apparently she runs for President in 2012, and shortly thereafter, well, everyone in the United States dies. No, no, it's not a war. This gets a little complicated, but Ziggy says that George Washington is brought back to life in 2011 to run against her. When she's elected in a landslide he renounces democracy and turns the country's nuclear arms on itself. No one in America survives and the fallout kills millions more around the world. I know, it's awful, but Ziggy says she's 99% sure there's no way to stop it. The people inexplicably love this talentless fraud. The 1% chance? Let's not talk about that. No. I can't. Fine. Ziggy says that if Ashley were to jump off a building that there's a small chance we could save the world. A small chance, Sam, so don't go getting any ideas. We'll come up with something else. Absolutely not. That's why I didn't want to tell you, I knew you'd try to do this. I'm not going to let you. You hear me? I don't care if it means saving humanity, we've worked too hard for too long to see it end this way. I don't know how, but you don't have to do it. It's not your fault Ashley Simpson destroys the world, and it's not your job to stop her. Are you sure? Really? Well Sam... what can I say? I'll miss you. You're more than a brilliant scientist who utilized his own time travel machine before it was ready, you're a friend, and most of all, you're a genuine hero. I'm going to make sure the people of the future know exactly who saved them from this horrible Simpson fiend. Goodbye, Ashlee. And goodbye, Sam.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Please Come Out Of The Bathroom

Please come out of the bathroom. If I made you think this was your fault, I apologize. This is my fault. Completely. I never should have let you pick the movie in the first place. I've known you long enough to know you'd pick something awful at that little place that has no parking. And I certainly know that you're completely incapable of getting ready for anything on time, so of course we were going to be late and miss the beginning and have to sit right in the front row and strain our necks to see a movie that I already knew was going to be bad before we left. That's on me. I should have been smarter, should have thought a little harder about the effects of leaving these decisions in your hands. But I didn't. I'm not perfect, and for that, I apologize.

Look, I don't want to turn this into a whole who-threw-a-scalding-pot-of-what-at-whom thing, because this is really not about that. And it's not about how I slave away at work all week while you watch soap operas and talk to your friends, because that doesn't bother me. I know I only get one night a week to really enjoy myself, and I should have known that I'd have to expend some effort to keep you from screwing it up. But I was lazy. You understand? I'm saying that I didn't force myself to ignore all the little annoying things that you do which can completely ruin an evening out, and guess what, it was ruined. That's my fault. I'm sorry.

And I should have known that as soon as I said something or threw something, that you'd come running to the bathroom like you always do. I should have just held my tongue because we both know that no matter how many times I point these things out, they never change. But, I'm slow. I'm thick headed. I guess I haven't given up on my hope that someday we'll able to walk out of this house without you embarrassing us. But I should, because it's obviously hopeless, and my pig headed refusal to accept that is really at the heart of the problem. So again, I'm sorry. I promise to accept you for just what you are, and to do a better job of being prepared for the inevitable problems and disappointments that come with it.

Honey? Well, listen, I don't know what else I can say. I'm not going to stand out here apologizing all night. I was wrong. I am sorry. If there's something more you need to hear you're going to have to use your imagination, okay? I'm going downstairs to clean up that mess and then I'm going to bed. I hope to see you there, but if you're not, that's your decision. You hear me? I've taken responsibility for my part in all this. I don't want to play the blame game, you understand, but, well, from here on out, whatever happens is on you.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Man Planning Wife's 30th Birthday At Chuck E Cheese

A man in a coffee shop yesterday told his friends that he was planning to have his wife's 30th birthday at Chuck E Cheese. His friends initially laughed, but the man said he was absolutely serious. His friends told him they thought that it was probably a very poor idea, and that he should consider taking her out to dinner at a nice restaurant, or hosting some of her friends at a bar or their home.

The man said that they went out for nice dinners every anniversary and Valentine's day and on a litany of other occasions, ditto with having friends over. It was his opinion that being given permission to 'cut loose' and act foolishly for an evening was the perfect gift for his wife's thirtieth birthday. If their friends were too 'mature' to allow themselves to act ridiculous in the pursuit of a good time, then he said they didn't have to come.

One of his friends predicted that while his heart was in the right place, the evening would be a disaster for everyone, his wife included. He said that no one was above being ridiculous and having a good time.

But when you're thirteen you do that with a ball pit, he said, and when you're thirty you do it with a bottle of wine.