Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Original Adopter Day

It would start with a big party. Drinking. Food. Lots of 80s music. Celebrities would stop as they walked by to thank you for all you did. After an hour, the “special guests” arrive. At first, you’ll think they’re just a bunch of middle-aged, overweight women and clowns, but then you notice the embarrassing signs as they parade past you and you recognize a few of them. The clowns are the boys who bullied you in school and the women are the girls who laughed when you asked them out.

Jimmy Fallon is in the back trying to get a better look.

Next comes the ticker tape parade on floats. You get to sit on the float that best represents you. There’s a Dungeons and Dragons float, an Anime float, and a whole lot of floats for classic computers. Pick your float carefully, because there’s a race later. Yep, you read that right, parade float races! You probably want to take the Amiga float instead of the Atari 800 float, if you care about winning. I’d also suggest avoiding the Timex Sinclair, since it tends to get squished by the mainframe floats.

This poor guy is gonna get crushed.

In the end, you go to a smaller, private venue for the closing ceremony. Bill Gates gets on stage with Steve Jobs and Jobs thanks everyone by name while Gates and blows you a kiss.

Next year, we have Ellison and Bushnell coming.

For the geeks and nerds, who were once ridiculed for thinking that computers were important, who played role playing games or liked science fiction, yet proved the harbingers of the future, how could we do less?

Monday, July 19, 2010

End of the Bugs

A while ago, I found these two bugs dead, caught trying to escape my mailbox through a tiny slit in the side. What I found tragic, and a bit amusing, was that they could have escaped if they had taken turns crawling out. Instead they tried to escape at the same time, and ended up wedged in there, dangling half in and half out.

I decided to try and increase my readership by creating a series of amusing, controversial, and, lets face it, brilliant satirical comic strips about two bugs waiting to die.  They sang. They confessed their sins to each other. They annoyed 50% of my readership (hi Mary!) so I dropped the strip. You will never see the episodes where they pray, argue about their lost friend they hoped would rescue them (I found him inside the mailbox, minus his head), or the big finale where a bird ate them.

Still, the mystery remained. I couldn’t figure out why those beetles were in my mailbox to begin with. Then, on Thursday afternoon, I went out to get the mail and found this:

They had returned in great numbers to haunt me again. And, to make matters more strange, many of them were still alive, including one poor guy hanging out of the gap in the corner like his compatriots had, flailing his legs at me as if to say “Help a poor insect, kind sir?” I imagine, like all bugs, he had a cockney accent.

So, there I am, staring at the mailbox, trying to figure out what was going on. One of the dead beetles had wings sticking out, so they could, theoretically, fly. So why had they flown into the mailbox in the first place? I looked directly above the mailbox to the porch light and it suddenly hit me.

On Wednesday nights, I teach until after dark. My wife, in a romantic display of concern that I’ll trip on our outdoor toy collection, leaves the light on for me. Last week, we must have left the mailbox open all night. The beetles flew towards the light, and bumped into it, stunning and killing themselves. Then they fell into the open mailbox where they were too confused to worn out to fly out again.

Mystery solved, I dumped the beetles out, saving their lives until the next day when I found them floating in the wading pool. Oh well, can’t have everything, but it’s nice to know my detective skills are intact.

Now, if I could find out where the avocado came from.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lessons from the Blue Hair

I have had brown hair for a few weeks now. My experience with the blue hair has been one of constant rediscovery and wonder. As I look forward to my blessed future and drift from my dark and mysterious past I am filled with a sense of accomplishment. No more will I fail to see the fairies that hide beneath every fallen leaf. No longer will I shy from that which is new and terrifying, for there are always wonders to behold. I shall kiss the dew of the sun-

You know, I can’t pull that off. Pretend I didn’t write that.

I don’t remember where I got the idea to dye my hair, but it’s something everyone should do once in their life, like a man growing a beard or a woman making out with another woman in front of her husband.

At first, I was going to have my hair dyed green (so I could claim I “went green” for the environment) but my son, having once had a Happymeal Lego Batman toy, was worried I’d look like The Joker.

I told my stylist, and she was disturbingly excited. When I told her I was putting it off for my fortieth birthday (I didn’t want to switch to blue hair in the middle of teaching a stuffy English Composition class) she was crushed, but then talked about it for a full year: “Blue or green? How about stripes? Light blue or dark blue? You want to do your eyebrows?”

If you decide to dye, here’s what you’ll go through:

Doing It
Unless you have blonde hair, they have to bleach you first. They cover your skin with Vaseline (so they don’t bleach it, too) and then put this white paste over your head. You have cloths over your shirt to protect your clothes, or so they say. They also say they have to put a plastic bag over your head, or sit you in front of the open door while people walk by, and make you hold up a sign that says “I’m a dork.” I’m sure there’s some good reason for it.

When the bleaching is over, you look a bit like Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Yeah, I looked exactly like that.

Then they wash the bleach out, which is a relief because the stuff itches like hell, and comb in the blue dye. The blue dye looks like white goop when it goes on, so don’t accuse your stylist of putting in the wrong color, or threaten not to tip her, or make disparaging comments about her race. Not that anyone would do that; I’m just saying...

Anyway, after the blue dye is in, your stylist will pull your hair into a Mohawk shape and put you in front of the open door again, this time with a sign that says “I’m a racist with a small penis.” At that point, a woman who came into the shop to have her purple hair turned back to brown will look at you pityingly as she leaves and say something like “Don’t worry, you’ll love it.” You may cry at that point. Not that you would.

Immediate Aftermath
Your hair will stick together. I don’t know if it’s the bleaching or the coloring or both, but when you wash your hair, it will turn into glue and you won’t be able to get your fingers through it. Your shower floor will turn blue. Your towels will turn blue. You will find blue threads all over the floor and wonder if one of your shirts is falling apart. You won’t be able to wear red, since it will clash.

All that aside, you will look pretty damned good.

Social Reactions
The secretary at your work may stare at you intensely while telling you how much she likes your hair. However, that will be the last time any young woman makes a positive comment; they’ll be too afraid of their own sudden, powerful carnal desires your hair evokes in them. Still, some of them will smile at you. That one woman you know who has those bad highlights will shout “Did he have blue hair?!” when you leave the room. Children will approach you and you and tell you about every time they saw you in the last three weeks. Strangers will say “Nice hair” and ask if you’re in a play.  Your grandmother will freak out and ask you to hide it if you visit so her friends don't see it.

Eventually, the color will fade to a combination of the bleached yellow and pale blue: a kind of sickly grey-green. Your roots will come in, but not fast enough to hide the fading. The strangers will still say “Nice hair,” but with contempt. Beautiful women will stop offering you sex, but they’ll do it retroactively back to the day you were born, so you won’t remember them offering in the first place. Celebrities such as Katy Perry and Julia Lewis will steal your idea, making it seem like you were copying them instead of vice versa.

Back to Brown
Going back is much easier; your stylist just combs this white stuff into your hair. Again, remember not to suggest she gave you the wrong color, or chase her around the salon, trying to brain her with a curling iron. People will stop commenting on your hair, but you may notice they still stare at you from time to time and you won’t know why. Pale blue shades will re-emerge, taunting you with your sordid past.

After it was all done, I realized just how much I’m not a “people person.” A people person would have used his blue hair to make new friends and climb the social ladder. I just made the same joke again and again. I guess it just made me uncomfortable, more than anything. I can only imagine what my life would have been like if I was an actor with fans and detractors accosting me on the street. A least with a hair color I can turn it back and become anonymous again.

Well, anonymous until I do it again next year.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Popular Liberal Movies for Conservative Audiences 2

I feel your pain.  The liberal Hollywood elite that George Bush the First told us about has put a stranglehold on American Movies.  Now the 4th of July is here and you have to sit through hour after hour of movies that don't represent your belief system.  Well, "I Can Write Funny" is here to ease your pain by rewriting liberal movies.

This week: classic movies.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
The government forces the Boy Scouts of America to accept homosexual and atheist kids to their camp in exchange for a land grant to build a "tolerance camp."  With the help of Mr. Smith, several corporations pull together and buy the land to build a dam instead.  The famous "filibuster scene" is replaced with one where Smith sits in his chair and just says "I filibuster" every hour to the cheers of the crowd.

The Manchurian Candidate
Iselin is proven right; there are, in fact, 57 communists working in the state department.  He's shot by communist sympathizers at the convention, but Joseph McCarthy jumps on stage and finishes his speech.  Americans wholeheartedly embrace the blacklist and anyone suspected of being a communist is thrown in jail.

As Spartacus and his army are surrounded on three sides by enemy armies, he reveals his secret cache of weapons.  The weapons had been purchased through a secret donation of $19 million from the CIA to fight the communist factions within Rome.  He praises the Reagan Doctrine, defeats the armies, and retires to grow food on his federally subsidized farm.