Friday, January 30, 2009


About a year before I got my job on Animaniacs I was dead broke. I remember my wife and I searching through our couch to find loose change so we could buy an 'Oh Boy" pizza. For those of you who have never had an 'Oh Boy' pizza, just know that they came frozen in packages of 2. They cost 2 dollars. It wasn't so much a pizza. It was a pizza product.

I was performing with the ACME Comedy group at the time. I was buying costumes and wigs and props and charging it to the credit card. One day my wife pointed out that we had no money to pay for all these things. I had to get some income. Quick.

A few of us at ACME were in the same boat. Although some situations were more dire than others. Mine was dire. Deeply dire. Depressingly dire.

I read in an acting magazine that a company was hiring performers for children's parties. How bad could that be? I was already performing at ACME twice a week. I can do that. Of course I can do that. I think I can do that.

Auditions for the job were the next day. I talked it up to other members of the ACME troupe. We should all go. It'll be fun. Nobody took the bait. Nobody but Adam Carolla. Frankly, I don't think he actually took the bait, I think he just went to see how stupid this was going to be and perhaps to give me moral support.

Luckily for Adam, the audition went beyond stupid towards the sublime. About 20 of us role-played, pranced around stupidly and learned how to make balloon animals. Halfway through, Adam and I started laughing. The sort of laugh you laugh in church. The laugh that won't stop. Finally, he gave up and stood in the back of the room. Adam was out. 

I, however, needed the gig. I was in.

The company had all sorts of costumes of different characters that they provided for specific parties. However, because of copyright issues, the characters couldn't be called something like "Winnie The Pooh", but had to be called, "Chubby Honey Bear." The "Ninja Turtles" couldn't be called that and were instead called, "Karate Kicking Turtle People" or something like that.

The "Ninja Turtles" were really big at the time and that's what I got stuck with the most. 

The day before my very first party, I went and got my costume from the company. I took it home and tried it on. It was basically a body tight with a fake, styrofoam shell. Then, I put the head on. The head. Oooooh. That head. 

It smelled worse in there than I can possibly describe. Actually, I could describe it, but you'd be sick. There was no way I was going to wear that head. I bought some Woolite, filled up the tub and soaked the head.

The next morning I got up and took the head out of the tub. I tried to dry it. Unfortunately, the head was never meant to be washed and was now more like a green, spongy, blob that sagged all over. It looked like one of the Turtles had been a victim of a massive shotgun wound to the temple. AND, it still smelled.

The party that day was in a very bad part of Los Angeles. BAD. I got there early and parked my car a block away. I had a half hour to kill so I just waited in the costume. I didn't put on the head. I didn't want to be in that disgusting, squishy head longer than I had to. 

As I waited in the car, another car pulled up behind me. Two tough looking guys were in the front seat. They stared at me. I started getting nervous. Great. I'm gonna be shot in a turtle costume. How humiliating. 

Finally they got out of the car and walked to my car. Great. Perfect. I'm dead! I'm a dead turtle! One of the guys came up to my window. He tapped on the glass. Great. Perfect. Dead, dead, turtle.

He flashed his badge. He was an undercover cop and he wanted to know why I was just sitting in my car. I said I was waiting to do a children's party down the street. I picked up the head on the seat next to me.

He looked at me. Then at his partner. He looked at the head. Then he said, "I'm sorry." The "I'm sorry" wasn't a sorry about disturbing me. It was an "I'm sorry" you're so broke that you've dressed up like a turtle. The "I'm sorry" was an I'm sorry you're about to get the sh#@ beat out of you by young boys who are going to be VERY disappointed by your cruddy costume.  

And he was right. As soon as I walked through the door the boys could see by my cruddy costume that I wasn't real. They spent the next hour tormenting the homeless man in the stupid turtle suit. 

I spent the next five months driving from one side of LA to the other doing parties. I was mostly turtles. Sometimes I was Pooh. (I passed out as Pooh in the hot LA Summer.) I was Peter Pan once. That was horrible. 

The last party I ever did was in a park. I was Batman. Halfway through the party I saw a man standing next to a tree. He was laughing. He started waving, "Hi, Batman! Hi!!! Good party Batman!" 

It was Adam Carolla. He was beckoning me back to join the real world, regain my dignity and forever leave the land of childrens' parties behind. And, their smelly heads.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


As I write this I'm flying home from Iceland. What a total waste of time THAT was! Looks like I won't be buying Iceland after all. Which is too bad. Cuz, I would have been a really cool ruler. As it is now, I'm thinking seriously about suing their butts. I come all that way and even pay for my accountant to come...FOR WHAT? 

My accountant says I misunderstood. He's just mad because I'm making him sit in economy for the flight home. Good riddance! He can walk home for all I care. 

Hold on. There's the flight attendant. I'm gonna get another glass of wine.

Okay. I got my wine. So here's what happened. So a couple of days ago. Wait. I wanna get one of those hot towels from the flight attendant cuz I spilled a little bit of my wine. Hold on.

Okay. I got my hot towel and a fresh glass of wine. So anyway a few days ago my accountant calls and wants to know if I want to buy Iceland and I said yeah. He said, "Well come on by the office and we'll sign the papers."

And I said, "Heck no! If I'm gonna buy Iceland, let's fly to Iceland and do it there. I'll buy us two first class tickets."

And he said, "Cool. Okay. Yeah. I've never been to Iceland and I love first class."

So I'm all, "Yah! Let's do it! I'm buying friggin' Iceland."

So we land in Iceland and then when. Oh, wait, there's the flight attendant. I wanna get me another glass of wine and another hot towel to stuff in the guy's mouth behind me because he's snoring and I am beyond annoyed.

Okay. I got another gliss of win and I stuffed a hot towel in the mouth of the man who is sitting behind me because he's snoring and I didn't pay to hear that. Hold on. A woman in the next aisle is looking at me because I stuffed a towel in that guy's mouth. I'm gonna look back at her and be all, "You looking at me! Mind your own beeswax!"

Cool. I don't think she's gonna bug me anymore cuz I told her off really loud. Anyway, my accountant and I go to the government building in Iceland and we go to this room and there's this guy there and I said, "I'm here to buy Iceland."

And he says, "Fine." And he has me sign some papers and I give him a check and then I ask what happens now and he gives me these...these like little embossed pieces of paper and I'm all...

Hold on. There's the flight attendant. I wanna get another glass of wine and nut. 

The flight attendant says they're out of wine. BUMMER. Hold on. The snoring man behind me has a full glass. I'm gonna go get his wine and come back and finish my little story.

Okay. I got Mr. Chubby snoring man's wine. Cool. Okay. So this dude in the office hands me these pieces of paper and I'm wondering what they are. And he says, those are your bonds. Thank you for investing in Iceland's future. And I'm all, "No. No. No. I just bought your country. I don't want little pieces of paper. I want the keys. I'm the boss of you now."

And he looks at my accountant and is like, "Whu?"

And my accountant is all, "Whu?"

And I'm like, "Whu? I thought I was buying Iceland."

And the guy is all, "In a manner of speaking you are. You're buying into Iceland's future. Your investment will help this country build roads, infrastructure, bridges. Help Iceland get back on it's feet. That's what a bond is."

And I'm all, "What am I? Watching friggin' Mary Poppins? I JUST BOUGHT YOUR COUNTRY DAMNIT. NOW GIVE IT!"

Hold on. I want another glass of wine. The woman next to me is just sipping hers and I don't think she wants it. I'm gonna take it. I'll be right back.

Man. I don't know what her deal is. She said I couldn't take it and I said that she was done with it and she said she wasn't. So I just took it. The nerve of some people. 

Anyway, so I looks at my accountant and I said, "You said we were buying Iceland! And I got all excited about that. And now, all I get are some cruddy pieces of paper? You lying liar man!" Then I took the bonds and threw them in the Iceland guy's face and said I wanted my money back and he said I couldn't.

Hold on. The flight attendant wants to talk to me.

Whatever. Can you believe this? She's saying I'm being rude and loud and frightening the passengers. So I told her, "Do you know who I am? I almost bought Iceland. That makes me almost the boss of you! So BE GONE, LADY, OR I'LL FIRE YOU." Then I told her to tell the pilot that I order him to go faster.

So...I don't think she told the pilot to go faster. Just a second. I'm gonna go do that. I'll be right back.

Okay. Uhm. They've locked me in the bathroom. Say I have to stay in here till we land. This whole trip has been terrible.

Here's a picture of my cell.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Hey, everybody! I'm in Reykvavik, Iceland! Wooo! It's cold. I don't have much time because my accountant and I are about to meet with some government people cuz...I'M BUYING ICELAND! Wow! I get chills every time I say that. Iceland! Friggin' ICELAND! I mean, it's a whole country. Whoa!

The way the whole thing came together was totally weird. I called my accountant the other day and he said that I've maintained pretty good credit even though the economy is tanking and did I want to buy Iceland. And I'm like, "Are you kidding? Iceland. Yaaaaa! I think so!"

I guess Iceland is totally broke and with my good credit I can dip into my home equity and....FRIGGIN BUY ICELAND! ICELAND!

My accountant did warn me though that I'd sorta be responsible for everybody in Iceland if I bought it and did I want all the pressure and I thought about and said probably.

I'm probably gonna throw out their constitution cuz it's in Icelandic and I don't read that. Bottom line there's only gonna be five or six laws and everyone is gonna kinda be left to do whatever they want.

I guess I'll be president or something, but since I own the country, I don't think I can get voted out cuz it's my country and I'll just tell them to leave. Or something. I gotta figure that whole part out.

Plus, with my auditions, from time to time I'm gonna have to leave my country to go to Burbank and I'll have to leave someone in charge. Probably my wife. and the whole family really love Puffins. They got gobs of Puffins over here in Iceland.

Anyway, I'll tell ya'll how it goes after my meeting.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009



A square piece of cardboard came off the inside of our microwave. It's only about 3 inches square and my first reaction was to just throw it away.

My wife looked inside the microwave and saw that the cardboard had been covering an opening. An ominous opening. An opening that you don't want to play with. She asked me to put the cardboard back. I couldn't figure out how to get it back on. I told her that it was okay. It didn't need to go back on. It's just cardboard.

Having grown up in communist Cuba for much of her childhood, my wife has a greater respect for cardboard than I do. In Cuba they made all kinds of stuff out of cardboard: boats, planes, car engines, surgical tools, statues, dictators.

Anyway, the little cardboard square would fall off and I'd put it on and it would fall off and I'd put it on...until last week. I just threw it out. It's cardboard. We've been using the microwave since then and it heats my tea up very nicely. Fine. 

Fearing the ominous opening that the cardboard had been covering, my wife contacted the manufacturer yesterday. She got on the phone with a customer service rep and explained that her husband is a putz and he couldn't get the cardboard back on and he didn't think it was important and...

There was a gasp on the other end of the phone. "HAVE YOU USED IT? HAVE YOU USED IT WITHOUT THE CARDBOARD? HAVE YOU? HAVE YOU? ANSWER ME!"

My wife said that, yes, we had been using the microwave without the cardboard because her husband (the putz) said it would be okay.

There was a SCREAM on the other end of the line. My wife heard a chair being pushed back in haste and then heavy footsteps running out of the room. A door opened. Then a shout. "I NEED PATTERSON! AND GET INTEC ON THE LINE! ROUTE ALL INCOMING CALLS TO CENTRAL! ALERT OLIVART, QUEEL, JENKINS AND KIRK! I'VE GOT A SITUATION!!!!!!!!"

A bunch of footsteps could be heard running into the room. A man's voice shouted, "What is it?" 

The woman's voice said, "They've used the microwave without the cardboard thingy!"


The woman's voice said, "Her husband is a putz."

The man then said, "Alright. Let me talk to her. Let me calm down first, though. Gimme a second. I don't want to frighten her. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! WHAT KIND OF HUSBAND WOULD LET THE FAMILY USE A MICROWAVE WITHOUT THE CARDBOARD THINGY! WHAT KIND OF BASTARD...AHHHHHHHHH! Okay. Okay. I'm okay. Let me talk to her."

He then came on the line. "Hello there. I'm Patterson. I'm going to get you through this. It's going to be okay. I'm here to help." My wife thinks she heard him cry as he said those last words.

He continued. "But first. I need to ask you some questions. Do you or anyone in your family have anything growing on you that wasn't there a few weeks ago?"

My wife asked him to clarify.

"Like a third leg...or a large boil that could be another head. It wouldn't have full features yet, but you could make out two eyes if you looked close."

My wife told him that we didn't.

He went on. "Do you or any member of your family feel as though they are being followed or are following someone?"

My wife said no.

"How many fingers am I holding up?"

My wife said she didn't know.

He seemed relieved. "Good. Excellent.ESP can sometimes be a symptom of the poisoning."

"The poisoning," my wife gasped!

"Mrs. Rugg," the man said. "I'm going to ask you to do something very unusual. But it's important. Can you do that for me? Can you do something unusual for me?"

My wife said she could.

"Good. Good. I want you to take you and your daughter outside. I want you to wrap yourselves in heavy duty alluminun foil. It must be heavy duty! IT HAS TO BE! Then, I want you both to stand in a bucket of distilled water and listen to Harry Belafonte songs. Not from when he's all raspy and throaty, the older stuff. Do that for 72 hours. It should dissipate any buildup."

"But what about my husband?" my wife asked.

"Do you really want to help HIM, Mrs. Rugg. Wouldn't it be best if he grew a second head? A walking testament to his vile and selfish putzyness?"

Thankfully, my wife is a kind and loving woman. 

Monday, January 26, 2009


Alfredo Ruiz, Little Lord Lawyery, left yesterday. We dropped him off at the airport and then sped home. Truth be told, he's an obnoxious, little man and we're glad to be rid of him. I take it a few of you are going to use his legal services. Fine. But don't blame me if things go wrong. 

Perhaps the most annoying part of his stay was his eating habits.  After sitting at the table he would completely cover his head in an ermine shawl the sound of it...attack his food. Sometimes he'd yell at the top of his lungs..."I am the conqueror! You cannot escape my teeth. Die, food!."

Anyway. He's gone back to Miami and I can once again pursue a life filled with interesting things to blog about. Like this...


I was on the couch and as I got up I went, "Yuooooooip." It was quick. I don't think my wife and daughter heard it. But I knew. When old people get up from the couch they always make a noise. I call it "the helper noise". Without that noise, they can't get up.


When everyone was asleep, I went back into the family room and sat on the couch. I then got up. The urge to go "Yuoooooooip" was strong. But I resisted. I practiced over and over and over. I don't want to make old man noises. I'm still in my forties. However, I fear I might be one of those to have E.O.O.M.N. (Early Onset Old Man Noise.)

My fear is that E.O.O.M.N. is usually the first stage of E.O.O.M.B. (Early Onset Old Man Behavior) and eventually E.O.O.M.F.S. (Early Onset Old Man Fashion Sense).

Truth be told, I think I might be in the grips of all three. We were at the mall yesterday. We stopped in at the book store and I told the person behind the counter that, "I want to read anything by Studs Terkel or Louis L'Amour." Then I asked if they had any Ed Ames records.

At the drugstore I felt compelled to buy easy-grip canning jars. When my wife asked why I said, "Hush, woman! To put my nails and bolts in! Now stop naggin' and get me liniment."

Perhaps most disturbing was that I started whistling the tune to Winchester Cathedral while whittling a toy boat on the front porch. (We don't have a front porch per se, so I sat in the middle of the street and yelled at kids when they came by on their bikes.) I told them all to "slow down or I'll call the police and that I know what they're up to and I have a shotgun for protection."

When my wife served dinner last night I complained that the portions were too big and that I just wanted tomato soup and melba toast.

Most telling, I think, is that while watching television I complained bitterly that the commercials were too loud and that the weather girl was a honey.

Then, while tucking my daughter in for bed I asked if she knew how to dial 911 in case daddy fell.

While I write this I'm thinking seriously about buying, front-zipper overalls for puttering around in the workshop. We don't have a workshop.

On the upside, this morning I got a call from a telemarketer that said I had won a grand prize. Yep. My own island. Yep. All I had to do was give him my credit card numbers to confirm I'm me. He was very pleasant. The island should be arriving soon.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Hello. I am Alfredo Ruiz Esq. I am known in my place of Miami, as 

Many peoples have I helped in legal issues and many peoples I will help in future times. Maybe these peoples is YOU!

Have you been hit by a truck? I can help you!
Did you hit someone in your truck? I can help you!
Did someone make you mad and feel bad? I can help you!
Did you make someone mad and feel bad? I can help you!
Did a device which you bought injure you in ways? I can help you.
Did you sell a device which injured others in ways? I can help you.
Is something going on with you? I can help you.
Know someone that has something going on? I can help you.

Maybe your cat got sickly from foods that were bad. Let's help kitty TOGETHER! I'll fight for kitty and you will be monetized for poor kitty's hurtness. 

There is no fee unless we get paid! Guaranteed for that!

If you are sitting there being injured and feel like no one is caring. I am! I AM CARING. I AM SO CARING IT IS INCREDIBLE.

So, leave a message on this thing and let us get you right. I will respond in fast measure!

When you have LITTLE LORD LAWYERY on YOUR side. People will shiver! Guaranteed! 

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I have an audition today...

Auditions are a lot like going to the dentist...only there's no novocain. At times, given the choice, I would prefer root canal to the experience of auditioning.

Don't get me wrong, some auditions can be enjoyable Not fun like..."oh, let's do that again." Fun in the sense that..."oh, I didn't die." Other times you leave the auditions hoping to be hit by the largest bus you can find (preferably filled with the morbidly obese...just to give it extra mass.) The interesting thing never know which it is going to be. 

These days, thanks to high speed internet, most auditions are done from the splendor of your own home. You get the copy, grab a mic, record it and send it off. If they like it, you get a callback. That's what I have today.


The callback is a second audition. It usually means they sort of like what you did the first time. The callback is always at a recording studio. You show up and sit in a room filled with other people who have also gotten a callback. You stare at each other and wait. It's sort of like being sent to the principal's office. You're called in one at a time as if the principal want to cross examine you to find out if you know who put the razor blade in Mrs. Princh's coffee cup during recess.

I think it would be better for everyone if they had clowns and balloons and puppies to play with while you wait. Maybe not clowns. Perhaps something like a clown but not as frightening and pathetic. Maybe a nice old woman volunteer who could read us stories and give us milk.

Then it's your turn you go inside the booth and give it your best shot.

Perhaps one of the most bizarre experiences I ever had was a few months ago. In my original audition I had done the voice of the character with a thick Scottish accent and a lisp. When I got the callback, I drove to the studio while rehearsing the whole way doing my best Scottish...lisp voice. 

When it was my turn, I went into the booth and did the lines in a thick Scottish accent and a heavy lisp. When I finished, the director turned to the others in the room and talked. Now, you can never hear what their saying. You just have to kind of wait. Normally they'll talk for a few seconds and then have you do it again...and perhaps again...and again if they like where you are going with the voice. 

In this particular case, they talked and talked and talked for what must have been five minutes. Finally the director's voice came over the speakers. "Good. Okay, Paul. Let's do it again. This time, lose the Scottish accent and the lisp."

What? What? No Scottish. No lisp. Uhm. No Scottish. No lisp. Uhm. Okay. No Scottish. No lisp. I stared at them blankly. The director thought I didn't understand.

She said, "In other words. Do it the same way you just did, only this time without the accent and the lisp. Other than that. We loved it. It was perfect. Really."

I just sorta stared again while quickly thinking what to do. No Scottish. No lisp...which means...I should...I should...sound like...Me. I guess. Okay. I'll do it again. Okay. 

I did it again...only without the lisp and accent I sounded Which I knew I would. I finished.

They talked for another five minutes. Then. "Okay, Paul. We liked your energy before when you had the accent and the lisp. So do it again and sort of do the accent and the lisp...but in your head...without us hearing it. Subtext, in other words."

Oh, hell. I don't know what that means. Damn. Okay. Subtext. Damn. Okay. 

I did it again doing the accent and lisp in my head while not doing it in my voice. The result sounded like a mentally challenged infant from Paraguay. 

When I finished there was no talking this time. Just a polite, "Hey. Thanks a lot for coming in, Paul." Those words always're done. That's your cue to leave. Now, you always hope to leave the room without hearing this next sequence of words:

"Good stuff. Really good stuff. Really. Really." That ALWAYS means they hated it. ALWAYS.

Alas...the next words I heard were...


Where's a bus?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


It seems I may not be as stupid as I thought...

Turns out most of our country's foremost poetry experts agree that the poem performed at the inauguration yesterday wasn't very good. Whew. I felt like I was the only one who didn't understand. But THESE people are educated and got degrees and stuff.

Helen Menzel-Gonzalez, the president of the Harvard Poetry Review, put it best, describing the inaugural poem as, "a turd sandwich." 

I've been encouraged by many
of you to give "non-rhyming" poetry a second chance. I shall. Not today. Maybe next year. Or when things aren't so hectic and crazy what with all the hectic and crazy things there are to do. 

And now. The conclusion of...

HOW I CAME TO BE IN JAIL (with two surprising twists...)

So there we were hiding behind the fryer at Burger King. The three of us squeezed closer together so we wouldn't be found. Chuck, the unemployed director of photography, was shaking nervously. Edna, the former hair dresser to Bing Crosby, was as cool as a cucumber. "After working with Bing," she whispered to us as she smoked, "I ain't frightened of nothing. Sometimes he'd point a gun at me for no reason. Just to see what I'd do. He was like that. Sweet as hell. But sometimes he'd turn on ya."

The Whole Foods employees on their Segways got closer. They were right there. Right in front of us. Chuck started whimpering. "They're gonna find us. Gonna get us!"

I was sure we were dead meat. They were so close we could hear the Segways' batteries humming. And then, just as they were about to discover us...just as they were about to look behind the fryer...they stopped. Strange, red lights on their belts began flashing and a bizarre beeping could be heard. The Whole Food employees immediately stood up straight and looked at each other. "Come," said one of them. "It is time for regeneration."

They turned their Segways and briskly rolled toward the exit. (It took another 15 minutes for them to figure out how to get the Segways out the exit.) Then they rolled across the parking lot and returned to the market.

As you can imagine we all breathed a sigh of relief. But we knew we couldn't leave yet. They'd be on the lookout. We had to hide out a while longer. We were also getting quite hungry. The kindly Burger King employees offered to feed us. It had been a very long time since any of us had eaten any fast food. Still we took their food happily. Whoppers.. Fries. Whoppers with cheese. More fries. Double Whoppers with cheese. We ate. And ate. And ate. And then, having nothing to do but hide, we ate again. Triple Whoppers with double cheese. We engorged ourselves.

And then...suddenly...we all went into digestive arrest. The noises coming from our innards were a bear was mauling a puppy. But in our stomachs. Understand? Not that there was a bear nearby mauling a puppy! I'm saying that the bear was mauling a puppy in our stomachs! Inside! 

And then, it occurred to us. That's why we had all been shopping at Whole Foods Market all these many years. The food was good. Nothing there would make your stomach sound like there was a bear in there mauling a puppy.(Not nearby. Inside.) Yes. YES. It's more expensive. But it's fresh and wholesome and grainy. WHAT HAD WE DONE?! How stupid could we all have been. 

Our stomachs continued their urpy gurgling. We needed help. And I knew where to get it. Whole Foods sells a wonderful homeopathic Tummy Sedative. We stood up.

We ran across the parking lot and into the Whole Foods. I lead my team to the homeopathic aisle. Ironically, it was the only aisle that hadn't been destroyed in the riot. I found the tummy sedative and we took it. Ahhh. Sweet relief. However...

The police arrived. We were arrested and charged with "Not Being Nice." 

When I got to jail, I used my one phone call to blog about what had happened and wasn't allowed to make another phone call to contact a lawyer. So there I sat. I lost hope. Hours clicked by. Then minutes. And then, suddenly (after a another minute) I heard the guard say, "Rugg. You can go."

Shocked, I walked out from behind the bars. "," I asked the guard. 

"Your lawyer," he sneered. "He got ya off."

My lawyer? But... But... 

I heard a high-pitched voice with a thick Spanish accent. "He" I turned. Standing there in the hallway was a little man. A dwarf. A Cuban Dwarf. It was Alfredo Ruiz...the man that had left me the scathing message after my first post about Cubans.

He walked up to me. Strangely, he was wearing regal robes as if a member of some royal family. I have since found out that he's known in Miami as the "Grand Lord Of Lawyers." It's his gimmick, I guess. I dunno. Weird. But...

He told me that when he read about my plight on the blog, he caught the first flight and decided to come to my aid. I asked why?

"Because, " he said. "I'm wanting to show that we Cubans are not insane. We are righteous and noble and good stuff like that. And even when we are being made fun of...we still always do the right thing. So I'm here to save you, Jerk Face man who I hate."

I asked how I could repay him. He said that he didn't want money. He just wanted me to put his portrait on my blog (from his business card) and that he'd like to advertise on my site from time to time. I agreed. So, here's his portrait.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I've never understood the tradition of having poetry at inaugurations. I'm not a big fan of poems in general. And I think I'm probably not alone. For one thing, poems at inaugurations never rhyme. Poems that don't rhyme make me feel sleepy and suspicious. I also confess to feeling a little dumb. I never have any idea what they're trying to say. I have to agree with the great Hengrim Olthian who once wrote: 

"That which is worth saying is worth saying normally. All else is poetry. In other words, poetry is stupid. Take the Itsy Bitsy Spider as an example. As I see it, it's much more efficient to tell the tale of this pitiful spider by stating that he crawled up a water spout and when the water came he fell and drowned. You see? That's much clearer than all that nonsense about 'down came the rain and washed the spider out.' Told my way the entire plight of this unenviable arachnid takes only 5 seconds. As a poem it's a useless waste of time and I'll kill anyone that thinks otherwise."

Anyway, I did a little research to find out where this tradition of the inaugural poem got started. The first president to have a poem at his inauguration was Benjamin Harrison. How it came to be is an interesting tale.

The night before his inauguration, Harrison was, in his words, "engaged in an excess of alcoholic potables with university alumnus Peter Teppeywhether. Ol Tepp and I got on quite a good drunk. Somewhere along the way he suggested that he should like to do a poem after my inaugural address. I liked the idea and bade him welcome without encumbrances to regale all gathered with his words of fancyness."

At the inauguration the next day, Harrison had forgotten all about the matter and, upon finishing his address, was surprised to see Teppeywhether wobble to the podium. Teppeywhether had never stopped drinking from the night before and was, in the words of one of those in attendance, "wreaking of urine and gin. But mostly urine."

When he got to the podium, Teppeywether collapsed to his knees and stayed that way throughout the poem. (Note the picture above which shows an inebriated Teppeywether performing his poem with only his head visible.)

Here is the poem Teppeywhether performed...

Daddy has a monkey
He sits it on his knee
And when the monkey's hungry
He feeds to it a flea.

Hungry little monkey
He never gets no bread
Then naughty monkey bites
Daddy hits him on the head

Angry little monkey
Attacks dear daddy's face
Daddy screams in pain
There is blood all or' the place

Daddy's deadly monkey
Goes a crazy on the man
Till Mama enters in
And hits the monkey with a pan.

With that, Teppeywhether collapsed and died five days later from extreme embarrassment. 

Monday, January 19, 2009


I never intended for this blog to be about my Freakazoid memories or anything like that. And, after this post, I shall go back to talking about the interesting things.

However, ever since my post about Ricardo Montalban's passing...I've heard a small voice persistently nagging me in my quiet moments: "Oh, fine. Ricardo gets a nice little tribute. And me? What do I get? Nothing. That's what! Not a crumb! Oh...the pain. The pain..."

Okay, Jonathan. This one's for you...

Long after Freakazoid was cancelled and we all moved on to other projects, my phone would occasionally ring. "Hello, Pauly! Call Johnny! Let's have lunch."

And so we would. John McCann and I would meet Jonathan Harris at Mistral in Studio City. The lunches were always a blast. A little Chardonay, a little food and LOTS of stories. Jonathan could tell a story like nobody's business. And all of them were true. Jonathan occasionally peppered his stories with a modicum of profanity that would make a sailor blush. It was wonderful. Vintage Harris.

I promise director Troy that I won't write about anything we covered in the Season 2 DVD. Suffice to say that Jonathan liked working on Freakazoid. "I love the anarchy," he would say. "Delicious stuff!"

When he was sure that John and I actually knew what we were doing and weren't "network people", he decided to take us under his wing and offer us constant encouragement. Having gone head to head with "network people" for much of his career, Jonathan boiled it all down to this simple phrase. "F#%$  'EM!"

"Remember this well, my lads," he would say. "We are the artists. They are bean counters. They don't have a F%&#@ing clue!" Jonathan's advice was to always keep on doing what you're doing and if they don't get it. Too bad."

When Freakazoid was slowly cancelled, Jonathan said, "Typical. Just typical! You musn't get downhearted, my lads. Promise me! You musn't let THEM get to you. If you do then THEY have won. And we can't let THEM win." I can still hear the old guy. It's advice I have always kept close.

Not only would we have lunches, but Jonathan would call from time to time to check in and see how it was going. "What are you creating? Is it wonderful?"

When Doug Langdale, John McCann and I were developing the Daffy Duck primetime pilot for the WB, we wrote a part for Jonathan as an insane "network person." Jonathan loved the irony. Sadly, we never got to record it.

When friends threw my wife and I a huge baby shower/party, Jonathan was in attendance. I remember seeing him at one of the tables holding court. I don't mean that in a pejorative sense. When Jonathan held court is was great. But you had to get him started. "Hey, Jonathan. Tell us about Irwin Allen."

He would look at you. Then..."Irwin Allen! IRWIN ALLEN! Let me tell you about IRWIN ALLEN! Why I remember the time..." 

Anyway. Jonathan was a great man. A nice man. A caring man.

So, Jonathan. Is that okay? Happy now?

It'll do, Pauly. It'll do.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Part One.

(There probably won't be a part two...but I'm covering my bases.)

It all started at Whole Foods Market...

Some of you might not have a Whole Foods where you live. Or, it may be called something different like Cunderson's Cupboard or Kelmier's Kitchen or Nature's Basket or Hoolihertans or Mary Ebberly's Fresh N' Healthy. Maybe Granola City or Colonic Land.

Whole Foods is an upscale grocery store that sells upscaly kinda food. You, free friendly detergents. That sorta thing.

There's a Whole Foods close to our house and I went there a few days ago to pick up some things. Anyway, I was in the checkout line. Now I've been to this market a bunch of times but I've never really paid attention to what stuff costs. I slide my ATM enter and walk away with my food. But THIS  time...maybe it's the economy and the fact that I'm not working and may never again...THIS time I actually paid attention when the wafer thin, protein deficient girl with the tongue stud and picture of Che on her t-shirt said..."Did you find everything okay?"

I looked at her. "I did. I found everything okay. All by myself, too." I was trying to be funny. But I think her lack of protein might have made her slow in regards to comedic banter. 

She then said, "That'll be 32 dollars and 53 cents."

I looked at what I had bought. A gallon of milk and a bag of fat-free pretzels. I've purchased these same two items at least 200 times in the past eight years. Like I said, I've never really paid attention to what things costs but 32 dollars and 53 cents seemed a great deal of money for a gallon of milk and a bag of fat free pretzels. I don't think I made that much for my first script at Warner Brothers.

"Excuse me," I said. "That seems a little expensive."

She looked at the pretzels. "They're free range pretzels."

"Still, " said I. "It seems like that's too much. I don't want to pay that."

"Then we'll have Kirk put them back," she said.

"No. I want them. I'm just not going to pay that much," I said. I did some quick thinking. "I'll pay 4 dollars. That seems fair."

There was a long line behind me and people started getting upset. The checkout girl said she couldn't do anything about it and if I didn't pay the 32 dollars and 53 cents then I couldn't have the milk and fat free pretzels. 

Now, I'm not a very confrontational person. Not even a little. We have three separate gardeners because I didn't have the guts to fire the other two. They come on different days and I buy leafs and throw them around so the yard looks messy. I have a pool guy who is so lousy I have to vacuum the pool and sanitize it immediately after he leaves. And yet...I continue to pay him.

So, what came over me at that moment was quite surprising. I grabbed the pretzels and yelled...NOOOOOOO!

It was perhaps the loudest shout ever heard in a Whole Foods Market where things are generally so quiet and pleasant and grainy. My shout was so loud and unusual that the wine guy...a guy that they pay to stand in the wine aisle to help you make your choices and make you feel stupid...he dropped a case of wine. The noise was deafening. Everyone in the store paused. And over that quiet everyone heard me yell, "I WANT MY PRETZELS AND MILK BUT THAT IS TOO EXPENSIVE."

Suddenly, as if they had all been woken from a dream, all the other shoppers began looking at what they were buying. A woman down one of the aisle screamed. "I was about to pay 27.50 for artisanal bread! And I don't even know what that means! It always sounded nice! BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!!!!!"

A man nearby shouted, "I was about to pay 15 bucks for a gluten free meat stick!" 

Another woman screamed, "8 dollars for pre-chewed baby food! I NEVER REALIZED"

In one horrifying moment, all the shoppers came to grips with their excessive spending of the past 10 years! "I COULD HAVE BOUGHT A BMW!" The man who shouted this then collapsed into the organic bananas and began to beat himself.

The place broke out in a riot. Everyone went nuts. The staff tried to stop the carnage but they were all protein deficient and couldn't have wrestled a rat to the floor.

WE WENT NUTS! Emotion drove our reckless destruction. We destroyed the gluten free bakery shelves. We demolished the 7 grain cereal aisle. We all converged on the organic cheese cases and did things I am ashamed of. Some of it with cheese.

We then all ran out of the store. One man actually went right through the window. He screamed in pain but yelled, "I'm alive! I'M ALIVE!" Unfortunately he ran into the parking lot and was hit by a deadly silent Prius.

My group...three of us...dashed into a nearby Burger King. We were being chased by Whole Foods employees on their Segways. We ran into the kitchen of the Burger King. The staff looked at the fright in our faces and gave us refuge...hiding us behind the fryer.

The whole foods employees on the Segways came in. (This had taken about 15 minutes because they couldn't figure out how to get their Segways through the door. But they did...)

As I hid with my group...we quietly introduced ourselves. "I'm Chuck," said the man I was hiding with. "I'm a director of photography. I haven't worked in a while."

The elderly woman next to us took a cigarette out of her purse. "I'm gonna smoke. I'm gonna smoke and smoke and smoke."

Chuck and I didn't understand. But, hey. It's a free country. We all fell immediately silent. The Whole Foods guys on their Segways were slowly rolling by. So close. So close...


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.


Working with Ricardo Montalban was one of the greatest pleasures of my whole Freakazoid experience. (I think Tom and John would say so as well.) He was incredibly nice and showed us his amazingly silly side. And, had it not been for his doctor, he'd probably never have come to play.

I don't quite know where in the process we decided that Freakazoid's arch villain, Guitierrez, should sound like Kahn. But it seemed to be a perfect fit. We all loved the way Kahn turned a phrase and how fun it was to write that sort of dialogue. Plus, the character was SO SERIOUS. Perfect to pair up with Freakazoid. I had assumed, frankly, that we'd never get Ricardo and just do a sound alike or something like that.

But Andrea Romano sent him a script and I thought...well. That's that. We won't hear from him again. BUT...

Ricardo had had back surgery a few months before and, as a consequence, he was left in crippling pain in his legs. He described it once to us as always have that "pins and needles" sensation after your foot falls asleep and starts to come back. He had that sensation 24/7. Anyway...

The script arrives at his house as his doctor is checking him out and Ricardo reads it and thinks about it. And his doctor tells him..."you should go do it. Get out of the house. It'll do you good."

Thanks, doc! 

When Ricardo showed up at the first session...we didn't know what to expect. Would he get it? Would we have to work with him on what we were going for. The answer was a loud...NO. He got it. He understood we wanted Kahn. And he was only too willing to play. He came totally prepared and knew exactly what he wanted to do. We were in stitches...especially where he goes into total Kahn mode and says..."he tasks me! HE TASKS ME! Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins." I think it was one take. We were on the floor rolling. Howling. And Ricardo looked at us and said..."you wanted it like that, right?" RIGHT.

Anyway...I guess he had fun because he came back for about six more episodes. And each time...he came ready to play and push it. I remember us only giving him a line reading once or twice. We'd explain how we saw the line and he would quickly say..."Yes. Yes. I see. Ahhh, yes." Then he'd hold his hand up to silence us and not lose focus. And he'd deliver the line. "Like that, you mean." Yeah, Ricardo. Like that. 

Perhaps my fondest memory was when he had to come and do addition dialogue for the episode HERO BOY. For reasons we couldn't figure out...the episode came up about 3 minutes short.  So, John and I devised a solution in which Guitierrez would show Freakazoid his favorite bloopers. Our editor found some of the dumbest, old, live action black&white footage I've ever seen. We cut it together and I wrote some dialogue to cover the footage. When Ricardo arrived he had neither seen the footage nor his dialogue. I explained the setup to him. "Guitierrez is crazy about these bloopers and he really thinks they are funny and he really wants to show them to Freakazoid and..." 

"Ahhh, yes. I see. I see. Yes. Let's do it." Ricardo and I went into the booth. We ran the footage and he made me laugh so much that I didn't do my lines. The sound guys were rolling. Andrea was in hysterics. Bruce Timm popped his head into the room and started laughing. We did it again and again and each time Ricardo kept pushing it a little further and trying new things. He was having so much fun just playing around and doing all these voices. We probably had it on the second take...but we must have stayed in there an hour...playing and being silly. Ricardo was so off the wall but he understood the gag. Guitierrez has to GUSH over these clips. It's perhaps my favorite moment from all my Warner Brothers days. 

Anyway. God Bless, Ricardo. God Bless.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So. Uhm. I'll explain everything tomorrow. I just used my one phone call to connect to the internet so I could blog this. (Can you even believe they don't have WIFI in jail?  I had to use dial-up for goodness gravy.)

So. I'll blog tomorrow and tell you what happened. Right now I gotta keep my wits about me. A few minutes ago some man (I THINK HE'S A GANG MEMBER) looked at me in an aggressive manner. Luckily, the guard gave me a small pamphlet when I got locked up. It's called, "How To Talk In Jail." So when this guy (THE ONE I THINK IS A GANG MEMBER) looked at me in an aggressive manner, I read what to do in my pamphlet. I then looked at the guy (THE GANG MEMBER I TOLD YOU ABOUT) and said, "Yo! You doggin me? Whoever dog me go down in dog town with with his heini wrapped behind his ass!"

Anyway. It worked. He just gave me his extra piece of hard tack and said he wanted to be my friend. So there.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I just found out from my agent that I've been chosen to develop a very interesting project. It seems the country's lousy economy is partly responsible for this amazing (and what could be highly lucrative) opportunity. I can't really go into all at the moment because it's still hush-hush and all that sort of thing. But what I can tell you is...

It's for Warner Brothers. Nelm Binsk and Stacey Meinhoff are producing under their Wee Wee Works production arm at Warners. Gregory Moot and Guy Vick will oversee the production for Warners with Pamela Pinzky-Grunion exec producing. Lou Yentz and Gerald Zimm will line produce. It's from an original idea by Stacey Rigor-Ling, Len Thweel, Steve Bodolei, Michael Rude, Aron Lewski, Karen Cibbage-Hess and Armand Baywosenthal.

Again, I can't go into much detail...but...

It seems that money's a little tight at all the studios at the moment and what with the fear of an actors strike and job will be to go through all the deleted scenes from every Warners movie of the past ten years and see if I can string them into one self-contained movie. Normally the deleted scenes from a particular movie are saved for use on the bonus feature segments of DVD releases but...with money so tight, the studios are looking to squeeze out every drop they can.

There are close to 10,000 hours of deleted scenes from over 312 movies to go through, but, heck, it's work, right?

The biggest challenge is that the studio has already decided that the new feature must, and I quote from the deal memo here...

"...must be primarily about an albino boy with shingles who befriends an ape."

Unfortunately the way the deal is structured, there's no money up front. I have three months to go through all 10,000 hours and, using my laptop, cut it into a movie of no more than 97 minutes. Upon delivery the studio has five years to view the material and, upon approval, pay me one-sixteenth of my fee. After that, they have an additional 30 years to request any revisions. However, and my agent fought hard for this...if they decide to scrap the project after thirty years...I get an IPOD Nano. So... lot's to do.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A LOT!!!

First things first...


Wow! The glamour! The glitz! The fashions! The stars! STARS! STARS! The funny jokes and gags! Ha ha ha ha!!!! The heartfelt acceptance speeches! The pokes at George Bush and the eloquent talk of a new, kinder and gentler time to come. Ahhhhhhh.

I didn't happen to watch. But, I'm sure sure that's how it went.

Now then...


We went to the world-famous Getty Museum yesterday. For those who don't live in Southern California, the Getty is HUGE. When they built it a few years back it was the largest private construction project in the country and cost...billions. It has so much imported stone that it has its own gravity. We had to pry my elderly mother-in-law off the side of one of the larger buildings.

Inside there are lots of paintings by fellas like Monet (I'm told you don't pronounce the T. It's MOE-NAY. Not MOE-NET.) There were paintings by another guy named, Van Gogh. (Here again, I'm told you don't pronounce the g and the h in the Gogh part of the guy's name. It's VAN-GO. Not VAN GOG.) This Van Gogh fella painted some irises and I'm told it's worth millions and millions. When I asked one of the people that worked there why it was worth so much, I was told it's because he was insane. HAD I KNOWN THAT...I would have kept the urine doodles a homeless man used to make on the wall behind my office.

I have to say the paintings were pretty, but the frames were SUPER COOL. I mean, some of the frames were like...10 feet long. I bet they are really heavy. I wish they would let you hold the frames and see how heavy they are because I bet it would be amazing and interesting and I could blog about it.

Anyway, the Getty has all kinds of art stuff like that but my favorite thing is the restaurant. The food is SOOOO good. I had cobb salad. (I'm told you pronounce it COB. Not COB and then wait and make another B sound a few seconds later. So, don't make the mistake I did.)

One of the fun things at the Getty is the sketch room. This is a large room set up with a lot of easels where you can try sketching something yourself. They have a lot of art on the wall and the point is to try to draw what you see. I thought we should give it a try so we all sat down. A nice docent gave us paper and charcoal. His name was Michael. (I'm told you pronounce it MY-KALL not MY-CHAY-EL.)

Anyway, I decided to try to sketch a fat, little cherub. After about an's what I came up with.
I'm sure you'll agree it's quite good. And if I were insane...I could probably get millions.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I just got rescued a few minutes ago, and they want me to go to the hospital for a splint or something...but...I figure if this isn't something interesting to blog about...then I don't know what is. But, they're waiting for me, so I gotta make this quick.

Woo. Okay. Let me just catch my breath. Wow. Okay...

Here's what happened. Okay. I was playing in the field behind my house even though we've all been warned a million times to STAY OUT. know how it is...I didn't stay out and now I WISH I HAD cuz I fell down a mineshaft.

Woo. Okay. I'm still a little shaky. Let me just pause a minute. They're gonna take me out for a splint and I also might have a little...they said mild brain damage or something and I need a splint and I fell down a mineshaft and I don't think there's any brain damage at all cuz I need a splint.

Okay. Woooo. Let me just catch my breath and then I'll tell ya what happened. Whew. Okay. Okay.

So. I was playing find the pebble...but the solo version of the game...cuz everyone's I normally play with is at work and I was playing by myself.  And I was on the fifth round when things start getting fun and and I'd reached the charmed pebble stage and was ready to call out PEBBLE CHARM...CAN'T TOUCH ME...and...wooo...let me just catch my breath. Cuz I really wanna blog about this. But I need a splint and there's probably some brain damage cuz everytime I touch my head it pushes in and I don't think it should. But anyway...

Woooo. Let me just catch my breath. One of my dogs is named Kiki. And she's so cute. Just so cute. Just a cutie pie. When she crinkles her nose it looks like she's making a kiki and that's why we call her that. Cuz I need a splint.

Anyway...I fell down a mineshaft. Did I mention that? And I want to blog about it. If you have dandruff...don't wear black. Just you're just asking for trouble. Wear beige or white. Cuz when Kiki crinkles her nose at you! It looks like she's making a kiki. And you'll need a splint. Cuz Kiki has brain damage. Woooo. Anyway..

I fell down a mineshaft and I wana blig aboot it.

I FELL DOWN A MINSHERT! Woooo. Let me just catch my breatyh a minute cuz I splint. Woooo.  

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Okay. Time to start over. I've learned my lesson. (Am I right? It's true!) All my future posts or blogs or whatever you call them will in no way make fun of, or pick on, or make any truthful observations of any "particular" group of humanity. No way. I'm here to be interesting. And interesting I shall be. The last thing I want to happen is to say something and then have a bunch of stupid French people in their silly hats come at me with moldy cheeses. So...let's begin anew.

But where to begin? (Not in France...THAT'S for sure.) 

Well, this morning in my attempt to be interesting I actually did something interesting. I dusted off my great grandfather's memoirs. It's a small book of only a page and a half, but spirited and evocative of a time long since past. The story of how he came to write the book is almost as fascinating as the  book itself...

Gregory Dunn was born in Ireland during the latter half of the 19th century.

My great grandfather on the other hand was born in Bristol, England. He emigrated to America while still a young man. He couldn't afford to travel by boat and swam the whole way. (Avoiding France at all costs as you can well imagine.) The journey took 11 years, but Enoch Rugg had finally made it to America!

He longed to make his home in California. He couldn't afford the train fare however, and swam the whole way. Starting in Virginia, Enoch swam rivers, marshes and estuaries until making his way to the Columbia river. From there it was smooth swimming all the way to the pacific. Interestingly, Enoch is briefly mentioned in the diaries of Lewis and Clark.

"And lo, what should appear starboard of our canoe and be much faster than our humble means of conveyance, but a man! White as a lily with firm buttock in good measure. We knew this to be no Frenchman, for he was polite and clean and of marvelous wit. Speedily  he drew past until, at last, he was well forward of us and no buttock could be seen."

Once in California, my great grandfather soon became the state's first Director Of Bear Affairs. The first task he was given by drunken governor, Delando Portilla, was to taunt the first bear he came across with a stick.

Coming from England, my great grandfather knew nothing of bears and set off on his quest with great excitement. In Yosemite he soon found his first 800 pound Grizzly. Enoch was so delighted by the beast and thought it looked so cute that he instantly named it, Sweeties. He then grabbed a stick and began taunting it. The bear charged and my grandfather was forced to take refuge in a very small cave nearby. This is where he wrote his memoirs. 

"What have I done to incur the wrath of Sweeties? I thusly prodded and poked and smacked its hindquarters as instructed but the beast has taken terrible offense. She also has one of my shoes. And my foot was still in it.

She guards the entrance to the cave so here I must stay for the time being. There are other bears here as well. However, they seem to have taken no note of me as they seem to be under some incredible sleeping spell. I will take my stick to them for surely no harm can come of that.

I was gravely mistaken! Fie! The pokings I gave their slumbering shapes has made them awake with a most savage disposition. Their manner is like the French.

I want to live! I want to live! What's this? They seem to be going back to their slumber. What shall I do? What shall I do?"

What he did was to hibernate with the bears for the next three months. He survived on nothing but talcum powder and bear dew. Sadly, he died of his injuries 57 years later.

At least he wasn't French.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Now I've done it. I've only been blogging for two days in my attempt to be interesting, and I've already managed to make some people very angry. One person, in particular, took great offense to my last two posts regarding Cubans and dwarfs. Mr. Alfredo Ruiz of Miami, a Cuban dwarf, left this irate message on my phone machine. In a sense of fairness, I have decided to transcribe it here.

MAN'S VOICE: Hey! hate you! You stupid dumb person who I hate! I am so mad...I could just gouge you out and then laugh my guts off to see you all gouged out and lying there! How dare you say Cubans are insane! You are being insane! You! And what...all dwarfs ride jackals? What? You make me want to spit up all over your garments and then gouge you out! And what are you saying that Cubans argue a lot! You are arguing. You are arguing!!! And...

WOMAN'S VOICE: What are you doing?

MAN'S VOICE: I'm leaving a message for this jerk who I hate!

WOMAN'S VOICE: What? Why now? You've got rice on the stove. You'll over cook it!

MAN'S VOICE: What are you talking about? It cooks for 45 minutes!

WOMAN'S VOICE: Since when? Are you crazy! That's too long. 20 minutes only!

MAN'S VOICE: You're an idiot! We always cook it 45 minutes!

WOMAN'S VOICE: Never! Never have we cooked it 45 minutes.

OLD WOMAN'S VOICE: What's going on? I'm hungry!

WOMAN'S VOICE: He's going to overcook the rice.

OLD WOMAN'S VOICE: I hate rice!

MAN'S VOICE: You love rice! What are you talking about?

OLD WOMAN'S VOICE: I have never liked rice! Your father, Augustine, he liked rice.

WOMAN'S VOICE: He hated rice! And his name was Javier! Javier!

OLD WOMAN'S VOICE: No! No! No! No! Javier was the cheese seller. Your brain is filled with dung!

MAN'S VOICE: The cheese seller was Titi Peppa! TITI PEPPA!!!! You stupid old woman!

WOMAN'S VOICE: The rice is going to overcook! It's past 20 minutes!

OLD WOMAN'S VOICE: I hate rice!

MAN'S VOICE: Abuela! Put the machete down! Put it down!

OLD WOMAN'S VOICE: It's not a machete! It's a cleaver! A CLEAVER!

WOMAN'S VOICE: The rice!

(Suddenly there was a noise of commotion and a few screams and the line went dead.)

Anyway, hopefully my next few posts won't cause so much anger as my first two. I will attempt to be interesting AND appropriate.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I seems my interesting day wasn't as interesting as I thought.

Turns out it probably wasn't Satan outside the window earlier this morning. It was our neighbor, Hans Kibbling, who happens to be a dwarf. Anyway...blah blah blah...he was riding a jackal in circles in our backyard and, I guess, everytime they turned into the light the jackals eyes seemed red and Hans' unkempt morning hair appeared to be horns.

Also, the boxboy at the market who I thought was not of this world just turned out to be Dutch.

So, alas. Perhaps tomorrow something interesting will happen.

Oh, and my wife wanted me to make sure I clarify my thoughts on all Cubans being insane. They're not. Just her relatives.

I Want To Be Interesting, Too

A few years ago, my friend, John McCann, started his super neato blog. I've been following it almost from day one. Over the Christmas holiday he drove up to Washington state to spend time with friends and family. He blogged the whole way...chatting about the snow and ice and weird people he had met and funny things that happened along the way and...well...I was highly entertained. John was having a very interesting time and I was interested in his interesting time. In fact, I was more interested in the interesting time John was having than than in the less interesting time I was having with a house full of peckish and highly argumentative Cuban in-laws. 

Don't get me wrong. I love Cubans. I married one. I still am married to one. But I have come to the conclusion that they're insane. Not criminally or anything like that. None of them have ever held me hostage or taken my dog out back for a beating. No. It's just that Cubans tend to argue with each other about all kinds of things. Anything. Cheese. Flan. The name of that armless man that used to sell eggs back in Havana...the one with the cleft pallette and the bone sticking out of his leg. Cubans will argue about chicken, sell-by freshness dates and what causes intestinal gas (which, it turns out, is everything). I have seen two elderly Cuban women almost kill each other over whether their mother's arroz con pollo recipe had beer or pimento. The only thing Cubans agree on is that anything under 67 degrees is freezing and requires a parka and a mad dash to the car before limbs begin to fall off. I have seen Cubans spend over three hours getting on their coats and hats and gloves and scarfs for a five foot walk from the door to the car. Once in the car, those same Cubans will spend another three hours taking off their gloves and hats and coats and scarfs because to leave them on in the car will cause an embolism.  (I have also heard a complicated theory that orange juice and milk are fine individually, but have them BOTH for breakfast and your stomach will melt.) But I digress.

The point is with all this supposedly interesting arguing going on in my home over the holidays, I was more interested in the really interesting stuff that was happening to John on his travels. And then it occurred to me. I have "interest deficit disorder." IDD is the perception that other people's lives are more interesting than your own. So, to cure myself of this, I've decided to blog on a daily basis and then read what I've done before I go to bed. Hopefully this will make me say, "Wow. What an interesting day I had." Or, "Hmmm. That wasn't quite an interesting enough day. Better do more interesting stuff tomorrow." Or, "I think I've got a book here!"

So, here goes. It's still morning, but here's what's happened so far this morning...

I got up at six to get my daughter ready for school. As I was making her lunch I think I saw Satan out the back window. It was still dark, and it was only for a moment. But he had red eyes and horns and held a Garden Weasel in an aggressive, taunting manner. 

Later in the morning my wife and I went to the market. All seemed well until we got to the checkout lane. The boxboy looked at me in a way which led me to believe he is not of our world. 

It's time for lunch.