Three A.M.

Awake at three in the morning. It’s a contradiction of human existence, I guess.

I’m awake right now because I was having a weird dream. In the dream, Mel Brooks asks what if Buddha had been a nice Jewish boy from Queens?

Siddhartha the Buddha, or as his mother called him, Siddhartha the Bum.

She says to him, Sid, Sid, why don’t you get a job? Your brother Marty has a nice job on Wall Street and what are you doing? Sitting under a tree eating plums!

I woke up laughing.

I tried to go back to sleep but Mrs. Gautama kept talking.

Why don’t you get a job, she says, and he says, Ma, I’ve got a job. I’m a teacher.

She says, that’s not a real job, you know why I know it’s not a real job? If you had a real job, you could afford to go to the Hamptons for the summer instead of sitting under a pear tree eating plums. That’s no vacation from a real job!

He says, Ma, why would I sit under a pear tree eating plums? It was a fig tree and I was eating figs….

I don’t care if they were Avogadros! she interrupts. You could eat any number of Avogadros and I wouldn’t care.

Then she starts in on him about grandkids. When are you going to get married? If you were married, you would have to get a real job and get me some grandkids? Your brother Marty, he can’t because he’s got that thing, his Exeter is too narrow.

His urethra, Ma.

His ureter, he’s not going to have kids but you could get married…. Are you gay? You can tell me…. If you have some nice boy you’d rather marry you can bring him by…. What’s his name? Steve?

Ma, I’m not gay, Sid says.

Maybe you and Steve could adopt? Marty can’t adopt because his wife has that conviction from when she was a prison guard.

Imogene Coca was playing Ma, Sid Caesar (who else) as Sid, with Howie Morris as Marty and Terry Jones as Mrs. Finkelstein nextdoorsikeh.

At which point, I got up again and wrote this all down. :)

Mini-Golf

God, an IRS man, a priest, and a rabbi are playing mini-golf. After six holes, the IRS man is leading with 21, God at 24 and the two clergymen tied at 26. It’s a good tight game and everyone is playing well.

The priest has been trying to get up his nerve to talk privately to God and he finally manages to ask what’s been on his mind. “God, he says, I’ve been a good man, I’ve tried to help my flock and follow church teachings and abide by Your Holy Word. What I want, well, what I want to know, what I’d like is some assurance that I’m going to Heaven.”

God smiled on his priest. “Sure,” He said. “You’ve been a good man and a fine priest and if you continue as you’ve been doing, your place in Heaven is assured.” Much relieved to hear that, the priest thanked God, praised Him and moved away to smile happily as he prepared for the next hole.

Seeing the priest had spoken with God, the rabbi stepped up, too. “Sir,” he said. “We Jews don’t necessarily believe in Heaven but we are promised a reward if we keep Your Commandments. I think I have done so, I have certainly tried and I would like to receive the sort of assurance You gave the priest that my life has pleased You.”

God smiled down at him. “And aren’t you one of My Chosen People? You keep the Commandments, you have done mitzvahs as you should. And yes, you will be rewarded for being good and kind and faithful.” And the rabbi also moved away smiling.

Seeing the other two so happy to have received God’s blessing, the IRS man approached the Presence of the Deity. “I’m a humble man, God. I don’t have the knowledge the other two have of what I should do. I have a terrible job and I know that I have made other people unhappy. But wasn’t Matthew also a tax collector? I guess, what I’m asking is if there is going to be a place for me in Heaven, too.”

God frowned down at the tax man and the sky seemed to be a little less bright. “I hate to tell you this,” said God. “But if you keep hitting eagles like you did on the last two holes, you’re going to Hell.”

Bullwinkle Saves the World… Again?

My story machine works overtime. Last night I dreamed a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

It starred Jack Black as Eddie Valiant Jr. working for the LAPD and partnered with Bullwinkle J. Moose on the Toontown Division. It was an intense and complicated story with visits to Toontowns in Japan, Europe and South America. They were dealing with the illegal traffic in a drug called “SPIT” for “Sudden Partial Integrated Toonification”. When taken by a human, SPIT turns the intoxicated person into a Toon for several hours with Toon resilience and lack of responsibility. Very dangerous stuff but hilarious effects.

Of course, Jack Black takes the SPIT at one point and turns into Kung Fu Panda but since it is in the middle of a fight with the bad guys, this works fine.

There’s a touching little scene with Boris Badenov who, since he is completely innocent in this, was Bullwinkle’s prime suspect. Boris is all hearbroken because Natasha has left him. Mike Myers is in this part doing something.

All thru the story, Jack Black and Bullwinkle take turns being straight man for each other. Rocky shows up for a bit part, too. Rocky is worried that the bad guys will turn out to be toons like Judge Doom last time.

Bullwinkle gets very philosophically goofy about the Unbearable Toonness of Being a Toon and Jack Black sneaks another dose of SPIT to have an interlude with a sexy cartoon firefox. This ends up in another fight of course and the SPIT wear off as Kung Fu Panda is making an impossible leap from one building to the other.

Bullwinkle makes a lugubrious “my partner” speech over Jack Black’s bleeding body but Black turns out not to be dead and they go on to solve the case. Which unfortunately, I woke up before I found out who did it but I think it was Google.

Where Everybody Knows You’re Drunk

A duck, a kangaroo and a chimpanzee walk into a bar. The chimp says to the bartender, “The usual, Stan.”

The bartender takes a tall glass from the back of the bar, pours in three jiggers of dark rum, one of brandy, one of banana liqueur and one of spiced rum. He adds grapefruit juice, tangerine juice, lime juice and bitters, puts a lid on it and shakes it up. Then he pours it over crushed ice into another glass, adds half a shot of 151 and sets it on fire. He puts the Flaming Haitian Zombie in front of the chimp with a small square box alongside.

The chimp drinks half of it right down, flames and all, then sits there with a long face–what else? After a bit, the chimp opens the box, takes out a revolver, loads one cylinder and begins playing Russian Roulette, solitaire.

The kangaroo says to the bartender, “The usual, Stan.”

The bartender mixes vodka, Red Bull, Tabasco, cranberry juice and boiling beef bouillon in a thick glass stein and sets the Red Hot Bullshot and a beer in front of the kangaroo. “There’s some girls in the corner who might like to get acquainted, if you’re feeling up to it,” he tells the marsupial from Down Under.

The kangaroo drinks the concoction down all at once, shouts “Whoo!”, does a double back flip then takes his beer and hops over to meet the cute pocket mice. “Hello, ladies,” he says smoothly. “I’m your entertainment for the evening.”

The mice are not having any of this, though; they pull out knives and threaten to find out what kangaroo steak tastes like.

The duck climbs up on a barstool and watches the chimp squint then sigh as the hammer clicks down on another empty chamber. The bloody kangaroo runs past pursued by carnivorous lady mice. “What do I usually have, Stan?” the duck asks the bartender.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in here before,” the bartender admits.

Kablooie! The chimp blows his brains out on the next stool over. The mice catch the kangaroo and carve him into screaming tidbits.

The duck looks around the bar and says to the bartender, “You’re right. I’ve never been here before. And I think I know why.”

Catman Druthers

I have whole other careers in my sleep. Last night I dreamed about working on a comic strip called Catman Druthers.

The main character, a humanoid cat named Catman, worked as a software engineer for a waste management company. Exciting, huh? His wife, Kitty, ran a daycare.

They lived in the suburbs of a metropolis filled with anthropomorphic animals and just to be confusing, they kept pets. The Druthers’ dog, Flora, chased the mailman, energy-efficiently since the postal worker was also a squirrel.

They had another pet, Manbird, a parrot with a human head, who sat on a perch in the office or kitchen and made wry comments on stuff.

The particular strip I was working on in the dream showed Catman sitting in the floor watching the dog eat as Kitty walks in.

“Watcha doing, hon?” Kitty asks.

“Trying to teach the dog to be more finicky,” says Catman.

The second panel is a close up of the dog scarfing down something and wagging her tail. The word balloons of Kitty and Catman fill the top of the panel.

“How’s it going?” asks Kitty.

“Not too good,” says Catman. “She still eats anything I put down.”

Last panel is a discouraged-looking Catman saying, “That’s a bowl of gravel.”

Jackass Marketing

Everyone has heard of Gorilla Marketing, which is where you jump out of a tree, put the customer in a headlock and force them to sign a six month subscription to your print magazine. No, wait, that’s supposed to be Guerilla Marketing which is where you jump out of a tree and shoot the bastard….

No, wait.

Nevermine.

What there is way too much of on the internet is Jackass Marketing. Which is where your subscription offer is an insult to the intelligence of your average hairy equine consumer.

Q.V. Excellent bad example.

First, that they even offer something with web access that does not include available optimized mobile is not just ignorant, it’s struthioformic (that means like an ostrich) — in order to do something like that, one has to have one’s head in the sand or someplace even darker and smellier.

Second, look at the fourth offer, presumably their trial offer to entice people in: 30 days web only access for 19.95 — versus the second offer: web plus mobile for ninety days for only $1.30 more. W? T? F?

Third, try to tell them this is a stupid marketing position and you are faced with two screens worth of checkboxes and a captcha to communicate with them. And they don’t have a checkbox for “You should fire someone in marketing.”

Fourth, who would want to read a futurologistic magazine so poorly grounded in the present as to come up with this for a marketing plan?

The obvious deduction from their offers is that one month of web and mobile access to their current issue is worth sixty-five cents. The check is in the mail!

The Fashionista

Odd dreams.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

With global peace but a stagnant world economy, sixteen great families came to dominate policy all over the world. To prevent armed conflicts, they agreed that they would compete for who would have the chair of the New World Order based on popular sentiment and the decisions of a culture committee. In effect, this amounted to fashion wars.

Our story opens as one of the sixteen families chosen scion is preparing to do fashion combat at the season opening soirée. Being a dumpy little guy, he chooses to go with a very tailored jacket worn over a high-collared shirt without a tie. White jacket, blue pants, red shirt. His hair in a little Elvis pompadour, he looks retro, spiffy and daring. He chooses his name for the evening, Arden(t). Spelled just like that, with parentheses.

He knows he has the evening’s competition locked up, the old chairholder is sticking with his Rastifarian vampire chic persona, Killdivah, and everyone is tired of bloodsucking ska.

Meanwhile, the eight minor families (the politics of this are as complex as the bloodlines of Renaissance nobility) who also can compete in the fashion arena have chosen a gladiator. A young woman in a short, glittery, diamond white disco gown and a Sassoon bob is going to drive a 1993 Toyota Corolla right onto the dance floor! It will be sensational at least and get the judges’ attention.

She’s chosen her name for the evening, ShimmerTM. Because, you know, everyone loves dessert and a nice shiny floor.

Of course, I woke up laughing just then.