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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thoughts At Three (Episode 1)

3am is my own personal, hellish witching hour. All the ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night must be already turned in for peaceful slumber after the standard 12am witching hour, because things always seem to be pretty quiet at 3am. Although this morning I had the pleasure of hearing two cats going at each other viciously somewhere close by. With my luck, they probably found a way into my car and that's where are the cat-piss and fur from the bout will be found come sunrise. I have personally never used my car as a boxing ring, but then again, I am not a cat. I'm sure it would make a dandy one - especially if they figured out how to turn the radio on. I usually have the radio set to a station that would play perfect music for catfight accompaniment. I seem to hear "Eye of the Tiger" monthly, which usually gets my blood running and leads to me being pulled over and either warned or ticketed for speeding.

But I am not sitting at my desk at 3:41am to talk about catfights - unless there is a filmed version of a Sophia Loren/Raquel Welch offering from the mid 60's, then by all means, I shall review.
 "The Battle of the Super-Vixens" - Fight of the Century - Meow!

I am hear to talk about The Beaver. No, not Jerry Mathers and certainly not the much sought-after area of the female body that has lovingly been dubbed with that moniker. I am talking about the beaver that lives in the wild, building dams, swimming playfully in the world's rivers and slapping beaver-messages to their friends and family on the surface of the water with their tails. That Beaver.

In Belarus, a man died after being attacked by a beaver, which made me kind of sad. I thought, "So, in Belarus, it's come to this..." Then I read further and it was revealed that the beaver had attacked the 60 year-old man after he had grabbed the animal in order to have his photograph taken with it. I had always thought of the people of Belarus as kind and gentle, wise in the ways of the world, with impeccable taste. After all, according to my statistics, folks from Belarus have read my blog, presumably using the translating function that I made available for my foreign readers. However, I must amend my position on the Belarusiusians after reading of the beaver attack and subsequent death. I now know that they simply have impeccable taste - if only in their chosen reading materials.

Here's my thought: Why in God's name would you want to have your photograph taken with a beaver so badly that you would grab it? Though the beaver spends most of its time in the water, I still can't imagine that it smells very nice. And who knows what unpredictable mood the beaver might be in when you paw at it? Perhaps (and obviously, in retrospect), beavers do not enjoy the human touch and perhaps (and obviously, in retrospect), it might even agitate them to the point of attack - so why bother. Take your photo from a distance, perhaps poking your head, or a pointing finger into the frame, and get back in your little Belarusian car and keep moving.

Even this city boy would balk at grabbing a beaver. Any wildlife, really, but beaver in particular. They chew down trees. This would be akin to accosting a three-foot long, 60 lb., deliciously furry chainsaw, equipped with a speedy tail that could slap you to the other side of Tuesday. My message here is simple - stay away from the beaver. All wildlife if possible, the beaver in particular. Also, go back to bed and get some sleep - what in the fuck are you doing up at 4:15 in the morning, anyhow? Sweet dreams...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Winning the Lottery, or "Money Runs From Me."

I was rifling through Yahoo News at a blistering pace, given my Speed-Reading ability and God-given talent for sifting through treacle for the juicy nuggets, when I came across an article titled "5 Better Investments Than the Lottery". This sounds boring, I thought. The lottery itself is naturally disposed to being a fantastic topic for a variety of reasons, none of which is "what are 5 better investments?"

Among the most awesome lottery topics, in my opinion would be "Lottery Gone Bad", "The 5 Greatest Lottery Hoaxes of All Time", "How to Squander 60 Million Dollars of Lottery Bounty in 30 Days", "Sex, Drugs and Really Fast Cars - My Lottery Adventure", or "How The Lottery Bought Me an Island, My Own Cable Network, Three Midget Manservants and Raquel Welch In A Bikini".

Certainly not "5 Better Investments Than the Lottery".

But I'll bet you're wondering what the investments are... Here's what they aren't:
  • Jerry's Alligator and Reptile Emporium
  • Bed, Bath and XXX Beyond
  • Iron Man Suits, LTD.
  • The Benjamin Button Traveling Roadshow and Circus
  • The Feces - The World's First Human-Waste-Powered Automobile
No, believe it or not - not a single one of these world-class investment opportunities even cracked the top 100 Better Investments Than the Lottery. The Reason: They are my brilliant ideas and would most likely prove financially devastating for any investor. Why? Because money runs from me. I was having a lively conversation with Michael Lyon the other day and I was detailing the latest of my financial implosions, prattling on about some legal fee, or overpriced auto repair or ruthless collection agency, underhanded hooker or convincing panhandler, and he shook his head and said to me, "Money runs from you, doesn't it..." I nodded vigorously. "Like I was chasing it with a poleaxe," I said, solemnly.

Later, we were IMing (on my lunch hour, of course - I would never think of wasting company time discussing my financial ineptitude on company time) and the phrase came up again - money runs from you doesn't it... I understand that he was trying to undercut my generally indefatigable self-esteem, which is a laughable and largely fruitless waste of his time, but still - it cut to the chase. "Yes, it does," I replied. "Like I was carrying a torch and a pitchfork... Like I was the Last Train to Dachau... Like I was carrying a see-through bag of kitten-heads... Like I had my dick out... Like I was spraying it with a fire-hose of sewage, with a dusting of the HIV virus and some crushed and finely-ground kitten-heads..." He had made his point and I had made mine. His point was that I was financially challenged. Mine was that I don't like kittens.

That said, even my extreme, unequalled inability to manage a freshly-minted dime does not prevent me from dreaming of what dazzling changes of life might be in store if I were to actually win, inherit, or earn from forward-thinking circusery some staggering windfall that even my lusty mismanagement could not deplete. The automobile run on human excrement notwithstanding, I think I could come up with a few genuine services to humanity to bankroll that could possibly win me a Pulitzer Prize, or Nobel Prize, or some lesser prize that could be purchased through generous donation. The FartVac comes to mind - a hip-pocket device that detects flatulence and sucks up the odor and repurposes it in the scent of Halston Z-14 Cologne. The list of ideas is endless and in fact, I cannot wait to win the Lottery so that I can begin work on this and other worthy prototypes. Start dusting a shelf above the opulent fireplace of my yet-to-be-purchased mansion in Malibu for Mr. Pulitzer.

Oh, here are the "5 Better Investments Than the Lottery":
  • Pay down credit card debt
  • Boost your 401(K) contributions
  • Open a Roth IRA
  • Increase mortgage payments
  • Invest in a taxable account
I don't know what most of things even mean and even the simple act of typing them out has given me a robust and angry headache, but I feel as if I have now done my civic duty in providing you with the information.

That said, I am off to the store to buy several hundred dollars worth of tickets for the monumental lottery drawing this evening, which I am nearly certain to win. Take that, poor money management - that will show you... Until then, if you want to invest in my FartVac prototype and get in on the ground floor, I am willing to take you along for the ride.