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Topic Drift

Friday, April 29, 2005

NPR, If You Don't Shut Up I Will Cut You

One of the things I detest about National Public Radio is all the talking. Would it kill them to play a little R&B? Maybe a few slow jams? I hate listening to people talking! Who cares what people think? If you people at NPR are so rude that you can't address me directly via mail or telephone, then I don't care what you think. Communication is a two-way street, or some such hogwash. Maybe I have something to say - but you wouldn't know that, would you? You're too busy shooting off your mouth to listen to me. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there is nothing about NPR that wouldn't be improved by copious amounts of the Keith Sweat oeuvre. And perhaps a bit of Bel Biv Devoe here and there.

P.S. I happen to have some exquisitely compelling ideas about the Chavez/Castro trade talks, but do I get any NPR air time? Hell no I don't.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Holiday Traditions

People often ask me how my family deals with major holidays. I usually distract these nosy parkers with the fake vomit I carry in my wallet for such occasions. But why not just come clean? I give you The Wilberforce-Packard Holiday Traditions (short form):

First of all, the W-Ps do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and we scarcely know what to make of Christmas. We do not believe that hamsters ought to run loose in the house, either - but that is a story for another time. For us, Christmas is a dismal time, though well-lit, and we celebrate with a luau of sorts, but without the food and dancing. As the sun sets on Christmas Eve we retire to our rooms and wait for the arrival of King Tut Jenkins, who steals quietly through the house, leaving a single Oscar Mayer wiener in each shoe. The next morning we eat the usual toast with jam, but we make a point of shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries first.

What's next? New Years Eve. We celebrated NYE last time it came round, though we do not make a habit of it. We know that every second inaugurates a New Year, and that every second can be split into infinite bits, each inaugurating a New Year of it's own. On New Years Eve, we try to discuss politics like adults; this year we spoke of social security reform until our crashing boredom forced us to organize knife-fights. We then used the knives to transform some of our holier jeans into cut-offs, but that was after the ball dropped.

Valentines Day. We ignore this day for the most part, though we make no effort to conceal our handguns.

4th of July. The W-Ps adore the 4th of July, especially the municipal fireworks display, which gives us the opportunity to stand outside in the rain at dusk while little puffs of light emanate from behind the cloud cover. Some years it does not rain, and we enjoy those years as well, though they give us fewer things to complain about on the ride home. On clear-skied 4ths, we often use the ride home to complain about our dry-cleaning bills or the cretins who don't appreciate the incense spewing from our two-stroke engine.

And we love Thanksgiving. The night before Thanksgiving we place cold cuts and sliced cheddar under our pillows so that we may begin eating the moment we come to consciousness. We eat all day and far into the evening. We are awakened days later by the police, who are called by our employers and neighbors to investigate our absence. "Nope, no murder-suicide this year," we inform them with great cheer. Though we tend to come very close. Last year Rafe lost an earlobe and Violet voluntarily swallowed a chop riddled with thumbtacks. And 2003 - that's when little Clive was buried alive in his "viking" ship. Yes, we do love Thanksgiving.

I Don't Have to Do Anything

I didn't post anything yesterday. Why? No reason. Just didn't feel like it. I don't always have to do things. I can just be. "If it feels good, do it, maybe, or not" - that's my motto. My other motto is "Stop slobbering on me." When those mottos don't work, I use this one: "I am the NRA." That just about covers every situation I run across. I am open to using all three at once, as when I am hit on by drunk Green Party canvassers. Happens all the time.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Enough With the Lake Rubbish

I've noticed a lot of loose weeds and brown foam and Little Debbie wrappers washing onto the shore at the lake. What an intolerable mess! Whose turn is it to tidy the lake? If it were my lake, I'd be out there raking that nonsense up. "Look at that gorgeous nutter raking her lake," amused passersby would shout. I'd smile and wave at them, of course, but after they'd traipsed by I'd follow them with great stealth - then out of nowhere I'd kick in the back of their knees. Then I'd throw a tarp over their heads and continue to kick the living bejesus out of them as they writhe in agony and rue. "Look at the gorgeous nutter raking her lake!" I'd shout, and kick and kick and kick. Then I'd kick some more. If anybody tries to pull me away from the tarp I'll thrash at them and shriek "THEY TOOK MY BABY!! THEY TOOK MY BABY!!"

Somebody better start cleaning up that lake before I get angry.

Friday, April 22, 2005

I'm Fine Now, Thanks

Took a brief saunter out-of-doors yesterday evening and was transfixed by the rather outlandish night-sky: concentric puffles of clouds encircled the razor-white moon and all that, with a hint of holy seraphim descending in tunnel formation. To top it off, when I returned home I found a plate of warm sausages on the back step. Naturally I assumed they were for me; as I ate the sausages the sky cracked and the wind whipped through my hair and 'mid this tumult I heard from far ancestral voices prophesying war. Intoxicating! At any rate, this morning I suffered the worst food poisoning of my life.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Someday I Would Like to Help Create a World Without Suffering

Today I was washing the sunroom windows when something amazing dawned on me: not only can I see people through my windows, but they can see me! Windows are like two-way spy mirrors, except people on both sides can see through! I immediately panicked and rushed to my bedroom to put on clothes and wipe off my Ace Frehley makeup.

I can't handle it. It is as though my entire world has gone up in flames.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Fae Wellington's The Loathing of Spaced Men

I'm no dummy. When somebody says "I am over the moon!" I know that they are not literally over the moon; I know that they are merely happy. But if I worked at NASA and some space-walking astronaut said to me via aerospace walkie talkie, "I say, Houston, I am over the moon!" I wouldn't be able to restrain myself. Is the fucking astronaut happy, or just stating the obvious? "Listen, shut up! I'm not your therapist! And I know where you are - I can see you on my goddamn aerospace radar machine screen, you dolt," I would reply, with no small amount of heat. I've never had patience for astronauts. Cosmonauts I can handle, at least until their novelty wears off. But astronauts? Bunch of puffy, silly asses. You're in space. Say something profound or just cut the cord already.

I am Sorry to Disappoint You, but I Do Not Care About Flying Dreams

I am unimpressed by flying dreams, or any dream in which I fly without the aid of commercial jetliners or military aircraft. I don't care about personal dream flying. If I had the chance to decide if I wanted a flying dream or no dream at all, I'd pick no dream at all. Frankly, he only recurring dream I actually enjoy is the one where I meet John Fogarty and I ask him all the questions I have about the art of cabinetmaking.

AND I Have an Angry Badger Living in the Crawl Space

I do wish the goddamn animal kingdom would call off their dogs. If it's not ants in my kitchen, it's squirrels reading over my shoulder when I try to get a moment of R&R in the backyard. Of course, nature is no great respecter of the Wilberforce-Packards in general. Last winter my uncle was snatched from the riverbank by a gang of west-coast eels and my sister Leda was impregnated by an incredibly pompous swan. On a related note, I fully expect to be fleeced by the mechanic next week when I collect my Essex Coupe from the garage. I had to bring it in yesterday after I opened the rumble seat and a bull moose sprang at me from within, thereby disabling the catch and dislocating a fender.

Friday, April 15, 2005

More Mail

Today I received a mangled package of vacuum cleaner parts from Flavian. He scribbled the following on the package: "Not safe for me to have these in Haiti. Please put in safety deposit box at bank. XOXO" What? Ridiculous. Besides, they're Dirt Devil parts, and I know for a fact he has an Oreck. "Oreck - I'd be satisfied with nothing less," he told me one dark night - a very dark night. He was drunk when he admitted that, but I had the impression that he really believed it. Perhaps I was naive.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

No! No More Washy!

I just ate a sandwich and it was ok. Then I put on my boots and kicked the sandwich plate into my bedroom. I'm tired of washing dishes! Strangely enough, I am not yet tired of walking around the heap of broken plates in my bedroom. When I run out of unbroken plates I'm going to stop eating entirely and live off of whatever nutrients I can absorb from my bedding. See, I'm also tired of washing my nutrient-rich bedding. I wish I hadn't forced my maid to drink poison. Her last words were "Someday you'll regret forcing me to drink poison." Huh. The future is now, bitches.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


This blog is in serious decline, and I am left to wonder: Who is to blame for this unfortunate situation? Is death near? Why is everybody looking at me? I have no answers for myself. Oh well. Can I really expect to succeed when my income is dependent upon the design and sale of outdated mobile phone faceplates? My newest model is constructed with moleskin and vulcanized unsalted butter. Sales have been swift, but I've been to the racetrack. And maybe I shouldn't have bought into that maritime faux-Tupperware scheme back in '89 - maybe then I wouldn't have so many disgruntled sailors darkening my door with their melted plastic serving bowls and morbid digestive complaints.

I Would Be Appalled

One of the things I'd like for my garden is a small river of lava, if only to have a convenient place to discard the furniture I no longer want. The only downside I can think of is that I'd occasionally see a bunny fall into the lava. I hate seeing bunnies falling into lava! Nothing ruins an afternoon like witnessing a bunny in lava, unless it's seeing the lava rise up, form a clawed hand, and proactively swipe a bunny from the green grass of safety. Christ - loosen up, lava river! Patience. Don't be so grabby.

Monday, April 11, 2005

I Am Only One Person, Ostensibly

Andrea Dworkin died today, and that reminds me of a story. Once I was having an arm-wrestle with someone and I won, but he insisted that I gave myself unfair advantage by moving my elbow. I denied moving my elbow, so we arm-wrestled again. I won again. By that time the boat was half-submerged, so I took the last life vest and hopped into the sea. "Too bad you lost the arm-wrestle," I told him, and I laughed the laugh of ten thousand victors. He drowned that day, and I had a sore arm for awhile.

My point? People are dying all over the place, and there's nothing I can do about it.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Not Every Post Will Be a Good Post

Today as I walked home from the office I thought of nothing - nothing! "How incredibly zen," you are thinking, but it is not so. It was not zen. It was my fresh, grievous head injury. Did I say I was walking home from the office? No, not from the office! From the hospital. I was walking home from the hospital. I was resplendent in my shapeless dressing gown, with kleenex boxes on my feet and a sheet of tin foil folded neatly upon my pate.

I snuck some tater tots under the tin foil before I left the hospital. By the time I arrived home I had a rich, potatoey treat ready for myself.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Nobody Ate Taft Last Year

Today I noticed a pile of green crap growing in the backyard. At first I thought it was a clump of crabgrass, but it turns out that it's a gigantic piece of stilton from the lawn party I held last October. It was originally carved into a likeness of President William Howard Taft, of blessed memory. Now it's just garbage cheese.

This year I intend to stilton-sculpt either Thomas Aquinas or that intolerable harridan who murdered all those people in the gulags. Can't remember her name at the moment. Hmmm... oh, Virginia Woolf.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

There Will Be No More Strange Magic in Topic Drift Country

Wait, when did the Pope die?! Nobody tells me anything anymore! Now I'll never get my ELO record back, I'm sure. He's had it since 1995. So much for common courtesy. I suppose I should just let it go.

Monday, April 04, 2005


I was desperate for some bit of life-related guidance, so I opened The New Oxford Book of English Verse and read the first lines I saw. It was a poem by Leigh Hunt. See:

O scaly, slippery, wet, swift, staring wights,
What is't ye do? What life lead? eh, dull goggles?
How do ye vary your vile days and nights?
How pass your Sundays?

Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the speaker was interrogating a fish. I don't give two toots what fish do on Sundays, so I didn't even read the fish's reply. Instead, I took the liberty of writing my own bit of verse:

O Leigh Hunt, ye are a cunt.
Ye irritate me deeply.

I was so pleased with my poem that I immediately typed it and mailed it off to Oxford University Press. They are certain to include it in The New New Oxford Book of English Verse. I need only sit back and wait for the checks to pour in. What a bluestocking I am! Satisfying.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Allow Me to Make Myself Quite Clear

Like many people, I prefer my hard-shell tacos whole and unbroken, free of shell fragments and corn-based detritus. It is not my style to dine on quasi-nachos when only a taco will do. It is only a matter of form, some might argue; tousle a taco and you have nachos – pat nachos into a half moon and you have a taco. What it really comes down to is style. I agree with these pragmatists, up to a point. Yes, taco and nacho ingredients are similar, if not identical, but form before function, that's what I always say. Style before substance, I always say. Furthermore, toads ought to wear tailored clothing and drive automobiles about the countryside. I know toads enjoy this freedom in Europe, perhaps even in "Old Europe," but do they exercise their sartorial and automotive rights here in America? I’ve never seen clothed toads motoring in Minnesota, but perhaps they cleave to the climate and culture of the South. I know I do. Faulkner said it best, I do think: "Why, that's a hundred miles away. That's a long way to go just to eat." Which inevitably directs us back to the broken taco conundrum.