June 6th, 2007

on a steel horse I ride

The Funniest Hat in the World

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the culmination of a week's worth of rigorous scientific research: by a significant margin, your choice as the funniest hat in existence: the papal mitre.

And science marches on.
i'm driving!


So you're driving down the street, and someone ahead of you is driving erratically. They're chatting away, oblivious to their surroundings, on a cell phone, and traffic is too heavy for you to get around them. Despite your own alertness and caution, they manage to involve you in a minor traffic accident. No one is hurt, but there's some minor damage to your vehicle.

After exchanging insurance cards and contact information, it turns out the other driver is an exceptionally attractive individual of your preferred gender, and, following a few perfunctory conversations about coverage and court appearances, you find yourself mildly attracted to them.

What if this person is the one? What if they are your future, your true love, your last chance for real happiness? The problem is, even before the impact, you were cursing them out to the high heavens and low hells for their shitty driving. And yet! They had that book in their back seat that you really love; your favorite band was playing on the car stereo; they were wearing a funny, ironically displayed t-shirt. What if it was meant to be?

The question is, what would you do? Could you get over your almost tangible hatred of their bad driving skill and lack of concern for others in order to establish what might otherwise be a loving relationship? Or would your initial contact with them spoil every possible future interaction with them? And whatever your decision, is it simply a stand-alone one, or is it overarchingly symptomatic of your inability to rise above specific prejudices for a chance at happiness, or of your tendency to forgive disturbing character flaws in order to give yourself an opportunity?

These are the theoretical scenarios that pop into my head at three o'clock in the morning and prevent me from ever getting a good night's sleep.

*: By the way, your questions for "WHAT WOULD LEONARD DO?" are always welcome in comments or e-mail.

Begging letter water tester veeblefetzer bestertester

I posted something recently on Clown Central Station about this conference, to be held in Malibu, on "the collapse of Europe". The overwhelming majority of speakers at this two-day festival of anti-Arab nail-biting are, of course, not European, but rather hard-blowing American fussbudgets like Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt, which makes it even more likely that the conference will be wall-to-wall hilarity. Curiously, in the comments section of the post, more than one person suggested raising money so I could actually go to the conference, which I have to admit is something that never really occurred to me. It would be a blast, to be sure, and I would be able to get endless material, both for here, CCS, and Sadly!, No, if I were to do so.

It couldn't be this "Collapse of Europe" spiel, of course. It's this weekend, which means that even if I ponied up the outrageous fees they're asking ($350 for two lousy days of hearing Hugh Hewitt bitch about the permissive Frogs?), the short-notice hotel fees and airfare to Malibu would be ruinous. But it's worth thinking about -- so long, of course, as I don't have to pay for it. I'm dubious as to whether any publications would pay my freight; I've gotten expense-accounted to comic cons, music festivals and movie premieres, but I can't imagine who would want me to sit through a weekend of hot wind from Dennis Prager on their dime. Except you, dear readers, except you...would it be worth it for me to fund-raise for one of these things? Like, set up a PayPal account or something for some future nut-conference? Five or ten bucks from each of you would get me there in high style. But, on the other hand, what do you get out of it? Jack shit is what. Maybe some laffs when I write the thing up, but that's it. It would be an entirely selfish maneuver on my part, just getting you chumps to subsidize a trip where I would mock right-wing conservatives on your pocketbook.

Still, it can't hurt to ask, can it? CPAC will be in D.C. in February '08, and there's the GodBlog Conference in October, and there's always stuff being put on like this...
stella stella can't you hear me yella


I have a lot of freelance stuff going on. I'm still writing for Sadly, No!, and for the Screengrab. I'm still a staff music writer for UR, which is now fully available each month online as a PDF. I'll be in an upcoming web installment of McSweeney's, I got a new piece in the Entertainer, and I'll be featured in the August issue of a major men's magazine the, er, details of which I can't yet disclose. But I know none of you read any of the shit I write, and why should you?, so instead, I'll whore for someone else: my good interpal calamityjon.

Calamity Jon is offering for sale the very first collection of his comic strip, "Jeremy". It is charming and funny and rowdy and you can buy a copy for only twenty bones. I wrote the introduction for the book -- well, actually, I wrote several introductions for the book -- but I don't get any money out of the deal, so I'm telling you to buy the thing out of the goodness of my heart. It's worth it, because Jon's a great artist, a fine storyteller, and a hell of a guy. And who doesn't like cartoons about rampaging Frankenstein boys? Nobody, that's who. Go get one.