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Thursday, April 14, 2011

It Will Be Like Vietnam All Over Again

I have never cared for investigative journalism, particularly because it requires a certain amount of note-taking and getting-the-facts-straight-ness that I don’t normally utilize in my day-to-day writing.  The majority of my fans only recognize me as the author of such worldwide best-sellers as Abortion: What Would Jesus Do, If He Had Been Aborted, and Penis Songs: Favre and Me.  But I have come to the realization that even a writer of such immense talent as I can benefit from working outside my proverbial comfort zone, and so, I have agreed, in exchange for certain favors beginning with a daring operation in which editorial staffers will infiltrate Greta Van Susteren’s estate and eliminate any evidence of our previous relationship, including photographs, undergarments, and my personal cell number, to write a series of investigative pieces on notable persons in American politics and popular culture for Patriotic America magazine. 

For my first piece, I decided to focus on a person who could possibly one day be president of our great country, Michele Bachmann, Republican House member from the grand state of Minnesota.  Unsure of how one actually performs investigative journalism, my first move was to seduce Ms. Bachmann into an illicit affair.  I find that the warmth of afterglow can often act as a truth serum.  I began my interview as we lay breathless in my bed, the sheets damp from the steam of our passion.

“I’m a huge fan,” she purred, “And so is my husband.  Could I get you to autograph a copy of your book for him?”

“Of course, my beauty,” I said, taking a copy of Abortion: What Would Jesus Do, If He Had Been Aborted and opening up the cover, “What is the lucky man’s name?”

“Oh,” she giggled, “Why thank you.  His name’s Marcus.”

I scribbled a brief message:

To Marcus,

You’re a lucky chap.

My autograph is currently fetching

$200 on Ebay.

Your Bro,


“So,” she cooed, “What would Jesus do, if he had been aborted?”

“Probably not much,” I said, “And he would never even have gotten the chance to be aborted, if you Republicans had your way.”

“Oh, of course, the budget,” she sighed, “Not that it mattered.  We couldn’t even get the darn liberals to cut $317 million from Planned Parenthood.”

“$317 million?  That seems oddly specific,” I remarked.

“Yes, that was my idea,” she replied, “It was the exact box office gross of The Passion of the Christ.”

“Interesting,” I said, “But you were able to cut $500 million in WIC funding.  What exactly is WIC?”

“Something that white people don’t need,” she said, drawing laughter from us both.

“But seriously,” she went on, “WIC is nothing more than a socialistic program that allows mothers to raise their children on the government’s dime.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to pay for other peoples’ kids.”

“I don’t even pay for my own,” I said, with a laugh.  This time she glared at me.

“I’m joking, obviously, I don’t have any kids,” I added, awkwardly.

“But even with the cuts to WIC, the proposed budget is a failure,” she said, “As long as Planned Parenthood still ends the lives of precious babies, we’re all failures.”

“But if we allow women to abort all those unwanted babies, maybe we wouldn’t need programs like WIC in the first place,” I reasoned.

“So then we become a bunch of baby killers?” she cried, “It will be like Vietnam all over again.  And we all know how that went.”

I nodded, not really sure how Vietnam went.  Was that the one with Sylvester Stallone or Tom Berenger?  I think it was Sly.  That was a good one.

“Besides, we’ll get ‘em eventually,” she went on, “If they grow up in poverty, chances are they’ll turn to crime, and probably commit a murder somewhere down the road.  We can kill them then, and it’ll be moral.  That’s the difference.  It’s like, who would you rather kill, Snoop Dogg or the kid from Webster?”

“I think Webster might actually be older than Snoop,” I said.

“Really?  Wow, it’s so hard to tell with the blacks,” she replied.

“Yes,” I agreed, “Especially the midget ones.”

“But my point is, it’s better to wait til they’re grown to start killing them,” she said.

“Are we still talking about black people?” I asked, confused.

“I’m talking about anybody!” she cried, “Black, Mexican, um, Indian.  And.  You know.  Anyone.”

“This is such an interesting conversation,” I said, looking at the clock on the nightstand, “But I really have some errands to run today.  Should I call you a cab, or…”

“Oh, no,” she replied, “I’ll just call Marcus.”  She leaned in for a kiss.

Robert DeNiro!” I shouted, “That’s the one!”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is White A Color?

“This couldn’t come at a worse time,” Tiger sighed, having clumsily missed another plaster baby seal with his dreadfully awkward swing, “I’ve got my annual NAACP charity golf tournament in a couple of weeks.”
My friend, Tiger Woods, had come to me for a swing lesson, having found my method of developing the perfect swing technique by using the club on plaster baby seals to be extremely beneficial.
“Ah, March Madness,” I said, “I had to give it up myself.  Gambling is a harsh mistress.”
“You know all about those,” K-Ro chimed in, nudging Tiger. 
“Um, that’s basketball,” Tiger said.
“Of course,” I said, “I should have taken you for a cager when you walked in.”
“No,” Tiger replied, “March Madness is basketball.  I’m a golfer.”
“But you just mentioned the NAACP tournament,” I argued, “The avid sports fan refers to that as March Madness.  I should think you would recognize the difference.”
“Did you hear my harsh mistress line?” K-Ro asked.
“This is the NAACP,” Tiger explained, “The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.”
“Colored?” I gasped, “That is quite racist.  I believe they prefer to be called African Separatists.”
“The NAACP works for people of all colors,” Tiger went on, “Black, Latino, Asian, and even Indian.”
“Is white a color?” asked K-Ro.
“It is the Indian who carries my sympathies,” I said, “That noble savage, taken from his ancestral homeland and forced to work in whiskey distilleries.”
“I think you’re confused,” Tiger said.
“The Indians should hold a grudge against Africans,” K-Ro interjected, “They brought homosexuality and AIDS over here and put it on their blankets.”
“Don’t be an ignorant fool,” I said, “It was the white man who created homosexuality.  With those powdered wigs and tight pants.  But, come to think of it, perhaps it was the Indians themselves.  Have you ever seen Gandhi?  No straight man would dress like that.”
I paused to let them reflect on the profundity of my statement.  K-Ro looked into the distance thoughtfully.  Tiger simply shook his head, astounded at my wisdom.
“Nevermind that now,” I said finally, “Let’s return to the business at hand.  And as a reformed gambler I shall offer a little advice to you, my dear Tiger, regarding your tournament.  Bet the 12 seeds.”

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fetch My Clubs. And The Baby Seals

"You're getting very sleepy," Dr. Phil said softly, as he slowly swung a pocket watch like a pendulum before my eyes.

"As a matter of fact, I'm quite awake," I said, "I slept very soundly. It is a very positive side effect of my Vicodin addiction."

"To tell the truth," I continued, "I cannot think of one negative side effect."

"How about memory loss?" Dr. Phil countered testily.

"That is debatable," I argued, "I once awoke next to a naked, sweaty, heaving Rosie O'Donnell, with no memory of how I came to be in such a dire position. I am absolutely thankful that any memory of our encounter was expunged. I chalk that particular blessing up to Vicodin."

Nonetheless, I knew he was correct. The only reason he was attempting to hypnotize me is because of my loss of memory, in particular, my inability to recall the location of my latest manuscript, which I was certain to be The Greatest Story Ever Written. Dr. Phil only stared at me blankly.

"But please continue," I added.

"This isn't working," he grumbled, putting the pocket watch away. He rubbed his chin deeply as he struggled for a solution. I was not an easy nut to crack.

"I've got it," he finally cried. He reached into his weathered satchel, retrieving a small statue. He placed the statue on the table before me. It was The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, regaled in his ring attire with arms raised victoriously skyward.

"Look into the Champ's eyes," he whispered, and I met the statue's steely gaze. His was the look of a warrior poet, filled with wisdom and virtue. He was a mirror into my soul.

"Whatever you do, you must maintain eye contact with the Champ," Dr. Phil added, and then he gently flicked the Champ's tiny head with his finger, causing it to bobble from side to side. And the Champ stood there, so tiny, his arms raised in victory, and his head bobbling continuously.

"So...lifelike," I mumbled, as my eyelids grew heavy.

"Now," Dr. Phil said, "I want you to tell me about last Friday night."

My eyes were closed and I shook my head vigorously. My limbs thrashed about.

"!" I cried.

And suddenly I was sitting at the desk in my study. Outside the window the sky was a brilliant purple evening haze signalling the beginning of the weekend. I looked at the stack of post-its on the desk in front of me. There lies my brilliance, I thought. It was my newest work, an endeavor into experimental writing wherein I write random thoughts on post-it notes, get thoroughly wasted on whiskey and narcotics, then rearrange the notes into a blind narrative. It was a technique I learned when I was a staff writer at CSI: Miami. My admiration for my work was interrupted by a knock at the door.

"Enter," I ordered. K-Ro opened the door.

"Sir," he said, "You're wearing lipstick again."

"Hard at work, K-Ro," I said, "Writing, as you know, takes a special sort of concentration. Sobriety and accepted gender identification play no part in the process. By the way, you're wearing nothing but a golden thong."

"I was choreographing a new interpretive dance, sir," he replied.

"Of course," I said, "What can I do for you, old friend?"

"Tiger Woods has stopped by," he said, "He wishes for another swing lesson."

"Of course," I said. It would be good to get away from my work for a while.

"Show him in, K-Ro" I said, "Then fetch my clubs. And the baby seals."

"Very well, sir," K-Ro said.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I've Done It!

Deep within the confines of palatial McGraw Manor, which sat on a lush, floral hillside estate overlooking the city of Angels, Dr. Phil sat alone in a darkened dining area, dressed in a perfectly pressed business suit, impatiently awaiting his breakfast. His wife, Robin, timidly entered the immaculate room, carrying a plate neatly decorated with thinly sliced cutlets of meat, garnished with apple slices and gravy, but Dr. Phil's demeanor went unchanged, the only indication of his fierce kinetic intellect a single arched eyebrow. Robin diligently avoided making eye contact with her husband as she gently placed the plate on the table before him. After a moment, Dr. Phil retrieved a knife and fork from the place setting and cut a tiny piece of the meat and chewed. Robin watched with mounting tension as his chewing slowed. Slower. Slower.

"What the hell is this?" he bellowed, spitting out the meat. Fear infiltrated Robin's visage, and her eyes quickly moved to the door, her only means of escape, but instead of fleeing she merely cowered as her husband pushed away from the table and rose, towering over her.

"You think I can't tell the difference between squirrel and possum?" he demanded, lifting the plate and flinging it against the wall. Robin cowered further, her eyes now dull and without fear, and awaited her punishement. Dr. Phil lifted his hand across his chest, as if to back hand her. Then his cell phone began to ring. Forgetting his wife, he reached into his pocket for the phone.

"This is the Love Doctor," he said, "Karl Rove? What are you up to you old son of a bitch? It's been too long." Dr. Phil listened for a moment, staring scornfully at his wife the entire time.

"Okay," Dr. Phil went on, "What can I do to help?"

K-Ro stood in the kitchen of the Fisher King Mansion, speaking on the phone to Dr. Phil, as I sat distraught at the table. It had been K-Ro's idea to contact the good doctor, and having run out of options, I finally agreed. I felt as if my career, my dreams, indeed my sanity, could very well be at stake. For I had finally written the Greatest Story Ever Written. And I forgot where I had put it.

The day had began like any other. I awoke from the grips of a reality-bending dream in which my name had been chanted by a sweating horde, a human earthquake that produced a volcanic eruption of admiration for my defining work. I was lifted from my feet and held aloft by the groping hands of a multitude of fanatical students of my genius that began to fling me increasingly higher and higher until I reached the outer borders of the earth's atmosphere and threatened to descend directly to heaven. I opened my eyes to find myself safe in my own bed, with three beautiful women who looked vaguely familiar. I reflected for a moment on the dream. What had it meant? And it came to me.

"I've done it!" I cried, raising up in the bed. The three girls did not stir. They were most likely spent, and would probably need a few days to recover. The toilet in my bathroom flushed, and a large black man emerged, completely nude, walked across the bedroom, opened the door to the hallway and left the room without saying a word. Who the hell is that, I wondered. I grabbed a bathrobe, covered the perfection of my physique, and went looking for him.

"Good morning, sir," K-Ro said, as I entered the kitchen, "That was some weekend, wouldn't you say?"

"Did a large, naked black man just pass through here?" I asked frantically.

"Sadly those days are long gone," K-Ro said, "Fucking Lincoln." I looked around the room suspiciously, then sat at the table across from K-Ro. He was reading a newspaper, wearing a suit-jacket, shirt and tie, and boxer shorts. He had a black eye.

"K-Ro," I said, "My tiny friend, I've done it!" K-Ro looked at me, his face overcome with alarm.

"All three of them?" he said, "Boom shacka lacka!"

"Not the girls, you fool," I admonished, "I mean I've done it. I've written The Greatest Story Ever Written!"

"Wonderful," he exclaimed, "What's it about?"

"That's the problem," I sighed, "I have no idea. I don't even know where I put it. What did we do this weekend?"

"I don't remember a thing," he said, "It must have been pretty rad."

Together, K-Ro and I searched the entire mansion for any trace of my masterwork. Finally, I was forced to resign to the fact that my greatest creation might be lost. We sat once again at the kitchen table in defeat.

"If we could only remember what we did this weekend, perhaps we could retrace our steps," K-Ro advised.

"All is lost, my friend," I moaned, "Once again I've been done in by my relentless drinking and whoring."

"I have an idea," he said. K-Ro laid out a plot so devious that it just might work. He would call the great expert in psychology, Dr. Phil, and persuade him to hypnotize me so that I might be able to retrace my steps through the lost weekend and discover the location of the manuscript. After much deliberation, I nodded my assent.

"So you'll do it, Doc?" K-Ro said into the phone, "That's wonderful news. I've taken the liberty to send a car to pick you up. It should be there immediately." Hanging up the phone, K-Ro looked at me with great satisfaction. There was hope again in my world.

Dr. Phil hung up the phone as the Fisher King Limo screeched to a stop outside his mansion. He started for the door, pausing before his still cowering wife. He looked at her lovingly for a moment, fake lunged at her as if he were going to strike her, then lowered his hand and continued for the door.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

God's Little Gift To Jesus

"Sir?" K-Ro whispered, his eyelids heavy in his darkened room. He was lying in his tiny cot, wearing his purple sleep cap and Buzz Lightyear underoos as I sat next to him, having just finished reading him a bedtime story of selected passages from Brian Bosworth's magnum opus, The Boz.

"Yes, my dear friend," I replied softly.

"Do you believe in God?" he asked. I considered his question thoughtfully, carefully measuring my response.

"I've never seen him," I said, "Although I did pray often as a child that I would one day grow to be a man of tremendous wealth, power, and respect, and that I would get the opportunity to screw tons of hot chicks, which have all come to obvious fruition. So, you never know."

"I was born on Christmas Day," K-Ro said, "Mama told me I was God's little gift to Jesus."

"Jesus?" I said, "The gardener, I suppose?"

"The son," he replied.

"An odd gift for a gardener's son," was my response, "Your mother was a generous soul."

"Sir?" K-Ro asked.


"Do you believe in Bigfoot?"

"Uncle Perciforth claimed to have once encountered a Bigfoot. He said it assaulted and raped him in a tattered tent in the north country. He was too ashamed to report it to the authorities."

K-Ro's eyes widened with shock and concern.

"Rape is a hard thing to prove," he finally said.

"Uncle Perciforth was in the habit of wearing provocative sleeping garments. Usually no more than a top hat and diamond studded thong," I said to him, noticing his closed eyes. I gently kissed him on the forhead and tucked his blanket tightly under his chin.

"Goodnight, sweet K-Ro," I said softly, as K-Ro drifted into sleep.

As I left K-Ro's sleeping quarters, a thought entered my mind. Perhaps the story of my dear Uncle Perciforth, and his encounter with a depraved sexually predatory Bigfoot, could turn out to be The Greatest Story Ever Written. I considered the marketability of such a project. A film adaptation could be quite profitable, perhaps something in 3-D. Rapist Bigfoot action figures would be the hot holiday gift on every child's wish list. Of course, I would insist on being intimately involved in the casting process of the film. Ben Roethlisberger seemed like a natural fit for the role of the misunderstood beast. Or someone from the University of Miami Hurricanes football program. Had The Rock ever molested anyone? I wasn't sure. Would have to Google that one. So many ideas. As I prepared for bed, I decided it was time to track down my long lost Uncle Perciforth. His was a story that begged to be told.

I closed my eyes as sleep approached, silently thanking K-Ro for the spark that had now burst into a roaring flame of creativity within my consciousness. I promised myself that in the coming morning I would awaken K-Ro with a reconsidered proclamation: Yes, I believe in God!

Monday, October 25, 2010

If We Stop Selling Books, Then The Hippies Win

“Enough, enough,” President Clinton pleaded, “I…I think I just peed a little.” He was bent over at the waist, his hands on his knees, gasping for air and shaking off the last minor spasms brought on by his full body laughing attack.

“And then the black guy says, ‘that ain’t no water moccasin!’” I continued. Clinton found this particularly hilarious, so much so that he crumpled into a heap on the floor, clutching his chest and smiling broadly. He had finally stopped laughing, his eyes closed and mouth frozen in that haunting smile. I took a long pull from the whiskey bottle and sucked deeply on the cigar, looking at the pale, flabby figure of our greatest president, naked except for the piss-stained boxers and silver party hat, lying motionless on the floor of the log cabin. I kicked his leg, firmly but with deep affection.

“Get up, Billy,” I slurred, “Billy?” He continued lying still, his breathing imperceptible. I wondered if there might be a problem.

“You okay, big guy?” I asked. Clinton remained silent.

The day had started innocently enough, with Clinton and I at a dual book-signing event to promote our latest works; my novel, Penis Songs: Favre and Me and his follow up to his autobiography, My Life Part 2: The Vagina Whisperer, which marked the launch of our publishing partnership, an endeavor that would serve to broaden our respective fan bases while increasing our odds in poon-loading situations while on tour. But as the crowd began to dwindle at the signing, Clinton grew more and more restless. At last, one final fan stood in his line, a young man, college age, wearing glasses and a scarf with curly blond hair and a soul patch. I could see there might be trouble the way Clinton looked at the man.

“I’m such a huge fan, Mr. President,” the man gushed, “The work you’ve done in Haiti is inspiring.”

“Haiti?” Clinton said, “The only thing I know about Haiti is that’s how George Bush feels about black people.” Clinton looked at me and winked, then back at the young man, who looked shocked.

“You know, like the Kanye thing and Hurricane Katrina?” he said, looking back at me before returning his attention to the young man, “I’m just busting your nuts. G-Dub’s cool.” He took the book and opened it, picking up a pen.

“Okay, so you want me to make this out to Janeane Garofalo?” he asked.

“Uh, no, sir. My name’s Lance,” the young man said, flustered.

“Lance? That name sucks. How about I make it to one of the Dixie Chicks,” Clinton went on. I was beginning to feel uncomfortable, and Lance was starting to cry.

“Aw, hell,” Clinton said, writing a greeting, “I’m just pulling on your junk, Lance. Don’t be so damn sensitive.” He handed the book back to Lance, who shuffled away with his head down.

“Pussy liberal hippies,” he said to me as we stood to leave, “That right there is why we can’t win any wars these days. Bunch of cry babies.”

“Well, you were a little hard on the boy,” I said.

“Not you too, GK,” he sighed, “Listen, why don’t we get whiskey drunk and head down to the local tavern and kick the hell out of some hippies, like the old days?”

“That would probably hurt book sales, Billy,” I said, “And if we stop selling books, then the hippies win.”

“Well what do wanna do then?” he asked, “I’m ready for some action.”

I told him about my log cabin in the lush rolling hills outside of the city, convincing him that a night outside the spotlight would be advantageous in allowing us to recharge our batteries in preparation for the next leg on the tour by promising that, in the event that he became too bored, we could send for Chinese takeout and prostitutes, and by promising to tell the story about the time I became stranded in the Louisiana bayou with the 1994 cast of Saturday Night Live and Chris Farley was killed and eaten by an alligator, which never failed to elicit a huge laugh from him.

And as I stood looking at his motionless body, I wondered if perhaps it had been a mistake to bring him to the cabin. I considered calling for K-Ro to come and perform CPR, but as I started for my iPhone, Clinton began to stir.

“What about those prostitutes?” he asked, still lying on the cabin floor.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tom Thumb is a Giant

“’Aw, shucks,’ Brett said, exposing his genitals,” I read aloud to K-Ro, who was chewing on garlic-flavored fingernail clippings, the remnants of Mufasa the Congolese cook’s post-lunch house-keeping and personal hygiene efforts, and staring silently and intently at my luscious lips as I voiced my own prose with a mixture of the dramatic and the sensual. It was an excerpt from my latest novel, Penis Songs: Favre and Me, a fictionalized account of national icon Brett Favre’s struggle with MAPS (Mad About Poon Syndrome). Nearly complete, I was sure that the work would prove to be my finest, perhaps a masterpiece in its way, but even as the words poured forth, I recognized without a doubt that it would not become The Greatest Story Ever Written. The revelation gave me pause.

“Bravo,” K-Ro bellowed, standing to clap, “Could this be? Have you finally done it, sir?” Of course I slapped him.

“You fool,” I said, calmly, “You are as unaware of great art as you are that Cuba and Puerto Rico are comprised of two entirely different types of Mexicans!” K-Ro rubbed his reddening cheek softly. Sweetly.

“Favre will be old news soon,” I whispered, turning to the window, “His story won’t resonate with the common people like the scandal of how Tila Tequila gained 150 pounds, changed her name to Snookie and moved to Jersey to have sex with the mentally disabled. How did Mitch Albom scoop me on such a story?”

“My apologies, sir,” shuddered K-Ro, “I am…an ignorant fool.” He approached me and stopped at my side. I placed my hand affectionately on his shoulder. Then, after a moment, K-Ro turned and looked directly into my eyes.

“And so are you,” he growled. His words were an ambush, and I was gravely wounded. And suddenly furious. I raised my meaty fist to strike.

“If,” he continued, “you believe Mitch Albom to be half the writer you are.” He had raised his hands in defense, but there was deep affection in his eyes. And a calming serenity.

“But he is,” I argued, “Mitch Albom is precisely one half the writer as I.” I knew this to be fact, for I had once run into Albom at a bath house in Hot Springs, Arkansas. A tremendously tiny man in all ways, he was there for a writers’ workshop, I, to fornicate with hillbilly girls. I cleverly nicknamed him Tom Thumb.

“And now,” I said, my fist still raised, “Tom Thumb is a giant of literature.” I turned to my rotund friend. His demeanor had turned to one of grave concern. I struck him again, half-heartedly this time.

“Never mock me, K-Ro,” I whispered, extending a hand. Abashed, K-Ro stood. He straightened his jacket and tie as I returned to my reading.

“Pulling at his junk, Brett winked at the masseuse. ‘I call him Randy Moss,’ he sighed, ‘Say hi to Randy Moss…’”

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

She's Wearing a Skirt

"Health care reform?!?" K-Ro shouted, "I'll give you a reason to want health care reform!"

From beyond the closed doors I could hear muffled cries and loud, heavy thumping.

"Hurt me!" a feminine voice cried.

"I'm...I'm trying," K-Ro panted, his voice weakening, "Can't...last...much...longer."

The thumping continued to grow more intense until it suddenly ended, followed by a loud, dull thud. I detected a slight tremor throughout the estate. After waiting a moment, I approached the doors to K-Ro's suite and knocked loudly.

"K-Ro," I said, "Let House Speaker Pelosi know it's time for her interview."

I could hear whispers and the shuffling of bodies. Then soft footfalls followed by the opening of the doors. There K-Ro, naked and sweating heavily, stood, surveying the room. His breathing was fitful, his gait unsteady as he made his way down the main hallway, stopping at the kitchen, where he popped open the microwave and retrieved a neatly folded business suit and blouse from the Kathy Ireland professional collection. Draping the ensemble over his arm, he slowly returned to his suite. As I watched him struggle back toward the doors, I felt a mixture of alarm and revulsion. I turned to Amanda Scarlettson, the intrepid investigative reporter, forced a smile and shrugged sheepishly. Ms. Scarlettson, having witnessed the entire episode, was fittingly abashed, yet resolutely professional, her face frozen in repulsed curiosity.

"She should be ready momentarily, my dear," I promised. I had invited young Ms. Scarlettson to my lush estate in the pretense of arranging an interview with Nancy Pelosi. Something about health care reform or some kind of nonsense. Pelosi, having arrived early, had entered into a heated debate on the health care system with K-Ro. By the time Ms. Scarlettson had arrived, things had gotten ugly.

"There's no hurry, really," she said, smiling, "I certainly appreciate this opportunity. I'm a little surprised you didn't keep this interview for yourself."

"I have no time for fluff pieces," I said with a wave of my hand, "Besides, I have it from a very reliable source that Steven Seagal is positioning himself for a run at sheriff of Hollywood. That's the story I want."

"Um, okay," Ms. Scarlettson said, obviously impressed by my journalistic instincts, "Thanks anyway."

I simply nodded and smiled warmly, careful not to betray my true intentions.

I had met Ms. Scarlettson the previous weekend at a benefit for orphans who are too unattractive to be adopted by celebrities. The turnout had been much lower than expected due to the recent spate of Prius-related catastrophes that was keeping most of the Hollywood elite at home firmly in the grip of fear. Bored, I was ready to leave the event when I was approached by Ms. Scarlettson, her crimson hair pulled up into a bun, a strand or two hanging teasingly across her face, wearing dark-rimmed glasses that were unsuccessful in hiding her beauty.

"Mr. King," she purred, extending her hand, "My name is Amanda Scarlettson. I write for The Daily News. I'm writing a feature on you and wonder if it would be possible to get an exclusive?"

Taking her hand, I pulled it gently to my lips, kissing it softly with only the slightest of tongue.

"It would be my pleasure," I cooed, "To do for you, or to you, anything you desire. However, I never do interviews."

"I'm sorry to hear that," she said, wiping the back of her hand on her pants, "But I'm sure I can find some background information on you elsewhere."

And then, she simply vanished. It was shocking, really. Having already begun the process of conceiving a reason for her being unable to spend the entire night in my bed (I have an early morning rehearsal for Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark?), I was surprised and confused by the realization that we would be spending no time together. It had never happened before, and it was intoxicating.

"IPhone," I said.

"Yes, sir," a robotic voice replied.

"Connect me to K-Ro," I ordered.

"Very well, sir."

I quickly gave K-Ro a rundown of the night's events, and of this newest situation.

"Those poor orphans," K-Ro said.

"Fuck them," I bellowed, "I want you to find this Amanda Scarlettson. Get her over to the mansion."

"But how?" K-Ro asked.

"I don't care how," I screamed, "She's a reporter of some kind. What do reporters like to do?"

"Nancy Pelosi's coming over to watch 24," he said, "Perhaps I can arrange an interview for the young reporter."

"Nancy Pelosi?" I said, "Tony Soprano's mother? I hate to tell you this, my friend, but she died years ago."

"Um, okay," K-Ro said, "Just leave it to me. I'll take care of everything."

And I told myself to remember to do something special for K-Ro, who had been true to his word, as I watched Ms. Scarlettson stand and shake hands with Pelosi when she emerged from the suite. K-Ro joined me at the door, wearing a tank top and naked from the waist down.

"You've done well, my friend," I said, "But it seems Ms. Pelosi neglected to iron her pants."

"She's wearing a skirt, sir," K-Ro replied.

"Of course she is, my little friend, of course she is."

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lesson Learned

I was quite young, in primary school, when I received my first and only score of less than perfect in a class. Having earlier forged a compact with my mother concerning my education, I knew that my punishment would be swift and extreme. Frightened and humiliated, I showed my marks to Mother. And elicited her rage.

“A-minus?” she bellowed. I cowered under her mammoth shadow, my voice temporarily paralyzed by fear.

“Why?” she cried, “Do I not provide for you your every need? Do I not allow for you your every want?”

“Please, Mother,” I begged, finding my voice, “I promise to do better. I’m such a good boy!”

Mother smiled menacingly.

“Good boy, you say?” she taunted, “Why don’t you show Mr. Wiggles what a good boy you’ve been.”

I gasped as she produced a hammer from behind her massive back. My hamster, Mr. Wiggles, had just received his sentence for a crime I had committed. Mother thrust the hammer into my tiny hand.

“Mother, I beseech you! Not Mr. Wiggles!” But my entreaties went unheeded as she stood silent, pointing toward my bedroom door, behind which Mr. Wiggles lounged, blissfully unaware of his rapidly impending doom.

Mother, her face now wearing a hideously evil grin, led me forcibly by the arm to my bedroom door. The struggle had abandoned me, and I stopped before the door, slump-shouldered and sniffling.

“Now, go show Mr. Wiggles how much you love him,” she ordered, “Let him know how hard you’ve toiled at your studies. Exemplify for him his importance to you.”

But my strength was rapidly diminishing, and I felt unable to carry out the sentence. I could feel Mother’s heavy impatience enveloping me, and peripherally sensed the movement of her bear-like paw grasping for the hammer. I immediately withdrew the implement, and quickly twirled about.

“No,” I protested, weakly, “He’s my hamster. I should be the one to do it.”

Mother’s features softened, and I could see the pride flash in her eyes.

“Perhaps,” she said, “You are a good boy, after all.”

I managed a thin smile and entered my bedroom. Closing the door tightly behind me I quickly discarded the hammer and rushed to Mr. Wiggles’ cage. He was napping.

“Mr. Wiggles!” I said, shaking his cage, “Wake up little friend! Your life is in grave and immediate danger!”

Startled, Mr. Wiggles awoke, his eyes flashing with urgency. Our eyes met briefly, and I could sense the depth of his appreciation. But our tender moment was interrupted by a sudden violent rapping at the door.

“What’s going on in there?” Mother demanded, “Is it done?”

“One moment, Mother,” I stalled, “I’m, I’m just reading the last rites.” I felt the burning onset of panic as I rushed the cage to my bedroom window and opened both.

“Go to your freedom, Mr. Wiggles,” I cried, “You must hurry before Mother discovers our treachery.”

But Mr. Wiggles hesitated. Even though my bedroom was on the first floor, the window’s elevation was too high for his rodent bones to withstand the fall. I quickly decided to carry him the last few steps to his liberty. As I stepped out the window onto the ground, I realized that the knocking at the door had stopped. The silence was eerie. I gently placed Mr. Wiggles on the soft grass.

“Go now, my friend,” I stammered, “Run to sweet freedom!”

Mr. Wiggles looked at me, gave a slight nod and a wink, and scurried away. I wiped a tear from my eye, and, removing my hand from my face, noticed a shadow moving over my newly liberated former pet. I looked up at the form blocking out the sunlight. It was Mother! Looking at me, her eyes ablaze with furious delight, she raised a furry object above her head, the sunlight revealing Esmerelda, Mother’s diabolical housecat.

“Don’t you want to go to college?” Mother roared.

With that she cast Esmerelda downward, precisely on top of Mr. Wiggles as he fled. The countryside became alive with the sounds of her demonic laughter and the tearing of flesh and bone. Oh, the blood!

And as quickly as he had found liberty, Mr. Wiggles found death. In shock, my eyes found Mother’s.

“If you need me,” I said softly, “I’ll be studying.” Lesson learned.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Go Ahead, Young Man

In the years prior to capturing my worldwide fame, I sometimes found it necessary to seek employment in menial positions as a means to fund the research for my breakthrough biographical survey of Tumzu, the father of tabloid journalism, who lived in ancient Mesopotamia and revealed a homosexual relationship between the politician Gilgamesh and his "friend" Enkidu. My research even uncovered allegations of the pairs' involvement in the murder of the Bull of Heaven, although this claim remains unsubstantiated. As I conducted my research, before the book went on to become an international sensation catapulting me above all the literary giants throughout history, I became aware that there was much I did not know about other cultures, and this innate ability to understand my own failings, as miniscule as they may be, led me to seek part-time employment teaching ESL at the local community resource center.

Perhaps my greatest personal attribute, aside from my graciousness and humility, is my inherent desire to assist and enrich my fellow man, regardless how pathetic and unworthy he may be, and the most wonderful way to fulfill that desire is through sharing my vast wisdom and wealth of knowledge. Before I had even taught my first class, my heart was filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

When I walked into the office of the director of the center, a Mr. Parker, I was beginning to compose a mental narrative, describing the scene to my subconscious to be related to my later self when the time would inevitably come to record my autobiography.

"I parted the doors of the office like a messiah," I thought, entering the office, "come to share the joy of my word with the ignorant masses."

Mr. Parker sat behind his desk, fat and balding, wearing a bowtie and shirtsleeves. He resembled a mess I had once left on my table at Denny's. As he should, he stood when I entered.

"Mr. King," he said, extending his hand, "I'm glad you made it. I was afraid you had changed your mind. The students are all waiting in your classroom."

"He was a much smaller man than I," I thought, "and most likely had never known a woman's touch."

"Excuse me?" Mr. Parker said.

"Oh, um, nothing," I said, realizing I had been speaking aloud the entire time, "Please, call me sir."

"I'm sorry?" he said, "Did you ask me to call you sir?"

"Just a matter of propriety," I said, "no one uses my name."

"You do realize that I'm the boss," he went on, "you're not my boss."

"But you call a priest father," I reasoned, "even though he's not related. Please, show me to my classroom."

Obviously astounded by my simple logic, Parker led me down a dreary hallway to the classroom. Through a window in the door I was able to get my first glimpse at the students I would soon be sharing my genius with. I was immediately appalled.

"Look at that!" I snarled through gritted teeth, "They're all asleep at their desks!"

Horrified, Parker looked into the room, then back at me.

"What are you talking about?" he asked, "They look awake to me."

"Then why are their eyes closed?" I shouted.

Parker looked momentarily confused.

"They're Korean," he finally said.

"Forgive me," I said, "I don't watch much television. And never Star Trek."

Parker opened his mouth, but before he could speak I opened the door. The students all turned at once as I entered, Parker close behind me. It was now clear that the students had been awake the entire time. I turned to Parker and whispered.

"Is the lighting too bright in here?" He mumbled something incoherent so I decided to just begin the lesson. I took the student roll from Parker's hands. He seemed to have become suddenly ill.

"What the hell is this?" I whispered again to Parker. The list of names was non-sensical.

"Don't you have a spell-check?" I asked. It was becoming obvious to me that I was working for an incredibly incompetent organization. I decided then to simply wing it.

"Attention class," I announced, "Due to an administrative error, I was not provided with an accurate student roster. Therefore, I would like each of you to stand, state your name, and tell the class a little about yourselves."

I gestured to a young man on the front row to rise and waited for him to introduce himself, but he simply stood and looked around at the rest of the students, seemingly confused. I turned to look at Parker, wondering what was wrong, but he had turned ashen.

"Go ahead, young man," I said to the student, "we're all waiting." The student seemed frightened, then began speaking gibberish. I turned again to Parker.

"What the hell is this?" I demanded, "You didn't tell me I'd be teaching a bunch of near-sighted retards."

"The class is ESL!" Parker said, "English as a second language!"

"Perhaps these people should learn a first language before trying a second," I said, "Obviously I'm overqualified for this position."

Leaving Parker with the class, I departed the resource center, unable to fathom the dire straits in which this country's education system now found itself. And in that moment my life's purpose became clear. I would finish my research, I would publish my first masterpiece, I would nail a bunch of hot chicks, and I would spend my life in pursuit of the truth, of enlightenment, of additional wisdom, and I would use all my knowledge and power to open the minds of the long-neglected students of the world.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm Yoda

I have a dream...actually, I had a dream; it was horrible and terrifying. I was being chased through a darkened forest by a demon army of skeletal chihuahua and toy poodles, their empty eye-sockets spitting forth fiery tears, their mouths filled with tiny razor-sharp teeth agape and bellowing satanicly agonizing yips and growls. On the backs of the horde was carried a dark and imposing figure, her eyes flashing wildly, her maniacal laugh echoing through the trees, and her powerful arms drawing a leather whip across the backs of her hell-hounds. It was Oprah. I ran blindly into the darkness, my lungs burning hot, turning my head to see her gaining, her weave waving beyond her like serpents in the night. Suddenly I stumbled. Horrified, I curled into a ball and awaited death's sweet embrace.

"Sir!" It was K-Ro. "Wake up sir, you're having a bad dream." Ah, the relief at hearing the voice, seeing the face, and smelling the jalapeno tinged breath of my friend, and personal assistant. I had fallen asleep in front of my computer.

"You have cheese on your chin," I told him.

"I was eating nachos," K-Ro said, "You're wearing lip-stick."

"I was writing," I explained.

I had been toiling for the past week, trying to find the words to properly convey my latest piece. I was certain it was to be the greatest story ever written. But the creative process was maddening, the memories of the events still too clear. It was like trying to describe having sex with Rosie O'Donnell before she has even left the bed. The wounds were still too fresh.

"It's time for a break," K-Ro said, "Don't you know what tonight is?"

"Is Knight Rider on?" I asked.

"No, silly," he said, "It's New Year's Eve!"

The joy! The one day I look forward to above all others, and it could not have come at a better time. It would be just the respite I needed.

"Are the others coming?" I asked giddily.

"Of course." K-Ro replied.

It has become a tradition of sorts for a select few close friends and I to come together on the eve of each new year. We spend the evening engaging in polite conversation, boast of our accomplishments for the year and toast our continued successes. We also play Trivial Pursuit. When K-Ro informed me that my friends had arrived my mood had lightened considerably.

I entered the den to greet my guests and found them sitting comfortably enjoying their drinks and each others' company.

"Do we have a new butler?" I asked K-Ro.

"No sir," he said, "I invited President-Elect Obama to join us this year."

"Of course," I said, momentarily confused. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President-Elect."

"Call me Barack," he said.

"Of course," I said, "And have you met our other guests, Tom Cruise, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton?"

"Yes, it is a pleasure to be here," he said.

Following our exchange of pleasantries, the five of us sat down and talked of the trials we each had faced during the previous year, of our successes and failures, and of our goals as we looked toward the coming year. We drank copious amounts of brandy, and as the hours passed the conversation turned to more personal topics.

"Tell me about Scientology," Bill said to Tom.

"Oh man, it's really cool," Tom said, "It's like Star Wars, in a way."

"Which Star Wars guy are you?" George asked, excited.

"I'm Obi Wan," he said, "but not the old one, the young one."

"Who am I?" Bill asked.

"Um, probably Han Solo," he said, then turning to Barack, "You're Lando."

"Uh, yes," said Barack, uncomfortably, "Does anyone have any thoughts on the problems with Mumbai?"

"I'm Yoda," I said.

"Is Mumbai the boy from The Jungle Book?" Tom asked.

"No, but they are both Indian," said Barack.

"Me and Jeb used to play Cowboys and Indians," George said, "I was always the Indian."

"Not that kind of Indian," Barack said.

"Yeah," Bill said, "not American Indian, Chinese-Indian."

"He would dress up in his boots and hat and I'd get drunk," George said.

The conversation went on well into the night, and as the clock approached midnight, I could feel the weight of the trials I had endured throughout the year give way to a certain hopefulness, and I knew that I was ready to face my task and begin work anew on the story that I was destined to write.

"Who wants to play Trivial Pursuit?" I asked.

"How about a drinking game?" George answered.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The End of an Eclipse

Several years ago, when I first set forth on my grand quest to uncover the greatest story ever written, I set out on foot across the ruggedly beautiful Sierra Nevadas, my only gear a worn-out victrola, a vinyl copy of Air Supply's Greatest Hits, Vol.2, a warm bottle of Dos Equis, a week's supply of Jack Link's Chicken Jerky, a boot-leg vhs recording of the first season of The Fall Guy, a signed copy of Barry Switzer's autobiography, Bootlegger's Boy, a couple packages of Orville Redenbacher Cheddar flavored microwavable popcorn, a faded postcard from Joe, MT, a $25 gift card to Bath and Body Works, two Aleve, and a sling-shot that needed only mild repairs to be in full working order. As I struggled across the rocky terrain searching for the burst of inspiration that total and complete isolation often bestows upon great men, I surprised an ancient Washoe medicine man, bathing in a tiny spring. The shaman was naked but unabashed, only starteld by my sudden presence. The sparkle in his eyes belied the haggard coarseness of his dark and wrinkled skin. I spent several days with the shaman, and he taught me many things about life, vision quests, how to pick up any woman at any time, the scoring system of Olympic gymnastics, and all the while he never wore clothes. It was the time I spent with this man, Swings Like a Donkey, that I learned to never be ashamed of the human form. But as I struggled nakedly against the vise-like head-lock in which the Big-O held me, my old feelings of shame slowly crept back in.

Naked herself, the Big-O was as strong as a team of oxen. Maria screamed and cried, but to no avail. I fought to maintain counsciousness, but the darkness began to surround me, edging ever closer, until I was on the verge of blacking out.

"Hit her with Moby!" Maria yelled. But how, I wondered. The Big-O held me from behind and, as impressive as Moby is, even he has his limits. Then, as her ever tightening grip threatened to steal the last vestiges of life from my body, I had a vision. I saw the old shaman. He was gesturing wildly, swinging both hands up behind his head as if throwing a large stone behind him. I began punching back at the Big-O's face, but she shrugged off the blows as if they were mere gnats. The shaman shook his head violently, repeating the gesture, trying to make me understand. Suddenly I understood. With death scratching at my life's door, I summoned all the strength I could muster. I reached up behind me and gripped the Big-O by her powerful shoulders. Then I pushed up with my muscular legs and vaulted my rippling figure upward and back, swinging Moby like a hammer of the gods and striking the Big-O directly between the eyes. Upon contact, her grip loosened and my momentum catapulted me into a full back-flip and sat me down directly behind her.

The power of the blow momentarily stunned her, and I knew I had to act quickly, despite my lack of strength. I launched myself onto her back, applying the same headlock she had used to detain me. But I quickly knew I had under-estimated her strength.

"You call that a hit, little man?" she laughed, "Remember, I seen Dennis Rodman naked."

"You slept with Dennis Rodman?" I asked incredulously, "He never wrote about that in his book!"

"He might not be proud of it," she said, "but he knows what he did." Then, with a laugh, she reached back, grabbed me by the neck and flung me over her shoulder, sending me spinning head over feet through the air and into the wall above the kitchen sink.

I lay on the counter top on my back clinging desperately to consciousness as I watched through blurred vision the towering, frightening figure of the Big-O moving over the top of me.

"So you're a dog lover, huh?" she asked mockingly.

"I, I liked Bambi," I stammered.

"Wasn't Bambi a deer?" Maria asked.

"That's right, that's right," I agreed, "What about Flipper?"

"I think Flipper was a horse," Maria said.

"Flipper was a dolphin, you idiot!" the Big-O screamed, "Why the hell would a horse be named Flipper?"

"No, I think Maria's correct," I said, "I believe Flipper was Roy Rogers' horse." The Big-O shook her head and turned away from us. I could hear her swearing quietly as she reached for a large carving knife.

"He was a quite famous horse, too," I continued, "I believe his stuffed and mounted corpse is in the Smithsonian."

"Well I hate horses, too!" the Big-O screamed as she returned to her previous position standing over me, "All they're good for is making dog food out of, and why would anyone want to feed a dog?" With that, she raised the knife over her head, preparing to plunge it deep into my chest, to extiguish the light of one of the great geniuses of our time.

"But if there were no dogs then you wouldn't have your baloney," I reasoned, "And since dog food is made from horses, then horses would in turn be an essential ingredient in your baloney also."

"Enough!" she roared.

"Drop the knife!" a familiar voice ordered. The Big-O turned suddenly to the door, blocking my view of my savior. She dropped the knife and raised her hands.

"Move away from the sink!" the voice ordered again. The Big-O moved slowly aside, as if the end of an eclipse, and I saw K-Ro standing in the doorway, a pistol trained on the behemoth. I somehow managed a smile, and as I slid into unconsciousness, I swear I saw a tear in K-Ro's eye.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Big O

I sat cross-legged and naked on the floor at the foot of the bed, staring silently into the darkness. From the bed I could hear Oprah, or "The Big O," as I now called her, snoring softly. The quiet purr of her slumberous breathing evoked an image of a sinewy black panther dining on a troupe of camping cub scouts in the Everglades, a mental picture that brought about an incredible hunger to my loins. I felt a sudden urge for a baloney sandwich. Careful not to make the slightest noise, I rose to find the kitchen. As I made my way toward the bedroom door I remembered that I was still naked, so I found the straw cowboy hat that I had worn earlier during our role-playing and donned it, then quietly exited the bedroom.

As I made my way through the vast labyrinth of corridors that is The Big O's mansion, I found myself feeling like a cowboy hero in a great western adventure. In my fantasy I was on a mission to find a young pioneer girl who'd been stolen by the ruthless Apaches. The baloney sandwich was the girl. I was trying to decide why I would eat the girl when I found her when I rounded a corner and nearly walked into Maria, The Big O's maid. Upon seeing me wearing nothing but my cowboy hat, Maria nearly spun around and ran, but couldn't seem to avert her eyes from my perfect form.

"Goodness, Senor," Maria gushed, "Do you have a conjoined twin?"

"No ma'am," I said, "That's just Moby. You can probably guess why I named him Moby."

"After the guy who plays the techno music?" she asked.

"No ma'am," I corrected, "after the whale."

Maria stared a moment longer as I stood awkwardly before her. Finally I asked if she could show me to the kitchen, and she readily agreed. I quickly integrated Maria into my mind's fantasy by deciding that she would be an Apache maiden that I had charmed into being my ally. In a few moments we were in the kitchen and Maria offered to prepare a snack for me.

"I just wanted a baloney sandwich," I told her. She immediately shook her head.

"No, Senor, you don't want the baloney!" she advised, rather vehemently.

"Ma'am," I replied, "I sure had a hankerin' for some baloney. So did Moby." We both looked down at Moby, who seemed to agree.

"But it is made from the dogs!" she cried. Upon this revelation, she gasped and thrust both her hands over her mouth to quiet herself.

"What do you mean, little lady," I demanded.

"No, I've said to much already!" she pleaded.

"Lady," I said, "You need to tell me exactly what you're talking about." My voice had turned threatening. She looked at me with wide eyes then looked down at Moby. He was pointed right at her.

"Okay, okay," she cried, "I'll tell you, just don't shoot! Miss Oprah, she forces me to make homemade baloney from the dogs she adopts from the shelter. She hates the dogs, but loves the baloney."

I was flabbergasted. The Big O hated dogs? Why did this newfound information seem so vital? The wheels of the superhumanly powerful machine that is my thought process began to turn, slowly at first, searching for the connection. I looked at Maria, but she was staring past me, her eyes filled with terror. I spun quickly to look behind me. There, naked and filling the doorway, stood The Big O.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Call Me K-Ro

"Governor Schwarzenegger?"

"Yes, sweetheart."

"Karl Rove is here to see you."

"Send him in, dollface."

K-Ro entered the governor's office, looking greatly unimpressed, and walked abruptly across the room to the gold-encrusted desk behind which the former thespian sat, eating poached condor eggs and washing them down with Tim Robbins' tears. The governor stood and extended a hand.

"Karl! It's great to see you. What brings you to my kingdom?"

"Hello, Arnold," K-Ro said, shaking his hand, "I've been down in LA."

"The old hunting grounds," Arnold said, "I've been thinking about getting back there myself, maybe giving that Kardashian chick a test drive. I've heard good things, and Maria looks more and more like 'Ghost Rider' every day."

"So, Karl, old friend, what can I do for you?" he added.

"What do you know about what happened at the Vick place?" K-Ro asked.

"I lost a lot of friends there," Arnold said, "All over some stinking animals."

"You don't like dogs?"

"I'll tell you what I like," Arnold said, "I like large-breasted women and foul-smelling cheeses. I like dark, sour Ukranian beer and heavily salted sun-dried meats. I like snuff films featuring donkeys and pre-pubescent Asian boys and watching monkeys have sex and throw their feces on Animal Planet," and then he paused, looking deeply, seriously, coldly into K-Ro's eyes, "But I hate, I mean I absolutely despise dogs."

"What about cats?" K-Ro asked.

"Cats are all right," Arnold said.

"What if I told you there is evidence that could implicate the government in the explosions?" K-Ro asked.

"Karl, Karl," Arnold said, "That is ludicrous. Why would the government be involved?"

"I don't believe the government is involved," K-Ro said, "I think someone is trying to set the president up to take the fall."


"You tell me," K-Ro said, matter-of -factly. Arnold froze.

"Why would I know...,"he began, but before he could finish K-Ro reached out and grabbed him by the hair, pulling his head down viciously and smashing his face into the gold-encrusted desk. Arnold fell back into his chair and looked up at K-Ro, dazed and bloodied. At first it appeared that he had lost a tooth in the attack, but K-Ro realized it was just the gap in his teeth. That famous gap.

"Who is behind this deception?" K-Ro demanded.

"Karl, of course I don't know!" Arnold pleaded. K-Ro slapped him hard across the face.

"Who is behind this deception!" he screamed, slapping him again.

"Please, no more!" Arnold begged, "They'll kill me if I talk!" K-Ro reached for his iPhone.

"What do you think I'll do?" he said, setting the iPhone to "kill."

"Wait," Arnold cried, "I'll tell you." He went limp in the chair, his body moved only by deep sobs.

"It was Oprah," he finally admitted. K-Ro tried to mask the alarm that he knew his face revealed, but Arnold was too busy sobbing to notice. Finally he looked at K-Ro.

"How did you know?" he asked.

"The poodle with the state seal on his collar I gave you as an inaugural gift?" K-Ro said, "I saw his tiny lifeless body at the Vick mansion. You killed him. Had I only known you hated dogs."

"I'm sorry, Karl," Arnold cried.

"Call me K-Ro," K-Ro said, and walked out the door.

A Craving For Chocolate

The applause was deafening, and as I made my way onto the stage I found it necessary to evade the storm of undergarments and roses falling all around me. Several women on the front row were overcome by the emotions brought forth from witnessing first hand my raw and fierce sexuality and had to be carted off to safety. An unscheduled commercial break was ordered when Oprah herself had to be excused so she could change into a fresh pair of panties. I could only chuckle when Stephen King was brought on stage to join me and the thunder died to a much more subdued, polite smattering.

"So, are you two related in any way?" Oprah asked, getting the interview underway.

"No, ma'am," I said, "My name is only a psuedonym. If my true identity is revealed, the nation could find itself in grave danger. Plus, my parents don't want to be bothered by paparazzi."

"Where does the name 'Fisherking' come from?" she asked.

"I studied bass fishing at university. After being drafted number one overall into the professional bass fishing tour, and winning league MVP three straight years, I was forced to retire due to injuries. Plus, I wake up most mornings to a 'fishy' smell."

"Amazing," she said, "What sort of injuries forced your retirement?"

"I have 'bass elbow'," I said.

"Ouch," she said, and turned to Stephen King, "Tell me, Stephen, what brings you here?"

"Um, well, I was told my book made it into your book club," Stephen said.

"Ooh, really?" she said, "What's it about?"

"Oh, you haven't read it?" he asked, perplexed, "Well, let's see, it's really scary. It has Indian burial grounds and vampires and, um, pit bulls and Freddy Krueger and black people, and, um, what else is scary? Um, let's see, there are Mexicans and..."

"Really great," Oprah said, "Now Fisherking, what are you doing later on tonight?"

"Now wait a minute!" Stephen said angrily, "It's my turn! You already talked to him. I'm Stephen King! I'm one of the most successful authors of all time!"

"Yeah, you're really good," I said, "Loved Maximum Overdrive, by the way. And you were great as 'Skippy' on Family Ties."

"Screw you!" he said, "What have you even done?"

"I wrote an episode of The Cosby Show that convinced Keith Richards to give up drugs," I said, "And I wrote Anna Nicole Smith's obituary six month's before she died."

"Really?" Oprah asked.

"Yeah," I said, "I just had to change the name from Britney Spears to Anna Nicole, but the rest happened pretty much just how I wrote it."

"Amazing," she said.

"I have to admit, that is pretty cool," Stephen said, "And, at the risk of sounding gay, you're a stunningly attractive fellow."

"Thanks bro," I said, "I can't lie to you and say you're not hideously unbearable to look at, but your writing doesn't suck too bad."

"Fair enough," he said. The audience let loose a collective and tender sigh, then burst into applause.

"We'll be back after these messages," Oprah said to the camera before turning to me.

"Do you have dinner plans for tonight?" she asked.

"None," I said, "But I have a craving for chocolate."

Friday, November 23, 2007

Damn That Stephen King

And so the world could now see that there is a standard somewhere on the outer reaches of human grasp, beyond perfection and even the realm of the gods, where I, the Fisherking, could be counted as the lone denizen. And from this metaphorical mountaintop I would peer down across the vast landscape of the kingdom that I now ruled, and cast my judgement upon my inferior subjects in the form of the artistic renderings that had now attained the highest level of acclaim and critical platitudes that accompanied my entry into Oprah's Book Club. It was party time.

"Ooh, K-Ro," I said, "Call Vince Vaughn and see if he'll come to the party!"

"Vince Vaughn is dead, sir," K-Ro said, "He was killed in the explosion at the Vick mansion."

"What about Jeremy Piven?"


"Jodie Foster?"


"Tobey Maguire?"


"Adrian Grenier?"


"Dammit, K-Ro!" I snapped, "What the hell am I paying you for? Adrian Grenier? You know, the kid from those Mac commercials?"

"Oh right," K-Ro said, "I believe he's going to Stephen King's party." Damn that Stephen King. Furious, I hurled my laptop across the room toward K-Ro, but he, being a former ballet dancer, lithely dodged the impending threat and it shattered against the wall.

"Sir!" K-Ro screamed, "That laptop held all your notes for the Vick story!"

"Damn the Vick story!" I yelled, picking up the broken laptop and flinging it once again at K-Ro only to watch as he pirouetted to safety.

"Damn Stephen King, damn Adrian Grenier, and damn you, K-Ro!" K-Ro held a perfect cinquieme as his face melted in pained sorrow.

"Please don't say that, sir," he pleaded, "Have you forgotten the Vick story? It was to be the greatest story ever written."

"Don't you understand, K-Ro? I've been selected into the Oprah Book Club! Oprah! Apparently, the greatest story ever written has already been written, and I wrote it!"

"Yeah, you or Stephen King," was his tart response.

"Ouch, bro," I said. But the damage was done. In all my life I have never suffered an attack so vicious, and I wasn't about to start. If K-Ro couldn't recognize the importance of such an honor bestowed as inshrinement in the Oprah Winfrey Book Club, then our relationship could carry forth no longer.

"You're fired, my once-faithful friend," I whispered, my back turned to the traitor.

"It's been an honor, sir," K-Ro said before gathering the broken laptop and exiting the room, leaving behind only a trail of tears. I stood for a moment gathering my thoughts, and my attention turned once again to the night's impending celebration.

"Danica!" I yelled. A moment later my driver appeared.

"Yes, sir?"

"Call Ryan Seacrest."

"He's dead."

"Tommy Lee?"



"I think we can get him."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

They Got Screech!

The relentless juggernaut of my intellect pushed onward searching for answers to the mystery unfolding before me. Clues sprang forth like gnats, dancing teasingly beyond the reach of my considerable grasp. Sitting alone in the study, I rubbed my elegantly beefy forefinger across the arm of my chair, drawing a thick, mucousy glob of strawberry jam onto my fingertip and inserting it hungrily into my mouth. From the master bedroom I could hear K-Ro grunting and moaning as he made enthusiastic love to Danica, and she, reaching climax, calling out my name. Suddenly, the fiercely intelligent entomological hunter that is my mind captured one of the metaphorical insects, and I closed my eyes so that it could reveal the truth it concealed.

"Turn on the TV!" K-Ro screamed as he burst naked through the door, shattering my concentration and allowing the insect to escape my grasp. The suddenness of his entrance, combined with my broken concentration and his naturalistic state, rendered me momentarily confused.

"Good Lord, K-Ro," I finally said, "Is that your penis?"

"Why yes," he replied, looking down, "That's Tricky Dick. He appears to be spent."

"He hardly appears at all." The pun was not intended, but appropriate.

"Nonetheless, sir, you must turn on the television," he continued, "There's been a tragedy."

I immediately switched on the TV and turned it to CNN. The scene was unimaginable. The flashing lights of emergency vehicles cast a sinister glow on the grounds of the Vick mansion that was darkened by the shadows of the thick plumes of smoke roiling upward and obscuring the bright California sun. Anderson Cooper appeared shattered and heartbroken as he read the names of the hundreds of celebrities who were killed in the bombs that struck the gathering outside the gates of the mansion. I sat dumbfounded and speechless. I could hear Danica softly weeping in the bedroom and I finally turned away from the screen, appalled, and looked at K-Ro.

"Put on some pants, will ya?" I said, my voice cracking.

For the next several hours K-Ro, Danica and I sat watching the news reports coming from the scene of the insidious crime. The death toll was shocking and extraordinary. It was a total loss.

"Oh my God!" K-Ro wept, "They got Screech!"

"Turn it off!" Danica pleaded. I flipped from channel to channel, only to find more accounts of the tragedy. Finally I stopped. Oprah was announcing her newest book club choice. The lights in her studio went dim and Michael Buffer strode to the stage carrying a microphone.

"And now, the newest addition to the Oprah Winfrey Book Club is...How to Hang Out and Screw Hot Chicks by Fisherking!"

I couldn't believe it. Having won the National Book Award for my previous novels, Intimate Moments and the Men Who Lie About Them and Bulls on Parade: The Rosie O'Donnell Story, I thought that I had attained the highest levels of achievement in my professional life. But this was different. This was Oprah.

"Come on, you guys!" I said, trying to conceal my glee, "We're gonna be on Oprah!"

"But what about the story?" K-Ro asked.

"Who cares," I said, "We're gonna be on Oprah!"

"And," Michael Buffer continued on the television, "For the first time, Oprah has added a second book to her club, Stephen King's This Time it Really is Scary, I Promise!"

"What the...?" I said.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Give It A Go

"By the end of the third or fourth day all the meat had rotted, leaving the room awash in an aroma reminiscent of a Khmer Rouge killing field, and leaving us with only our own bodies with which to satiate our hungers. Oh, the energies we expelled. The sweat! Late that afternoon a pig, probably having escaped from the farm down the road, wandered into the yard. Ashley, half-crazed and hollow-eyed, managed to work her tiny frame through a window above the kitchen sink and ambushed the swine from above, smothering it with her vintage poncho that had hosted her in their deflowering."

"Who wants punch?" K-Ro asked as he walked into the study carrying a refreshment tray. Upon seeing K-Ro enter the room, Tiger Woods leapt to his feet and quickly moved to the restroom, without excusing himself.

"What did I say?" K-Ro asked, sounding hurt.

"Who knows," I said, "I was just regaling him with a recount of the retreat I took with the Olsen twins in celebration of their eighteenth birthday."

Tiger returned looking so pale that I mistook him at first for a very tall Jet Li.

"Tiger, are you okay bro?" I asked.

"Just, um, a bug or something," he said, sounding unsure. I turned to K-Ro and nodded. He nodded back and quickly exited the study, only to return a moment later carrying a dozen plaster recreations of cuddly, white baby seals, which he lined up neatly across the floor in front of us. Tiger looked on with a quizzical expression. Noticing his puzzled look, I patted him on the shoulder.

"When I was a young man at university," I explained, "I spent my summers with my Uncle Perciforth, who was not really my uncle, but whom I had met as a child when I worked part-time in his veterinary clinic, where I assisted in shaving various pet parts and cleaning bed pans. Uncle Perciforth left the veterinary business after a particularly nasty clawing from a yeast infected iguana. He set forth into the vast arctic wilderness where he made his living guiding Asian businessmen on baby seal clubbing safaris." I paused for a moment, studying Tiger, reading his reaction. He simply stared back silently. He appeared not to breathe.

"It was during these summers that I perfected my swing," I went on, "You cannot possibly imagine the technical perfection required to part a baby seal's head from it's cute, cuddly body. Those little guys are tougher than they look." I extended an arm to K-Ro, who handed me a driver, which I gave to Tiger.

"Go ahead," I said, motioning at the plaster baby seals, "Give it a go." Tiger shook his head vigorously, his eyes never leaving mine. I simply stared back sternly, and gestured toward the plaster baby seals again.

"Give it a go," I repeated.

Tiger, somewhat reluctantly, took the club from my hand and slowly moved in front of the first baby seal. There he stood for an eternity, concentrating, removing all distractions from his thoughts. Then he began his backswing, his eyes never leaving the baby seal, and he let her rip. As he swung through, the baby seal head flew against the wall and the strawberry jam that K-Ro had filled it with exploded throughout the room, covering the three of us with fake baby seal blood.

"Woohoo!" Tiger yelled, pumping his fist.

"Hole in one!" screamed K-Ro. Tiger beamed wildly, his smile lighting the room. He extended a gracious hand.

"Thank you, sir," He said, and he looked back at the remaining plaster baby seals.

"No problem, bro," I said, and then gestured at the remaining plaster baby seals, "Go ahead."

And with that Tiger turned back to the row of plaster baby seals, covering the room with more and more strawberry jam and filling us all with joy.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

K-Ro Is Brilliant

"Where have you been?" K-Ro said, half worried and half scolding. The same words spoken by any other would have resulted in at least a severe dressing down, but from K-Ro it was easy to recognize the true feeling of concern behind the inquiry.

"You had me worried to death," he continued, "You can't call? How can I know you aren't hurt, or being raped?"

"I had to do some thinking. This Vick story goes deeper than we ever imagined," I said.

"Always with the work!" K-Ro snapped, "You should eat something. I made muffins." So that was the heavenly aroma I had detected. K-Ro's abilities in the kitchen are rivalled only by his almost comically evil contempt for civil liberties.

"I almost forgot," he added, "Tiger Woods called while you were out. He's having trouble with his swing and wanted your advice."

"Was it Tiger or a representative of his?" I asked. My concern was that Tiger's wife, Elin, who had been sending me notes and emails seeking some sort of liason between us, might have been trying to use the pretense of a meeting with Tiger to meet with me.

"It was Tiger," he replied, "I spoke with him myself."

"Set it up," I ordered. The pressures of the day were starting to wear on me, and I knew I could use the diversion. I had heard that Tiger had was an exceptional athlete, and knew he had potential. An hour with me could transform that potential into championships.

"Bring my Louisville Slugger," I ordered.

"Your what, sir?" K-Ro asked.

"You know, my baseball bat," I said.

"Why, sir, if you don't mind me asking?" K-Ro said.

"How dare you question me!" I snapped, "But if you must know, how do you expect me to counsel Tiger Woods on his swing if I don't warm up my own swing first?" K-Ro looked perplexed.

"Begging your pardon sir, but Mr. Woods competes in golf, not baseball," K-Ro informed me. I looked at him for a long time without speaking. Suddenly I was furious with K-Ro. How could he embarrass me like this?

"Don't you think I realize that, you fool?" I screamed, slapping him across the round cheek. Poor K-Ro fell to the floor cowering, his arms raised to shield his face from further attacks. His pitiful sobs finally penetrated my fury.

"Oh my poor, poor K-Ro," I cried, "Forgive me my tiny round friend!" I enveloped my friend and servant with my thick arms, pulling his sobbing head into the comfort of my vast chest. There he remained for a few tender moments, his low, almost silent sobs only interrupted by intermittent uncontrollable shuddering. He finally looked up at me, his wide eyes still shiny with tears, and sniffled loudly.

"What is wrong, sir?" he asked, "Something is bothering you." I was genuinely touched. This pathetic creature, whom I had just attacked with the ferocity I usually reserve for immigrants and activists, was more concerned with my well-being than for his own. Abashed, I quickly stood, dropping his dear head from my arms heavily onto the floor.

"Oh poor K-Ro," I said, "Poor, pathetic, disgusting, fat, bald, poor K-Ro, how could I strike thee? It is my own confusion that has led to your undeserved punishment. I am unsure of what course to take in the pursuit of this story, which I am sure is to be the Greatest Story Ever Written!"

"You need to take a break, sir," K-Ro said, soothingly, "Visit with Tiger Woods, help him with his swing, and then revisit this dilemma. Maybe then you'll see the answers you're too close to see now." I knew my friend was right. Man, this guy was good. Not just good. K-Ro is brilliant. I extended a powerful arm toward his pathetic figure, and he smiled. I had a surprise for Tiger, something that would serve as the final piece in the puzzle of his own personal quest for the perfect golf swing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Room 69

"Stop here," I said softly as Danica pulled up in front of a dingy apartment complex. It was the very apartment complex where Bruce Willis' character lived in Pulp Fiction. My buddy Bill Clinton keeps a secret pad there for his frequent weekend excursions, leased under the name, Ron Mexico. I needed some advice, or maybe just a kindred spirit to help me understand the path I needed to follow to discover the truth behind the Vick scandal. K-Ro slept comfortably in the back of the limo, so I was careful not to wake him, as he disapproved of my relationship with Bill, although, as I've often tried to explain to him, we've been friends a long time.

"Take the little guy back to the hotel," I ordered, "I'll call you later."

"Yes, sir," Danica obeyed, struggling to maintain a professional demeanor while ignoring her deep, consuming love for me. We both knew better than to embark on such an affair, due to our working relationship and her dark, thin mustache.

I had to fight to resist the urge to grab a handful of pudgy cheek as I took a last look at K-Ro, peacefully slumbering with a mouthful of thumb and still wearing the "People Don't Kill Dogs, Mike Vick Does" t-shirt. The little fella's such a cutie!

As the limo pulled away from the curb, I approached room number 69 (Bill may have been a Rhodes' Scholar, but his sense of humor is decidedly low-brow) and knocked three times. The moment my fist struck the door the third time, it swung open wildly. Bill stood looking at me wide-eyed, wearing only a pink silken bathrobe over yellowed briefs and black socks. His left nipple was red and swollen and impaled with what appeared to be a comically oversized clothespin. Above the nipple was a tattoo of Tupac Shakur, his face flushed by the infection.

"GK!" he exclaimed. Bill Clinton is the only person I've ever met, including my parents, who doesn't address me as "Sir." He began calling me GK after a particularly late night in the King's Cross district of Sydney. The prostitute he had met, a pudgy older girl named Yvette, had passed out cold in the street at the entrance to her building, and Bill talked me into carrying her over my shoulder up the two flights of stairs to her door. Although completely naked, I happily agreed, and as Bill followed us up the steps, he couldn't help but notice the sinewy musculature and perfect symmetry of my calves. GK stands for "God-like Calves." Apparently, one doesn't need to pass a spelling test to become a Rhodes' Scholar either.

"Billy Boy!" I said.

"Come on in here, bro," he said, "Have a seat on the couch." We both made our way to the couch and sat down. A huge bong stood like a monument on the coffee table.

"What're ya'll doin here in Angel City?" Bill asked.

"Working, bro," I said, "What do you make of this Vick story?"

"Yo, yo, that nigga was set up, g!" He sounded agitated. It's well known that he and Vick are close. Suddenly I saw a figure from the corner of my eye, and was startled briefly before I recognized Whitney Houston emerge from the bathroom, wearing nothing but an Arkansas Razorbacks t-shirt. She walked across the room and sat heavily between us.

"Ya'll mind if I smoke this crack in here?" she asked without saying hello. I felt a little awkward.

"Where'd you get that crack?" Bill asked.

"I got it from a white guy," she explained.

"Long as it ain't none of that ghetto shit," Bill said, "That shit's bad for you."

"Um, so, Billy Boy," I said, "You guys need your privacy?"

"No, no bro," he laughed, "It's just these bitches, yo."

"What do you mean, Vick was set up?" I asked.

"Yo, check this," he said, standing, "Remember when that shit went down with that white girl in the White House and all that shit. I dropped a couple bombs on Iraq, g, and that shit, like, went away and shit. Shit."

I got it. I finally understood. Vick was innocent. He really was being set up. Michael Vick was a decoy, a means to divert the attention of the American public from something more important. But what? What did we need to ignore? I vaguely remembered a conversation K-Ro and I had earlier that day. Something about a war.

"I've got to go," I said, standing.

"I'll walk you out, GK," Bill said.

We walked outside and Bill shut the door behind him. He seemed happy.

"Thanks for everything," I said, "How's Hillary?"

"She's great, bro," he said.

"What's with the tattoo?" I asked.

"We did peyote last night," he said, "That's some wild shit."

We shook hands and Bill disappeared back into room 69. I sent a telepathic message through my iPhone to Danica. We had work to do.


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