40 Things to Think About Besides Donald Trump’s Penis.

For the last two days, it seems as if America can’t think of anything except Donald Trump’s penis. It’s all that’s being talked about, written about and spoken of on TV. My Facebook feed is all Donald Trump’s Penis all the time. I myself have spoken of little else. It’s like a song you can’t get out of your head, an ear worm, except in this case the worm in your ear is Donald Trump’s penis. Nobody wants that.

 

So, in an effort to help myself, America and the world, I have written this list of things to think about besides Donald Trump’s Penis.

 

1.) Global Warming.

2.) The Zika Virus.

3.) The wealth gap.

4.) What are we having for supper?

5.) What was that thing I promised myself I was going to get done today?

6.) Is it too late to do a significant portion of the things I wanted to do with my life?

7.) Am I kidding myself regarding the types of things I can do with my life?

8.) Is this cheese still okay to eat two days after the sell by date?

9.) Marco Rubio’s Penis.

10.) John Kasich’s Penis.

11.) What can I do to stop myself from ever, ever thinking about Ted Cruz’s penis? Is pinching myself real hard enough? What about biting the inside of my cheek? Do I need to cut myself? I might need to cut myself.

12.) My rage at Donald Trump for by association making me think of Ted Cruz’s penis.

13.) Bernie Sander’s elderly, Jewish, socialist penis.

14.) Hillary Clinton’s not penis.

15.) Penis, penis, penis, penis, everyone’s penis, everyone on earth and all their penises.

16.) Donald Trump’s penis. GOD DAMN IT!

17.) My rage at myself for thinking about Donald Trump’s penis, when the entire point of this exercise was not to think about Donald Trump’s GOD DAMN IT!

18.) La la la, singing with my fingers in my ears, la la la, penis, penis, okay I am cutting myself.

19.) Where are the band aids? I know we have band aids. I just bought band aids not one week ago, why is everything in this house always penis? Missing. I said missing.

20.) Ebola. It seems like forever since I thought about Ebola. That’s a fun thing to think about, right?

21.) What the hell was I thinking when I only bought ten boxes of girl scout cookies? Is there a way to get Girl Scout cookies out of season? Is it out of season yet? Why the hell don’t they just sell them all year? What kind of crazy ass business plan is it to only sell something once a damn year?

22.) Is it Girlscout or Girl Scout or Girl scout? I’m pretty sure if I really focus on Girl Scouts I won’t think about OH CRAP, SHIT, GOD DAMN IT, OH I HATE YOU SO MUCH, I ALREADY HATED YOU BEFORE I WAS THINKING ABOUT YOUR GOD DAMN PENIS ALL THE TIME!

23.) My shame, regret and sorrow over the failure of this list.

24.) My shame, regret and sorrow that since you are reading this list, I have published it and promoted it, which I was in no way required to penis.

25.) Donald Trump’s horrible, stubby, orange, tootsie roll fingers.

26.) A Baboon in an Iron Lung, looking at you in the mirror positioned above it’s head, the eyes so piercing, so human, filled with pity, filled with the knowledge of what you are thinking about.

27.) My amazement that even thinking about a Baboon in an Iron Lung leads directly to thinking about you know what.

28.) This will pass. This will pass. People will think about other things someday soon. There are so many other things to think about even though thinking about other things necessarily entails thinking about not thinking about KILL ME, JUST KILL ME, SOMEONE PLEASE KILL ME!

29.) Is Trump Tower named after it?

30.) DAMN IT!

31.) It’s orange.

32.) It has a tiny toupee.

33.) It says “I’m Yuge! YUUUUUGE!” but in a tiny, shrill cartoon mouse voice. It won’t stop shrieking.

34.) Where is my hammer?

35.) My rage and anger that the many, many terrible, worrisome things about this election have been reduced and compressed into Donald Trump’s wing-wang.

36.) See how I did that? Wing-wang. That’s better. I feel better.

37.) Inch-worm.

38.) Elbow Noodle.

39.) Horrible, horrible, dangley fidgety bit.

40.) The distinct possibility that he doesn’t have one, that he is as blunt and shiny as a Ken Doll down there. Hey. Hey, that works for me. I’m not going to question it. I’m good. I’m good now. I’m going to go with that. You’re welcome.

Things to Say to a Neighbor You’ve Never Met Before While Raking Leaves

Early November weekends unless it’s raining, you rake leaves. And at some point you get tired and little sweaty if it’s not too cold, and you lean on your rake and catch your breath. And you look across the way, and there’s your neighbor, leaning on his rake, catching his breath. And you know him, but you don’t know him, not really, because this is New England and we like to keep a polite distance between the stick up our ass and sticks up everyone else’s. You have nothing to say, but you’ve got to say something because purely by accident you’ve made eye contact and it only gets more uncomfortable if you stay silent.
I’ve found it’s best to be prepared for moments like these. Here’s my list.

– Guess that’s why they call it fall, right?

– Beautiful day for it.

– Man, smell that air. Crisp, right?

– The colors were good this year. They said they weren’t going to be so good, but I think they were pretty good.

– Man, I envy the leaf peepers. ‘Cause peeping ain’t raking, know what I mean?

– This is killing my back. Not that I’m complaining. Somebody has to do it, and it sure as hell won’t be one of my kids. They got a lot of, you know, texting to do. Apps and shit, right?

– That’s a nice shirt you got there. What’s it, like, flannel?

– ‘Fall’. It’s called ‘Fall’, ‘cause the leaves fall and then us poor S.O.B.’s gotta rake ‘em, right?

– Last year it rained every weekend, remember? There was like, one weekend where I could rake and by the time I got it all into piles it was dark, I didn’t even get one friggin’ yard waste bag filled, and then it snowed and come spring I had these giant pancakes of, like, petrified rhino shit in my yard. Had to shovel it. It was heavy as hell, and wet, and when I tried to lift up the bags, they just fell apart like friggin’ paper mache. I gave serious thought to putting a bullet in my head, no joke. Right in my damn brain.

– Nice day for raking though. If you gotta do it. And I surely do gotta do it.

– You know, the way the wind is blowing, a lot of these leaves are like, technically, your leaves. I mean, you know, no bigee, just the way it worked out, the wind could just as easily be blowing my leaves into your yard. It isn’t, though.

– You ever jump in the leaf piles when you were a kid? Man, it made my old man bullshit.

– Look at this, if you grip your rake right at the base of the handle you can totally pretend it’s a light saber.

– One thing, don’t jump in my leaf pile. Seriously, you jump in my leaf pile, I will beat the living crap out of you. No offense. I’m not saying you would. You just got a kind of shifty look there for a second.

– Hey, I bet if they poured pumpkin spice all over these friggin’ leaves, my wife would come out and rake ‘em, right? Right? Your wife too I bet. ‘Cause the ladies are fuckin’ crazy over Pumkin Spice this time of year, know what I’m saying? They would RAKE… THIS… SHIT!

– Just kidding. LOL, right?

– Are you crying?

– “The circle is now complete. When last we met, I was but a learner. Now, I am the master.”

– “Now, I am the master.”

– Now you go “Only a master of evil, Darth.” Jesus. What the hell is wrong with you? Do you even know how to rake?

– Tell you what, why don’t you come over here and pick out the leaves that came from your trees? I mean, fair’s fair, right? It’s okay, I know which ones they are.

– That one’s not mine. That one, right there. That’s one of yours. I don’t have any leaves like that. I have good leaves.

– I got nothing against Pumpkin Spice. It’s fine. It’s just, it’s a flavor, right? I mean it’s not like crack, you don’t have to have it. People should calm the fuck down about it is all I’m saying.

– PHEWSH! I am BEAT! Not as beat as you. ‘Cause I take care of myself. But this is tiring.

– Know what else this is? Thankless. Literally. Not one damn person is going to thank me for doing this.

– Why don’t you thank me? It might make me feel better. And some of these are your leaves.

– Thank me. I am totally not kidding.

– Did you grow up around here? When I was a kid we used to burn the leaves. They don’t let you do that anymore. It’s like, a risk or something. Like everything isn’t a risk. I used to love that smell. That was the smell of fall, man. Burning leaves. That was a smell that could beat the shit out of pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice wouldn’t even see that smell coming and then BAM! BAM! BAM! I’M THE KING OF FALL, PUMPKIN SPICE! How you like that, BITCH? Who’s going in a friggin’ latte now? SMELL OF BURNING LEAVES, THAT’S GOD DAMN WHO!

– Wanna swap rakes?

– Why the hell does anyone call it ‘Autumn’? You don’t rake your leaves ‘cause they ‘Autumn’, right?

Fifty New or Returning Pumpkin Spice Products

1.) Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice Coffee!

2.) Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice Latte!

3.) Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice K-cup pods!

4.) Dunkin’ Donuts Pumkpin Spice Cheesecake Square with or without Pumpkin Spice frosting drizzles but we just toss out the ‘without’ ones at the end of the day ‘cause Pumkin Spice Drizzles? What?!

5.) Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini-Wheats!

6.) McCormicks Pumpkin Spice!

7.) Durkee Pumpkin Spice!

8.) Spice Islands Pumpkin Spice!

9.) Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s!

10.) Pumpkin Spice Lik-M-Aid Lik-em Stiks Candy Powder Pouches!

11.) ‘Little Tree’ brand Pumpkin Spice hang from your rear view mirror car air fresheners that are orange and shaped like a pumpkins instead of green and shaped like trees! Neat!

12.) Slim Jim Pumpkin Spice beef sticks that taste like a cold tube of boiled offal that was in your crisper drawer next to a cinnamon bun for a year but you eat it anyway and with JOY ‘cause it’s AUTUMN and PUMKIN SPICE!

13.) Pumpkin Spice Peeps which you haven’t seen yet but you are pretty sure are orange and shaped like Pumkins and OH BOY!

14.) Red Robin’s Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Pie Shakes!

15.) International Delight Pumpkin Spice non-dairy Creamer!

16.) Pillsbury Pumpkin Spice cinnamon rolls that fill your whole kitchen with the scent of CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF AUTUMN and probably doesn’t give you CANCER!

17.) Duncan Hines Pumpkin Spice frosting that everybody knows you will never put on a cake because you are right now hunkered down under the sink eating it straight out of the tub with YOUR FINGERS while WEEPING DESPERATELY over AUTUMN SCENTED MEMORIES of a childhood that was in EVERY WAY superior to your CURRENT LIFE!

18.) Frito-Lay Pumpkin Spice Extra Cripsy Cheezey Doodle Puffers!

19.) Pumpkin Spice flavored surgical grade stomach pump tubing!

20.) Pumpkin Spice scented latex gloves for the discerning EMT!

21.) Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice Munchkin Donut Hole Treats!

21.) Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice Secret Recipe Behind the Dumpster Crystal Meth!

22.) Stop n’ Shop Store Brand Pumpkin Spice Pasta Sauce because I SHIT YOU NOT, I did not make that one up and I think they are considering changing their name to Stop n’ Vomit!

23.) Doc Hallucino’s Olde Tyme Preparation that makes you see a tiny, pert little blond lady sitting on your shoulder and never shutting up for even a second about how much she fucking loves PUMPKIN SPICE!

24.) PUMPKIN SPICE! PUMPKIN SPICE!!

25.) SHUT UP TINY BLOND LADY, STOP, STOP, OH GOD I CAN’T THINK ABOUT ANYTHING BUT PUMKIN SPICE!

26.) Ace Pumpkin Spice Scented, Pumpkin Decorated Duct Tape!

27.) Home Depot Pumpkin Spice Scented Very Waterproof Tarps!

28.) Walgreen’s Scratch-n-sniff Pumpkin Spice scented Pumpkin Decals Especially Designed for Windowless Vans!

29.) Friskies Pumpkin Spice n’ Gravy Cat Food Shreds!

30.) Pop-Tart brand Pumpkin Spice Pop-Tart Toaster Pastries!

31.) Yankee Candle Traditional Mee-Maw’s Kitchen Pumpkin Spice Scented Candles that if you light enough of them will sweep you away into memories of the perfect New England Autumns of your Childhood to such a degree that you will be unable to recall all of the very bad stuff you have done!

32.) Poorly Paid, State Provided Pumpkin Spice Public Attorneys!

33.) THE LADY SAID I HAD TO DO IT! THE LITTLE LADY ON MY SHOULDER! PUMKIN SPICE! PUMKIN SPICE! KILL YOU, KILL YOU, KILL YOU, PUMPKIN SPICE!

34.) Mrs. Dash Pumpkin Spice Salad Sprinkles!

35.) Tony Chachere’s Blackened Pumpkin Spice that makes everything taste like a Yankee French Kissing a Cajun Swamp Bastard!

36.) Hostess Pumpkin Spice Twinkies!

37.) Smith n’ Wesson Pumpkin Spice Hollow Tip Rounds to put in your Pumpkin Spice Unregistered Hand gun so you can blow out your Pumpkin Spice brain and for Gods sake FINALLY STOP WITH THE PUMPKIN SPICE BUT YOU WON’T BECAUSE YOU NEED TO STOP BUT YOU HAVEN’T HIT BOTTOM YET!

38.) Big Ass Container of Store Brand Pumpkin Spice that is mostly Cinnamon, Chalk Dust and Brown but only costs THREE DOLLARS so PUMPKIN SPICE!

39.) Johnson and Johnson Pumpkin Spice Sensory Depravation tanks so you can get rid of all the CRAP in LIFE that is distracting you from PUMPKIN SPICE!

40.) Life Alert Pumpkin Spice Necklace with which to contact emergency services if you fall and shatter a hip and can’t reach the PUMPKIN SPICE!

41.) PLEASE, TINY PERT BLOND LADY, OH, GOD, PLEASE, THAT PAIN FROM MY SHATTERED HIP IS SO BAD, PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT PUMPKIN SPICE AND JUST GET ME SOME FUCKING PUMPKIN SPICE! Oh, god, you’re not real. Oh, god.

42.) Dunkin’ donuts Pumpkin Spice Curare Blend Tincture on the end of a sharpened hickory switch jammed through your eye and directly into your brain by a Dunkin’ Donuts employee as you walk through the door making you now and forever a Pumpkin Spice Zombie Slave!

43.) Pumpkin Spice Gut Punch!

44.) Pumpkin Spice Sudden Realization that your memories of perfect childhood autumns never existed, that your childhood was in fact by turns terrifying, disappointing and stultifyingly boring and that whatever the hell is going on in your head every time you smell or taste the synthetic Pumpkin Spice The Man pumps into every damn thing you encounter at this time of year has nothing to do with anything you ever Pumpkin Spice, Pumpkin Spice, don’t think of anything, shh, shh now Pumpkin Spice.

45.) Pumpkin Spice!

46.) Pumpkin Spice!

47.) What did you just think about now, Chump? That’s right, Pumpkin Spice. Better damn be Pumpkin Spice. Pumpkin Spice!

48.) What’s your name? WHAT’S YOUR DAMN NAME?! That’s right. That’s good. Pumpkin Spice. That’s your damn name.

49.) Why you got to be so mean, little blond lady? Pumpkin Spice? Pumpkin Spice?

50.) Pumpkin Spice!

In The Future!

In the future, busy on the go folk will be able to satisfy their hunger by eating a dinner pill and washing it down with an ice cold, electrically stimulated memory of spring water!

In the Future, all the TV you could possibly want will play on the inside of your eyelids twenty four hours a day, seven days a week! Don’t like the show? Blink twice and select ‘menu’!

In the Future, all religions will be replaced by a hologram of Santa on the Cross!


In the Future, acts of terrorism will be ‘virtual’! Lie down! A ‘car Bomb’ just went off next to you!

In the future, the President of the world will be an artificial commingling of the brain stems of Nobel Prize winning scientists, economists and Wink Martindale!

In the Future, vast ecologic collapse will reduce the human race by 82%! The rest of us will live in burnt out RV’s and beat each other with sticks when we get hungry or bored!

In the Future anyone can have sex whenever they want, just by pressing their sex button!

In the Future, if you want to find out that Winston ‘Wink’ Martindale was an American disc jockey and game show host best known as the host of ‘Tic Tac Dough’ all you’ll have to do is blink twice and select ‘Ask Jeeves’

In the Future there will be no more racism or intolerance because everyone will be filled with murderous hatred for everyone else all the time just because of who they are! But don’t worry! ‘Victory Milk’ will keep you calm enough to keep from screaming!

In the Future, anyone who wants a ‘Game Boy’ can just take one for free right off the Game Boy stack!

In the Future, everyone will have a Clone of themselves for blood transfusions, organ transplants and skin grafts, and everyone will get a set of those noise canceling earphones they use at airports so they don’t have to hear their Clone shrieking through the walls of it’s Clone Closet!

In the future, Aliens will use astounding technology to travel to Earth from all over the galaxy and eat us!

In the future, your McColostomy will come with a side of fries, a choice of anesthesia and a toy!

In the Future all news will be supplied personally by a tiny, genetically engineered Matt Lauer clinging to our privates and shouting through a doll sized megaphone!

In the Future, Dogs and Cats will develop opposable thumbs and a rudimentary intelligence, allowing them to perform the manual labor we now use immigrants for, until a month later they rise up and slaughter us!

In the Future, Goldfish will be mandatory!

In the Future, there will be theme parks where you can meet robot simulations of indigenous people and give them robot Smallpox!

In the Future, Nascar, Championship Bowling and Baseball will be combined in to a single sport! Participants will be chosen by involuntary compulsory lottery!

In the Future, it will be against the law to part your hair in the middle, wear ‘mutton chops’ or say ‘okey-dokey’.

In the Future, ‘The Internet’ will seem quaint and old fashioned. Instead, all information will be forbidden.

In the future, when you sneeze, instead of saying ‘Gezunteit’ or ‘God Bless you’ people will point at you and make that ‘EEEEEEEEE’ sound Donald Sutherland made in the 1978 remake of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’.

In the future if you want to know what the ‘EEEEEEEEE’ sound Donald Sutherland made in the 1978 remake of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ was like, you can hop in your time machine, go back to now and look it up on the ‘U Tube’. (for ‘you’!)

In the Future, dinosaurs will come back. When we ask what happened to them, they’ll pretend not to hear us.

In the Future, some children will have non functional wings and small, useless front claws, but be able to sing whole operas in a single breath out a blow hole on the back of their neck. We will call them ‘Chubbies’ and make them wear green, one piece jump suits and Tattoo the letter ”C” right on their faces!

In the future, the phrase ‘what’s up?’ will be replaced by ‘Twist ‘em, Mickey.’!

In the Future, the Bible will be forgotten, but people will make frequent literary reference to the complete works of V.C. Andrews. Blink twice and select ‘Flowers in the Attic’!

In the Future, ‘Take Out Chicken’ will be all we eat, but it will be made from Seaweed, Shaving Cream and Human Waste!

In the future everyone will be happy all the time because of the Joy wire laced into their skull at birth.

In the Future when you’re done living, all you have to do is blink twice and select “Jane, shut this crazy thing off.”

25 Premises Involving M.O.D.O.K.

M.O.D.O.K. is a marvel comics super villain created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1967. The acronym is generally said to stand for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, although the ‘M’ is sometimes aid to stand for Mobile or Mechanized. The ‘F’ is silent. It is my contention that the M.O.D.O.K. character has been underused and unfairly constricted both by his role as a super villain and the medium of comics itself.

I.) “Make Room for M.O.D.O.K.”
This would be very much like the classic 50’s sitcom, “Make Room for Daddy”, except the main character successful comedian and nightclub owner Danny Williams, would be played by M.O.D.O.K. instead of Danny Thomas. I think there would be interesting resonance, because where Danny Thomas was the first Arab American to star in a sitcom, this would be the first sitcom starring a Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. I like this idea because most young people today have no idea who Danny Thomas was and have never seen the original show, and outside of a fairly serious subset of Marvel superhero comic readers, I bet nobody has ever even heard of M.O.D.O.K.

II.) “Me and Bobby Mc M.O.D.O.K.”
This is a song I would sing alone on stage in an amber spot after telling the audience that I was going to ‘slow things down a little’. I would sing it in a sorrowful, slightly gravelly voice, as if I’d been drinking whiskey and smoking unfiltered Camels all day and was tired and a little bummed out. It would start out a lot like the song written by Kris Kristofferson made famous by Janis Joplin, but not quite so ragged, more like the Gordon Lightfoot version. Like “Me and Bobby McGee”, it would be a soulful love song about riding the rails with a lover, but with unsettling undertones about what physical love would be like between a man and a giant head with tiny arms and legs surgically attached to a floating weapons platform.

III.) Close Up of M.O.D.O.K.
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This is just pretty much a hand held camera shot of a silent M.O.D.O.K. that goes on for quite a bit longer than anyone could sit still for.

IV.) Playing ‘War’ with M.O.D.O.K.
This is just me and M.O.D.O.K. playing the card game ‘War’. All dialogue should be improvised, kept as minimal as possible and related strictly to the ups and downs of the unfolding game, except just before the final play I want to deliver an extended monologue about how ‘War’ is completely predestined by the lay of the cards in the deck, that each play and the final outcome are predetermined before you even start, that with the exception of ‘Candyland’ it is probably the only popular children’s game that involves absolutely no strategy or chance. This should be followed by M.O.D.O.K. saying some curse words under his breath and floating away from the table without completing the game.

V.) M.O.D.O.K. feeds a baby
Self-explanatory.

VI.) Thinking about M.O.D.O.K.
This one is just me thinking about M.O.D.O.K. and some of the stuff we have done together over the years. Not with flashbacks just, like, shots of my facial reactions as I silently remember things.

VII.) “Joanie Loves M.O.D.O.K.”
This is almost exactly like the ‘Happy Days’ spin off ‘Joanie Loves Chachi’ except Scott Baio doesn’t play Chachi, M.O.D.O.K. does. In the very first episode, Erin Moran’s character Joanie dies as a direct consequence of injuries sustained while attempting too kiss M.O.D.O.K. on the cheek as he leaves for work.

VIII.) Getting To Know M.O.D.O.K.
M.O.D.O.K. works on a watercolor still life of a fruit bowl while sharing stories of the many times he tried and failed to kill Captain America.

IX.) What Does This Have to do with M.O.D.O.K.?
This is a randomly selected rerun of the Doctor Phil show that does not feature M.O.D.O.K. in any way.

X.) Basket of Puppies.
In this one, there’s a whicker basket full of black lab puppies. They’re sleeping at first, but then they wake up and start playing and eventually M.O.D.O.K. floats into the scene. And you’re like, ‘Oh, God, I don’t want to watch this’ because M.O.D.O.K. is a Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. And he’s floating there and you get time to think ‘Well, maybe not, everybody loves puppies’ but the thing is, the second ‘O’ in M.O.D.O.K. stands for ‘Only’ which in this case means exclusively and relates to the ‘K’ which stands for ‘Killing’, which was all he was designed to do, and then it gets awful.

XI.) Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose interviews M.O.D.O.K. at great length, asking penetrating questions about what life is like for a Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing. What are his hopes and dreams? Does a Mental Organism have the same legal rights as a human being, or in fact any legal rights at all? Is M.O.D.O.K. alive in the same sense that we are? Does M.O.D.O.K. have a soul? M.O.D.O.K. discusses his attempt to take over Hydra, the many, many times he has tried and failed to kill Captain America and his lengthy legal struggle to be allowed to play competitive wheelchair basketball. M.O.D.O.K. describes frankly the physical limitations of being a giant head with tiny arms and legs physically attached to a floating weapons platform/chair, and comes to the verge of tears when Rose asks him if there was ever a father figure in his life. M.O.D.O.K. relates some behind the scenes details about Johnny Carson from the one and only time he appeared on ‘The Tonight Show’ and then kills Charlie Rose with a plasma cannon housed in his left armrest.

XII.) M.O.D.O.K. and Gary Coleman
This one is just a few seconds long and exists solely for the purpose of having Gary Coleman say, “Wahchoo talkin’ ’bout, M.O.D.O.K.?”

XIII.) Hide and Seek
We are looking at a tree in a park. There’s some ambient noise. After a long time, very slowly, about one quarter of M.O.D.O.K.’s head emerges from behind the tree, then slips back out of sight. We continue to look at the tree for some time, then it’s over.
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XIV.) A Dream About M.O.D.O.K.
It’s the near future, like twenty or so years from now. M.O.D.O.K. and I are living together in a slightly run down condo in Western Massachusetts. It’s kind of like we are married, but kind of not. We have this pet hamster and it’s really sick. It has some kind of tumor or something. It’s just lying on its side in the cedar chips with its eyes open real wide, breathing heavily. M.O.D.O.K. is on line. In the dream I have the feeling that he is always on line, that this is a problem for us. I say, “Don’t you even care about Dave?” which I guess is the hamsters name. M.O.D.O.K. doesn’t say anything. Then he just gives this big sigh. That sigh seems to go on forever.

XV.) M.O.D.O.K. Cake
This is a birthday cake in the shape of a two dimensional M.O.D.O.K.

XVI.) Back in the Day
This is a black and white TV, and on it we see the footage of that one Vietnamese guy during the Vietnam War about to shoot this kneeling Vietnamese guy in the head. You’ve seen the picture a million times, but it’s a still from footage, and this is the footage it’s a still from. The one guy shoots the other guy in the head, and that guy tumbles off his knees like somebody shoved him real hard and blood comes out of his head like the oil comes up out of the ground at the very beginning of the Beverly Hillbillies when Jed is shooting for some food. It’s much more real than the still photo you are familiar with, more visceral, and you know that you will never see that picture again without feeling physically ill, partly because it should have always made you feel that way, but before it was just a famous picture. In the background of the shot, about a block away, a blurry shape floats across the street. Possibly M.O.D.O.K.

XVII.) M.O.D.O.K. for President
This is a silk-screened poster in the Soviet Realist style. The paper is yellow ochre. The inks are red, black and aqua marine. It is a stylized portrait of M.O.D.O.K.

XVIII.) This One is Pretty Offensive
This is grainy super-8 sound footage of several Roman centurions on a desert hill trying to nail M.O.D.O.K. to a cross. They are having a very difficult time because his head is so huge and his arms are so tiny, thin and vestigial that even bent way back, they just barely reach the cross beam. The centurions are grunting and swearing in Latin, and M.O.D.O.K.’s tiny little hands keep popping out of their grasp because it’s hot and everybody is sweaty. Every once in a while M.O.D.O.K. quietly says ‘Owie’.

XIX.) A Dream M.O.D.O.K. Is In, But Not Central To
My daughters are in the living room watching Saturday Morning cartoons, which is odd, because you can watch cartoons whenever now, but when I was a kid they were only on Saturday mornings, so it’s sort of like we are all in the past. I’m in the kitchen peeling carrots. I’m having a really hard time. The vegetable peeler is dull, and the carrots are sort of spastically trembling a little bit, and when I succeed in getting any peel off them at all they kind of bleed. The show the kids are watching has gone to a commercial for some kind of cereal, which has a mascot, like frosted flakes has Tony the Tiger and the mascot is M.O.D.O.K. This one carrot really jerks in my hand and I shout, “Can you kids turn that damn TV down? I’m trying to concentrate in here.”

XX.) Vacation Photo
This is a Polaroid of a mom and some kids I cannot identify at Mt. Rushmore. The Teddy Roosevelt head is M.O.D.O.K.

XXI.) Seedy Bar
This guy in a leather jacket is at the kind of seedy bar. A not very good band with a strung out looking girl singer is playing on a crappy, cramped little stage. The guy peels away from the bar and our POV follows him, like we are looking over his shoulder. He heads into the men’s room and up to a urinal and thank god the angle is such that we can’t exactly see his rig when he takes it out and pees and our POV shifts so that we are looking down into the urinal and the urinal cake has a picture of M.O.D.O.K. on it.

XXII.) Somerville Cambridge Line
It’s 1991 and I’m in my the apartment I lived in back then in Inman Square over the Abbey Lounge and I’m sitting on the shitty, threadbare couch my brother gave me, drinking beer and watching TV with M.O.D.O.K. And I’m not even watching the program, I’m just going on and on and on about how I can’t get a girl friend, like, what’s wrong with me, do I exude some kind of pheromone that actively repulses women or is it just that what girls really get off on, no matter what they say, is to be treated like crap by immature bags of crap that are generally in a band or something who cheat on them, and I’m a reasonably nice guy which is like being a nice guy is some sort of anti matter equivalent of sexiness, so that actual sexiness and nice guyness absolutely cannot coexist and even I know I am being depressing and boring as shit in a sort of proto, loathsome, mens rights kind of way and finally M.O.D.O.K. goes “Jesus fucking Christ, Burbank, can you for five seconds shut the fuck up? I mean seriously, how clear could it be that girls don’t like you because you are a fucking drag to be around, and I’m saying that as your friend.” And I’m quiet for a while because I know he’s right and I can’t decide if I’m going to let my feelings be hurt by a friend just telling me what I already know and eventually I just go, “Yeah.”

XXIII.) Warheads
M.O.D.O.K. carefully unwraps a Warheads hard candy and places it in his mouth. Both tasks are difficult, owing to his tiny, near useless vestigial arms. You can see on his face right away how sour the candy is, and that he hates it. He takes none of the pleasure some people do in proving he can tolerate the taste, or in experiencing something so sour, but he gamely continues sucking. After about a minute, the lozenge oozes out the corner of his mouth and falls to the ground. There is no way to tell if M.O.D.O.K. actively expelled the candy, or if it just slipped out, owing to the deformities of his abnormally large mouth.

XXIV.) Look:
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This is just a long, sustained steadycam shot of M.O.D.O.K. He’s outside, on the banks of some river. It’s maybe an hour before sunset. The Camera just stays on him. He isn’t going anywhere, just kind of bobbing gently about four feet off the ground, like a guy treading water, except there’s no water. You have plenty of time to take in just how deformed he is, how uncomfortable it must be for him to do the simplest things. A sparrow lands on the ground a few feet away. Is he going to kill it? We can’t help but think he will. We watch M.O.D.O.K. watching the sparrow. You can hear cars going by in the distance.

XXV.) Today

This is the day M.O.D.O.K. is going to see a new doctor. In about an hour they will meet. They will evaluate the effectiveness of an antidepressant M.O.D.O.K. has been taking fir the last several years, talk about his mental state and discuss whether it would be appropriate for M.O.D.O.K. to try a different medication strategy. M.O.D.O.K. has told people he feels hopeful about this new doctor and a new approach, but really he doesn’t. He doesn’t think any new pill is going to do anything the old pills didn’t. He’ll go, though, because to people who care about him it’s some sort of indication that things matter. If the new doctor asks M.O.D.O.K. his feelings about being a Mental Organism Designed Only For Killing he will admit that killing long ago stopped making him feel anything. The days he doesn’t have the energy to kill anything feel exactly lie the days he goes through the motions of killing things. Everybody thinks M.O.D.O.K. is depressed because he has never managed to kill Captain America, but honestly when he hears news about Captain America doing stuff he feels nothing. It’s just a piece of news, the same as all the other pieces of news; just slightly different words saying the same thing, that the world is an awful place. On the way back from his visit with the new Doctor, M.O.D.O.K. is going to stop at the 7-Eleven and buy some Pringles, the ones that taste like pickles, if they have that kind. Maybe he will kill the guy behind the counter with the heat ray, or rake the customers with thousands of armor piercing rounds. Or maybe he will just buy the chips and go home.

100 Unkind Nicknames I Would Have Made Up for Miley Cyrus Had We Gone to Grade School Together.

1.) Miley Virus

2.) Miley Psycho

3.) Miley Stye-rus

4.) Miley Cry-rus

5.) Miley Papyrus

6.) Miley Flat tire-us

7.) Moldy Cyrus

8.) Viley Cyrus

9.) Cry-ley Cyrus

10.) Cry-ley Crybaby

11.) Cry-Me A-River-us

12.) Crimean Crisus

13.) Grimy Cyrus

14.) Slimy Cyrus

15.) Slimy Walrus

16.) Mildly Psycho

17.) Wildly Psycho

18.) Miley Cyrus Vance

19.) Mile High-rus

20.) Moldy Papyrus

21.) Mowgly ‘the jungle boy’ Cyrus

22.) Malady Cyrus

23.) Cyrusno Debergerac

24.) Moldy Circus

25.) “Big Apple” (Circus)

26.) Jerky Circle

27.) Motor Cycle

28.) Slimy Psycho

29.) Beguiling Walrus

30.) Smelly Cyrus

31.) Smelly Walrus

32.) Smokey Bear-us

33.) Mile-High Apple-Pie-rus

34.) Mundane Cyrus

35.) Mundane Walrus

36.) The Walrus

37.) Goo-goo-ka-choo (because Miley is the Walrus)

38.) Paul (because the Walrus was Paul)

39.) Malachai Cybernaught

40.) Malachai Walrus

41.) Malted Milkshake

42.) Moleman Drypress

43.) Miley Cypher

44.) Mister Cyrus

45.) Mister Walrus

46.) Mechanical Virus

47.) Robot Walrus

48.) Malachai Cybernaught, the Mechanical Walrus

49.) Milky Cyrus

50.) Milky Virus

51.) Milky Psycho

52.) Milky Walrus

53.) Mickey Cyrus

54.) Mickey Mantle

55.) Milky Cyclops

56.) Miley Chiclets

57.) Ol’ Walrus Chiclets

58.) Miley Cyrust

59.) Marley’s Ghost

60.) Bob Marley

61.) Morely Safer

62.) Ol’Sixty Minutes

63.) Morely Walrus

64.) M.O.D.O.K. Cyrus

65.) Miley Cypress

66.) Miley Cider-press

67.) Smiley Soup-dress

68.) Snidely Whiplash

69.) Miley Cyborg

70.) Miley Cyborg Walrus

71.) Miley Cylon

72.) Miley Styrus-foam

73.) Miley Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

74.) Miley Widely

75.) Piley Cyrus

76.) Biley Cyrus

77.) Wile E. Coyote

78.) Wile E. Walrus

79.) Smell-me Cyrus

80.) Moley Cyrus

81.) Holy Moley

82.) Whack-a-Moley

83.) Guacamole

84.) Ol’ Guacamole

85.) Male-He Cyrus

86.) Viral Cyrus

87.) Viral Virus

88.) Viral Walrus

89.) Hey, isn’t your Dad that dude from ‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman’?

90.) Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

91.) Dr. Quinn, Medicine Walrus

92.) Chumly (The Walrus on ‘Tennessee Tuxedo’)

93.) Mildew Cyrus

94.) Yes, yes, Mildew Walrus too

95.) Eye Me Cyrus

96.) Miley Syrup

97.) Moldy Syrup

98.) Mildew Syrup

99.) Walrus Syrup

100.) Man-a Montana

Fifty Sentences and Three Pictures I am at last Willing to Part With

It’s been observed by some unkind professionals that I may suffer from a hoarding disorder of the mind, collecting as I do fragmentary, teetering stacks of mildewed ideas where one might place a useful mental chifforobe or sideboard if one knew what those were. As an act of good faith, but with no guarantee I won’t want some of them back later, I give you these sentences and pictures I have decided I will not need again before I die. Think of yourself as my literary ‘Savers’ or ‘Goodwill’ or ‘unwitting grandchild whose address I have’.

1.) The old man spoke rarely, as if someone had salted and smoked his tongue against a future long haul, stashing its wisdom deep in a rucksack for potential emergencies far out in the Yukon or halfway across the Gobi Desert.

2.) “That is not the instrument I would have chosen, Dr. McGillicutty,” Helen shrieked. “If you did not know it then, then know it now!”

3.) Harrison’s trousers were of the sort one wants to avoid; pinched and taut in delicate places, yet let out like slowly deflating balloons at odd, asymmetric points.

4.) Damn you, Damn you, Damn you and your leering Boston Terrier, Dame Johnson.

5.) Lately he’d been thinking about letting it all go, sawing through his tether and just drifting away, one assumes to the sounds of jumbled hectoring.

6.) The Internet opened marvelously before him, like a vast undulating sea of crap and Pop Tarts.

7.) “Make me an offer Alice, I’m at the end of my rope and my knees are swollen up something awful with the lumbago.”

8.) It doesn’t pay to trust you teeth, especially the lower ones.

9.) It was the Mambo Italiano what did it.

null
“Tears of a clown in the Chapel of Bones”

10.) Easterbrook-Smythe’s hashish was of dubious pedigree, smoking like an unfortunate collection of carpet shavings, cat hair and mothballed furs, but it packed a pleasant enough wallop.

11.) Harrison’s pants looked like he shared them with a particularly unhappy rat.

12.) Oh, I’ll show you what’s in my pocket all right.

13.) Delightful, delightful, delightful, in pieces now but still delightful.

14.) The Swede continued to pull at the hookah, his withered old lips stretching out prehensile as an elephant’s snoot, making a horrid clacking sound that brought to mind agitated clams.

15.) “I won’t, Nancy, not even for you, not even if you wore the Flamenco costume and begged, not even if you existed.”

16.) It occurred to him he should have had a dog, an old hound that would tilt it’s head just so and look at him, to whom he could assign various human emotions clearly beyond it’s canine scope, but now, of course, it was too late.

17.) “Samson’s a bastard,” I howled petulantly, applying iodine, “and that’s the best of him!”

18.) Harrison, his way of always being just around the corner at a bad moment, the prissy lingering of his cologne, his God damn trousers…

19.) “Mary”, I said, “Mary, Mary, do you ever wish it had all gone differently, that after that dinner at Luigi’s all those years ago we’d gone our separate ways and maybe looked back fondly on what might have been or maybe not”, but try getting answers from a severed head.

20.) He was sure she’d made the sauce wrong on purpose, but there was no damn way of proving it.

21.) I’d had it with her, had it, had it, had it so damn bad it was up to here and then some.

22.) It tasted like shrimp toast, but it wasn’t.

23.) “Harrison!” He bellowed into the swirling miasma, “Where are your pants?”

24.) The baby.

25.) Carried ever upward in a whicker basket tethered to the great gasbag of a wit stitched of a thousand regrets and little else, he giggled.

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“Visiting Hours”

26.) To hell with you and your lederhosen full of agitated clams, Harrison.

27.) Gifted or cursed by God with a set of testicles that harked back to an ice age of lumbering behemoth mammals, Harrison was forced to keep a tailor on retainer.

28.) “I love you Irene, you and your helper monkey.”

29.) I’d meant to say something pithy, stinging, memorable, apt, Jeffersonian, but what I did was belch just slightly and cry.

30.) “Hey, Rappaport, had any second thoughts now that you’re impaled on the business end of my rapier?”

31.) “The trousers!”

32.) “Pinch me,” I screamed, “my great aquatic menace” and she did.

33.) Alice never wanted anything and that was what she got.

34.) The Vole was the problem, the rare Mexican Fairy Vole and how flammable it turned out to be.

35.) At rest he featured a slack, open jaw, a mysterious cavern opening in the great flesh rockslide of his face concealing who knew what aboriginal relics, blind fish and rabid bats.

36.) “I don’t like that toaster, Mother, and you know it!”

37.) Papa may well love Mambo, but I’d kill it if I could, kill it and dance on its dance grave.

38.) “Oh, you’re sexy all right, sexy like a monkey with a knife!”

39.) Wilson said ‘sport’ and ‘maths’ and ‘crisps’ and he had bad teeth, but he wasn’t British, so I shot him.

40.) I only loved you for your helper monkey.

41.) She spoke only a rare dialect known to no one, even herself.

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“The Yodelling Contest”

42.) If you name a Hedgehog Percival, you’ve only yourself to blame when it grows up arch, snarky and wearing assless leather chaps.

43.) I loved them, I loved them all, of course I did, but in my way, which turned out to leave them with fewer fingers than they’d come with.

44.) I comb it that way on purpose, you son of a bitch.

45.) When I told you I was an ex astronaut NASCAR driver with a hook hand, I was lying.

46.) At the end, it was over.

47.) It struck him that his whole entire life consisted of being passed things, or passing them.

48.) Time heals all wounds, even the self-inflicted, and so I tend to hack the edges ragged just in case I should forget too soon whose fault they were.

49.) Plumper, plumper, plumper until it popped, and then alas, too late, no turning back, get a paper towel.

50.) Harrison said nothing, nothing being left to say, the pants having said it all.

Dave’s Emotions

LOSS
Dave has lost something very important. It feels quite literally as if some part of his interior structure is gone, so that he must hold very, very still. Any motion whatsoever cold cause his entire physical being to crumble apart, as if he was and had always been a colossal toothpick statue made with inferior glue that has been very dry for a very long time. And now, somewhere inside, a largeish chunk is just gone. But of course this is not true. No biological matter, no tissue, no fluids, no cells have been removed from his body, no part of him has ceased to exist or gone somewhere. And this is just the latest in a lifetime of losses ranging from the miniscule to the devastating that make Dave’s life exactly the same as anyone else’s. Toys he owned as a child are gone forever, in all likelihood scattered to atoms at this point. Comic books, T-shirts, a very small number of girlfriends, pets, jobs, homes, people. Dave is still reliably, undeniably, irritatingly here. Dave will be the very last thing Dave ever looses. Same as you. Same as everyone.

GRIEF
Dave experiences a grief of such tremendous proportions it must be transformative, except that it isn’t. Overwhelmed to such a degree that the tide of his grief is going, has gone out before he even notices it’s retreat, he finds himself no different but that he is sweatier and drenched in tears and mucus. Nothing essential has changed at all. His loss is still the same loss. He is still the same person. As if he had been attacked with special hammers that leave no hammer marks.

DISSOCIATION


Sometimes Dave is talking to someone and he doesn’t stop, but his brain goes someplace else. It’s like some compassionate soul has taken over the talking for Dave so that he doesn’t appear to be crazy and Dave can pay attention to something else which is sometimes a dog and a butterfly who are pals. They take long aimless walks and talk about stuff.
“I’m not satisfied,” says the Dog, “with my life.”
“How so?” Asks the Butterfly.
“Well, like yesterday. I ate a poop. I did. No reason. I just did it. It’s like it wasn’t even me.”
“How did that make you feel?”
“Ashamed, I guess.”
“Do you feel ashamed?”
“No. Not really. I feel like I should be shamed. Shouldn’t anyone, though? Good dogs don’t eat poop.”
“Are you a good dog?”
“Are you even listening to me?”
In fact, the Butterfly is not listening. It’s like some compassionate soul has taken over the talking for him so that he is free to imagine he is a rock on the edge of the ocean. The incoming tide rolls him up the beach. The outgoing tide washes him back. To all appearances he remains unchanged, but the truth is he is eroding. One day without ever having seen it coming, he will be a pebble. One day without ever having seen it coming he will be a grain of sand. Beyond that is the unknown.
“I’m sorry,” says Dave, “can you say what you just said again?”

ELATION
Sometimes Dave finds himself smiling. He could be reacting to something or it could be a tic. He could possibly be involuntarily smiling at gas, the way a baby’s first smiles are always denigrated, as if anyone did that, ever. “Go with it” he thinks, and after a moment the smile is just a smile, and the chemicals of happiness wash his brain. It is such a relief, and Dave tries not to think that previous experience shows moments like these are transient, but he has already had just this thought. He is still smiling, though the feeling of happiness is fading. The fleetness doesn’t make the happiness unreal, but it never lasts long enough to be transformative.

MILD IRRITATION
Though there are literally hundreds of things on TV, there is nothing on TV. In contrast, the fridge really does have just two items in it, only one of which can loosely be called food and that is pickles and Dave doesn’t want a pickle. Is Mayonnaise a food? Dave has no memory of ever having purchased Mayonnaise in his entire life. How old does it have to be before it can no longer be called food by anyone?
When Dave was a kid, the seams in his socks frequently felt wrong to his toes. It’s been happening again lately.

LONELINESS
Once loneliness was a crazy ass mean dog barking a thunderstorm of bees. Later when it became clear that nothing Dave did to ameliorate loneliness made it go away, it was transformed into the moment when you are going to jump off the loft and into the hay but you don’t. You’ll jump on three, but when you get to three you don’t, so you’ll jump on ten but when you get to ten you don’t because you can’t go back but you are not able to jump any more that you could fly off the loft and out into the sun like a butterfly. Now loneliness has eroded and is only a horrible unwashed old coat that you long ago stopped remembering you loathed the style of but you wore it anyway because it was a gift from someone whose feelings you didn’t want to hurt and now it is the only coat you own and it is too cold not to wear a coat most days.

HILARITY
The Dog and the Butterfly? The Dog and the Butterfly? Wasn’t that an album by Heart? And weren’t they once referred to as ‘the female Led Zeppelin’?

RAGE
Dave does not feel rage. Only mild irritation over things like Mayonnaise and socks.

DESPAIR
If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now. It’s just a spring clean for the May Queen.

FRUITY PEBBLES
Do they even make Fruity Pebbles anymore? Dave thinks not. Only Cocoa Pebbles, named for the Flintstone’s daughter and the shape of the cereal bits, which is vaguely pebbly. Cocoa Pebbles was Fred’s cereal, Fruity Pebbles belonged to Barney. Barney has no cereal anymore. No wonder he is compelled to steal Fred’s Cocoa Pebbles. Or was compelled. Dave cannot remember the last time he saw a commercial for Cocoa Pebbles.

LOVE
Sure, love. Of course love. What else is there? It’s all love. Just, sometimes not the kind you like. A white sheet of paper is any color of paper at all if you shine the right color light on it. One of those colors is your favorite color. There are sixty four crayons in the Crayola Big Box. Some are stubs. Some have never been used, and in all probability will still be unused at your estate sale.

WORTHLESSNESS
No one is worthless. Not truly. Dave believes in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. But if people can be said to have worth, doesn’t that mean human worth is quantifiable? If worth could be broken down into worth units, how many worth units does Dave have? Ten? Six? Is six a large number in terms of worth units? Is six enough?

CAPITULATION
The grain of sand believes it was once a pebble. But so does its twin, torn by erosion from the parent pebble, and so does every single one of the eight billion grains of sand erosion scraped off that pebble over the lonely years. Is grief transformative or merely redundant?

TRANSCENDENCE
Dave clings to the bedpost believing that his grief may tear him to pieces, but of course it does not. Rising out of his weeping body, beholding it dispassionately from above, it becomes clear that Grief is gently eroding him, carefully removing tiny bits of Dave that all believe they are Dave and carrying them away, scattering them like stars in the heavens, like pearls before swine. Dave doesn’t know it yet, but experience will eventually show him that moments like this are transient. He is already coming back to his body, almost forgetting, fleeting but real, what if anything he just learned.

COCOA PEBBLES
Once there were Fruity Pebbles, so there will always be Fruity Pebbles. Once there was Quisp and Quake and so there will always be Quisp and Quake. Once there was Cap’n Crunch’s Vanilly Crunch and yes, Mr. T cereal. Once there were Dog n’ Butterfly Checks and Page n’ Plants’ Leddy Zeppelins with a real plastic stairway in every box, and terrible grief was transformative and all those things always will be because once they were.

That coat makes you look like a transient. Wear it fleetingly.

The Junk Drawer of My Despair

CONTENTS:

• One (1) roll of off-brand clear plastic wrap, sans box. Without the saw toothed metal strip, it is impossible to cut in any useful way, but that’s alright because you probably can’t find the leading edge in any case. If you do, and manage to rip some off without stretching it so badly it becomes useless, it will only cling to itself anyway.

• One (1) ‘card’ of thumbtacks, white. Less than half are left. The provenance of this item is unknown. Surely you never in your life bought this ‘card’ of thumbtacks, and yet here it is. It seems, somehow, antique, perhaps a living fossil, migrant from some long dead other person’s junk drawer. Should you attempt to remove a tack, the rim will slide painfully under your fingernail.

• One (1) wire coat hanger, unwound. This universal tool promises infinite possibilities; unclogging drains, unlocking cars, flogging recalcitrant children and pets… but in fact it only has one purpose, to fall into such a position that that one end jams into the floor of the drawer above it so that opening the drawer more than a fifth of an inch becomes impossible. There is only one tool that will allow you to reach through that tiny crack and move the obstructing wire. A wire coat hanger, unwound.

• One (1) Partially used book of ‘series ‘E’ stamps, meant to be used until the new stamps came out when the price went up an undetermined number of price changes ago. Think briefly of the postage they might have paid for, the letters that said things to change the hearts of people now forever beyond your reach.

• One (1) Nutmeg Grater. You have never ground fresh nutmeg in your life and you never will. You have no idea what unground nutmegs even look like. Perhaps one day a tiny person will come to you needing to grate a tiny piece of cheese, but that’s unlikely. Where did this thing come from?

• One (1) package of baking chocolate, unmarked, partially unwrapped, nibbled at edges. Who will it betray next? You? Again?

• Thirty-Eight (38) tarnished pennies. Some rainy day you might sort them by date. Maybe there will be a few so old they have pictures of wheat on the back. Won’t it be fun to see?

• One (1) Baby Food Jar, label removed, containing three (3) screws of varying lengths, One (1) bent nail, One (1) picture hanger and a small snippet (?) of wire, partially clad in blue insulation, frayed at the end. What has become of the baby? Where is it now? Almost certainly it had some connection to you, you didn’t pick the jar out of the trash. Lost, lost, all lost to time.

• One (1) Heavy-duty hammer, paint spattered rubber grip. Like the unwound wire coat hanger, the heavy-duty hammer does an excellent job of keeping the drawer from opening any more than a quarter of an inch, but it is more useful as an object of pondering. Can one can kill oneself with a self-administered blow to the head from a heavy-duty hammer? How hard would you have to swing to get the job done in a single blow? Could a second blow even be accomplished? Might the pain of the first blow make it impossible? Might one be too impaired to deliver the second, fatal blow? What if a third blow was required? How much nerve would that take?

• One (1) Tap Hammer. A ‘Tap Hammer’ or ‘Lady’s Hammer’ is a petite version of the Heavy Duty Hammer and is perfect for hammering tacks, brads and very small nails used in decoration and upholstery. It is very, very hard to kill yourself with a Tap Hammer, as it requires hundreds of blows and a great deal of determination. But sometimes it’s exactly what you deserve.

• Three (3) Holograms of three pronged adapters. The very item you need, right where you thought it would be, now at last the fan can turn, the bread dough can be mixed, your guest may dry their hair in the guest bathroom, and there they are, right where you thought they’d be, but your fingers pass through them like a dream you are already forgetting.

• Three (3) Flashlights of varying sizes, all of which are dead.

• Three (3) D cell Batteries, Seven (7) C cell batteries, Six (6) AA cell batteries and 9 (Nine) AAA batteries, all dead.

• One (1) Mummified moth, dead.

• A bunch (132) Of Q-tip swabs held together by an old rubber band. For Crafts!

• One (1) Photograph of us together in happier times, slowly changing color unseen in a drawer as the years go by.

• An assortment (assortment) of old dreams, all unrealized, one shattered.

• Two (2) Petrified sticks of paper thin dusty pink bubble gum, the kind that used to come in baseball cards back when the world was slightly hand tinted and far more worth living in.

• One (1) pair (pear?) Needle nose pliers, rusting.

• Three (3) two pronged plastic things to stick in outlets not in use, as a means of baby proofing. Is this implied baby the same baby whose empty jar now holds bits of hardware that are useful but will never be used?

• One (17) odd possibly mechanical doo dad that will be briefly puzzle over during your estate sale, pinched between the calloused thumb and forefinger beneath the incurious, boiled egg eyes of an antiques dealer before being dropped and eventually thrown away.

• One Hundred Twenty-Four (124) Small, shiny, dark brown dots that if seen under a microscope might reveal themselves as some sort of long dead insect. Or eggs.

• The memory of the sound the playing card you clipped to the spokes of your three speed made, probably the ace of spades, pretending it made your schwinn a Harley, as if an ersatz motorcycle could erase friendlessness.

• A bunch (36) of Popsicle sticks, bound together by an old rubber band. For crafts!

• A (1) ‘Tot’s’ mini stapler that never ever worked even once.

• Two (2) Opposing parentheses for placing numbers or demoralizing clauses in.

• One (1) Elusive feeling you haven’t had in a very long time (because it isn’t in you, it’s here, in this drawer) that there was some unknown thing, answer, person you could eventually get your hands on that might fill the bleak gaping hole you’ve come to understand isn’t so much in you per se, it is you.

• One (1) rotten Peanut so that someday you’ll have found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut last night.

• One (1) Ring of keys to things that won’t get unlocked again because you don’t know what these keys or for or who’s they are or where they came from.

• One (1) manky old tube of lubricant, partially rolled at the end, leaking in places, almost certainly for mechanical use but only there so that nosy guests can convince themselves you have some sort of horrid sexual difficulty.

• Several (23) old books of matches from various disappointing places you’ve been that could be used to burn it all down, down, to coals, to glowing embers, so that it would all be gone, purified, if not for the fact they are too soggy and old to ignite let alone stay lit long enough to set anything on fire.

• One (1) False back that when removed opens upon and endless, empty, sucking void, vast enough to hold every pointless piece of crap you ever clung to for bad reasons and all the pedestrian memories and emotions associated with them.

• One (1) Bright yellow, circular happy face sticker.