Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Tail of Redemption

Homer and Marge were two pigs who lived on a huge farm in Nebraska. They lived a routine life, waking up every morning, rolling in the mud, eating slop, sleeping, eating some more, rolling in mud some more, and sleeping even more. They basically lived the life of two normal pigs. One day, Homer came to a life-altering decision: He didn’t want to live a pig’s life any more. He had reached his personal breaking point. The conflict in his mind kept him up at night, and eventually he snapped. One morning, Homer broke the news to Marge.

“Marge, come over here.”

Marge pulled herself away from the trough and ambled over to where Homer was standing with his head hung forlornly over the fence rail. “What do you want?” she grunted.

“I can’t do this any more. I can’t live like a pig my whole life.”

“But Homer, you are a pig. It isn’t like you can live the rest of your life as a sloth or a wolf. Be a pig. Be happy you aren’t a mule.”

“I know I will never be anything other than a pig. That doesn’t mean I have to live like one. Do you realize that I woke up this morning with cow shit plugging my nose? I mean, seriously? Cow shit? In my nose? Shit? Nose?”

“Relax Homer, I get the point.”

“It’s ridiculous! I can’t do it any more, I just can’t. Besides, I want to start a career.” Homer looked down at his hooves shyly.

“A career? What are you going to be, a pig lawyer? ‘Excuse me, your honor, if it pleases the court I would like to *squeeeeeeal*’ ‘I object! The prosecution is *oink* leading the *oink* witness!’ Give me a break, Homer.” Marge scoffed.

“No, I do not want to be a lawyer. I uh-” Homer shuffled his hooves in the mud, clearly embarrassed. “I want to be a Dental Hygienist.”

Marge started bellowing laughter mixed with much grunting and oinking. The other pigs in the pen glanced over momentarily trying to gauge what was so funny. “A Dental Hygienist? That is awesome.” Marge said in a sarcastic tone. “That is really fantastic. A pig hygienist!” Marge continued laughing as Homer angrily turned his head while a blush rose in his cheeks.

“Yes, a Dental Hygienist, Marge. Stop laughing!” Homer said defiantly. “I have been thinking about this for a while now.”

“Oh, it’s perfect Homer!” Marge said in a mocking tone. “You can be just like Hermie the elf! ‘I don’t wanna be a pig, I wanna be a dentist!’ Oh, that is something; Homer the pig hygienist. ‘Pardon me while I clean out your filling, and don’t mind the overwhelming stench of mud and pig shit.’ Have you lost your mind?”

Marge went on and on, deriding Homer’s choice of career path. She didn’t notice his jowls getting redder and redder with embarrassment as other pigs in the pen wandered over and joined in with the mocking of Homer. Suddenly, Homer burst out with—


*sound of a turntable needle scratching across a lively music recording as the music suddenly stops and the entire farm falls silent. At the time, none of the pigs wondered which pig figured out how to work a turntable, or how it was powered.*

“What did you call me?” Marge furiously asked Homer, her eyes like pinpoints locked on his.

Homer, now even more embarrassed, quietly said “You heard me...”

The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife and serve it with eggs and toast. Homer had breached one of the oldest and most respected rules of pig culture: Never utter the B-Word in the company of other pigs. It was the number one most revered rule of the pig code. Dental Hygienist or not, Homer had broken the most sacred rule. There would be consequences.

To a pig that had wandered close on Marge’s left-hand side, she whispered in a barely controlled voice filled with rage, “Call the Warden.”

“The W-w-warden?” he stammered. I don’t think we need to call him, do we? Let’s just pretend this never happened, and...”

“CALL HIM NOW!” Marge thundered into poor Billy Pigkin’s upturned face. Billy would remember that day for the rest of his life.

After a lengthy trial, and much deliberation, Homer was banned from the farm for life by the Warden. Despite his timid demeanor, and apologetic speech that had every animal in the farm in tears, his breaking of pig code rule number one could not be ignored. As he packed his meager belongings, Marge walked over to him, her snout turned high in the air.

“Shouldn’t have done it, Homer.”

“I know Marge, and I apologized. But you’ll see, I’ll be come the best dentist in the world. This is probably a good thing, in the end.”

Marge stepped very close to Homer, until her snout was centimeters from his, and said “Homer, you will always be a pig. You roll in mud, and eat leftovers from humans; scraps from their table. That is all you will ever be: A garbage-eating, mud-covered pig.”

At this Marge turned sharply and slowly walked away from Homer, her curled tail tightly wound. Homer watched her go with a tear brimming over his eyelid and finally running down his cheek.

Homer slowly left the pig pen he was born in and flinched as the gate closed loudly behind him. He glanced once over his shoulder and then began walking down the dirt road that led to the highway that ran past the farm he grew up on. He never saw Marge, or any of his pig friends, again.

10 years later

Homer busily scraped away at Mrs. Winter’s teeth, removing a year’s worth of plaque build up. As she rinsed, Homer began cleaning up. They began talking about the upcoming Christmas holiday and Mrs. Winter mentioned her children’s favorite Christmas cartoon: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. She talked at length about their favorite character ‘Hermie the Elf’. At this, Homer paused at the sink and looked at himself in the mirror. He was brought back to the moment 10 years ago when he mentioned his career plans to Marge, and she had mocked him to the point where he was forced to leave the farm in disgrace. Oh, if she could only see him now! He wondered what happened to her...

In the café downstairs, Marge began to sizzle and crisp nicely as she was about to become part of a Bacon Egg and Cheese muffin that was soon to be served to a 10 year old boy named Herbie. Herbie was holding a lollipop and a bright blue toothbrush that he had just received from Homer, his favorite swine dentist. His teeth were perfect.

The Circle of Life turns ever onward.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Euphemisms: Chapter 1

Put the Clothes in the Closet
Fire off an Email to the Boss
Keep the Dog on a Short Leash
Mail a Letter to Dear Abby
Put the Lotion in the Basket
Sing the National Anthem
Stick the Landing
Ride the Tilt-A-Whirl at the County Fair
Shovel the Sidewalk
Wash the Dirt off your Shoes
Get Change for a Fifty
Throw Bananas at the Monkey Cage
Fly over the Grand Canyon
Blow up the Birthday Balloons
Add some Chocolate to your milk
Keep your taxes down
Boil the Hot Dogs
Ride the Painted Pony
Add a Dash of Salt
Bolt the Shed Door
Call Out Bingo
Buy a new Garage Door Opener
Be there around 6
Bake some Christmas Cookies
Pick all the Strawberries you can eat
Salt the Driveway
Split the Uprights
Order a Submarine Sandwich
Slide into the Deep End
Grill up some Salmon Steaks
March in the St Patricks Day Parade
Host a Dinner Party
Fire a SCUD Missile into the Mediterranean Sea
Take out the Garbage
Freeze the Leftovers
Take the Cleveland Browns to the Super Bowl

These can mean whatever you think they should mean.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Indian fire god? No. Demon lord? Maybe. French delicacy? Hardly. The “juswaytil tribe” is a group of disgruntled parents (often ones with more than one child) who prey on new parents with soul-dampening proclamations meant to diminish any fleeting optimism they may have at any given moment. “Ojuswaytil” is their cry; an admonition from a truly lost group of souls. Ojuswaytil is a word that forms the beginning of a dreaded sentence. They haunt optimistic parents with sentences like these:

New unassuming parent: “Little Timmy got sick yesterday, I was up all night!”
Old, grizzled veteran parent of 5: “Ojuswaytil Little Timmy rears back and throws up directly into your goddamned ears 10 times a day for an entire year…”

New baby-faced innocent parent: “Little Suzie fell and skinned her knee at daycare! Oh, how she cried!”
Grouchy, war-torn parent of 4: “Ojuswaytil Little Suzie runs into a moving fan belt running at 200 miles per hour while her brother shoots rockets at her!”

New, timid, doe-eyed little parent: “Poor little Jackie boy cut his first tooth the other day. He was crying all night!”
Been-around-the-block parent: “Ojuswaytil Jackie runs head first into a time machine and all of his precious little new teeth come flying back at you from 1934!”

Do any of these things happen? I would think not; and that is the real problem here. For some reason, unsuspecting new parents get bombarded by killjoy experienced parents at every turn. The dreaded “Ojuswaytil” is a horrible way of saying “You may be suffering now, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” What benefit does that give the poor, sleep-deprived new parent? “Hey, I’m having trouble here, do you have any examples of how completely miserable I will be in the near future? You do?!? Wow, thanks, I was hoping I could pour some more despair into my overflowing glass of darkness!” Don’t try to get involved in their bitter game of one-upmanship; the juswaytils are too experienced and wily. Just back away and admit that it must have been terrible when 4-month old Steven opened his own chest cavity and held out his still-beating heart while pooping acid and vomiting rivers of raw sewage. You will never come up with something worse. More examples:

“Ojuswaytil little Timmy reaches into his diaper and proceeds to brush your teeth with his own poop!”
“Ojuswaytil tiny Hortence roundhouse-kicks your kneecap triggering a teary night of icepacks and muffled curses thrown into the unforgiving night.”
“Ojuswaytil baby Anna renounces Christ and begins bleeding from the stigmata signs.”
“Ojuswaytil sweetie-pie Bobo slices your Achilles Tendon with a broken shard of glass from a beer bottle that he smashed over your head while wrestling over some Tinker Toys and a Tickle-Me-Bastard!”

I’ve seen this all before; trust me (and who names their kid Bobo? So many unanswered questions…). These proclamations will usually be followed by a prolonged drag off of a cigarette and a knowing grunt of laughter. Beware the entrenched parent, so buried in bitterness and baby food that they have lost the light. Their reality has been twisted into some dark version of Earth with violent little baby Gods and Goddesses terrorizing them daily. I hope they find the right path again, I really do. Just go to a baby shower sometime with your newborn and see what happens. Go on, I dare you. The baby shower is a common campground for the juswaytil tribe. It will be like running the gauntlet through a graveyard of ghostly apparitions all trying to kill their parents in some fashion. They set you up with faint praise of your cute baby, and then they hit you with the sledgehammer:

“Ojuswaytil they turn 18, then you will be down on your knees begging Satan to end your life as your teenager(s) fly around the yard with flaming pitchforks!” (Really? I should just sit here and wait 18 years for that? What should I do while I’m waiting? Look for new friends? Good idea.)

“Ojuswaytil you try to bake a cake and suddenly your 8 month old explodes out from inside the CAKE you JUST BAKED!!!

“Ojuswaytil you get bitten by that wonderful bundle of joy who suddenly has newly grown viper’s teeth. Because that’s what happens; you know: They. Grow. The. Teeth. Of. Vipers. Beware the ides of March! Beware the Vipers of Similac! Woe is the lord of the castle, for she will be struck by venomous stings as painful as thousands of needlepoints thrown earthward from the hand of God!” *trailing off into Old English scripture and eventually burned at the stake as a heretic*

Look, this is all common knowledge. I could go on all day here. I just want you to take a moment and appreciate the friends who don’t do this to you; who don’t work you into a panic over events that haven’t even happened yet. Enjoy your time with your little one or ones. There will be plenty of time to “wait” for terrible things to happen; that is unless you are stricken by the wrath of Luther the baby-God. Juswaytil you see how awful he is…

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Moment With My Daughter

On a cold morning this past December, I walked in on my 21-month old daughter sitting on the floor of her nursery reading a book. I sat down in front of her and the following exchange took place (names have been changed to protect the innocent):

Daughter: *eyes on her book* PUP-py
Me: *looking at a book that has no puppies in it* Puppy?
Daughter: Puppy WA-wa.
Me: *eyebrows furrowed*
Daughter: *looking up at me now, more insistently* PUP-PY WA-WA!
Me: Um...
Daughter: *frowning at me*
Me: *uncertainly* Uh...Yes, puppy wa-wa...
Daughter: *still frowning*
Me: Do you want some wa-wa?
Daughter: Hi Duckie. *still frowning, then looking back at her book*
Me: *gets slowly up and backs out of the room*

I walked down the hallway to my bedroom and sat at my desk to contemplate the meaning behind this exchange. What do I know, at this moment? There is a puppy, somewhere, in need of water. In the book? In real life? Is my daughter the metaphorical “puppy” in this case? Is she thirsty? My responses to her were met with definite distaste. Am I the “puppy”? Is “wa-wa” a symbol of the thirst for knowledge? She acknowledged my presence with ‘Hi Duckie’. Is there a duck that somehow ties into this?

While I agonized over this exchange, my daughter walked down the same hallway to my room and gave me a stuffed duck, saying “Baby Duck” and then slowly walked back down the hallway to her nursery. Why a duck? Why now? Does it have something to do with the true meaning of Christmas? She is smarter than me, I know this. Was baby Jesus gifted a baby duck in his manger so long ago? Does the receipt of this duck now mean I am Jesus?!? Does my daughter represent one of the three wise men?!?!? Do Baby Ducks have any sort of symbolism in reference to the apocalypse? By accepting this “Baby Duck”, as she called it, do I acknowledge the mortality of the planet? Are we all Baby Ducks? How do the puppy and the wa-wa tie in to all of this?!?!

I crept back down the hallway and peeked into my daughter’s room. She was lying on the floor looking up at the ceiling singing what sounded like the ABC song. “A...F...HJ...MP...QR...V...WXYZ.” I hurriedly wrote down what she sang and ran back down the hallway before she knew I was spying on her. I put my scribbled notes down on my desk and sat down. I had a lot to go over here. Yes, it appeared to be the standard alphabet, but with key omissions. Why did she pick the letters she did? Where did BCD go? Why no S? Why include Q and leave out E? I took the missing letters and tried to form words out of them. The best I could come up with was “DUCK TALK BIG NOSE.” I dropped my pencil and pushed myself away from the desk. The duck again. Something is going to happen with “the duck” that much is clear. Big Nose? I looked in the mirror carefully staring at my nose from all angles. Finally, I decided that my nose must look huge to her, and then I realized that she has been talking about me all along! I AM THE DUCK! I AM THE DUCK! I fell on the floor and crawled into the corner of my office, shutting the lights off on the way.

I feel as though I may be going insane.


Later that night, before bed, my daughter patted me on the head and said to me “Night-Night, Duckie. Puppy wa-wa. Santa bye-bye.”

I fear I will be dead by daybreak.

Friday, January 9, 2009


This is a fun game I like to play and maybe you will enjoy it too. Watch a movie. That’s not the game, hold on a second, I’m getting to it. At some random point during the movie, usually at a climactic scene somewhere in the middle, imagine if the director as a cruel joke decided to fade to black and run the credits. These are the types of things that make me laugh.

Now, a scene from “The Karate Kid”, already in progress:

*music playing* Danger! Everywhere you turn…
*Daniel-san is running across a dark field at night. He is being chased by almost every member of the Cobra Kai dojo who are dressed in skeleton costumes*
*Daniel runs into the fence separating the field from Mr. Miyagi’s office/home/workshop. He tries to scale the fence, but it is too late. Johnny and the rest of the Cobra Kais catch up to him and pull him down.*
Johnny: You couldn't leave well enough alone, could you, little twerp? No, you had to push it. Well, now you're gonna pay!
Skeleton 2: Where are you going, sweetheart?
Skeleton 3: How about a front kick, Johnny?


Look, I already know I’m crazy. That goes without saying, or with saying, whichever. The beauty of this game is, you can play the credits game at home whenever you want. It’s a hoot and a holler, and plenty of knee-slapping fun too!

We now join “The Shawshank Redemption” already in progress:

Red: *narrating* But then, in the spring of 1949, the powers that be decided that...
Warden Samuel Norton: The roof of the license-plate factory needs resurfacing. I need a dozen volunteers for a week's work. As you know, special detail carries with it special privileges.
Red: *narrating* It was outdoor detail - and May is one damn fine month to be working outdoors.


Just once, I would love to work at a movie theater and attempt something like this. Just splice the film reels and put the fade to black followed by the credits right after that line. Imagine the reactions! These are the things I think about. I know I would get greedy though, and eventually I would just put the credits first, right after the previews, and really mess people up. I feel like leading with the credits of a movie could cause some kind of time-space wormhole or something and the whole earth might start spinning backwards.

We now join “Forrest Gump” already in progress:

*Forrest is sitting on a bench waiting for a bus. There is a lady sitting next to him. Forrest leans over and introduces himself*
Forrest: Hello. My name's Forrest. Forrest Gump. Do you want a chocolate? I could eat about a million and a half of these.


I like to think of things and do things to amuse myself. My poor wife gets caught in the crossfire, but hey she knew what she was signing up for. The only real world occurrence of this awesome exercise happened in the last episode of the Sopranos. Imagine my surprise! I should have had this idea copyrighted, or trademarked, or patented, or simonized, or bronzed, or flash-frozen, or embalmed or something. I haven’t even told you the most embarrassing part yet. Sometimes when it’s late at night, and no one is around, I’ll open up a bottle of vodka and…

Blogger: Eric
Daniel-San: Ralph Machio
Johnny: William Zabka
Skeleton 2: Sir John Gielgud
Skeleton 3: Meryl Streep
Red: Morgan Freeman
Warden Norton: Bob Gunton
Forrest Gump: Tom Hanks
Lady on Bench: Dame Judy Dench
Key Grip: Marv Levy
Best Boy: Jake
Director: Eric
Assistant to Eric: Flavor Flav
Sound Editor: Sir Elton John
Public figure with inflated sense of self-importance: Oprah Winfrey
Capitalization: e.e. cummings
Stunt Coordinator: Scut Farkus
Animal Wrangler: Jean Claude Van Damme

No animals were harmed during the writing of this blog.

All resemblance of characters in this blog to real people, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Soundtrack available on Arista Records

Copyright 2008 Lincoln Blog Productions

Friday, January 2, 2009

Urgent Questions: Volume I

Do you ever have the urge to just grab a duck and hug him until all his troubles go away?

Did you ever look up at a clear blue sky and think, “Why isn’t the sky red like it is in all of my hellish nightmares?”

Have you ever kicked a midget, and then apologized to a different midget, thinking it was the one you kicked, when really it was a completely different midget that happened to be dining with the midget you kicked?

Did you ever blow on a dandelion and then chase the floating seeds while laughing and skipping across a dew covered meadow that is literally covered in goose crap?

Did you ever punch a wall so hard that your arm goes all the way through the wall into the adjacent room, and then given all of the people in the other room, who were enjoying a nice afternoon tea until Mr. Cranky decided to show up, the finger in that room?

What if God was one of us? Would God look around and say, “Man I hope some one-hit wonder writes a song about me, calls me a slob in it, and then is never heard from again. I think that would be a fitting legacy for my enormous deadly power and widespread influence”?

Have you ever dived into the ocean, only to surface with a mass of seaweed on your head like a perfectly styled seaweed wig? Do you then thank God that seaweed is not only delicious, but it is smart enough to cover the skull tattoo of a giant eyeball on your dumb, bald head?

Why is it that crocodiles are so mean, and panda bears are so genuinely helpful and nice? Is it because crocodiles live in Florida, and everyone knows that Florida’s property taxes are very high and basically the common taxpayer ends up screwed because all the money goes to corrupt politicians instead of back into the community like it should? Panda Bears don’t have to deal with any of this.

Have you ever had the urge to run as fast as you can at a bus and then throw yourself under it, just so you can later tell the paramedics “Wow, I really threw myself under the bus?”

How many roads must a man walk down before he gets accidentally shot by a rogue police officer who recently lost his job and had his wife leave him for another woman?

If Popeye and Woody Woodpecker had a child, would that child be named Poppy Peckeye? (Hint: The answer is yes. The real question is how drunk was Popeye that night? One thing you need to know about Popeye: When he’s drunk, he’s gotta have it.)

If a train leaves New York heading west at 60 miles per hour, and another train leaves Los Angeles heading east at 70 miles per hour, at what point would you hijack a train in the New Orleans area to try to meet them in the middle and cause a horrific three-way train crash?

Have you ever run screaming into a forest and then come out on the other side of the forest arm in arm with a grizzly bear, laughing and reminiscing about all the troubles you just went through together in the middle of the forest?
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