Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Down to Business"

Mr. Dixon and Mr. Rodriguez shook hands and their cufflinks sparkled. This would be the biggest merger in recent memory in their industry and both CEOs were excited to get to work. Mr. Rodriguez walked towards the door and turned the handle.

“One minute, Mr. Rodriguez,” said Mr. Dixon. “There’s just one more thing.”

Mr. Rodriguez looked over his shoulder. Had he forgotten to sign something? The air was still in the office. A bead of sweat trickled down the back of Mr. Rodriguez’s neck. Surely the paperwork was sound. Had he made a mistake? Every piece of mahogany furniture stood in anticipation.

“What is it, Mr. Dixon?”

“Well, Mr. Rodriguez. I believe it’s time for us to get down to business.”

Mr. Dixon slid his finger down the wall and the lights dimmed to an erotic glow. He removed his suit to reveal the neon-yellow bikini he wore underneath and in an instant the heels of his loafers grew towards the ceiling until they morphed into stilettos.

Mr. Rodriguez was stunned for a moment, but he knew what to do. He had his MBA, after all. He kneeled to the floor and opened his briefcase. A three-foot long Komodo dragon slithered out and uncurled its tail to unleash a small bag of opium.

The two men ingested the opium and high-fived one hundred times. A Ducati 1100 EVO motorcycle lowered from the ceiling. Each of the men thought the other was responsible for the bike and each made mental notes to compliment the other on the electric-hot ride. Mr. Dixon’s desk sprang to life, revealing its true nature as six Taiwanese men dressed to look like drawers. The Drawermen waxed the Ducati and bowed to Mr. Dixon, who was holding Mr. Rodriguez’s legs and running him around the room like a wheelbarrow.

As soon as the two men noticed the glaring shine of the motorcycle, they nodded in unison. They climbed aboard, Mr. Dixon behind Mr. Rodriguez. Mr. Dixon whispered “Take me to the moon, my prince,” into Mr. Rogriguez’s ear.

Mr. Rodriguez pulled the throttle as hard as he could and sent himself, the Ducati, and Mr. Dixon, still wearing his bikini, off a twelve-foot high ramp and out the fifty-sixth story window. The merger couldn’t have been smoother.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Children Raised by Wolves Score Better on Standardized Tests"

Education researchers at Princeton University announced today the findings of a year-long study that shows children raised in the woods by wolves score, on average, better on standardized tests than children of the same age attending public schools. “This will revolutionize the way we educate our children,” said project head Kimberley Schilling. “We’re not talking Ivy League wolves here. These children were raised by run-of-the-mill wolves, eating a diet of elk, moose, and grasshoppers in the woods behind major highways.” These children scored in the 52nd percentile in reading and the 59th in math, putting them ahead of students in states like Mississippi, Vermont, and Alabama. “We think this sends a clear message to school superintendents. Hire more wolves.”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Whoopie Pies"

I’m not entirely sure how it all happened; it was so fast. I had been the lucky one chosen out of the audience to go up to the stage and taste the Whoopie Pies that Paula Deen was showing us how to make. I was watching her mix the frosting and salivate when all of a sudden there were gunshots and the lights went out and the next thing I knew, Paula Deen was holding me against her body, her burly, sweat-slick arm choking my throat, as a human shield. I tried to free myself, but I was powerless against her bear-like hold. I noticed then that she smelled extremely sour. She started yelling, “I don’t owe you nothing, Alexei! Nothing! Vlad is a goddamned liar! He said it would be at the docks and there wasn’t shit there!” and then she shouted louder in what sounded like Russian, but I’m not sure. The guys who broke in started yelling at her and firing their AK-47s into the air and Paula Deen whispered into my ear, “Fuck this,” and dove out of the window, which shocked me because we were on the fifth floor. The robbers ran away and the audience and camera crews stared at each other and I got this surge of adrenaline and I just started mixing the frosting like it was up to me to save the world by mixing that frosting. My arm went at about a thousand RPMs and all of a sudden it was mixed, and right then the cakes were done cooling, and I whipped them together and in this moment of pure serendipity I handed out samples and they were a real hit with the crowd.

"Distressed Jeans"

We supply you with a pair of medium rise double spun cotton medium blue washed relaxed fit denim. Slightly bleached in the thrashed areas. Distressed like you were attacked by a wolverine. These jeans are primo distressed, ripped and torn and worn like they’ve been through some serious trauma. But we don’t stop there. While most other companies stop after superficially distressing their jeans, we go the extra step to emotionally torment our pairs so the distress goes beyond the surface. Sometimes we take a pair aside and tell it that it was adopted. Once we chatted with a pair on AOL Instant Messenger for two months, masquerading as a sexy woman who also enjoyed the science fiction television shows he watches and wanted to meet up in person, and then at the meet-up spot it was just all of us and we’re like “Psych!” and, man, that will seriously distress a pair of jeans. Total wear-and-tear. Once we told a pair that its parents had been in a serious helicopter crash and the phone number we gave it for the hospital was disconnected, so it could never get in touch to find out if its parents were alive. Extreme distress! That pair is still a wreck! A wreck that will make you the coolest guy in the club. Don’t wear lame jeans from other companies that just rip up the denim. Buy from a company that truly distresses the jeans, from their seams to their hearts.

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Meeting Adjourned"

This group project was a total bore. These imbecilic characters didn’t know what they were talking about and all of our meetings were directionless. The meetings ran for hours and there was no simple way to call for an ending; our conversations just slowed until they sputtered out and died in gaping silences. It was our last meeting and I wanted to leave so I could go buy a fat burrito and sit and eat it with my legs dangling over a bridge. There was no polite way for me to excuse myself. I had to just go for it. I had to really demonstrate to these morons that I was done listening to their ignorant babbling. I stood up on the table and everyone in the library stared at me. I removed my clothing and leaned backwards until I grabbed my Achilles tendons and heard each and every vertebrae in my back explode. I shrieked as a pint of blood burst from my mouth and splashed onto the table like a water balloon. My legs immediately gave out and I buckled down onto the table, crashing flimsily like a donkey that had been shot. I stared Megan right in her stupid eyeballs and bit through my tongue. Then I pried my jaw apart with my hands, ripping the upper and lower parts away from each other with all my strength, until my head turned inside out. I was an anatomical diagram of the skull and the air stung my brain hard. I could only see darkness now, and I assumed my eyeballs were pointed at the inside of my skull. I heaved my dead body on top of my head and stood up on my hands. I fished a lighter out of my sweatshirt pocket and lit my body hair on fire. I walked out the front doors of the library, flaming and upside-down, leaving a slick brown trail of blood and brain fluid. I knew I had made an impression. I showed those boring suckers who was boss and I felt like I owned the place. Meeting adjourned, motherfuckers. I could hear muffled screams as people saw my hellish frame stroll out those doors like a wild-west cowboy. Hell yeah, I thought. Time for that burrito.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"My Old Beans"

It's hot. Blazing. Arizona, dead-middle of summer. I am sweating. I unzip my pants and fling them aside. They won’t be necessary today. I hear the train rocketing towards me. Lightning fast, thunder loud. Powerful and swift. I bend to the dusty ground and lay on my side. The train turns round a hill and comes at me, an ant crawling across the dry brown sea. It grows and grows, bigger and louder. I cup my moist testicles and stretch them across the track. I feel the track vibrating in my vas deferens and a drop of sweat falls off my nose. The steam horn blares, unbearably loud. The track reverberates to a supersonic hum and my testicles bounce, two Mexican jumping beans in an extra-large sock. The wheel makes its slice in an instant and in the next the friction heat on the track seals it shut.

I suspect one day a few kids will go out there to the tracks to flatten some pennies and they’ll find my decrepit set of nuts sitting in their rotten bag, abandoned and dusty, maybe picked over by the crows. And I hope those kids pick up my old beans and toss them around, maybe play some monkey in the middle or use them as hackey sacks. And perhaps those boys will play in the desert until they tire and the sun goes down and they will light a fire and have a moonlit ceremony in which they drink animal blood and recite ancient chants and ingest my testicles to gain my wisdom. They will high-five the devil and know what it means to be alive.

That, sir, is where I see myself in ten years. I hope that is congruent with the Applebee’s vision, as I need this job.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"He's On Fire"

It was the fourth quarter, twenty seconds left. We were down by two and in a time-out. We had possession. Coach suggested a backdoor screen and start Ryan with the ball. I nodded my head, but I had other plans.

At the sound of the whistle, I removed a small canister of kerosene from my shorts pocket and doused myself in the stinky liquid. As my opposing defender stared on in confusion, I scratched a strike-anywhere match on the wooden floor and lit myself ablaze. I ran to the top of the key, my body glowing bright orange. The heat was incredible and the odor of my burnt flesh stung my nostrils. I ran, flailing my arms at the other team, trying my best to catch their uniforms on fire. My scrotum blazed like one of the Green Goblin’s pumpkins and I could feel my potency diminish in stinging bursts.

I called for the ball and Ryan delivered. A chest-pass right to my gut. I dribbled twice and planted myself on the three-point line. The nearest defender was ten feet away, repelled by the heat on my body and the intensity in my eyes. I felt an incredible humidity as the sweat on my face boiled. I knew I only had one chance to drain this shot. This was for the state championship, all the marbles. My shoes melted into the floor. This is it, I thought, as I coughed on the sour-roadkill stench of my smoldering pubic hair and I saw coach wildly pointing towards the other side of the gym, where the fire extinguisher was located. Not this time, coach. My flaming play may be a bit unorthodox, but today it’s going to win us a championship.

Three seconds…two seconds. I hurled the ball, aiming for that sweet spot. As the buzzer rang out, the ball sailed through the rim, dead-center. Nothing but net. I screamed with joy and collapsed to the floor. Immediately, I was engulfed in white foam as several upstanding citizens from our community doused me with fire extinguishers. The other team cheered, thrilled that I was okay. The wild hero who had risked his life for the sake of his team would live to see another day. I would have cheered, too.

Two weeks later I woke up from my coma. I have been dictating this story using my left eye, my only functioning body part, to my assistant, Elena, who informed me that my amazing shot landed in the other team’s hoop. I have been asked to not return to practice, and when my skin regenerates and I regain the ability to walk I must return my uniform to Mrs. Anderson’s room before 4:00.

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Relief"

I was driving home from signing my life away in order to be an extremely well-paid relief pitcher in the Majors. It was raining and at a red light I saw a tiny woman standing at a bus stop holding shopping bags. She was quaint, miniature, and looked tired. I pulled over and watched her for a minute. Her matted brown hair clung to her cheeks in wet glops and she struggled under the weight of the bags to lift her arm to see her watch. I walked to her and considered all of the ways I could help her. I picked her up and put her in my pocket. Now she lives in my desk drawer and I take her out to dance and entertain me while Flash-heavy web sites load.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Brookstone Projects First Sale in 2011"

Brookstone, the nation’s leading chain of product-testing centers announced today an optimistic projection of selling an item in the next fiscal year. “Up until now we’ve largely existed as a playground for adults,” said Ron Michaelson, Brookstone’s PR chief. “What our customers don’t know is that many of the items inside our locations can actually be purchased.” Brookstone’s lofty projection is based on an optimistic economic forecast and confidence in a $100 million marketing push via print, television, and electronic ads, as well as large signs in the stores that read If You Pay Us Money, You Can Take That Gizmo Home With You. “We admit it’s going to be tough to convince people that these items have any use outside of our stores,” said Michaelson. “What do you mean it’s a store?” said David Mackey, a fireman who visits the Brookstone in his local mall about once a month. “They’re a free massage parlor.”

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"'Complete Moron' Magazine Lets Advertisers Cut to the Chase"

Advance Publications, the media giant that operates Conde Nast as well as several daily newspapers and Parade magazine announced today a new weekly national newspaper insert designed to let advertisers hit an elusive target market. An excerpt from Advance’s press release: “Until now, the moron market had been dispersed throughout several other key demos. There are morons in every age group and in every state. Our new weekly, Complete Moron, is the only magazine that will allow advertisers a bulls-eye shot at their market every time.” The glossy publication will feature human interest stories focusing on felines, ordinary citizens with extraordinary collections, and doctors who sometimes tell jokes to their patients. Ad space has already been purchased for the next four years by companies selling Amish furnaces, collectible coins, diet pills, Elvis memorabilia, and dull-looking garments. When asked why they don’t just rebrand Parade, Julia Newman, Advance’s Head of PR said, “We have a steady readership of non-morons who believe the TV listings might be inside Parade. This new publication will only be opened by complete morons, as its covers will always feature Paula Deen wearing ethnically insensitive holiday outfits.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Pin Box Game Ad"

"MacArthur Foundation to Award 23 Sarcastic 'Genius' Grants"

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, known for awarding $500,000 grants to trailblazers in the arts, sciences, and academics, announced today a new annual program that spotlights twenty-three idiots from all walks of life by giving them a $200 gift certificate to Ruby Tuesday’s and sarcastic title of “Genius.” Catherine T. MacArthur said in a press release, “We scoured the country for shining examples of bone-headed decisions made by the finest morons and dingbats in the nation. We’ve got some real Einsteins in this bunch.” Eric Roth, a seventeen year-old high school senior from Roswell, Georgia earned the prize for a May 2nd incident in which he backed his mother’s minivan through the garage door. “It’s an honor,” he said. “It’s going to look so sweet on my college apps.” When told that the title is meant sarcastically, his tone changed. “That’s a low blow. Serious dick move on their part. Like I’m the first person to mix up the pedals?” The awards will be given in a ceremony next week to be held in the visitor’s dugout of Ungerman Field, a little league baseball field in Sparta, New Jersey.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Career Advice"

If you are looking to start a career in the busy world of advertising, the key thing to do is to brand yourself. It’s the only surefire way to get an employer to remember you out of the crowd of applicants. You need to summarize yourself and your point of view in one sentence, like how “Just Do It” is synonymous with Nike.
To give a first-hand example, I brand myself as “The Candidate with the Fattest Dick.” It’s a surefire way to get people to know who I am. There are plenty of people who pride themselves on their long dicks, but I emphasize a personal strength of mine and use it as my brand. By highlighting the fatness, not the length, of my penis, I am also demonstrating the advertising technique of turning a negative into a positive. Did you know that NyQuil was designed as an anytime cold remedy, and the fact that it made users drowsy was considered a negative side-effect? Re-branding as a night-time cold medicine did wonders.
I was born with a finite amount of dick skin, and not much of it. But the fleshy meat that fills the skin kept growing and growing. It’s as if you had a small sock and pumped it full of raw beef, then kept pumping more and more meat into there. That’s pretty much what my gear situation is. My penis is so thick it is nearly round, and bright pink. It always looks as though it is out of breath.
Some may see this as a negative, but by highlighting it, I challenge the perception that length is the only factor necessary in a quality dick.
By turning my negative into a positive and by branding myself, I am a top prospect for a number of jobs. I always print my resumes out on top of photographs of my dick, so employers will remember me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"New Course Offering"

ASSU 3110. 3 hours.
Course Title: Assumptions About the Nineteenth Century

Course Description: Creating exciting and dynamic assumptions about society, politics, culture, and daily life during the nineteenth century. This course is geared toward students prone to making statements that begin, “Well, life back then was like…” in their other classes. This is not a history class and our research will be limited to speculation.

Oasis Title: ASSUMP NINETEEN CENT

Semester Course Offered: Offered fall and spring semester every year.

Grading System: A-F (Traditional)

Friday, August 27, 2010

"The Dream"

I want to graduate with a degree in statistics and move out west to be a blackjack dealer at a Las Vegas casino. I want gain fifty or sixty pounds off of processed gas station snacks. I want my neck to disappear so my head gradually fades into my chest along one mass of fat and flesh. I want to disrespect the blackjack players by spitting on them when I talk. I don’t want to talk in words to them. I want my entire vocal output to be reduced to a series of odorous belches, grunts, and snorts. I want trails of dried spittle and vomit to run down both of my chins and I want those trails of spit to shine under the casino lights. I want streaks of dried jism to stripe my black pants like zebra hide. I want my pudgy wrists to break out of my shirt. I want my doughy nipples to protrude through my vest. I want prostitutes to refuse to service me even when I’m willing to pay double. I want to bathe once a month, and when I do it will be just a quick rinse to clear the way for fresh sweat and scabs to coat my skin. I want to pick my nose and eat the boogers in front of the card players and then throw up all over the table. When they look at me in horror, I want to throw up more bits of packaged cake snacks and belch at them. I want to defecate in my pants and just sit there in a slump, feeling the diarrhea dry into a brown crust in my butt crack when the angry customers walk off to complain to my manager. When my manager arrives to talk to me, I want to roll on the floor, throw my massive hams of legs over my head, tear the seam of my pants wide open so my gargantuan hairy ass is exposed, and rip a series of farts that smell like salmonella. When he fires me I want to return to the dumpster I live in and have a feast of rotten garbage and dead birds. I want to rip my tight clothes off and roll my sweat-slick body around in the banana peels and apple cores and I want to huff the ethylene gas and blast one last e. coli-filled turd into my own hand and eat it. I want to sprawl my fat body out and stare up at the sky and wait for the sweet hand of death to come and touch my blistered, urine-soaked body.

That is my dream. I have worked hard and I don't want to disappoint my father.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Intelligent Bonobo Declared Moron

Researchers at the Great Ape Trust have reclassified Kanzi, a 29 year-old bonobo raised with language since birth, from “cognizant, intelligent, and capable of forming complex sentences” to “complete moron” after a round of Hasbro’s board game Catch Phrase.

Tyler Romine, the Trust’s lab supervisor, was assigned to be Kanzi’s partner in the game, which requires players to describe a word in order for their partner to guess it. “I figured it would be a great display of Kanzi’s ability to understand multi-part ideas. Turns out I would have been better paired with my wife’s comatose brother.”

In the final round of the game, after Kanzi successfully guessed fourteen of Romine’s clues, Romine envisioned victory over researchers Dennis Lamb and Rebecca Cobb. “I got the Catch Phrase thing and the buzzer was speeding up. My word was ‘Shakespeare’ and I knew there was no way in hell he’d know who that was, so I skipped it and got ‘door knob,’ which I figured was a hole-in-one. Turns out the only clues I could count on were ‘banana’ or ‘shit-covered bonobo fingers.’”

“I described it as the thing you use to open a barrier between two rooms and I even repeatedly mimed the motion and he just stared blankly at me like an idiot and pointed to the ‘handle’ graphic over and over like it would somehow get more correct every time he pointed to it. The buzzer ran out and we lost. It was unbelievable.”

Efforts to teach Kanzi more words ceased immediately and he is now being used to test experimental enemas.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Not So Bad"

“Hello, how’s your summer going?”
“It’s good, how’s yours?”
“Good, good. Let’s see here. We need to check up on how the Solodyn is doing, right? Is it working? Is your acne improving?”
“I think so, yes. There haven’t been any problems. I’m actually feeling really good about my skin, finally. I don’t worry about people taking my picture anymore. It’s amazing.”
“Great. I’ll just take a look at your face. Yep, it looks like your skin is in better shape.”
“Fantastic.”
“You still have a few inflamed pustules around your mouth and neck, but overall, yes, certainly a slight improvement. Are there any other open sores I should know about?”
“No. I actually thought my face was looking good. I didn’t know I had anything like that.”
“Oh, just a couple of minor things. Nothing to get too depressed over. I see around your nose there is some scaliness developing. I’ll prescribe you a cream for that. That’s actually dandruff forming around your nose as your skin dries up, flakes, and peels off.”
“I hadn’t noticed that.”
“It’s not a big deal. Now, have these red splotches all over your cheeks always been there?”
“What?”
“These red splotches. They look swollen and raw, like you’ve been outside in a snowstorm.”
“I…I don’t know. I’ve never seen them.”
“Well I can get you a pill for that, don’t worry. Now, let’s have you lift up your shirt so I can see your back.”
“Okay.”
“Looking good back here. Definitely a decrease in the bleeding acne scabs I saw last time.”
“What?”
“Now, this cluster of enormous blackheads. These actually form when the area isn’t cleansed enough. Do you shower daily?”
“Yeah. I shower daily.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. I thought my back looked fine.”
“It really does, apart from this quarter-sized mole. And over here is a little patch of ingrown hairs. Have you been to the beach this summer? There are some spots back here that must have formed from days baking in the sun with baby oil. Your skin looks leathery and dead.”
“I did go to the beach, and no one said anything about my back. I looked in a mirror and never saw any of those things. You know, I actually felt pretty good about myself when I walked in here.”
“Great, great. Self esteem is essential. Now, the rosacea on your face seems to be flaring up. Do you moisturize?”
“What rosacea? Yes, I moisturize.”
“I’m going to enroll you in a trial of a new drug for severe cases of rosacea. It has been shown to reduce rosacea in rhinoceroses.”
“My face looks fine! Now I just feel horrible.”
“Oh, don’t worry. I always prescribe some Zoloft along with everything else.”

Friday, July 2, 2010

"Take the Time to Volunteer"


By Cindy Chapman


Have you ever noticed that whatever we have in life, we frequently complain that we don’t have enough of it?

It happened to me recently. My husband and I settled in for a leisurely Friday evening and decided to order a pizza to be delivered for dinner.

I’m usually pretty good about staying away from fattening food but I figured I deserved a treat at the end of a long week. Besides, my husband tells me that pizza really is the perfect food because it includes meat (slices of fatty pepperoni), milk (that would be the double cheese), grain (crust), and vegetables (take your pick: mushrooms, black olives, or Roma tomatoes).

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed that first piece. But, guess what, it wasn’t enough. Before long, I ate a second piece. And the next thing you know a third piece was on my plate. Within seconds my plate was empty; the slice was sitting comfortably in my still-hungry stomach. My husband encouraged me to eat the two remaining pieces and I inhaled them in three massive bites. My stomach growled, anxious for more. I peeled the coagulated cheese from the pizza box and crammed it down my throat while I walked to the pantry. In it I found a bottle of corn syrup, a jar of cinnamon, and two pounds of whole-wheat flour. I stuck a funnel between my lips and poured everything down.

I paused to consider how privileged we are in this society. To have these delicious ingredients on hand and ready to go at any time is truly great, but isn’t it more satisfying to give back to others who aren’t so fortunate? I held that thought when my stomach growled again, craving more. Immediately I lunged for the pizza box. The cardboard was wet and salty with grease and smelled like a steamship overcrowded with immigrants. I ripped it into a dozen strips and wolfed them all down, licking the tangy oil from my fingertips.

My husband returned from the restroom and watched as I broke apart the kitchen table, coated each leg in barbecue sauce, and ate them. “What on earth has gotten into you?” he said.

I explained to him how sometimes when we have something we frequently complain that we don’t have enough of it. In my case, the pizza did not satisfy me, and neither did the rest of the edible and inedible objects I had just consumed. He stared at me and suggested we go to a hospital to get my stomach pumped. Nonsense, I assured him, and then began sawing the tabletop into bite-sized morsels.

My husband tried to restrain me, but my hunger continued to rumble. I managed to get the table cut and preheated the oven to 400 degrees. While it heated, I marinated the table bits in teriyaki sauce while my husband called an ambulance. I was still feeling famished when my husband stared at me with a blank expression and shook his head. He just stood there, silently shaking his head, for several minutes, watching as I seasoned the table. Blood poured from my mouth. I think it was caused by some of the screws from the table legs ripping holes in the walls of my stomach. I was in pain, sure, but my hunger was not yet at bay. My husband knew there was nothing he could do to stop me in my quest for fullness. He seemed surprised, disappointed, and ashamed. In the twenty-one years we have been married, I never noticed this about him, but in that moment, his furrowed brow glistening with sweat, his bulging neck veins swollen and ripe, he also seemed delicious.

When the oven was heated, I made a last-minute decision to put my husband in it. He seemed much more likely to satisfy my hunger than that fibrous, bland tabletop. After three and a half hours of baking, I ate my husband one limb at a time, over the course of six hours.

When I swallowed the final toe, I sighed, rubbed my bulging belly, and finally felt satisfied.

In summary, I suggest taking some time out of your week to volunteer at your local library.

Monday, June 28, 2010

10 Stand-Up Comedy Home Runs

So you want to do stand up comedy? Hold it right there. You can't just dive in and expect to be hilarious. You’re going to have to learn a few things first, then you'll be hilarious and swatting balls out of the park rapid-fire like the best of them at your local comedy club. Once you know these simple stereotypes, you’ll be good to go with a solid twenty minutes of killer material guaranteed to make audiences fall out of their chairs.

1. Indian people are typically the ones you will speak to when seeking help over the phone for a problem with your computer.
2. The parents of Asian-Americans have shrill, grating voices, and are traditionally hard working and try to push their children against their will into the math, science, or engineering trades. (Note: While an impression of the voice is an 80% guaranteed laugh, if you are not Asian-American you run the risk of being perceived as a racist.)
3. Black people are treated poorly by the police. Generally, the black people/law enforcement relationship is a tense one.
4. Married people despise their spouses. If you are married, start over-analyzing everything your significant other does and says until you magnify every flaw to billboard-size, until you hate her or him. Then let the jokes roll.
5. Parents hate their children. If you have children and enjoy them, start deliberately doing things you know they will interrupt, so you can become pissed off and, eventually, hilarious.
6. If you are overweight, disabled, or a member of a minority group, make fun of yourself as much as possible. Vicious, hurtful, racist things that had someone who is not a member of that minority group said would be considered incredibly offensive. Sure, the people are laughing at you because you’re different, but a laugh’s a laugh, am I right?
7. Facebook and text messaging are currently the only things audience members under the age of twenty-five can relate to. Try to focus on these topics. Popular subjects include accidentally text messaging the wrong a person and obsessively reading an ex-lover’s Facebook page.
8. If none of the above tips apply to anything that happens in your life, feel free to completely make up the things you claim happened to you. If the waitstaff has done their job, the audience will be too drunk to notice or care about your lies.
9. When it comes to stories, they always happened to you no more than 24 hours ago. Either last night, this morning, or on the way to the club. Be aware that these stories never actually happened at those times. It’s a safety concern, because the drunk audiences will likely revolt if you reveal to them that you’ve been telling the same jokes at every performance for the last five years.
10. Funny names are always in. If you’re on stage and in a bind for a big laugh, look around the room, pick an object, and do a bit about how funny it would be if you named your child that. For example, shoelace. Then you can do a whole thing about celebrities naming their children strange things, because that’s a topic that has worked for decades, so why wouldn’t it work tonight?

"You Do the Rest"

An excerpt from You Do the Rest, the new book from Milton Fitz, Hollywood’s favorite joke set-up writer.

I was having computer trouble the other day so I called up customer service and requested some help with my modem.

You ever wonder why it takes so long to be seated in a Chinese restaurant?

These days kids are so distracted by technology. Just yesterday my daughter said to me, “Dad, can I get a second cell phone?”

This morning I brushed my teeth backwards.

I hate going to the dentist.

I went to get a library card last week and they asked to see a valid form of identification.

My wife’s cooking is so bad.

My mother in law stayed at my house last weekend. I let her sleep in the guest bedroom.

I was raised Jewish in the suburbs.

Just the other day my brother said to me, “We should plan a family reunion.”

All these plus many more perfect set-ups in You Do the Rest, coming to bookstores this autumn. And look for Milton's one-man show Just the Straight Man, the hysterical comedy in which Milton only wrote dialogue for the straight-man, touring the nation beginning in August.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Neighborhoods"

The Brentwood City Council meeting was to start at seven p.m. Chief Councilman Dennis Frank checked his watch. Six fifty-nine and the house was barely half-full. He took a sip of vodka from his Diet Mountain Dew bottle and stared at the folding chairs in front of him. At least Darlene had shown up. Chief Councilman Dennis Frank had something to stare at for the next minute.

“Well, it looks like this is going to be it. Thank you all for coming.”
There were ten. Most were staring at their cell phones. One guy in the back looked new. Maybe thirty years old, with glasses and a briefcase. His shirt was ruffled out of his belt and his hair was a mess.

“Let’s get down to it, okay? First order of business is to approve the names of the three new neighborhood developments off Vine Street. Richman Developers have proposed the following names. Please state any objections. They are Crestview, Holly Oaks, and Nutsack Harbor.”

Darlene’s hand shot up. She drawled, “I’m sorry, what was that last one? Did I hear you right?”

Dennis Frank squinted at his notes. “Nutsack Harbor. The third one was Nutsack Harbor.”

“Absolutely not! We cannot have such ribald slang filth naming our neighborhoods.”

“Okay, one objection for Nutsack Harbor. Do you propose an alternative?”

“How about something nice and actually named for something in that area? There’s not even a harbor over there. Something like Finley Creek?”

“Okay, noted. Thanks, Darlene. Anyone else?”

The young man in the back raised his sweaty hand. “Yeah, I’ve got some.”

“I believe you’re new. Would you mind standing and introducing yourself?”

“Sure. Hi, I’m Alan Green, new resident. I have a problem with the first two names. There are subdivisions named Crestview and Holly Oaks in Sussex, only twenty minutes away.”

“Good point, Mr. Green. Do you propose alternatives?”

“Yes, sir. I think the names Dicklickers Alley and Fart-Shit Breeze would be welcome.”

“Dicklickers Alley and Fart-Shit Breeze?”

“Yes sir. I believe they are a welcome twist to the mundane neighborhood names we’ve come to accept. Why have more of the same when we can bring something new to the world?”

Darlene was not pleased. “But there isn’t a dicklickers alley or a fart-shit breeze over there.”

“Not yet. Once we name the subdivisions, they will be magnets for dicklickers and fart-shits, respectively. I’m certain, and I have the figures to prove it in my briefcase, that within one fiscal year, there will be no only a half-mile alley packed with dicklickers ready and willing to do their business, but also a pungent, northerly fart-shit breeze daily at 6p.m. And if we stick to the original plan and also approve Nutsack Harbor, in less than eight months there will be a beautiful harbor packed full of good-looking, taut nutsacks. We can build a boardwalk, open up some restaurants, and make it a family entertainment destination.”

The council members looked to each other with raised eyebrows. One elderly woman wearing a World’s Coolest Grandma t-shirt she bought for herself nodded and shrugged her shoulders. That echoed over to Don Henry, a fat man with no feet. Then over to Bernard Fitz and Susan Thirlby. Soon everyone was nodding in agreement, then standing on their chairs, whooping and applauding, ripping their shirts off and dancing. They agreed with what this man proposed. It was time for a change. It was time to mix things up a little bit. To break free from their routines and everyday lives for once.

Darlene crossed her arms and shook her head.

Chief Councilman Dennis Frank stared at Darlene’s chest.

Six months later Dicklickers Alley, Fart-Shit Breeze, and Nutsack Harbor were built. They were not popular with home buyers.

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Middle School Graduation"

My sincerest congratulations go out to you all. You’ve done it. All of you sitting here before me are now officially middle school graduates. Truly an outstanding accomplishment. Middle school tests you in ways that will prepare you for life in the real world. You have proven yourselves capable of walking from one room to another, as well as being able to read. You’ve also…well, that’s kind of it.

You all have amazing futures ahead of you and you will all go on to do great things. Actually, I don’t know about that. A lot of you will turn to drugs and quit doing schoolwork in high school. Good luck to those of you who take that route. A few of you will go on to do great things. But as I look out at you now, beyond the harsh glare of this spotlight, I see an army of future Sports Authority employees.

You have all experienced a truly incredible part of your adolescence together. Ages eleven to thirteen are physically some of the worst of the whole bunch. What a pleasure it must be to die at ten and never know the misery of cleaning up a nocturnal emission. I see most of you girls are towering above your male peers, some of whom are still waiting to crack four feet. Your bodies may be lanky, ill-formed, misshapen, lacking in tone and definition, blobs with seemingly no sense of direction, just coagulating and mutating whichever way your casings of scabbed, oily skin will allow. But don’t say farewell to puberty just yet, because for most of you, there’s still three years left.

I suppose I’m supposed to motivate you now. Tell you to go on and use what you’ve learned in these middle school halls to make the world a better place. But, honestly there’s not much. To those of you who made an effort with your grades, I say why? You could have scooted right on through with Cs on everything, never wasting your time with homework, and been completely fine. Honestly, the most important thing you’ve learned in the past three years is how to masturbate.

Good luck to you all with whatever misfortune consumes your life.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Navajo"

I spent nearly every minute of the summer of 1994 in a fort I built in my backyard. It was a rough construction, but it kept most of the rain out and let in just enough light for me to be able to read from morning until mom called me in for supper. Just a few sheets of plywood, some branches, and assorted pipes and screws I pillaged from the junk bin at Mitch’s Hardware Store. It was deep into the woods and leaned up against the biggest oak tree out there. My fort could be anything to me at any given time. It was my spaceship, my racecar, my fortress of solitude.
In June I went exploring the woods, looking over the same paths and streams I’d seen a thousand times before. But an adventure was an adventure and I ran around jumping over logs and leaping across creeks and hiding behind trees from the Indians who existed only in my head. I peeked around a tree and saw, a few hundred feet away, a lightning flash of grey fur. It darted off before I could identify it.
I told my parents about it at dinner that night. They said it was probably a coyote or a wolf and told me I shouldn’t go that far into the woods. I said Okay, never again, and tucked a piece of bread into my pocket for tomorrow.
The next day I went back to the same spot and left the bread near where the grey flash had been. I waited and waited, looking out from behind a thicket of branches a few hundred feet away. A coyote appeared from the deep woods. He approached the bread, looked around, snapped it up with his powerful jaw, and trotted off.
I continued feeding the coyote for weeks, each time standing closer and closer to the bread. He noticed me after a few days. At first he was apprehensive and stared me down. I stood in place until he walked off, satisfied that I presented no threat. I got closer and closer, until I could finally reach out to his mouth with the bread in my hand and feed him directly. He devoured the bread and looked me right in the eyes before leaving. He felt no threat and neither did I.
Soon the coyote and I were best friends. Feeding him by hand led to him hopping up onto his hind legs so he could put his front paws on my chest and we danced around the woods. We wrestled whenever he wanted to play and he would lick my face like I was one of his own.
For weeks this continued. I would run out to the fort every morning and he would be waiting for me. I named him Navajo. He was my co-explorer, my bunkmate, and my best friend.
We became so close that Navajo felt comfortable asking to borrow money from me. Just a few bucks, he said. To pick up a prescription. I lent him the money, confident that he was good for his word. Later on that summer I brought up the subject of the money he owed me and he said to not worry about it, that we’re friends, right? I smiled and hugged him and he licked my face. “Yeah, you’re right, Navajo.”
Navajo and I were the kings of the woods. We knew every tree, leaf, and stone in there.
Navajo asked me for a ride to the mall. He promised me it would be just this one time. I agreed and put him in the basket on my bicycle. When we got there I asked if I could go in with him. He acted like he didn’t know me and ran off with three girls. I shrugged it off. “This is just a phase.”
I would read stories to Navajo by the moonlight. He liked picture books the best. I raided the boxes my mom kept in the basement from when I was younger and introduced him to all of my favorites. Every time, right on queue, when I turned over the last page, he’d give me a big kiss and curl up tight so he could go to sleep. I’d never felt so close to anyone in my life. I remember the last time I read to him. It was August 3rd and we read Goodnight Moon.
At 3:16am August 4th, my father received a telephone call from the Clark County Police Station. He woke me up and said someone wanted to talk to me. I was terrified. Had Navajo been hit by a car? I had made a tag for him with my name and address on it, in case anything ever happened to him.
I picked up the phone. “Hello?”
“Hey, Peter. Listen, it’s me, Navajo.”
“Oh thank God. You’re okay.”
“Sort of. Here’s the deal. These police have me stuck here. They say I murdered nine people in a bar brawl or something. They said they found blood and PCP all over my fur. I don’t really know all the legal mumbo-jumbo, but it’s all lies. That stuff could come from anywhere. Anyway, I’m going to need you to bail me out. Does your dad have access to four hundred thousand dollars?”
I put my hand to the phone. “Dad, do you have four hundred thousand dollars?”
He said no.
“Sorry, Navajo, but it looks like he doesn’t.”
“Alright, fine. I guess I’ll just rot in here. Thanks a lot.”
“What do you mean? I love you, Navajo, there’s just nothing I can do. Don’t you love me?”
“I loved making love with your sister.”
I was appalled. I rode my bike to the police station and shot Navajo in the face with a rifle my dad kept in the closet.
A week later I received a key to the city from the mayor. I had no idea Navajo was such a menace.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"A Quick Spot"

“Hey, man, can I get a quick spot?”

“Sure. How many are you going for?”

“Just a little warm up. I’ll go for a thousand.”

“A thousand reps?”

“Yeah, just let me pump them out.”

“How long is this going to take?”

“About an hour.”

“You want me to spot you for an hour?”

“Yeah. It’s just common courtesy. Gym etiquette. Come on, bro, let’s get going. I need a lift-off.”

“Wait a second. I have things to do. I need to get out of here in fifteen minutes.”

“What the hell, man. You said you’d spot me.”

“You are planning to do far more reps than I planned on.”

“Big whoop. If you can’t take the heat stay out of the kitchen.”

“What the hell? You still want to do a thousand reps.”

“Right. Come on, man, the time will fly by. Just watch the TV.”

“What? No! I’m leaving.”

“Jesus Christ, I can’t believe what I’m hearing. I’d spot you, man.”

“Yeah, and I’d be doing six reps. It would take twenty seconds.”

“What happened to manners?”

“I’m leaving. I hope your pecs rip off around your eight-hundredth rep and you die.”

“Sweet God! You are being very offensive!”

“You’re ridiculous! A thousand reps is your warm-up? What’s your workout like? Actually, don’t answer that. I have no idea why I’m still talking to you and I don’t want to hear what your insane answer is. You are like no human I have ever seen. You behave like a cartoon. I don’t care anymore for your lies or your exaggerations or your crazy workout or your crazier demands. I want to never see you again, unless it’s your photo in the obituaries. Good luck finding a spotter.”

“Right. Anyway, you still good for that spot?”

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Science"

“Hey Don!”
“What?”
“What are you doing up there, man?”
“I’m gonna jump.”
“All the way down here?”
“Yeah.”
“You’ll die.”
“That’s the point.”
“Well, uh, don’t do it!”
“You can’t stop me now! This is it. No more miserable life.”
“Come on, man. Get down.”
“I’ll jump in ten seconds!”
“Wait!”
“Ten. Nine. Eight.”
“Hang on, Don! This is actually great.”
“What?”
“This is perfect. Just hang tight for a second, then you can jump or whatever.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m in the middle of my physics homework and you are totally acting out one of the problems. You can help me figure it out.”
“But I want to die!”
“Just let me calculate your potential energy first, then you can kill yourself.”
“Potential energy? What does potential energy have to do with my suicide?”
“Because you’re so high up there you have a lot of potential energy, like your body’s going to have a lot of energy when it slams into the ground. I just need to know your mass. What’s your mass, Don?”
“Jesus. I weigh one fifty.”
“Okay. And how many floors up are you?”
“Eleven.”
“Okay! Thanks, Don.”
“That’s it?”
“Yeah, that’s all the data I need. I can write out this example now. See you later, Don. Good luck with the jump.”
“Wait. Helping you with that problem made me feel good.”
“Oh yeah? Maybe you shouldn’t kill yourself.”
“I think that’s a good idea. Thanks.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why Steven Phillips No Longer Works for the Campus Newspaper

We asked junior Tom Levinstein to predict who will be in this year’s Super Bowl. “Probably whoever wins the most games,” he said. Then we asked for an early prediction on the NCAA men’s basketball championship. He spat on the ground and said, “Probably whichever team does the best in the tournament and then scores the most points in the championship.” We began to feel agitated with Tom’s answers but asked for one last prediction. Which country’s team has the best shot at the World Cup? “Whoever gets the most goals, you dipshits,” he said. At that point we were offended at the way Tom had treated us. He was not taking these questions seriously enough. We threw Tom into our van and put a bag over his head. Mike hit Tom in the stomach with a crowbar to, you know, teach him a lesson on respect. We figured he was a changed man after our big show, so we asked him, “Tom, where are we supposed to drop you off?”
“Probably wherever I live, geniuses.”
We detected more than a little sarcasm when he called us geniuses since he had shown such disrespect before. I gave Tom a wedgie and then asked, “Are you done with the salty answers, Tom?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll probably be done with them when I stop saying them, you moron.”
I was absolutely fuming at this point. This young man was so sarcastic that it made me want to make him stand behind a horse and then have that horse kick him right in his face. So Craig drove the van to Briarland Farms and we got in position. I asked one last question, to give Tom a chance to redeem himself. I said, “Tom, who do you predict will win this showdown, you or the horse?”
“Uhh,” said Tom, “how is this showdown scored?”
“Whoever kicks the other one in the face wins.”
“Well in that case…”
He paused, making me think that maybe he was going to make a legitimate prediction and allow us to stop all of this violence. He continued, “I bet the winner is going to be whoever kicks the other one in the face, Einstein.”
I became so agitated in one instant that every muscle in my body tensed as tight as possible and many of my veins and arteries burst. I felt rivers of blood course through the inside of my body, eventually pooling in my feet.
I gave the horse, Maurizio, a tasty carrot. That was the signal. He delivered a sturdy kick to Tom’s face. I felt weak. I looked at Tom, who was laying on the ground, looking for his teeth.
“What now?” I said, my voice soft. I could barely stand and it was difficult to breathe. “What now, Tom? Do we continue this madness? I will be dead soon. Look at what your sarcasm has cost us! When will this end?”
“Uhh…probably when either you die or I stop making these comments, Poindexter.”
I felt death approaching and I stifled my anger. “Tom,” I said. “Tom, look at me. As soon as I die, Tom. As soon as I leave this earth, I am going to start training. I am going to go straight to Hell’s Gymnasium and I am going to train for decades. All day, every day, getting bigger and stronger, waiting for the moment you appear and I can destroy you. I will rip you to pieces, Tom.”
“My prediction for that is, uh, no you won’t.”
Was that a legitimate answer? He finally did it. Just as my final breath wheezed from my collapsed lungs. Tom Levinstein is a jerk.