Thursday, October 31, 2002
In honor of All Hallow's Eve, I would like to recount my favorite scary Halloween story. I call it "The Rain of Terror."

When I was in fifth grade, I decided that I was going to have the phattest Halloween costume ever. Using the tragic and infallible logic that always precedes disaster, I determined that the ultimate costume was the "Human Pack of Gum." I got a pack of Wrigley's Spearmint Gum and took it to my mom, who agreed that it was a great idea. We found a big, rectangular cardboard box that was exactly the shape of the pack of Wrigley's and which, applied to me like a restraining device, fit tightly and came down to my knees.

Perfect! We got some tempera paints and began the laborious process of re-creating the Wrigley's graphics on the cardboard box. It took a couple of days, and when we were done, it was stunning. In fact, it was so beautiful that I didn't want to compromise it by cutting armholes in the sides or cutting the top off so I could stick my head out. So I just poked two small holes in the front for me to look out of. I discovered that although I couldn't stick my arms out, it was just barely possible for me to carry a candy-bag at knee-level and present it to candy-offerers by swinging it gamely in their direction (this required an oscillation of the costume as a unit, as though I was having a seizure).

I was able to dry-fire the costume at the Jefferson Elementary School Halloween Parade, during which we were marched around town, POW-style. It was hot in the box, and during this excursion it did occur to me to wonder what would happen if I fell over, but overall the costume was a success. Later that night, it was time for the real thing.

Things went pretty well for the first half an hour or so. People were awed, frightened and delighted by the Human Pack of Gum. My candy-bag was filling up nicely, and I could tell that people were impressed by the kind of dedication that surely must be required for a person to imprison himself in a cardboard box in the name of seasonal art.

When it began to rain, I gloated to myself (when you're in a cardboard box, you have to sort of 'get down with yourself,' since you're insulated from ordinary society) that while my companion ghouls were getting wet, I was dry and approximately comfortable. It started raining pretty hard, and we began to run from doorstep to doorstep to avoid the rain, which was dripping off the trees in fat drops and whack-whacking on the top of my costume. When I ran, my knees would knock against the front of the box, producing a deafening concussion as I wheezed from door to door.

Subtly, the public's reactions to the Human Pack of Gum began to change. Instead of adoration, people would look at me and say, simply, "Oh, my." Eventually they stopped saying anything at all, preferring to concentrate their attention on my companions.

I realized what had happened. The paint had all washed off, of course. Looking down, I could see that below my knees I was a greenish white color.

In this humiliating condition I continued to lurch disconsolately from house to house, sullenly swinging my bag of candy at an increasingly hostile universe. Anybody with any sense would simply have aborted the mission, but I didn't even consider this to be an option. I just kept going, nursing an anger bred of profound injustice.

Finally, somebody spoke up. A woman looked at our wet gaggle and said, "Oh, aren't you all just adorable!" Then she looked at me and her face changed to an expression of what I now recognize as pity. "Oh, and... what are *you*?" she asked me, looking into my eye-holes.

"I," I told her, in my most mature and philosophical voice, "am a big, wet box."

Wednesday, October 30, 2002
What Country-Music Lyrics Sound Like to Me:

"The squinky squanky skwonker,
the frinky franky frownker,
just caint wownttcha inmuh
truhck." (yeowng)

[do not call the authorities. i am done blogging for the day, or possibly for all time]

Larry Punchman's Mechanics of Comedy, Part II
Today's other featured mechanism: The Yinyang, also known as The Automatic

Charlie: Have you ever eaten groundhog?
Frank: Groundhog? No, I never have.
Charlie: You mean, you've never eaten sausage?

Larry Punchman's Mechanics of Comedy, Part I
Today's featured mechanism: The Switcheroo

"I called my mom the other day. I told her I was a gay ferret. 'Oh my God,' she shouted, 'You're a ferret?!'"

Tuesday, October 29, 2002
How women think sometimes:

1. Jennifer Lopez has a big ass.
2. My ass is bigger than Jennifer Lopez's ass. Therefore,
3. I am even better than Jennifer Lopez.

Monday, October 28, 2002
What do you get when you cross a pig and a sink?

Give up?


This is one of the few jokes that I can actually recall. It's awful. I read this in some magazine when I was ten years old. Some people are excellent joke tellers, great storytellers, every anecdote tremendously captivating. But I'm always starting a joke or story before I've got the ending down. The build-up is great, but to be effective (and receive the adoration of your peers) you have to drive home the punchline and, when that time comes in the story, I'm fumbling around in the darkness of memory, hoping to pop it out correctly. My stories always end with "...and then, um...the elephant...was stuck in the refrigerator...I mean, the..."

It's truly sad. But I'm working on it.

When do you know it's bedtime at Michael Jackson's house?

Give up?

When on, let me get this right...uh...When the little hand touches the big hand!


Thursday, October 24, 2002
"How You Would Feel About the World if You Lived 400 Years"

Fuck it. Whatever. Imagine the biggest upraised middle digit. This is a world-dwarfing bird, a starbreaker of finger-giving, a tower of insinuation that forever crushes all who behold it into the lowest stratum of the unforgiven.

Everything is one hundred percent under control as of this moment in time.

-Zaphod Beeblebrox

You cannot mock a stone.


My head hurts and I am irresponsible.

Friday, October 18, 2002
Banned art.! ...

Could there be a better marketing label?

Thursday, October 17, 2002
"How I got a Gorby Bonus"

by Antoine Pomplemousse

Today I woke up eating a icecream bar. It was shitty generic. Then some officials came but they wasnt all that. I say hey youall got no rite to be here but they wraped me in my head in duck tape. Were gonna throw you off a brige they said with guns. Goddam bitches fuck a mutherfucker up!!!!!!! Then James Earl Jonez came on the TV Hey bitch-ass you got a gorby bonus!!!!!! he said.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

It is a morning to sigh. Indeed.

Monday, October 14, 2002
The last thing I said to her was, "Don't get the light bologna. Get the regular bologna, okay?"

She rolled her eyes, not unkindly, and said, "Whatever." Then she was out the door. Fifteen minutes later she was dead.

This brings great joy to the witty. Will it kill patent law?

Thursday, October 10, 2002
A few days ago, I heard the funniest episode on the T-Man radio show in Seattle.
Now you know how usually these shock jock shows involve callers with the most mundane stories that we've all heard (or seen on TV talk shows) a million times, and the host tries to make it interesting by getting really excited and then insulting the caller. Well, this story was good enough to dispense with that.

Paraphrased dialogue

Caller: My girlfriends and I went to a concert and we got really loaded...we got to go backstage and ended up at the hotel with the I want you to know, Tom, that I have a boyfriend of seven years and I love him very much and have never cheated on him....anyway, by the time I came to and realized what was going on I started to pull away but it was too late, this band guy had already done his business and his condom was too big for him, so I think some of it got out....anyway, he was black and my boyfriend is white and I have a baby due in a month.

Tom: Uh-huh. So who was it? Just give me three groups, one of which is the real one, so that we can visualize something here.

Caller: Well....think somebody like Method Man, but it wasn't him.
TomL It was Wu-Tang, though, wasn't it?!! So you're having Young Dirty Bastard?
[Sounds of people falling out of chairs, laughing]
Caller (seriously): No, ODB was in jail at the time.
Tom: Wow.

Monday, October 07, 2002
Yesterday, I attended one of the Skeptic Society lectures at Caltech in Pasadena. It was about the Darwinian theory of group selection and its application to the study of religious competition and cooperation. There was some ninety-year-old lady in the audience who stopped the lecture cold when her hearing aid began to interfere with the PA system, producing a tremendously annoying, high-pitched feedback. She didn't notice it, of course, because she seemed to be virtually deaf. They ferreted her out and made her turn the hearing aid off.

Oh, and Julia Sweeney from Saturday Night Live was there. I guess she's a Skeptic member.

Sunday, October 06, 2002
Hello, all:

Sorry for the prolonged absence. I've been working on other parts of the site!

Yesterday I went to a polo match. Yes, polo. On horseback. The Cornell University Men's Polo Team defeated the Central New York Polo Club 17-16.

Damn, it was exciting. The sprinting horses. The elegance and violence. The danger. Someone fell off their horse.

Well, that's about it from Syracuse. Love, Pauls

Wednesday, October 02, 2002
I had a big smile on my face, but it hurt, so I put it on a jar of pickles instead.

It's real creepy.