Rest Easy

Enter Groucho Violent,
star of the nerves and streets,
a double threat if there ever was one.

His reputation precedes him as witty enough to turn a phrase and hard-knuckled enough to know when to admit defeat in the face of a petulant and pernicious foe who, in all likelihood, believes that their position of power has been handed down to them from the LORD ALMIGHTY, and any little rivulet of diarrhea that escapes their corpulence is to be rendered an earth-shattering development in the field of extrapersonal material management, now and forevermore.

Groucho is no stranger to the justice-enforcement arm of things. When his even-keel demeanor and righteous self-taught martial arts techniques combined on one fateful and blustery Flag Day eve, the Justice Jab was born. If you’re still unfamiliar with the singlemost effective crimefighting maneuver ever concocted by man or beast (in Mr. Violent’s last-ditch effort to uncover the overall reason as to our lack of humility when confronted with reasoning), you have some real catching up to do.

The Justice Jab is a miracle worker when the recipient of said jab needs to be awoken from the haze that they’ve come to accept over time, through sheer laziness and self-disrespect. The haze’s effect causes but is not limited to: depression, sluggishness, flatulence, lack of interest in things one would normally enjoy, unjustified sporadic agitation, and death. Such a disconcerting malady comes as a direct byproduct of this world we’ve inherited (through no fault of our own). Rather than face the music, the vast majority of we, the privileged few, have chosen to consume the content created specifically to manipulate our emotional and physical dependencies more efficiently and cheaply than cocaine ever could.

So the next time you see Groucho Violent
meting out swift street vengeance,
you can rest easy
knowing that he’s doing humanity a service.

With a Vengeance

I thundered through the threshold,
enthralled by many a porcupine diary–

when will we ever learn the true everlasting
Constantinople cantaloupe constitution?
I reckon never, though many local geniuses
think there’s a global phenomenon unfolding
with a vengeance.

I can only postulate,
though the post-latte high
seems to have stalled for a moment,
just briefly enough to incriminate
the most experimental of dancers
both near and far.

We’re still left baffled
by Hemingway’s cat collection,
but a learned individual once told me
that the more toes a feline has, the closer to
ultimate self-actualization
the beholder becomes.

Shotgun or no shotgun,
there’s quite a bit of cortex
to bandy about all willy nilly
if you’re willing to lose a day or two
to the unbending, unaltered
chimpanzee rhetoric machine.
Oh lord, I’ve lost
too many days
to count.

Mr.

Mr. “Screams ‘GEEZ!'” went rarin’ by my left window,
almost as though he’d even had a care in the world–
if it hadn’t been for that cheez whiz spritzer marmalady
gettin’ her gunk in his junk (or his gunk
in her junk, can’t quite remember).

Elemensexary, my dear Tulip the Begonia Wallace.
I’ve been awaiting your arrival for some time now,
young man. I can’t wait to get a good pasta cooking,
if you know what I mean. If you don’t,
no worries, we’ll get you set up like a Pastafarian
on Wednesday evenings, ensconced in the price of
the pledge of allegiance. You may consider this schedule
an eighth more sensational than the tap dodger aligners
who’ve risen to prominence within the last four months.

But enough of that nonsense, it’s about time for me
to devote the digestion of fandom complication atoms
to a starry-eyed wanderer named McGriff (who looks
nothing like Elliott Gould, no matter what LaVernia says).

By All Accounts

As a younger man–though old enough to know better–I once navigated a rather cryptic epoch during which I chose (wholeheartedly or pigheadedly) to stick with my plague-rich mentality of promotional ice cream lotteries, confident in my god-given ability to strike it rich. With my trusty two and a quarter inch nail at my disposal, I scribed the five luckiest numbers ever known to man and beast in my favorite subterranean cave, positively declaring an end to the ceaseless turmoil of fumbling around in the cosmic muck for a few measly digits that–at one of my lower points–I thought would elude me as long as I were to inhabit this particular body. I then hastily chucked good ol’ Rusty (that’s what I called my long-suffering galvanized friend, knowing that his kind doesn’t rust for decades–a joke we shared on countless occasions) into the nearest ravine, a flourish that would–by all accounts (payable or otherwise)–bring this self-imposed trudge to a meaningful conclusion.

Boy, what a boneheaded mistake. No sooner than I’d comforted myself with that symbolic nail toss, a magpie hopped on by and casually reminded me that the most lucrative lottery drawings typically have six numbers. I wept, knowing that I’d severed the most rewarding relationship of a lifetime under the false pretense of a free scoop of rocky road at a participating Neddy’s® Frozen Custard.

I shaved and went back to my old CPA job.

(#373)

We are the TOXIC Group:

Tastemakers
Obligating
Xylophones
Into
Conversation

Our meetings typically consist of 30 seconds of clever xylophone-related banter followed by 48 minutes of unbroken claptrappery (occasionally punctuated by a sneeze or self-important cough that reminds folks in the group of their own flimsy mortality). The list of covered topics is indeed long and tedious; an indeterminate amount of talking points is covered multiple–sometimes numerous–times, with very little ceremony.

The talking points typically meander around with little consequence, and our staffers have learned to endure them long enough to get to the meat of the meeting: attempting to reach a quorum on where to go for pizza afterwards. There’s been a glut of new “artisanal” pizza joints in the area, not to mention the existing restaurants who need gimmicks to keep up.

Gino’s Northeast: an old school pizzeria with a hint of sports bar (now with 25% more sass back)
Donnie’s Bunker: war hero’s spot with authentic Vietnam War memorabilia
Skip’s Dugout: retired baseball star’s spot with authentic ’60s and ’70s memorabilia
Gugliotti’s: Sicilian-themed ristorante
Chunkster’s: Most Toppings Around!®
Steggo’s Dino-mite Pizza: self-explanatory
Jeffrey’s Tamborine: adults-only gaming and entertainment-related eatery (wine allowed in the ball pit)

This particular installment of the TOXIC Group (#373) eventually ended with a near-unanimous selection of kofta kebab, since there’s only one local option for that cuisine and we were rapidly running out of time. For the record, a good portion of the group rallied for the adult play place, but Susie’s new around these parts, and we want her to stick around for a month or two before we test her patience with a drunken happy hour.

Appetite for the Absurd

Heralded as the Jonestown Network alternative to Stem, the Fruitful Terrier Sitter Extraordinaire, Pango Pango Junction packs quite the wallop when it comes to pure, unadulterated edutainment at a reasonable price. Parked at the intersection of broad leaf swelling and matriarchal patronage, I defy anybody to come away without some kind of interesting new trivia in their noggin by the end of each episode.

Before I agreed to subject myself to the bizarre ritual that is test-viewing a public television program for the determination of proper demographic distribution, I thought “oh jeez, here goes another several hours of my life that I’m never getting back. And right on the heels of finishing up my kite-flying apprenticeship at Old American [for Profit] University, too.”

But, being the good sport that I am, I didn’t even balk at the dubious honor. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that the show’s producer and I had a bit of a fling a few holiday seasons ago, and that we still flirt pretty heartily with each other. I’m a real sucker for shallow intimacy, especially if it’s spread out over the course of several years, where I can put the person/people out of mind for a while and reconnect with that polarizing animal magnetism as though we’re on a sinking ship/divebombing plane/bucking bronco… I guess it would be tough to get two of us on one of those beasts at the same time, but you get my drift.

You know, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this topic. Not to wax depressing, but living alone has afforded me the time to step back and reflect upon the foundation of relationships at their very essence of innate human fragility. I’ve come to develop the inconvenient understanding that I was never meant to settle down with any one person, and the fairy tale love affair might as well go the way of the dinosaurs–at least, as far as I’m concerned. Damn, now I’ve gone and gotten myself all glum again! What the hell?!

But anyway, I promised Gwen I’d do her a favor by giving my unvarnished opinion on the latest project, so I borrowed her official showbiz flash drive and gave the first few episodes a spin. Yes, plural episodes. Just shooting a pilot clearly wouldn’t have been enough doing to properly showcase their dean’s list-caliber aptitude for creative enterprises. One could chalk it up to insurmountable confidence or simply an arrogance that never got flushed out of the system by regular beatings/embarrassments, but I reserve such judgments for the critics of the world.

Well, this review got a bit out of hand. Suffice it to say that I recommend Pango Pango Junction to anyone looking to spend some time on a contemporary spin of the “one-size-fits-all daytime head-scratcher” subgenre. Or simply anyone with a healthy enough appetite for the absurd.

Until we meet again, gentle reader–

Sardonicus Q. Jellyknife, Esq.