Where's My Ho?

I’m pissed as hell that Eminem has a movie. Not that it’s a huge hit, which is appalling all by itself, but that he has a movie at all.

Where’s my movie?

I’m not even a prick.

See, I was supposed to have had my movie by now. Or my book, or my sitcom, or my brief but turbulent and sexually charged political career. We’re all supposed to have our fifteen minutes.

But no. Eminem got my movie, and my hit album. And my ho’s. Somebody else got all my cool stuff.

Not any of the crappy stuff. I got all that.

I still have all my bills. I still have inadequate health insurance, poor eyesight, acid reflux, and underwear I bought in 1997. I still have an unused Nordic Track, an old pair of parachute pants, and a Duran-Duran album.

What I am missing is all the cool stuff I was supposed to have had by now. The money, and success, and opportunity, and advantage.

I know I was supposed to have cool stuff. It says so in the handbook that came with my privileged life.

Or should have come with my privileged life. Actually, I never got my handbook. But I presume I should have had one. And it’s pretty easy to guess what would have been in it if I had.

See, I’m a white male, a member of the privileged Patriarchy, to whom money and success and opportunity and advantage theoretically flock like moths to a flame. I’ve been told repeatedly and loudly throughout my life that the unfairly beneficial status to which I was born was the result of my color and sex, and it would result in greater achievement and prosperity than could ever be imagined by the not insignificant minorities of color and femininity.

So where’s my cool stuff? I seem to have missed a memo. Clearly, merely being white and having external hardware are not enough to guarantee the benefits of position. If I’d gotten the welcome basket that apparently is supposed to come with entry into the ranks of the privileged, I’d have found the handbook between the Beluga and the Silver Spoon… and it would have unlocked the secrets of the Universe. It would’ve told me the secret handshake that unlocks the bank vaults, the mysterious signals that telegraph to other members of the elite that we are brethren, like gaydar in a San Francisco dance club; I’d have the phone numbers of the Lotto pickers and the movie producers and the ho’s.

But no, youth culture is an oxymoron that has no use for me, and the cool stuff is going to Eminem, Britney Spears and Johnny Knoxville. The albums and the movies and the fame and the fortune and the ho’s are going to talentless short-sighted uninspired hacks wearing diversion in the form of transparent pasties and their pants around their ankles to distract you from the fact that they’re really mere angry, spoiled, inarticulate arrested adolescents with nothing of value to contribute but lengthy and tiresome complaints about the unfairness of life set to the sound of two cats being run over by a vacuum cleaner, and home movies of themselves swimming in raw sewage, or, when inspiration fails, the simple promise of a peek at their naughty bits if you’ll just please buy their latest derivative album. It’s easy to shock people; it’s easy to piss people off. They’re looking for a reason to be pissed off. They’re already pissed off. Getting apathetic, persecuted children to pay attention to you by taking your clothes off and screaming that life is unfair is shooting fish in a barrel. It’s simple, and uninspired, and boring.

But it’s easier than proposing solutions.

Youth is wasted on the young, and success is wasted on the undeserving, for whom a hit song means hollering about how much money you have and how bad you are and carries the ironic subtext that you’re laughing all the way to the bank and the people who keep buying your albums anyway are just idiots with no taste and nobody to model any thoughtful alternative; for whom creativity is confused with creating offense; for whom success and opportunity means a skanky bitch in a fishnet tube top and a condom dispenser on her belt. Apparently, to children, success looks like my grandfather at a slot machine in Vegas, with old-guy giant glasses, baggy velour sweat suits, rings the size of toasters and necklaces like anchor chains off a Princess Cruise Liner and a hooker on his elbow.

If I’d had my handbook, I’d have bought much cooler stuff.

We’ve no one to blame but ourselves. You get the government you deserve, and likewise we can complain that youth culture is destroying our children but if we simply withheld the cash it would go away. It is a symptom of our own apathy and disassociation. We give Eminem money, we reward his angry mediocrity by giving him permission to sell his message to our children and we give them the money to buy it; we give our daughters Christina Aguilera CDs, then send them to the eighth-grade dance dressed like hookers and strippers, hidden under a layer of makeup applied with a spatula, in a g-string made out of licorice.

I get by only because I tell myself that this flavor of the month too will pass… Vanilla Ice is delivering pizzas, Ice-T is that angry black cop on Law and Order and nobody remembers his music, Mister T is selling long distance, though I’m not sure what that has to do with anything. And one day MTV will chew Eminem/Ludacris/Reediculous/Felonious Punk up and spit them out as soon as an angrier and louder child shows the ability to sell more Kias and Mountain Dew and Old Navy, and they’ll realize that MTV never cared about their message at all but only for their ability to sell Red Bull to pre-teens, that they were merely ho’s themselves, and their important, insightful modern poetry will go the way of Men Without Hats and the revolution will start all over again because youth culture has no use for history and so neither the tools nor the patience for genuine cultural evolution.

In the meantime, I’m looking for my handbook. I checked under the stack of past due bills… it wasn’t there. It wasn’t stuffed in the pile of resumes that got returned unopened, or accidentally folded into the classified sections that are piling up on my coffee table. It wasn’t in my wallet. It would have been obvious there.

I’m looking for it because I know that someday the tide must turn; that one day it will no longer be the boorish, loud and angry half-clothed purveyors of violence and hatred and bitterness and irresponsible anonymous sex that are rewarded with success and money and opportunity.

It’ll be my turn.

And I’ll be pissed.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.


I was ordering a burger at McDonald’s but I couldn’t take my eyes off this chick’s eyebrows.

They were the kind of eyebrows that look like they must be an accident; but they can’t be an accident because they match.

Her real eyebrows are gone. The place above her eyes where the eyebrows should be is just a bald ridge of bone, like maybe they got burned off in some terrible deep-fat fryer accident on the night shift; her forehead is the shiny smooth dome of Captain Picard from her hairline to her eyeballs.

In place of her eyebrows there are, instead, two great huge brown arcs, each one half the famous McDonalds logo in of itself, one golden arch over each eye. There is nothing about either one that is remotely like an eyebrow; each is nearly a half-inch thick, square at either end. I’m sure, as I’m staring at them, that they’re the result of a magic-marker. A big fat wide permanent felt-tip laundry pen has left behind these two ridiculous St. Louis Arches, two amazing tourist attractions, the eighth and ninth wonders of the world. People probably come from miles around to this McDonald’s to see this woman’s eyebrows.

She’s looking at me with this permanent look of utter astonishment, a snapshot of surprise frozen on the front of her head like a clown in rigor, and I realize that she’s been asking me if I want to Super Size my meal and I’ve just been staring at her Super Size eyebrows and have completely forgotten why I’m even there. It blows my mind to consider that she’s done this to herself on purpose … that this wasn’t something somebody did to her when she was passed out on the couch, while they were waiting for her bra to freeze. This is by design… and I’m assuming it means that she’s happier with these two amazing tags on her head than she was with the face that God gave her.

Doesn’t she have any friends? Doesn’t someone on the planet care enough about her to tell her about the two things living on her forehead? They’d tell her if she had a hunk of pesto stuck in her teeth. Letting her go out in public like this is like letting her go out with a ‘wide load’ sign taped on her ass. It’s like tattooing ‘oops’ on your forehead.

But people do weird crap to themselves all the time. Seventy-year-old ladies who dress in purple sweatsuits with purple hats and purple sunglasses with rhinestones and glitter, like big velour TeleTubbies. Their kids let them go out to breakfast at Denny’s like this. I was at Disneyland when I saw a guy with a feathered mullet, black fishnet tank top, gold-capped teeth and silver parachute pants. This was not when parachute pants were cool (yes, they were cool once, I tell myself). He apparently didn’t have any friends either. And it’s clear that nobody with a comb-over has any friends. But all these people, the purple sweat-suit comb-over mullet crazy eyebrow people really believe that they look good, and that’s sad.

Baggy-pant skater boys with their boxers hanging out think they look good. Rappers with “Ridiculous” carved into the gold Buick grilles they keep on their teeth think they look good. Guys with 36-inch waxed handlebar mustaches think they look good. We all think we look good, and the only thing that keeps us from knowing what we really look like is the fact that nobody really cares enough about us to tell us the truth.

So as I’m standing here staring at this woman I’m wondering whether or not I should say something to her … something like “don’t move, there are two scary-ass centipedes surrounding your eyeballs”. Something like “how nice of you to let your kids do your makeup for you”. Something like “All this time I thought Ronald was a guy”.

I’d be doing her a big favor with a reality check like that. Calling it what it is. Doing the thing her friends would do for her, if she had any.

But I don’t. And I’ll tell you why.

Because I don’t want anyone doing it to me. I like the delusion I’ve created for myself with regard to my hair and my ass. I don’t really care at this point to hear that it’s George Costanza I look like and not Bruce Willis. It’s not important. What’s important is that I believe the 3700 calories wrapped in my Super Sized Big Mac and fries don’t show on me.

I’m sure she thinks she’s beautiful. It’s not important that she’s not.

So yes, I say to her, I’ll super-size that. Give me some extra fries and a slab of cheese, and deep-fry me a stick of butter while you’re at it. And by the way, your eyebrows look lovely and normal and not at all freakish and scary.

And don’t let me catch you staring at my humongous ass as I walk away.

The power of positive thinking.

I never thought I’d hear myself say that.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.

The "Boys Who Like Girls" Scouts Of America

My son used to be in the Boy Scouts. He is not any more. This is not because he’s gay, although I suppose it’s not impossible. It’s because he’s easily bored, and the people who run the local Boy Scout troop are utter morons.

My son likes to play outside, camp, build things, and get dirty. Somehow, the Boy Scouts couldn’t keep him interested. Boy Scouts don’t spend time tying knots any more. That’s what those kinky fags do. Teach a boy to tie knots, he’ll start tying up his playmates.

They spent a lot of time saluting the flag. I was surprised at that, considering it sounds so much like fag.

But I can see why the Boy Scouts consider homos such a threat. It’s an organization that depends on testosterone driven masculinity, after all. Women have nothing to do with the Scouts, except as den mothers, and then their job is to bring cookies. The Scouts is run by men, as it should be. Grown men who, as Scouts themselves, grew up hanging out exclusively with other boys, and now want to spend their adult lives volunteering all their spare time to wear a uniform with shorts and badges and nurture young boys in large groups away from the prying eyes of women and parents.

All of which will teach the boys the important lessons in manhoodly behavior.

Like hanging out exclusively with other men. Camping together, earning sewing badges together, mending one another’s uniforms together, cooking together, camping together, carving little bolos in the shape of strapping Native American braves together, sleeping in tents together, bathing in streams together.

All of which would clearly be threatened if there was a fag there.

How inappropriate would that be?

To ensure that there would be no confusion, the troop voted to call the organization “The ‘Boys Who Like Girls’ Scouts of America”.

At that point, I announced that I would consider joining myself, insofar as I, too, like Girl Scouts.

I was embarrassed to discover that wasn’t what they meant. Too late, however, to intercept the restraining order from the local Brownie Troop.

In any event, my son will now be taking part in another, perhaps more macho American male pastime. Playing football in the Pop Warner league.

Huddling together. Showering together. Acknowledging one another’s successes with friendly pats on the buttocks.

I’ll be honest, though, at first I wasn’t sure how I should feel about all this; I thought that perhaps I should make him stay in the Scouts, just to teach him about commitment and follow-through.

To get an opinion, I called Doctor Laura. Just to be sure.


ME: Hello, Doctor Laura?

Dr. L: Yes.

ME: Hi Doctor Laura. I’m a first time caller, and –

Dr. L: what’s your question for me?

ME: Well, I’m my kid’s dad –

Dr. L: Am I not making sense here? I thought I was speaking English.

ME: I’m sorry, Doctor Laura –

Dr. L: I don’t do therapy here. I answer ethical and moral questions. Is this a question of morality?

ME: I have a question about my son –

Dr. L: Do you live with his mother?

ME: Well, no –

Dr. L: And whose fault is that?

ME: I’m not sure what –

Dr. L: I’ll tell you whose fault it is. You’re the one who failed. You put your penis inside his mother, and ejaculated, and made a baby, because the orgasm felt good, and now you don’t want to be a man and take responsibility and live with his mother and make a family and a home for him?

ME: But we –

Dr. L: But we wanted “happiness”. We wanted “fulfillment”. What you wanted was to walk out on your responsibility because you don’t understand commitment. Isn’t that right?

ME: I just wanted to know if my son should stay in the Boy Scouts.

Dr. L: Do you want him to grow up to be a fag?

ME: I don’t really care –

Dr. L: Isn’t that just the problem with the world today? Nobody cares, nobody makes a commitment. Nobody wants to have an opinion, nobody wants to judge, nobody wants to throw the first stone, nobody wants to hang heathens, nobody wants to drown witches. Everybody just wants to “live and let live”. If we all just led the kinds of lives we wanted, where would we be then? Where would we be?

ME: *click*

So my son left the Boy Scouts, and now will play football.

And on Monday nights, we will watch the game, appropriately without the company of Dennis Miller, a man with big hair, delicate hands and neat custom tailoring, and all will be right with the world.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.

Where Did This Old Man Ass Come From?

Where did this old man ass come from, and why is it following me around?

I remember when I used to fill these pants out like freakin’ Barishnikov … well, not these pants, since these are the pants I bought when it was made abundantly clear that big bottom bells were no longer de rigueur.

I knew that because I couldn’t find them in a real store anymore, and the only place they had ‘em was the Salvation Army thrift store … where they got sent after 15-year-old slackers realized they were no longer cool.

Either that, or I had to special-order them from K-mart, having them transferred from another store in another town where good taste and grunge hadn’t yet reached. Which I thought was very cool, having my pants special-ordered, almost as cool as having them professionally tailored, until I realized that the pimply-faced cranky night manager was pointing at me from behind the special-order kiosk, whispering to the crew that they should all show up next Tuesday on the off chance that I’d actually try them on before I left.

I suspect that somewhere, now, on the internet, is a 20 year old security tape of me looking at my ass in the mirror and wondering if the pants are long enough to get suitably shredded beneath the heels of my loggers boots, on a website called can_you_believe_this_loser_hasn’t_discovered_depeche-mode.com.

So now I wear these husky dungarees, these roomy-fit dungarees, the pants with the zippered front because button-fly is just entirely too time consuming, and unsettlingly untrustworthy, and I look at my ass in the mirror before I leave the house and I realize that the waistline is riding just a little too high and if I backed up against the wall there’d really be no space to slide a pencil behind the small of my back. My ass is now basically just the non-descript area between my hips and the backs of my thighs, a fly-over state with little to offer but an unobstructed view of the horizon and a salt-flat you could play billiards on. Some unfortunate women have cankles, where their calves just run right on through to where their ankles are supposed to be and into their feet. I have a Paul Reiser ass. An ass that makes it look like my pelvis is tilted backwards and someone is leading my around by my penis.

The point of all this is that I have no idea where this old man ass came from.

But I have my suspicions. I’m pretty sure it belongs to the old man that been hitching a ride behind me from the beginning, waiting patiently behind the idealistic, sexy, naïve, ballsy and adventurous imposter that we like to spend our best years pretending knows jack … quietly whispering to himself that the imposter’s days are numbered, that time will be unkind, that gravity will take its toll, that patience will wear thin and the knocks will come harder until the imposter finally flees in a whiny escape, arms flailing and batting at the unflinching unfairness of it all like a swarm of relentless bees, and the old man can step in and take his rightful place, just and right and true, even if he can’t fill out the pants.

The promise of the old man ass is that it signifies experience, and a theoretical amount of wisdom. The old man ass has been patiently observing, cataloging the mistakes and the arrogance and the poor judgment, and making a laundry list of ‘crap only a moron would do’ to share with the new young imposters in the form of stone tablets etched with the diamond-edged accuracy that only insight into the truth of the universe can afford.

The drawback of the old man ass is that it is stunningly unattractive. The old man ass is the result of time, and mileage, male pattern baldness, drunken debauchery, disappointment and failure, car insurance payments and the loss of love. The old man ass has given in to gravity, no longer tries to fill out the big bells, and given its lack of volume and its afterthought position, is often too little too late. It’s like having an elderly Siamese twin that only wants to watch home movies and slide shows of the family trip to Ohio when you want to watch MTV’s Spring Break in Tahiti, and it’s holding the remote control. It remains in your shadow; you forget that it’s there, and you blissfully carry on as though you still filled your tights like Barishnikov, and you only catch sight of it when you peek in the mirror, look for that Barishnikov ass, and there’s that Paul Reiser, high-waisted, no-man’s land where your ass used to be. And the dirty little secret is that your not being led around by your penis, you’re being pushed around by your old man ass.

Thank God I read the tablets, and saw the inscription “thou shalt not commit heinous acts of fashion and arrogance”. I’m glad I’m not in those big bottom super bells any more.

The old man ass is right about a lot of things. But it’s not right about everything. Why does it need to be an old man ass? Why doesn’t experience and mileage and wisdom come with more attractive options? Why can’t it be the old man set of rock hard pecs? Or the old man luxurious head of hair? Or the old man prostate the size of a pea? Or the old man patience of Job?

The trick is to find a way to get the old man ass to fill out your comfort-cut JC Penney’s wanna-be Levi’s – to lose the shirt with the snaps and the paisley yoke, the mood ring, the shag haircut and the puka shell necklace, and hang onto the idealistic, sexy, ballsy and adventurous Barishnikov ass that still looks good in a fashionable pair of tights.

If I figure it out, I’ll be sure to share it with you. Etched on a pair of stone tablets. I’ll be the guy with the ass.

That’s it. That’s all I got.

Where Is My Future?

Where is my future?

I know it must be here somewhere. It was promised to me – I was banking on it being here.

Where is my future?

Let me explain what I mean.

So I’m driving through Aromas the other day, a dinky little town in the middle of nowhere with one four-way stop sign and a cow crossing, and I receive a very important phone call. Now this is someone I’ve wanted to talk to for days, so I consider this call to be a very high priority. I figure, hey, I’m in the middle of the country… no buildings, no bridges, no bizarre technological interference. I’m excited.

But of course, I discover that in fact I can’t hear this person. I can hear maybe every other syllable. I discover that no, the middle of the country with no conceivable source of interference is not the place to take a cell phone call, because, God forbid, I’m between two barns and a Piggly Wiggly, and I got interference as if the good old boy in front of me on the highway is carrying a nuclear reactor in the bed of his F150.

So I have to holler into the phone – I have to assume she can hear me, as there is no actual conversating taking place, and I start shouting ‘I’m losing you… you’re breaking up … I … what? … No … I can barely hear you … I’m going to hang up, and try you again in just a minute!’ Now of course, little do I know, she’s on the other end of the line, shouting ‘What? No … I … you’re breaking up … What? I’m losing you … I’m going to hang up, and try you again in just a minute.’

So we both call each other back, and of course our lines are busy.

Thank God I have a cell phone.

So as I’ve discovered, cell phones are only of use when you’re in the middle of the city, in the heart of the industrialized First World, where the repeater stations and the antennae are abundant, where you don’t need a freaking cell because there’s a damn pay-phone on every corner, and you’re never more than twenty minutes from the office and your voicemail. If you’re in the middle of nowhere, where people might have trouble finding you, and you might find yourself broken down on the side of the road fighting off the guy from Deliverance with a tire iron, they’re less helpful than two cans of soup and a ball of string.

What they’re good for is wandering up and down the aisles of Blockbuster, talking with the folks at home, trying to choose between ‘Deuce Bigelow – Male Gigolo’ and ‘Faces of Death II: The Quickening’. I’m like freaking Captain Kirk – chatting with Scotty a thousand miles away, able to save the planet, get the girl and order a large pie with sausage all at the same time.

The damn cell phone is just one modern marvel that’s failed to live up to my childhood fantasies … just one of the broken promises that the shiny, humming, bubbly future of Woody Allen’s ‘Sleeper’ has failed to deliver on.

Where’s my personal robot assistant? Where’s my ray gun? Where’s my Orgasmatron? Where’s the happy, shiny future I was promised?

When I was a youngster, I was convinced that by the time I was old enough to drive, there would be no cars, ‘cuz everyone would be zipping around in hovercraft, and cars would be a thing of the past. It was exciting, knowing that loud, dirty American V8 would be replaced by some kind of George Jetson popcorn popper looking thing that folds out of a briefcase.

But here we are, 10 years later (okay, 20 years later. okay, 30 years later) and where’s my shiny popcorn popper briefcase car?

Nowhere. Instead, we got big, fat, gas guzzling SUV’s that tip over when you turn ‘em, and gas is freaking 3 bucks a gallon and rising.

Where’s my holodeck? Where’s my transmogrifier? Where’s the happy, shiny future I was promised?

Television was, of course, going to be the great equalizer one-day. We would all have access to important information, great accomplishments of science would be broadcast, and the atrocities of war would be made plain to the masses and peace would reign supreme.

What do I got? I got channel after channel of reality television, where I can watch people air their dirty laundry, cheat on their significant others, and puke on themselves with their faces blurred out while the Cops handcuff them to a fire hydrant for chasing their cousins under the motor home with a bottle of Jack ‘cuz “she’s got a purty mouf”.

The frightening devastation that brought an end to The War to End All Wars also brought the promise of cheap, clean, pure, American power pulsing from the smokeless stacks of the local Nook-ewe-lure powerplant.

What I got is paranoia, three-eyed fish, and the freedom to run my appliances after seven PM on alternate days starting with K.

Where’s my anti-gravity jumpsuit? Where’s my transporter? Where’s the happy, shiny future I was promised?

And the greatest scientific accomplishment televised to my generation, the landing of the first man on the moon, doesn’t get me the elegant space stations, romantic interstellar travel and the opportunity to Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before that I was told I would get… But it does give us all the opportunity to watch some vacuous boy-band American Idol with as many IQ points as he has pearly white teeth buy his way onto a space station with the extra twenty-million dollars he didn’t need and wasn’t interested in spending on a new well in Central America, a college scholarship program, or the Red Cross. It does get me some new satellites that guarantee me access to thirty more channels of reality television, game show reruns, and a network dedicated to the Wayans Brothers. And the ability, if all goes well, to send a package from Australia to New York so fast that it gets there at 5 o’clock the day before I sent it, for those times when it “absolutely, positively has to get there yesterday”.

Because we all know that delivering the latest Papa Roach CD to distributors in New York is a much higher priority than delivering on the promise of the future.

That’s it. That’s all I got.