Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Jerry the Love Mastodon Takes Letters From Readers OR Love and Arson: Burned by the Flames of Desire

March 3, 2010

Fire Love

Dear Jerry the Love Mastodon,

Lately things just haven’t been the same between my wife and I. I’ve taken to staying out later and later and it’s gotten to the point now where I stop at the bar on the way home and stay until they throw me out. Then I stumble home at four a.m. stinking of booze and cigarettes and get in a loud fight with my wife. Last week the neighbors called the cops. Now I’m staying in a cheap motel in a rough neighborhood. You’ve got to help me Love Mastodon, I’m at wits end.

 — signed Heartbroken in Hoboken

Dear Heartbroken,

It’s like my father used to say: “Women: drink too much when you’re with them, get arrested when they leave you.” Most people would tell you to go back hat in hand and make an effort to rekindle the romance. I’m not of that school. I suggest a new hobby. Drinking clearly hasn’t worked out. Maybe its time to shake things up. Seeing as how hard drugs are probably readily available in your new neighborhood, it seems like the logical next step. You’ll meet new people, you’ll try new things. I can’t see any reason not to move in this direction. Arson can also be a thrilling distraction for a man in your condition. Many a night I’ve “let it all hang out” by setting a friend and/or family member a-light while they slept. Sure they get mad, but burns heal. You’ll be forgiven. In fact, the more I think about it, nothing says “take me back or else” like a Molotov cocktail through the bedroom window. You don’t have kids, right? You’re going to want to slash her tires so she can’t chase you down. It’s important to remember that this is a long-term strategy. She’s gonna be pissed for a while. You’ll need a clean escape and a place to lay low for a while. Especially if the fire gets out of hand. Let me know how this works out.



Sleep and Addiction

January 22, 2010

Sleep is an addiction.  That’s the plain and simple truth.  Your mother does it while she’s pregnant with you and you are born addicted.  It’s not the worst addiction in the world, it’s definitely not the hardest to break and yet nearly everyone is addicted.  The entire world is an intricate system of enablers.  Since everyone’s doing it, there’s no pressure to stop. It has become a normal part of society.  The side effects go completely unobserved, no one cares that they are wasting seven or eight hours a night feeding their problem, getting their fix.  This incredible loss of time, how can we live this way?  They’ll all tell you the same thing too, all those experts on their habit.  They say you need it, your body has to recharge, and it takes years off your life if you don’t.  Sure it takes time off of your life, quitting a hard narcotic like sleep is a tough process.  There are some serious withdrawal symptoms you have to weather.  Charlie Parker didn’t have any heroin in his body when he died, he died from quitting too many times.  And so it goes with sleep.  Maybe you’ll lose some years off the end, but those are the years you’re going to be sitting in a chair, getting introduced to your family for the third time that month – if your lucky enough for them to visit – drooling, and soiling your diaper.  Trust me, you’re not missing much.  The time you’re losing because of sleep, though, is precious.

So how do you break this vicious need you feel for sleep every night?  Plenty of people try stimulants.  This can come with its own setbacks. Plus, you’re still addicted to sleep, you just don’t care for a while.  There’s no nicotine patch for sleep, there is only cold turkey.  That’s the only way off this ride.  At first you’re going to feel it, that insatiable desire to fall comatose on your bed or couch, but that’s the addiction talking.  Eventually you may feel faint, maybe pass out in strange places only to wake up somewhere else.  As this course continues you might even wake up in the middle of a crowded room talking to someone you can’t recall meeting about things you didn’t even know you knew anything about.  If this happens, just relax. It’s perfectly normal.  Just keep fighting the good fight.  Eventually these blackouts reduce in frequency and after a while they’ll even stop completely.  You will be healed but the urges for sleep will continue (you live in a society full of sleep addicts you’re going to be tempted). Luckily, at this point you couldn’t actually get to sleep even if you wanted to.  You can lie in bed for hours and be as tired as you’ve ever been but your body won’t let you.  You’ve taught it not to and now you can finally reap the benefits of a sleepless life.

Plastic Monkeys and Ham Monsters

January 15, 2010

“If I were a plastic monkey”, he said, “I’d be fantastic. I mean really amazing.”

“I’m not sure I understand,” I said.

“Well,” he said, “I have the advantage of having seen plastic monkeys from an objective position.  I’ve got a connoisseur’s sense of what’s good in the plastic monkey scene.  Plastic monkeys, they just don’t have this sense of self-awareness anymore. I’d be sensational.”

“You’d really change the game”, I said.


“You know what I’d like to be?” I asked.


“A ham monster”, I said.

“Ahh,” he replied.

What were ham monsters like, I wondered.  Kind of savory, a little salty. Never hungry though, monsters made of ready to eat food shouldn’t require it.  That could inspire high levels of cannibalism, which is rarely an evolutionary advantage for a species.  Even ham monsters.  No, I think ham monsters would require little feeding if any.  They would stand six feet tall and eighteen feet wide like giant sandwiches with small amounts of ham dangling deliciously from each of their sides.  I told my friend this.

“What if they’re into food, just not ham”, he said.  “Maybe they’re vegetarian.”

I spent the next few moments thinking about vegetarian ham monsters nibbling away at stray pieces of lettuce that dangle next to the ham excess on their sides.  Ham monster love handles.  And then I thought about my friend as a plastic monkey.  He was right of course, he would make a fantastic plastic monkey.  Just what variety plastic monkey he’d become, well, that’s tough to say.  When one changes gender, there are relatively few choices.  When one changes into a plastic monkey, there is a world of variety.  Think for a moment about every plastic monkey you’ve ever encountered in you’re life.  At first you might think, “What plastic monkeys? What are you talking about?”  After some thought, however, you start thinking about the little plastic monkey you saw the other day on somebody’s trinket shelf, the King-Kong toy you had as a child, suddenly your mind is awash in a sea of plastic monkeys.  Plastic monkeys you’ve never even thought of or seen before start creeping into your thoughts.  That’s the thing about plastic monkeys, just because a variety doesn’t exist doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t.  The possibilities are endless.  Your only limit to what type of plastic monkey you might become is your own ability to imagine a suitable plastic monkey type.  Those with poor imaginations should avoid life as plastic monkeys.

I thought next of a world in which plastic monkeys freely interacted with ham monsters.  They would start as friends.  Neighbors, even.  I see it unfolding like this: 

Efferstein Sandalam the ham monster wakes up in the morning, makes a pot of coffee, brings a cup to his lovely wife Janice Sandalam and walks out to get the paper.  While getting the paper he sees Ellerfonsi Yertanza, the plastic monkey.  Plastic monkeys being much less mobile than ham monsters Mr. Yertanza has been getting his paper for the last half hour. 

“Hey there Mr. Yertanza”, Sandalam says cordially, “Beautiful morning”.

Yertanza, consumed by the difficult task of animation and not being blessed with the power of speech – or a mouth – is only able to manage a slight plastic grunt.

“Those plastic monkeys are so rude”, Sandalam says to his wife later, “They never even say hello”. 

This event and others like it get under Sandalam’s skin and he begins to harbor a general distrust of plastic monkeys.  Then come the meetings.  Large collections of ham monsters get together in the basement of the local Disabled Veteran Ham Monster Association building.  There is coffee and stale doughnuts and talk of how to deal with this problem of plastic monkey hostility.

“They never even say hello”, Sandalam says. 

“Yeah!” Ted Johnson yells.

 “Right on!” Sam Patterson contributes.

They decide something must be done, but just what is unsure.  After the meeting, the rest of the ham monsters also discuss Efferstein Sandalam’s odd name. 

“I think he’s Pakistani”, one says.

 “No, I heard his mom was a corned beef on rye though”, another adds.

 “Jewish?” Several whisper at once.

 “I’m just telling you what I heard”.

Across town there’s another meeting, this one at the Boy Plastic Monkey Scouts of America building.  Only the plastic monkeys with voice boxes speak while the rest communicate with a complex system of foot shuffling developed in a think tank somewhere underneath Arizona.

Yertanza shuffles his feet and the lead translator says, “Mr. Yertanza wishes to point out the danger inherent in the growing hostility towards our people amongst the ham monsters”.  There is a mass shuffling of feet.

“Alright, alright!” the lead plastic monkey, Speaker Jeffery Konzi says, “Lets try to speak one at a time here”.

The plastic monkeys are frightened.  They have seen this anger growing in the ham monster community.  They consider the ham monsters brutish and unsophisticated and are very concerned that the ham monsters will soon become violent.  A consensus is reached that a preemptive strike against the ham monster community is necessary.

“We are at a supreme disadvantage physically against these monsters of ham”, Konzi says using the currently PC “monster first” language, “We must strike before they do or we will be wiped out”.

That night there is a string of explosions all over town.  Ham monster homes and businesses are engulfed in flames.  The ham monsters are devastated as the burned bodies of fallen ham monsters are pulled from the cinders in the following morning.  Predictably the plastic monkeys are nowhere to be found.  They have bunkered themselves in at their meeting site.  Angry and desperate the surviving ham monsters march towards the plastic monkey site burning every plastic monkey owned home and business they encounter along the way.  When they reach the Boy Plastic Monkey Scouts Building they start throwing malotov cocktails and bricks through the windows until the plastic monkeys inside are forced into the parking lot.  Carrying rifles, they exit the building shooting.  A life or death struggle ensues and when the dust settles only one ham monster and one plastic monkey are left.  Both badly injured Efferstein Sandalam and Ellerfonsi Yertanza exchange bewildered glances before finally engaging in hand to hand combat.                        

“I don’t think you should be a plastic monkey.” I said. “I don’t want to be a ham monster anymore either. It would be a shame to ruin such a nice friendship”.