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Clown stole my pillow…

Tail end of the long weekend, and I’m unutterably depressed by the totally predictable international response to the whole phony evil-jews-club-adorable-baby-seals-on-the-high-sea thing. That’s my cue to witter on pointlessly for a while.

As I was skimming just under the surface of consciousness thing this morning, I dreamed a clown leaned in the bedroom door and stole my pillow.

Brrrrr. Not a nice wake-up call. Forget out-and-out coulrophobia — is there anybody on the planet who thinks clowns are the least little microscopic bit funny?

And if the answer is yes, and it’s you — can you try to explain it to me? Because I’m totally not getting it.

Huge shoes, monstrous facial features, golf pants and smacking each other around with giant hammers. Nope. Not getting it.

Also, jack-in-the-boxes. Did you have one? Did it make you laugh? Because mine scared the shit out of me when I was little.

Granted, I have an exaggerated startle response. Or, as my mother put it, I’m real goosey. But knowing when the thing was going to pop out of the deal wasn’t any help at all, I was still like, “aiiiii! The clown, it taunts me!”

I guess a touch of Pop-Goes-the-Weaselphobia is to be expected.

May 31, 2010 — 11:02 pm
Comments: 25

ROUND SEVEN: die faster, the dicks are going out of date!

EZnSF takes the dicks with Art Linkletter, who made it to a respectable 97, 74 of them married to the same woman.

Onwards and deadwards!

1. Pick a celebrity. Any celebrity, though I reserve the right to nix picks I never heard of.

2. We start from scratch every time. No matter who you had last time, you have to turn up and pick again. Poaching and other underhanded maneuvers positively encouraged. It’s like rollerderby, without the helmets.

3. Your first choice sticks. Don’t just blurt it out this time, okay?

4. It’s up to you to search the thread and make sure your choice is unique. Popular picks go fast.

5. The pool is open until somebody on the list dies. Feel free to jump in any time. Newbies, strangers and drive-bys welcome.

6. If you want the fabulous prize, you have to trust me with a mailing address. If you don’t want the fabulous prize, I applaud your sophisticated taste and superior temperament. Packages go by slow boat, typically take eight to ten weeks and arrive looking like botulism pudding.

7. The new DeadPool will begin 6pm GMT the Friday after the honoree kicks the bucket.

Eyes on the prize, people. Eyes on the prize:

TIME! in the shortest Dead Pool EVARR — at two hours and forty-two minutes — Tawny has won it with Gary Coleman. I’m going to allow it to stand (you know what you have to do if you want the dicks, Tawny). We’ll fire up a brand new Dead Pool next Friday, though feel free to mill about, chat and wish people dead on this thread.

May 28, 2010 — 5:00 pm
Comments: 99


At right we see examples of many of the wonderful, mystical shapes and colors of perfectly healthy chicken shit, as submitted by readers of the Poultry Pages forum.

I thought Mapp had a bit of a problem, but some tonic in her drinking water, a monotonous diet and close examination of her chickeny byproducts and I think we’re okay.

I must admit, I had no idea enlightened poultry keeping had quite so much to do with scrutinizing and maintaining chicken butts, one way and another.

Chooks are getting bigger and sassier by the day. I can’t tell you how much of a kick I’m getting out of them.

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow at 6pm sharp, London time, for the next Dead Pool. I’m going to set it up now to auto-post.

If you hover over the ENTER key, you might be the lucky minion to nick Gary Coleman! (Thanks for the tipoff, JuliaM).

May 27, 2010 — 10:41 pm
Comments: 10

It’s like a flipping ZOO around here…

Hedgehog. Uncle B spotted him in the garden around midnight last night.

The gloves aren’t because they bite, nor even because of the spines. The danger with hedgies is apparently the fleas — they carry lots of not nice diseases.

I’ve never seen one in the wild before. There weren’t any in the section of London where we were. It’s bigger than I expected — the only ones I’ve ever seen were the pigmy ones people keep as pets.

Poor sweet little bugger just rolled up in a prickly ball and prayed for release.

And — finally! — EZnSF wins the Dead Pool! Art Linkletter is currently filming the premier episode of Beelzebub Says the Darnedest Things.

You know the drill, EZ — if you want the dicks, you have to cough up a snail mail address. If you don’t want the dicks, you are wise beyond your years. Whatever they are.

As per usual, the next installment of the Dead Pool begins Friday at 6pm GMT. What time is that where you are? How the hell should I know? What am I, your mother?

May 26, 2010 — 10:44 pm
Comments: 35

To sit a good, honest cubicle

Any of you punched a real, live timeclock like the one above? I have. Well, not like the one above — a bit more modern — but my Dunkin’ Donuts gig involved paper timecards and a timeclock. Also brown paper pay packets with paper money and coins shoved in, and the itemized sums written on the back in ballpoint pen.

I loved that stupid job. But I digress.

I have been trying to digest this Krugman article in the NY Times about the Tea Party movement. Sooper genius Krugman has worked it out: the Tea Partiers think the GOP is about helping people, but it’s really about helping corporations.

The mood on the right may be populist, but it’s a kind of populism that’s remarkably sympathetic to big corporations.

What the fuck does Krugman think corporations are made out of? Gremlins? Orcs? Delicious cream filling?

Krugman apparently imprinted on It’s a Wonderful Life. He thinks the world outside The Bubble consists of hard workin’ Joes who drive trucks, dig trenches and stock shelves in mom and pop drugstores. That’s what the whole Democrat machine evolved to pander to: the scary populist monster prowling around outside the ivory tower.

In reality, most of us have had jobs like that, before we moved on to something like…I dunno…a corporation.

I spent a miserable hour at the Bureau of Labor Statistics trying to work out how many of us work for corporations, but gave it up as hopelessly hard to define. Whatever. I’m willing to assert, whether you sit in a cubicle or not, the health of corporations is intimately bound up in the prosperity of us all.

Oh, look…I know management can be shitbags. It burns me up the way some of the guys at the top reward themselves WAY out of proportion to any contribution they could possibly make to the company. It’s just plain bad capitalism, that is.

But corporations employ millions of us, and that’s where most of their money goes. And to shareholders — who are also overwhelmingly made up of people like us. And to growth, which is where jobs come from.

I worked for a medium-sized corporation for a quarter of a century. Here’s how the math went: the company had a good year, I got a bonus in January. The company had a bad year, my boss was invited to look around and decide which two of us he could live without.

Okay, I know small, scrappy businesses are the true engines of growth. But the Blue Chips are the lumbering dray horses of our mutual prosperity. How can a fucking Nobel-winning economist think punishing corporations is a good thing?

— 12:24 am
Comments: 28

Why, thank you

Ah, the fertile earth, freshly tilled, dark and friable. Waiting…waiting…waiting to receive a big fat cat turd.

Poor old Uncle B, when he looked around to see Charlotte balanced happily athwart his newly dug pea patch. I don’t know which was more precious: the look of horror on his face, or the look of bliss on hers.

And that’s the sort of day we’ve both had: a bit in the shitter. He’s picked up a really enthusiastic bit of malware and I’ve been fruitlessly chasing bureaucratic moonbeams all day. Thus, blogging will consist of this single inspirational moment, frozen in time.

The chickens? Bright spot of the day, bless their little beaks. Growing bigger and bolder all the time.

May 24, 2010 — 9:35 pm
Comments: 19

Okay, can I count them NOW?

Chickens. I has them.

The one on the left — Lucia — is a purebred Mille Fleur pekin bantam pullet. Miss Mapp, on the right, is a buff pekin. They’re about six weeks old — just old enough to come out from under the heat lamp, which we didn’t feel inclined to buy — and the cutest little mothercluckers you ever saw.

They were living temporarily in a large cardboard box in my little workroom, until I heard a fluh-fluh-fluh-fluh-fluh and turned to see Mapp perched on the edge of the box. She flies real good.

So I got busy and put together the chickenhouse (which was surprisingly good quality for a cheap one), though I’m bringing them in at night for a while. They’re still little and it’s still cold. Also, there’s no bottom to the chicken run yet. Meester Fox would have no trouble digging under it and making off with my cheekens.

In two weeks, they go on grownup chicken feed. After that, we can — maybe — expect to see an egg in September or October.

Stoaty Weasel had a farm. Have a good weekend, everyone. Au reservoir!

May 21, 2010 — 9:32 pm
Comments: 51

Happy EDM day!

I don’t actually approve of this, you know.

I went to a particularly flaky art school (the Rhode Island School of Design) during a particularly flaky era (the late Seventies) and I’ve seen enough mental retardation masquerading as art to last a lifetime.

There was one egregious kid in my year — I’ve just Googled his name, and I’m delighted to report Google knowest him not — whose whole schtick was sit around thinking up offensive shit. For his end-of-term project in 3D design, he went down to a slaughterhouse and got four bloody severed horse legs, piled them in the middle of the studio floor and called it “Goodbye, Mister Ed.”

Offensive is for people who desperately want attention but don’t have the talent to get it the usual way. Offensive is the “moon, June, croon” of the post-Modern world — it’s dumb, it’s formulaic and it’s so fucking boring.

In a free world, we have to tolerate offensive but we don’t have to celebrate it. Or for chrissakes give it government arts grants. You hear me lefties? I have to put up with Piss Christ, but you shouldn’t oughta have made me pay for it.

When offensive is aimed at the same groups over and over again — people who can’t do much about it but wave a sign or boycott an advertiser — that’s just plain bullying.

Bullies. That’s the word for people who only pick on those who can’t or won’t fight back. “Courage” isn’t even in the same zip code.

So, sorry Muslims — have a little sacrilege. It’s only fair. You want SUV’s, cell phones and dialysis, you’re going to have to put up with stupid offensive shit, too. Freedom is the common denominator.

When you have to live in a world where some things make you crazy angry, my advice is — don’t go looking for them.

Picture was EZnSF’s idea. Dude, I wish you’d said something earlier. I’m tight for time this week; I could’ve used a couple more days to have fun with this. Here’s a big color version just for you. Kidding — it’s for anyone who wants it, but EZ can have the FaceBook honors.

Update: Since EZ doesn’t seem to be around, I posted the illo to FB. But I gave you a shout-out!

May 20, 2010 — 5:45 pm
Comments: 39

One. Last. Time.

I gotta run, guys — I have beaucoup stuff to do today. But I couldn’t go out the door without posting the classic weaselgram of Benedict Arlen one last time.

As an aside…have you ever wondered why it is most men and women who have had long, passionate, productive careers in, oh, engineering or policework or architecture or soldiering seem delighted, when the time comes, to hang up their kit and grow roses for the rest of their lives? But politicians, judges (and doctors) cling on to their jobs with their fingers and toes until they mummify in place?

I don’t have answers. I only have questions.

May 19, 2010 — 12:14 pm
Comments: 17

I should learn to knit, really

Wool. One of the side-effects of having sheep fields on three sides of us; bits of this stuff constantly drift surreally across the lawn.

You know, I’m looking out the skylight…it’s 9:30 and there’s still light in the sky. Uncle B recently read in a gardening book that in some parts of the UK (the Northernmost, one assumes) the hours of daylight are as short as seven in Winter and as long as seventeen in Summer.

I wonder if I’ll ever really get used to the rhythms here.

Anyhow, it has finally warmed up a little, so we’ve been out doing gardeny things. Hence posting lameness, as I unplug from the news/politics channel and plug into the weed/prune channel for a while.

I’ve decided to use my awesome plant-murdering powers for good.

May 18, 2010 — 9:21 pm
Comments: 19