Army of Fun


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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI has recovered a valuable copy of the Bill of Rights that had been missing for 138 years, bureau sources said Wednesday.

Attorney General John Ashcroft immediately had it shredded then turned over the scraps to Justice Antonin Scalia who used them to line Justice Thomas' gilded cage.

Fyrste, 5:05 PM

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

So just about as I had reached one of the many local liquor stores on my way home from work--where by the way they recently installed these video monitors in the elevators and this company called in a lame attempt at mild humor Captivate (because the elevator passengers are a captive audience get it) pipes in news and weather and, naturally, ads, and now typically this is of course the sort of thing that--if you've read Army of Fun more than once--you would think would get my dander and my snark up because this website is all about snarky dander when it's not about fey wryness or feigned ignorance, but the thing is it doesn't because no matter how stupid or annoying this whole thing sounds and the Captivate name is (break for breath), the thing is: what else are you going to be doing in an elevator but staring at the door or whatever floor-number display there may be, or if you're me hoping that the white-haired old lawyer looking guys will decide to maybe not grab my bulging crotch today cause they're still cruising on the pleasant (for them) memories of yesterday's ball-cupping (and I certainly must stay that the incidence of groin groping and even crotch eyeing has certainly dropped since the installation of the video monitors); just as I arrived at the liquor store for the day's pint-plus bottle of after-work, destressing beer up pulled a large ice cream trucks containing not just frozen dairy treats but also the three very hot Latinas (with lustrous nut-brown to raven hair and wearing halter tops) that apparently vend from the truck. I slowed down to watch them don their hoodies and I entered the liquor store neck craned just as they dis-embarked and, and that's it. Does there need to be more? What do you think this is Penthouse Forum? If so you are sadly mistaken. The only thing I want to do with girls is smoke a little dhoob and watch some TV. Get your mind out of the gutter, pervert.

Fyrste, 8:04 PM
Note: I originally posted this on 8 February 2003 but because Blogger is a buggy piece of shit pain in the ass it appears to have disappeared from my archives. That being the case I've decided to repost it so hopefully it will be archived though a month-plus later than it originally appeared. I just hope it's the only one. I suppose I should check. But what does all this mean for you? Well, it means that if you read it when I first posted it then you can skip it, but if you were not so lucky now is your chance so get to it. JF.

I finally got "Jill" out of my apartment a couple of days ago. She'd been there since early last Sunday morning and she was beginning to smell. Don't get me wrong it's not like I killed her or anything or that she was at all dead in a literal way. But let me start at the beginning.

'Twas, in the Victorian sense of the word, last Saturday night and I had agreed to meet some friends of mine at an appointed place at an appointed time. Naturally, I was little late so, in order to catch up with the others, I had no recourse but to indulge myself in alcohol quite rapidly so as to, as the Yiddish would say, "get my schwerve on". As it happened this also helped orient me to the hipster crowd and decor, so different from the homey comfort I find during my frequent trips to my beloved local Appleby's, which filled me with social anxiety. In no time at all I was filled with the juniper berry milk of human kindness and easily slurred my way through a heated discussion of electro-clash and would have dazzled Derrida himself with my insightful deconstruction of Big Trouble In Little China, the finest motion picture ever made. But the night was not free of mishap, as is often the case when alcohol flows freely down the gullet, and mishap takes many forms from being chased by an irate homeowner after a delirious, delightful roll through his dafodils to rib bruising tumbles down an unfortunately placed stairway. In this instance it was a simple case of miscommunication and an ill-timed cigarette break that led to my friends and I becoming seperated.

Abandoned, I did the only thing I could do. I headed to a dim corner of the bar and ordered another drink. Shortly, I found myself, surprisingly, in a full-fledged conversation a girl.

But surely Mr. Fyrste you say, it couldn't be that surprising for a man as obviously witty and clever and thus attractive as yourself to be engaged in conversation with a woman or, in fact, any number of women. And I tell you friends that this was once true. At one time I was a chick magnet. And, I suppose that in many ways I still am, but things have never been the same since the Incident. The Incident was a turning point. The Incident was unfortunate. The Incident changed everything.

The incident occurred thusly.

She said I was creepy. The term "stalker" may have been carelessly bandied about. That said, all I was trying to do was snap a picture of her and from a respectable distance at that. She objected. She warned me not to do it. I naturally assumed she was just flirting, and called back that this is a free country. She bent down and picked up a fist-sized rock. How wonderful, I thought, I'll get a funny shot of her playfully, girlishly tossing a stone in my direction. I brought my camera, one of those slim, rectangular plastic numbers that slip conveniently into almost any pocket, to the ready. How was I to know that in her senior year of high-school she had been the starting pitcher for her team in the state-wide fast-pitch softball championship game?

Though she later claimed she had no intent to hit me, she threw that rock with remarkable accuracy and force. It crashed directly into the camera, knocking me unconscious while simultaneously launching shards of the shattered camera through my upper eyelids to lodge in my frontal lobes. Two weeks later, when I could understand human speech again, the doctors explained to me that I had suffered the equivalent of a partial lobotomy. The effect of which would be diminished and/or inappropriate emotional effect. The girl in question visited me in the hospital to apologize and explain, as I previously mentioned, that she hadn't intended to hit me, so would I please not press charges. Perhaps as a result of my injury I believed her and did not have charges levied against her. Still, the infatuation was off. The infliction of brain damage is a deal-breaker.

Since then I have had great difficulty meeting women. Sure, they are still drawn to my rakish good looks, but I suffer from an almost insurmountable charm deficit that fails to endear. How could it not when they come out with a clever bon mot and I respond in a robotic monotone easily taken for sarcasm that they are as witty as they are beautiful. Explaining my situation does no good as both brain damage and stalker-like behavior are widely regarded as red-lights.

Nonetheless, there I was somehow holding my own in conversation. Her name was "Jill". She was there with another girl. Because I am an American and therefore look at the world through the filters and structures of pop culture I decided that Jill was meant to be the "snarky best friend," ostensibly less attractive than her taller more carefully put together appearance-wise companion, but still cute and with a wicked sense of humor.

Jill it turned out is a graduate student studying the social construction of female body in light of changing modes of intellectual production during France's Second Republic. She also told me she had not watched television in nearly two years. Perhaps all this explains why she found me entertaining despite my inability to be amusing in a conventional sense.

At some point, her friend excused herself and left. Jill and I stayed on swilling down liquor and chatting away. Come closing time I invited her back to my place for another drink and she acceded. We stumbled back to my apartment. I splashed some gin into a couple of tumblers and we tumbled onto the couch, Jill practically in my lap. She wondered if I had any pot. Yes, yes I do, I said. Can we smoke it, she asked. Yes, yes we can, I said. So smoke up we did, and then she excused herself to go off to the bathroom with a brushing kiss upon my lips.

After about twenty minutes I realized she hadn't yet returned. I found her on the toilet pantsed and asleep. As gently as possible and with an eye toward wedgie avoidance, I dressed her and put her to bed. Then I fell asleep myself.

I remember stirring briefly around eight am or so feeling something was amiss. I was alone and I didn't remember leaving the television on. But the previous evening had left me so discombobulated that I couldn't be bothered to think about it. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

When I finally got up for real I had the unpleasant realization that I was missing one curly haired brunette. It was hard to imagine that she had left since she'd been even more fucked up than I, but perhaps waking up in a stranger's bed had driven her to distraction and flight. Coming out of the bedroom I discovered that no such thing had occured.

There she was sitting on the livingroom floor, transfixed by the television. I don't remember what she was watching. Some old sitcom maybe. She barely took notice of me. Just enough of a turn of her goggle-eyed head to whisper with awe, you have cable. And then she turned her stare back to the screen. And there she sat for the next five days--without sleep as far as I could tell, eating only when I brought her food--but for very occassional trips to the bathroom. I didn't mind at first. It was nice to have a girl around the place even if she just lumpishly sat there watching the television. She didn't care what she watched. She didn't complain when I clicked over to my favorite programs whether it interrupted something she'd been watching or not. She didn't say much. Every once in a while she'd say, wow, this is great. I didn't know if she were talking about a particular show or just television in general. I'd seen this reaction to breaking a television fast before. I'd even experienced myself. The irresistability of its flickering glory. The hypnotic joy of mass entertainment.

Eventually, I got sick of it. She wouldn't let me turn off the set nor would she leave. In short, she was cramping what little style I have. It didn't help that I'm a sucker for television myself. If it's on I'll watch it, and so quickly all my other obligations and plans went out the window. Plus, like I said way back at the beginning of this she was stating to smell bad.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. If she wouldn't leave then TV would have to. I went outside and cut off the cable. When I came back in she was banging on the television demanding it to further entertain her. I told her to settle down. The cable must have gone out, I said. I'm afraid they'll have to send someone out. It might, I said, take awhile. But I want TV now, she whinged. I told her not to worry. That it would come back and when it did so could she. Besides, I added, she should go home. I'm sure she had things to go and plus, I said, she was starting to smell really badly. That seemed to do the trick and she came back to her senses and decided to go home.

Oh, what joy I felt when I finally had my place back to myself. Still, she's a nice girl and we've decided to go out next weekend. The paranoid part of me thinks that she just wants to pump me for info about Angel's convoluted backstory, but this could be the start of a beautiful relationship. And believe me, if things go well we're going back to her place.
Fyrste, 8:02 PM

Monday, March 17, 2003

Blech Aargh Schtizt Augurgle Aiiieee Blarg Ruh-Roh Threat Level Rorange Glaak Krevell Klaven Urk Let Slip The Transgenic Pigs of War Ahooga Baby Glurk Heip Plahg Moral Moral Moral Moral Moral Clair-uh-tee Yeehaw Urgliop Haauh.....

Ok, just had to get that out. I'm feeling much better now so you can just put down the phone and that syringe full of haloperidol for now anyway. Keep them handy though I could slip into catatonic paranoia or slavering jingoism, hey it could happen, at any time.

But enough with that, eh? These things happen right? It's the human condition no doubt. The fighting, the stabbing, the piercing with projectiles, the burning, the pillaging, the raping, the razing; clearly it's what we do. "Why is that do you think, Mr. Fyrste?" is a question that has never been asked. Luckily, I often have a lot of time on my hands to ponder the ponderable and ponder I have. Not that it took much thinking. Even the most cursory observation reveals the answer. The default mode of humanity is that of dangerous hick.

At one time the entirety of humanity was mired in savage hickdom kind of like chimps are today. Sure, many people look at chimps and think they're oh so cute, but take a closer look and you'll find a shit-flinging, sister-raping proto-hick. Shave a chimp and give him some crystal meth, a mullet wig and a flag to wave, and you'll have a hard time picking him out at Mid-Western kegger.

Anyway, over time a few people clawed their way out of a constant state of benighted lust-anger to lord it over their peers and to invent effete theater-going. Over time technology has allowed more and more people to join the ranks of frou-frou intellectual aesthetes (though even privilege and money and education are no guarantee that any particular individual will be able to rise out of dangerous hickdom (see: George W. Bush, below), but most people remain dangerous hicks. I would postulate about eighty percent, thus I call this theory the "DH-80 Theory" (that's Dangerous Hick-80 (Percent) Theory for any dangerous hicks who may have made it this far).

But enough with the definitions, how about some examples. They're easy to find. Almost any trouble you can ever think of was either instigated by dangerous hicks or by the mobilization of dangerous hicks:

Attila the Hun: Clearly a dangerous hick

The Crusades: Largely made up of dangerous hicks

The American Revolution: Everyone knows that the American colonists consisted entirely of the cast off hicks of other nations

The Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon was of course a Corsican and Corsica is a well known dangerous hick breeding ground

The English Empire: Maintained by unleashing England's dangerous hicks on the dangerous hicks of other lands (see: American Revolution)

World War I: Triggered, quite literally, by a dangerous Serbian hick

World War II (European Theater): Let's just say that it's no accident that Hitler first attempted to sieze power in Munich, Bavaria the heartland of German hickdom

World War II (Asian-Pacific Theater): Japan was doing just fine at joining the industrialized world until their dangerous terroristic hicks hijacked the military and then the entire government

Chinese Communist Revolution*: Say what will about Mao but he was the master of utilizing DH-80 Theory. The whole idea of sending out the cadres to win over the country-side was nothing but applied DH-80 Theory; direct the constant lust-anger of the dangerous hicks at your enemies and the battle is already won (see also: every Commie movement since then)

Colombia for like the last 70 years: the result of a veritable national orgy of dangerous hickdom

Afghanistan: Historically dangerous hicks (the Afghans) are invaded by another group of historically dangerous hicks (the Russians) which somehow results in the rise of a cult of very odd dangerous hicks (the Taliban) who would rather oppress and cover up their dangerous hick women rather than "do them" making them unlike almost every other group of dangerous hicks in the world

West Africa: Hacking off people's hands or just simply hacking them up is an ancient hallmark of dangerous hicks

George W. Bush: Despite access to the best of all things the man is clearly either a dangerous hick or, at best, a wannabe dangerous hick deeply in the thrall of dangerous hickdom, not that it matters

On the other hand it's not like effete theater-goers like myself are necessarily all that much better. We just try to work it out in therapy. In any case, we're all doomed anyway so, whatever.

*You may be wondering why I chose the Chinese Communist Revolution rather than the Russian Communist Revolution. Well, to be honest, I can't actually discern any part of Russian History that isn't all about dangerous hickdom. It's all just one huge continuum of D-H Theory.

Fyrste, 8:48 PM