Shine On, You Crazy Diamond

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

That’s Some Pig!

Monday, April 14th, 2008

My friends, I am a man whose conversion is complete. Before, I was lost. Now, I am… well, sometimes I cheat and look at Google Maps. Before, I could not see. Now, I have X-Ray vision (nice Underoos, by the way). I was a wretch, and now I am a sated wretch.

For I have found Bacon Salt.



And salt.

Married together in a ceremony dancing on the edge of Heaven and Hell, Bacon + Salt have formed an evil yet holy union, poised to reap my soul like Mrs. Dash could only have ever hoped to do, and what Mrs. Butterworth–that succubus of syrup!–tried to do by tempting me with her revealing form. Some fiendish genius allowed his Id and Super Ego to rut around in his taste buds’ pantry, and the result was the combination of two flavors kept apart for thousands of years by nothing more than gastronomical bigotry.

Do you doubt me? Do you say to yourself, “Skippy, no, there’s no government in the world that would approve such a combination. It’d be too fantastic! Why, world peace might break out as we’d all sit down to some eggs and toast liberally decorated with this fabled ambrosia, and then, later, war as bacon salt would be horded and then used to replace all existing currency. It’d be madness!”

Ah, but join me in insanity:


“Everything should taste like Skippy bacon.”

See? I lie not! There’s the miracle mixture, and a watch and a gavel. The watch, because it’s always time to eat bacon salt. And the gavel because, frankly, it should be against the law to not eat the stuff.

Hurry out, friends, and buy your batch of bacon salt. Join the choir visible and sing unto the explosion of deliciousness! And, should you hear rumors that Morton, the reigning Queen of salt makers, utter discouraging words about bacon salt, listen not. She’s just jealous. Besides, I did some digging around their servers and found this hidden, protected image. This is the side of Morton they never wanted you to see. Ladies, please sit before you view this image. Gentlemen, hold strong to something firm. This is no image for children–send them outside to play. For, I reveal to you:


Oh, fie on you, evil Morton! This is the beast you set loose in our cabinets, on our steaks, and in our mashed taters. When the chips are down, when faced with the divine assault of the bacon variety, we see you for who you are. Such terrible appendages! Your trail of salt turns to blood, and your recent carnage is evident from the twin rivulets of red running down your chin, almost a Fu Manchu of grisly terror .

Plus, you eat babies. I mean, c’mon. That’s just wrong.

Remember, friends, turn to the bacon salt. It is the only thing that can save you. (Also, it’s not bad on vegetables. I’m just sayin’.)

Now You Have A Strumpet In The Diamond Business

Friday, April 11th, 2008

It had to happen some time, I suppose. After dodging the diamond drill bit for thirty-seven years, Kansas City has somehow given birth to its very own Ephialtes, an Arnold (Benedict, not the Austrian robot) who must have revealed to Tom Shane and minions a dusty, dirty, secret and most of all, effective, path, into the metro area. The Shane Company has, indeed, invaded our lands.

Founding the business in 1971, Tom Shane quickly sacrificed a nearby muse to the Beelzebub of Banality and started flooding the airwaves with commercials featuring his own voiceover work. You’ve heard them, no doubt. He earnestly assures that we now, after years of desolation and loneliness, have a friend in the diamond business. Without using the exact words, his folksy manner and attempt at awkward charm imply that Ye Olde Shane Company is a local business instead of the Denver-based bauble juggernaut it truly is.

My problem isn’t that he advertises, nor is it that he sells diamonds (dropped cleanly from the sky by Lucy, or bloodied gems from strife-ridden Africa), or even that his goal is to make wheelbarrows full of cash. No, my issue is the way in which he advertises; specifically, how he paints all women as shallow, flighty girls whose affections (and, you know, affections) can easily be purchased by shiny trinkets.

Me, I’m down with jewelry; I’ve no problem with engagement rings, cracked ice, rock candy, or pennyweights. If you like it, wear it. But, when your advertising campaign consists solely of radio ads aimed directly at, and talking directly to, men about how their wives or girlfriends will tear up once the tiny velvet box opens and the glistering commences, it’s time to leave the 1930s and come up with a new idea. Never mind that the advertising obviously works (Shane Co. is a laaaarge company), I would assume ethics would pop up with a “Whoa, horsey!” when trying to illustrate the women in his life by indirectly comparing them to gift-starved children. At least pretend you think women have some dignity.

Tom asks: Been married for 20 years? Reward her for her love and devotion. Pull her from the kitchen, force some shoes on her, let someone else do the laundry for the night because, damnit, twenty years of companionship deserves a diamond! Are there tears in her eyes when she sees that fantastic gem-encrusted choker? According to Tom Shane, it’s probably not because she’s immediately daydreaming of using those polished and pointy rocks to slash your car’s tires in an effort to steal away from such a limited and degrading view of her as a person, it’s because, finally, after all these years, she’s getting her payment. Want to show her how much the past few decades of companionship, laughter, tragedy, growth, compromise, sweat and triumph mean to you; how individual and unique you think your relationship is? Why, give her the Journey diamond necklace, a theme-oriented decoration that millions of other men are giving their wives. Show her how she’s different from all the other wives out there.

I suppose it wouldn’t be such a disappointing advertising campaign if Tom also advocated buying jewelry for men. (Shallowness is an equal opportunity noun.) Or, if he widened the market a bit and recognized that not all relationships are ones pulled from the black-and-white world of Ward and June Cleaver. But since the framework of his ads are always “buy something for your wife” it shows his disrespect for both genders and all relationships.

Or, at the very least, that’s how it should be seen.

Brains, Or, My Son Ate Your Honor Roll Student

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

He was asleep, I was bored, and he was hanging out in my arms. Perfect time for a camera shot, right, because what spells “fatherhood” better than trying to juggle your infant child in one hand, and attempting to turn on, maneuver and focus the camera with the other? Fortunately, I failed to kill my kid.

Or, so I thought.

I was going through the photos afterward when I discovered that Auggy was already a goner. The undead. (Not, say, the undead as in black tux, sweeping cape, pointy teeth and an aversion to drinking… wine undead. The other kind. Duh.) See?


At first I wasn’t sure. I mean, cute kid (looks like me), red hair’s still there, and so far no teeth–not even rotted ones. But, I have to admit, the the eyes concerned me and, well… most non-zombie kids don’t have such creepy speech balloons.

“Oh, c’mon, Skippy, you added that in!”

No, I didn’t. Honest. Zombies are mysterious and powerful like that. Or, is that wizards? (Did Dumbledore ever eat anyone? Are you sure? How could you ever truly know?)

So, now the question on my mind* is whether I can love a zombie child and give him a nourishing, happy childhood. Happy, maybe; nourishing, possibly. After all, if we invite over all his friends for a sleepover, CRUNCH!, nourishing. And he”ll probably even be happy that night. But what about the next morning? Sure, sure, he can eat the other kids’ parents when they come over to pick up little Johnny and Sally Three Course, and that’ll help delay the police being notified for a little bit, but I don’t want him to overeat because, well, I want an active, athletic kid. If he gets chubby, all he’ll do is sit on the couch and munch on the dogs. You can only grab so many strays from the pound before the SPCA starts getting suspicious (they’re worse than the cops).

Plus, what about adolescence? He hits 13 and all of a sudden it’s “Brains! Braaaaains! Braaaains–waaaa! All I ever eat is brains! How come we can’t get a bucket of kidneys? Or a small intestine? Have you seen one of those things? It’s just. Like. Spaghetti.” The ungrateful wretch.

Will he fit in with high school? Will he eat his first girlfriend? (Stop that.) Will he get into college, or will he have to take night classes? Oh, oh, and there’s such a bias against zombies. Have you seen the movies? They’re all so… negative. Frankly, that bastard George Romero owes my son an apology and maybe a nice, fat settlement.

Well, I’ll try. Love you, kiddo. Now, go play with the cat. He’s old. No one will miss him.

*Just mine. Not hers. He ate her.

I Am Spinycus!

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Two years ago, as a labor of love for the Insta-Princess, I smuggled some cactus seeds out of Arizona and back to Kansas City. “She’ll adore them,” I thought. “She can hug ’em and love ’em and squeeze ’em and call them George.” Except, those poor seeds sat on our kitchen counter for two years. Whatever mothering instincts would eventually tickle her hormones, well, they weren’t there yet, or they didn’t make an appearance for our good friend, The Cactus.  I probably should have stuck with a t-shirt, but I thought that i’d give her something more interesting to throw at me should we ever get angry.  (We don’t.  We’re perfect.  Angels, really.)

This past week, and with her permission, I decided to reclaim these desert dwellers for myself. I just can’t stand to see a toy go to waste.  Besides, seduced by the advertisement on the package:

I wanted to raise my own happy cactus family. Look at them! Who knew cactuses could be so much fun? They grin and show their pearly whites with abandon; they can swing their arms and, I’m guessing here, but it looks like the tall one can sing. Imagine that, my own prickly Partridge family.

Thus far, I have to admit I’m a wee bit disappointed. I mean, it’s only been a week, and I know they’ve been waiting two years for their chance on stage, but the sprouts don’t reflect what’s on the packaging. Take a gander:

Do you see eyes? A mouth? Little waving arms? A drum set or a guitar? Exactly. I mean, maybe the band doesn’t get together until puberty, but I’m starting to suspect I got ripped-off. I thought maybe, just maybe, my singing saguaros could open up for Softee. (Softee and I have a history. Love, heartbreak, being a roadie, attempt to sacrifice me to their bloodthirsty gods of Rock and maybe Roll… either that or they just wanted me to stop hounding them for autographs. I don’t hold it against them, though. But, still, a connection I hoped to exploit.)

I’m not a neglectful parent. I’ll still raise the cactus–even if only one of the five sprouts survives to maturity. I’ll call that one “Spinycus”. Or, “Kirk” for short.

Before Parenthood

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Now that I’ve finally uploaded a few videos to YouTube, here’s what the Insta-Princess and I did before Auggy made his appearance.  Also, it’s got a beat and you can dance to it:

It’s Difficult…

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

… to tell which of the two of us is the smarter one. Especially when you consider the silly things you say to an infant. On the other hand, I’m proud to be the first person to introduce him to the phrase “hookers and blow”.

A Conversation With Andy (About Shadows)

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Boogie.  Oogie.  Woogie.

: You got me looking at that heaven in your eyes.

: They’re blue. I have two of them. And you’re very sweet–but I’m taken.

: I was chasing your direction.

: Oh. I really meant to take a shower today, but I woke up late. Sorry.

: I was telling you no lies.

: That was very zen of you.

: And I was loving you.

: And that was very creepy of you.

: When the words are said, baby, I lose my head.

: And, of course, that was very Anne Boleyn of you.

: And in a world of people, there’s only you and I.

: “Me.” Only you and “me”. You went to public schools, didn’t you? (Actually, I jest. Andy’s using the proper pronoun in this instance because it follows a copulative verb and must be in the subjective case. Those silly couplas.)

: There ain’t nothing come between us in the end.

: Except, for oh… I dunno, maybe that restraining order, you freak.

: How can I hold you when you ain’t even mine?

: You can’t–and now you’re scaring me.

: Only you can see me through.

: Poor boy. Got what that Olsen twin’s got, don’t ya’?

: Do it light, taking me through the night.

: So light you’ll suspect I’m not even there. Which I’m not. Got it?

: Shadow dancing, baby you do it right.

: I’m also good at the Waltz.

: Give me more, drag me across the floor.

: Um, hello? Have you ever danced a Waltz? Very little dragging–mostly none.

: Shadow dancing, all this and nothing more.

: I’ll stick with the Waltz. Or nothing more.

: All that I need is just one moment in your arms.

: The only thing that goes in my arms are needle tracks. And you don’t look pointy.

: I was chasing your affection.

: Because it was running from you, you sicko! Have you not noticed a theme here?

: I was doing you no harm.

: Duh. I’m faster with the running.

: And I was loving you.

: Liar. Love doesn’t stalk.

: Make it shine, make it rain, baby I know my way.

: Again with the stalking. I don’t think you get the concept of “love”.

: I need that sweet sensation of living in your love.

: First, my arms, now my love? What are you, a transient?

: I can’t breath when you’re away, it pulls me down.

: Heh. You wish I’d pull you down.

: You are the question and the answer am I.

: You are teh psycho and teh scared am I.

: Only you can see me through.

: X-ray glasses. Got ’em out of the back of a comic book. I can also see boobies.

: I leave it up to you.

: I want nothing to do with your ups.