Live it up, the dirt-nap is inevitable.

Forget sleeping-- LIVE IT UP! The dirt-nap's coming soon enough, people.

    Not to be an alarmist, but the four horsemen of the apocalypse are charging on the horizon–– riding evil angry pigs to deliver a death sentence to the entire human race! You included!!!!!

    Yes, this year’s model of doom and gloom is the Swine Flu, an oldie but goodie from the 70’s brought back to tickle your nostalgia bone and send you to the boneyard toot sweet. How can you tell if you have Swine Flu? Look for these telltale signs:

    1.  Your pig is achy and feels hot when you kiss its cheeks nightie-night-night

    2.  Piggie is not sleeping well and the bedroom floor is littered with spent Kleenex

    3.  Your pig is listless and its tail loses its natural bouncy curl

    4.  Poor porky requests chicken soup by the gallon

    5.  Your pig says it “feels like something the cat dragged home” and misses work wallowing in its own filth

    Once your pig is sick, you can get infected also.

    In order to protect oneself from Swine Flu, some people get all Lady MacBeth; washing their hands incessantly. Others play doctor and wear a mask over mouth and nose below their furrowed brows. And fear-filled fanatics hold their breaths in public and refuse to shake hands with anyone. Instead, they greet filthy, germ-ridden people with a cheery spray of gunfire, an action generally thought by etiquette experts to be not quite as cordial a greeting as a hearty handshake.

    Even though there have only been isolated cases of the Swine Flu reported worldwide, there is a full-on pandemic panic fueled by a flood of fear-mongering news reports. You’ve seen and heard the ‘bumpers’ on news shows before breaking for commercials:

    “Is your skin trying to kill you? We’ll tell you the surprising answer after the break…”

    “Is certain death the least of your worries after contracting Swine Flu? Stay tuned and find out how one expert says Swine Flu can affect you in the afterlife… and Chip will tell us in his three day forecast if it’s going to be good weather for cemetery plot shopping .”

    “We all know the dangers of Swine Flu, but you don’t know two common household items could kill you quicker and more painfully? We’ll tell you which one when we come back.”

    You wait on pins and needles to discover that washing down fistfuls of Drano with a half gallon of bleach makes Swine Flu look like a warm hug.

    It’s gotten so bad that The National Pork Producers Association is demanding Swine Flu be renamed “The Delicious, Nutritious And Surprisingly Versatile Other White Meat Sniffles”.

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No more getting 'whacked on the goof!'

No mo' gettin' whacked-out on the goof!

    You hear? John Mayer’s giving up the pot. No lie, seriously– I mean he Twittered it and everything so it’s like got2B true, right?

    I’ll bet the break-up with Jen was a wake up call for J-Man cuz I heard she was all P-Yode cuz he had time to smoke herb and Twitter his fans on his European tour  but no time to call his girlie girl, and you know how Jen gets when she’s not getting the attention she deserves so she was all like…

Toodles, J-Bird!

Toodles, Bong-Boy!

             “Whatever, John. Later, dude!” and I’ll bet John toked-it-up when he got the dump truck and he’s probably been on a maryjane bender ever since, huffin’ and puffin’ his heartache away and I guarantee he woke up one day and realized the best thing he ever had slipped through his guitar-pickin’ fingers and went up in reefer smoke and then I’ll bet he decided it was time to straighten up and put those naz doobies down cuz I mean come on, Jen?!!! He had Rachel (eat your heart out, Ross), and he let her slip away!

    Johnnie Boy, we’re talking Jen!!!! Hey, I’ll bet even Brad make Angelia wear a Jen rubber mask sometimes. No disrespect, Angie, but I mean, Jen!!!!!!!!!! 

    And you heard ’bout Madonna, right? She fell off her horsie the news said but that’s only half the story cuz the real scoopage is the accident happened while she was working to get herself another kid– but get a load of this– she was trying to buy that little girl from “Slumdog Millionaire” from the girl’s dad but some Royal Canadian Mounties heard the deal was going down and they came riding over to bust them and Madonna’s horse got all spooked and everything and threw the Material Girl to the

Oooopsie daisies!

Oooopsie daisies!

 Material World and she got all embarrassed and now is trying to blame her boo-boo on some paparazzi creepolla who was lurking in the bushes with long lenses and a guilty face. Bamm!

    And I’ve got it on very good authority Paris Hilton is thinking of upgrading her identity to Paris Ritz Carlton.

    How ’bout Paris Hampton Inn

    Bamm! You can’t make this stuff up.

 

She can sing, but can she change oil?

She can sing, but can she change oil?

    Susan Boyle, the 47-year old U.K. singing sensation who wowed the world with her recent performance on the TV sensation “Britain’s Got Talent” says she is “Gobsmacked, absolutely gobsmacked” by her instant brush with fame. Incredibly, the clip of her performance has attracted over 20 million views on gobsmacking website sensation YouTube.

    Ms. Boyle says the instant celebrity will not change her. “I plan to be my ownself, I do. I’m not about to let fame go to my head. If anyone gets in my way, I’ll crush them like a ripe grape. After all, I’m a big celebrity now, aren’t I? Don’t have to be dealing with lowly commoners. After all, I’m one of the beautiful people now!”

    Not so fast, Ms. Golden Throat. Although the Britain’s Got Talent” judges, beautiful Amanda Holden, handsome Piers Holden and heartthrob Simon Cowell, thought her singing was “extraordinary”, they are not quite ready to give Susan Boyle a membership key to Club Attractive Celebrities.

    “Look, I said she could sing,” said dyspeptic crank Simon Cowell, “and that’s all well and good, but I don’t want to be seen with her in public. She’s quite hideous looking, isn’t she? Like Zero Mostel in a wig. A gargoyle in a dress. Not the sort of person I want to be associated with.”

Beautiful people only like beautiful people

Beautiful people only like beautiful people

  Fellow glam-puss Amanda Holden agrees. “Susan was absolutely smashing, gave a wonderfully moving and beautiful performance, but let’s be honest–– she hasn’t got a chance to make it. She’s not pretty, and ‘not pretty’ is never pretty for an entertainer. I would hire her to clean for me, though. I imagine she’d sing as she scoured pots or scrubbed the tub, and that would be quite lovely to hear. I didn’t know ordinary looking people could have talent. It’s remarkable, really.”

    Judge Piers Morgan weighed-in with  his opinion on Ms. Boyle. “Quite the voice on her, I’ll say, but I’m afraid the package delivering it simply won’t do. I’d let her change the oil on my motor car or perhaps walk my dogs, if she sang while doing the tasks, but to see her on a stage while she sings? No thank you. She needs a lot more superficial beauty if she’s going to make it in show business. It’s not to say she couldn’t invest in some plastic surgery, body augmentations and enhancements. Perhaps she’ll invest in herself if she wins.”

    When told of the judges caustic comments Ms. Boyle reported she would grab a cricket bat and “give them a good gobsmacking upside their pretty little heads!”

    Britain’s got talent indeed!

 

   Actors Need Some Backstory To Grab Onto

Actors Need Some Backstory To Grab Onto

    Being an Adman, I’ve been involved with something we in the trade call commercials or spots (let me know if this is getting too ‘insider’).

    One of the keys to creating a successful spot is casting, the hiring of actors to pretend they are speaking the words you’ve put in their mouths. To help actors, I write extensive casting specs so the person knows the backstory of the character and can deliver a believable performance that won’t suck.        

    Here are the casting specs for a spot we did recently. Feel the characters leap to glorious life!     

    OVERVIEW:  This spot is about people and their seemingly never-ending need to eat food (preferably good food that has not been poisoned and will pass through the bowels gently). As such, we should cast real people, with a strong bias toward people with mouths so they can appear to eat food. The ability to act like you’re eating food is a must!     

    OUR CAST:     

    Marcie––African American girl, age 8 or so. She has an innate sense of style and a passion for dusting furniture. Many of her friends feel she may be a little too attached to Swiffer cloths, but Beth Ann assures them she only “likes them” for light dusting duty.     

    Beth Ann–– Caucasian girl, age 8 or so. She is precocious, has an exceptional vocabulary and loves her family even though certain members are plotting against her. She’s something else!     

    Gammy–– African American woman, age 65-70. She is a passionate cook and a compassionate soul who sees the good in all people (except Ben Stiller, who she thinks is “pretty stuck on himself”). Gammy is all about the love of food, her family and the semi-annual sales at Linen & Things (where she has acquired a very impressive collection of “things” and some cheap towels and threadbare dishrags).     

    Susan–– An African American woman, age 35 or so. She is Marcie’s mother and Gammy’s daughter. She is a kind woman, warm, caring and not as tall as she looks. She is proud of her daughter and somewhat fearful of her mother ever since ‘the potato salad incident.’ She wishes she were better with numbers, but what can you do– you’ve either got the ‘number gene’ or you don’t. What are the odds she’d be born with it? Susan will never know, she’s horrible with numbers.     

    Robert–– African American man, age 35 or so. He is Marcie’s father. He loves action films, is a huge fan of James Patterson’s fiction and is quite adept at managing his minor bladder infection he’d rather not talk about.     

    Tracy–– Beth Ann’s mother, age 35 or so, who harbors some resentment that Beth Ann’s name is “Beth Ann” (she was named after her husband’s departed mother). Tracy wanted to call her daughter “Cinderella Sue Bethany” because she had never met anyone with that name. But, as Tracy is often fond of saying when she nips a cool cocktail, “Life is one miserable compromise and disappointment followed by another… and bitterness, rejection, agonizing pain and sorrow is your just  reward.”  She’s a ‘glass half full’ kind of gal!

    Ken–– Beth Ann’s father, age 40. He’s a gregarious sort, fond of quietly counting to 10,000 by prime numbers. He had a dog named Barney when he was a child. The dog was hit and killed by a garbage truck. Ken has hated garbage ever since and so refuses to throw anything out, including table scraps he’s saved for Barney.    

    Michael–– Caucasian boy, age 9. He is the brother of Beth Ann and coincidently, the son of Tracy and Ken. Michael is a quiet child making him the perfect companion on a trip to the library. He loves his parents but harbors some resentment toward his sister, ‘Miss Perfect Pants’, who he feels his parents show favoritism toward. Like on her birthday when she got a pony, a ride on a hot air balloon and a crisp $10,000 bill. On his birthday, he got the lid to a Heinz Ketchup bottle, a small length of mangled yarn and a pinky poke to the left eyeball.  

    That should about do it, actors. Enjoy your roles, become the character, live in the moment from moment to moment!   

   Finis.

The Epicenter of My Universe

The Epicenter of My Universe in The Mid-80's.

Behind the writing of every great book there is a great story.

“Beowulf” was written by some drunk dude following a Steppenwolf concert in the year 942.

“On The Road” was written on Route 66 by Jack Kerouac, who was allegedly hit 136 times by passing cars.

Charles Dickens wrote “A Tale of Two Cities” in Minneapolis and St. Paul holding his fountain pen in the toes of his right foot. The original title was “A Tale of Twin Cities & Terribly Painful Toe Cramps”. His publisher made him change both the title and the plot significantly.

Today I share a few entries from a book I wrote in the mid-late 80’s entitled “The Parking Lot Letters (One Man’s Pursuit of Quality Parking)”.

The book has been published by various copy machines I have known over the years. The idea for the book began when the parking lot management company I used when employed by Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt Advertising in Dallas (Las Colinas, actually, a business person’s Disney World) raised their monthly rates. Everyone at the agency bitched and moaned about this action. I decided to take a different tact.

I became a champion of all things related to parking. With every monthly parking payment check I sent, I would include a personal letter written to the “Letter Opening Department” of the parking lot management company. I designed my own visually arresting letterheads. The voice of the letters was an obsessive, passionate fan of parking, and my particular parking lot. Early letters featured arbitrary underlining of words– just because it tickled me.

Later letters got more fantastical and deeper into the character’s psyche. Obsessive anything is always fun.

For two years I wrote these good people my manic letters. Then, I left that job to pursue quality parking elsewhere. Free parking! Did I ever hear from them– the parking lot people? Yes, I did get one letter toward the end of my run, but I suspect it was a prank written by someone inside the agency. It was too hip, too inside, too too.

A few months after I left, a friend went  into the parking lot management company office to pay his bill. He told me he saw one of my letters posted on the wall. He asked about the letter and reported the parking lot management guy said he hadn’t heard from me in awhile… and that he really missed my letters. When I heard this, I balled like a baby.

Enjoy these nibbles, feel free to share your favorite parking stories, and may all your parking spots be      W     I       D      E        !

First Letter/PLL

Sad/PLL

Other Man/PLL

NYC-Parking/PLL


The horrific act!

The Horrific Act That Shook The Royal World!

First Lady Michelle Obama has England all a-titter as a result of her brazen breach of protocol in greeting her highness, Queen Elizabeth II yesterday. The U.S. First Lady had the audacity to actually touch the Royal Mother’s royal backside– with her glove-less hand!

This flagrant assault to civility has Anglophiles worldwide “quite upset, actually. Not at all pleased.” The formal greeting of Her Highness is to curtsey, grovel at her feet pleading one’s unworthiness to be in her company, self-flagellation with a cat o’ nine tails and signing over ownership of all worldly possessions to the Queen.

Sir Nigel Rathbunn Tittleshower-Glipp, a noted British historian reports that Ms. Obama’s egregious act was “one of the most horrific things to ever happen in the history of civilisation.”

“I would put Ms. Obama’s terrible faux pas right up there with other noted American breaches of proper etiquette when in the company of a Royal subject. While I do not believe The First Lady’s barbaric incident surpasses Grover Cleveland’s outrageous behavior toward Queen Victoria in 1895, it still ranks in the top three of all time U.S. insults to the Crown.”

The disgrace of The Nation

The Disgrace of The Nation

The infamous Grover Cleveland incident took place on March 11, 1895 when President Cleveland patted Queen Victoria smartly on her rump, then jumped up onto her back and requested a “piggyback ride ’round the Palace. Bystanders were shocked and not terribly amused by the portly president’s juvenile behavior. Cleveland weighed over 250 pounds, or as the Brits say, “18 stones– a bloody ton.”

The Royal Mother was also decidely not amused. “The President certainly enjoys his mutton and ale,” she famously quipped, “for his lard-ass was a chore to haul about. Twenty-eight minutes was all I could bear with that porker on my back.”

The Queen Was Not Amused

The Queen Was Not Amused

Cleveland took little offense at her comments and tried to make amends by kissing Queen Victoria. However, it appeared that “slipping The Lady a little tongue” is also a flagrant breach of Royal protocol. Cleveland was asked to never again set his heavy foot on British soil.

The other famously brazen American act of disrespect to a Royal happened on July 20, 1976 when President Gerald Ford met Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace and proceeded to attempt dancing “The Bump” with her to a Bee Gees disco song playing on a nearby radio.

President Ford was immediately banished from the Palace. Her Highness told reporters, “Disco sucks. Zeppelin rules.” She then flipped open a malt liquor and chugged.

    The younger son, Jack, is in the market for a good used car (his first) and found one on the internet from a Private Seller. I called to get directions. The voice on the other end was some flavor of middle eastern, delivered in heavy accent. “Is very good car,” he said confidently, “very good car, yes. Very good.” I asked him if he would accept a personal check. “No check, no… cash only…. no check… cash!” he verbally hammered back. I think I caught his drift. He wanted the legal tender. Fair enough.

    I got directions from him and asked if the address was his home. “No, not my home. Place of business.” So we set a time when we would drive out to the Personal Seller and see his “very good car… cash only.”

    Jack and his parents crawled through early rush hour traffic to the place of business in Buford, Georgia, a goodly haul north. We eyeballed the addresses carefully looking for the Personal Seller’s “place of business.” Well, get a load of this– his place of business happened to be  a used car lot! What an incredible co-inky-dink! World, you are one funny place.

Scum of Earth discovered in Buford, Georgia

Scum of Earth discovered in Buford, Georgia

    We approached the car as our Private Seller approached us. “Is nice car, yes?” he said as we stared at the 2004 Acura RSX that sported a body that was the metallic equivalent of a 15-year old boy with acute acne and a jones for gobbling sugary and greasy snacks. “Can I take it for a test drive?” I asked (the car was a manual and Jack didn’t know how to drive one– yet). “I get key,” Private Seller said scurrying to a beat-up trailer.

    I opened the door and sat in the driver’s seat and noticed a hunk of plastic missing from the steering column exposing a cluster of wires. Jack sat in the passenger seat and noticed a hole in the dash where a radio once was, and a big crack in the plastic of the passenger side door. Private Seller was back toot sweet and handed me the key. I inserted it in the ignition, turned and… nothing. No engine turning over, no pistons pumping, not even a click. Silence. Quiet as a mime in a library.

    “The battery’s dead,” I said (I’m no mechanic but I know when the doohickey won’t start it’s usually the battery thingy).

    “No problem. We jump car. Wait one minute,” Private Seller said as he ran to the trailer. Soon the hood was popped and he hooked up a portable battery booster and instructed me to turn the ignition. I did, the car wound up and started. I immediately noticed the fuel gauge warning light was illuminated. “Hey, it’s almost out of gas,” I said. 

    “No problem. Is good for 30 miles, easy. No problem,” he said confidently. I nodded my head thinking but of course, ‘is good car’ and fuel is merely suggested, not required. I went to fasten my seat belt and the belt stretched maybe eight inches. 

   “The seat belt’s broken,” I said.

    “No problem. We fix. Get new seatbelt, no problem. We fix seatbelt. Make like new.”

    “Right,” I said. I put the car in reverse and we began our test drive; me driving, Jack passengering. The car drove fine, the brakes seemed O.K. I didn’t punch the engine for fear of running out of gas. I told Jack the car model was a good one, but this particular car was not a good choice. Not to be critical, but I’ve always believed a car should start. Jack stubbornly agreed this might not be the one. We returned to Private Seller’s “place of business” and he was anxiously awaiting our review. 

    “What you think? Is good car, yes?” he asked like a proud papa as I got out of the car.

    “It drives O.K.,” I said, “but it needs a lot of work– the driver’s side seatbelt, the radio, battery…” Just then Jack crawled out through the driver’s side door. “What are you doing, Jack?” I asked.

    “My door wouldn’t open,” he replied. I continued my punch list of problems.

    “And the passenger door  doesn’t work…” before I could say anything else, Private Seller pointed at my car (a 2005 Acura RL) in the parking lot .

    “Look at car you drive,” he said accusingly, “of course this car not going to be as nice as that car!” His tactic worked, I was confused, I didn’t know what his point was–– that I shouldn’t expect luxuries like engines that start on command, radios, operating seatbelts and passenger doors. “I fix all for $700 more,” he said confidently. 

    “You’ll fix all the problems for $700?” I asked.

    “I fix everything. No problem. You want car, I fix– $700. You want car? ”

    “Let us think about it,” I said herding the family back to our car, the one that starts, has seatbelts, doors that work and a radio.

    “Is good car,” I heard him shout as I shut my door.